Exploration: February 2008 Archives

NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Responses to Questions from NASA Watch Feb. 27, 2008

"Q: Did NASA pay for any civil servants and/or contractors to attend the Stanford University meeting "Examining the Vision - Balancing Science and Exploration" meeting last week? If so which civil servants and/or contractors attended? What contracts and/or projects was this travel and work time charged to? Are these attendees required to prepare a trip report or summary of their activities in connection with this meeting? Will any such reports be made available to the media?

A: Three NASA employees are listed: Brian Muirhead of JPL and Chris MacKay and Russ Kerschmann of Ames Research Center. NASA's Constellation Program funded Muirhead's travel. MacKay and Kerschmann did not incur travel expenses."

Editor's note: NASA employees attending a meeting in an official capacity - one of great interest to the 9th floor - yet NO ONE filed a trip report, wrote a memo, or conveyed ANYTHING to management as to what they did - or what was said?

3rd Space Exploration Conference Briefing Materials Online

"The American institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), in collaboration with NASA, is pleased to announce that the Third Space Exploration Conference will be held February 26-28, 2008 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colorado. After each panel concludes, panelists' briefings will be made available here in PDF format."

Editor's note: I will be curious to see how much of what Steve Cook has placed on the chart "Some Ares I "Myths" Debunked" in his presentation he still stands by in six months given internal documents that show how his program is seeking to reduce and/or eliminate much of the Development Flight Instrumentation (DFI) on the Ares I-X flight test.

Editor's note: This is one instance where using professional announcers would have been preferable to sticking NASA engineers in front of a camera simply because of their management position. Or at least find some people at NASA who can speak without mumbling. Someone should also rewrite the script so as to scrub out the acronyms and the awkward NASAspeak such as "we expend the ascent stage". No one in the real world "expends" anything. However, they do "discard" or "throw things away".

Reader note: Also included in the lists of NASASpeak:"Foam 'liberates' from the ET." Come on now NASA, it "breaks off" !!

Google Lunar X Prize Grows

The X PRIZE Foundation Announces Official Contenders in Private Moon Race

"The X PRIZE Foundation and Google, Inc. today announced the first ten teams to register for the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a remarkable $30 million in prizes. This international group of teams will compete to land a privately funded robotic craft on the Moon that is capable of roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth."

NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Responses to Questions from NASA Watch Feb. 20, 2008

Q: Has NASA directed civil servants and/or contractor personnel to look at Orion CEV designs that would be limited flying a crew of 4 to the ISS?

A: No.

Q: Has NASA directed civil servants and/or contractor personnel to look at Orion CEV designs that would be limited flying a crew of less than 6 to the ISS?

A: No.

Remembering an Explorer

Fossett Remembered for Daredevil Spirit, AP

Steve Fossett: The Times obituary, Times Online

"Steve Fossett made a fortune as a commodities broker in Chicago before embarking on a second career as an adventurer and record setter. He vanished while piloting an aircraft over the Nevada desert. He took off from Yerington, Nevada, on September 3, 2007, on what should have been a three-hour flight. But despite a huge search neither he nor his aircraft was seen again."

Editor's note: Nothing of substance was discussed. Nothing of substance was decided. The VSE is safe - for now. Mike Griffin got all worked up about this meeting - for nothing.

Alas, Scott Horowitz was rather forceful in his defense of the VSE - often profane in doing so. Not exactly the best salesman NASA could put forth in such an environment - officially or unofficially.


Space Experts Say: Restore Funding and Enhance International Outreach to Put Humans on Mars While Sustaining NASA's Science Mission, Planetary Society

"This workshop achieved a consensus that NASA's resources have not been commensurate with its mandated missions of exploration and science," said G. Scott Hubbard, former director of NASA's Ames Research Laboratory in Mountain View, California, and a consulting professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford."

Editor's update: Wow. How profound. NASA needs more money.


