Author Topic: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview  (Read 457353 times)

Offline MP99

Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1060 on: 04/01/2011 02:25 pm »
Flying through the Furlough

Quote
Congress’ failure to put together a budget deal caused "nonessential" government workers to be furloughed from November 14 through November 19, 1995—right in the middle of the STS-74 flight.

It should also be noted that a large team of ISS management and technical personnel were engaged in negotiations with the Russians down at JSC during that shutdown. They were all declared "essential", including their administrative support personnel, public affairs, and legislative affairs liaison folks (I know, because it was ME). They/we all kept working and in the end with the resumption of normal funding, all paychecks were received for all work conducted. This talk of a shut-down meaning "ipso facto" that STS-135 is dead is uninformed speculation and nonsense. It WILL fly. Period.

I could see a shutdown causing delays for 135, and it would be better for ISS if 135 could fly later.

I almost wonder whether this could free up the logjam to allow that later flight.

cheers, Martin

Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1061 on: 04/01/2011 02:57 pm »
I could see a shutdown causing delays for 135, and it would be better for ISS if 135 could fly later.

I almost wonder whether this could free up the logjam to allow that later flight.

It will have to happen before the end of FY2011.  I can't see Congress extending shuttle flight ops into FY2012 - They want their 130t IMLEO goliath instead.
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DON'T PROPAGANDISE, FLY!!!

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1062 on: 04/01/2011 03:41 pm »
Did you not read what he said above, Sky King? Looks like you rushed your response, so I have to ask.

I read what he wrote.  It just strikes me as sort of "incredulous" that the Congress as a body which if the government shuts down is defined as essentially dysfunctional because it cannot pass a CR at least...would come together as a "body" to agree on a shuttle flight. 

It just strikes me as odd that if they agreed on very little that this would be a source of agreement enough to "force" spending.

Sky King

That's because you do not apparently understand how the Congress functions and the tools available to it at the Committee of jurisdiction level to ensure that agencies within those jurisdictions function and operate in an manner deemed desirable or necessary by the leadership of those Committees, outside of formal legislation; the Congress "as a whole" does not have to act in many cases; but I'm not going to go into a civics or "Congress 101" discussion here. As you said...we shall see; my point in responding initially was simply to let other folks know that there are somewhat more "informed opinions" that differ from what you were predicting or asserting.

You didnt say "Congressional staffs" or "leadership of the Committees" you wrote "are viewed by the Congress as VERY essential"

we can all teach civics to each other, starting with the fact that all agencies of the federal government work for The President of  The United States.  Charlie (or General Bolden or NASA) does not take orders from Congressional staffers and the folks who work at NASA take orders from The Administrator.

but as you say...we will see.

Sky King

I cited the "Congress" because the term reference to "the Congress" can properly be invoked when an Act of Congress has been enacted by very large majorities and signed into law. P.L. 111-267 establishes the importance of ISS sustainability and STS-135 as matters concluded "by the Congress."
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1063 on: 04/01/2011 05:48 pm »
we can all teach civics to each other, starting with the fact that all agencies of the federal government work for The President of  The United States.  Charlie (or General Bolden or NASA) does not take orders from Congressional staffers and the folks who work at NASA take orders from The Administrator.

Everyone has to follow the law, regardless of who their boss is. While it is true that NASA is under the immediate direction of the executive, they are obviously obligated to comply with acts of Congress.
« Last Edit: 04/01/2011 05:50 pm by spacetraveler »

Offline SkyKing

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1064 on: 04/01/2011 08:25 pm »
we can all teach civics to each other, starting with the fact that all agencies of the federal government work for The President of  The United States.  Charlie (or General Bolden or NASA) does not take orders from Congressional staffers and the folks who work at NASA take orders from The Administrator.

Everyone has to follow the law, regardless of who their boss is. While it is true that NASA is under the immediate direction of the executive, they are obviously obligated to comply with acts of Congress.

No not really.  Every Federal employee takes an oath to  The Constitution and that document makes The President head of and responsible for the executive branch of government.  The key phrase you used is "comply with acts of Congress" BUT and the key add on here is "as the President of The United States directs them to".

And that is it.

If The Congress, as a whole not a committee and certainly not some staffer then wants to hold The Chief Executive or the designates responsible for how they have interpreted the law, there is an amazingly small suite of options.  At the far end The President can be impeached and removed...budgets can be slashed and the various Senators and Congress people can take their turns giving a tongue lashing but in the end THATS IT.  There is no method for Congress to reach out and toss any penalties toward a civil servant and "contempt of Congress" is a remedy that is so laughable in this case that well its laughable.

