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NASA's "Solomon's Choice"

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  • #16
    Re: NASA's &quot;Solomon's Choice&quot;

    OP, it seems you do not agree with any of your poll options, correct?

    ?


    • #17
      Re: NASA's &quot;Solomon's Choice&quot;

      Originally posted by Commodore View Post
      Sounds like a social experiment too volatile to keep in a pressurized habitat.

      In the mean time, the ISS continues to show it's age...
      ISS suffers external coolant loop issue contingency spacewalks planned

      But lets keep it up there until 2028. What could possibly go wrong.[/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR]
      but but but its an international effort!! for the children!!!!

      ?


      • #18
        Re: NASA's &quot;Solomon's Choice&quot;

        Originally posted by erikvv View Post
        OP, it seems you do not agree with any of your poll options, correct?
        I think that NASA aught to utilize commercial suppliers of launch and space vehicles where ever possible, encouraging their development.

        Though inevitably there will be a piece of hardware with a purely scientific or mission specific purpose. The usually means payload.

        ?


        • #19
          Re: NASA's &quot;Solomon's Choice&quot;

          The Obama appointee and former Deputy Director of NASA Lori Garver weights in...

          Today, on the Diana Rehm Show, Garver was asked what programs NASA should cancel in order to allow it to achieve more meaningful things in space. Below I’ve transcribed the relevant section of the interview:
          Rehm: What programs do you think should be cut?
          Garver: To me I think those particular programs that are built on previous technology.
          Rehm: Like what?
          Garver: Right now we are building a huge rocket called the Space Launch System that is really …
          Rehm: The SLS?
          Garver: The SLS. It was something that Congress dictated to NASA, it had to do with the Orion spacecraft. It is a holdover from Constellation, which the Obama administration tried to cancel, and it’s $3 billion a year of NASA’s $17 billion. Is that how you would be investing in the space program? Where is it going to go? When will it even fly?
          ...
          The significance of Garver’s comments, in regard to the SLS, is that they are consistent with those of most observers who do not work directly for NASA, and thus are not beholden to the program of record as mandated by Congress and the White House.
          Garver asks the right questions. Where is it going to go? After building such an expensive rocket — which critics have labeled a “rocket to nowhere” — there’s just no money to actually build the stuff, like payloads and habitation modules, that would allow NASA to actually use the SLS. When will SLS fly? NASA says it may fly in 2017.

          ?


          • #20
            Re: NASA's &amp;quot;Solomon's Choice&amp;quot;

            So, welfare for rocket scientists it is...
            NASA gets White House backing to extend space station by 4 years
            WASHINGTON — The world's most expensive science project — the $100 billion-plus International Space Station — is poised to get four more years in orbit.According to documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, NASA plans to announce this week that it has White House approval to extend the station's operations by four years until 2024.
            The decision follows years of pressure by top NASA officials, who consider the station a critical steppingstone to future exploration. But a four-year extension likely would cost NASA about $3 billion a year from 2021 to 2024. That's a major chunk of the agency's annual budget, which is now about $17 billion, and a longer mission could force NASA to make tough financial decisions in the future.
            The administration's approval, however, doesn't guarantee that the station, which has been continuously occupied since 2000, will survive past its current end date of 2020. At some point, Congress must approve a NASA budget that includes an extension of the station's life. The plan also must get the support of whoever wins the White House in 2016 — though the backing of President Barack Obama now might make it harder for the next administration to renege.
            Still, the move is expected to reassure NASA's international partners, who have wondered how long the U.S. plans to commit to the station. NASA's announcement coincides with a visit to Washington this week by leaders of the world's space agencies.
            But before you get too excited about the possibility that Congress could do the right thing....
            Congress Makes NASA Finish Useless $350 Million Structure
            NASA will complete a $350 million structure to test rocket engines at Stennis Space Center in Mississippi early this year. Then, it plans to mothball the 300-foot-high, steel-frame tower for the foreseeable future.The reason: Congress ordered the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to finish building the facility even though the agency doesn’t need it.
            The tower was designed to test aGenCorp Inc. (GY) engine for a rocket program canceled in 2010. Its funding survived thanks to Mississippi Republican senators led by Roger Wicker, who crafted a provision requiring the agency to complete the work.

            The test stand is an example of how U.S. lawmakers thwart efforts to cut costs and eliminate government waste, even as they criticize agencies for failing to do so. Attempts to close military bases, mail-processing plants and other NASA facilities also have been fought by congressional members whose districts benefit from the operations.

