Author Topic: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?  (Read 198924 times)

Offline Proponent

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #780 on: 03/12/2018 08:48 PM »
Wow, after not having had an administrator for over a year, there the leadership situation NASA is now becoming even worse.

Who is currently in line to run NASA after Lightfoot's departure?  According to the NY Times, not only is the post of deputy administrator vacant, but the Trump administration has not even nominated anyone for the role, nor is there a chief of staff.

Marcia Smith has tweeted Lightfoot's resignation letter.

« Last Edit: 03/12/2018 08:58 PM by Proponent »

Offline butters

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #781 on: 03/12/2018 09:02 PM »
Wow, after not having had an administrator for over a year, there the leadership situation NASA is now becoming even worse.

Who is currently in line to run NASA after Lightfoot's departure?

Marcia Smith has tweeted Lightfoot's resignation letter.

The Acting Associate Administrator is Steve Jurczyk. He was given this title on Friday...  ::)

Jurczyk is a veteran of Langley and Goddard, primarily managing aeronautics and earth science programs. On spec, he doesn't exactly seem like the type that this White House would be inclined to support for NASA Administrator.

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #782 on: 03/13/2018 01:53 AM »
NASA Acting Administrator Lightfoot to retire, dated March 12

Quote
In addition to the stalled Bridenstine nomination, the White House has not nominated a deputy administrator for the agency. The nomination of Jeffrey DeWit to be NASA chief financial officer, announced in November, is pending confirmation by the full Senate.

NASA recently named Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator for space technology and former director of the Langley Research Center, as acting associate administrator, taking over the responsibilities Lightfoot held in that position. Krista Paquin serves as deputy associate administrator, a position she took in November.
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #783 on: 03/13/2018 07:31 AM »
Marcia Smithís write-up of Lightfootís departure, including an explanation of the options for a new acting administrator:

https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/lightfoot-retirement-and-impasse-over-bridenstine-puts-nasa-leadership-in-limbo/

Offline Proponent

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #784 on: 03/13/2018 12:28 PM »
Do we have any idea as to why Lightfoot is resigning?

Offline woods170

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #785 on: 03/13/2018 01:02 PM »
Pence upping the pressure on the US Senate to confirm Bridenstine:

https://twitter.com/VP/status/973348179029655552

Quote from: Mike Pence
Capping nearly 30 years in government, we thank Robert Lightfoot for his service to @NASA & our Nation. @RepJBridenstine would continue @NASAís important work & the Senate should swiftly confirm him as Administrator to carry on NASAís proud tradition.

Offline clongton

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #786 on: 03/13/2018 03:13 PM »
Do we have any idea as to why Lightfoot is resigning?

He is not resigning. He is retiring. There is a huge difference.
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #787 on: 03/13/2018 03:19 PM »
Per Wikipedia he's in his mid-50s.  I would guess he's planning to do something with his time besides spending it with the kids and grandkids.

EDIT:  "{er" -> "Per"
« Last Edit: 03/13/2018 06:26 PM by Proponent »

Offline zubenelgenubi

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #788 on: 03/13/2018 04:32 PM »
Re: Robert Lightfoot retiring from federal civil service, which doesn't necessarily = never working again.

What will he do next?

(If necessary, mods, please create a splinter thread.)
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Online FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #789 on: 03/13/2018 06:24 PM »
Pence upping the pressure on the US Senate to confirm Bridenstine:

https://twitter.com/VP/status/973348179029655552

Quote from: Mike Pence
Capping nearly 30 years in government, we thank Robert Lightfoot for his service to @NASA & our Nation. @RepJBridenstine would continue @NASAís important work & the Senate should swiftly confirm him as Administrator to carry on NASAís proud tradition.

Trouble is I donít think this will have any impact on the Senate. Positions seem too entrenched and thereís no real (political) price to not confirming Bridenstine. If the Democrats make any gains in November then I think itís game over for Bridenstine. I can see the stalemate lasting until at least then, unless an opportunity arises to confirm him before then. Iím afraid that the most likely outcome is the search for a different nominee at some point in the future.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #790 on: 03/13/2018 06:35 PM »
Pence upping the pressure on the US Senate to confirm Bridenstine:

https://twitter.com/VP/status/973348179029655552

Quote from: Mike Pence
Capping nearly 30 years in government, we thank Robert Lightfoot for his service to @NASA & our Nation. @RepJBridenstine would continue @NASA’s important work & the Senate should swiftly confirm him as Administrator to carry on NASA’s proud tradition.