If on the other hand a member of the Executive says "this is how I think Congress said to do this" and the POTUS or his/her deputies disagree, the firing, resignation to safe face, or reassignment in the case of the civil service happens well ask Hanley how fast this happens.

So here is how this works, say in the case of SLS.  Lets say The Administrator, because this is the policy of the Executive designs a heavy lift that the only thing it uses from Shuttle is "two bolts" and tells the Congress, "thats all I can use of this".

Congress has two choices; go along or not fund what The Administrator wants to build.  They might tongue lash him pretty hard, but after that he will go to his favorite watering hole and that will be the end of it.

Other then the purse, Congress has no real enforcement power over the administration OR their deputies...and the latter with some very very broad limitations always have a "I did what I was told" explanation...and it works. 

There are endless cases of the Congress trying to do something that the administration does not want to do and most of them fail.  A few work out (the B-1 case I have talked about earlier) but most do not.  When President Reagan wanted the Battleships, the Congress wanted some equally old heavy cruisers and it in the funding mechanism directed the Navy to study both the BB and the CA's and weighted the effort toward the CA's.  Guess which got recommissioned? 

I am reasonably sure if there is no government shutdown STS 135 will fly as will the next shuttle mission   But if there is a government shutdown, I am then reasonably sure that STS 135 wont.and they are scheming how to fly the next shuttle mission in the face of a shutdown ..but as I told the Congressional person...we will see.

Congress in its best days had limited yank over the executive (other then money) and today, with its dysfunctional groups...almost none.  It is about like the State of the Union...if The Executive sends the Congress a letter...thats all it takes. 

Sky King

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1065 on: 04/05/2011 07:19 pm »
Some progress is being made. New compromise of $40B in cuts for FY 2011?
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0411/52585.html
« Last Edit: 04/05/2011 07:23 pm by yg1968 »

Offline simonbp

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1066 on: 04/05/2011 07:26 pm »
So, um, how long until one of the budget-cutting tea-partiers cottons on to the fact that there's a US company now building a commercial 53 tonnes (58 short ton) launcher for ~$100 million per launch? (As opposed to 4/3 at 70 tonnes and >$1 billion per launch)...

Offline Pheogh

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1067 on: 04/05/2011 07:33 pm »
(As opposed to 4/3 at 70 tonnes and >$1 billion per launch)...

Where oh where did you get this? and so be it! NASA (leadership) and its greedy special interest ilk are  the architects of this disaster. If Elon can put his promises into reality more power to him.

There is no question in my mind that the capable people at NASA could have accomplished great things, but the time to have done it was squandered nearly 4 years ago when they should have turned in full force on their general and gotten the program back on a more reasonable and practical footing. This would have been about the time that Elon was blowing up coral BTW. sad so very sad.

Offline simonbp

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1068 on: 04/05/2011 07:46 pm »
Where oh where did you get this?

Empirical data. In FY2010 NASA spent $3.1014 billion on the Shuttle program, and launched three Shuttles; thus, the effective cost was $1.033 billion per flight. A 4/3-style rocket would be just as complex as Shuttle, use the same infrastructure and overhead, and therefore cost similar at the same flight rate. However, since SLS would likely fly less than three times per year, and since most of those costs are fixed, it's reasonable to assume that it's higher. It could be lower, though, down to maybe $0.8 billion, but that's pushing it.

Either way, it's hard to justify the cost of a rocket that's 400-500% more expensive than Falcon Heavy, but has only 30% more performance...
« Last Edit: 04/05/2011 07:49 pm by simonbp »

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1069 on: 04/05/2011 07:55 pm »
Either way, it's hard to justify the cost of a rocket that's 400-500% more expensive than Falcon Heavy, but has only 30% more performance...

Only if you assume that FH will actually lift 53 tons at the cost advertised and be consistently successful at it. We can't assume that yet, which is basically the same reason Congress desired SLS as a backup for commercial crew.

If SpaceX succeeds with the advertised price/performance of FH, it could be a game changer, but the jury is still out.

Offline simonbp

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1070 on: 04/05/2011 08:00 pm »
If SpaceX succeeds with the advertised price/performance of FH, it could be a game changer, but the jury is still out.

But they could be off by a factor of four in price and still be cheaper! The only way SLS could be cheaper is if the plant at Hawthorne were to suddenly blow up...

Offline Halidon

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1071 on: 04/05/2011 08:26 pm »
But they could be off by a factor of four in price and still be cheaper! The only way SLS could be cheaper is if the plant at Hawthorne were to suddenly blow up...
Don't give Sen. Shelby any ideas.

