Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 552367 times)

Offline Jeff Bingham

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Does that preclude an Authorization Bill in the 11 hour if say the house decides to go along with the Senate Bill as being the lesser of 2 evils the CR being the other evil?

The possibility exists for the House to take up and pass the Senate-passed bill and send it directly to the President at ANY point between right now and before they go into recess, presumably near the end of next week.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline simonbp

The possibility exists for the House to take up and pass the Senate-passed bill and send it directly to the President at ANY point between right now and before they go into recess, presumably near the end of next week.

What kind of probability would you give that possibility?

Offline jongoff

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Without it, under a clean CR (which is what is expected), the layoffs continue, no real work gets done in the direction of a new HLLV, whatever the design concept, and, in all likelihood, LON goes away and complete shuttle termination/eradication remains the agency focus. I don't see how that helps anyone, except those who prefer those outcomes anyway.

It would certainly be good for those who oppose SDLV. It would also be good for SpaceX and to a lesser extent ULA. It would probably be bad for Boeing and especially for LM, which would be only partially offset by good news for ULA. It would be really bad for SDLV supporters. But a CR might not be the worst thing in the world for all of them. If ATK expects SDLV to fail reasonably soon, no matter which one is chosen, then they're better off with continuation of Ares I and 5 seg development, even if it is only for a year. If the Shuttle workforce is dispersed then that means less competition for that chunk of NASA's budget, which would be good for other NASA centers. I wouldn't be surprised if many of the players are expecting SDLV to continue in some form for a short while, before giving up the ghost eventually. Those players may be positioning themselves for what happens then. In that case they're not trying to save SDLV, but trying to salvage as much from the wreckage as possible.

I don't know Martijn.  I think I'm about as pro-commercial as they get.  And I'm not totally satisfied with the Senate approach.  But a scorched earth approach is more likely to get Commercial space some powerful enemies, who tend to hold grudges.  I'd rather see a compromise that at least gave commercial and technology development a fair shake, even if that compromise means what I see as wasting billions of dollars on an unnecessary HLV with no clear mission.  Sure, there are lots of risks that the HLV will try to suck all the air out of the room, again...but do you really want to be dealing with members of congress who have a vendetta against commercial space?  That just seems like an ugly recipe.

I haven't spoken with my new congressperson out in CO yet, but if I get a chance to, I'm going to suggest supporting the Senate version (and opposing the House version) as a compromise that while I'm not happy with it, I can live with it.

~Jon

Offline Namechange User

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Wow, thanks for the endorsement and somewhat backhanded slap Jon.  I guess the saying, "with friends like this, who needs enemies" holds true in this sense. 

As always, I and others will always wish "commercial" success because, in the end, we all need to work together in one industry.  That will be true for me even if a colleague in another section of this same industry holds disdain for the work done in the past, possible present and future, and insults his peers seemingly every chance he gets. 

Again best of luck to you in your future endeavors!!
Enjoying viewing the forum a little better now by filtering certain users.

Offline M_Puckett

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Jon gets it.

Being a one true wayist is a sure way to get ashes as your reward down the road.

Offline mmeijeri

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I'm not sure either of course. It depends on what policies you think would be most helpful to commercialisation of space. I can think of three broad categories:

- exploration with propellant transfer and competive commercial launches
- commercial crew
- R&D, especially funding for suborbital RLVs

The first would be the most effective and the most exciting, but also the most expensive. Bigelow appears to think the second is likely to lead to a breakthrough, but that is hardly certain. It would help of course and it is worth trying. It would be less expensive but also less exciting. The third option would be the cheapest and least effective in the short run. On the other hand it would be very likely to work in the long run.

The first two of these would be damaged most by a CR, but the first is fading so fast regardless of what happens that it may not be much of a loss compared to what else is available. The second could also be badly affected, but at least we'd still have CRS. The third isn't affected terribly badly in any case. It might not get a lot of money, but it wouldn't need a lot either.

