Policy: July 2012 Archives

Take the National Academies' Space Studies Board Survey on NASA's strategic Direction

"In the FY2012 appropriations bill that funds NASA, Congress requested an independent study of NASA's strategic direction. The study is being conducted by a committee of the National Research Council. The Strategic Directions Committee is listening to a wide variety of experts in aeronautics and space science and technology, space policy and programs, and communications strategy, and it wants to hear from other stakeholders, including the public, as well."

Politics and NASA

For NASA, there's no liftoff from politics, USA Today

"The glass is either half-full or half-empty at NASA," says space policy expert John Logsdon, author of John F. Kennedy and the Race to the Moon. The agency won approval to proceed with building the SLS last year but faces doubts in Congress over the lack of a long-term vision. "NASA's budget only supports a program that is fragile and doesn't make long-term sense," Logsdon says. As an example, he points to the SLS, which will launch in 2017 and carry astronauts only in 2021, with a less-defined schedule thereafter."

There's still hope for NASA, editorial, Houston Chronicle

"But the going gets tougher in the political arena, where NASA and JSC have taken some serious hits in their budgets and faced even more serious questioning of their mission over the past few years. The results are obvious and troubling. It galls Mike Coats that "we're not a space-faring nation right now" because of the retirement of the space shuttle. Instead, he laments, "we're paying the Russians a lot of money to fly our people up there." He's galled because we're paying a lot of Russian engineers when he'd like to be hiring American engineers."



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