Shuttle News 1997-2003: December 2002 Archives

2002



12 December 2002: Small crack found on Discovery raises concerns about Columbia, Orlando Sentinel

"During a standard inspection this week, technicians discovered the crack on a metal ball inside a line that feeds super-cold liquid oxygen to the shuttle's three main engines."



12 December 2002: The Last Scientist On The Moon, Rand Simberg, Transterrestrial Musings, Fox News

"Now let's look at reality. The station currently has three astronauts aboard. Most of their time is consumed in simply keeping the space station functional. While there's now (borrowing from Star Trek) an official "science officer" aboard, it's more public relations than reality. Whenever budgets are cut, the first place to look for savings is from "science." There's no centrifuge aboard the station to provide controls for different gravity levels. Too expensive. The power level of the station is barely sufficient to sustain the basic function of the facility--not to provide power for experiments."



1 November 2002: 'Lifeboat' efforts sinking for NASA, Houston Chronicle

"In the assessment, Hall criticized O'Keefe's responses to his questions about the lifeboat gap as too vague. O'Keefe informed Hall that the agency's lifeboat strategy will be incorporated into a soon-to-be-completed review of NASA's efforts to develop a new reusable rocket and to upgrade the space shuttle fleet, called the Integrated Space Transportation Plan. "The sum of Ralph's reaction is he expected clearer and better answers to his questions," said Dan Pearson, a spokesman for Hall."

31 October 2002: Boeing, LM To Study Launching ISS Crew Atop Heavy-Lift Delta IV, Atlas V, Aerospace Daily

"Boeing and Lockheed Martin will conduct feasibility studies for NASA on the possibility of launching future crews to the International Space Station (ISS) atop the heavy-lift variants of Boeing's Delta IV or Lockheed Martin's Atlas V expendable rockets, the companies said."



27 October 2002: NASA Looks to Replace Space Shuttle With Orbital Space Plane, SpaceRef

"Last weekend NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and much of NASA HQ senior management went on a retreat at the Minnowbrook Conference Center at Syracuse University. Among the topics discussed: NASA's Integrated Space Transportation Plan (ISTP). The road ahead? The U.S. is now heading towards a 100% home-grown successor to America's Space Shuttle and alternative to Russia's Soyuz.




18 October 2002:
Further privatization, more competition urged for shuttle program, Orlando Sentinel

"The report calls the existing situation, with United Space Alliance as the prime contractor, "profoundly noncompetitive." The joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing makes it difficult to stimulate true competition, the report says."



10 October 2002: Aerospace Daily: NASA Eyes Lower Subcontractor Fees, Other Savings To Close Shuttle Deficit, Aerospace Daily

"NASA intends to eliminate a $46 million deficit in space shuttle operations partly by negotiating lower fees paid to private firms - including subcontractors for Boeing's Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power unit, which makes engines for the shuttle - according to an outline of the plan."




5 October 2002: Transit Authority Model Eyed for Space Shuttle, Aviation Week and Space Technology

"NASA will examine shifting shuttle management to a corporate "space authority," similar to a ground-based regional mass transit authority, as part of assessments on how to restructure the shuttle program for an additional 20 years of operation. The concept would be structured to incur debt and "float bonds" to maintain, operate and modernize the shuttle system for the second half of its service life. As part of the model, the International Space Station could be run by a nongovernmental organization (NGO) serviced by a space transit authority that would operate the shuttle."




4 October 2002: NASA Awards $25 Million Contract Addition to Lockheed Martin

"NASA has awarded work valued at $25 million involving telecommunications support services to Lockheed Martin Space Operations, Houston, as an addition to the broader Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC) currently held by Lockheed."




23 September 2002: Shuttle Shakeup Eyed For Cost, Safety Goals, Aviation Week and Space Technology.

"The report found "full-scale privatization of the shuttle program is premature" but proposed several other competitive sourcing options. The findings, however, will generate controversy among astronauts and managers over shuttle safety oversight. This is, in part, because portions of the Rand findings run directly counter to a major shuttle privatization review led by the Johnson Space Center in late 2001. That assessment said any delay in shuttle privatization would threaten shuttle safety. "We debunked the Johnson findings," a Rand participant said. "All the Johnson team data was skewed toward NASA's current culture--and a cultural change in NASA is required.""