Offline spacetraveler

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1072 on: 04/05/2011 08:32 pm »
If SpaceX succeeds with the advertised price/performance of FH, it could be a game changer, but the jury is still out.

But they could be off by a factor of four in price and still be cheaper! The only way SLS could be cheaper is if the plant at Hawthorne were to suddenly blow up...

I don't think there's any way SLS would ever be cheaper. But the argument made in Congress for SLS as a backup crew vehicle was mostly about reliability and not cost. Now that might not be a problem if FH proves it's reliability over the long term, but we are a long ways out from that. They are doing some complex things here like crossfeed that have not really been done this way before.

Offline Downix

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1073 on: 04/05/2011 09:04 pm »
If SpaceX succeeds with the advertised price/performance of FH, it could be a game changer, but the jury is still out.

But they could be off by a factor of four in price and still be cheaper! The only way SLS could be cheaper is if the plant at Hawthorne were to suddenly blow up...

I don't think there's any way SLS would ever be cheaper. But the argument made in Congress for SLS as a backup crew vehicle was mostly about reliability and not cost. Now that might not be a problem if FH proves it's reliability over the long term, but we are a long ways out from that. They are doing some complex things here like crossfeed that have not really been done this way before.
I can find ways to make SLS cheaper.  But then again, been working on it for awhile.  And not cheaper than EELV's, just comparable
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Offline PeterAlt

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1074 on: 04/09/2011 03:14 am »
So the budget agreement made tonight for FY 2011... Does this mean both houses reached an agreement for NASA's FY 2011 budget as well? No individual appropriation bills by each chamber and no compromise committees? A single bill that will be voted on in both chambers quickly for the President's signature?

Wow, talk about unconventional appropiations!

Anyone know what's in the NASA appropriations part of the bill?

Offline 2552

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1075 on: 04/09/2011 04:59 am »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1076 on: 04/09/2011 11:26 am »
So the budget agreement made tonight for FY 2011... Does this mean both houses reached an agreement for NASA's FY 2011 budget as well? No individual appropriation bills by each chamber and no compromise committees? A single bill that will be voted on in both chambers quickly for the President's signature?

Wow, talk about unconventional appropiations!

Anyone know what's in the NASA appropriations part of the bill?

Nothing NASA-specific in this short-term CR; the "full-year" CR to be (hopefully) adopted next week will have that, but the content has "largely" been agreed to. NASA should be in decent shape.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline EE Scott

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1077 on: 04/09/2011 12:07 pm »
So the budget agreement made tonight for FY 2011... Does this mean both houses reached an agreement for NASA's FY 2011 budget as well? No individual appropriation bills by each chamber and no compromise committees? A single bill that will be voted on in both chambers quickly for the President's signature?

Wow, talk about unconventional appropiations!

Anyone know what's in the NASA appropriations part of the bill?

Nothing NASA-specific in this short-term CR; the "full-year" CR to be (hopefully) adopted next week will have that, but the content has "largely" been agreed to. NASA should be in decent shape.

Thanks very much for that information.
Scott

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1078 on: 04/09/2011 12:13 pm »
Bolden will testify at a Senate CJS subcommittee hearing on Monday at 4 p.m.:
http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=527faa7f-5915-46f2-9f7f-ba2571f12289

Quote
Monday, April 11, 2011
Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee (Chairman Mikulski)
Time and Location: 4 p.m., Dirksen 192
Agenda: FY 2012 Budget Request for NASA
Witness:The Honorable Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
             Administrator
             National Aeronautics and Space Administration
« Last Edit: 04/09/2011 12:18 pm by yg1968 »

Offline styler

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Re: NASA FY 2011 Appropriations - preview
« Reply #1079 on: 04/09/2011 12:28 pm »
Regarding Simon's extrapolation of $1.3 billion, I may have missed something in the figures but how much was spent on the launcher and how much on the human payload regarding training and peripherals such as keeping the T-38s flying?

If they aren't separate, then the peripherals are part of the "program" costs that will also need to be considered when making comparisons with any new launch systems.

Also, it's may be worthy to understand that in the world of budgets one budget may spend the money, but then charge back to another. In other words, if I have a budget for maintaining a fuel system for Rocket Type A and need to pay overtime for the launch of Type B I may have the ability to recoup some of that money by charging against the system being launched. But, for budget purposes I need to account upfront for overtime or else can't authorize people to work. I can't say that sort of thing would or wouldn't skew the $1.3 billion figure in a big way, but when throwing around figures it's important to know the things for which the figures account so you're starting with a real number and not an artifact of budget.
STS-2, STS-131, ...

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