Policy: December 2012 Archives

Nasa plan to 'lasso' asteroid the size of two buses and turn it into a 'space station' to orbit the moon, Daiy Mail

"Nasa scientists are planning to capture a 500 ton asteroid, relocate it and turn it into a space station for astronauts on their way to Mars. The White House's Office of Science and technology will consider the 1.6bn plan in the coming weeks as it prepares to set its space exploration agenda for the next decade. Nasa declined to comment on the project because it said it was in negotiations with the White House, but it is believed that technology would make it possible within 10-12 years."

Bolden: NASA Does Not Have To Actually Go To An Asteroid

"Bolden also said "on our way to an asteroid or Mars we may find a way to get people to the Moon or a LaGrange point .... some reporter in the back of the room is going to write saying that we are going to a LaGrange Point. I did not say that"

Charlie Bolden Intends To Press President Obama on Mars Mission Mandate for NASA, earlier post

"At one point, Bolden teared up and said that "Mars is the Goal". Bolden claimed that he was intent upon going to the White House, "pounding his shoe on the table", and demanding a commitment from President Obama to direct NASA to send humans to Mars. Bolden said that he needs that commitment to allow him to decide what to do (not do) with regard to extending the ISS."

Is It Time For Charlie Bolden To Pound His Shoe?, earlier post

"When NASA gets its FY 2013 budget passback from OMB they will see that in addition to not approving the L2 station, there is none of the additional, strong Mars commitment that Charlie Bolden declared must be in the budget (other than what the President has already said, that is). No word yet as to whether Bolden has requested a meeting at the White House for his shoe pounding event."

Keith's note: The President directs NASA to send a human mission to an asteroid and prepare for a trip to Mars in the 2030s. NASA responds with plans to build a space station at L2 and Charlie Bolden says he'll bang his shoe on the table if the President does not give NASA a mandate to go to Mars and says that a mission to an asteroid doesn't need to actually go to an asteroid. Now NASA wants to bring an asteroid back to Earth. You can get whiplash if you follow Charlie Bolden's strategic planning too closely. When it comes to having a coherent, consistent, strategic plan, NASA doesn't have one. Instead, it spins around in 10 directions at once - as if it has institutionalized Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Someone needs to hit the reset button.

Bolden: Don't Have to Travel Far to Asteroid to Meet President's Goal, Space PolicyOnline

"Bolden said that when the President announced that an asteroid would be the next destination for NASA's human spaceflight program, he did not say NASA had to fly all the way to an asteroid. What matters is the "ability to put humans with an asteroid," Bolden said. An NRC report released earlier this month concluded that sending people to an asteroid has not won wide support in NASA or the nation. Bolden did not criticize that report directly, but said that NRC committee had only a short time to complete its study and it was done at a time of "relative silence" from NASA because of the election and did not have the benefit of the information he was presenting this morning. The only new material he presented this morning was this information about the asteroid mission and the news that NASA will soon stand up a Space Technology Mission Directorate."

Keith's note: Bolden also said "on our way to an asteroid or Mars we may find a way to get people to the Moon or a LaGrange point .... some reporter in the back of the room is going to write saying that we are going to a LaGrange Point. I did not say that"

NASA Really Doesn't Want to Do That Whole Asteroid Thing, earlier post

National Academy of Sciences Committee on Human Spaceflight Meeting

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Yet Another Slow Motion Advisory Committee on Human Space Flight

"The NASA Authorization Act of 2010 was signed into law on 11 October 2010. It has taken more than 2 years for everyone to get around to starting this study. The start date listed for this committee is November 2012 and its report is due for delivery in May 2014. That's 1 year, 7 months. This NRC is responding to authorizing legislation passed in 2010 by the 111th Congress, with a committee now being requested by the 112th Congress, and its report will be presented to yet another Congress (113th) during the second year of a new presidential administration in mid-2014 - one where policies are in place that will differ from those in place when the task was assigned, with budgets that differ from initial conditions under which the study was undertaken.

Net result: the committee's advice will be out of synch with reality and somewhat overtaken by events having taken a total of 3 years, 7 months to complete. Oh yes: the cost of this study? $3.6 million."

Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016, We The People, White House

"Those who sign here petition the United States government to secure funding and resources, and begin construction on a Death Star by 2016. By focusing our defense resources into a space-superiority platform and weapon system such as a Death Star, the government can spur job creation in the fields of construction, engineering, space exploration, and more, and strengthen our national defense."

Keith's 7 Dec note: It would seem that the vast majority of the 5,118 6,111 8,709 10,823 14,108 25,000 signers of this petition are male.

Death Star petition on White House website succeeds

"The petition, which calls for the administration to "begin construction of a Death Star by 2016, crossed the mark Thursday for 25,227 signatures, which is the level the White House requires before it will respond."

The Space Policy Wheel Turns

Here We Go Again. The Space Policy Wheel Turns. What Was, Is, Dennis WIngo

Just as the Pacific Railway Act of 1862 did not put the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads in charge of the economic development of California and the yet to be formed states in between, there is no reason for NASA to be in charge of the economic and industrial development of the solar system. Thus the vision statement for a national space policy short and succinct could be: "The economic and industrial development of the resources of the solar system for the benefit of the United States of America and all mankind is the goal of our national space efforts."

