Author Topic: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread  (Read 29067 times)

Offline jacqmans

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Closing the old thread about the nomination process (found here: https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39678) and starting a new one with the NASA press release.

Please keep discussion within bounds, respectful, and constructive. -Lar

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April 23, 2018
RELEASE 18-028

Vice President Pence Swears in New NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine


Jim Bridenstine officially took office as the 13th administrator of NASA Monday after he was given the oath of office by Vice President Mike Pence at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

“It is a great privilege for me to be here today, to be able to usher in on behalf of the President of the United States what we believe is a new chapter of renewed American leadership in space with the swearing-in of the newest Administrator of NASA, Jim Bridenstine,” said Vice President Pence. "Under Space Policy Directive 1, we will send American astronauts back to the Moon, and after that we will establish the capacity, with international and commercial partners, to send Americans to Mars. And NASA will lead the way."

In his new role at NASA, Bridenstine takes over an agency critical to the nation’s economy, security and technological preeminence.

“NASA represents the best of the United States of America,” said Bridenstine. “We lead, we discover, we pioneer, and we inspire. I look forward to our journey together.”

As part of the swearing-in ceremony, Vice President Pence and Administrator Bridenstine spoke live with NASA astronauts Scott Tingle, Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, who currently are living and working 250 miles above Earth aboard the International Space Station. The astronauts offered congratulations and shared stories of their experiences on the orbiting laboratory.
 
Following the ceremony, which was attended by Bridenstine’s family, employees and media, the Vice President and new administrator held a meeting with senior agency leadership at headquarters and NASA’s centers via video teleconference.

“The appropriations bill that is now law renews focus on human spaceflight activities and expands our commercial and international partnerships. It also continues our pursuit of cutting-edge science and aeronautics breakthroughs,” Bridenstine told agency leadership.

Bridenstine was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 19, to serve as the agency’s administrator. Prior to this position, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives for the state of Oklahoma, where he held positions on the House Armed Services Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee. Bridenstine also is a pilot in the U.S. Navy Reserve and the former executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium.

Read Bridenstine’s official biography at:

https://www.nasa.gov/about/highlights/bridenstine-biography.html

« Last Edit: 04/24/2018 08:47 PM by Lar »

Online Lar

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #1 on: 04/24/2018 08:49 PM »
This thread should discuss things like priorities, challenges, areas of likely focus, and new news items as they arise. Keep partisan politics out, please .
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Offline AncientU

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #2 on: 04/24/2018 09:07 PM »
JB has termed the private space sector as the US "secret weapon" for a space renaissance(5:00 in video linked below).  Is there any near term opportunity for him to make a statement that illuminates his intentions -- or is this something that will only trickle out to avoid a train wreck with certain congressional power centers?  He was quite forthright in this presentation... can he continue that as NASA Admin, as a political appointee?
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Offline clongton

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #3 on: 04/24/2018 10:24 PM »
I like this guy! Forty Five minutes and never once did I yawn. He had my undivided attention right from the beginning. This guy - because of his experience in Congress - knows what he's talking  about and seems able to pick the center right out of a question and give an answer that goes straight to the heart of it.
« Last Edit: 04/24/2018 10:25 PM by clongton »
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Online Kansan52

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #4 on: 04/24/2018 10:37 PM »
He was quite forthright in this presentation... can he continue that as NASA Admin, as a political appointee?

Maybe his experience in Congress can help him be fortright and keep his position.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #5 on: 04/25/2018 12:05 AM »
Good luck!
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Offline DistantTemple

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #6 on: 04/25/2018 12:31 AM »
Good luck!
Excellent Guy.... Brilliantly knowledgeable on all the question asked at FAA Commercial Space Conference (CSC); detailled, technical, and fully informed. And totally passionate about space.

I am putting aside my concerns about his climate science denial, and hope he is not destructive on that. And his strong military slant is an issue, but I think it will turn out a great asset, and he will bend the "race" for continued US eminence,  to much faster and more flexible progress.

Almost his opening remarks were "You are my secret weapon" ... that is the commercial space companies sitting in front of him. And (obviously it was the CSC ) he kept enthusiastically explaining how Commercial Space was going to be more involved, in defense, in weather, on the Moon.... Changing the balance between Gov, and CS was his main theme....

