News: January 2009 Archives

"The arrival of a new year reminds us that life is a journey, one that takes us on many unexpected paths. NASA's role is to pioneer journeys into the unknown for the benefit of humanity. Along the way, we sometimes experience tragedy instead of triumph.

Today, we pause to reflect on those moments in exploration when things did not go as expected and we lost brave pioneers. But what sets us apart as Americans is our willingness to get up again and push the frontiers even further with an even stronger commitment and sense of purpose.

On this Day of Remembrance, we remember the sacrifices of those who dared to dream and gave everything for the cause of exploration. We honor them with our ongoing commitment to excellence and an unwavering determination to continue the journey on the path to the future.

President Barack Obama"

Challenges loom as Obama seeks space weapons ban, Reuters

"President Barack Obama's pledge to seek a worldwide ban on weapons in space marks a dramatic shift in U.S. policy while posing the tricky issue of defining whether a satellite can be a weapon. Moments after Obama's inauguration last week, the White House website was updated to include policy statements on a range of issues, including a pledge to restore U.S. leadership on space issues and seek a worldwide ban on weapons that interfere with military and commercial satellites."

The Agenda: Defense,

"Ensure Freedom of Space: The Obama-Biden Administration will restore American leadership on space issues, seeking a worldwide ban on weapons that interfere with military and commercial satellites. They will thoroughly assess possible threats to U.S. space assets and the best options, military and diplomatic, for countering them, establishing contingency plans to ensure that U.S. forces can maintain or duplicate access to information from space assets and accelerating programs to harden U.S. satellites against attack."

Mike Griffin Bids Farewell

NASA News Update with Mike Griffin (Transcript)

"I am officially on duty until noon, Eastern Time, on the 20th, but the government is closed down on Monday and Tuesday for all the obvious reasons. So today is my last chance to visit with everybody, and I thought I would finish up my term in the way that I started, talking to the NASA employees in an All Hands. ...

... I made a few notes because I didn't want to forget any more people than I have to forget, which will inevitably be some, and so, if I forget you as I say thanks, all I can ask is forgiveness."

Editor's note: One person notably absent from the thank you list was the man who appointed Griffin to be NASA Administrator in the first place i.e. President Bush.

Secret inspection satellites boost space intelligence ops, Craig Covault, SpaceflightNow

"In a top secret operation, the U.S. Defense Dept. is conducting the first deep space inspection of a crippled U.S. military spacecraft. To do this, it is using sensors on two covert inspection satellites that have been prowling geosynchronous orbit for nearly three years. The failed satellite being examined is the $400 million U.S. Air Force/Northrop Grumman Defense Support Program DSP 23 missile warning satellite. It died in 2008 after being launched successfully from Cape Canaveral in November 2007 on the first operational Delta 4-Heavy booster."

Craig Covault joins Spaceflight Now

"Craig Covault, one of the world's most respected aerospace journalists, is joining the Spaceflight Now team as Editor-at-Large. With about 3,000 articles to his name and nearly four decades in the business, Craig will further strengthen Spaceflight Now's unrivaled coverage of the space program."

Lawmakers want Obama to remove NASA inspector general, Federal Times

"Two Democratic congressmen have renewed calls for the removal of NASA Inspector General Robert "Moose" Cobb, citing a new Government Accountability Office report critical of Cobb's track record auditing NASA programs and detecting fraud, waste and abuse."

GAO: NASA needs to improve its internal audits, Federal Computer Week

"The NASA IG office disagreed with the GAO's findings and questioned the depth and scope of the evaluation, according to the report. "

Qualify test, get a ticket to Nasa, The Telegraph (Calcutta, India)

"Want to see outer space and life of an astronaut from close range? Pass an examination and your dream would turn into reality. Students of Jharkhand and Bihar would soon get a golden opportunity to visit National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa). ... The students will be on a 15-day visit to the US where Nasa will host them. The boarding, lodging, travelling, medical and visa expenditure would sponsor the students."

Griffin Bids Farwell


Administrator Michael Griffin will host a NASA Update on Friday, January 16, at 11 a.m. (EST), in the NASA Headquarters Auditorium. The program will be broadcast live from NASA Headquarters on NASA TV and the Web. During the program, employees will be able to ask questions from NASA Headquarters and participating field centers. If you cannot ask your question during the program, you may send it by e-mail to: Please join the administrator for this important NASA Update."

GAO: Inspectors General: Actions Needed to Improve Audit Coverage of NASA

"We believe that the lack of OIG recommendations regarding the economy and efficiency of NASA's programs and activities has resulted in the relatively low amount of reported monetary accomplishments when compared to other OIGs during fiscal year 2007. By comparing the OIG's budgetary resources of about $34 million for the same year with the combined monetary accomplishments for audits and investigations, there is a $0.36 return for each budget dollar. When this calculation is made for all 30 OIGs with IGs appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, the cumulative return for each budget dollar is approximately $9.49, or about 26 times that of the NASA OIG. Also, when compared to these other OIGs, the year that the NASA OIG had its largest reported monetary accomplishment from audits, it ranked 27 in return for each budget dollar out of the 28 OIG offices reporting monetary accomplishments for fiscal year 2007."


GAO Report Finds Failure of Oversight by NASA IG

"Today, the Government Accountability Office released a report, "Inspectors General: Actions Needed to Improve Audit Coverage of NASA," which found that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) under Robert "Moose" Cobb returned only 36 cents for every dollar in its budget. Cobb's role as the Inspector General is to reduce waste and save the agency money. In a ranking of 30 agency OIG offices, Cobb's office ranked 27th in recommended savings for every dollar spent. The report was requested by: Rep. Bart Gordon (D-TN), Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology; Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight during the 110th Congress; and Senator Charles Grassley of the Senate Finance Committee."

Report: NASA inspector general not catching enough, AP

Editor's note: According to various Twitter postings and email messages, Mike Griffin is wowing the crowds at JSC today. Where next?

Editor's note: Have a look at this excerpt from the recently revised NASA Organization description. Missing is the Office of Communications Planning. It has been eliminated. Curiously it is still listed here (or here if you are inside the NASA firewall).

NASA Policy Directive NPD 1000.3D

Effective Date: December 3, 2008
Expiration Date: December 3, 2013

The NASA Organization


Best Science Blog?

Editor's note: Wow. Someone with nothing better to do has nominated NASA Watch in the Best Science Blog category for the 2008 weblog awards. You can go here to vote for (or against) NASAWatch.

Obama may militarise NASA to save money, Register

"President-Elect Barack Obama may seek to save money and advance America's space presence by promoting closer cooperation between the US military space programme and NASA, according to reports."

Obama To Merge NASA, Pentagon To Help With Space Race, dbtechno

"It is believed that President-elect Barack Obama is considering a merger between the Pentagon and NASA to help with the space race to get us back to the moon and eventually to Mars."

Obama May Merge NASA, Pentagon Space Programs, Fox

"The move is being spurred by fear that China, which is making great strides in space, could challenge the U.S. for orbital dominance in the near future."

Editor's note: This is what happens when newspapers write articles based only on articles written by other news sources with a long holiday vacation stuck into the process - articles which themselves originally contained inaccurate information. No one is talking about "militarising" NASA or "merging" it with DoD.



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This page is an archive of entries in the News category from January 2009.

News: December 2008 is the previous archive.

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