Author Topic: NASA's New Direction  (Read 45430 times)

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #320 on: 03/11/2017 06:19 PM »
Quote
Fun to host a true American explorer, Buzz Aldrin, at the @WhiteHouse as we work to shape the space policy of our administration.

https://twitter.com/vp/status/840301473611337728

Is it too much to hope that the new administration is listening as well as hosting?

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #321 on: 03/11/2017 06:34 PM »
Quote
Fun to host a true American explorer, Buzz Aldrin, at the @WhiteHouse as we work to shape the space policy of our administration.

https://twitter.com/vp/status/840301473611337728

Is it too much to hope that the new administration is listening as well as hosting?
Doubt it, didn't they just cut 1B from NASA's budget?
“The laws of physics are unforgiving”...
Rob


Offline Endeavour_01

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #323 on: 03/12/2017 11:14 PM »
Is it too much to hope that the new administration is listening as well as hosting?
Doubt it, didn't they just cut 1B from NASA's budget?

I am not optimistic either about the Administration's budget for NASA. Overall it seems NASA comes out better than most agencies (5% cut vs. 10-15%). Apparently the budget (or at least a top line version of it) is supposed to come out on Thursday.

Given how many cuts have been proposed for NOAA and related agencies it seems to me that the vast majority of the cut will come from Earth Science. Earth Science has a $1.9 Billion budget from last year if memory serves. I could see the Administration cutting its budget in half.

I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #324 on: 03/15/2017 03:08 PM »
Jeff Foust has written-up Buzz's meeting with the VP last week, as Buzz was asked about it in an interview:

http://spacenews.com/aldrin-pence-offered-few-details-of-space-policy-in-white-house-meeting/

No details of what the administration is thinking, but Buzz is at least bullish about the meeting.

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #325 on: 03/16/2017 06:09 AM »
Trumps budget for NASA:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/16/trumps-nasa-budget-preserves-mars-mission-cuts-earth-science-asteroid-trip-education/99227378/

$19.1 billion vs $19.3 billion previous year.  Cuts in Earth Science of 5% and education by 115 million.
Asteroid Redirect gone.  Aeronautics intact.  SLS and Orion continue.

I guess we'll see how much Congress agrees or disagrees.

Offline Danderman

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #326 on: 03/16/2017 09:34 AM »
Not so much "new direction" as "no direction".

Talk about Mars, but no real money for Mars, except for continued development of SLS and Orion going nowhere in particular.

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #327 on: 03/16/2017 09:38 AM »
I guess we'll see how much Congress agrees or disagrees.

No big surprises, though the top line number is, in comparison with what we've been hearing about non-defense discretionary spending in general, very good.  I'd have thought Earth sciences would be hit harder.  I expect Congress will mostly agree, or at least the disagreeers won't have the inclination to fight hard.  Attached is a summary of the NASA provisions, courtesy of the Washington Post.

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #328 on: 03/16/2017 10:44 AM »
I think the new budget deserves a new thread; created one here: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=42543.0

I've posted a link to Marcia Smith's analysis from spacepolicyonline.com

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA's New Direction -- augustine told them
« Reply #329 on: 03/16/2017 12:41 PM »
With the publication of an outline of the president's 2018 budget plan, it's now clear that he and Congress are aligned for funding of Orion and SLS, even as they remain vague as to what to do with those systems.  Because it begins with a name having a classical ring and includes a general, there is a famous poem by E. E. Cummings (look about halfway down that page) that easily adapts to the situation.  Capitalization, punctuation and spacing are borrowed from the original.


augustine told

them: they couldn't
believe it (booz allen hamilton

told them; they
wouldn't believe

it) the

nrc

certainly told
them, and general

(yes

mam)
bolden;
and even
(believe it
or
not) you
told them: i told
them; we told them
(they didn't believe it, no

sir) it took
...?


In Cummings' original, what "he" won't believe is General Sherman's dictum that "War is hell."  In my version, what "they," Orion's and SLS's key supporters in Congress, won't believe is that NASA isn't going back to the moon or much of anywhere else with Orion and SLS under the budget that Congress allows.  The possibly obscure reference to "general bolden" regards his testimony at the House Space Subcommittee hearing on 24 April 2013.

The original poem ends when "he" finally gets the message from a bullet to the head.  My version is unfinished, since we do not yet know the end of the story.

Offline Danderman

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #330 on: 03/17/2017 02:32 PM »
Well, Earth Sciences took a big hit, and there is no Senator Mikulski any more.

Offline Jim

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #331 on: 03/17/2017 03:25 PM »
Well, Earth Sciences took a big hit, and there is no Senator Mikulski any more.


5% is not big

Offline Blackstar

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #332 on: 03/17/2017 09:08 PM »
Well, Earth Sciences took a big hit, and there is no Senator Mikulski any more.


5% is not big

Yeah, count me as befuddled. Did everybody forget that just four months ago Bob Walker was going around talking about moving ALL NASA Earth science to NOAA? And there were Earth scientists crying into their beer over the impending demise of the entire program?

And then it turns out... 5%.

People are now pulling their hair out about the NASA education budget, and yet one report I saw indicated that the budget had been reduced by something like $65 million over six years by the previous administration. Also, it has not received glowing reviews in recent years. I think the education budget is a more complicated issue, because outreach and education is already handled in different parts of NASA. But I think we need some context and perspective here.

