Author Topic: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009  (Read 3232 times)

Offline rdale

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NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« on: 07/08/2009 07:04 PM »
WASHINGTON -- The NASA Advisory Council will meet in the Columbia Ballroom of the Holiday Inn Capitol on July 16, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EDT. This daylong meeting is open to journalists and the public.


Following opening remarks from council chairman Kenneth Ford, NASA's acting Administrator Christopher Scolese will speak with the council.
Gen. Lester Lyles will brief the council on a recently completed study by the National Academies entitled, "Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program." Chairman of the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee Norman Augustine will provide an update about his committee's work.

The NASA Advisory Council also will discuss and deliberate on the NASA activities being reviewed by the exploration, science, aeronautics, space operations, human capital, and audit and finance committees.

For more information about NASA's Advisory Council and the meeting's agenda, visit:



http://www.nasa.gov/nac

Offline robertross

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #1 on: 07/08/2009 09:05 PM »
Thanks rdale. Should be an interesting meeting!
Remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our rights & freedoms, and for those injured, visible or otherwise, in that fight.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #2 on: 07/08/2009 11:41 PM »
Gen. Lester Lyles will brief the council on a recently completed study by the National Academies entitled, "Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program."

That report can be downloaded here:

http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12701

Offline Proponent

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #3 on: 07/09/2009 01:55 AM »
That report can be downloaded here:

http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12701

Recommendation No. 4 is that a DARPA-like entity be established within NASA to develop technology.  Anybody care to put odds on that happening?

My guess is that a DARPA within NASA will never do well, because, its benefits always being long term, its budget will constantly be raided for whatever the crisis of the day is in HSF and other programs. The solution might be to have a space-tech DARPA outside of NASA.

EDIT: Deleted extraneous 'to'.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2009 06:22 AM by Proponent »

Offline Antares

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #4 on: 07/09/2009 03:58 AM »
Actually, I wonder if NASA would do better as 100% DARPA.  Advanced development in small batches without prescribed results from the top.  NASA Engineers are still pretty smart.  It's management that tends to screw stuff up.  It would also separate out the sustaining engineers from the smart guys and gals.

What would the commercial sector do with a $18B per year space technology incubator?  A technical Renaissance, I say!  Last one to the Moon has to clean the spacesuits!
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #5 on: 07/10/2009 03:35 AM »
Also, DARPA isn't a bed of roses - there are many dark spots for the bright ones you see - no real surprise but you've got to focus on what it does well.

I was in a meeting a few weeks ago with some former senior space and defense officials and DARPA came up and there were some rumblings.  At least one person said that DARPA was an example of how not to do business.  I don't know the reasons.  I believe that in the past I have heard the criticism that there is no institutional memory there, so they do a bad job of repeating mistakes.  Didn't they have a big failure in a supercomputing initiative?

So, although people want advanced tech development, DARPA may not be the ideal model for getting it.

Offline Norm Hartnett

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #6 on: 07/11/2009 05:09 PM »
I worked for DARPA, lo these many years ago. You have to remember who they work for, if you think LM is dealing with a lot of program requirement changes with Orion imagine what the DARPA folks are handed from their many customers.

As to institutional memory, while there is a substantial civil service core in upper and middle management, many of the top level people are military officers getting their ticket punched (in and out in two years or less) and many of the low level folks are military enlisted who rotate in and out on three year cycles. (That's where I fit in.)

Still, their track record is pretty impressive, IMO.
« Last Edit: 07/11/2009 05:10 PM by Norm Hartnett »
“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 Antares

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #7 on: 07/11/2009 05:23 PM »
That military rotation is not unique to DARPA.  Most commands have that same problem.  Pity the poor officer who finds a job he/she likes and asks not to be moved.  No more promotions.
If I like something on NSF, it's probably because I know it to be accurate.  Every once in a while, it's just something I agree with.  Facts generally receive the former.

