Author Topic: Government shutdown Dec. 2018-Jan. 2019 - Space Flight Related  (Read 5146 times)

Online Chris Bergin

New thread for the SPACE FLIGHT/NASA related elements of the government shutdown.

The last thread turned into a full on political back and forth and I'm going to pre-warn right now, this should not happen again here. Discuss impacts on space flight. Don't post about how a wall could or couldn't work.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2019 04:16 pm by gongora »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #1 on: 01/06/2019 03:31 pm »
Since NASA ops come out of the discretionary side of the budget it could be de-prioritized along with similar agencies if an agreement for a partial reopening of the government can be negotiated for agencies of essential services only...
Hard to say since we have entered the looking glass now...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline yg1968

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #2 on: 01/06/2019 08:08 pm »
I don't believe that is being considered. The House passed some appropriations bills but that was symbolic as they know that these bills will not be considered by the Senate and would get vetoed anyways (until the bigger issues get resolved).
« Last Edit: 01/06/2019 08:11 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Svetoslav

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #3 on: 01/06/2019 08:14 pm »
A quick question - will other private companies like VG be impacted?

Offline gongora

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #4 on: 01/06/2019 08:28 pm »
A quick question - will other private companies like VG be impacted?

Hard to say depending on what paperwork they do/don't have completed.  VG and VO have FAA licenses for flights (I think one test flight for VO, will have to double-check that).  I don't think VG needs FCC paperwork for each flight, so they may be ok.  VO will need FCC paperwork for each flight (and so will the other rocket companies), not sure how that's gonna be handled.  At some point the lack of approvals for new permits/licenses will affect all of the commercial launches unless the FCC has an exception to work on those.
« Last Edit: 01/06/2019 08:29 pm by gongora »

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #5 on: 01/06/2019 09:47 pm »
Possibly the private companies could be impacted by the range safety ops...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline joek

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #6 on: 01/06/2019 10:12 pm »
Last time we had this discussion IIRC Jim mentioned many range functions are filled by contractors, who would be furloughed and thus potentially impact launches--and unless declared as "USG critical" (e.g., NSS and ISS), they are at risk of getting pushed.

FAA LLO (launch license operator) launches still require paperwork, but don't know if they require individual FAA approval --that is, whether FAA is a gate.  Unlike FAA LLS (launch license specific), for which FAA explicit approval is required and a gate.

Similar to commercial air traffic... may be business-as-usual and not impacted by the shutdown for LLO's, but the details--at least as much as can be determined from FAR's--are unclear.
« Last Edit: 01/06/2019 10:12 pm by joek »

Offline gongora

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #7 on: 01/06/2019 10:49 pm »
FAA can support already licensed launches (I don't know how individual payloads are approved under LLO licenses and how that will be affected, other departments get involved in approving payloads too).  AFETR and AFWTR shouldn't be affected since the Air Force isn't part of the shutdown.  The only SpaceX flights from KSC are for Falcon Heavy and Commercial Crew.  Not sure how KSC and Wallops are affected.  CRS flights should still be supported at some level since they are keeping the ISS operational (crew supplies, consumables, spare parts), not sure if they can still prepare the science experiments though?
« Last Edit: 01/06/2019 10:50 pm by gongora »

Offline joek

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #8 on: 01/06/2019 11:03 pm »
If a purely domestic payload covered under the LLO or (maybe) a previous license, may not be a problem.  Anything else may incur delays if State or DoD or whoever has to weigh in... I have no idea who in those respective organizations might be subject to the shutdown.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #9 on: 01/07/2019 12:35 am »
FAA can support already licensed launches (I don't know how individual payloads are approved under LLO licenses and how that will be affected, other departments get involved in approving payloads too).  AFETR and AFWTR shouldn't be affected since the Air Force isn't part of the shutdown.  The only SpaceX flights from KSC are for Falcon Heavy and Commercial Crew.  Not sure how KSC and Wallops are affected.  CRS flights should still be supported at some level since they are keeping the ISS operational (crew supplies, consumables, spare parts), not sure if they can still prepare the science experiments though?
Do we know if range support is available at Mojave for private spaceflights?
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline joek

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #10 on: 01/07/2019 12:56 am »
Do we know if range support is available at Mojave for private spaceflights?
To the best of my knowledge, there is no Federal Range support for Mojave unless those flights intersect the Western Range?  Or or are you referring to FAA airspace control?

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #11 on: 01/07/2019 01:19 am »
Do we know if range support is available at Mojave for private spaceflights?
To the best of my knowledge, there is no Federal Range support for Mojave unless those flights intersect the Western Range?  Or or are you referring to FAA airspace control?
I'm not sure whether the Western Range provided support for the last VG flight for example...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #12 on: 01/10/2019 02:01 pm »
Do we have a number for the NASA contractors affected by this shutdown? Those that will not receive back pay?
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

Online Blackstar

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #13 on: 01/10/2019 06:28 pm »
This is an example of the many effects of the shutdown:

"NASA Associate Administrator Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen has released the following tweet about the upcoming Draft Discovery AO comment period:
 
#NASAScience released a draft “Announcement of Opportunity” (AO) in December to solicit mission proposals for our Planetary Science Division’s Discovery Program. At this time, the comment period will be extended. More information will be shared once available."
 
https://mobile.twitter.com/Dr_ThomasZ/status/1082392559664709632?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet


What this may mean is that the Discovery program gets delayed because nobody can work on it. That kind of thing is happening all across NASA.


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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #15 on: 01/11/2019 12:18 am »
The people who will get hit the worst are the ones on the lowest economic rung, mainly the janitorial and service people. At NASA HQ the building is cleaned every night by contract janitorial staff, many of them making minimum wage. They don't clean the building when it's closed, so they don't get paid. People making minimum wage don't have much of a safety net. Who pays their rent and buys their food?

Offline yg1968

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Offline Fequalsma

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #17 on: 01/11/2019 01:39 am »
And this is just one of the many active AOs in SMD. Expect similar impacts to those too.
F=ma

This is an example of the many effects of the shutdown:

"NASA Associate Administrator Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen has released the following tweet about the upcoming Draft Discovery AO comment period:

What this may mean is that the Discovery program gets delayed because nobody can work on it. That kind of thing is happening all across NASA.

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Re: Government shutdown Dec-Jan. 2018 - Space Flight Related
« Reply #18 on: 01/11/2019 04:09 pm »
And this is just one of the many active AOs in SMD. Expect similar impacts to those too.


It goes beyond that. For instance, lots of deadlines for presentations at scientific conferences, like the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March. They are slipping the deadlines, but they can only do that so far because they have to make arrangements for rooms, equipment, etc. I'm currently at AIAA SciTech in San Diego. All the NASA people canceled and presumably lost the registration money, hotel reservation money, etc.

Offline Fequalsma

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Yeah you don't need to tell me.  I was supposed to be there too.
F=ma

And this is just one of the many active AOs in SMD. Expect similar impacts to those too.


It goes beyond that. For instance, lots of deadlines for presentations at scientific conferences, like the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March. They are slipping the deadlines, but they can only do that so far because they have to make arrangements for rooms, equipment, etc. I'm currently at AIAA SciTech in San Diego. All the NASA people canceled and presumably lost the registration money, hotel reservation money, etc.

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