            “When it comes down to their pork, they’re always going to defend it,” said Rand Simberg, a space policy scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based research group that supports less spending and fewer regulations. “All that matters is maintaining jobs in the right states and districts.”
            But it's not just our own people getting handouts...
            NASA May Order More Soyuz Rides to Station Despite Commercial Crew Advancements
            By Dan Leone | Jan. 6, 2014
            WASHINGTON — Companies working on commercial crew transportation services to and from the international space station reported milestones in their efforts even as a NASA official warned that the agency likely will have to order more Russian Soyuz crew capsules to keep the orbital outpost fully occupied.
            Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight at NASA headquarters, told an advisory panel Dec. 9 that the agency may have to order another batch of Soyuz crew capsules from Russia unless Congress funds NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at the $800 million-plus level sought by the White House.
            “I think that’s going to be a topic of a lot of debate in the next year or so,” McAlister told a panel of the NASA Advisory Council.
            The debate, McAlister hinted, might be more about how many seats to buy, rather than whether to buy the seats at all.
            NASA’s current contract with the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, covers astronaut transportation to and from the space station through 2016, and emergency crew rescue services through June 2017.
            The White House is seeking $821 million this year for the Commercial Crew Program, under which Boeing Space Exploration, Sierra Nevada Space Systems and Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX) are working on U.S. alternatives to the Soyuz. The U.S. government is currently operating under a six-month continuing resolution, set to expire Jan. 15, that funds the program at $525 million.
            This is why we can't have nice things.

            ?


            • #21
              Re: NASA's &quot;Solomon's Choice&quot;

              Well, the "decision" has been made, which is to make no decision once so ever...

              Commercial Crew Would Get Boost in Omnibus Spending Bill for 2014

              WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives on Jan. 15 passed an omnibus spending bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2014 that would provide $696 million for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.But the allocation, which would be the largest annual budget for the program, is still considerably less than the $821 million sought by U.S. President Barack Obama and also comes with a string attached: $171 million of the funds would be held in reserve until NASA completes an independent cost-benefit analysis of the program. That would temporarily keep the program funded at about $525 million, the same level it got in 2013.
              NASA would receive $17.6 billion in total under the plan, or about $100 million below the White House’s request and roughly $700 million more than the agency’s sequestered 2013 budget.
              ...
              The bill’s proposed funding levels for NASA’s major spending accounts are:
              • Science: $5.2 billion, about $200 million more than the White House’s 2014 request, and $400 million more than the 2013 budget settled on back in August as part of the agency’s final operating plan for that year. Of the proposed 2014 appropriation, 658.2 million is for the James Webb Space Telescope, the agency’s biggest science project.
              • Exploration: $4.1 billion, about $100 million more than the request and roughly $400 million more than in 2013. About $1.9 billion of the proposed amount is for the Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket and its associated ground systems. The Orion Multi-Purpose crew vehicle, the rocket’s companion capsule, would get about $1.2 billion.
              • Space Operations: $3.8 billion, most of which is for the international space station. That is about $100 million less than the request, and roughly $100 more than in 2013.
              • Cross Agency Support: $2.8 billion to cover agency-wide operating expenses, or about $100 million less than both the request and the 2013 appropriation.
              • Construction and Environmental Compliance and Restoration: $515 million, some $94 million below the request and $132 million lower than in 2013 to cover upkeep and maintenance at NASA’s national network of field centers.
              • Education: $116.6 million, or about $22 million more than the White House requested as part of a 2014 budget proposal that sought to overhaul the federal government’s education and public outreach programs. The proposed appropriation is essentially flat compared with the 2013 operating plan.
              • Inspector General: $37.5 million for agency oversight, roughly even with the request, but about $2.5 million more than in 2013.
              So we are still spending somewhere in the range of $6 billion dollars on dead end programs in the form of the SLS, Orion, and ISS. It should be noted that while the Congress plays games with the Commercial Crew Program, they are going to end up sending far more money to the Russians than it would cost to finish development on native capabilities....

              NASA May Order More Soyuz Rides to Station Despite Commercial Crew Advancements

              By Dan Leone | Jan. 6, 2014
              WASHINGTON — Companies working on commercial crew transportation services to and from the international space station reported milestones in their efforts even as a NASA official warned that the agency likely will have to order more Russian Soyuz crew capsules to keep the orbital outpost fully occupied.

              Phil McAlister, director of commercial spaceflight at NASA headquarters, told an advisory panel Dec. 9 that the agency may have to order another batch of Soyuz crew capsules from Russia unless Congress funds NASA’s Commercial Crew Program at the $800 million-plus level sought by the White House.

              “I think that’s going to be a topic of a lot of debate in the next year or so,” McAlister told a panel of the NASA Advisory Council.

              The debate, McAlister hinted, might be more about how many seats to buy, rather than whether to buy the seats at all.

              ?

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