Events, Other

Events, past and future

The Arms Control Association has made available a transcript of the panel discussion on the new national space policy hosted earlier this month by the association and the Secure World Foundation. (I included some quotes from that discussion in a piece last week on the new policy in The Space Review.)

Tuesday morning Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), ranking member of the House Science and Technology Committee, will be the featured speaker at a Space Transportation Association (STA) breakfast on Capitol Hill. Certainly the status of a House version of a NASA authorization bill will be a subject of discussion at that event. The STA will also be presenting an award to Gary Payton, the Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space Programs, who is retiring this month.

On Wednesday afternoon The Planetary Society is hosting the first in a series of webcasts on NASA’s new space exploration plan. This first webcast, at 5 pm EDT, will focus on destinations in the new plan and will feature Bill Nye and Louis Friedman, the incoming and outgoing executive directors of the organization.

21 comments to Events, past and future

  • Robert G. Oler

    With the new concepts in space politics and policy the future of human exploration of the solar system is very bright. Robert G. Oler

  • amightywind

    From the SpaceReview

    “The comparable section of the Obama policy is far less US-centric”

    Amusing! Obama is very self-effacing when speaking for America and talking Her down to foreigners, not so much in his politics. Give me a jingoistic space policy any day.

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/NateBeelerToons/Muslims-the-Final-Frontier-98086499.html

  • amightywind

    tivo:

    There is no way the words of these eggheads and faceless bureaucrats will carry more weight in congress than those Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, Chris Craft, Burt Rutan etc… That fight is over.

  • mark valah

    Space X and the new approach for space have made it into the financial blogs. Pease see below. I also recommend the dailyreckoning in general, a good sanity check series of financial commentaries.

    The blog makes a parellel between space and the first colonial expeditions (Columbus), which were government sponsored enterprises. Soon after, commercial ventures followed and the parallel is made again with space. One thing in hugely missing, however: the promise of gold in the newly discovered teritories does not have (yet?) a parallel in space. When it will, space technology will advance at a pace never imagined. But where could that promise of gold come from?

    http://dailyreckoning.com/the-final-frontier-for-your-portfolio/

  • Vladislaw

    Thanks for the link Tivo, from the article:

    “Third, it has been suggested by some that only a NASA-led effort can provide the safety assurance required to commit to launching government astronauts into space. We must note that much of the CAIB report was an indictment of NASA’s safety culture, not a defense of its uniqueness.”

    I hope congress takes this into consideration.

  • And next Sunday, the 18th, is the Moon Day event here in D/FW.

    Details are at the Frontiers of Flight Museum website, and at my blog.

    If you’re in North Texas you don’t want to miss it!

  • Neil H.

    > There is no way the words of these eggheads and faceless bureaucrats will carry more weight in congress than those Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, Chris Craft, Burt Rutan etc…

    I’d say that the former CAIB folks below who signed the letter are in quite a better position to make such assessments than any of the folks you listed (also, you do realize that Burt Rutan issued a letter saying that he was horribly misquoted by Andy Pasztor, right?):

    Prof. G. Scott Hubbard
    Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University
    Former Director, NASA Ames Research Center
    Member, Columbia Accident Investigation Board

    Dr. John Logsdon
    Professor Emeritus, George Washington University
    Founder, Space Policy Institute
    Member, Columbia Accident Investigation Board

    Dr. Douglas Osheroff
    Professor of Physics and Applied Physics, Stanford University
    Co-Recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, 1996
    Member, Columbia Accident Investigation Board

    Dr. Steven Wallace
    Aviation Safety Consultant
    Former Director of the Office of Accident Investigation, Federal Aviation Administration
    Member, Columbia Accident Investigation Board

    Dr. Sheila Widnall
    Institute Professor and Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute
    of Technology
    Former Secretary of the Air Force
    Member, Columbia Accident Investigation Board

  • All of you out there, in TV-land: Has not forty long & dull years in Low Earth Orbit been enough?! Let’s get back to exploring deep space! Let’s get back to the Moon! We should all support the continuance of Project Constellation, in some Lunar-going form! Even if there are modifications in some of the original concepts, and a slow down to its speed in implementation, and a compromise with the ISS-huggers to keep the aluminum castle alive for another further decade;—the Lunar Goal must NOT be abandoned! Come on, and let us make a Return To The Moon a reality, before the year 2030!

