NASA, White House

No false alarm: NASA authorization bill expected to be signed today

Today may be a federal holiday, but that apparently won’t stop the president from signing into law the NASA authorization bill. NASA organized a last-minute telecon with agency officials and legislators to discuss the “anticipated signing” later this afternoon of the bill by President Obama. (How last minute? I didn’t receive notice about it until well after it started; hopefully they’ll provide a recording of the telecon later today.) There had been reports that the bill would be signed last Thursday, but this report, with the imprimatur of NASA, seems more likely to be true. As noted last week, the fact that the president is signing the bill isn’t surprising, but what’s important in the near term is that it starts the clock on a number of studies due over the next several months, even as the agency waits for appropriators to act on funding the agency for FY11.

46 comments to No false alarm: NASA authorization bill expected to be signed today

  • Reality Bites

    Two shafts for less than the price of one! Its a miracle!

  • It’s good day for NASA and space-faring America!

    We still have to see how House appropriators fund the plan and what sort of fiscal mood the election generates, but it’s a step in the right direction and hard one to step backward from…

  • Ben Russell-Gough

    Signed and sealed. Next comes the interesting matter of appropriations, likely in a Congress intrested in cutting back the deficit.

    Compared to the political dance necessary to actually get to the point where engineers’ pencils are allowed to touch paper, actually building and flying this thing might actually be the easy part!

  • C.R. Keith

    Obama’s on the road campaigning, it’s a government holiday and the bill was passed as the Congress was heading out the door for recess. Speaks volumes about how far down the list of priorities space activities of any consequence are within the U.S. China take note. The moon is yours for the taking.

  • Ferris Valyn

    CR Keith – i they could actually take the moon, there might be reason to be concerned.

    As is, I have no problem sleeping

  • Coastal Ron

    C.R. Keith wrote @ October 11th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    China take note. The moon is yours for the taking.

    It’s always been there, and there is nothing we have been doing to stop them (or anybody) from going there anyways, so it’s kind of idiotic to think that our continued lack of interest in going back to the Moon is some sort of “Go” signal for China or anyone else.

    Click your heals Dorothy – you’ve always been able to go home. But don’t expect us to pay for your trip…

  • C.R. Keith

    @Coastal Ron wrote @ October 11th, 2010 at 4:08 pm “… so it’s kind of idiotic to think that our continued lack of interest in going back to the Moon is some sort of “Go” signal for China or anyone else.” It’s even more idiotic to assume it’s not. You’re not a big picture thinker who can see beyon the next budget cycle. So don’t be so hard on yourself.

    @Ferris Valyn wrote @ October 11th, 2010 at 4:08 pm
    “As is, I have no problem sleeping…” This kind of Gen-X mind set is not unusual these days.

  • Even if we were planning to go back to the moon, how would that be a “Stop” signal for China? Anyone who wants to go to the moon can, any time they want, if they want to invest the resources in it. This is silly.

  • Ferris Valyn

    CR Keith – which might have some relevance if I were a Gen-Xer

    Or if you had actually addressed the point I was getting at – which is they don’t have the systems or the tech to do what you are claiming they would do.

  • Coastal Ron

    C.R. Keith wrote @ October 11th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    It’s even more idiotic to assume it’s not.

    Well then you better go lock yourself in your bomb shelter, because the U.S. is now has a space plan that ,according to you, is giving the Moon to China. Whatever that means.

    Oh, and your Congress, Republicans and Democrats all, have decided that the Moon wasn’t such a big deal after all, so your beef is with the vast majority of Americans, and not just those of us on this blog. Good luck with your anger management classes…

  • Vladislaw

    C.R. Keith wrote:

    “You’re not a big picture thinker who can see beyon the next budget cycle.”

    So what is the “big picture” we are all missing and only seem to have the insight to see?

    China is going to take over the moon in 10 years?

  • Vladislaw

    here is the video of virgin galatic’s spaceshiptwo landing… like a feather.

    http://www.space.com/common/media/video/player.php?videoRef=SP_101011_VSS-Enterprise

  • mr. mark

    Virgin Galactic’s SS2 is a suborbital system only and the envisioned future vehicle SS3 is a point to point suborbital vehicle as well. Only Spacex and Boeing are doing LEO designs that are workable near term. They should and probably will be get most of the CCdev funding from here on out.