VSE Upgrade Update

Media Briefing on Examining the Vision Workshop

"Journalists are invited to attend a Post Workshop Briefing about "Examining the Vision: Balancing Science and Exploration" on Thursday, February 14, 2008, in person in Menlo Park, California or via telecon. The Planetary Society and the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University will host the two-day, invitation-only workshop, "Examining the Vision: Balancing Science and Exploration," February 12-13."

Experts to Discuss U.S. Space Plan, NY Times

"In an interview last week, Dr. Griffin said: "We spent three years reassessing the policy and codifying it. Changing it now? I think that's just stupid." He has suggested that some of the opposition is a sour-grapes effort by aerospace contractors who wanted a second shot at rich contracts. But, he said last week, "We don't change space policy in the United States very often -- if so, you can't get anything done." ... Dr. Friedman said he was dismayed by the sharpness of NASA's reaction, since members of the workshop are "people who have worked with NASA for years, instead of against it."

Examining the Vision - Balancing Science and Exploration, earlier post
Goodbye VSE - Hello USSEP, earlier post
Alt.VSE Update, earlier post
Revising the VSE: Keeping Our Eyes On The Prize, earlier post
ALT.VSE: Reinventing Bush's Vision for Space Exploration, earlier post

Coalition for Space Exploration Official Statement Regarding the White House's FY 2009 Budget Request for NASA

"The Administration's $17.6 billion budget proposal for fiscal year 2009 keeps NASA on course for completing the International Space Station and retiring the space shuttle on time in 2010. In addition, the proposal allows for full funding of the Constellation Program's Orion spacecraft and Ares I launch vehicle, with an eye toward the first test flights in 2008 and 2009, respectively."

Editor's note: In one sentence the Coalition says that the budget keeps everything funded and then moments later they suggest that more money would be nice. Well which is it? They also took 2 days to issue this "release" while every other organization under the sun had one out within hours. Meanwhile, their website still points to their other (previous) website at http://www.spaceadvocate.com/ which was taken away from them by some Turkish telemarketer. (7 Feb Update: they finally removed this link - but have never explained publicly what happened). The company (Griffin Marketing) that runs this activity gets something like $20,000 a month. The coalition itself gets about $1 million a year from aerospace companies. Given this obvious lackluster performance, I have to ask: just what value does the Coalition for Space Exploration actually provide?

NASA Names Interim Lunar Science Institute Director

"David Morrison has been appointed interim director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute, based at the Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., effective immediately. A nationwide search for a permanent director is under way."

NASA budget includes $80 million lunar satellite project for Ames center, San Jose Mercury News

"The federal space program's proposed budget solidifies NASA's Ames Research Center as the center for studying the moon. The budget, released today, includes $80 million for the development of a satellite to study what little atmosphere the moon has. The satellite will be developed and built at the center at Moffett Field and set to launch sometime in 2013 to 2014. "We are now basically the lead agency for lunar science," said S. Pete Worden, director of NASA/Ames, after the announcement."

Acceptance Slow for Bush's Space Plan, Washington Post

"Four years after President Bush called for Americans to return to the moon and then voyage on to Mars, NASA is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to design, build and test the spacecraft that would make it possible. But the effort has yet to capture the public's imagination as the Apollo project did in the 1960s, something tacitly acknowledged recently when NASA hired a New York advertising firm to help "brand" the program, now dubbed Constellation."

PBS host kicks off space festivities, Huntsville Times

Video: Flags are flying at the new Davidson Center for Space Exploration, Huntsville Times

Tonight we celebrate 50 years in space, Huntsville Times

"Presence of von Braun, team will be great at Davidson event. When the city last saw him, he stood on the floor of the Von Braun Civic Center, the new $15 million arena that was named for him. Like most every event Wernher von Braun attended, he was the man who energized the crowd, the star attraction."

Goodbye VSE - Hello USSEP

From: advanced-capabilities-bounces@lists.hq.nasa.gov
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 10:49 AM
To: advanced-capabilities@hq.nasa.gov
Subject: [advanced-capabilities] New title for VSE

New Policy:

The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) title has been changed to the

"U.S. Space Exploration Policy"

Please take note of the new title and refrain from using VSE in letters, presentations, etc.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Exploration category from February 2008.

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