Author Topic: Senate CJS Appropriation Bill Full Committee Markup June 5th at 10 AM  (Read 65147 times)

Offline Rocket Science

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"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline john smith 19

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"Rolled up into a minbus with 2 other bills"

Sounds like a classic "Either you vote yes to all of it or none of it gets through" squeeze play.

I read RA Heinlein's "Magic Inc" as a kid and damm if it isn't still a very handy guide to practical US politics.  :(

And not in a good way.  :(
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structure booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Online Prober

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Looks like Sen. Reid put a hold on all funding....he didn't get his way.

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Offline Sean Lynch

Marcia S. Smith gives a good explanation of status of the minibus on spacepolicyonline.
Senate Appropriations Process Hits a Snag, Minibus Derailed for Now

Quote from: From the article
Optimism about completing congressional action on at least some FY2015 appropriations bills earlier than usual hit a wall today (June 19) when the Senate postponed action on a set of three appropriations bills, including those that fund NASA, NOAA and the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.  Substantive issues underlie the disagreement, but they are unrelated to the space program and are being manifested in procedural moves.
Really appreciate the way Marcia explains procedural issues.


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Offline john smith 19

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Marcia S. Smith gives a good explanation of status of the minibus on spacepolicyonline.
Senate Appropriations Process Hits a Snag, Minibus Derailed for Now

Quote from: From the article
Optimism about completing congressional action on at least some FY2015 appropriations bills earlier than usual hit a wall today (June 19) when the Senate postponed action on a set of three appropriations bills, including those that fund NASA, NOAA and the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.  Substantive issues underlie the disagreement, but they are unrelated to the space program and are being manifested in procedural moves.
Really appreciate the way Marcia explains procedural issues.

I think the bit about the Republicans desire to dismantle the "Clean Air" and "Clean Water" acts, effectively by the back door,  would probably make quite a few people annoyed.  :(
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structure booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline Mongo62

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From the article:

Quote
Yesterday (June 18), Shelby, a long-standing critic of the commercial crew program, defended the language on the Senate floor saying its intent was “not to up-end a fixed-price contract: rather the goal is to make certain that the price NASA has agreed to pay for vehicle development matches actual development expenditures.

If it's a fixed-price contract, what difference does it make what the actual supplier expenses are? The cost to the government is the same whatever the supplier's expenses might be. If the expenses were so high that the supplier went out of business, then yes it would be an issue, but that possibility is negligible. Shelby is just fishing for a semi-plausible excuse to kill commercial crew.

Offline john smith 19

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From the article:
If it's a fixed-price contract, what difference does it make what the actual supplier expenses are? The cost to the government is the same whatever the supplier's expenses might be. If the expenses were so high that the supplier went out of business, then yes it would be an issue, but that possibility is negligible. Shelby is just fishing for a semi-plausible excuse to kill commercial crew.
Or cripple everyone who's not geared up to handle those reporting requirements IE Everyone not Boeing.

More work for Decata, Alb?  :(
BFS. The worlds first Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structure A380 sized aerospaceplane tail sitter capable of flying in Earth and Mars atmospheres. BFR. The worlds biggest Methane fueled FFORSC engined CFRP stainless steel structure booster for BFS. First flight to Mars by end of 2022. Forward looking statements. T&C apply. Believe no one. Run your own numbers. So, you are going to Mars to start a better life? Picture it in your mind. Now say what it is out loud.

Offline QuantumG

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Or cripple everyone who's not geared up to handle those reporting requirements IE Everyone not Boeing.

SNC says they can. Blue Origin probably can too. Orbital/ATK definitely can.

This is a specific attack at SpaceX.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline spacetraveler

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Or cripple everyone who's not geared up to handle those reporting requirements IE Everyone not Boeing.

SNC says they can. Blue Origin probably can too. Orbital/ATK definitely can.

This is a specific attack at SpaceX.

Well, since SpaceX and Boeing are realistically the only two contenders for the commercial crew contract, that's not all that surprising.

Offline QuantumG

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Well, since SpaceX and Boeing are realistically the only two contenders for the commercial crew contract, that's not all that surprising.

Nah. It's an open competition.  ::)
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Sean Lynch

Well, since SpaceX and Boeing are realistically the only two contenders for the commercial crew contract, that's not all that surprising.

Nah. It's an open competition.  ::)
QG, You crack me up. I'll get you a golden unicorn for your birthday.

