NASA

Nelson: Keep Griffin, for now

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has a little bit of space advice for President-Elect Barack Obama: keep NASA administrator Mike Griffin in his post, at least for the time being. A Nelson spokesman told the Orlando Sentinel that Nelson wants Obama to wait until the new administration has a “surefire” replacement for Griffin before asking him to resign. Nelson didn’t indicate who, if anyone, he had specifically in mind, but in Nelson’s opinion it would be one who would “stay the course” with the current exploration program but also extend the shuttle.

One other item from the report: according to the article, former NASA associate administrator Lori Garver, a familiar figure in space policy circles, is leading the Obama NASA transition team.

61 comments to Nelson: Keep Griffin, for now

  • sc220

    Every day that Griffin stays on the job is another ~$10M down the Ares/Constellation rat hole. The nation needs to begin work on a viable Shuttle replacement centered on EELVs or COTS ASAP.

    Griffin was born 10-20 years too late. He yearns to relive the days of Apollo, but this isn’t going to happen in today’s environment.

  • anonymous.space

    Per NASA’s own numbers, extending Shuttle operations is a $2 billion per year, or $10 billion through 2015, proposition. (And that’s probably off by a factor of 50-100%.) And per this week’s CBO report on Ares I/Orion, those projects are looking at a 35% chance of a $7 billion overrun.

    So the implications of Nelson’s ever-expanding human space flight wish list is an unpaid $10-17+ billion bill. These figures do not compare well with repeated failures by Senator Nelson and his colleagues to secure even a lousy, one-time, $1 billion increase in NASA’s budget to reimburse the agency for Columbia and Katrina recovery costs (the so-called “Mikulski miracle”).

    If Senator Nelson had a demonstrated record of securing the appropriations necessary to support his ever-expanding NASA human space flight wish list, then there’d be a reason for the Obama Administration to pay attention to Senator Nelson’s recommendations regarding NASA programs and the position of NASA Administrator.

    But Senator Nelson can’t even deliver a superior number of I-4 corridor votes for the Obama campaign in Florida, nevertheless secure billion dollar-class budget increases for NASA. Even if Nelson wasn’t recommending that the Obama Administration extend unsafe flight programs and pursue failing development programs at NASA, his recommendations are so out of touch with budget reality as to make them ridiculous.

    The Obama Administration should ignore Senator Nelson. He’s toothless budgetarily and electorally; his program recommendations would set NASA’s human space flight program on a path to go out of business; and his personnel recommendations would keep incompetent leadership in power. The Obama Administration needs to undertake a serious review of NASA’s human space flight programs and chart an affordable and realistic path to new capabilities, independent of bad Senatorial advice.

    My 2 cents… FWIW…

  • SpaceMan

    Neither of the two previous posters has ANY clue as to how the real world functions or how things actually get done. They are simply throwing verbal temper tantrums.

    Wake up people, the adults are back and the human race is very happy about it. The days of know littles and strutting whiners are over. Mr. Obama will do what he CHOOSES to do and you have no say in the manner.

    Mr. Griffin is probably the best administrator NASA has had since the days of Apollo & Skylab. Deal with it. Your juvenile tantrums are not welcome and do no good for the human move into space.

    GROW UP ! And if you do you might have a chance to actually be part of something special that only comes around once a century.

    *sheesh*

  • Adrian

    i second the EELV and COTS approach. i say keep Ares V in the works though. it will have the heaviest lift of any vehicle yet. yes, cheaper is better, and quicker is what we need now. lose Ares1, retire the Shuttle as soon as we get ISS finished (w/flight for AMS), and then focus on robotic science exploration.

    we need to figure out how to establish a permanent base at the moon, but we need cheap access to LEO first. and ISRU takes time, lots of planning, and the backing of private commercial investments.

  • Myway Highway

    Wake up people, the adults are back and the human race is very happy about it.

    And you speak for the entire human race, do you? You might want to adjust your tin foil hat a bit, it looks like you’re missing a few people on the fringe.

    Mr. Obama will do what he CHOOSES to do and you have no say in the manner.

    Mr. Obama’s way or the highway, eh? Where have we heard that before?

    Mr. Griffin is probably the best administrator NASA has had since the days of Apollo & Skylab.

    Says the self appointed spokesman for the entire human race.

    Those of us who reside in the reality based world, look at the evidence.

    Can you explain to us how the obvious evidence of the complete failure of the Constellation program across the board, qualifies you as spokesman to proclaim him the best administrator since Skylab, when the evidence clearly indicates quite the contrary? Feel free to use numbers and data and stuff.

  • Wow. Methinks someone protests a wee bit too much.

    ~Jon

  • BTW, my comment was directed at Space Man.

  • anonymous.space, as the guy on the ground for McCain sent to brunt team Obama’s push into the eastern anchor of the I-4 Corridor, Brevard County, I will summarize what happened on 11/4–Campaign McCain got our asses kicked in the I-4 Corridor.

    Here’s the record of the 12 counties considered of the I-4 Corridor:
    Orange Count — Obama 58.86% to McCain’s 40.30%
    Osceola County — Obama 59.42% Obama to McCain’s 39.72%
    Pinellas County — Obama 53.5% McCain 45.4% McCain
    Hillsborough County — Obama 50.1% McCain 49%
    Volusia County — Obama 52.4% McCain 46.7%
    Flagler County — Obama 50.4% McCain 48.9%
    Siminole County — McCain 51% Obama 48.1%
    Lake County — McCain 56.2% Obama 42.7%
    Polk County — McCain 52.6% Obama 46.5%
    Manatee County — McCain 53.1% Obama 46.1%
    Sarasota — McCain 49.6% Obama 49.5%
    Brevard County — McCain 54.8% Obama 44.3%

    What is it about Obama breaking even in an area that should have gone Red that you think means Nelson didn’t deliver? Frankly, I’m amazed that Orange and Osceola fell–we should have had those. Heck, we should have had the whole Corridor. By getting Obama to change to pro-Space, Nelson made a FL possible. And Bill’s outreach was something else.

    For example, when McCain made his second trip to Brevard and gave a speech at BCC about his support for the Space program, but didn’t give the exact language about NASA being exempt from the freeze, Nelson starting running radio spots, really good spots too, that McCain was going to freeze NASA’s budget if elected. Both sides knew that was non-sense, but as Bill Clinton once said, “You do what you gotta do”.

