TrumpSpace: August 2020 Archives

Eyes Forward as Artemis Missions Set to Begin Next Year

"Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, NASA also completed a detailed cost and schedule assessment for Artemis I and established a new agency commitment for launch readiness by November 2021. While it is too early to predict the full impact of COVID-19, we are confident a November 2021 date is achievable with the recent pace of progress, and a successful Green Run hot fire test will enable us to better predict a target launch date for the mission. Taking this new launch readiness date into account, NASA also aligned the development costs for the SLS and Exploration Ground Systems programs through Artemis I and established new cost commitments. The new development baseline cost for SLS is $9.1 billion, and the commitment for the initial ground systems capability to support the mission is now $2.4 billion. NASA's cost and schedule commitment for Orion currently remains within original targets and is tied to demonstrating the capability to fly crew on the Artemis II mission by 2023."

Keith's note: Wait a minute, let's read that again. The last time NASA tossed out a number it was $7.17 billion (see GAO's NASA Actions Needed to Improve the Management of Human Spaceflight Programs). Now a routine blog posting that sits in an out-of-the-way place at NASA.gov casually says 'Oh yea - the whole SLS thing is going to cost 1/3 more'. Clearly this is going to trigger every imaginable automatic Congressional oversight alarm. At a time when the House wants a mostly flat NASA budget with an election weeks away, it is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine how the 2024 lunar landing will happen under any circumstances - regardless of how the presidential election turns out and/or whether the Senate flips. I can't wait to see how Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration try to explain this.

And FWIW it is utterly baffling that this huge cost increase was released at the same time that the President was crowing about landing humans on the Moon. This totally undermines those claims.

As always, here's out ever-growing list of reports saying that SLS/Orion costs are out of control.

- Denial At Boeing Regarding Poor Performance On SLS, earlier post
- NASA OIG: Surprise, Surprise: Orion Is Behind Schedule, Over Cost, And Lacks Transparency, earlier post
- You Can't Exert National Prestige With A Rocket That Does Not Fly, earlier post

Keith's note: The prepared line was "And soon under my father's leadership, it will send Americans to Mars." OK Eric, what does "soon" mean? The target date for human Mars missions is still the mid 2030s. That is hardly "soon". Maybe you should check with your brother-in-law Kyle Yunaska, the NASA Deputy Chief of Staff, before you make these announcements. He has access to better info on the rocket science stuff. Just sayin'.

President Trump Is Making The World (And Space) Safe Again [space excerpt], RNC

"Space Policy Online: "There is substantially more than in Obama's 2015 strategy," about space."

Keith's note: Full context "Space is not a focus of the 55-page document, but there is substantially more than in Obama's 2015 strategy. That may be because Obama issued a National Space Policy in 2010 that contained extensive guidance about U.S. civil, commercial, national security, and cross-sector space activities, followed by a National Security Space Strategy in 2011. Trump has not issued similar guidance yet. Therefore what was released today is the most formal statement to date of Trump's views on these issues, although he, Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the White House National Space Council, and other administration officials have expressed many of them already."

Oh yes and SpaceQ: "U.S. aims to take lead in space traffic management with Space Policy Directive 3." is actually an article title on our sister website SpaceQ which covers Canadian space news, the article says "As reported in NASA Watch, during a morning media call this morning "National Space Council Executive Director Scott Pace said the U.S. needs to have unfettered access and the ability to operate space - but space is becoming congested. The new policy (SPD-3) addresses these challenges."

Oh yes with all the NASA hoopla about Artemis and the Artemis Accords this RNC/Trump greatest hits document makes zero mention. But they certainly mention Space Force a lot.

Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Administration Research and Development Budget Priorities and Cross-cutting Actions, OMB/OSTP

"5. American Space Leadership

R&D investments should continue to leverage efforts underway at American universities and in the private sector and focus on ensuring American leadership in space by supporting the Trump Administration's call for a return of Americans to the Moon's surface by 2024 for long-term exploration and utilization, and as a proving ground for future human missions to Mars. Microgravity research in biological and physical science on new platforms in Low Earth Orbit is important to enabling longer duration human missions in space and may have practical benefits to life on Earth. Departments and agencies should prioritize in-situ resource utilization on the Moon and Mars, cryogenic fuel storage and management, in-space manufacturing and assembly, advanced space-related power and propulsion capabilities, and orbital debris management. Departments and agencies should also prioritize activities that ensure an industrial base for commercial activity in space and that will broadly speed private-sector progress in meeting stated Government goals and furthering the space economy. Finally, departments and agencies should seek opportunities to work with advanced materials, additive manufacturing, and machine learning capabilities that have broad potential applications in space and on Earth."

Space Force releases 1st doctrine, defines "spacepower" as distinct form of military power

"The Space Capstone Publication explains why spacepower is a vital element of U.S. prosperity and security - now and in the future - and guides its employment in multidomain operations. As the USSF continues to grow and mature, we will continue to evolve our doctrine to stay on the cutting edge of defending our interests in space."

Space Capstone Publication, Spacepower (SCP)

"Military space forces must be responsible stewards of the space domain. When designing missions, training, and performing end of life operations, military space forces should make every effort to promote responsible norms of behavior that perpetuate space as a safe and open environment in accordance with the Laws of Armed Conflict, the Outer Space Treaty, and international law, as well as U.S. Government and DoD policy. Just like all forms of warfare, the prosecution of space warfare and the potential generation of collateral damage is judged against the principles of military necessity, distinction, and proportionality. Through this approach, military space forces balance our responsibilities for operational readiness with the safety and sustainability of the space environment for use by future generations."

"Space professionals recognize the independent impact spacepower has on National prosperity. Our global persistence postures the Joint Force to continuously assure Allies, deter aggression, coerce competitors, and defeat adversaries. We provide the enduring vigilance that protects the United States and our Allies from strategic surprise. Due to this global persistence and enduring vigilance, space professionals are perfectly postured to provide the Joint Force global, and not just regional, perspective and capabilities. As we look to the future, our orbital presence must secure the ever expanding frontier of U.S. space interests. At their most fundamental level, space professionals seek to protect our Nation's prosperity and security."

Keith's note: It is quite obvious from this document that the current Administration's space focus is the undisputed leadership and control of all aspects of space via military means. All other uses - scientific, exploration, humanitarian, commercial, societal - are of secondary importance to the mastery of space that the Space Force seeks to impose. Indeed the authors overtly talk about the need to "coerce competitors". Competition - whether it be commercial or governmental - when peaceful - is supposed to be good, right? These Space Force guys simply want to bend others to their will.

FYI "NASA" appears only once in this document - at the end - in the credits on page 61 where it says "Cover Image courtesy of NASA". The face that America's civilian space agency is literally a footnote to this other American space policy speaks volumes in terms of where the main focus is.

To be certain we have had space-based defense assets for more than a half century that need to be secured. But It seems to have escaped the notice of all of the would-be space warriors that imposing an enhanced military mindset upon all American space activities is the best way to push other nations to do the same. Curiously, we have had a continuous human presence on ISS for 20 years with Russia - one of our prime terrestrial politcal adversaries. If you include the Shuttle-Mir project then this continuos cooperation goes back to 1993 between the US and the USSR. We seem to get along vastly better in space than we do on Earth. Certainly there are lessons to be learned from this experience. Reading this document, you get the exact opposite impression: the ISS is not even mentioned.

Just as we are pushing for an overt increase in the militarization of space many in NASA are endorsing a push to get the International Space Station awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The policy disconnect between pursuing the peaceful and military uses of space could not be more profound.

- The Space Force Squad Wants To Create Problems - Not Avoid Them, earlier post
- Now Space Force Wants Its Own Starfleet Admirals, earlier post- Space Force Official Flag Presented To The President On Friday Because Of Course It Was, earlier post
- Space Force Has The Air Force Academy. Why Doesn't NASA Have A Space Academy?, earlier post
- More Space Force postings

https://s3.amazonaws.com/images.spaceref.com/news/2020/trump.NASA.jpg

Keith's note: Here is the actual tweet. I am posting a picture of it since Trump tends to block a lot of people.


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