Author Topic: LIVE: Congressional Hearings into Obama's NASA Budget FY2011 - Feb 24-25 Part 2  (Read 319873 times)

Offline bad_astra

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I can't believe that Senator's are that stupid. Aloof, pedantic, and out of touch, yes, but they can add up to the number five. There is no way Cx would be ready to end the gap. The only thing that could is Shuttleextension. It's highly unlikely too that Ares I/Orion would be ready before the simplest commercial options.

But Cx a program many of them put their votes towards, and Shuttle is a program many of them put their vote towards cancelling. It's not about paying the Russians inflated fees for seats while giving up the high ground. It's not even about angry jobless voters in one small area of a swing state. It's about pork and personal ambition.

"Contact Light" -Buzz Aldrin

Offline Roo

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Commercial to carry all the risk is simply too much of a risk in itself. That's sheer common sense - and obviously agreed by 95% of the committee today and no doubt to be continually agreed as this 'investigation' pans out.

Roo.


Hence the whole point of doing a shuttle extension until commercial companies can establish themselves. They should have argued for that instead of defending Constellation in it's present form.

Yes - that is quite true. This is already gaining its 'logical' legs if you get my drift. I can see the Shuttle being extended, but it clearly needs more investigation. But seeing the bird fly beyond the 1st quarter of 2011 is a vision worth envisaging!

CxP is a strange one though - I for one have sat on the fence about it since watching President Bush announce the VSE. Like many programs, it has good and bad points. The clever part is going to see if any of the good points can be brought to fruition as part of a larger or more comprehensive vision than what is currently on offer.

Offline psloss

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So out of the 20-25 people there, only 1.5 people were for it.

I think we're seeing where things are heading already.
I don't see an outcome yet.  This is only talk at this stage.  Don't forget that these committees have not always been able to convince the rest of Congress to fund the mandates they have passed.  They do have influence over what NASA will do, but not as much influence over how much money NASA will get to do those things.

Offline nooneofconsequence

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Please remove your tinfoil hat before posting.


Ha ha - by the way, what's this 'tinfoil hat' comment all about then?

I just see it as it is - lots of people very angry. I know about politics, I'm English - we have it over here too. Quite a bit in fact.
Politics isn't always about anger.

When it is, we get multiple cheap wars that become expensive, launchers that never happen, and world financial crisis.
Quote

The bottom line is this, the NASA FY2011 budget is a mess. The majority of people know it, the minority don't. There are people who scream from both camps but it's always best to go with the facts you read and the facts from the committee hearings you watch.
Be sure it is a fact first. Like killing HSF by extending ISS and increasing budget? No way - not even in England with mad dogs n the noon day sun!  :D

Quote
In these lies your truth my friend.
And yours too!

Since you watch politics, you must understand that everyone plays the game in elaborate hyperbole.

They often don't believe what they say themselves.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Offline Yegor

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"Senator’s attack on NASA deputy chief Lori Garver backfires"

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_space_thewritestuff/2010/02/senators-attack-on-nasa-deputy-chief-lori-garver-backfires.html

(Please remove if duplicate.)


Wow! What is going on here?

Senator Vitter just asked who is the chief of orchestrating the cancellation of Constellation. What is wrong with this?

If this new change is so great why do they suddenly need to protect Lori Garver? If she is so genius to come up with this idea aren't she suppose to be proud with it?

It is getting worse and worse. It is just more and more convincing that it is some plan to cut NASA funding.

It hasn't been confirmed that Carver singlehandedly came up with the new budget. That's just a suspicion many hold. Check your facts. The reason they're defending her is because Vitter accused her specifically.

You missed the point. It does not matter if she has come up with the idea singlehandedly or in a group - she should feel proud to be the part of the idea!!! That is what people feel when they come up with great idea!!!

So why then does she feel offended?


Offline Yegor

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One thing I am sure about now - NASA will not get $3 additional billions - this is what seems Augustine commission pushed for.


Offline renclod

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Olson mentioned some guy (I didn't catch his name, but it's probably someone notable in NASA) on twitter that sent out the message "To those that don't like Obamas' new budget - bite me"

:o

Obviously trying to demonize everyone supporting the new budget

And it's had an effect, as an e-mail just went out telling all employees they are barred from using Twitter from this point onwards - based on amendment to "CP-A-33, Basic – SOCIAL MEDIA USAGE".

That'll go down badly with the spacetweeps.

First rule of thumb for any governmental bureaucracy when faced with embarrassing facts & leaks - Witchhunt and kill the messenger.
Well, I haven't seen any public confirmation of this yet, but 'bite me' doesn't really count as a fact or a leak.  (It would be more of a Ron Burgundy moment.)  If it's true (and I would think given the report there's an effort to track it down), it would be another example that style matters.


It is real.

Offline Andy USA

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It's a long thread, so avoid the temptation to post, for the sake of posting please.

Offline infocat13

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Okay, you guys. I've had enough of the "Obama is just doing this to cancel NASA." Conspiracy theories like that are just stupid. If you say something like "this budget undermines the political support for NASA," that's approaching a valid argument.