28 September 2001: NASA JSC Report: Concept of Privatization of the Space Shuttle Program, NASA JSC

"Privatization of the SSP has the potential to provide significant benefits to the Government. However, timing is critical. The continuing erosion of NASA skills and experience threatens the safety of the program. It is critical to take advantage of the existing NASA SSP expertise before further erosion affects the ability to plan and safely implement privatization. Today, the skill and knowledge legacy still remain to formulate the appropriate merger of the NASA SSP and private industry."



20 September 2002: KSC chief addresses canceled program's workers, Florida Today

"On Friday, NASA drove about 600 people in 20 buses to a conference facility at the KSC Visitor Complex."

19 September 2002: NASA chief upset with handling of dismissals , Florida Today

"O'Keefe described himself as "absolutely steamed" when he heard about the incident. He directed Kennedy Space Center Director Roy Bridges to investigate how it happened. A spokesman at KSC did not return a phone call Wednesday seeking a response from Bridges or other space center managers."

Editor's note: word has it that Roy Bridges will hold an all hands for the CLCS folks on Friday in a location with seats, air conditioning, and proper audio to discuss what comes next.

19 September 2002: Layoffs mishandled, NASA chief says, Orlando Sentinel

"You were at fault because you got this in the newspaper before we were able to get to our people," [Roy] Bridges told a Sentinel reporter Wednesday night. "You're actually ruining people's lives here."

Editor's note: Aw C'mon Roy - Blaming the media is taking the lazy way out. You have been getting bad news signals on CLCS for a long, long time. News of its cancellation was sitting here on NASA Watch for almost a month. If YOU had spent a little less time in denial - and more time concerning yourself with the welfare of people who work for you - and keeping them in the loop - this could have been handled in a much more professional, and less insulting manner.

18 September 2002:
O'Keefe Comments on CLCS Parking Lot Meeting at KSC

Editor's note: At a breakfast meeting with reporters at NASA headquarters this morning Sean O'Keefe said the following with regard to the parking lot meeting of all CLCS team members; "I found that to be an outrageous display of poor leadership. This is not a leadership model we seek to use in this agency."



Editor's note: O'Keefe was clearly not a happy camper. More to follow.




17 September 2002: CLCS Employees Given the Bad News

Update: From someone in the KSC area; "The entire CLCS staff was led to the parking lot this morning at 09:00 EDT and informed of the news that the CLCS Project has been cancelled. Most of these same employees were holding newspapers with the CLCS cancellation headline."

16 September 2002: CLCS All Hands Planned

Editor's note: All CLCS personnel have been informed of all hands meeting first thing tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. All CLCS KSC employees have been asked to go to a large parking lot a hundred yards from the VAB. CLCS trailers are located nearby - near press row. It is here that they will be given the bad news.

You read about all of this here first three weeks ago - even if other news sources below seem to omit that fact. The people affected deserved to know - as soon as I knew it - even if they - and their management were in denial.

17 September 2002: After $273 million, NASA scraps project, Orlando Sentinel

"After investing $273 million, NASA is canceling a cutting-edge launch-control computer system for the space shuttle that is over budget, behind schedule and too expensive to operate."

13 September 2002: Delays endanger KSC computer upgrade, jobs, Florida Today

"You might say I'm standing by to see what NASA headquarters might decide about this program," [KSC Center Director Roy] Bridges said."

26 August 2002: NASA to Shut Down Checkout & Launch Control System, SpaceRef

"NASA Headquarters has decided to terminate the CLCS (Checkout & Launch Control System) at NASA KSC. Instead, attention will be focused upon supporting the portion of the existing LPS (Launch Processing System), which the CLCS was originally intended to replace."