I look forward to great leaps forward... just at the right time.
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Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #7 on: 04/25/2018 12:50 AM »
It's probably relevant to repost his swearing in ceremony in this new thread:


« Last Edit: 04/25/2018 12:54 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #8 on: 04/25/2018 01:16 AM »
Here is an article on the swearing-in ceremony:
https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/the-bridenstine-era-begins/

Quote from: Marcia Smith
At a later meeting with senior NASA officials, however, Pence spoke about the growing role of the commercial sector in space.  Trump “wants us to look in new, and renewed, and fresh ways, about American leadership in space” and “to clear the way …. for more capital investment, more private investment, and more innovation from our burgeoning commercial sector.”

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #9 on: 04/25/2018 01:24 AM »
It looks like Bridenstine met President Trump on Monday:

Quote from: Jeff Foust
Pence said. He added that Bridenstine and Pence would meet with President Trump in the Oval Office shortly after the meeting.
http://spacenews.com/bridenstine-sworn-in-as-nasa-administrator/
« Last Edit: 04/25/2018 02:17 AM by yg1968 »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #10 on: 04/25/2018 01:33 AM »
Here is an article on the swearing-in ceremony:
https://spacepolicyonline.com/news/the-bridenstine-era-begins/

Quote from: Marcia Smith
At a later meeting with senior NASA officials, however, Pence spoke about the growing role of the commercial sector in space.  Trump “wants us to look in new, and renewed, and fresh ways, about American leadership in space” and “to clear the way …. for more capital investment, more private investment, and more innovation from our burgeoning commercial sector.”
So is that an indirect way of saying don't expect more money from Congress?
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Offline Tea Party Space Czar

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #11 on: 04/25/2018 03:55 AM »
Congress will continue to fund NASA porkulous missions whether the administrator or the president want to.  A couple of opinions:

In my opinion would President Trump veto the NASA spending bill which will be packaged with 30 other bills to make it an all or nothing scenario.   Mr. Bridenstine will work magic to try and ensure commercial (whatever you want to define it as) continues to grow. 

Again my opinion,  Mr. Bridenstine is already screwed.  Here is why:  The greatest momentum a sitting president has is his first 100 days - unless war breaks out - then we all rally.  With Mr. Bridenstine assuming the NASA controls just a few months from the midterm elections I am not sure how much impact he can have.

It is hard to be at NASA today.  Politicians rolling in and out of office every two to six years makes it next to impossible to do anything meaningful in a long run.  That is why, personally, I prefer public/private partnerships on explorer and discovery class missions.  Maybe in the vein Mr. Bridenstine can milk some more missions for SMD.

Imagine Astrophysics, Planetary, Helio, and Earth  all rolling one explorer and one discovery class a year.  Granted these are not the Battle-star Galacticas like JWST but we could really move the ball down the field.

I am optimistic.

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser

Offline AncientU

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #12 on: 04/25/2018 10:59 AM »
Bridenstine knows that he'll have to keep money flowing to SLS/Orion, or the Alabama (sorry, need to stop here for a second and just say that I have to use stupid words to get my point across. I know that means I must have a weak argument, but that's why I use bad words). will put a contract out on him -- do everything possible to cut him off at the knees.  So, SLS/Orion spending will roll on...call it insurance money.

True on first 100 days, but this isn't a normal presidency.

A leverage he has beyond the 100 days is the Nat'l Space Council.  This organization could help get a few things started that the Admin alone couldn't touch.  Best thing he can do is clear a path for commercial space, keeping options open, starting public-private partnerships that enable (at least not disable) private innovation.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2018 11:00 AM by AncientU »
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Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #13 on: 04/25/2018 11:13 AM »
Although he can't do much about the huge Pork flowing for the SLS: I'm hoping he can investigate 'Skunk Works' style, lower cost  options (no, really) for a reusable or at least partially reusable manned Lunar Lander. It would make a good companion piece for LOP-G and SLS-Orion overall. A large one would be a four person Lander, or a lower-priced two person job with capabilities similar to the Apollo LM; but more robust and at least partially reusable.

