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SLS and Orion

Space Station Freedom Deja Vu All Over Again

By Keith Cowing
June 9, 2010
Filed under

Bolden Talks About The Constellation Team, earlier post
“If you go to 55:18 in this video, I ask Charlie Bolden how he is going to get people to make the transition from flying government-operated spacecraft to commercially- operated spacecraft – and the emotion that goes with making the transition from one way of thinking to another. Bolden’s reply gets deep into the emotions and mindsets that underly the changes that the Constellation workforce is now going through – and how he is going to work through that process with them.”
Keith’s note: Yes, it really sucks that it has come to this. I have seen this movie before: I am a survivor of Space Station Freedom “reorganization”. Friends who worked very hard were simply fired for no fault of their own. I turned down several positions and quit NASA civil service in disgust (ever wonder what prompted me to start NASA (RIF) Watch?). And now we are seeing this happen again like a bad sequel. Every CxP job lost belongs to a real human being with a family and bills to pay – and dreams that will now be dashed.
As such, I honestly cannot fault anyone in or around CxP for wanting to fight back. My teammates at SS Freedom did not like what was happening at all. Yet we worked on our version of the “Program of Record” until we were told to stop working – and move on to other things – or be fired. To this day I am proud of the folks I worked with and how they conducted themselves. Pieces of what we worked on orbit overhead right now. We did not mount insurgent movements as much as we might have wanted to. There comes a time when badly-managed and chronically under-funded programs run out of resources. That is what has happened to Constellation. Of course, in the end, the little guy always gets the shaft.
NASA, White House, Congress, and the contractors should never have let things come to this point. They should have been honest with the numbers and what they committed to do. The money to keep everything going is not there – it never was and it never will be. The powers that be did not exercise responsibility and now thousands of hard working people get the shaft as a result of bad management – bad management that runs all the way up to NASA HQ and the previous Administrator and his staff, some of whom are still inexplicably in their jobs at NASA.
What newly-minted graduate in their right mind is going to want to pursue a career at NASA when the agency runs itself like this?

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.