  • mr. mark

    I believe private spaceflight may end up being first back to the moon. Just a hunch. At least a lunar orbital trip.

  • brobof

    A word to the WWW wise. According to Avast Space .com seems to be infected with a trojan at the moment. A better link is:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDUVe3a496Y

  • That’s no moon. It’s a space station.

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Recent post in Spaceflightnow says ‘Musk forecasts expenditures between $800 million and $1 billion to outfit SpaceX’s Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rockets for human flights.’

    Bit more than the original $300 million he said he needed! Increased cost or pitching bid closer to other competitors?? Reckon bit of both since he grizzled a bit about how Orbital got more for their 8 flights (one way) than SpaceX did for 12 including down mass delivery.

  • C.R. Keith

    Coastal Ron wrote @ October 11th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Oh, and your Congress, Republicans and Democrats all, have decided that the Moon wasn’t such a big deal after all, so your beef is with the vast majority of Americans, and not just those of us on this blog.

    Beef? You best learn to comprehend what this legislation was all about– treading water. The American space progrma is going no place fast. It means nothing, except to hungry suppilers desperate to live off government contracts. Congress will be gone after election day and a new one with new majorities soon. Fresh legislation can be easily reversed or nulled.

  • Ferris Valyn

    CR Keith –

    Fresh legislation can be easily reversed or nulled.

    Anyone who says that doesn’t understand the difficulties involved in getting legislation passed.

    And you still haven’t addressed my main point, I see

  • Beancounter, or maybe Clark just invented that number – it’d be great if he could say where and when Musk said such a thing.. ya know, like a journalist.

  • Dennis Berube

    It looks like even after the elections, Orion will survive, in one form or an other. What will launchit remains to be seen. What type of heavy lift is put together remains to be seen. Also after the elections what type of budget NASA ends up with also remains to be seen. I expect it to be thinned down some more.

  • Coastal Ron

    C.R. Keith wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 2:03 am

    The American space progrma is going no place fast.

    Instead of using rhetoric, use facts and figures to back up your claims.

    For instance, compare and contrast the amount of time in space between the now defunct Constellation program (with the ISS ending in 2016) versus the new now approved space program (ISS continues).

    Though you could legitimately point out that the current plan does not go beyond LEO yet, Constellation would have ceded space to the rest of the world for large chunks of time. And what we learn on the ISS is what we need to learn to live and work in space, so our time on the station is absolutely relevant to the discussion.

    So C.R. Keith, are you willing to quantify your rhetoric?

  • Sounds like “C.R. Keith” is just the latest in a long series of fake names used by one of our resident trolls. Let’s move on, people.

  • Coastal Ron

    Beancounter from Downunder wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Bit more than the original $300 million he said he needed! Increased cost or pitching bid closer to other competitors?

    Or, that quote could be reflecting on the final tab for the Dragon/Falcon 9, and includes the $300M he already quoted for adding “man-rating”.

    I add things up this way:

    If you take the quote Musk made when he said they had spent about $500M through June 2010, which includes Falcon 1 operational, Falcon 9 1st test flight, and Dragon being readied for 1st test, then add the $300M Musk quoted to add the missing pieces needed for crew operations, you end up with $800M. Throw in more expenditures during this year getting ready for COTS and ramping up the Falcon 9/Dragon production lines, and you get close to $1B.

    If SpaceX needed $800M to become crew capable, then there is no way NASA’s $1.6B crew fund would support two systems.

    As Trent pointed out, we need more clarification from the articles author.

  • amightywind

    which includes Falcon 1 operational

    Operational for what? No one is interested in buying a rocket with a 40% success rate.

  • C.R. Keith

    Ferris Valyn wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 2:39 am <- What's to say- you post like a Gen-Xer. As to Chinese asperations in spaceflight activities, your mind set has already dismissed the potential. Same mind set floating around in late September, 1957. When their 'sputnik moment' flies- and it will fly within a decade- you'll get a fresh education. and the response will be the 'who cares, we did it 50 years ago' line.

  • C.R. Keith

    Coastal Ron wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 11:05 am – It is a fact. The American space program is going no place fast. Of course, if you’re a contractor, you’re happy for any government deal tossed your way. But as far the future goes, it’s really little more than a paper program these days, ripe for further cuts and eventual elimination. Big picture thinkers can see the set-up and attempt coming. Expect more progressive activities from “private” space ventures and perhaps the military than the civilian space agency. It’s simply trading water… and slowly drowning as funding becomes increasingly harder to source.

