Author Topic: Ramifications of Bill Nelson's loss in Florida on SLS support  (Read 12502 times)

Online docmordrid

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Politico.

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'Nelson has no path': Democrats admit Scott beats Florida icon

Sen. Bill Nelson has run out of time, run out of favorable court rulings and is about to officially run out of votes.

After losing to Gov. Rick Scott on Election Day, losing after an automatic recount and appearing to not make up the gap following a manual recount Friday, Nelsonís campaign was dealt a mortal blow later that evening by U.S. District Judge Mark E. Walker, who crushed the Democratís last major hope by upholding a Florida law that forbids county election offices from counting vote-by-mail ballots received after 7 p.m. Election Day.
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DM

Online Ronsmytheiii

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SLS has long been jokingly called the Senate Launch System, mainly because of Nelson, Hatch, and Shelby (R-AL). With only Shelby left to push hard for SLS within the senate, support for the albatross could collapse.

However, if Scott sticks with supporting SLS (politically the most prudent thing considering it affects jobs in his state) and being in the same party, he could form a much tighter political alliance with Shelby that would reinforce SLS support. Shelby is VERY powerful considering he is the Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and while Scott may not have Nelson's seniority a close alliance with Shelby should give him major informal influence.
And this is a good reminder that just because one of your fellow space enthusiasts occasionally voices doubts about the SpaceX schedule announcements or is cautious about believing SpaceX has licked a problem before actually seeing proof that's true, it doesn't mean they hate SpaceX.

Online Lar

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Yes I agree, but still in the minority in terms of influence unless other players from the majority are in the mix like you know who from Alabama...

There will be another election in two years. If the Senate flips, Florida will have two comparatively junior members of the minority without Nelson.
Don't you just love the never ending election cycle...
Don't you just love people posting about the election in general even after being warned? Stay focused.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Rocket Science

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Yes I agree, but still in the minority in terms of influence unless other players from the majority are in the mix like you know who from Alabama...

There will be another election in two years. If the Senate flips, Florida will have two comparatively junior members of the minority without Nelson.
Don't you just love the never ending election cycle...
Don't you just love people posting about the election in general even after being warned? Stay focused.
Feel free to delete it Lar, I'm suffering from symptoms of voter fatigue...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline RonM

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It's official. Nelson has conceded.

Offline mlindner

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It's official. Nelson has conceded.

Great, now we can actually talk about the ramifications.
Internal combustion engine in space. It's just a Bad Idea.TM - Robotbeat

Online Lar

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Who wants to summarize the ramifications?
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline yg1968

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Who wants to summarize the ramifications?

Same as when Senator Hutchison retired. Not much.

Offline yg1968

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« Last Edit: 11/18/2018 09:53 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Rocket Science

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"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Online yokem55

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Who wants to summarize the ramifications?
With the presumption that Doug Jones will lose in 2020, there won't be any Democrats with real skin in the game to push for SLS. That would make SLS a GOP thing. Which means, as long as it takes 60 votes to get legislation through the Senate, a lack of bipartisan support will put SLS at a much higher risk of outright cancellation or drastic descoping (ie cancellation of EUS and the 2nd MLP). I could also see a deal being made to save SLS, but then cancel Orion and pursue a commercial crew based deep space transport to the lunar gateway.

Now, maybe the presumption that Jones is sure to lose is wrong and the Democrats will make it easier to try to save his seat by continuing support for SLS, but it's going to be one of a lot of  issues they'll be juggling.

Offline Tea Party Space Czar

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Space Launch System has lost a lot of supporters since 2012.  Yes SLS has lost a lot of its horsepower in the House and Senate but SLS still has Senator Shelby - and that might be enough.  The lobbying power of Boeing and LockMart also get honorable mentions.

The truth is that this election cycle has now afforded the House and Senate the opportunity to re-evaluate SLS, private sector options and perhaps re-direct (and appropriate funds) to reflect the capabilities of 2019.   Perhaps now we can have hearings with real deadlines on when we can expect SLS to fly.  Perhaps we can now have real look back at our manned and scientific missions to see if we can do something with the capabilities industry can provide the taxpayers.

There are real opportunities here to take advantage of.

Thank you Senator Nelson for all of your honorable service to our country.

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser


Offline Coastal Ron

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Space Launch System has lost a lot of supporters since 2012.  Yes SLS has lost a lot of its horsepower in the House and Senate but SLS still has Senator Shelby - and that might be enough.  The lobbying power of Boeing and LockMart also get honorable mentions.

I'm sure I'm not the first to see this trend, that "A government program that is already funded is likely to stay funded until something forces a change." And I think we're still waiting for the thing that will force a change...

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The truth is that this election cycle has now afforded the House and Senate the opportunity to re-evaluate SLS...

Except that in politics as in war time, you have to "pick your battles", and Democrats might not see this as a battle to have yet - and that assumes that Democrats want a change.