    And even when we did state exactly that NASA would be exempt from the freeze, that didn’t matter to Bill–he still hammered us. Just like many of you did, but Bill was just doing what politicians do.

    Here’s the way it is. President-elect Obama owes Nelson big-time. Cross Nelson and there will be pay-back down stream at a time of Nelson’s choosing and not to President Obama’s advantage. President Obama does not need that non-sense when he’s dealing with an economic crisis, two wars, and the Russians testing him. So Nelson asks Lori that Griffin stay, she passes it up to Rahm Emmanuel, and then Griffin stays through most, if not all, of at least President Obama’s first term. That shows pragmatism, realism and bi-partisanship.

    Well, since my job is done, I’m out of here. In the short-term, I’m back on my Mac/iPhone app that will get released in the next 3-4 months. For next-year and beyond, think I’m going to contribute to the aerospace community by getting a Ph.D. in Mission Planning or Trajectory Design at Georgia Tech since it’s No. 2 in the nation, has nice weather, and a great location. If you’re ever in the Austin, TX area, shout out.

  • anonymous.space

    “Neither of the two previous posters has ANY clue as to how the real world functions or how things actually get done. They are simply throwing verbal temper tantrums.”

    How is pointing out that Obama still lost the I-4 corridor despite Nelson’s attempts to drum up KSC votes the equivalent of “verbal temper tantrums”?

    (In fact, how does one have a “verbal” tantrum at all in a written forum?)

    There’s no doubt that politics works on the “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” principle, but Nelson hasn’t done Obama any favors in Florida. There’s no material reason for the Obama transition team or future White House to listen to Nelson’s recommendations, especially when they’re so budgetarily ridiculous and so programmatically destructive to the civil human space flight program.

    “Wake up people, the adults are back and the human race is very happy about it. The days of know littles and strutting whiners are over.”

    Adults construct arguments without resorting to childish namecalling.

    Argue the post, not the poster.

    “Mr. Obama will do what he CHOOSES to do and you have no say in the manner.”

    If we’re voting citizens, then of course we have some say in the “manner [sic]“. Even if we don’t vote, we can always exercise our right to free speech and express our opinions. We live in a democracy, not a totalitarian state — it’s goofy to state that we have no say in any issue, civil space or otherwise.

    “Mr. Griffin is probably the best administrator NASA has had since the days of Apollo & Skylab.”

    First, it’s Dr. Griffin, not Mr. Griffin. If we’re going to hold up the NASA Administrator as an exemplar, let’s at least get his title right.

    And second, what evidence is there that Griffin is among the best NASA Administrators?

    Just this past week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an independent report warning that, after four years of Griffin’s leadership, NASA either can no longer achieve the key goals of the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) or is in serious danger of not achieving them.

    Under the VSE, NASA is suppossed to complete the ISS and retire the Shuttle by the end of the decade (September 2010 on the fiscal calendar). But after four years of Griffin’s leadership, the CBO now “estimates that a delay [in carrying out the remaining ten missions on the Shuttle manifest by September 2010] is more likely and that the probability of carrying out those missions on that timetable is between 20 percent and 60 percent.” Furthermore, the CBO estimates that “a one-year delay in retiring the space shuttle… would result in a corresponding one-year delay in achieving initial operating capability for Ares 1 and Orion.”

    Under the VSE, NASA is suppossed to complete the first manned flight of a new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV, which eventually become Orion) no later than 2014. But after four years of Griffin’s leadership, the CBO reports that “NASA indicates that the probability of achieving the IOC [first manned flight] milestone for the Ares 1 and Orion vehicles by March 2015 is 65 percent”. Furthermore, the CBO reports that multiple, major technical risks threaten this schedule, including “an increase during development in the mass of the Orion vehicle that would exceed the capability of the Ares 1 to lift it into orbit; excessive thrust oscillation in the first stage of the Ares 1 and less-than-required performance during the rocket’s launch; a longer-than-expected development period for the J-2X engine of the Ares 1’s second, or upper, stage; and NASA’s inability to develop and fabricate effective heat shields for the Orion within its current development schedule.” Based on past performance, these issues could lead to “cost growth would require as much as $7 billion more than NASA has budgeted” and “such cost increases, in CBO’s estimation, would imply a delay of as much as 18 months beyond March 2015 for the vehicles to achieve the IOC milestone.”

    Finally, under the VSE, NASA is suppossed to complete the first manned lunar return mission no later than 2020. But according to CBO, Griffin’s decision to forgo “robotic surface exploration of the moon has the potential to delay the launch of the Constellation Program’s first human lunar missions beyond 2020.”

    So to sum up, after four years of Griffin’s leadership, NASA has: worse than a coin’s toss chance of meeting the VSE’s first major goal (finishing the ISS and getting off Shuttle by 2010); only a 2-in-3 chance of meeting the VSE’s second major goal (fly a manned CEV by 2014) a year late (and with a $7 billion and 18-month overrun likely); and may not meet the VSE’s third major goal (first human lunar return by 2020) because the necessary robotic precursor missions have not been carried out.

    Is this really the best we can do in a NASA Administrator? I don’t know about other folks, but I’ve fired employees with annual performance reviews that look better than that.

    Honestly, if the Obama transition team can’t find someone that can do better than Griffin in these human space flight programs, then the agency should throw in the towel on human space flight. This abysmal performance is not worth multi-tens of billions of taxpayers’ dollars. There are much higher priorities for the national treasury, especially now.

    “Your juvenile tantrums are not welcome”

    Again, how is pointing out that Griffin’s performance as NASA Administrator leaves much to be desired the equivalent of a “juvenile tantrum”?

    “and do no good for the human move into space.”

    What “human move into space”? There’s no settlement or colonization effort underway. Currently, the best we can do are six-month stints in aluminum shells orbiting a couple hundred kilometers overhead. Even if NASA overcomes all the problems in its human space flight programs, the best that we can hope for in a decade or two is month-long stays on the Moon for years and years to come.

    “GROW UP !”

    Please… you tell other posters not to throw tantrums and then you yell phrases like “grow up” in all caps? Pot, kettle, black, and all that…

    “And if you do you might have a chance to actually be part of something special that only comes around once a century.”

    I don’t mean to be overly negative, but mismanagement of NASA’s human space flight programs has been going on for decades. There’s nothing special about it.

    “*sheesh*”

    Ugh…

  • anonymous.space

    “By getting Obama to change to pro-Space, Nelson made a FL possible.”

