Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 452098 times)

Offline renclod

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NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« on: 10/11/2010 10:00 pm »
What are the expectations ?

Where does NASA's budget fits in the big picture ?

What elements from CxP are going to survive - and to whom's perdition ?

Who's who in appropriations ?

« Last Edit: 10/11/2010 10:10 pm by renclod »

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Offline Jorge

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #2 on: 10/12/2010 04:18 am »
What are the expectations ?

The Senate appropriations bill was already drafted back in July, following the lead of the authorizers, and I would expect the final bill to be similar.

http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.111s3636

Quote
Where does NASA's budget fits in the big picture ?

The Appropriations committee is divided into 13 subcommittees; NASA falls within "Commerce, Justice, Science, and related agencies."

Quote
What elements from CxP are going to survive?

Orion, under the name "Multipurpose Crew Vehicle".

Quote
Who's who in appropriations ?

Obey and Inouye are the committee chairmen in the House and Senate, respectively. Lewis and Cochran are the ranking minority members.

Mollohan and Mikulski chair the CJS subcommittees, and Wolf and Shelby are the ranking members.

The key NASA-interested members are Culberson in the House, and Mikulski, Shelby, and Hutchison in the Senate.

http://appropriations.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=84&Itemid=17
http://appropriations.senate.gov/sc-commerce.cfm
« Last Edit: 10/21/2010 02:11 pm by Jorge »
JRF

Offline psloss

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #3 on: 10/12/2010 12:19 pm »
Where does NASA's budget fits in the big picture ?
The current Congress reconvenes on November 15.  FY 11 appropriations are currently funded through December 3 by a continuing resolution.

First there's the election on November 2, and currently an anticipation that power in the House and/or Senate could change hands from the Democrats to the Republicans.  That has no literal/legal bearing on the current Congress, but if there's a large swing, that might have some influence.

First and foremost, we'll have to wait to see the outcome of the election.

Congress is expected to break for Thanksgiving week.  News reports indicate that they will have only the week of the 15th and the week of the 29th to "work" on legislation prior to the expiration of the current CR.

Besides appropriations for the current fiscal year, the Bush tax cuts are expiring (end of December), as are unemployment benefits (end of November, before the CR), to name a couple of other big things legislators will be discussing.
« Last Edit: 10/12/2010 12:21 pm by psloss »

Offline psloss

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #4 on: 10/12/2010 05:28 pm »
First there's the election on November 2, and currently an anticipation that power in the House and/or Senate could change hands from the Democrats to the Republicans.  That has no literal/legal bearing on the current Congress, but if there's a large swing, that might have some influence.
Another example of how these things are complicated: one election that could have some direct bearing on the lame duck session is the one to fill the seat vacated by Roland Burris in Illinois.  The winner of the special election to finish the current term would be seated "immediately" (more or less) and might change the outcome of cloture votes in the Senate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_election_in_Illinois,_2010

There are similar special elections for Senate seats in Delaware, Colorado, and West Virginia.  (Although in the latter case, it wasn't as clear whether the winner would take the seat in the lame duck session.)
« Last Edit: 10/12/2010 05:35 pm by psloss »

Offline simonbp

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #5 on: 10/12/2010 09:50 pm »
Orion, under the name "Multipurpose Crew Vehicle".

In addition, a lot of the smaller CxP programs (e.g. LER) may survive under the "Technology Development" mantle. Also, RSRM-V, J-2X, and a lot of the aero and structural work from Ares V may continue, pending the HLV decision...
« Last Edit: 10/12/2010 09:50 pm by simonbp »

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #6 on: 10/12/2010 10:01 pm »
I've just written an article rather related to all of this:

NASA faces tough decisions to plan STS-135 ahead of funding appropriation:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/10/nasa-decisions-plan-sts-135-ahead-funding-appropriation
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Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #7 on: 10/12/2010 10:18 pm »
I've just written an article rather related to all of this:

NASA faces tough decisions to plan STS-135 ahead of funding appropriation:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/10/nasa-decisions-plan-sts-135-ahead-funding-appropriation
Good summary Chris.

