NASA, White House

The task force and one reaction

Late Monday the White House issued a memo formally creating the “Task Force on Space Industry WorkForce and Economic Development”. (The memo itself did not appear on the White House web site until Tuesday, or at least very late Monday night.) As Florida Today reported Sunday, the task force will be co-chaired by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, with participation by several other Cabinet secretaries and key officials. And, if anyone thought that these people would actually spend a big chunk of their own time on this, the memo notes that task force members can designate another “senior-level official who is a part of the member’s department, agency, or office” in their place.

While the bulk of the task force’s work is focused on Florida, the scope of the committee’s work is wider than that. One element of the plan that the task force is charged with developing “explores future workforce and economic development activities that could be undertaken for affected aerospace communities in other States, as appropriate”. However, the emphasis of their work—as well as the $40 million the president pledged in his speech last month—remains devoted to “those communities within Florida affected by transitions in America’s space exploration program”. While the task force’s plan is due to the president by August 15, the committee itself will remain in place for three years.

The creation of the task force generated a reaction yesterday from one Space Coast congressman, Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), who has his own ideas for supporting the region’s workforce and economy. “A better transition program for space workers and our nation’s continued leadership in space is to abandon the President’s proposal to cancel Constellation and for NASA to continue flying the Space Shuttle to close the space flight gap,” he said in a statement.

7 comments to The task force and one reaction

  • Anne Spudis

    A healthy and viable space station is critical to the emergence of the commercial space industry that the president’s proposal relies on. If the space station is lost, the primary reason to send humans into space in the next decade will be lost.
    That is a blow that would probably eliminate any business case for the commercial market and would cripple the future of manned space exploration in this country. We send humans into space to advance science and technology, not for vanity.
    How space exploration helps us on Earth

  • So is there anyone out there who thinks the Shuttle can be extended to close the gap? Who isn’t a politician I mean.

  • G Clark

    Of course it can be done. Not cheaply by any means, but it can be done.

    The proper question is, should it be done.

  • G Clark, no matter how much money you throw at it, there isn’t any tanks to extend the shuttle without a gap, so how can you close the gap by extending the shuttle? It’s a logic trap, one that politicians don’t get trapped in because they don’t use logic.

  • Anne Spudis

    ….M: (Knock)
    A: Come in.
    M: Ah, Is this the right room for an argument?
    A: I told you once.
    M: No you haven’t.
    A: Yes I have.
    M: When?
    A: Just now.
    M: No you didn’t.
    A: Yes I did.
    M: You didn’t
    A: I did!
    M: You didn’t!
    A: I’m telling you I did!
    M: You did not!!
    A: Oh, I’m sorry, just one moment. Is this a five minute argument or the full half hour?
    M: Oh, just the five minutes.
    A: Ah, thank you. Anyway, I did.
    M: You most certainly did not.
    A: Look, let’s get this thing clear; I quite definitely told you.
    M: No you did not.
    A: Yes I did.
    M: No you didn’t.
    A: Yes I did.
    M: No you didn’t.
    A: Yes I did.
    M: No you didn’t.
    A: Yes I did.
    M: You didn’t.
    A: Did.
    M: Oh look, this isn’t an argument.
    A: Yes it is.
    M: No it isn’t. It’s just contradiction.
    A: No it isn’t.
    M: It is!
    A: It is not.
    M: Look, you just contradicted me.
    A: I did not.
    M: Oh you did!!
    A: No, no, no.
    M: You did just then.
    A: Nonsense!
    M: Oh, this is futile!
    A: No it isn’t.
    M: I came here for a good argument.
    A: No you didn’t; no, you came here for an argument.
    M: An argument isn’t just contradiction.
    A: It can be.
    M: No it can’t. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
    A: No it isn’t.
    M: Yes it is! It’s not just contradiction.
    A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
    M: Yes, but that’s not just saying ‘No it isn’t.’
    A: Yes it is!
    M: No it isn’t!
    A: Yes it is!
    M: Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.
    (short pause)
    A: No it isn’t.
    M: It is.
    A: Not at all.
    M: Now look……………..
    Python Argument Sketch

  • MrEarl

    Thank you Anne for clear explanation of most blogs and the people who participate. ;-)

  • Any time a sentence includes a comment, reaction or statement by Posey, I have to fight the strong urge to move on to the next paragraph. What a bloviator. Kosmas is right there with him.

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