    Your numbers aren’t sourced, but assuming they’re accurate, they don’t show that. Your numbers show six McCain wins and six Obama wins. In terms of county wins, which is all I can go on since these are percentages and not vote totals, that’s a tie for the I-4 corridor, not a win for Obama. (And actually, a couple of the Obama wins are statistical ties, which argues for a slim win by McCain.)

    More importantly, in the most space-heavy county, Brevard, your numbers show that McCain won handily, by almost 11 points. These numbers show that Nelson’s attempts to turn out the KSC vote were at best neutral for Obama. And in fact, these numbers argue that Nelson’s actions probably hurt Obama in the most space-heavy regions.

    I’d also point out that if one looks at the actual number of votes (not percentages), there’s just no way that KSC was a factor. There’s only 13,500 civil servant and contractor employees at KSC. The difference between McCain and Obama in Brevard alone approached 30,000 votes. Every KSC worker and their spouse could have voted for (or against) one candidate and the other candidate still would have lost (or won) by some 3,000 votes in Brevard alone. The KSC workforce, compared to the rest of the population, was just too small to be a factor. See Mr. Foust’s earlier post for the Brevard numbers (add http://www.):

    spacepolitics.com/2008/11/05/the-vote-on-the-space-coast/

    “President-elect Obama owes Nelson big-time.”

    For what? Turning out (or not) a KSC vote that lost Brevard County for Obama by 11 points? For delivering a tie in terms of counties won in the I-4 corridor?

    “Cross Nelson and there will be pay-back down stream at a time of Nelson’s choosing and not to President Obama’s advantage.”

    Please… What is Nelson going to do? Screw up another $1 billion “Mikulski miracle” for NASA?

    Maybe Nelson could hurt Obama’s agenda in some other area beyond the scope of this forum, but he’s repeatedly proven himself (or his staff) to be clueless and toothless when it comes to NASA.

    “President Obama does not need that non-sense when he’s dealing with an economic crisis, two wars, and the Russians testing him.”

    Yeah, I’m sure when Obama is staring Putin in the eye, he’s going to be worried about Senator Nelson stabbing him in the back. (Weird…)

    “So Nelson asks Lori that Griffin stay,”

    Nelson didn’t “ask” Garver. Nelson had to resort to a newpaper to transmit the message for him.

    “That shows pragmatism”

    No, transmitting messages to transition team members through the press, instead of calling up the President-elect directly, demonstrates desperation and a lack of power. There’s nothing pragmatic about it.

    “and bi-partisanship”

    What bipartisanship? All these people (Garver, Nelson, Obama) are Democrats.

    “Well, since my job is done, I’m out of here. In the short-term, I’m back on my Mac/iPhone app that will get released in the next 3-4 months. For next-year and beyond, think I’m going to contribute to the aerospace community by getting a Ph.D. in Mission Planning or Trajectory Design”

    Good luck with all that… I hope it goes better than the campaign did.

    FWIW…

  • Vladislaw

    “Neither of the two previous posters has ANY clue as to how the real world functions or how things actually get done”

    Then perhaps you can enlighten us and explain how the real world functions and also enclude a brief summary of how things actually get done.

    “Your juvenile tantrums are not welcome and do no good for the human move into space”

    I am curious how a tanturm, juvenile or otherwise, impedes the entire planetary human population from moving into space?

    So if a child has a tanturm in a walmart in hooboken the russians start worrying about their lastest space launch? Or does this have to be a juvenile tantrum relating to space? Like smashing a toy shuttle.

    Now I know I often times get excited posting on this great blog provided by Jeff but what I didn’t understand is that my comments here can effect a launch in India, Japan, France, China, USA, et cetera…..

    Gosh, the thought of a rant, or transpostion error, grammer, heck even my spelling could screw up humans getting into space, well that is quite the responsibility. I will try to limit my tantrums to a closet in my basement and no longer post a rant on here, I would hate to be found quilty of keeping humanity earth bound.

  • MarkWhittington

    Anonymous Space does provide a little bit of disinformation. In fact Senator Nelson, along with other pro space Senators, has been successful in providing more money for the NASA budget–in the Senate. The problem has always been in the House, where Senators don’t have a lot of pull.

  • Colony Space

    Even if NASA overcomes all the problems in its human space flight programs, the best that we can hope for in a decade or two is month-long stays on the Moon for years and years to come.

    That’s some serious koolaide you got there Mr. Jones, I’m so happy to be here with you on your religious compound on the moon. What did you say happen again, and what were going to do again after we drink this here koolaide, Reverend Jones?

    Seriously, that is just about the DUMBEST thing I have ever heard coming out of the mouth of any space advocate, ever. You’d win a prize except that you are screaming out to the world that you are not a space advocate.

    Let me explain this to you as clearly as I can. What you propose would not be a repudiation of Bush space doctrine and Bush space dogma, it would be an embracing of it, for another decade or two. You’ll just have to trust me that the goals of the administration of Barack Obama will not be the embracement of Bush space doctrine, but a repudiation if moon dogma.

    You have the MOON on your BRAIN, sir. Or is it madam? The worst possible thing that the United Space could do in space, is get stuck on the moon for decades in another International Space Station. Logistically and financially, it just ain’t gonna happen that way. Moon bases are easily refuted by basic physics, it’s old Gerard K. O’Neill stuff. There are considerably more advanced methods and techniques for colonizing space on the table, than the naive and hopelessly dogmatic and religious fixation you archchair space advocates have on the planetary surface exploration of the moon and Mars. What you desperately need to do is get out of your office and into the real world, and do some research on the problems you are so eager to legislate into failure. We can no longer afford failure on that scale.

    The last thing America wants to do is continue a program that Bush started. The best thing that America could do right now is cancel VSE and start over again from scratch, and use scientific methods instead of religious doctrine.

    I can see it’s going to take a good long while to shake off the insanity of the Bush years, that’s the one thing that is clear from the posts on this forum.

  • joe

    More fed money for NASA is not necessarily a ‘good’ (in quotes because it’s an opinion) thing. I’d actually cut funding for NASA (and many other federal agencies). They are profligate wasters as many other federal agencies.

    Why are you folks chewing on each other over how much money is thrown at NASA? If the agency can’t even utilize what it’s got, prudently? Ok, let’s print and give them $100bil bailout. Sounds familiar? How did that work out? Insolvent and incompetent institutions are insolvent for a reason, and no money throwing at them will help that.