If Obama wanted to really cancel NASA's HSF program in a super-tricky, conspiracy-theory way, he would've let Constellation continue but very, very gradually reducing its budget and letting the Shuttle retire in 2010 (like he's doing), letting the ISS splash in 2015 (the opposite of what he's doing), decreasing funding for commercial crew and/or cargo (the complete opposite of what he's doing), and continue to cut advanced technology R&D for propulsion and human spaceflight (the opposite of what he's doing). He'd let Ares-I continue to suck the life out of NASA. Increasing the funding for NASA even by only $6 billion over 5 years is the opposite of what he would do if he was trying to kill NASA, and no amount of rationalization is going to change that.

What I want to know: If they actually support exploration so much, where the heck were all these angry Congress critters when Altair was being defunded? Why didn't they even mention this in these hearings? Hmmm??? This is ludicrous.

well....................
this subcommittee is just that, made up of members of congress who represent districts that have NASA centers.you will hear what you like from them now............the appropriations committee will kill anything that the OMB or OSTP or the white house or congressional leader ship wants or opposes  later.
did anyone listen to republican Rohrabacher in committee today?
http://rohrabacher.house.gov/
no love for constellation here so any idea of some sort of bipartisan republican / blue dog democrat save the POR is, well misguided!
it will be a compromise.............and by the November elections this year what ever has transpired could be overturned by a new congress in Jan 2011 but a hostile president could veto.
I am a member of the side mount amazing people universe however I can get excited over the EELV exploration architecture amazing people universe.Anything else is budgetary hog wash
flexible path/HERRO

Offline zerm

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I'm afraid that if this thread is going to degrade into a CxP vs Shuttle extension vs this vs that "is the only way to go" argument, we're gonna miss the bigger point in the hearings- which was correctly stated earlier.

This budget just blew up in two very important Congressional committies. The resistance to this NASA budget is significant, BUT, there is no way to really predict how it exactly will turn out. The only sure thing now appears to be that the void in the Obama budget where NASA HSF used to be WILL be filled.

Oddly, this "radical" budget may be just the Congressional kick in the pants that will do us a lot of real good. It is making the Congress sit up and take notice of what more NASA needs and this time, if they do not come across with the funding a lot will be lost- and they know it. That is probably the most interesting aspect of all of this.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 08:50 pm by zerm »

Offline jongoff

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What you haven't seen yet is the rivalries between senators when t settles in that they can't fund all of what they want and some get nothing. Then a different set of battles begin.

I think this is the fundamental problem.  Even without the commercial stuff and the R&D, there wasn't enough money being appropriated to give everyone in Congress a pony. 

Yeah, it would be great to live in a world where NASA could be given a budget big enough to:

1-Keep shuttle flying
2-Keep the shuttle workforce in a job
3-Keep flying "test launches" of "Rocket-X" (whatever that actually means)
4-Build an HLV
5-Extend ISS and increase its utilization
6-Have no job losses anywhere evar
7-Fund R&D necessary to move us to a new cost vs. performance curve
8-Fund commercial crew development so we're more than one single point failure away from losing our nation's HSF capability again
9-Restore to the science side all the funding they've lost due to CxP
10-Restore to Aeronautics all the funding it's lost to CxP

The problem is that the people on the appropriations committees (the very people dishonestly moaning about how "Obama doesn't give NASA more money" when it's their own darned job to appropriate money for NASA) have never been able to get NASA anywhere close to the resources it would need to do even a fraction of these well.  Remember, the President proposes, *Congress* disposes. 

~Jon

Offline agman25

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Online Chris Bergin

Here's a question. Is there a danger that a political fightback against the FY2011 could result in months and months of hearings etc, which might leave us with a really bad situation of shuttle ending, CxP ending and the future plan bogged down with the lawmakers?

Also, for our older members, are the current events comparable with anything in the past....I'm thinking Apollo to Shuttle, as much as I know that must have been very different?
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Offline jongoff

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The bottom line is this, the NASA FY2011 budget is a mess. The majority of people know it, the minority don't. There are people who scream from both camps but it's always best to go with the facts you read and the facts from the committee hearings you watch.

The problem is that the previous plan was also a mess.  They had a plan that *they* were underfunding, and it was already a slow-motion trainwreck.  Sure, most of those Congresspeople who are supposed to be overseeing these programs didn't care so long as money kept flowing into their districts, but that doesn't paper over the fact that CxP was in serious trouble and everyone with eyes to see knew it.

This new plan isn't perfect, but it was at least a workable solution that matched ambitions with funding and provided a way to bump NASA onto a more favorable capability vs. cost curve than its on today.  Unless Congress can step up to its responsibilities and fund everything they want NASA to do, it behooves them to find a plan they are willing to afford.  And you could do far worse than something close to the President's proposal.  The fact that politicians who see NASA as a free way to provide favors to campaign contributors and to get jobs in their districts at the expense of the rest of the nation are not happy with this isn't surprising.

I don't expect this new plan to pass, just because it makes too much sense, and focuses more on giving the nation value than on giving value to the politicians who see NASA as their own plaything.  What I think is most likely to happen is for CxP to keep lurching forward Zombie-like until it's destroyed what's left of NASA's credibility, and even its defenders in Congress can't keep it from being cancelled.