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Offline Sean Lynch

From the article:

Quote
Yesterday (June 18), Shelby, a long-standing critic of the commercial crew program, defended the language on the Senate floor saying its intent was “not to up-end a fixed-price contract: rather the goal is to make certain that the price NASA has agreed to pay for vehicle development matches actual development expenditures.

If it's a fixed-price contract, what difference does it make what the actual supplier expenses are? The cost to the government is the same whatever the supplier's expenses might be. If the expenses were so high that the supplier went out of business, then yes it would be an issue, but that possibility is negligible. Shelby is just fishing for a semi-plausible excuse to kill commercial crew.
Shelby's transparency rules are shockingly transparent...

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Offline deltaV

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Quote
The Senate provides no specific FY 2015 funding for a mission to Europe, which is believed to have a substantial ocean beneath its frozen surface.

That would be an interesting find...

People have known about the ocean beneath Europe for many decades. :)

Offline yg1968

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« Last Edit: 06/25/2014 03:09 am by yg1968 »

Offline Sean Lynch

CSF continuing to criticize Shelb's anti-commercial crew language:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-lopezalegria/new-restrictions-on-nasa-_b_5526013.html?1403626891
Glad to see the threat to NASA commercial programs moving into more mainstream media.

From the article:
Quote
Flying our astronauts should be a national strategic priority, and NASA should be free to continue expanding its use of public-private partnerships and building on its successes. NASA will always lead our nation's exploration of space, but it must empower all the members of the team that makes that happen, including commercial companies. If Congress can ensure that NASA is cutting bureaucracy and getting the most value for its money, our nation will have a bright future of space exploration ahead of it. If not, our human spaceflight program may be a disappointment for years to come.
Pump up the volume; discuss and share on social media.
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-JFK May 25, 1961

Online SWGlassPit

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I also noticed this little gem about Boeing's approach to Commercial Crew

http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/40931boeing-preparing-layoff-notices-in-case-of-commercial-crew-loss

This isn't the first time Boeing have played the "Give us the Commercial Crew contract or the workforce gets it" routine either.  :(

I have to wonder did Boeing stockholders vote to behave this way?  :(

It's not pretty, but it's perfectly reasonable corporate behavior.  I'd say, in fact, that Boeing's management has a fiduciary obligation to its shareholders to at least consider the use of all legal means at its disposal to win the contract.

Boom and bust is the nature of all government contract work.  RIFs are par for the course, regardless of the company or industry.  The difference here is that companies the size and diversity of Boeing can continue to exist after losing a contract.  There were plenty of stories over the past year about small businesses completely vanishing after losing government contract work due to the sequester and subsequent shutdown.

More to the point: CST-100 is being designed to serve as a LEO taxi.  In the reasonably near term, NASA is the only potential customer.  If it's not selected, then it's a product with no viable market (sure, maybe someday, but not in any reasonable time frame).  If the CST-100 is downselected out, why would they spend money to support a product nobody will buy?  Sure, they can transition at least some of the workforce into other programs, but like for any other large organization, those transitions would be based on business needs and workforce skills; it doesn't make sense to shoehorn engineers into work they have no experience in on a program that doesn't need the extra help.

TL;DR -- it's not a threat; it's the simple reality of being a government contractor.


Online Prober

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Op-eds on the Shelby language:
http://www.spacenews.com/article/opinion/41086focusing-on-priorities-in-human-access-to-leo
http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Rockets-red-tape-5594148.php
http://www.spacepolitics.com/2014/07/03/no-action-but-more-commentary-on-shelbys-commercial-crew-cost-language/

Should be less Shelby bashing.  Senator Shelby is one of the "good guys".  Many might disagree, but he is an old school politician.   They sat down and worked with each other, compromised etc.   Whatever people think of Shelby, and a few other politicians; they understood NASA and congress.   When they are gone IMHO, they will be missed at least they tried to keep the lights on.
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Offline yg1968

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I would rather have a lower NASA budget and a lower budget for commercial crew than have language like this remain in the bill. This language goes against the very nature of commercial partnerships. It needs to go.

Offline Coastal Ron

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...at least they tried to keep the lights on.

Isn't that one of the definitions of "pork"?  That work is funded even though work is not really needed?

If so, then as a taxpayer I'm not happy about that, regardless what department or agency it's in.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

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