News: September 2015 Archives

Marc's note: It's election season north of the border with Canada heading to the polls to elect a new federal government on Monday, October 19th. Rarely does space enter the election picture. This year is different. In the last week one news story with national reach and an editorial have put space on the election map.

The Canadian Space Commerce Association, of which I'm the Executive Director, issued a press release two days after the election was called calling on all federal parties to commit to a long-term space plan to be completed by the end of 2016 with input from all stakeholders. The three main parties who have a chance to form the next government were contacted along with the media. The Canadian Press (Canada's equivalent to the AP) picked up on the story.

The good news is that the Liberals and New Democratic Party (NDP) have both committed to a long-term space plan. The ruling Conservatives had no comment. Here's the first story.

Liberals and NDP promise long-term space plan if elected, Canadian Press

The other news item is an editorial which appeared in yesterday's Ottawa Citizen from David Emerson who led a government mandated independent national review of the aerospace sector in 2012. Emerson is highly respected and a former government Cabinet Minister.

Emerson: Let's reclaim our status as a leading spacefaring nation

"The next, most critical stage will be a concrete plan for long-term investments in space infrastructure. Such a plan would include commitments to space investment priorities reflecting the needs of Canada, the operational objectives of government departments and agencies, and Canada's industrial capabilities."

The election result will determine which direction Canada heads. If the current Conservative government is re-elected the current course will be maintained which may not be a positive sign. If either of the opposition parties win, then positive change should happen.

NASA astronauts Mark Kelly and Terry Virts to address a National Press Club newsmaker breakfast

"Breakfast will be served at 8:30 a.m. with remarks followed by a question-and-answer session at 9 a.m. The event ends at 10:00 a.m. Tickets cost $23 for Press Club members (NPC Members may purchase 2 tickets at this rate) and $37 for all other non-member tickets."

Keith's note: Funny thing about this National Press Club event - news media have to actually pay to cover the events with NASA employees participating - even if they do not eat the rubbery, over-salted food. In addition, the National Press Club refuses to credential online space media for events that they do not charge for. I have been waiting for years for them to get back to me to explain exactly how I certify who I am and what I do. Here in Washington DC, people who show up at events with self-created media credentials end up talking to security/police in this post 9-11 world. But guess what: I'd have to self-credential myself since I am my own editor. NASA gave up on issuing media badges years ago. The release says "To submit a question in advance, put SPACETALK in the subject line and email to before 10 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11.". Yea like it will get asked. Truth be known these events are more like exclusive old boy network entertainment than "news". The questions that actually get asked by the NPC gatekeeper are so vapid and soft-ball as to not be worth the bother of answering - or covering.

$79 for an Out-of-Date Book About a Modern NASA Logo, NY Times

"For $79 plus shipping, you can buy a reprint of a long-obsolete federal government publication. The captivating title? "National Aeronautics and Space Administration Graphics Standards Manual." It may not be a page turner, but among certain design and space aficionados, it is a cherished piece of history. A Kickstarter campaign begun on Tuesday aims to raise $158,000 to finance a high-quality hardcover printing of this bureaucratic relic."

LOST IN SPACE; Meatballs Devour Worms!!, NY Times (1999)

"Keith Cowing, an ex-NASA payload manager who documents worm sightings on the NASA Watch Web site, raps Goldin's subordinates for obsessively hiding the worm from the boss. A NASA spokesman protests, saying the agency is worming itself -- harmlessly -- over time (old letterhead will be used up, etc.): ''If someone decides they better go and eradicate this, that or the other thing, it's not because of Goldin.''

From Worms to Meatballs -- NASA Talk Traces Emblematic History, 2013

Reissue of the 1975 NASA Graphics Standards Manual, Kickstarter

Keith's note: Alas, my old NASAWatch "Worm Watch" feature fell offline a long time ago when we did a website update. I always thought that my "wormball" would have been the perfect compromise. Oh well. Truth be known, the whole impetus behind the meatball Vs worm logo change speaks much more to Goldin's interest in getting NASA to change than an actual obsession with the logo - even if it seemed that way at the time. Indeed, it was emblematic of the issue of resistance to change with NASA. If someone could not follow a simple concept and managerial direction of replacing a logo then how could they be expected to do more the complex things needed to transform the agency?



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This page is an archive of entries in the News category from September 2015.

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