Trouble is I don’t think this will have any impact on the Senate. Positions seem too entrenched and there’s no real (political) price to not confirming Bridenstine. If the Democrats make any gains in November then I think it’s game over for Bridenstine. I can see the stalemate lasting until at least then, unless an opportunity arises to confirm him before then. I’m afraid that the most likely outcome is the search for a different nominee at some point in the future.

I'm inclined to agree.  A few years ago, discussions about Orion/SLS often involved demands for presidential leadership.  I disagreed then, as it seemed to me that people were for the most part demanding a larger NASA budget when the fundamental problem was elsewhere.  Now, however, with NASA's upper echelons so depleted, I would agree that NASA sorely needs presidential leadership.  I see no reason to believe the situation will change for the better anytime soon, however.  Sec. Tillerson's resignation only lengthens the odds on the administration acting to staff NASA adequately.

In practice, I would guess that the leadership vacuum at NASA means that Congress will continue to have an outsized role in running the agency.
« Last Edit: 03/13/2018 06:38 PM by Proponent »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #791 on: 03/13/2018 07:42 PM »
Pence upping the pressure on the US Senate to confirm Bridenstine:

https://twitter.com/VP/status/973348179029655552

Quote from: Mike Pence
Capping nearly 30 years in government, we thank Robert Lightfoot for his service to @NASA & our Nation. @RepJBridenstine would continue @NASAís important work & the Senate should swiftly confirm him as Administrator to carry on NASAís proud tradition.

Trouble is I donít think this will have any impact on the Senate. Positions seem too entrenched and thereís no real (political) price to not confirming Bridenstine. If the Democrats make any gains in November then I think itís game over for Bridenstine. I can see the stalemate lasting until at least then, unless an opportunity arises to confirm him before then. Iím afraid that the most likely outcome is the search for a different nominee at some point in the future.

I'm inclined to agree.  A few years ago, discussions about Orion/SLS often involved demands for presidential leadership.  I disagreed then, as it seemed to me that people were for the most part demanding a larger NASA budget when the fundamental problem was elsewhere.  Now, however, with NASA's upper echelons so depleted, I would agree that NASA sorely needs presidential leadership.  I see no reason to believe the situation will change for the better anytime soon, however.  Sec. Tillerson's resignation only lengthens the odds on the administration acting to staff NASA adequately.

In practice, I would guess that the leadership vacuum at NASA means that Congress will continue to have an outsized role in running the agency.
The Secretary was fired via a "Tweet"... ::)
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #792 on: 03/13/2018 07:49 PM »
Maybe to get Pres. Trump interested in choosing another candidate for NASA administrator, a reality-TV approach could be used.  Round up some candidates (that's the important part: make sure they're all qualified and likely confirmable) and let Trump interview and embarrass them on TV, finally choosing one. :)

Offline clongton

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #793 on: 03/14/2018 10:42 AM »
Far too many people equate retiring with "the end". Nothing could be further from the truth. Retiring comes with a pension which makes the "what's next" decision much easier. So retiring is actually an opportunity to go do something else that interests you, sometimes something entirely different. If you retire young enough it's an opportunity to start an entirely new career if that's what is wanted or to start that business you've always wanted to do. Retirement is an opportunity. Life continues. I wish him all the best. He is young enough to go and do anything he wants to, whatever interests him.
« Last Edit: 03/14/2018 10:43 AM by clongton »
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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #794 on: 03/14/2018 11:29 AM »
Far too many people equate retiring with "the end". Nothing could be further from the truth.

You made the point he is retiring, when someone made the comment he was resigning.
Retiring is usually understood by many to be the time at which one stops work, often due to age, with sometimes limited choice in the matter.

Resigning has a more specific element of choice.
If you choose to retire at a specific point in time, with no coercion, and no intent to stop work, that could reasonably be viewed by many as a positive choice to stop work now.

Offline clongton

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #795 on: 03/14/2018 01:19 PM »
Far too many people equate retiring with "the end". Nothing could be further from the truth.
Retiring is usually understood by many to be the time at which one stops work, often due to age, with sometimes limited choice in the matter.

