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The Coming Food Fight

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
September 2, 2009

New Marshall director remains optimistic while waiting on report, WAFF
“With no specific direction and no roadmap for Marshall, Lightfoot is literally managing in limbo. He’s waiting for direction from the top while still maintaining continuity at the bottom, trying to reach a balance between people and projects. “You get pocketed off in your programs and forget we are Marshall – not shuttle, not Constellation, we’re Marshall,” he said.”
Keith’s note: I think Lightfoot has this somewhat backward. MSFC is a NASA “field center” – one of a dozen or so that is assigned tasks by NASA Headquarters – tasks assigned to it by the White House (and Congress). MSFC, like all other field centers, exists to complete these tasks (projects) for the agency – not the other way around. Without the projects assigned to it, MSFC has no other work of any significance – nor a reason to exist.
Yes, I know it is naive to even say this, much less believe it, but if the field centers started to think more like “NASA” and less like their zip codes the agency might just work a little more efficiently and do so without pointless overlap and duplication and counter productive inter-center squabbling. Alas, stay tuned as one or more multi-center EELV Vs Sidemount Vs Ares IV/V HLV food fights begin shortly in the post-Augustine trade space.

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