Lobbying

Upcoming lobbying efforts

I noted here earlier this month the March Storm citizens’ lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill next month. A couple of similar efforts are also planned for the coming weeks. The National Space Society is planning its annual “Legislative Blitz” for February 27 through March 1. Specifics of the effort aren’t clear beyond urging Congress “to enact legislation that appropriates the required funding in compliance with the Authorization Act.” A week later (and a week before March Storm), the Space Frontier Foundation is holding its “Keep the Promise” lobbying program. “The group is inviting all supporters and friends of America’s space efforts to show up and speak up in defense of an innovative budget saving initiatives like NASA’s Commercial Crew program, and warn Congress about the damage it will do if it does not act to support this critical new approach to space,” according to the event’s organizers. And, on March 15-16 (overlapping partially with March Storm), AIAA is holding its annual Congressional Visits Day program. The AIAA hasn’t released specific issues to be discussed beyond raising “awareness of the long-term value that science, engineering, and technology bring to America.”

30 comments to Upcoming lobbying efforts

  • GeeSpace

    It’s great that 3 groups supporting space activities are having independent lobbying campaigns. This means that individual space supporters have a choice of what campaign to support.
    Say, what about the other space supporting organizations, shouldn’t their also have independent lobby efforts

  • amightywind

    “The group is inviting all supporters and friends of America’s space efforts to show up and speak up in defense of an innovative budget saving initiatives like NASA’s Commercial Crew program…

    I implore all of those who support NASA’s traditional role in human space flight to reject Obama’s activist astroturfers. Access to space has been denied by these same people who sabotaged Constellation. The GOP house must lead the fight to take back NASA.

  • “I implore all of those who support NASA’s traditional role in human space flight to reject Obama’s activist astroturfers. Access to space has been denied by these same people who sabotaged Constellation. The GOP house must lead the fight to take back NASA.”

    The comedy of errors that is the pseudo-Tea Partier (ablastofhotair) continues.

  • Vladislaw

    NASA’s traditional role of building over budget, behind schedule, unsustainable launch systems that bleeds away all funding for actual space hardware for BEO? Do you mean that traditional role of NASA’s?

    The whole point of President Obama’s space policy is to break with the, as Rand Simberg coined, Apollo cult tradition.

    It is time to bring human spaceflight into our commercial sphere of economic activity just like EVERY other form of transportation.

  • byeman

    Windy,

    You just don’t get it. There is no longer a justification for “NASA’s traditional role in human space”.
    Secondly, the GOP and Tea baggers are against large gov’t programs like this.

  • common sense

    @ amightywind wrote @ February 16th, 2011 at 8:14 am

    “Access to space has been denied by these same people who sabotaged Constellation. ”

    So finally truth is spoken: Griffin denied access to space since he sabotaged Constellation.

    Well said amightywind!

  • amightywind

    Secondly, the GOP and Tea baggers are against large gov’t programs like this.

    The Tea Party will get behind a strong NASA for the same reason they get behind a strong military. It is the conservative viewpoint. You don’t see Michelle Bachmann or Jim DeMint singing the praises of Elon Musk. A weak NASA makes America look bad. Anyone coming out for a weak NASA will get savaged. Look what good cozy relations with Obamaspace did for Rohrbacher. I don’t expect you to get it.

    unsustainable launch systems that bleeds away all funding for actual space hardware for BEO?

    The only budget item that denies the BEO mission is the ISS. I would rather see a fraction of ISS funds transfered to bidders for a Bigalow-like smaller sustainable space station.

  • VirgilSamms

    $158 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    That says it all concerning lobbying. If you people blowing your horns about commercial space do not want to see human space flight die, you had better get on board with planetary protection.

    That means nukes, HLV’s, and some sanity concerning making companies like Haliburton obscenely profitable from war profiteering. You think NASA is wasteful? That inspires maniacal laughter in anyone who knows how much of those billions is making it to the actual nation building projects over there. (about 10 percent but alot of that goes into warlord pockets so just cut that in half.) The U.S. taxpayer typically provides, say, 10 million for a hospital and about half a million in construction takes place. And is then blown up by the Taliban.

    There is your space program; rubble on a mountainside in a far corner of the world where women are cattle, boys are sex objects, and tribal mafia’s rule the illiterate villagers.

  • It is the conservative viewpoint.

    No, it is the neo-conservative viewpoint, ala Bu$h II, Cheney, Frum, Rice and the other cast of characters from the previous decade.

    The so-called TEA-baggers are Ron and Rand Paul types, you know, the ones who actually like smaller government and could give a s#!t about foreign entanglements, empire building and large standing armies.

  • Ferris Valyn

    VirgilSamms

    And what exactly are you doing to get that narrative to DC? Are you currently planning on attending any of the events? Or are you preparing to run your own space lobbying event? Or run for political office?

    In short, its put up or shut up time. Which is it?

  • The House majority voted today to take away $300 million from the current year’s NASA budget and redirect it to law enforcement:

    http://space.flatoday.net/2011/02/house-votes-to-move-money-from-nasa-to.html

    I’ve been saying for months that NASA is low-hanging fruit when it comes to pruning the budget. Well, here it is.

  • DCSCA

    In the end, commercial space won’t get a cent from the U.S government. After all, according to Speaker of the House Boehner, ‘We’re broke.’