Well "the many" have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Sure, it is still possible to work your entire adult life at one place and then retire when you need to be helped out the door. But that is definitely not the norm. There are very few places left where one can or would want to stay that long anymore. Most adults in this country will work long term at several different places throughout their life. The trick is to stay long enough to get a decent pension and then assess your options. The last thing anyone should want to do is get pigeon holed in a single occupation unless it happens to actually be one's passion. But most people aren't fortunate enough to be employed at their passion.

I personally know more than a dozen people who have retired at least once and started new careers. Of those, 3 retired from the military after 20 years of service at an age of 38-39. 1 started a new career at NASA and retired again at age 58. He then opened a new business doing architectural design. The other 2 also went to NASA and then retired again after 25 and 27 years respectively and also started new, different 3rd careers and the rest retired from from various industries and started new careers. So 1 is now working his 3rd career running his own business and 2 retired from their second career and are now doing something else and all the rest are still working their 2nd career. In every case the individuals started new careers (or business) that was totally unrelated to their original career. They just wanted to do something else and were young enough to do it.

One does not need to be old to retire. One only needs to have a decent pension to fund new opportunities and a zest for life. The worst thing any retiree can do is just stop. The insurance actuary tables will catch that person quickly. I personally retired from a 30-year career and am now doing something completely different. I don't intend to ever stop. I will always be doing something. I have an abundance of interests that could see me thru several lifetimes.

Mr. Lightfoot is young enough to have another 20-year career, retire again and then start a 3rd career if he wishes. I hope he has enough separate interests to feed into that and I wish him well.

Eventually, we will all retire from necessity (age), but for most, retirement is not a necessity. It's an opportunity. It's something you do 2 or 3 times in your lifetime. The so-called "The Many" need to reassess their understanding of what "retirement" means.
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I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #796 on: 03/14/2018 02:13 PM »
Hopefully we can put this to bed and get back on topic. You guys are just mixing equally valid definitions of "retirement."  One definition is to quit working and live the good life - e.g., "after 50 years of working my grandfather finally retired and is enjoying playing golf every day." The other, more formal formal definition with respect to government employment, is to quit working for the government with full retirement benefits - e.g., "after 20 years in the marine corps my buddy was eligible to retire and decided to go work in the private sector." Many, many government employees "retire" from government employment to go on to long private sector careers.  Military and law enforcement employees are eligible (or in the case of law enforcement required) to retire with full benefits at particularly young ages such that nearly all go on to second careers. I suspect when Lightfoot talks about retiring, he's talking about with respect to leaving government service with retirement benefits and will likely go on working. But then again, he may have been working so hard the last 14 months he's ready to just head for the golf course.  Time will tell.   


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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #797 on: 03/14/2018 04:20 PM »
Apologies for the distraction, I did not mean to raise the definition of retiring, but to raise the question of if the distinction being made between retiring and resigning was a useful one in this case, because either effectively means the same - choosing to stop working for NASA, unless there was some outside force compelling him to stop working.

Hence - not a huge difference.

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #798 on: 03/20/2018 01:35 PM »
Chair of House Space Committee Rep. Brian Babin says he's optimistic of a way forward with the Senate on Bridenstine's confirmation:

https://federalnewsradio.com/federal-drive/2018/03/trumps-pick-for-nasa-head/

Can't say I was convinced though.

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Re: Who should be the next NASA Administrator?
« Reply #799 on: 03/20/2018 02:51 PM »
Chair of House Space Committee Rep. Brian Babin says he's optimistic of a way forward with the Senate on Bridenstine's confirmation:

https://federalnewsradio.com/federal-drive/2018/03/trumps-pick-for-nasa-head/

Can't say I was convinced though.

I don't blame you.  It doesn't exactly jive with other recent articles:
http://newsok.com/jim-bridenstines-nasa-nomination-remains-in-serious-jeopardy/article/5586655
Quote
U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine's nomination to lead NASA remains in serious jeopardy and his colleagues are suggesting President Donald Trump should soon nominate someone else.

https://www.eenews.net/climatewire/2018/03/16/stories/1060076539 (apologies, this one is behind a paywall)
Quote
Sen. Marco Rubio isn't backing down from his opposition to President Trump's pick for NASA director, he told E&E News yesterday.

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