    They should be dissolved, like those junk-making automobile firms GM, and Ford, that keep asking for federal money while still producing CRAP, why should the taxpayer help them? What good will it do? They should go down in flames like any enterprise that f’ks up and is incompetent.

  • Miklos

    Please write to Obama about new space and COTS

    http://change.gov/page/s/ofthepeople

  • sc220

    Anonymous.space: You put Spaceman in his place very effectively. From his line of “reasoning,” I suspect that he was a McCain supporter.

    The bottom-line is that Nelson’s reward for actively supporting Obama is that KSC stays in business. This could easily be done by extending the Shuttle program by a few years and switching over to an EELV/Orion Shuttle replacement. It’s certainly not going to happen with the current approach of shutting down Shuttle in 2010 and then waiting for the eggs to hatch in that single Ares I basket.

  • i say keep Ares V in the works though. it will have the heaviest lift of any vehicle yet.

    We don’t need a heavy-lift vehicle. We need affordable robust space access, and on-orbit propellant storage.

    You put Spaceman in his place very effectively. From his line of “reasoning,” I suspect that he was a McCain supporter.

    That’s a nonsensical inference.

  • Al Fansome

    What is it about Obama breaking even in an area that should have gone Red that you think means Nelson didn’t deliver?

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    I agree that Obama’s detailed (6-pages), clear, and better space policy position — combined with Nelson’s using it as a campaign issue in ads — won Obama *some* votes in the I4 corridor. The real question is how many is “some”?

    Anybody looking at this also has to consider other information. For example, red areas were swinging blue all over the country, not just in the I4 corridor. Virginia went Obama. Indiana went Obama. Colorado and New Mexico went Obama. North Carolina went Obama.

    Again, I think it is obvious that it affected “some” votes. The real question is “was it 100 votes, 1,000 votes, or 10,000 votes”?

    I have not seen any hard data that would help us answer this question.

    Now, if somebody had some exit polling data from the I4 corridor, that included a question about space, we might be able to answer this question.

    What we can say is this:

    The number of jobs in the Florida I4 corridor at stake is somewhere in the 5,000 to 10,000 range.

    Some fraction of the people in those jobs will vote for a candidate based on their “space policy” positions.

    According to most current data (at this time) Obama won Florida by 254,577 votes.

    If the “space” issue won Obama 10,000 votes in the I4 corridor — which is highly optimistic — then it accounted for only 4% of Obama’s win margin in Florida.

    If the “space” issue won Obama 1,000 votes in the I4 corridor — which is a more reasonable assumption (without any data) — then it accounted for 0.4% of the win margin in Florida.

    Space was not a significant issue, by any reasonable analysis.

    FWIW,

    - Al

  • Norm Hartnett

    Odd that you all have not discussed what I consider the most important bit of information in that article, that Lori Garver is heading up the transition team. I suspect that this puts her in a very powerful position to effect change at NASA. While I know that she seems an avid supporter of COTS and civilian space efforts I am unclear on what her positions on VSE, Constellation, Shuttle extension, and Dr. Griffin are. Any speculation or information on where she might be going post-transition?

  • Griffin says Obama is Arrogant

    It is amazing that Mike Griffin thinks he can keep his job. The bubble on the 9th floor is a reality-distorting machine.

    Let me introduce a little political reality.

    Mike Griffin is on record stating that anybody who thinks that global warming is a problem, and who thinks we should do something about it, is arrogant.

    In other words, Mike Griffin believes that President-elect Obama, as well as the vast majority of the Democratic Party, are arrogant.

    Here are the facts. Let me use FOX, which reported the facts on the NPR interview …

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,276722,00.html

    GRIFFIN: “To assume that it is a PROBLEM is to assume that the state of Earth’s climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had, and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t change,”

    GRIFFIN:And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that’s a rather ARROGANT position for people to take.”

    Meanwhile President-elect Obama, and VP-elect Biden, are on record saying global warming is a problem that we must take aggressive action to address this problem.

    http://my.barackobama.com/page/content/newenergy_more#emissions
    Reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions 80 Percent by 2050

    Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050.

    The Obama-Biden cap-and-trade policy will require all pollution credits to be auctioned, and proceeds will go to investments in a clean energy future, habitat protections, and rebates and other transition relief for families.

    Make the U.S. a Leader on Climate Change.

    Obama and Biden will re-engage with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) — the main international forum dedicated to addressing the climate problem. They will also create a Global Energy Forum of the world’s largest emitters to focus exclusively on global energy and environmental issues.

    CONCLUSION:

    1) Mike Griffin has publicly denied that global warming is a problem.

    2) Mike Griffin has questioned whether anybody, which includes the President and Congress, has the moral authority to decide that global warming is a problem.

    3) Furthermore, Mike Griffin has explicitly asserted that it is ARROGANT for any person to take a position that global warming is a problem. In other words, Griffin is saying that President-elect Obama and VP-elect Biden — as well as the vast majority of Democrats — are arrogant.

    President-elect Obama should send a clear message to Mike Griffin “Don’t let the door hit you in the behind.”

    - Mr. Griffin-Says-Obama-Is-Arrogant

  • Mark: We don’t need a heavy-lift vehicle. We need affordable robust space access, and on-orbit propellant storage.

    I fully agree.

    – Donald

  • Al Fansome

    Let me add a little more information.

    I said above

    The number of jobs in the Florida I4 corridor at stake is somewhere in the 5,000 to 10,000 range.

    Some fraction of the people in those jobs will vote for a candidate based on their “space policy” positions.

    Since about ~40% of the electorate are hard-core base Democrats, and ~40% are hard-core base Republicans, the only people who might even consider changing their votes based on a secondary issue like space are the middle 20% of swing votes.

    The absolute max would be 20%. But saying all these people would vote based on space policy can not be supported.

    Now swing voters consider many other things, like the overall state of the economy, their opinions of the presidential candidates, the position on the war, (in this case) McCain’s choice of VP.

    Let’s say that “space policy” was a significant consideration for swing voters whose jobs are at risk.

    I could see — at most — that 5-10% of those people voted for Obama based on his space policy position.

    Therefore, of the 5,000 to 10,000 people who are worried about their jobs, only 5-10% of those people might be willing to change their votes. This suggests that the space policy positions might affect the outcome of 250 to 1,000 votes in the I4 corridor.

    Since Obama won by over 250,000 votes, analysis suggests that Sen. Nelson’s space lobbying efforts helped Obama with somewhere between 0.1% and 0.4% of his winning margin in Florida.

