Post-O’Keefe commentary

Some commentary about Sean O’Keefe’s legacy and the search for his successor is making its way onto the editorial pages:

  • The Orlando Sentinel blandly concludes that O’Keefe “had ups and downs” (who doesn’t?), and that “history’s final verdict” on his tenure will depend on the ultimate success of efforts to “solve NASA’s cultural problems and safely return shuttles to flight.”
  • Cragg Hines, the Houston Chronicle columnist who called for O’Keefe’s resignation on Sunday, just as news of O’Keefe’s plans leaked out, now says “goodbye and good riddance” to O’Keefe in a new column Wednesday. Hines says he is not a fan of one candidate for the job, Ronald Kadish, because he believes that Kadish cannot provide the “maximum transparency and honesty and believability” the agency now needs. He is more of a fan of Robert Walker.
  • The Los Angeles Times says that O’Keefe’s successor will face challenges like “finding students with the right stuff” to replace retiring engineers and scientists as well as be able “to make politically difficult decisions” by setting priorities for the agency. It’s clear the Times’ editorial writers are not fond of the Vision for Space Exploration, claiming that by “lavishing billions on nostalgically rich but scientifically poor missions like returning astronauts to the moon, the budget starves NASA of funding for projects with abundant scientific worth.” It seems unlikely, though, that any of the potential candidates to replace O’Keefe would, or would even be able to, reverse course on the Vision.

4 comments to Post-O’Keefe commentary

  • There sure have been a lot of people leaving the Bush administration. With Bush accepting O’Keefe’s resignation to be LSU administrator that raises the tally. And today Bush accepted his own resignation. No word yet on what he is going to do in the private sector.

  • John Malkin

    We would have more science on the space station if it had more than three people manning it. Right now they are averaging 20 experiments per crew. This is with the restricted crew of two. The station fully constructed and fully manned would produce an enormous amount of science and would have greater flexibility than a satellite AND we could conduct long term experiments on humans in space. I think the station points out that we have inadequate access to space, not that it’s a failure. The space station has been an embassy in space creating better relations than the U.N and this is worth more than science. The shuttle isn’t a lemon it’s a 1969 Rolls-Royce and we should have replaced it a long time ago because we can’t afford it but we didn’t and we still need it. If we dump shuttle the U.S. will be sitting on the side lines for at least 5 to 7 years, like in the 70s, after Nixon cancelled Apollo. What did the U.S. do in space in the 70s?

    My question to democrats is will they dismantle human spaceflight if they come into power? If, the democrats intent is to spite the republicans than we are wasting our time with government funded human spaceflight. Have the democrats published anything new stating their platform, otherwise I would assume it’s what they approved in FY05 budget.

    It’s a pity the masses have to depend on articles like these to base their options. There appears to be no difference between an inaccuracy and an opinion. Also I didn’t see a ‘by line’ on the Los Angeles Times article, I don’t blame them

  • Toro – money or property left to someone by a will; bequest. (2) anything handed down from, or as from, an ancestor.

    The space shuttle is nothing to hand down. All finally agree trash day is coming. It will be a forgotten, dead end machine in the back of museums in the 25th Century. Thus Goldin, O’Keefe, and all predecessors who did not act to place the four (now three) orbiters in the museum from the start of their tenure, if not before, will, by definition, have not.

  • Kevin Parkin

    I vote for Pete Worden — NASA could and should learn a lot from him for all the reasons Sen. Brownback said when he took him on.