  • Martijn Meijering

    I’d say that the former CAIB folks below who signed the letter are in quite a better position to make such assessments than any of the folks you listed

    For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert…

  • Coastal Ron

    Chris Castro wrote @ July 12th, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Let’s get back to exploring deep space!

    You need the right rockets to do that, and you need to know what you’ll need at your destination. All of those things are in the proposed NASA budget, and will allow us to go beyond LEO faster than what Constellation was going to do.

    The secret of the NASA budget that people don’t realize is that it is really only a 5-year horizon. During those 5 years, the basic transportation we need to get to LEO will be firmly established, and NASA (plus private enterprise) will be able to concentrate their efforts on what to do outside of LEO (Moon, Lagrange, NEO, etc.).

    Future budgets is where the destinations will start being defined, and that may not happen for a couple of years. Keep your powder dry until then, because no one is going to be defining a mission to the Moon in this budget (no one likes Constellation).

  • …no one is going to be defining a mission to the Moon in this budget (no one likes Constellation).

    Except those demanding a continuance of pork-pie in their Center Districts!

  • DCSCA

    I’d say that the former CAIB folks below who signed the letter are in quite a better position to make such assessments…

    Not really. None of them have managed a big budgeted space project, spaceflights nor piloted spacecraft down to the surface of the moon and returned safely to Earth. But their credendials make them impressive for accident investigation boards, panel discussions and, in the case of Logsdon, good at interviewing Apollo era management on why they were successful.

  • spacermase

    @DCSCA

    Err, I’m willing to wager Scott Hubbard might know at least a little about running a space project, being a former Director and all (yes, I know Ames is a Research center, not a Flight center, but they’ve still contributed quite a bit to missions throughout the years).

    As for “piloting spacecraft down to the moon and safely returning to the Earth”, *none* of the CAIB member have done that. Because it’s not really relevant to their purpose. And, frankly, I’m not sure why that would be necessarily useful for determining policy, beyond offering a different perspective.

  • The National Research Council just issued a report criticizing NASA’s inability to control its costs:

    http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12946

    The … studies indicate that overly optimistic and unrealistic cost estimates, project and funding instability, problems with development of instruments and other spacecraft technology, and issues with launch services are the most common drivers of cost growth, the report concludes. Problems that delay mission schedules also contribute to and magnify cost growth; if one mission is not meeting its schedule, it may also lead to planning delays for other missions. A relatively small number of missions appear to be responsible for most cost overruns, the report says.

    You can download the entire report from their web site at the above link. You have to give them an e-mail address to download it; it runs 77 pages. I’ll be going through it tonight to see if it cites which missions are “responsible for most cost overruns.” (Constellation?!)

  • mark valah

    Trent, SpaceX, correct. Sorry for the typo.

  • “piloted spacecraft down to the surface of the moon and returned safely to Earth”

    Wow, if they can do that then they can do ANYTHING! I’m gunna quit my job so Neil Armstrong can have it.. I’m sure he’ll have no problem.

    Mark, thanks.

  • @ Coastal Ron: Look, the Anti-Constellation people are one-and-the-same, the ones who are dead-set opposed to renewed Lunar explorations. This is why they are springing on all this crap about doing manned asteroid missions instead. (You CAN’T actually land on NEO’s, and you CAN’T emplace building structures upon them either.) This manned asteroid mission jazz is going to be a gigantic distraction from the future task of setting up bases on a planetary surface! When NASA finally runs out of steam, with the 100% virgin territory novelty, by “visiting” several NEO’s, over the span of half-a-decade or more; and it’s the 2030′s, we really will have learned nothing about maintaining habitat structures on a celestial body of noticeable gravity, STILL!!

  • Chris, but we’ll be able to fly to Mars and then the real colonization can begin. The Moon is the future mine and industrial park of humanity, it is not a future home, and there’s little to learn there. http://quantumg.blogspot.com/2010/07/future-mines-of-humanity.html

  • Colonization is NOT a criterion for determining where research stations will get emplaced. If THAT were the case, then Antarctica would be completely devoid of human activity. (As would South Georgia, Kerguelen, Marion, Bouvet, Ascension, and a host of other ordinarily inaccessable islands & island groups.) The Moon is ripe for the intermittent stationing of research personnel. There IS a whole lot of science still to be made there, plus the investigation into future mining work. (A high percent of the mining work could even be done using robotic & automated systems.)

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