    FWIW,

    - Al

  • Al Fansome

    Mark: We don’t need a heavy-lift vehicle. We need affordable robust space access, and on-orbit propellant storage.

    DONALD: I fully agree.

    Donald,

    I also agree. But the original statement was by Rand, who gets the credit.

    Mark would never contradict the plans and positions of Mike Griffin.

    FWIW,

    - Al

  • OV-106

    It is time for Griffin and the current architecture to go.

    After 4 years of an active Program, we have predominately had rising costs and schedules moving to the right.

    Orion, which should be a systems engineering integration effort will most likely not even make it to PDR due during Griffin’s current administration due to issues with Ares 1. Does this sound like everything is going as planned?

    Hypothetically, lets say Ares 1 becomes operational. Orion will not be what was propsed in ESAS but just a shadow of what it could have been instead. Operational costs will be much higher than forcasted due to all the system mitigations that need to be in place for the very fact you launch your launch vehicle. And then, what does that get us? A marginal capsule that can hardly make it to ISS with a crew but can do no real useful work once in orbit because the performance margins on Ares 1 just are not there.

    And then, there is Ares V still looming in the distance that requires an entirely new development program. The current baseline is to not use the 5 segment boosters being developed for Ares 1, as promised, but 5.5 segments, which is a new development. A new core that has to be developed with 6 engines now instead of 5 and a new upperdeparture stage needs to be developed as well. In the end without changing course, all this will slip further and further into the future based on the past and we may just end up with a LEO-only capability that costs nearly as much but can do less than what we currently have operational.

    Very sad indeed. It’s time for a change, for the sake of being to explore and for the sake of the tax payers being able to afford a sustainable exploration effort.

    OV-106

  • anonymous.space

    “Anonymous Space does provide a little bit of disinformation. In fact Senator Nelson, along with other pro space Senators, has been successful in providing more money for the NASA budget–in the Senate.”

    Not really true, on several counts:

    1) Senators Hutchison, Mikulski, and Nelson have failed repeatedly, over three consecutive years IIRC, to bring the so-called “Mikulski miracle” to a floor vote. There’s been no Senate-wide vote to provide more money to NASA, at least via the “Mikulski miracle”. (It should really be called the “Mikulski morass” as many times as it’s gotten stuck.)

    2) The one time that the “Mikulski miracle” has sneaked out of the Senate was via a mechanism called “unanimous consent”. Despite the name, there’s nothing unanimous about unanimous consent. No floor vote is taken — it just means no one was paying attention or cared enough to object to the bill language in question.

    3) Obviously the Senate alone, or even the Congress as a whole, cannot provide more money. For NASA to receive a budget increase, the relevant appropriations bill has to be approved and agreed to by _both_ houses of Congress, _and_ the President has to agree to sign the bill into law. In the case of the unanimous consent clause, even if the House had pushed a similar increase, the Bush White House had gone on the record in multiple Statements of Administration Position as being opposed to such increases for NASA.

    If Senator Nelson (or Mikulski or Hutchison) actually want to pass a NASA budget increase (and not just posture for NASA voters back home), they need to start by lobbying the White House in the fall, before the White House sends the President’s Budget to Congress. That’s also the time that they need to start coordinating with their House colleagues, and lobbying their fellow Senators at large. After the President’s Budget comes over, they then need to lobby to their appropriations committee to maximize the budget allocation to the appropriations subcommittee that decides NASA’s budget. And then they need to actually bring bills with NASA increases to the floor for votes, so they carry the weight of the institution, as opposed to being procedural gimmicks. If the Senators do that, and do so in a timely fashion so the legislative year doesn’t run out on them, they should be in good position to pass a significant NASA budget increase through both the House and Senate that the President also agrees to.

    It’s a long slog, but there’s little mystery to the appropriations process. It just takes early, steady work and consistent coordination and lobbying. In recent memory, the Senators and staff in question have proven themselves unwilling or incapable of doing so on NASA’s behalf.

    FWIW…

  • Mark would never contradict the plans and positions of Mike Griffin.

    That’s not fair. He’s never had a chance to critique Mike Griffin under a Democrat administration. He was really hard on Goldin and NASA when Clinton was in the White House. ;-)

  • anonymous.space

    “That’s some serious koolaide you got there Mr. Jones, I’m so happy to be here with you on your religious compound on the moon. What did you say happen again, and what were going to do again after we drink this here koolaide, Reverend Jones?”

    Please, enough with the Kool-Aid references. We space cadets have worn the treads on that tired metaphor bare.

    “Seriously, that is just about the DUMBEST thing I have ever heard coming out of the mouth of any space advocate, ever. You’d win a prize except that you are screaming out to the world that you are not a space advocate.”

    It has nothing to do with advocacy. It’s just the technical and fiscal realities associated with the program NASA has chosen to pursue. Even if NASA’s Constellation Program as currently configured encounters no further technical, budget/cost, or schedule problems, the best we space cadets can hope for are two Apollo mission repeats per year starting in 2020 and through the middle of that decade. Assuming all is still going well, maybe (big maybe) by 2025, NASA will have built up enough infrastructure to keep crews at the Moon for a month or so. But we’ll still be visiting the Moon only a couple times a year, with less than a handful of astronauts each time, probably through 2030 or so. Again, the best that we can hope for over the next couple decades is month-long stays on the Moon for years to come.

    Of course, we may not get (probably won’t get) even that. Last week’s CBO report shows that the Constellation Program is running a 35% chance of not meeting 2015 IOC for Ares I/Orion with a probable $7 billion overrun and 18-month delay to 2017 if the IOC is not met, with consequent impacts on Constellation’s lunar architecture elements (Ares V/EDS/Altair) and their 2020 first human lunar return mission goal. (Of course, as CBO notes, Griffin cancelled the lunar robotic precursor missions that are likely necessary to meet the 2020 goal anyway, so it may not matter in the end.)

    I’d love for it to be otherwise. I’d love if it NASA was focusing its budgetary and human resources on overcoming the challenges of human space exploration beyond Earth orbit, and relying on the private sector for efficient Earth-to-orbit transportation. But that’s not what’s happening — instead, NASA is spending $12-odd billion poorly reinventing the intermediate Earth-to-orbit lift wheel in Ares I, and deferring investments in heavy lift, in-space propellant management, ISRU, radiation protection, closed-loop life support, and other technologies and knowledge necessary to extend human presence beyond the Van Allen Belts.