NASA Space Policy Hearing

Hearing: The Future of NASA: Perspectives on Strategic Vision for America's Space Program

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Live webcast

"Over-Arching Questions

- What steps could the government take over the next 3 to 5 years to help maintain America's capabilities and retain world leadership in space?
- What are the priorities that policy makers should consider when evaluating future NASA plans?
- How best can NASA and its stakeholder community reach consensus on identifying and preserving critical capabilities necessary for future space science, aeronautics, and exploration programs and missions?
- What steps can NASA, Congress, and the White House take to promote greater overall efficiency at the agency, as well as maintain programmatic and funding stability for projects and programs?"

Witness testimony: Robert Walker, Ronald Sega, Marion Blakey, Thomas Zurbuchen, Scott Pace

NASA's Strategic Direction and the Need for a National Consensus, NRC

"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is widely admired for astonishing accomplishments since its formation in 1958. Looking ahead over a comparable period of time, what can the nation and the world expect of NASA? What will be the agency's goals and objectives, and what will be the strategy for achieving them? More fundamentally, how will the goals, objectives, and strategy be established and by whom? How will they be modified to reflect changes in science, technology, national priorities, and available resources?"

- NRC Report on NASA's Goals and Objectives, earlier post
- Space Policy: Going Everywhere - and Nowhere?, earlier post
- NASA's Somewhat Confused Destination(s), earlier post

Why We Need NASA To Fix Its Problems And Lead America To Money-Making Opportunities in Outer Space, Forbes

"A bunch of tech wonks and nerds issued a report last week that provided a shockingly accurate conclusion about NASA's Strategic Plan: it's vague, generic, and there's no national consensus for taxpayer support. Now it's time for the agency to look beyond its comfy fishbowl of geeks and contractors to fix its problem."

Report: NASA is broken and it's up to us to fix it, Ars Technica

"Again, the lack of a consistent vision has been a problem. The manned program is specifically called out as a paragon of confusion. "Other than the long-range goal of sending humans to Mars," notes the report, "there is no strong, compelling national vision for the human spaceflight program, which is arguably the centerpiece of NASA's spectrum of mission areas."

Duelling visions stall NASA, Nature

"There is no broad acceptance of the asteroid as the next principal destination for space flight, despite the fact that the president has indeed said so several times," says Albert Carnesale, chairman of the committee behind the report and a former chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles. For its part, NASA -- whether through inertia or out of practicality -- seems unwilling to shift the focus of its human space-flight efforts away from the Moon.

NASA Needs 'National Consensus' on Mission, Report Concludes, Science

"The report recommends that Congress, the White House, and NASA pursue one or more of a number of options to set things straight. Options include restructuring the space agency's programs so as to reduce infrastructure and personnel costs; finding ways to partner with other agencies, the private sector, and international partners; and increasing NASA's budget or shedding programs that don't fit NASA's current budget profile."

Direction for Space Needed, Paul Spudis, spudislunarresources.com

"Interestingly, the report does not state the obvious conclusion - that if the first option has any validity, the last two options are not only pointless but actually undesirable from the standpoint of wise governing practice. Why should we spend more money on something perceived to be of marginal value? On the other hand, if the agency could be "restructured" to accomplish its mission with the current budgetary profile, why wouldn't it be?"

National Disagreement Over NASA's Goals and Objectives Detrimental to Agency Planning, Budgeting Efforts

National Disagreement Over NASA's Goals and Objectives Detrimental to Agency Planning, Budgeting Efforts, NRC

"A current stated interim goal of NASA's human spaceflight program is to visit an asteroid by 2025," said Albert Carnesale, chancellor emeritus and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who chaired the committee that wrote the report. "However, we've seen limited evidence that this has been widely accepted as a compelling destination by NASA's own work force, by the nation as a whole, or by the international community. The lack of national consensus on NASA's most publicly visible human spaceflight goal along with budget uncertainty has undermined the agency's ability to guide program planning and allocate funding."

National Disagreement Over NASA's Goals and Objectives Detrimental to Agency Planning, Budgeting Efforts, National Research Council

"Without a national consensus on strategic goals and objectives for NASA, the agency cannot be expected to establish or work toward achieving long-term priorities, says a new report from the National Research Council. In addition, there is a mismatch between the portfolio of programs and activities assigned to the agency and the budget allocated by Congress, and legislative restrictions inhibit NASA from more efficiently managing its personnel and infrastructure. The White House should take the lead in forging a new consensus on NASA's future in order to more closely align the agency's budget and objectives and remove restrictions impeding NASA's efficient operations."

Expert panel: NASA seems lost in space, needs goal, AP

"In his statement, NASA's [David] Weaver said: "We're fully utilizing the International Space Station; developing a heavy-lift rocket and multi-purpose crew vehicle capable of taking American astronauts into deep space; facilitating development of commercial capabilities for cargo and crew transport to low Earth orbit; expanding our technological capabilities for the human and robotic missions of today and tomorrow; pursuing a robust portfolio of science missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope; developing faster and cleaner aircraft and inspiring the next generation of exploration leaders."

[Panel member Marcia] Smith said that statement itself shows the problem: "If it takes you that many phrases to explain it, then you do not have a crisp, clear strategic vision."

Space Foundation Recommends NASA Adopt Pioneering Purpose

"In a report released today, the Space Foundation made a number of recommendations for strengthening the focus, oversight and funding of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and strengthening the U.S. civil space program. The 70-page report and a separate executive summary are now being distributed to policymakers, industry leaders and media by the Space Foundation, an independent non-profit advocacy and education organization committed to advancing space exploration and utilization."



Monthly Archives

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Policy category from December 2012.

Policy: November 2012 is the previous archive.

Policy: January 2013 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.