  • C.R. Keith

    Ben Russell-Gough wrote @ October 11th, 2010 at 3:14 pm
    “Signed and sealed. Next comes the interesting matter of appropriations, likely in a Congress intrested in cutting back the deficit.” Sounds familiar… sort of like what happened to Constellation. Space is simply not a national priority when people are having trouble keepig their homes and jobs in the private sector. It’s a very easy program to cut.

  • brobof

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 11:08 am
    Concur and badly spelt rhetoric at that :)
    “It’s simply trading water…” Hilarious!

  • Coastal Ron

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Sounds like “C.R. Keith” is just the latest in a long series of fake names used by one of our resident trolls.

    Yep, it sounds like C.R. Keith is really DCSCA.

  • Ferris Valyn

    CR Keith – you still haven’t demonstrated how it impacts us. Do they have the technology to literally take & permanently keep the moon? Are they going to deploy 1 million Chinese to the moon, all with laser rifles?

    And if its just a national prestige (rather than a stand in for nuclear war), then I go back – why don’t countries go to war over the Olympics?

  • Coastal Ron

    amightywind wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Operational for what? No one is interested in buying a rocket with a 40% success rate.

    I know your reliance on Ares I as an example of building launchers has left you confused, so I’ll help you out on this:

    - Ares I-X was a test flight

    - Falcon 1 flights #1-4 were test flights, and after flight #4 it was declared operational.

    - Falcon 1 flight #5, the first after being declared operational, successfully put it’s commercial payload into orbit. Because of that, Falcon 1 has a 100% operational success rate so far.

    You stand corrected, as usual.

  • Bennett

    brobof wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Heh! When a troll’s predictions fall short of reality, they change their pen name, but the telltale spelling remains.

  • C.R. Keith

    @Ferris Valyn wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    The impact depends on the political and economic climate of the times. If Americans are prepared to relinquish a leading role in human spaceflight activities and dismiss the progress of other nations in that field with the excuse that it was done half a century ago, that may be all that is needed to rationalize another facet of an empire in decline. Britain revels in its gloried, storied past as well. China will move at their own pace. But they have indicated plans to move in the direction of the moon.

  • C.R. Keith, the only people who think the US has the leading role in human spaceflight activities is the US. Russia and China certainly don’t, and they’re the only others who count.

  • Vladislaw

    Does anyone know what the estimated weight was for just the fuel in the proposed EDS under the Constellation program was going to total? Not the combined weight of the EDS and fuel or the fuel to launch it… just the weight of the fuel contained in the EDS.

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Coastal Ron wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 11:18 am
    I add things up this way:

    Yes, a recent report has Elon saying he was quoted out of context. Says he needs $100 million for the LAS so I’d think your adding is not far off the mark.

  • Beancounter, url to that “recent report”?

    (what’s wrong with you people, if you’re going to say someone said something provide a reference please)

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Trent Waddington wrote @ October 12th, 2010 at 4:38 am
    Beancounter, or maybe Clark just invented that number – it’d be great if he could say where and when Musk said such a thing.. ya know, like a journalist.

    What number? I quoted the Spaceflightnow article.

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    And if it’s the CRS payments, that’s a matter of public record. Look it up at:

    http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2008/dec/HQ_C08-069_ISS_Resupply.html

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Ok Trent, for you and others who can’t be bothered to check, the following URL leads to the Spaceflightnow article:

    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n1010/11commercialcrew/

  • Dennis Berube

    I guess when China lands on the Moon, all we will be able to do is shake their hands and compliment their accomplishement. We will then probably want to hitch a ride on their Moon ship too.

  • brobof

    Mod: Three strikes…

  • Dennis Berube

    Its beginning to look like commercial rocket science, is going to cost more than first estimated! Geeeeee, I wonder why?

  • Coastal Ron

    Dennis Berube wrote @ October 13th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Catch up with the conversation Dennis – it’s not.

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Dennis Berube wrote @ October 13th, 2010 at 11:37 am
    ‘Its beginning to look like commercial rocket science, is going to cost more than first estimated! Geeeeee, I wonder why?’

    And NASA rocket science has been so on-the-money? At least commercial actually builds hardware that flys. LOL.

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