Author Topic: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?  (Read 6416 times)

Offline rdale

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #20 on: 11/10/2008 04:25 AM »
Even the most REMOTE reference comparing yesterday's results with VSE is wrong.

I could write for a while and rip that one up, but it would get deleted as too political.... :)

Just do a "little" political then ;)

How was last week's election at all impacted by VSE?

Offline GimmeSpace

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #21 on: 11/10/2008 05:45 AM »
Goodbye VSE - Hello USSEP
From: [email protected]
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 10:49 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: [advanced-capabilities] New title for VSE

New Policy:

The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) title has been changed to the

"U.S. Space Exploration Policy"

Please take note of the new title and refrain from using VSE in letters, presentations, etc.

..........

That was before the election.

:)
"Mission Accomplished."

Offline robertross

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #22 on: 11/11/2008 03:23 AM »
GimmeSpace...is that an ACTUAL e-mail??
If so, I see that as holding many possibilities, or simply re-branding an existing product. Sort of like carving your figure on existing statues in the time of the Egyptian builders.
I would love to see a new approach, but tempered to keep everyone (or most) happy.
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline rdale

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #23 on: 11/11/2008 03:26 AM »
It was called that back in 2004 (if not earlier.) It's possible the email was just to keep VSE out of the way and keep the formal name?

Offline robertross

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #24 on: 11/11/2008 03:33 AM »
One thing for sure, a statement of 'vision' seems flighty...whereas having 'policy' in the title has teeth behind it (or appears to). Even if it were re-branding, it sets the path with a starting point, and everything going forward would be 'seen' as Obama's from the public's perspective, even though that's true. That's why I think it needs to be different in some way. Simply re-branding a product, imo, wouldn't be Obama's style. Knowing his credentials, he might see what NASA has (Ares/Orion mess) and judge it to be wasteful, and want something better.

Cool, post #500. I deserve a scotch. Cheers everyone, I now know more than I did before I found this site, and still learning to walk and shut my mouth at times. lol

« Last Edit: 11/11/2008 03:35 AM by robertross »
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Antares

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #25 on: 11/11/2008 07:10 AM »
The switch from "Vision SE" to "SE Policy" was to help codify it and make it less mutable for the new administration.  Rather naive, but not nearly as damaging as all of the Ares contracts that will have to be cancelled or renegotiated next year.  MMW.
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #26 on: 11/11/2008 10:10 PM »
Getting back to the topic, I think that the record on this is pretty clear:  Bush approved a change of direction for NASA, but that did not mean that he was sponsoring a new initiative that would require more money. 

This was a response to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board's recommendation that if the United States was going to continue human space flight, it should find a good reason to do it considering the risk.  The reason they identified was "exploration," which they defined as going beyond Earth orbit, to the Moon, and eventually to Mars.  NASA was directed to primarily find the money from within its existing budget.  At the time, the administration projected modest growth in the NASA budget.  I don't know anybody who actually expected that growth to occur.  In actuality, the NASA budget did not grow.

Why did it not grow?  I think that one of the primary reasons is that Bush was never that interested in the new policy and did not bother to follow up on it.  His political appointees recognized that he was uninterested, and they did not allocate the money that was originally promised.

This kind of thing happens a lot in government, and it has been common for the Bush administration to announce new policies that it never follows up on.  Does anybody remember Bush's promise to support hydrogen fuel cell technology for cars?  Does anybody remember that at the beginning of 2008 he announced that he was going to solve the Middle East conflict this year?  The reality is that it is rhetoric, nothing more.  (And I won't single out Bush for this.  Other administrations do the same thing.)

But... just because this is what happened does _not_ mean that it was simply an election year stunt.  I don't actually think that it was.  There are two reasons to think that it was not: a) the timing was all wrong--they announced it so early in 2004 that it was irrelevant by the time of the election, and b) Bush was criticized for the plan and also had the example of the 1989 Space Exploration Initiative that had gone so badly.  It was a potential liability, not a way to win votes.

I think that we can borrow an old phrase to describe Bush's pursuit of the Vision: he meant well, feebly.

Offline GimmeSpace

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #27 on: 11/12/2008 12:33 PM »
Getting back to the topic, I think that the record on this is pretty clear:  Bush approved a change of direction for NASA, but that did not mean that he was sponsoring a new initiative that would require more money. 

This was a response to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board's recommendation that if the United States was going to continue human space flight, it should find a good reason to do it considering the risk.  The reason they identified was "exploration," which they defined as going beyond Earth orbit, to the Moon, and eventually to Mars.  NASA was directed to primarily find the money from within its existing budget.  At the time, the administration projected modest growth in the NASA budget.  I don't know anybody who actually expected that growth to occur.  In actuality, the NASA budget did not grow.

Why did it not grow?  I think that one of the primary reasons is that Bush was never that interested in the new policy and did not bother to follow up on it.  His political appointees recognized that he was uninterested, and they did not allocate the money that was originally promised.

This kind of thing happens a lot in government, and it has been common for the Bush administration to announce new policies that it never follows up on.  Does anybody remember Bush's promise to support hydrogen fuel cell technology for cars?  Does anybody remember that at the beginning of 2008 he announced that he was going to solve the Middle East conflict this year?  The reality is that it is rhetoric, nothing more.  (And I won't single out Bush for this.  Other administrations do the same thing.)