Checkout Launch and Control System, excerpt from Upgrading the Shuttle, Committee on Space Shuttle Upgrades (1999), National Academy of Sciences

"The committee believes that an upgrade to the launch control system is necessary and worth pursuing. A modern system that incorporates advances in both hardware and software could not only reduce costs related to obsolescence and personnel but could also facilitate future computer-intensive shuttle upgrades, such as an integrated vehicle health management system. However, the committee has some serious concerns about the CLCS project as currently planned."

Editor's note: the chair of this Committee was Bryan O'Connor, the new NASA AA for Safety.

27 August 2002: Update from KSC


From: King-1, David (PH)

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 1:59 PM

To: PH All\Shuttle Processing Directorate

Subject: CLCS Rumor abatement

This morning I was made aware of a "NASA Watch" article concerning CLCS. As a result, I personally called NASA Headquarters to find out if any such decision had been made. Headquarters has not made a decision to cancel the project as was stated in the article. The normal budget process is
in place and will render such a decision should it become necessary. I believe it is unfortunate that this kind of inaccurate and inflammatory information is published in such a widely read forum.

David A. King

Director of Shuttle Processing

Mail Code: PH

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

John F. Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

Phone: 321-867-4343

Fax: 321-867-3658


Editor's note: I stand by my story.

Checkout & Launch Control System Home page, NASA KSC



12 September 2002: New Webcam Promises Spectacular View of Space Shuttle Launches, SpaceRef

"The STS-112 mission, scheduled for launch on 2 October 2002, will have a live camera in a place where none has been placed before: on the Shuttle's large External Tank (ET). The view is certain to be spectacular."



10 September 2002: NASA Senior Official Appointments Emphasize 'One NASA' Management Approach

"NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Flight, William F. Readdy, today named James W. Kennedy as Deputy Center Director at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla., and David A. King, as Deputy Center Director at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., effective November 3."




4 September 2002: On the table: A decision to Cancel CLCS, by someone@ksc.nasa.gov

"This is a story of a major decision about to be made. It concerns countless lives, careers and the extreme dedication of KSC workers. The future of America's Space Program is at stake. On the surface it appears to be of local interest for Kennedy Space Center only. It is not. America's future in space is at stake. It is very possible that this decision will pass in the night without notice."



29 August 2002: Internal Letter to all USA Employess from Russ Truner Re: SFOC Extension Update

"We have more recently been informed by NASA that they do not intend to begin negotiations on the second two-year option at this time. "

29 August 2002: NASA Awards Payload Processing Contract to Boeing Space Operations Company, NASA KSC

"NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida has chosen Boeing Space Operations Co., Titusville, Fla., for the Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services (CAPPS) contract. CAPPS is the follow-on contract to the Payload Ground Operations Contract that has been performed by the Boeing Company since 1987. "

28 August 2002: CSOC and SFOC Update

Editor's note: word has it that NASA HQ has decided not to exercise a 5 year renewal option on Consolidated Space Operation Contract (CSOC) currently held by Lockheed Martin. Meanwhile, the Space Flight Operations Contract (SFOC) folks (USA) are about to get some bad news too. It would seem that NASA is reshuffling its entire operations portfolio. Stay tuned.


3 April 2002: Consolidated Space Operations Contract: Evaluating and Reporting Cost Savings, NASA OIG

"The NASA Office of Inspector General audit of CSOC cost savings found that NASA cannot substantiate the $62 million of cost savings reported to Congress for the first 2 years of the CSOC. As a result, Congress and NASA cannot evaluate current cost savings for the CSOC and cannot determine whether the contract will achieve the anticipated $1.4 billion cost savings through fiscal year 2008."