From that perspective it doesn't sound so bad compared to the alternatives. And a scorched earth policy would at least remove the largest obstacle to a rational space policy. The consequence of that might be not to have a manned space program at all. I'm sure that most here would consider that a disaster, but I think it is highly unlikely to happen and personally I wouldn't consider it a disaster if it did.

All IMHO of course.
We will be vic-toooooo-ri-ous!!!

Offline M_Puckett

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A scorched earth policy will result in powerful enemies de-funding your vision Martin.

You are living in a make-believe land if you think things will pan out the way you want. You are playing Russian Roulette expecting to be showered in sunshine and skittles if you win.  The problem with Russian Roulette is if you win, you end up no better off than you are now.  We know what happens if you lose.

You are an extremist and history shows the extremist is ultimately rejected.  It is those men of vision and courage who are flexible enough to compromise for the greater good that ultimately prevail.

Offline M_Puckett

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Could the NASA Administration though take a new authorized bill and decide actions on that even though there is a CR without any specific NASA directive language ? So if you passed the Senate bill in Congress they could act on that basis even with a CR with FY2010 funding ?

Yes, strictly speaking they could, though with some limitations due to overall less money in continuing at FY 2010 levels.

My understanding is after the CR, the House and Senate are going to re-conviene after thanksgiving during a lame duck session to pass FY 11.

Offline mmeijeri

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M_Puckett, I don't think you understand my motivation. I am not in favour of "one true way", since I don't believe there is such a thing. Just as there is more than one good way, there are very many bad ways too. Three of those are on offer today. Briefly there appeared to be one that was reasonably good, even if it wasn't perfect. That option has now all but disappeared. Of the three remaining options a CR seems like the least bad to me, but then again my goals don't seem to be compatible with those of the majority of posters here.
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Offline mmeijeri

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Concerning defunding: I'd like to see NASA's budget cut by $4B. A minority position around here to be sure.
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Offline Jeff Bingham

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They will only accept it if it's part of an enacted NASA Authorization bill.
We could have an enacted reauthorization for NASA, but still have a 'clean' CR that only refers to the FY2010 enacted appropriations, without explicit language for NASA.  In that case, I don't believe the newly authorized numbers would apply.  The oft-used phrase 'unfunded mandate' comes to mind, but I would welcome corrections.  This is an unique situation.



You're basically correct, as far as the numbers go, but remember, an authorization bill is not just about MONEY and authorization of appropriations. That accounts for about 5% of the bill's language. The rest is about POLICY and PROGRAM authority and direction. THAT's as much, if not more, what is at stake here...a redefinition of the DIRECTION that NASA and especially its human spaceflight programs will be headed in the near and long-term future.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Jeff Bingham

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The possibility exists for the House to take up and pass the Senate-passed bill and send it directly to the President at ANY point between right now and before they go into recess, presumably near the end of next week.

What kind of probability would you give that possibility?

If I had a good answer to that question, I wouldn't need to be watching the dosages of my blood pressure medicine so carefully, hehe.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline psloss

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My understanding is after the CR, the House and Senate are going to re-conviene after thanksgiving during a lame duck session to pass FY 11.
It sure sounds like they will try, but the results of the election are likely to have a big influence on what kind of appropriations are passed.  If the Republicans gain a large number of seats and control of the House or Senate, GOP members may want to do as little as possible (i.e., another CR).

Offline M_Puckett

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Concerning defunding: I'd like to see NASA's budget cut by $4B. A minority position around here to be sure.

Then there goes commercial crew.  Guess who has the least-protected interests at this point?

Offline Robotbeat

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Concerning defunding: I'd like to see NASA's budget cut by $4B. A minority position around here to be sure.
Killing NASA does not help the expansion of humanity throughout the cosmos. Reducing its budget by that much (effectively killing manned spaceflight at NASA, not just NASA launch infrastructure) won't help, either, even if you think NASA "shouldn't be in the launch vehicle business."
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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Concerning defunding: I'd like to see NASA's budget cut by $4B. A minority position around here to be sure.