    “Let me explain this to you as clearly as I can. What you propose would not be a repudiation of Bush space doctrine and Bush space dogma, it would be an embracing of it, for another decade or two.”

    I didn’t “propose” anything. I just reiterated the Constellation Program as it exists. And I do repudiate it — it is a poorly planned, needlessly duplicative and expensive, and badly executed program.

    “You’ll just have to trust me that the goals of the administration of Barack Obama will not be the embracement of Bush space doctrine, but a repudiation if moon dogma.”

    Boy, I sure hope so. But there’s little in the Obama campaign documents to suggest that. They endorse the 2020 lunar goal but don’t change the approach, and at one point, even expressed support for Ares I. Worse, they commit NASA to at least one more Shuttle flight, and possibly more.

    “You have the MOON on your BRAIN, sir. Or is it madam?”

    Don’t confuse an analysis of the Constellation Program’s trajectory with an endorsement of the same.

    And does it really matter if I’m a guy or a gal?

    “The worst possible thing that the United Space could do in space, is get stuck on the moon for decades in another International Space Station.”

    If there are no cost-effective, useful lunar resources or other advantages on the Moon to exploit, I agree. Unfortunately, Griffin and Dale have set Constellation on a course to establish a lunar polar base in the absence of even basic promising indications about resources. For example, Kaguya results from just a couple weeks ago show that the case for polar ice has weakened further. See (add http://www.):

    space.com/scienceastronomy/081023-no-moon-ice.html

    “Logistically and financially, it just ain’t gonna happen that way. Moon bases are easily refuted by basic physics, it’s old Gerard K. O’Neill stuff.”

    I’m all for zero-G resources, but until the first O’Neill cylinders, Bernal spheres, or Stanford toruses start showing up, the case for the colonization of free space is just as unproven as lunar settlement.

    FWIW…

  • Pwn Shop

    the case for the colonization of free space is just as unproven as lunar settlement.

    Wow. Just wow. The innumeracy of the American voting public has just reached a new low. That’s what happens when people suddenly realize they have been pwned. You have been pwned. Let me explain. Between the Iraq war, the 10 trillion dollar national debt, the financial bailouts (soon the auto industry) the economic stimulus packages (yes there will be more) and Constellation and Ares, George W. Bush and Michael Griffin have turn the International Space Station and the Space Shuttles into the huge financial and technical successes that they were first imagined to be. You need to just go with it because suddenly this system is the cheapest game in town. Yes, you heard me, you have been pwned by the Paypal guy. And the world is laughing their asses off at you. Especially Osama bin Laden, he’s lounging in his cave, laughing his ass off at you idiots. And you keep floundering around like someone who knows they have been pwned, and will be pwned well into the future.

    So get out there and start campaigning for Sarah Palin’s run for the White House in 2012.

  • Paul F. Dietz

    Obama has a great excuse if he has to back off statements supportive of the space program. He can just say that the economic catastrophe left by his predecessor is even more terrible than had been thought. And this statement has the advantage it might even be true.

  • SpaceWatcher

    I have two points.
    1. Whether Dr Griffin remains for a while or not (I do not support his remaining) he will do what President Obama tells him to do. He is not a free agent, but an employee; an important employee, but an employee nonetheless. If President Obama directs him to take a different path, then it will be Griffins choice whether to obey that directive or resign; that’s his only choice.

    2. Heavy Lift:

    Rand: We don’t need a heavy-lift vehicle. We need affordable robust space access, and on-orbit propellant storage.
    Donald: I fully agree.

    It depends on how you define Heavy Lift.
    1. If you are talking about performance like the Ares-V (130mT), I agree.
    2. If you are talking about a launcher whose only purpose is Heavy Lift, I agree.
    3. If you are talking about an architecture that thumbs its nose at orbital propellant depots, I agree.

    What I would support is a SINGLE launch vehicle that lives in the medium lift range, ~50mT, but which could orbit 100mT when needed by adding an upper stage. I would support a vehicle designed from the beginning to support orbital refueling depots. I would support a vehicle designed from the beginning to service a wide range of lift requirements, depending on use of an upper stage or not, orbital refueling or not, PROVIDED that it was a single vehicle, not several different vehicles requiring all kinds of infrastructure costs to support.

    I would support something like the Jupiter-120 concept, which does all this, and does it without destroying all the existing infrastructure.

    With the Jupiter-120 the science community has the opportunity to actually do the kinds of solar and planetary missions it has only been able to dream about for 35 years. The DIRECT team has clearly stated that it is designed to enable the Propellant Depot architecture. It is designed to provide access beyond LEO, and to leave LEO to Commercial space. Add the upper stage and the center 3rd core engine, and it will do the ESAS Lunar mission with 2 launches, or, using the depot that is maintained by commercial space, will do the ESAS Lunar mission with a single launch.

    It is one vehicle, designed to be used with or without an upper stage, and with or without the propellant depot. It lives in the medium lift range I like, and does not suck all the air out of the room nor suppress the advancement of commercial space.

    I can support that kind of architecture. But I CANNOT support the kind of Heavy Lift that the Ares architecture talks about. It’s too big, too expensive, and too wasteful.

  • What I would support is a SINGLE launch vehicle that lives in the medium lift range, ~50mT, but which could orbit 100mT when needed by adding an upper stage.

    A SINGLE launch vehicle makes for a very fragile infrastructure, as we’ve discovered with all the Shuttle down time.

  • Kevin Parkin

    Cancel shuttle. Proceed with Ares V. Shrink NASA. Fix procurement. Fix procurement. Reduce paperwork. Keep science stable. Firewall mission budgets from R&D budgets. Increase transformational R&D aligned with VSE.

  • Chuck2200

    A SINGLE launch vehicle makes for a very fragile infrastructure, as we’ve discovered with all the Shuttle down time.

    NASA cannot afford more than one manned system at a time. We do not and likely will not have that kind of money for a very long time. But that doesn’t mean there is only one. The post implicitly implied the existence of manned commercial space.

    We simply can’t do everything, no matter how we’d like to. It is true that Shuttle down-time teaches us that we need more than one way to have crews reach LEO. A single multi-functional NASA manned architecture backed by a manned commercial space capability to LEO provides that and is more than acceptable.

  • Chuck2200

    Cancel shuttle.

    Doing this just to do it is precipitous. Shuttle will be retired, it’s just a matter of when. What was, and remains shortsighted, is canceling Shuttle without a replacement being operational. Obama the candidate pleaded to increase NASA’s annual budget by $2 billion dollars, just what’s needed to fund Shuttle operations per year. If President Obama follows thru (we’ll see), then Shuttle operations could continue, without impacting Constellation development costs, until Orion and its launcher are operational. That’s the right time to retire Shuttle.

