Policy: May 2010 Archives

Joint Statement by Space Organizations on the FY 2011 NASA Budget

"We the undersigned, a diverse group of organizations with a vital interest in our Nation's space program, make the following statements:

- We strongly support the top line FY2011 NASA budget.
- We believe an important goal of the NASA budget is to accelerate the development of the intellectual capital of the United States by investing in a high-cadence exciting program.
- We are excited by the increases in science, aeronautics and technology initiatives.
- We believe both human exploration and research are important: destination, milestones, engagement and story matter.
- We believe this is an opportunity for NASA to craft the exploration strategy in partnership with science and applied science that includes the International Space Station, safe and cost-effective access to low earth orbit, robotic precursors, and other missions. Heavy lift launch and in-space servicing enable new realms of exploration and science.
- We believe it is critically important that the American people can and must participate and be engaged in the journey of discovery and exploration."

Presentations From The Closed Space Organization Meeting (Update), earlier post
Meeting of Space Organizations, earlier post

Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research, NRC

"Approximately 20 percent of all NASA facilities are dedicated to research and development: on average, they are not state of the art: they are merely adequate to meet current needs. Nor are they attractive to prospective hires when compared with other national and international laboratory facilities. Over 80 percent of NASA facilities are more than 40 years old and need significant maintenance and upgrades to preserve the safety and continuity of operations for critical missions. ... The equipment and facilities of NASA's fundamental research laboratories are inferior to those witnessed by committee members at comparable laboratories at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), at top-tier U.S. universities, and at many corporate research institutions and are comparable to laboratories at the Department of Defense (DOD). If its basic research facilities were equipped to make them state of the art, NASA would be in a better position to maintain U.S. leadership in the space, Earth, and aeronautical sciences and to attract the scientists and engineers needed for the future."

NASA'S Outdated Labs Jeopardize Research: Report, Reuters

"The panel found that NASA has systematically neglected research laboratories at six NASA centers -- the Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, the Glenn Research Center in Ohio, Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, Langley Research Center in Virginia, and Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama."

NASA Boss Wants Innovation, Technology Review

"But [Bolden] called for a new era of invention at the agency. "We have not done anything in the past decade for basic research," he said. "The frustration for me is that when I go to Congress, all we talk about is Constellation and human spaceflight. We forget that the president's plan is to spend a lot of money on basic research."

Letter from Lester Lyles, Raymond Colladay, and Len Fisk To Rep. Frank Wolf Regarding NASA FY 2011 Budget

"It makes no more sense to have a NASA with an under-emphasis on human spaceflight than it did to have a NASA with an over-emphasis. The strategic leadership of the United States in a rapidly evolving globalized world, the economic well-being of our people, and the sense in our society that our future is promising, all require a NASA that has breadth in science and technology, and accomplishments in both robotic and human spaceflight. The burden of proof thus now lies with Congress and NASA to define and to develop a human spaceflight program that does not re-inflict damage on the breadth of NASA's activities and that serves the nation well. It is possible to do this."

NASA Managers Push Plan In Congress, Academia, Aviation Week

"So far it does not appear the Obama administration's plan is winning many hearts and minds. A session with a range of space organizations produced a few tidbits, like word that the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate plans to release a bunch of requests for information in the next couple of weeks to get industry input as a Houston-based NASA study panel prepares road maps for human space exploration. Those would replace the Constellation Program, which refuses to lie down and die on Capitol Hill even though President Barack Obama wants to kill it. Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and other agency officials asked a gathering of mostly academic space organizations for help with the plan in Congress, after barring reporters from the meeting. But the groups decided not to form a coalition for that purpose, and as of the end of last week were still hammering out details of a joint statement that will endorse some -- but not all -- of the space policy changes embodied in NASA's Fiscal 2011 budget request."

Launch could be first test of rocket and Obama space plan, USA Today

"For company founder Elon Musk, it's showtime. "We're super excited to be launching from Cape Canaveral," Musk said. "It's like opening on Broadway." For others, the flight will be a measure of President Obama's plan to kill NASA's moon program, dubbed Project Constellation, and instead invest in developing commercial "space taxis" for astronauts traveling to and from low Earth orbit. The plan has encountered opposition in Congress. The odds of success on the first launch of any new rocket are about 50-50. "I hope people don't use us as a bellwether for commercial space," Musk said."

Meeting of Space Organizations, 5 May 2010

"This meeting will enable private organizations and associations with a stake in the outcome of this discussion to better understand the current NASA program and its implications for science and technology, and to exchange views on the value of establishing an ongoing coalition of space related organizations."

Challenges and Opportunities at the Dawn of a New Decade, 18 May 2010

"Conference attendees will have the opportunity to network with industry leaders and participate in educational sessions including "The Vital Role of Aerospace Assets in National Security," "The Future of Human Space Flight," and "Air Transportation Modernization."

Keith's note: Given the immense interest in NASA's new policy directions, and the tens of thousands of jobs directly (and adversely) affected, one would hope that these discussions would be streamed live. All it takes to do this is a laptop and a USTREAM.TV account. Otherwise, the only folks who'll be participating (or benefiting) from these discussions will be the usual suspects and space policy wonks known to frequent Washington, DC


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