[FPSPACE] Houston, we have an Administrator
dsfportree at hotmail.com
Fri May 15 18:58:34 EDT 2009
The lunar program was a phantom, so not much has changed. We need to get over this idea that we're abandoning the moon. We weren't going in the first place.
So, where are we now? We're replacing the Shuttle. We're learning how to build a big structure in space. We're looking at a gap of several years in U.S. piloted spaceflight. We're paying the Russians to take our astronauts to ISS. We're the world leader in robotic space exploration.
That's the reality and has been for some time. We're seeing more continuity than we are change.
David S. F. Portree
dsfportree at hotmail.com
dportree at usgs.gov
To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
Date: Fri, 15 May 2009 18:22:53 -0400
From: mattwriter at aol.com
Subject: [FPSPACE] Houston, we have an Administrator
Miles O'Brien, who knows his stuff, says it's ex-astronaut Charles Boldin for NASA Administrator. I've never heard anything but praise in the space community for Boldin (a lot of people wanted him when Mike Griffin was picked), so here's hoping it's a good selection.
Some unanswered questions, though:
Why did it take so long? His name has been floated since before President Obama even took office. And why did at least one previous pick turn the President down?
How well can even the most skilled Administrator run an agency that seems doomed to underfunding and a LEO-only manned space program? (The party in power gets high marks for including boosts for NASA in the stimulus bill and the FY10 budget, but the Administration's future projections will not - absolutely will not - support a lunar base (already publicly written off) or an expedition to Mars.) Yes, space is about more than manned programs, and more than NASA, but NASA is the tentpole program for human spaceflight: if NASA sticks to LEO, the whole world may stick to LEO.
Will Boldin come in with a bias toward the controversial Ares-I given that he lobbied for it when working for ATK? (The lobbying was entirely legal and ethical, but a lot of people far more qualified than me think NASA should scrap the rocket.)
At least now there will be someone to ask those questions of.
All posts are solely the personal opinion of the author as a private citizen.
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