3 July 2002: NASA Oversight of United Space Alliance's Safety Procedures at Kennedy Space Center, NASA OIG

3 April 2002: NASA OIG: Lockheed Martin Space Operations' Use of Professional and Consultant Services, NASA OIG

10 April 2001: NASA OIG: Space Shuttle Program Management Safety Observations, NASA OIG

6 September 2001: Statement of Michael McCulley, United Space Alliance, before the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space: Shuttle Safety




26 August 2002: NASA to Shut Down Checkout & Launch Control System, SpaceRef

"NASA Headquarters has decided to terminate the CLCS (Checkout & Launch Control System) at NASA KSC. Instead, attention will be focused upon supporting the portion of the existing LPS (Launch Processing System), which the CLCS was originally intended to replace."

Checkout Launch and Control System, excerpt from Upgrading the Shuttle, Committee on Space Shuttle Upgrades (1999), National Academy of Sciences

"The committee believes that an upgrade to the launch control system is necessary and worth pursuing. A modern system that incorporates advances in both hardware and software could not only reduce costs related to obsolescence and personnel but could also facilitate future computer-intensive shuttle upgrades, such as an integrated vehicle health management system. However, the committee has some serious concerns about the CLCS project as currently planned."

Editor's note: the chair of this Committee was Bryan O'Connor, the new NASA AA for Safety.

27 August 2002: Update from KSC


From: King-1, David (PH)

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 1:59 PM

To: PH All\Shuttle Processing Directorate

Subject: CLCS Rumor abatement

This morning I was made aware of a "NASA Watch" article concerning CLCS. As a result, I personally called NASA Headquarters to find out if any such decision had been made. Headquarters has not made a decision to cancel the project as was stated in the article. The normal budget process is
in place and will render such a decision should it become necessary. I believe it is unfortunate that this kind of inaccurate and inflammatory information is published in such a widely read forum.

David A. King

Director of Shuttle Processing

Mail Code: PH

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

John F. Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

Phone: 321-867-4343

Fax: 321-867-3658


Editor's note: I stand by my story.



15 August 2002: NASA Bids Farewell to the Mission Operations Computer, someone@nasa.gov

"This afternoon, in the large computer room on the first floor of the MCC that has been the home of the MOC from the early 1960's, a large crowd of Flight Controllers, Flight Directors, Engineers, Technicians, and management witnessed the final power down of the MOC. Missing from this event, unfortunately, were the computer operators and supervisors responsible for actually running the MOC.

They were laid off two weeks ago."





13 August 2002
Looks like Lance is coming home

Editor's Note: With no sign of the money required for Lance Bass to continue training at Star City, it is now only a matter of days (hours?) before Lance will be asked to leave. It would seem that the hype being spun by his agent is not enough to keep Lance's chances of flying aloft. Stay tuned.


13 August 2002 Space singer's deal under review, MSNBC

"In the past, Krieff has indicated that payments were hung up because of delays in getting insurance coverage for the sponsors who reportedly include Procter & Gamble and a soft-drink company as well as RadioShack. On Wednesday, he indicated that progress was being made on the insurance front but added that the contract concerns still had to be addressed."

Editor's note: It is unlikely that RadioShack will be putting any more money into this venture.

13 August 2002 Hollywood, Russia squabble over Lance Bass' space trip, AP

"[Television producer David] Krieff declined to discuss whether a payment was due Tuesday, saying there was a nondisclosure agreement. He singled out space agency spokesman Sergei Gorbunov as a vocal critic of Bass' voyage. Gorbunov called such comments "foolish."


9 August 2002: NASA: 'N Sync Idol Wants Space Shot, Billboard


9 August 2002: Singer's space bid inches forward, MSNBC

"The only acknowledged sponsor so far is RadioShack, but Procter & Gamble and a yet-to-be-identified cola company are also reportedly on board. Krieff declined to say which network would air the "Celebrity Mission" TV series - but other sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have confirmed reports pointing to MTV."


7 August 2002
Russia space agency says 'N Sync star must pay up, Reuters

"Russia's space agency said Wednesday it might scrap plans for 'N Sync singer to join an October mission to the International Space Station because he had failed to meet a payment deadline."

23 July 2002 Bass Inks Space Deal As Russia's Partners Voice Concerns, MTV

"The financial terms weren't released, but the source said the cost of sending Bass into space is close to previously reported estimates of $20 million."