Offline Kansan52

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #333 on: 03/17/2017 10:01 PM »
Ditto Jim and Blackstar. Small reduction compared to other programs and compared to the expected cuts.

And The Verge reported that the education that was cut out was a duplication (or a partial duplication) at NASA.

Offline Lobo

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #334 on: 03/17/2017 10:02 PM »
Well, Earth Sciences took a big hit, and there is no Senator Mikulski any more.


5% is not big

Yeah, count me as befuddled. Did everybody forget that just four months ago Bob Walker was going around talking about moving ALL NASA Earth science to NOAA? And there were Earth scientists crying into their beer over the impending demise of the entire program?

And then it turns out... 5%.

People are now pulling their hair out about the NASA education budget, and yet one report I saw indicated that the budget had been reduced by something like $65 million over six years by the previous administration. Also, it has not received glowing reviews in recent years. I think the education budget is a more complicated issue, because outreach and education is already handled in different parts of NASA. But I think we need some context and perspective here.

Good point.

Personally I think the best way to generate interest, and thus promote education, is to go do things that garner interest.  Going back to the Moon or something imagination capturing would do that, and then people are talking about NASA and contacting NASA and asking for more information, etc.

I know when I was a kid, I mailed NASA several times requesting photos to hang on my wall, and other information that I read enthusiastically to educate myself on what they were doing.

But that's just me.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #335 on: 03/17/2017 11:15 PM »
Ditto Jim and Blackstar. Small reduction compared to other programs and compared to the expected cuts.

And The Verge reported that the education that was cut out was a duplication (or a partial duplication) at NASA.

The education thing at NASA is complicated. Apparently the overall program is a mess and has been known as a mess for awhile. Plus, stuff that counts as "education" lives all over the place at NASA, in various offices, and that has been part of the agency's problem, because there is poor coordination.

From what little I understand about it, the office that the administration wants to zero out administers a lot of grants and the thing about grants is that they get distributed all over the country. For example, the NASA Space Grant goes to all 50 states. That means 100 senators who may get a phone call about that program. So you can expect that there will be political opposition to killing this stuff.

The reality is that the office probably needs to be reformed and get its act together. Things that are running smoothly and efficiently make harder targets.

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #336 on: 03/18/2017 04:38 AM »
Ditto Jim and Blackstar. Small reduction compared to other programs and compared to the expected cuts.

And The Verge reported that the education that was cut out was a duplication (or a partial duplication) at NASA.

The education thing at NASA is complicated. Apparently the overall program is a mess and has been known as a mess for awhile. Plus, stuff that counts as "education" lives all over the place at NASA, in various offices, and that has been part of the agency's problem, because there is poor coordination.

From what little I understand about it, the office that the administration wants to zero out administers a lot of grants and the thing about grants is that they get distributed all over the country. For example, the NASA Space Grant goes to all 50 states. That means 100 senators who may get a phone call about that program. So you can expect that there will be political opposition to killing this stuff.

The reality is that the office probably needs to be reformed and get its act together. Things that are running smoothly and efficiently make harder targets.

No doubt that there are bureaucratic inefficiencies to iron out of NASA Ed.

However the Space Grants themselves and similar programs fund interns. And interns are probably the very best bang for the buck in the ENTIRE AGENCY. Just a few thousand dollars will fund some of the most driven and innovative and energetic and resourceful* people on the planet for a summer, a summer in which they'll work harder than 90% of the people in the Agency.

I've worked with over a dozen interns, even have some on a patent or two, plus several papers. Cutting Space Grants would be just about the dumbest thing in NASA to cut.

*One of my interns had previously made a printer from discarded floppy disk drives.
« Last Edit: 03/18/2017 04:42 AM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #337 on: 03/18/2017 04:56 AM »
Most NASA civil servant workforce is over 50. Over 50! You know the average age of NASA engineers who sent astronauts to the Moon during Apollo? Just 28.

With a federal hiring freeze, NASA desperately needs the young blood infusion of interns. And virtually every young person who gets hired by NASA goes through a NASA internship at some point.
« Last Edit: 03/18/2017 05:00 AM by Robotbeat »
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline Blackstar

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #338 on: 03/18/2017 03:08 PM »
However the Space Grants themselves and similar programs fund interns.

It's more than just interns. I had a Space Grant as a graduate student.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: NASA's New Direction
« Reply #339 on: 03/18/2017 03:13 PM »
Most NASA civil servant workforce is over 50. Over 50! You know the average age of NASA engineers who sent astronauts to the Moon during Apollo? Just 28.

With a federal hiring freeze, NASA desperately needs the young blood infusion of interns. And virtually every young person who gets hired by NASA goes through a NASA internship at some point.

So that itself is a more complicated and detailed issue than people understand. About 12 years ago there was a lot of hand-wringing about NASA's "aging workforce." Over a decade later and you hear a lot less concern about that at NASA. Why? Because the agency did a pretty good job of hiring, at the lower ranges and strategically to fill gaps. I worked on a NASA workforce study about 11 years ago and one of the things that the NASA HR people impressed upon us was that average age is a poor indicator, you want to know specifics about key workforce needs.

I think this ties into the whole larger issue of NASA education in different ways. I think a lot of people assume that "NASA education" is all about teaching elementary school kids, when in reality it also includes grants to college and graduate students, and probably a lot of other things as well. What seems to be happening with this proposed cut is to try and deal with the problems by using a sledgehammer rather than some more precise tools.