But... just because this is what happened does _not_ mean that it was simply an election year stunt.  I don't actually think that it was.  There are two reasons to think that it was not: a) the timing was all wrong--they announced it so early in 2004 that it was irrelevant by the time of the election, and b) Bush was criticized for the plan and also had the example of the 1989 Space Exploration Initiative that had gone so badly.  It was a potential liability, not a way to win votes.

I think that we can borrow an old phrase to describe Bush's pursuit of the Vision: he meant well, feebly.

Good post!

I think you just explained very well the difference between "leading" and "wishing."

:)

Let's hope the new admin is wise enough to understand the difference. I think so.
"Mission Accomplished."

Offline Blackstar

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #28 on: 11/12/2008 04:29 PM »
I think you just explained very well the difference between "leading" and "wishing."

We could sum it up more simply:

The Bush administration believed that the problem was: "NASA needs a new direction."

They did _not_ believe that the problem was: "NASA needs more money."

In addition, they did not want to give NASA more money.  So their "solution" was to give NASA new direction and not give them more money.

Offline Citabria

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #29 on: 11/12/2008 04:53 PM »
...voted Bush for one outstanding reason- he could at least speak the word "Spaceflight" ....
Although he can't speak the word "nuclear" correctly.

Offline Jorge

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #30 on: 11/12/2008 04:59 PM »
...voted Bush for one outstanding reason- he could at least speak the word "Spaceflight" ....
Although he can't speak the word "nuclear" correctly.

Neither could Carter - and he was even a "nucular" engineer in the Navy...
JRF

Offline Antares

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #31 on: 11/12/2008 05:19 PM »
I think we could have accomplished the VSE at the existing budget if NASA and Congress had not conspired to make job preservation the Level Zero requirement.  Once that happened, mechanized by ESAS 1.5 years in, the VSE was doomed.
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Offline Namechange User

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #32 on: 11/12/2008 05:22 PM »
I think we could have accomplished the VSE at the existing budget if NASA and Congress had not conspired to make job preservation the Level Zero requirement.  Once that happened, mechanized by ESAS 1.5 years in, the VSE was doomed.

I have to agree.  Scrapping nearly everything and all the development costs are eating our lunch.  If done properly we could have had zero gap with a true Block 1 Orion to ISS ready right after shuttle retirement. 

ESAS did not do us any favors. 
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Offline Blackstar

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #33 on: 11/12/2008 07:04 PM »
I think we could have accomplished the VSE at the existing budget if NASA and Congress had not conspired to make job preservation the Level Zero requirement.

There is no proof of that.  I would offer a counter-reason why this is probably not the case: every program manager will tell you that there is a natural funding curve for every project.  It starts out low, peaks, then goes down.  It is hard to see how you can do a _new_ program of any type without adding more money than the baseline budget.  By giving NASA essentially a flat budget, the administration was subverting this process, cutting off the top of the spending curve, so to speak. 

Now you can argue about the shape of the curve for different choices, but I have not met a single person who has run a program (particularly large ones) who believed that NASA could do a major new program without any increase in funding.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: VSE- was it just a Bush election gimic?
« Reply #34 on: 11/12/2008 07:15 PM »
I think we could have accomplished the VSE at the existing budget if NASA and Congress had not conspired to make job preservation the Level Zero requirement.

There is no proof of that.  I would offer a counter-reason why this is probably not the case: every program manager will tell you that there is a natural funding curve for every project.  It starts out low, peaks, then goes down.  It is hard to see how you can do a _new_ program of any type without adding more money than the baseline budget.  By giving NASA essentially a flat budget, the administration was subverting this process, cutting off the top of the spending curve, so to speak. 

Now you can argue about the shape of the curve for different choices, but I have not met a single person who has run a program (particularly large ones) who believed that NASA could do a major new program without any increase in funding.

Actually, it's rather simple.  We have carved out a budget for CxP in the here and now and have for the last several years.  Yes, it's not extreme but that is because, as most of you know, we're getting no real additional funding (even though it was promised) and we have told to stand down Shuttle in 2010 and divert those resources, robbing Peter to pay Paul. 

So what could, and should, we have done in this scenerio?  Not go off and start a multitude of development projects that can't be adequately funded and hence form the natural gap that we have now, which is only getting longer due to the technical problems being encountered.  We should have funded Orion, the foundation of the entire exploration effort, to get a Block 1 version (CM with LEO only heatshield, short SM with smaller prop tanks and no main engine, reduced life support requirements, etc) and launched it on an EELV.

If that was the case we would be bending metal right now, real metal not tuna cans that mimick an upper stage, for flight.  Orion has been an active project for nearly 4 years.  It requires nothing to be developed for a block 1 version and very little for a beyond-LEO application.  It should be a systems engineering integration effort only.  By spending some percentage of the amount of money spent on Ares 1 for this and the rest on minor mods for EELV we would already be there. 

I'd go so far as to say we would also have surplus money to already start serious design trades and initial engineering on the Heavy Lift Vehicle.
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