Editor's note: Dennis Tito got the same flight for $13 million.



12 August 2002 Transporter woes derailing shuttle plans, UPI

"While space shuttle technicians wrap up repairs on shuttle Atlantis' propulsion system, another equipment problem threatens NASA's plans to resume flights in September. Workers have found cracked bearings in the massive Apollo-era crawler transporters that taxi the shuttles to the launch pad, NASA said Monday."




2 August 2002 Space Shuttle Fleet Set for Return to Flight Sept. 28

"Following an extensive investigation into the cause of tiny cracks inside fuel lines of the four space shuttle orbiters, NASA today announced the team is ready to resume preparations for launching on Sept. 28, with Atlantis up first on an assembly mission to the International Space Station (ISS)."



2 August 2002 NASA Exercises Space Flight Operations Contract Option


"NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, has exercised an existing option under the Space Flight Operations Contract in support of the Space Shuttle Program. This two-year option extends the contract period of performance through September 30, 2004."



25 June 2002: NASA Grounds Shuttle Fleet, AP, CBS

"These days, the value of safety is higher in the NASA culture than it has ever been," Keith Cowing, editor of NASA Watch, a watchdog Web site and frequent space agency critic, said Tuesday."




24 June 2002: NASA Managers Delay STS-107 Launch

"NASA managers today temporarily suspended launch preparations for Space Shuttle Columbia until they have a better understanding of several small cracks found in metal liners used to direct the flow inside main propulsion-system propellant lines on other orbiters in the fleet.

Columbia's launch on STS-107, previously planned for July 19, will be delayed a few weeks to allow inspections of its flow liners as part of an intensive analysis that is under way. "



12 June 2002: Office of Space Flight Reorganization Package (120 K Powerpoint)


"Why the need for the change?


OSF implementing approach/organization for programs and institutions focused on:


    Reestablishing Level 1 roles/responsibilities
    Rebalancing Center Director and Program Manager roles
    Bringing financial management on par with technical excellence
    Clear control and accountability of personnel and resources
    Streamlined requirements flow down, visibility, reporting
    Enhanced checks and balances


- Strengthen the HQs role in resources analysis and integration


- Better manage OSF's relations with external groups



    Congress (through Code L), Media (through Code P), International, Intergovernmental (OSTP, GAO, IG, etc.), External Advisory Committees and Boards, Industry, Other NASA functional offices

- Change processes, through forward planning, to enable effective and efficient responses to our customers


- Emphasize the need to better manage our institutional assets and investments"



29 May 2002: KSC Contractor Layoffs in the Offing

Editor's note: Boeing and Lockheed Martin are planning to announce layoffs soon at KSC. The rationale being the reduction in flight rate this year from 8 to 6 fights per year. One would expect additional layoffs if the flight rate is reduced further next year per the recommendations made in the Young Commission report.




24 May 2002: Space Station: Can Space Station Science Be Fixed?, Science

"Next month, a star-studded, 20-member scientific panel appointed by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe will propose a firm list of priorities for research aboard the space station. To be effective, the panel must make a case convincing enough to win the backing of a cash-strapped NASA, a parochial Congress, and a fed-up research community--a tall order. The timing may be right, however."



16 May 2002: NASA fears attack on shuttle carrying Israeli astronaut, Ha'aretz Daily

"The U.S. space agency NASA is concerned that the July launch of its space shuttle, which will include for the first time an Israeli astronaut, could become a target for a terrorist attack on July 19."

16 May 2002: Israel's first astronaut: NASA's security makes him feel safe, AP, Yahoo

"Additional security is planned for Ramon's launch, currently targeted for July 19. While privately expressing worry, NASA officials fully support Ramon's participation in the flight, which was planned long before the current crisis in Israel. The mission features several Israeli experiments, including research into desert aerosol."



