Policy: January 2014 Archives

Garver Drove Shift In Space Policy, Aviation Week Person of the Year (#2)

"Lori Garver does not inspire ambivalence. Few who worked with her when she was deputy NASA administrator came away from the experience with a neutral opinion. To some, she is a ruthless powerhouse whose abrasive ego has run roughshod over opponents, leaving in her wake lost careers and hurt feelings as she trashed policy adversaries among the U.S. space agency's civil servants and congressional backers. To others, she labored tirelessly to put the U.S. space program on a more realistic footing, redirecting it from its role as an overtasked, underfunded government pork barrel. In this view, Garver has been key in moving NASA toward a true public-private partnership where the government will only take on pre-commercial projects before they generate any profit."

NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Meeting (Revised notice)

"SUMMARY: This is an amended version of NASA's earlier Federal Register Notice (13-153) previously published on December 23, 2013 (78 FR 77501). A USA toll free conference call number has been added to SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION."

NASA Is Not Allowing Remote Access to Some Advisory Meetings

"Notice anything missing? NASA is not offering Webex or dial in access to these meetings - something that the NAC has been offering for the past several years for its activities (these three are non-NAC committees). Several of these committees have had remote access before. By denying such access to these meetings, NASA is deliberately inhibiting the the public's ability to observe these meetings thus decreasing openness and transparency - something that all government agencies have been directed to do."

Remarks for NASA Administrator Bolden at International Space Exploration Forum

"Although we understand that our ISS Partners' governments may not yet be ready to make a decision with respect to ISS extension to at least 2024, we hope that each of the ISS Partners will come to a similar decision through its own government process."

NASA, Obama Administration Highlight International Space Station Extension at Global Forum

"The ISS is a unique facility that offers enormous scientific and societal benefits," said Holdren. "The Obama Administration's decision to extend its life until at least 2024 will allow us to maximize its potential, deliver critical benefits to our Nation and the world, and maintain American leadership in space."

NASA wants to keep the International Space Station going until 2024. Is that a good idea?

"The space station has plenty of supporters -- not least because of the economic angle. In 2011, NASA bought goods and services in 396 of the 435 congressional districts. One example: Florida's space industry took a big hit after the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. So it's no surprise that Florida Sen. Bill Nelson is in favor of keeping the space station aloft: "This means more jobs at the Kennedy Space Center as we rebuild our entire space program." But there are other arguments, too. Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.), a member of the House appropriations committee in charge of NASA funding, applauded the move on national-interest grounds. ""It's inevitable and I'm delighted that NASA understands the value of ensuring that America continues to hold the high ground."

Remarks by OSTP Director John Holdren at the International Space Exploration Forum

"We may have different flags patched to our space suits, and different cultures, traditions, and political systems. But as the success of the ISS has shown, we can transcend these differences in space."

Never Give Up, Never Surrender!, opinion, Clay Anderson

"It is time for all of us to step up and proclaim that we will "never give up and never surrender" our pre-eminence in space leadership. It is time for us to contact our representatives and voice our opinions that NASA is worth it. Yes, there are naysayers out there; people who believe that NASA is its own intergalactic "collapsing star," where U.S. tax dollars disappear like rays of light into a black hole's event horizon, with little to no visible benefits."

Remarks at the International Space Exploration Forum William J. Burns Deputy Secretary of State

"First, we should encourage more countries to participate in the activities of the International Space Station. The Station remains the leading space platform for global research and development. The Station is the foundation for future human exploration to an asteroid, the Moon, and ultimately Mars. And it is a lasting testament to how much more we can accomplish together than we can on our own. Second, we should explore ways to encourage entrepreneurial ventures and support the kind of robust and competitive commercial space sector that is vital to the next era of space exploration. Already, two U.S. companies - Space X and Orbital Sciences - have become the first private sector entities to send missions to the International Space Station, allowing NASA to focus on cutting edge missions beyond low earth orbit."

Keith's note: Have a look at the Federal Register notices for these upcoming advisory committee meetings at NASA in January:

- NASA International Space Station Advisory Committee Meeting (Today)
- NASA Applied Sciences Advisory Committee Meeting
- NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel Meeting

Notice anything missing? NASA is not offering Webex or dial in access to these meetings - something that the NAC has been offering for the past several years for its activities (these three are non-NAC committees). Several of these committees have had remote access before. By denying such access to these meetings, NASA is deliberately inhibiting the the public's ability to observe these meetings thus decreasing openness and transparency - something that all government agencies have been directed to do.

As noted in "Unexplained NASA Advisory Council Changes (Update)" posted last month, NASA said "Under the 2013 NAC Charter, the number of NAC meetings per year is approximately three.  Under the 2011 NAC Charter, it was approximately four.  The decision to reduce the number of NAC meetings per year was driven by budget considerations."

Is NASA really trying to save money by not offering Webex or dial-in access to some of its advisory meetings? If so, there are ways to do simple audio streams and posting of presentations that should cost virtually nothing - in the real world, that is. Indeed, if NASA finds physical meetings too expensive, the easiest and most cost effective thing for them to do is use remote access whenever possible!

Indeed, the ASAP and ISS committee meetings are only an hour long. Think of all the money NASA is spending to fly people in for a one hour meeting when they could dial in or participate via WebEx.

Keith's note: Lori Garver, Scott Pace, Mike Gold, and Joel Achenbach were guests on Diane Rhem Show (radio) today at 11:00 am EST

Lori Garver said that she favored cancellation of SLS and Mars 2020 rover. Scott Pace spoke enthusiastically about SpaceX launching commercial satellites and bringing that service back to America. Mike Gold tried to explain Bob Bigelow's recent statements about private propery ownership of things on the Moon. And Joel Achenbach said he does not think we should become a multiplanet species until we have fixed all of our problems on Earth (in other words, never).


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This page is an archive of entries in the Policy category from January 2014.

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