    Proceed with Ares V. Shrink NASA.

    Those are mutually exclusive desires. Ares-V is projected to be more expensive to build and operate than Shuttle. If the goal is super wasteful, marginally effective and “fly this and do nothing else”, then deploy Ares-V. The trouble is that it costs so much that there won’t be much left to do other nice things like, oh, I don’t know, maybe a lunar lander. If the goal is an effective and active NASA that has an Orion spacecraft that does what it is supposed to do, then delete the Ares-V boondoggle. Remember, Orion isn’t supposed to be a LEO spacecraft. It’s supposed to go to the moon. If all NASA wants to do with Orion is LEO, then Orion is the wrong spacecraft, and Ares-V is a pure, astronomical waste (which I believe it to be anyway).

  • NASA cannot afford more than one manned system at a time.

    Of course it can. It could have had two already for what it’s spent on Ares by modifying the EELVs to carry Orion. And Falcon/Dragon is going to be a manned system. At this point in history, NASA shouldn’t be in the launch vehicle development or operations business at all.

  • Chuck2200

    Correction to last post. I posted Obama the candidate pleaded to increase NASA’s annual budget by $2 billion dollars. I MEANT Obama the candidate PLEDGED to increase NASA’s annual budget by $2 billion dollars. Spell checkers do not catch wrong words that are spelled properly. Sorry.

  • Chuck2200

    Chuck2200: NASA cannot afford more than one manned system at a time.

    Rand: Of course it can. It could have had two already for what it’s spent on Ares by modifying the EELVs to carry Orion. And Falcon/Dragon is going to be a manned system.

    EELV’s are not NASA, they are commercial space, and NASA buys rides on them for its spacecraft.

    At this point in history, NASA shouldn’t be in the launch vehicle development or operations business at all.

    I agree with the development part, but not the operational part. The mission is different, but functionally, NASA should be no different than the USAF or the US Navy. NASA should write the specs and contract out to industry for the launch vehicle and spacecraft. Industry delivers what NASA has ordered and then operates them, just like the Air Force operates industry-produced aircraft and the Navy operates industry-produced ships.

    Industry should be producing all the launch vehicles and spacecraft, not NASA. NASA should NOT be in the design and development business. NASA is a government agency and should not be competing with industry to develop the hardware. NASA should write the specs detailing what it wants the launch vehicles and spacecraft to do and then get out of the way and let industry do what it does best when it doesn’t have to compete with its own government that doesn’t even know how to actually do what industry already does. Case in point, the Ares-V upper stage. NASA swears up and down that an upper stage cannot be built with a pmf better than 0.9. What they really mean is that NASA doesn’t know how to do it. But the Atlas Centaur has been flying for over 40 years with an efficiency much better than that. NASA should just get out of the way and buy from industry what industry already knows how to do.

  • Al Fansome

    CHUCK2200: Obama the candidate PLEDGED to increase NASA’s annual budget by $2 billion dollars.

    1) This pledge was made in August, which was before financial meltdown in September, before the $750 billion financial bail-out, and before the commitment for a new financial stimulus (which will drive up the federal deficit).

    2) It is not clear that the pledge was “$2 Billion per year”, or just a one-time $2 Billion to help reduce the gap.

    3) The worst thing we could do is to not retire the Shuttle in/around 2010. We should add the one flight for AMS-02, and then use the funding for priorities that a much more important than going around in circles in LEO.

    4) Even $2 Billion a year is not enough to keep the Shuttle going. That is not the full cost.

    The GAO reports it is $2.5 to 4.0 Billion a year.

    We can all think of some pretty good things to do in space with that kind of money. It may be difficult to come to an agreement on what it should be, but most of them would be better than going around in circles in LEO.

    President-elect Obama understands this implicitly … remember Obama said that he is no longer inspired by NASA.

    FWIW,

    - Al

  • anonymous.space

    “Between the Iraq war, the 10 trillion dollar national debt, the financial bailouts (soon the auto industry) the economic stimulus packages (yes there will be more) and Constellation and Ares, George W. Bush and Michael Griffin have turn [sic] the International Space Station and the Space Shuttles into the huge financial and technical successes that they were first imagined to be.”

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that Elifritz was back. Nevermind…

  • Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that Elifritz was back. Nevermind…

    That will make all your problems go away, huh?

    No wonder American voted you pricks out of office. Alas, we’re stuck with people like you in the civil service. But not for long!

  • anonymous.space

    “What was, and remains shortsighted, is canceling Shuttle without a replacement being operational. Obama the candidate pleaded to increase NASA’s annual budget by $2 billion dollars, just what’s needed to fund Shuttle operations per year. If President Obama follows thru (we’ll see), then Shuttle operations could continue, without impacting Constellation development costs, until Orion and its launcher are operational. That’s the right time to retire Shuttle.”

    In addition to Mr. Fansome’s good points about the improbability of extended Shuttle operations getting funded to tune of $2 billion per year (or $10 billion through 2015) in this fiscal environment — as well as the improbability of the Shuttle budget actually coming in at that figure — it’s also important to recall the mission reliability and safety issues involved. If Shuttle is flown at a rate of two missions through 2015 (or ten additional missions total), even Griffin has publicly noted that the probability of another Shuttle accident is about 1-in-8, not much better than avoiding a bullet from a six-shooter in a game of Russian roulette. Such an accident would be particularly bad if Shuttle costs do defer its replacement, leaving the program up a creek with no human vehicle in operation or development, and/or if the accident is another Columbia-like failure that threatens non-federal property and lives.

    FWIW…

  • anonymous.space

    “That will make all your problems go away, huh?”

    Using a consistent user name as Mr. Foust, the operator of this website, has requested in the past would keep the rest of us from wasting time responding to your posts.

    “No wonder American voted you pricks out of office. Alas, we’re stuck with people like you in the civil service.”

    You must have me confused with someone else. I have never stated on this website whether I hold public office or am a government employee.

    Again, nevermind…

  • Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Using a consistent user name as Mr. Foust, the operator of this website, has requested in the past would keep the rest of us from wasting time responding to your posts.

    And of course my inconsistent use of user names is one of the pressing issues of our time.

    It’s clear, to me at least, that you have nothing to say about the pressing issues of our time, and indeed, your primary purpose here is to misdirect people away from the pressing issues of our time.