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...private sector options and perhaps re-direct (and appropriate funds) to reflect the capabilities of 2019.

To support what? Part of the problem with the SLS is that the U.S. Government doesn't have a need in the foreseeable future to lift large amounts of mass into space. Just because the private sector can lift mass for less doesn't mean that there will be a U.S. Government requirement that needs that capability.

Senator Nelson tried to get programs in place that would require the unique capabilities of the SLS, but without a clearly recognized need that is difficult - even for the party in power.

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Perhaps now we can have hearings with real deadlines on when we can expect SLS to fly.

Schedule slippages don't matter. Cost matters, which is why the report from NASA about the SLS costs could be a triggering event that causes a review of the SLS and Orion programs.

Quote
Perhaps we can now have real look back at our manned and scientific missions to see if we can do something with the capabilities industry can provide the taxpayers.

That would be nice, and I hope it happens. It's what the NSC should be doing.

Quote
Thank you Senator Nelson for all of your honorable service to our country.

I didn't always agree with him, but I think he did a good job.
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Rocket Science

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Thank you for your service sir and best of luck for your future endeavors...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Proponent

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I believe that Bill Nelson was the only member of Congress who actually flew in space (in 1986).  I think that kind of perspective will be missed.

The only member of the House, yes, though there was Jake Garn of Utah in the Senate, as well as Glenn and Schmidt who'd flown before becoming senators.

Oh, and Apollo 13 CMP Jack Swigert was elected to the House (CO-6) in 1982 but died before taking office.

Online docmordrid

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Who wants to summarize the ramifications?

With the presumption that Doug Jones will lose in 2020, there won't be any Democrats with real skin in the game to push for SLS. That would make SLS a GOP thing.
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Doug Jones may well be running uphill; state GOP people have said the nomination is Jeff Session's for the asking.

Major "GOP" SLS support largely being Shelby; who is up for re-election in 2022 at age ~88, and those in his orbit.  Age is not in his favor.
DM

Offline Tea Party Space Czar

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Space Launch System has lost a lot of supporters since 2012.  Yes SLS has lost a lot of its horsepower in the House and Senate but SLS still has Senator Shelby - and that might be enough.  The lobbying power of Boeing and LockMart also get honorable mentions.

I'm sure I'm not the first to see this trend, that "A government program that is already funded is likely to stay funded until something forces a change." And I think we're still waiting for the thing that will force a change...

Quote
The truth is that this election cycle has now afforded the House and Senate the opportunity to re-evaluate SLS...

Except that in politics as in war time, you have to "pick your battles", and Democrats might not see this as a battle to have yet - and that assumes that Democrats want a change.

Quote
...private sector options and perhaps re-direct (and appropriate funds) to reflect the capabilities of 2019.

To support what? Part of the problem with the SLS is that the U.S. Government doesn't have a need in the foreseeable future to lift large amounts of mass into space. Just because the private sector can lift mass for less doesn't mean that there will be a U.S. Government requirement that needs that capability.

Senator Nelson tried to get programs in place that would require the unique capabilities of the SLS, but without a clearly recognized need that is difficult - even for the party in power.

Quote
Perhaps now we can have hearings with real deadlines on when we can expect SLS to fly.

Schedule slippages don't matter. Cost matters, which is why the report from NASA about the SLS costs could be a triggering event that causes a review of the SLS and Orion programs.

Quote
Perhaps we can now have real look back at our manned and scientific missions to see if we can do something with the capabilities industry can provide the taxpayers.

That would be nice, and I hope it happens. It's what the NSC should be doing.

Quote
Thank you Senator Nelson for all of your honorable service to our country.

I didn't always agree with him, but I think he did a good job.

Always good stuff Coastal Ron.  I would love to see cost triggers.  I would love to see timeline triggers as well.  I would love to see "exploration" into new selection processes and just not do things "because that is how we always have.".

Sadly, in the paragraph above it is "I" and not "we" or "the congress".  That is a problem.

"We" can only hope that at some point, before it is too late, we all recognize the king has no clothes.

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser

Offline Coastal Ron

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Not Nelson specific, but related to the loss of well connected people in Congress to NASA programs.

A congressmanís loss clouds the future of two demanding missions to Europa | Ars Technica

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For Culberson, a conservative politician and partisan who has bashed his fair share of Democratic opponents, this part of the job was never political. Rather, he sought to reveal the majesty of God's creation to humanity, to play a role in the discovery of life on another world for the first time.

"Well, it has been my joy," he said at the end of the November briefings on Clipper and the Lander, musing about his work on the programs. "It's always been in my heart, from the time I was a kid, to make this mission happen. I knew that this mission could make a civilization-level discovery if it works as we hope it will."

But before either of the missions can work, they must first get to the launchpad.
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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