~Jon

Offline psloss

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The problem is that the people on the appropriations committees (the very people dishonestly moaning about how "Obama doesn't give NASA more money" when it's their own darned job to appropriate money for NASA) have never been able to get NASA anywhere close to the resources it would need to do even a fraction of these well.
Well, just to be clear, the televised hearings we've been arguing about in these threads are from authorizing (sub)committees, not the appropriations counterparts.  (There was an appropriations subcommittee hearing yesterday, but I haven't seen a webcast of that made available yet.)  As you note, there's often a big difference between the money authorized and that which is ultimately appropriated.

These folks have moaned about the lack of money across multiple Congresses and Administrations -- it's just that they haven't had enough sway beyond their committees.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 09:12 pm by psloss »

Offline kraisee

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Here's a question. Is there a danger that a political fightback against the FY2011 could result in months and months of hearings etc, which might leave us with a really bad situation of shuttle ending, CxP ending and the future plan bogged down with the lawmakers?

Absolutely.

That is what I started calling the "Garver Gambit" last month.

If nothing gets changed within the next 3-4 months, it will be too late to have any chance of saving Shuttle at all.

And all the options like CxP and DIRECT are all relying on that workforce.   Once they're gone, all those options also evaporate.

Congress is soon to go on Easter break.   Their year is also shortened by it being an election year.   The period in which these folk can actually "legislate" a change is rapidly shortening.   There are not very many days left for them to implement any real changes, so they better hurry.

Garver wins by default if they don't move quickly.   It is a brilliant strategic play on her part.   Is her opposition up to the challenge?   Only time will tell...

Ross.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 09:14 pm by kraisee »
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Offline MATTBLAK

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The theme tune for Garver's Plan should be "Road To Nowhere" by Talking Heads. :(
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Offline jongoff

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You missed the point. It does not matter if she has come up with the idea singlehandedly or in a group - she should feel proud to be the part of the idea!!! That is what people feel when they come up with great idea!!!

So why then does she feel offended?

I think you're missing the point.  I think that Garver likes the plan (as do I).  But the people like Vitter are trying to make this look like Garver's running the agency like a puppetmaster, which is bogus.  She isn't claiming to have come up with the ideas, because at best she was just one player among many and claiming credit would be dishonest.  But also she doesn't want to give the tinfoil hatters in Congress and the intertubes any more ammunition to fight against the President's proposal.

~Jon

Online Chris Bergin

Here's a question. Is there a danger that a political fightback against the FY2011 could result in months and months of hearings etc, which might leave us with a really bad situation of shuttle ending, CxP ending and the future plan bogged down with the lawmakers?

Absolutely.

That is what I started calling the "Garver Gambit" last month.

If nothing gets changed within the next 3-4 months, it will be too late to have any chance of saving Shuttle at all.

And all the options like CxP and DIRECT are all relying on that workforce.   Once they're gone, all those options also evaporate.

Congress is soon to go on Easter break.   Their year is also shortened by it being an election year.   The period in which these folk can actually "legislate" a change is rapidly shortening.   There are not very many days left for them to implement any real changes, so they better hurry.

Garver wins by default if they don't move quickly.   It is a brilliant strategic play on her part.   Is her opposition up to the challenge?   Only time will tell...

Ross.

Lori Garver? I must have missed the memo, but when did she become the bad person in all of this? That's why I was confused about Senator Vitter's attack on her.....as much as I wouldn't understand politics even if it slapped me in the face.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 09:16 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline infocat13

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I'm afraid that if this thread is going to degrade into a CxP vs Shuttle extension vs this vs that "is the only way to go" argument, we're gonna miss the bigger point in the hearings- which was correctly stated earlier.

This budget just blew up in two very important Congressional committies. The resistance to this NASA budget is significant, BUT, there is no way to really predict how it exactly will turn out. The only sure thing now appears to be that the void in the Obama budget where NASA HSF used to be WILL be filled.

Oddly, this "radical" budget may be just the Congressional kick in the pants that will do us a lot of real good. It is making the Congress sit up and take notice of what more NASA needs and this time, if they do not come across with the funding a lot will be lost- and they know it. That is probably the most interesting aspect of all of this.

agreed!
the new budget proposal has turned my thinking on its head. I thought that fuel depots and advanced upper stages were  really important but where things in the "Critical path" that should continue to be funded at low levels so as not to delay side mount/EELV/Jupiter 130.
now................I say let this proposed budget have its chance,I will give up shuttle extension (ouch)
Orion (ouch)
J2X
5 segment SRB
if you look at the congress you will see that there is not a monolithic block for  any of these things ,what may survive  this subcommittees hearings might be.................a goal!
but by the time anyone in congress who cares succeeds in getting anything into proposed legislation this summer it will be an amendment to the speakers or senate majority leaders language.
and this only after OMB guts it.
I am a member of the side mount amazing people universe however I can get excited over the EELV exploration architecture amazing people universe.Anything else is budgetary hog wash
flexible path/HERRO

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