Then there goes commercial crew.  Guess who has the least-protected interests at this point?
Commercial crew isn't dependent solely on NASA. It can continue, albeit at a slow pace.
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 mmeijeri

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Killing NASA does not help the expansion of humanity throughout the cosmos. Reducing its budget by that much (effectively killing manned spaceflight at NASA, not just NASA launch infrastructure) won't help, either, even if you think NASA "shouldn't be in the launch vehicle business."

That is certainly true, but if you think it wasn't going to help very much anyway, then that's not a big loss. In principle you could increase spending later, though by that time you might no longer have the special interests in Congress fighting for a bigger budget. If the rest of Congress then doesn't want to fund it, then that's not necessarily a bad outcome if you believe in limited government. That is not a generally accepted belief of course.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Killing NASA does not help the expansion of humanity throughout the cosmos. Reducing its budget by that much (effectively killing manned spaceflight at NASA, not just NASA launch infrastructure) won't help, either, even if you think NASA "shouldn't be in the launch vehicle business."

That is certainly true, but if you think it wasn't going to help very much anyway, then that's not a big loss. In principle you could increase spending later, though by that time you might no longer have the special interests in Congress fighting for a bigger budget. If the rest of Congress then doesn't want to fund it, then that's not necessarily a bad outcome if you believe in limited government. That is not a generally accepted belief of course.
We're going to have rich folks and government employees flying into space. You really think there are going to be any more rich folks flying into space if we eliminate all the government employees?

We will someday have zero-gee industry, which will allow regular folk to fly in space. And eventually, middle class folk will be able to afford it by choice (not just profession) because of decreases in spaceflight costs. The knowledge that we've gained from NASA is valuable for both of those.

I've read a lot of libertarian primary sources. Doesn't make sense to me. I mean, a lot of libertarians still probably support some role in government funding for things like NASA.

EDIT:Besides, planetary defense can be considered a viable governmental role (according to libertarians), and it's one of the things that NASA is tasked with (although it isn't funded very well at all).
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 09:57 pm 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 mmeijeri

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We're going to have rich folks and government employees flying into space. You really think there are going to be any more rich folks flying into space if we eliminate all the government employees?

I wasn't advocating eliminating all the government employees. But if you did, yes it could mean you had fewer rich people going into space. Not something space enthusiasts might like, but not necessarily a bad thing in the larger scheme of things.

Quote
I've read a lot of libertarian primary sources. Doesn't make sense to me. I mean, a lot of libertarians still probably support some role in government funding for things like NASA.

It isn't irrational not to be a libertarian. All I was saying is supporting a CR need not be an irrational position either, even if you would like to see commercial development of space.
« Last Edit: 09/22/2010 09:59 pm by mmeijeri »
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Offline psloss

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They will only accept it if it's part of an enacted NASA Authorization bill.
We could have an enacted reauthorization for NASA, but still have a 'clean' CR that only refers to the FY2010 enacted appropriations, without explicit language for NASA.  In that case, I don't believe the newly authorized numbers would apply.  The oft-used phrase 'unfunded mandate' comes to mind, but I would welcome corrections.  This is an unique situation.



You're basically correct, as far as the numbers go, but remember, an authorization bill is not just about MONEY and authorization of appropriations. That accounts for about 5% of the bill's language. The rest is about POLICY and PROGRAM authority and direction. THAT's as much, if not more, what is at stake here...a redefinition of the DIRECTION that NASA and especially its human spaceflight programs will be headed in the near and long-term future.
Agreed; however, I haven't seen a definitive/consensus answer this year about what happens to some of the directorates and programs depending on the variables involved in enactment of a reauthorization, particularly the timing -- given a lot of layoffs are coming up next week and again at the end of the year.  The general question is what happens if the policy (w/mandates) is enacted after the workforce is (more or less) gone.

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