This line is so poignant to the dilema for ISS:

“There is a real need by ISS to fly that flight, especially if the commercial programs end up slipping. Year 2012 becomes a very difficult year for ISS from a logistics standpoint to try and support all six crew and do real science and research onboard."

Even with commercial cargo flying on schedule, ISS faces problems as it approaches 'station complete'. I hope people keep this in mind when they vilify or atatck the ISS & the spending on it. It is a research station with an incomplete plan of support.

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #8 on: 10/13/2010 09:13 pm »
Thanks Robert!
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Offline marsavian

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #9 on: 10/14/2010 02:15 pm »
http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/article_3fa83753-652c-5ca9-b18a-7de5d768101f.html

Even as President Barack Obama signed off Monday on plans to steer the nation's space program toward Mars, Senate staffers on Capitol Hill reported growing speculation that the White House was preparing to replace NASA administrator Charles Bolden after the midterm congressional elections. Names of some potential successors were already circulating.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #10 on: 10/14/2010 02:20 pm »
Which has something to do with that clause about the Administrator's civilian status.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline OpsAnalyst

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #11 on: 10/15/2010 02:39 pm »
I've just written an article rather related to all of this:

NASA faces tough decisions to plan STS-135 ahead of funding appropriation:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/10/nasa-decisions-plan-sts-135-ahead-funding-appropriation

Great article, Chris.  NASA is operating "at risk", fiscally speaking, w.r.t STS-135.  But no choice.  You captured the issues well.

My view about Approps is a little different.  I don't think the elections will matter, except that if the Repubs take the House there will be more pushback on spending across the board, to include the budget upper afforded to NASA in FY11.  In any case, two major issues loom: (a) There is not enough money in the existing budget to meet the guidelines set out in S.3792 (now the "NASA Authorization Act of 2010"), and (b) there is likely to be a cut in discretionary expenditures before the end of fiscal 2011, meaning that the already-insufficient budget, even if it survives Approps, may be cut anyway.

With regard to HSF, my predictions under those circumstances are:

1) STS 135 will receive funding
2) Between HLV, MPCV, and Commercial, we'll have to "pick two out of three" - and then the fight will be on -
3) The Administration is unlikely to yield on Commercial, Shelby & Nelson behind the scenes will push for HLV because of (a) money to MSFC and (b) workforce transition, therefore
4) MPCV is the loser.

With regard to the HSF centers, in this scenario JSC will be the big loser once the dust settles - so we might see a revival of the "keep the shuttle flying" handwaving from Hutchison to try to force MPCV  back in - and in the worst possible scenario for the agency as a whole, that might just work  - because it wlil hasten the train wreck and repeat the history of insufficient funding to excute programs.

On the other hand, it could retain capability long enough to actually transfer it to commercial and think through all this again,  which could be good thing.

Right.


All that said - my crystal ball has pretty much shattered this year - what the heck do I know?

We need a different approach...

Online Chris Bergin

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #12 on: 10/15/2010 03:00 pm »
Thanks OpsAnalyst *tips hat* :)
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Offline robertross

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #13 on: 10/15/2010 03:06 pm »

With regard to HSF, my predictions under those circumstances are:

1) STS 135 will receive funding
2) Between HLV, MPCV, and Commercial, we'll have to "pick two out of three" - and then the fight will be on -
3) The Administration is unlikely to yield on Commercial, Shelby & Nelson behind the scenes will push for HLV because of (a) money to MSFC and (b) workforce transition, therefore
4) MPCV is the loser.

With regard to the HSF centers, in this scenario JSC will be the big loser once the dust settles - so we might see a revival of the "keep the shuttle flying" handwaving from Hutchison to try to force MPCV  back in - and in the worst possible scenario for the agency as a whole, that might just work  - because it wlil hasten the train wreck and repeat the history of insufficient funding to excute programs.