    As I have clearly stated, misdirection is not going to address the pressing issues of our time, and you should consider yourself lucky that I consider space one of the pressing issues of our time, and that I have allowed my time to be wasted on your issues.

  • Vladislaw

    Did you hear that Anonomous.Space? You should consider yourself LUCKY!

    Because, heaven forbid, if he thought space was a non issue, you would soon find yourself up the proverbial creek without a paddle. He might change names again and REALLY let you have it. Heck he might even call for the wrath of god to strike you and your heathen antics and plunge you onto Dante’s sixth plane.

  • Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Because, heaven forbid, if he thought space was a non issue, you would soon find yourself up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

    You are up a proverbial creek without a paddle. All you’ve got is printing pressing in the government mint now. How long do you think that will work?

    Compared to the EXTREME problems the republican party and the Bush administration have created for America these past eight years, space is most definitely a NON-ISSUE. That’s how out of touch with reality you guys are here. But fortunately, while you have been sitting around on your asses and discussing space policy from the relative safety of your office cubicles, foot soldiers just like myself have been POUNDING THE ISSUES incessantly, which is the only thing that has kept the republicans from keeping power, and the only thing that keeps space on the radar of the president elect.

    You owe people like me a deep gratitude, but you are too vain to see that. Now you will have to deal with the reality of the issues. It won’t be pretty.

  • anon-7

    Elifritz is coming over to poison Jeff’s blog now that Rocketsandsuch has kicked him off for being a troll.

  • Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Elifritz is coming over to poison Jeff’s blog now that Rocketsandsuch has kicked him off for being a troll.

    Rocket Man and I have a verbal agreement. When you post your INANE and IRRELEVANT shit on his blog, he deletes it. I can poison any blog I choose, at any time I choose, using any name I choose and and IP I can think of. Reality is weird that way. But after all is said and done, my poison is sweet nectar compared to the poison of the policies of the Bush administration these last eight years, an administration you voted into office twice, and the Rovian smear machine of which you still remain a part of. Your time is past. But your problems still remain. Reality is weird that way, and nobody expects you people to life a finger to help yourselves. This election has been very revealing and illuminating in that respect. So just as soon are you are willing to address the REAL ISSUES confronting Americans, let us know.

  • anon-7

    Oh great, Elifritz, now you are going to start to threaten or “poison” this really nice blog and its good name as well. What is it with you? No one cares what you think and they only pay attention to you when you make messes online that need to be cleaned up.

  • Thomas Lee Elifritz

    Oh great, Elifritz, now you are going to start to threaten or “poison”

    It’s called ‘chemotherapy’.

    What this election has shown us, is that 60% of the voting electorate, enough of America necessary to deny you the ability to continue your destructive policies, no longer buys into your feeble attempts to make me the issue, in order to distract them from the real issues. The only reason you are here is to keep the remaining 40% of your constutuency distracted.

    Just as soon are you are willing to discuss the real issues here, which is Michael Griffin and his useless and expensive dysfunctional rockets, you just let us know. My job is to keep you posting. It only helps us, not you.

  • anon-7

    Go away Elifritz so we can get back to discussing space and not your mental problems.

  • Jeff Foust

    I can poison any blog I choose, at any time I choose, using any name I choose and and IP I can think of.

    With an attitude like that, Mr. Elifritz, you are not welcome here. Please leave.

  • Tough Love

    After eight years of Bush, I have every right to have a bad attitude, and contrary to Mr. Bush’s policies, my bad attitude hasn’t hurt you or anyone else, on the contrary, it has helped you out immensely. Get used to it.

  • It’s not like it’s a new attitude, Jeff. There’s really no solution except to delete the creature’s posts.

  • anon-7

    Hey Elifritz – this is one of the best space policy blogs around. Don’t spoil it with your delusional rantings. “Tough love” for you ought to be banning from this site which, if I am not mistaken, the owner has just done. Or are you too stupid to figure that out?

  • Banneth Dissenters

    Georgeth Wth. Busheth and Michael Griffeth banned all dissent as well, and we can all see how well that turned out. You are technologically illiterate.

    You hate America and Americans for their freedoms. We will track you down on your pathetic blogs, and root you out of your cubicles, and blob you.

    Mercilessly. In a Web 2.0 World. Your ‘pathetic’ era is over.

  • anon-7

    You have clearly lost your mind Elifritz.

  • You have clearly lost your mind Elifritz.

    Years ago, assuming that he was ever sane. He’s been in most people’s killfiles on Usenet for many years.

  • Another Lurker

    I thought this thread was about Dr. Griffin.

  • Chuck2200

    It’s supposed to be. Personally, I don’t want to see him kept on because, in spite of his many fine attributes which do recommend him, he seemingly has his head in the sand when it comes to his Ares program. He came into NASA with Ares already gelled in his mind before any real analysis was done, and has so far ignored every standard of past vehicles for when a program is cancelled. Ares has long sense past those milestones, yet he keeps it alive in spite of the burgeoning costs, the rapidly expanding schedule and totally unnecessary technical difficulties. He continues with an Ares architecture, in spite of all the evidence that it needs to be replaced. It is obvious, at least to me, that Ares won’t survive his tenure.

    Ares will die, and if that’s going to happen, I’d rather it be sooner rather than later so that we can change gears and get on with it. Dr Griffin does not appear to be willing to change gears, so I’d like to see a new Administrator who will take stock of everything and then take us down a different path to the VSE. I have no idea who that person may be, but it needs to be someone who will “administer” and leave the “engineering” to the engineers.

  • Vladislaw

    Man and here I thought I was out there on some positions.

    I stated a couple years ago about how I thought Dr. Griffin had, for whatever reasons, changed a fundamental philosophy he had when it came to heavy lift, i.e. he had switched from liquid to SRB’s.

    He also stated in that memo that was “leaked” that the current administration had a jihad going to end the shuttle program. A March 2005 Space Review article about Griffin’s nomination to become the new head of NASA he is quoted as saying: “we should move to replace this system with all deliberate speed.”

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/339/1

    So I find the jihad statement kind of disingenious. He was also quite skeptical of the costs that congress said a return to the moon would cost, but under his management it looks like he is making all those naysayers words come true.

  • [...] whether to keep Griffin in office for some period of time after Obama takes office (something that Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) had requested earlier this month, it now seems exceedingly unlikely that Griffin will be there after January 20, even if his [...]

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