15 May 2002: Letter from ISS and SSP Program Managers regarding "Establishment of the Flight Commercialization Office"

"This office will establish broad-based teams to evaluate, negotiate, and implement commercial proposals and partnerships in coordination with NASA Headquarters and field center personnel."


19 April 2002: NASA Defends Its Plans For Replacing Space Shuttle, Aviation Week

"The fact is that the Administration's got to get its act together on space," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the Science subcommittee chairman. "

19 April 2002: Panel calls NASA on the carpet, Orlando Sentinel

"Sam Venneri, NASA's head of aerospace technology, said that it's unlikely any kind of selection from the prototypes now in development would be made before 2006. Given the need to completely test and tweak the new vehicle -- and launch it for at least a short time as a complement to the shuttle fleet -- Venneri said 2012 is a difficult target to meet."




18 April 2002: Space Shuttle and Space Launch Initiative Hearing Charter - House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

"The Space Transportation Subcommittee of the Aerospace Technology Advisory Committee has been advising the NASA Aerospace Technology Enterprise for several years. The last report of the Space Transportation Subcommittee stated, "The basic structure of the SLI (program orientation, objectives, schedule, technology) renders the program impossible of successful completion. These elements are so obviously lacking in credibility as to discourage best efforts by either government or industry. Major restructuring is needed along the lines of the four recommendations below." According to publicly available Advisory Committee meeting minutes, NASA management's response to the Space Transportation Subcommittee was that its recommendations "would get the Program into trouble and would not get it any OMB and Congressional support."


18 April 2002: Testimony of Mr.Gerard W. Elverum to The Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Of The House Committee on Science

"NASA should commit the FY01 SLI budget effort almost entirely to Systems Analysis of RLV alternatives. Each alternative must have clear credibility as candidates for a near-term second- generation RLV that can specifically satisfy all NASA's committed mission and ground operations needs. These should include multistage-to-orbit systems ( including enhancing the basic Shuttle with any applicable sub-systems accepted for the other system candidates), etc. top-level needs. "

18 April 2002: Statement of Frederick D. Gregory, Associate Administrator, NASA Office of Space Flight, Before the House Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics

"Leadership of human space flight must start at the top at NASA Headquarters, and specifically in the Office of Space Flight. To that end, I have resumed chairing the Flight Readiness Review for each mission, which had been delegated down to the center."

18 April 2002: Statement of Richard Blomberg, Former Chair, Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

"In all of the years of my involvement, I have never been as concerned for Space Shuttle safety as I am right now. That concern is not for the present flight or the next or perhaps the one after that. In fact, one of the roots of my concern is that nobody will know for sure when the safety margin has been eroded too far. All of my instincts, however, suggest that the current approach is planting the seeds for future danger."

18 April 2002: Statement of Sam Venneri, Associate Administrator, Office of Aerospace Technology before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

"In its first year, the SLI plan has been validated and its investments are now focused on enabling current mission requirements, such as servicing the International Space Station and delivering satellites to orbit. The research and development of technologies critical to meeting safety, reliability, and cost goals is well underway."


18 April 2002: Concern Expressed for Shuttle Safety, House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

"NASA budget cuts and subsequent delays in Shuttle safety upgrades and infrastructure will put the safety of the Space Shuttle in serious jeopardy, a former chairman of an advisory group warned the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics today."

18 April 2002: Prepared Statement by Rep. Dave Weldon - Space Shuttle Launch Initiative Hearing

"To be blunt, NASA has to come clean about what its plans are for manned rated vehicle operations. For the better part of the past decade NASA has been working under the assumption that a Shuttle-class replacement would be on the near term horizon. This caused for the Space Shuttles to have upgrades deferred or cancelled. This glide path toward expected retirement of the Shuttle within the first decade of the 21st century also caused the literally crumbling Shuttle related infrastructure to be given patchwork improvements or trauma center-like repairs. "

18 April 2002: Opening Statement of Chairman Dana Rohrabacher: Space Shuttle and SLI Hearing"

"The Space Shuttle program and the Space Launch Initiative are inextricably linked and perhaps they are at a crossroad. The programs we will discuss today will likely cost the American taxpayer $50-60 billion over the next ten years. Issues involving levels of investment for Shuttle safety and supportability upgrades, Shuttle privatization, and the credibility of the SLI program will define how this country proceeds in improving its national launch capability."