On the other hand, it could retain capability long enough to actually transfer it to commercial and think through all this again,  which could be good thing.


Scary enough to be plausible.
I certainly hope it doesn't come down to what you suggest.

I'm seeing some disturbing signs in the enconomy, especially from the US, and I for one can easily see where you're coming from.

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #14 on: 10/21/2010 04:07 am »
Great article, Chris.  NASA is operating "at risk", fiscally speaking, w.r.t STS-135.  But no choice.  You captured the issues well.

My view about Approps is a little different.  I don't think the elections will matter, except that if the Repubs take the House there will be more pushback on spending across the board, to include the budget upper afforded to NASA in FY11.  In any case, two major issues loom: (a) There is not enough money in the existing budget to meet the guidelines set out in S.3792 (now the "NASA Authorization Act of 2010"), and (b) there is likely to be a cut in discretionary expenditures before the end of fiscal 2011, meaning that the already-insufficient budget, even if it survives Approps, may be cut anyway.

With regard to HSF, my predictions under those circumstances are:

1) STS 135 will receive funding
2) Between HLV, MPCV, and Commercial, we'll have to "pick two out of three" - and then the fight will be on -
3) The Administration is unlikely to yield on Commercial, Shelby & Nelson behind the scenes will push for HLV because of (a) money to MSFC and (b) workforce transition, therefore
4) MPCV is the loser.

With regard to the HSF centers, in this scenario JSC will be the big loser once the dust settles - so we might see a revival of the "keep the shuttle flying" handwaving from Hutchison to try to force MPCV  back in - and in the worst possible scenario for the agency as a whole, that might just work  - because it wlil hasten the train wreck and repeat the history of insufficient funding to excute programs.

On the other hand, it could retain capability long enough to actually transfer it to commercial and think through all this again,  which could be good thing.

Right.


All that said - my crystal ball has pretty much shattered this year - what the heck do I know?

We need a different approach...

A masterful analysis and a scary set of conclusions. History seems to indicate that your worst case scenario is the most likely and that your closing comment is understated.
“You can’t take a traditional approach and expect anything but the traditional results, which has been broken budgets and not fielding any flight hardware.” Mike Gold - Apollo, STS, CxP; those that don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it: SLS.

Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #15 on: 10/21/2010 01:29 pm »
Coming back to this thread:

Jorge:  Thanks for the summary up there.

Chris:  That's what reporting should be!  Do you think you could contribute some time to the WaPo and the WSJ?  They could use the help.

From the article: "...the ISS is going to face a very difficult post-Shuttle 2012."

The solution to this problem, especially since commercial schedules might very well slip, is as simple as slapping the palm to the forehed.

Authorize several more shuttle flights.  Cover the gap.  Keep the capability until the last possible moment.  The only, only, only problem is budgetary.  If OV's opinion on costs is largely correct, it seems doable. 

If OpsAnalyst is right, and MPCV is the loser, there is still plain vanilla simgle purpose BEO Orion, right?  Else we have an LV with nothing on top.

If we can retain capability, then I think he is right; it could be transferred to commercial, "which could be good thing".
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline marsavian

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Offline madscientist197

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #17 on: 10/22/2010 10:29 am »
Well that was totally non-informative. I have to say, I am tired of the whole "our best days are ahead" line. Saying this over and over again doesn't make it true!
John

Offline marsavian

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Offline Drkskywxlt

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #19 on: 10/27/2010 03:38 pm »
http://www.neontommy.com/news/2010/10/how-republican-take-over-in-midterm-elections-could-affect-nasa
Republicans are promising a $100B discretionary spending cut by January if they take over.  That's a 21% across the board cut.  If that's applied to NASA, you're looking at a $4B cut!  So long to all the new toys for HSF and probably several robotic planetary/astronomy/Earth science missions. 

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