Author Topic: March 27th 2014 House Hearing: A Review of the NASA Budget for Fiscal Year 2015  (Read 21661 times)

Offline Prober

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Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(
No, it was about time that a top NASA official told Congress how reality works: No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

Congress is stalling commercial crew and thus it is stalling home-grown US access to LEO and the ISS. Bolden is entirely correct in stating that no access to LEO means no need for SLS, Orion and BLEO HSF. I really don't mind that Bolden states this in his testimony in a somewhat blunt fashion. Blunt seems to be the only thing US Congress actually understands these days.

Sorry, all he did is cover his failures and say its not his fault.
 :(

Check out the exchange again when asked about access to the ISS if the Soyuz isn't available, ie the back up plan.    There is no back up plan, when pressed several times the answer came out.....wait until sometime in 2017 maybe.

Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works. 



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I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. ~ by Thomas Alva Edison

Online JBF

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Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works.

When you call in the head of department it's not to ask for details that can be handled on a lower level. It's all about politics.  What is your personal beef with commercial crew Prober? You know very well that is not the plan.  The only shot in the dark is the hope that maintaining competition will lower end costs.
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Offline vulture4

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Personally I was happy to see Bolden stand up the Congress, and I believe that is the only way to get results.  Congressional demands for cost data from the commercial contractors are completely misplaced; haven't they ever heard of firm fixed price contracting? Don't they _read_ the federal acquisition regulations? The only purpose of cost data is so that when contractors are getting cost plus they have some limitations on how much they can claim.

Offline Lar

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My respect for Bolden went way up. Wish he had vigorously defended Commercial Crew years and years ago but better late than never.
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Offline Prober

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Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works.

When you call in the head of department it's not to ask for details that can be handled on a lower level. It's all about politics.  What is your personal beef with commercial crew Prober? You know very well that is not the plan.  The only shot in the dark is the hope that maintaining competition will lower end costs.

I see the bigger picture we need Crew in 2015 not 2017.   Hope I'm wrong, but don't think I am.

This video says it better than I ever could....


« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 05:01 pm by Prober »
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Offline Rocket Science

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« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 05:25 pm by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline newpylong

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Good job General. He certainly did not hold back. I think it's pretty much on the table at this point.

Hopefully better late than never.

Sounds like Senator Brooks can't handle the heat. Turned it around and said the current Administration cancelled Constellation and thus delayed our return to space, and mothballed the shuttle. Perhaps he needs a history lesson. The Obama administration actually extended the shuttle program, and Orion wasn't due to fly until 2015, same year as Commercial Crew.

Offline Sesquipedalian

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The Obama administration actually extended the shuttle program

That was one thing they didn't do.  The Contingency Logistics Flights were made into actual flights in the previous administration, and the authorization of STS-134 was also signed by the previous administration.  STS-135 had been planned all along as a Crew Rescue Flight (as STS-335) and therefore does not qualify as a "new" addition to the manifest.

What the Obama administration did do was use the Augustine Commission to stall for time until it was too late to extend the Shuttle.  There were at least two independent attempts to keep the Shuttle flying, but neither managed to succeed before the point of no return.

Offline Rocket Science

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The Obama administration actually extended the shuttle program

That was one thing they didn't do.  The Contingency Logistics Flights were made into actual flights in the previous administration, and the authorization of STS-134 was also signed by the previous administration.  STS-135 had been planned all along as a Crew Rescue Flight (as STS-335) and therefore does not qualify as a "new" addition to the manifest.

What the Obama administration did do was use the Augustine Commission to stall for time until it was too late to extend the Shuttle.  There were at least two independent attempts to keep the Shuttle flying, but neither managed to succeed before the point of no return.
You might want to read this great article by Chris! :)

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/12/next-gen-shuttle-vehicle-secret-effort-save-orbiters-ends/

If you have, still worth reading again!
EDIT: to add link
« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 09:49 pm by Rocket Science »
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
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Offline QuantumG

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What does commercial crew have to do with Exploration?..it is only there until ISS splashdown...

That's a strange position to take. You figure LEO will just be abandoned once ISS splashes down? You figure beyond LEO exploration will have no significant LEO activities? You figure crews can't be taken beyond LEO commercially?
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online Robotbeat

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There has been talk of using commercial crew and cargo vehicles for beyond-LEO. Cygnus, Dragon, and CST-100 could certainly do this. Also, LEO is useful as a staging point for exploration (otherwise, why Ares I?).
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 Prober

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I like the Russians idea for their next station.  As a base for missions BEO.  http://www.russianspaceweb.com/opsek.html
"From official statements during 2008 and 2009, it is clear that one of the chief objectives of the OPSEK complex would be support for expeditions to Mars. All major elements of the Martian expeditionary complex, such as the main habitation module, Mars lander and nuclear-powered space tug would dock to the station before their departure from low-Earth orbit toward Mars. The Martian expedition would return to the OPSEK as well."


Maybe its time to redefine ISS into a space gateway station vs. a pure science research program.

« Last Edit: 03/28/2014 10:08 pm by Prober »
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Offline Proponent

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Having now listened to the whole hearing, I'm inclined to double-down on my previous view that Congress will eventually go along with ARRM, for three reasons:

1. As recently reported elsewhere, Rep. Edwards has more or less come on board.
2. There was talk of "if only you (NASA) kept us better informed, we might be happier with ARRM."  That sounds to me like a face-saving way to adopt a more positive stance on ARRM.
3. Unless I missed something, nobody mentioned lunar missions.  I imagine committee members finally got it through their skulls that Orion/SLS missions to the moon's surface would cost a lot.  The only clear alternative discussed, mentioned by Rep. Smith, was Mars 2021, but that mission, if done by NASA, is so fraught with risk and other problems that it's not a serious contender.