18 April 2002: Space Transportation Association White Paper: Space Shuttle Upgrades, Space Transportation Association

"The Space Transportation Association urges NASA and the Congress to fully fund Space Shuttle upgrades and to accelerate those Shuttle upgrades that will reduce costs and improve safety of flight operations. NASA should leverage technology investments in the Space Launch Initiative (SLI) program such as engine and vehicle health maintenance systems that could be applied to the existing Space Shuttle fleet."

18 April 2002: Congress Should Fund Minimum of Six Annual Shuttle Missions, Space Transportation Association

"The Space Transportation Association released a White Paper Thursday on the future of the Space Shuttle program calling for no fewer than six annual Shuttle missions and full funding for the program's upgrade budget. The organization also called for an infrastructure roadmap that covers the full service life of the Space Shuttle, as well as greater attention to workforce retention issues."

18 April 2002: Hearing on Space Shuttle Upgrades, Privatization initiative, safety and future status


3 April 2002: "Reassessing Space Shuttle Upgrades Strategy"; Letter from OSF AA Fred Gregory to JSC Center Director

"As discussed at the March 14, 2002 Human Exploration and Development of
Space (HEDS) Program Management Council (PMC), the current Space Shuttle
Upgrade Strategy was based on the premise of ensuring the Space Shuttle can
fly safely until 2012. I request that you develop a strategy as part of
initial planning efforts to identify upgrades and supportability investment
that may be required to maintain the Space Shuttle fleet capability to fly
safely through 2020."


28 March 2002: Crumbling Infrastructure at KSC

Editor's note: There has been a lot of talk of late by the ASAP and others about KSC facilities falling apart due to age - and lack of preventive maintenance. A few days ago a piece of concrete 3 x 3 x 12 inches in size broke off of the real ceiling at the Launch Control Center and fell through the false ceiling onto a test conductor's desk.



28 February 2002: California, Florida duking it out over NASA move, Florida Capital News

"Though [Sean] O'Keefe said moving shuttle repairs to the launch pad will save millions of dollars, he said he could not provide an exact figure and estimates from NASA's press offices have varied. [U.S. Rep. Bill Thomas, R-California] said Wednesday that NASA refuses to give him details of the Florida move."




6 February 2002: Space Shuttle OMM Transfer Represents Culmination of Multi-Year Effort by Rep. Weldon

"Unfortunately, the Clinton Administration opted to appease California rather than make a smart policy decision. However, in recent meetings with NASA Headquarters and the White House Office of Management and Budget, Rep. Weldon continued to make the case for transferring this work to Florida, and the Bush Administration ultimately recognized the cost savings and efficiencies gained by such a move. Rep. Weldon's position was also supported by numerous studies completed by NASA and its contractors."


5 February 2002: Kennedy Space Center to Perform Shuttle Modifications, NASA KSC

"After completing detailed, independent cost and risk assessments, the agency has decided to perform Space Shuttle Orbiter Major Modifications (OMM) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida."


6 February 2002: Cutbacks produce gains, Orlando Sentinel

"Florida's gain is a loss for a Boeing manufacturing plant in Palmdale, Calif., northeast of Los Angeles"



6 February 2002: NASA's Shuttle Toilet makes the Smoking Gun

Editor's note: amazing what a FOIA request can uncover...

" ... And as for the recommended deodorization method, we can't believe NASA's four official "sniffers" actually chose Wizard Stick Ups over a hanging tree car freshener. If it works for a Gotham taxi, it should suffice for the International Space Station."


23 January 2002: Broken Crawler Delays Columbia Rollout, Newschannel 2000

"The Space Shuttle Columbia was supposed to make a trip to the launch pad Wednesday, but the giant crawler that carries the shuttle hasn't budged."


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