As long as the Pork flows, I can't see many ways that the Senators and Congresspeople dining on that Pork would have too many objections to Bridenstine coming up with a Lander that could be developed in 5 years for less than $8-to-10 billion. He could get a competition started with relative newcomers such as SpaceX, Blue Origin or Masten to compete for the contract. If LockMart or Boeing wanted to throw their hat in the ring; they could ask trusted foreign Space industries in Europe or Japan to partner with them. And one stipulation is that it could be either crew or Cargo version - in a similar way that Soyuz/Progress now is. Only reusable, of course.

Yeah; a guy can dream but it doesn't have to remain a dream. Cislunar space is the near future frontier. Just send more money...
« Last Edit: 04/25/2018 11:15 AM by MATTBLAK »
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Offline clongton

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #14 on: 04/25/2018 11:50 AM »
This is one of the reasons that I do not object, in general terms, to a politician becoming the Administrator. He would know his way around Congress and what kind of "accomodations" would need to be made in order to get what he wants funded, and how to make them.

Bridenstine sat on the Committee on Armed Services and Committee on Science, Space and Technology during the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congresses. Within the Science Committee, Bridenstine has sat on the Subcommittee on Environment (Chairman) and Subcommittee on Space.

Given his obvious grasp of the details and finer points as evidenced in his speech and the following Q&A posted above, I think he'll make a fine Administrator.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2018 12:02 PM by clongton »
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Offline AncientU

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #15 on: 04/25/2018 11:58 AM »
A place for him to start building infrastructure is propellant depots -- make EUS refuelable, enable Vulcan/Aces, provide for Lunar Lander refueling, etc.  Everyone wins... and NASA only pays for delivered propellant, plus some OTA seed money up front.
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Offline Jim

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #16 on: 04/25/2018 02:40 PM »

A leverage he has beyond the 100 days is the Nat'l Space Council.  This organization could help get a few things started that the Admin alone couldn't touch.  Best thing he can do is clear a path for commercial space, keeping options open, starting public-private partnerships that enable (at least not disable) private innovation.

No, the NSC has no more leverage than the Admin.  The president is either behind the admin or not, the NSC is not going to help.  The NSC works for the president and so that does not help with congress.

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #17 on: 04/25/2018 02:42 PM »
A place for him to start building infrastructure is propellant depots -- make EUS refuelable, enable Vulcan/Aces, provide for Lunar Lander refueling, etc.  Everyone wins... and NASA only pays for delivered propellant, plus some OTA seed money up front.

No, he can't do such stuff on his own.  He does what is directed by the president and congress. 

Offline yg1968

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #18 on: 04/25/2018 03:28 PM »

A leverage he has beyond the 100 days is the Nat'l Space Council.  This organization could help get a few things started that the Admin alone couldn't touch.  Best thing he can do is clear a path for commercial space, keeping options open, starting public-private partnerships that enable (at least not disable) private innovation.

No, the NSC has no more leverage than the Admin.  The president is either behind the admin or not, the NSC is not going to help.  The NSC works for the president and so that does not help with congress.

I imagine that the NSC could have a role to play if there is a disagreement between OMB and NASA on funding priorities. The Senate (especially Senator Nelson) often makes OMB appear like they are the villains. FWIW, I disagree with Senators that claim this; I think that OMB is often anti-pork and that is what bugs these Senators the most.

Online john smith 19

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Re: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussion thread
« Reply #19 on: 04/25/2018 04:27 PM »
This is one of the reasons that I do not object, in general terms, to a politician becoming the Administrator.
Nor should anyone.

James Webb was only a politician, but he kept Apollo rolling most of a decade when it consumed up to 5% of the whole federal budget.  Later he got Shuttle built despite Nixon's very negative views on the space programme as essentially something that made the Democrats look good (IE Himself look bad).

The truth is (as Augustine II pointed out) NASA either has too many tasks to do with its appropriated budget or too little budget to do the tasks the President and the Congress insist it do.   :(

NASA has long needed an Administrator  who is prepared to say that to both the President and Congress "Either increase our budget or reduce the list of programmes you insist we carry out."

No, he can't do such stuff on his own.  He does what is directed by the president and congress.
And that, right there, would seem to be the biggest problem he will have for his time with the Agency.
« Last Edit: 04/25/2018 04:38 PM by john smith 19 »
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