Offline infocat13

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #8 on: 07/12/2009 02:10 AM »
The space studies board  report on Page 35  ( national academy)  states that abrupt changes in programs or goals can be be disruptive this is why I believe that an Aries 1  descope is in order not a cancellation. finish the first test flight. Descope into 5 segment SRB  to completion. Some form of a upper stage/ earth departure stage for both EELV/side mounted or direct or Ares V. This would be a true form of launch vehicle modularity/commonality
sharing a upper stage with a “Commercial” vehicle and a “government vehicle” makes since but the difference between a government vehicle and a commercial one  may be a silly one if a mass market where to develop for launch services.
so a mass market?

An idea.      A Planned  'off the shelf”  component strategy!
If the launch services consumer community where to agree to some common architecture for at least some common component.  What do I mean by this?
The government orders under a two year  congressional authorization  a mass order for some component ,existing rocket engine comes to mind. The engine for the Delta for example, buy 300 with an option for 100 more. The first 300 must be built in two years. This means three full shifts per day. The government stores the(the unused portion) lot for future use...............the option for another 100 lets you allow for planned incremental upgrades to the product.
I would not recommend this strategy for computers or avionics but I would try this with structural components.
Please see the chart 2.6 on the national academy report , “Space based economic pyramid” “Economic impact of space based assets is in the hundreds of billions of dollars but this does not mean as of yet a mass market for space craft components.
An analogy?
A nuclear power plant in 2009 dollars is maybe 8 to 10 billion dollars but is paid for with  40 years of rate payers this makes it maybe a couple of cents per kilowatt hour more then a coal powered plant.
This difference in price makes it tough to borrow money to build a nuclear plant verse a coal powered one.

so....................
my other post that suggests using federal dollars earmarked for disposing of nuclear waste as a market driver for launch vehicles  but we should purchase in mass components and place in a off the shelf standby makes economic sense

I am a member of the side mount fanboy universe however I can get excited over the EELV exploration architecture fanboy universe.Anything else is budgetary hog wash
flexible path/HERRO

Offline Jim

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #9 on: 07/12/2009 02:17 AM »
That military rotation is not unique to DARPA.  Most commands have that same problem.  Pity the poor officer who finds a job he/she likes and asks not to be moved.  No more promotions.

Hence the reason I got out

Offline Blackstar

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #10 on: 07/12/2009 12:40 PM »
That military rotation is not unique to DARPA.  Most commands have that same problem.  Pity the poor officer who finds a job he/she likes and asks not to be moved.  No more promotions.

The National Reconnaissance Office was one of the few places where a military officer could stay in place for several tours and build up the expertise necessary for running a program, overseeing contractors, etc.  Of course, one limitation of this was that it really hurt careers and made it hard for an Air Force officer to make colonel, let alone general (the big blank spot on their resume did not help either).  Lots of people stuck with it because the work was so rewarding.  I don't know if that situation changed significantly in the 1990s after the NRO became more focused on military missions.

Offline Jim

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #11 on: 07/12/2009 12:48 PM »

The National Reconnaissance Office was one of the few places where a military officer could stay in place for several tours and build up the expertise necessary for running a program, overseeing contractors, etc.

They also could move seamlessly between LA, Vandenberg, Cape, and Sunnyvale; and go in and out of the black/white world.  That is what many of my contemporaries did. 

Offline Michael Cassutt

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #12 on: 07/12/2009 04:02 PM »
That military rotation is not unique to DARPA.  Most commands have that same problem.  Pity the poor officer who finds a job he/she likes and asks not to be moved.  No more promotions.

The National Reconnaissance Office was one of the few places where a military officer could stay in place for several tours and build up the expertise necessary for running a program, overseeing contractors, etc.  Of course, one limitation of this was that it really hurt careers and made it hard for an Air Force officer to make colonel, let alone general (the big blank spot on their resume did not help either).  Lots of people stuck with it because the work was so rewarding.  I don't know if that situation changed significantly in the 1990s after the NRO became more focused on military missions.

I believe that military details to NRO are currently four years, not the standard three.

Michael Cassutt

Offline Jim

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Re: NASA Advisory Council, July 16 2009
« Reply #13 on: 07/12/2009 04:10 PM »

I believe that military details to NRO are currently four years, not the standard three.

I had 5 years in LA in the white Shuttle program office and 4 years at the Cape while on a SAFSP control list.

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