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TrumpSpace: A Disturbance In The Force?

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
December 7, 2016
Filed under

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

7 responses to “TrumpSpace: A Disturbance In The Force?”

  1. RocketScientist327 says:

    Nothing surprises me anymore.

  2. Ticked Parent says:

    Getting some actual direction from an administration would be a surprise since we haven’t really had any for about thirty years.

    • muomega0 says:

      Misinformed. Many real leaders and admins have had zero impact on Congress, which dictates direction. For example, flexible path and “cancelling Constellation/SLS” was presented by the previous Admin. Examples below. Deals in work.

      The real power lies in the appropriations committees, where they will ‘mark up’ the NASA program. Although this budget is supposed to include only a top-line number, it includes detailed management instructions which NASA slavishly adheres to in the form of “report language”. The process is almost impossible to manage. NASA ‘works for’ the appropriations committees, whose senior staff (the ‘kids’), who have little interest (in general) in science or space, effectively run NASA. Anti-science is the norm.

      1992: “The shuttle is an unbelievably costly way to get to space at $1B a pop and the design is silly”—a 100mT LV is used to provide a 20mT payload—not to mention Nixon added solids, it lost out to Titan unless it flew 28x/year, and shedding foam can impact the critical reentry shield with no abort system. “Witness the fact however that in 1992, not even $175M could be found to develop a new, cost effective launch system.” Concepts similar to Falcon (Titan I)–‘We really need to get behind a reusable first stage”–DOA.

      2017 bill: Establishes as policy that the US maintain an uninterrupted capability for HSF and BEO “once a capability is demonstrated” + requires independent study for 2021 flyby of Mars. The bills will contain much rhetoric wrt included flexible path, ‘commercial’, and technology development. The study however will simply conclude that a test flight of SLS/Orion is necessary via Apollo 8 redux prior to Mars, and magically, “its capability is demonstrated BEO and must be maintained”—all from ‘the kids’. IOW: Ticked parents cannot control ‘the kids’.

      “2,650,000,000 shall be for SLS” “$1,400,000,000 shall be for a multi-purpose crew vehicle”


      • Daniel Woodard says:

        Not to mention the “law” written by Frank Wolf which says that NASA’s budget will be cut in half if it so much as exchanges greetings with China, the world’s second-wealthiest nation and currently the only nation other than Russia that can put a man in orbit. Apparently Mr. Culberson has somehow continued this policy. Talk about Congressional micromanagement!

        • Michael Spencer says:

          Like you I disagree with the direction given by Congress.

          But isn’t that the way it is supposed to work? I’m not sure more power in the WH is an answer.

          (What IS an answer is seriously addressing the disenfranchisement of millions of Americans due to gerrymandering and voter suppression; we have a minority government in every sense of the word).

          Nonetheless with this authority in Congress at the very least there is more than one voice in policy.

  3. Vladislaw says:

    Was there any announcement?

  4. Vladislaw says:

    Was this it?

    “This Is NASA’s Plan For Humanity’s Return to the Moon, and Beyond
    A decades-long plan that could end with humans finally reaching the Red Planet.”


    The main goal of the Orion program is to assemble a Moon-orbiting space station, which by the end of the 2020s could be beefed up to become a kind of interplanetary mothership. Without additional money, the proposed spacecraft will not be able to put astronauts onto the surface of Mars, but it will be able to carry a crew into the vicinity of the Red Planet as early as 2033, says Gerstenmaier. Visits to Martian moons Phobos and Deimos and expeditions to asteroids might also be possible.”