Since Smith is chairman of the Science committee, I don't take his opposition lightly.  Still, he offers no serious alternative, and it seems to me that things are shifting in ARRM's favour.

My prediction that Congress will fund ARRM is not, however, a prediction of when or whether ARRM will actually fly.
« Last Edit: 03/29/2014 05:11 pm by Proponent »

Offline Jim

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Maybe its time to redefine ISS into a space gateway station vs. a pure science research program.


It is a poor design for that and there is no need for such a station or the money to utilize it as such. 

Offline Prober

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Maybe its time to redefine ISS into a space gateway station vs. a pure science research program.


It is a poor design for that and there is no need for such a station or the money to utilize it as such.

that would come under the term "redefine" .

If you watch Mr. Bolden (near the end of the video), he makes some wild claims of shutting down Orion and SLA if he would need to shut down the ISS.    He seems to make that Nexus.

I'm saying for future BEO; maybe we should go further.  Maybe this is the time to submit a supplemental  budget with upgrades.   Some of the modules locations are in planning for movement & the Bigelow module added etc.   So how about planning in a gateway module for BEO docking.  Who knows maybe Congress would buy an increase for that?
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Offline Jim

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I'm saying for future BEO; maybe we should go further.  Maybe this is the time to submit a supplemental  budget with upgrades. 

NASA has higher priorities that aren't funded fully, why should this get more money.  Anyways, submit "supplemental  budget"?  The basic budget hasn't been approved.

Offline Prober

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I'm saying for future BEO; maybe we should go further.  Maybe this is the time to submit a supplemental  budget with upgrades. 

NASA has higher priorities that aren't funded fully, why should this get more money.  Anyways, submit "supplemental  budget"?  The basic budget hasn't been approved.

what has higher priorities than HSF?   ;D

Ok, supplemental, revised budget. ;)
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Offline woods170

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Bolden needs to learn "respect" for Congress, this performance was way, way to combative. :(
No, it was about time that a top NASA official told Congress how reality works: No bucks, no Buck Rogers.

Congress is stalling commercial crew and thus it is stalling home-grown US access to LEO and the ISS. Bolden is entirely correct in stating that no access to LEO means no need for SLS, Orion and BLEO HSF. I really don't mind that Bolden states this in his testimony in a somewhat blunt fashion. Blunt seems to be the only thing US Congress actually understands these days.

Sorry, all he did is cover his failures and say its not his fault.
 :(

Check out the exchange again when asked about access to the ISS if the Soyuz isn't available, ie the back up plan.    There is no back up plan, when pressed several times the answer came out.....wait until sometime in 2017 maybe.
Excuse me? You seem to be forgetting that the only official back up plan for No Soyuz was the one that Congress came up with: Orion. The law said it should fly starting 2016 (later morphed into 2017). Congress never even contemplated about a situation where Soyuz became unavailable before that date. And Congress never ordered an extension of the space shuttle to a point in time where Orion could seamlessly take over from STS. So, who's to blame for not having an alternative to Soyuz until 2017: US Congress.
Phase 1 of the Commercial Crew Program was kicked-off by the Obama administration with the specific intent of shortening the gap between STS and Orion-LEO-capability. But from day 1 US Congress stalled Commercial Crew and re-directed part of the requested funds into (at first) Constellation and later SLS and Orion. So, who's to blame for commercial crew increasingly becoming unable to shorten the gap: US Congress.

Don't bother playing the "Obama could have extended STS"-card. The decision to cancel STS was taken in 2004, and by the time Obama came into office it had become almost impossible to reverse that decision. The review of the US HSF program by the Augustine committee also recommended with proceeding to shut down STS.


Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works.

You very clearly did not even bother to listen to what Bolden said. He doesn't need a report to justify commercial crew. The reason for commercial crew is all too clear: throwing money at the Russians is much worse than throwing money at US firms. Throwing hundreds of millions of US government dollars towards the East where they do not serve the US economy is beyond ridiculous. Investing those dollars in US companies makes a lot more sense and will eventually rid the US space program from being dependent on a country that right now is unnecessarily making big waves in the pond of international relationships.

Your remark of "hoping" that Commercial Crew works clearly shows your attitude towards Commercial Crew. But, SLS and Orion are just as much subject to "hoping" that they will work. Neither are a given.
« Last Edit: 03/29/2014 06:59 pm by woods170 »

Offline JohnFornaro

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Sorry, all he did is cover his failures and say its not his fault.
 
Check out the exchange again when asked about access to the ISS if the Soyuz isn't available, ie the back up plan.    There is no back up plan, when pressed several times the answer came out.....wait until sometime in 2017 maybe.

Remember now this hearing was to answer the congress to obtain funds for the Agency.   The questions were asked where the funds to "fully fund" Crew were needed?   They wanted to see the report...he has none. These were very fair requests for a budget hearing.   He comes before congress asking for over a billion dollars for crew with the "hope" it might work (won't even commit to a guarantee in 2017).   

Crew's Plan is just to throw money at it and hope it works.

From reading the chatter above on this thread, and knowing what I know about previous testimony from the witness, this is the same impression that I got.

Do me a favor, willya?

What time in the hearing does this exchange take place?

Here is the hearing on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqjrMeUL5Mg&feature=youtu.be

Also:  Thanks Yves.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline JohnFornaro

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So, who's to blame for not having an alternative to Soyuz until 2017: US Congress.

Not the way I tell the story.  President Bush started shuttle cancellation without a timely successor.  All Congress and Obama did was go along with that Bush program.  YMMV.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

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