Personnel News: March 2010 Archives

Robert White

Robert M. White dies at 85; pilot made history with 1962 test flight into space, LA Times

"Robert M. White was a 38-year-old U.S. Air Force major and record-setting test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base in 1962 when he joined the elite ranks of America's four astronauts. But Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard, Virgil Grissom, John Glenn and Scott Carpenter went into space seated atop ballistic missiles and returned in capsules that parachuted onto the ocean."

Robert White, a pilot in 'The Right Stuff,' dies, SF Chronicle

"After his space flight, he was featured on the cover of Life magazine next to the quote, "Boy, That Was a Ride."

Looking for Those New Jobs

High-tech training industry says it could absorb many shuttle job losses, Orlando Sentinel

"With thousands of Space Coast workers facing unemployment as the U.S. space-shuttle program winds down, Orlando's high-tech military-training industry says it has jobs for many of those who will be displaced. But work-force officials in Brevard County aren't convinced the region's training-simulation companies will have nearly enough openings for those expected to lose their jobs when shuttle launches end at Kennedy Space Center. Even if such jobs materialize, there is not enough money, so far at least, to retrain space workers to fill them, Brevard officials say. Few shuttle contractors have offered to retrain their employees, fearing it could undermine the shuttle program while there is still hope it might be extended or saved. And NASA hasn't put any money toward retraining, though the space agency says it supports the use of such services where available."

Former congressman lobbies for commercial space firm while trying to defend NASA manned space flight jobs for Huntsville, Huntsville Times

"Cramer, a veteran Democratic lawmaker who did not run for re-election in 2008, said Tuesday that if Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, wants anything that is detrimental to Huntsville and Marshall Space Flight Center, he will not participate. ... Cramer said he knew when he joined Wexler & Walker in January 2009 that its executive chairman, former Rep. Robert Walker of Pennsylvania, was an advocate of commercial space interests. But he warned his firm that his 18-year congressional career looking out for Marshall and the Huntsville region would take precedence."

Keith's note: FYI Cramer's parent firm, Wexler & Walker, is run by Bob Walker - and Walker and Newt Gingrich wrote a very glowing endorsement of Obama's space commericalization plans in February. Despite the gloom and doom that Sen. Shelby et al continue to cast over this, Alabama stands to benefit from increased commercial space activity and a lot of that benefit has direct relationships to NASA expertise resident in Alabama.

Gingrich & Walker: Obama's brave reboot for NASA, Washington Times

"Critics likely will raise the issue of safety and reliability. However, there already are rockets in the American inventory that are trusted by our government to launch billion-dollar satellites and have proved to be quite reliable. Those vehicles can be modified to carry human crews safely. New rockets under development have been designed from the outset with manned missions in mind, and with the assurance of NASA business, necessary large-scale development can be done so they can be added to the commercial inventory. "

Former High-Ranking NASA Official Pleads Guilty to Violating Conflict of Interest Law in Scheme to Enrich Himself and Others, Gulf Coast News

"Liam P. Sarsfield, 54, of Deale, Maryland, a former high-ranking NASA official, pled guilty in federal court on November 30, 2009 to a one-count criminal information alleging he committed Acts Affecting a Personal Financial Interest, in violation of Section 208, Title 18, United States Code, U.S. Attorney Donald R. Burkhalter and Inspector General Paul K. Martin of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced today. Sarsfield entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden. Sarsfield faces a maximum imprisonment term of five years and a fine of $250,000. He is scheduled for sentencing on June 24, 2010."

Ex-NASA Official Pleads Guilty in Contracts Case, WS Journal

"A former high-ranking National Aeronautics and Space Administration official pleaded guilty in Mississippi to designing contracts that netted him more than $270,000 in illegal profits. Liam P. Sarsfield is a former chief deputy engineer in Washington, D.C. ... Mr. Sarsfield will be sentenced June 24. He pleaded guilty to one charge of acts affecting a personal financial interest."

Ex-NASA official pleads guilty, AP

"The U.S. Attorney's office would not comment on whether Sarsfield is cooperating with authorities in the case against Stadd. However, Sarsfield was charged in a criminal information, which is filed by prosecutors when the defendant has agreed to waive grand jury indictment and plead guilty. They are often used when a defendant is cooperating."

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Engineering Services: Liam P. Sarsfield, earlier post from July 21, 2005

"NASA/HQ intends to award a purchase order to Mr. Liam P. Sarsfield. The authority is 10 U.S.C.2304(c)(1) "only one responsible source."

HSPD-12 Update

Court to consider NASA employee background checks, Reuters

"The high court agreed to rule on the legal challenge by the longtime employees, who had been classified as "low risk," to the in-depth checks for information on medical treatment or counseling for drug use or any other "adverse" information, including private sexual matters."

Previous HSPD-12 posts

Keith's 3 March note: AA for Public Affairs Morrie Goodman has been reassigned to be a special assistant to the administrator of NASA. Bob Jacobs is the acting AA for Public Affairs.

NASA Announces Agency Center Management Changes

"Arthur E. "Gene" Goldman, who has been the director of Stennis since November 2008, has been named deputy director of Marshall. Patrick Scheuermann, the deputy director at Stennis will take over as the Stennis director. Stennis houses many of NASA's rocket propulsion test capabilities and applied science programs. Marshall's work includes propulsion systems, engineering, science, space operations and other work in support of NASA missions. As previously announced, Woodrow Whitlow, Jr., the Glenn center director, has been named the associate administrator for Mission Support at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Ray Lugo, the deputy director at Glenn, has been named acting director."


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