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    ” DCSCA wrote @ February 16th, 2011 at 7:53 pm
    In the end, commercial space won’t get a cent from the U.S government. After all, according to Speaker of the House Boehner, ‘We’re broke.’”

    Then NASA becomes totally irrelevant to HSF and commercial will move into that space. Bigelow has plans and he’s not stopping. Boeing and SpaceX have seen the writing on the wall long ago and are moving to consolidate their positions. Investors are waiting in the wings to put money into these projects. Not just investors. I draw your attention to the article available here:
    http://www.bigelowaerospace.com/announcements.php
    It’s just a matter of time.

    And besides, NASA has international committments to the ISS. They’re won’t back out of those and they therefore need commercial for crew access. Continuing to pay the Russians won’t fly much longer.

    My prediction, the baseline positon has changed. It changed with SpaceX flew a capsule to space and returned it safe and sound for a fraction of the cost that NASA spent trying to do so and failed. The door closed on the old way of doing business then and SpaceX flys to the station later this year and starts it’s CRS contract as well. Bolden’s also come out and stated categorically that NASA needs commercial. They can’t survive without them. Bolden and the WH are continuing to change the game and are winning. The porkers are thrashing around trying to escape the inevitable but it’s too late for them.
    To quote Robert: ‘It’s an exciting time.’

  • VirgilSamms

    “-are you preparing to run your own space lobbying event? Or run for political office?
    In short, its put up or shut up time.”

    I guess you are right. It is hopeless. I will have to give up now.

    wait……..no. I think I will keep commenting.

  • Robert G. Oler

    DCSCA wrote @ February 16th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    In the end, commercial space won’t get a cent from the U.S government. After all, according to Speaker of the House Boehner, ‘We’re broke.’……………….

    but not to broke for the Speakers “favorite charities”.

    The Speaker actively lobbied for “the second engine” for the F-35 as did several other advocates of leaner federal budgets. This is an engine that the US Military says it does not need, has no plans for and would over the next few years cost about 5 billion dollars (and that is now…it would cost more if the effort continued).

    Hint the engines are built near his and Cantor’s district.

    Although a majority of Republicans voted for the effort it failed…

    The Speaker and every Tea party member that voted for that engine are simple frauds.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    Dennis Berube wrote @ February 16th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    My point is there are no quick fix solutions to our nations problems. It appears that for the most part politicians are self oriented egotistical, opportunist that only look at their own pockets……………….

    to continue the conversation.

    Oh no we are in a fix. the 8 years of Bush and the first two of Obama have been near disastorous in terms of the nation future. I give Obama and his folks a slight pass as they inherited a really bad situation that was daily getting worse and his most goofy critics seem to be people who stood idly by while Bush drove the train into this mess.

    There are a few exceptions. Rand S was cheering Bush and the “have to invade Iraq” motiff on as much as Whittington, they have parted ways over the fix to the space program…Whittington still thinks like the WMD being found (which even Rummy and curveball have stopped lying about) will be found and that Cx somehow can be made to work.

    The vast majority of “Congress people” In the House who are now amped up over deficits were, when Bush was having one after another pretty silent…after all it was a Republican doing it.

    We wont go to Mars ever unless there is a human spaceflight industry that justifies a lot of money spent on federal infrastructure in space…and yet both Rand and Whittington seem aghast at federal infrastructure spending anywhere else.

    We are in a goofy time where the extremes of the GOP are having one last go of it…when they flounder this year…we will try returning to some normal sense…but the nation will be profoundly changed.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    Beancounter from Downunder wrote @ February 16th, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I agree…what we are seeing is the “end times’ for large government sponsored space efforts…and the excitement is the new world that is dawning…

    Robert G. Oler

  • Byeman

    “I think I will keep commenting.”

    And continue to be wrong

  • Ferris Valyn

    I guess you are right. It is hopeless. I will have to give up now.

    wait……..no. I think I will keep commenting.

    That wasn’t what I said or implied VirgilSamms

    I asked what, beyond commenting, are you doing to improve the situation. I don’t claim its hopeless (although the way I feel right now, trying to get out of bed is a futile struggle – I hate being sick).

    I am seriously asking – what are you doing to make it better? Commenting on spacepolitics is fine, but we all know the audience is limited.

    I myself am helping to setup one of the events Mr. Foust listed. Because I believe action is required, and it means stepping up and doing something.

    Can you say the same?

  • DCSCA

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ February 16th, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    “Speaker of the House Boehner actively lobbied for “the second engine” for the F-35 as did several other advocates of leaner federal budgets.”

    Yes, we know all this. The engine flamed out today in a late vote so it’s been shelved. Boehner is from Ohio and, as we all know, a Buckeye is a useless nut.

  • Dear Mr. Faust:

    AIAA has indeed released their Key Issues for 2011, contrary to your above post. The issues are available at http://www.aiaa.org/pdf/public/AIAA_2011_Key_Issues.pdf

    Our 2011 issues are:

    1. Strategy for Recovering Business and General Aviation

    2. Harnessing Aerospace Experience and Capabilities for Achieving Modern Earth and Climate Information Systems and Services

    3. Enabling Development of Alternative Fuels and Energy Efficient Aviation Systems

    4. Overcoming the Emerging Technology Acquisition “Valley of Death”

    5. Establishing and Implementing a Viable National Cybersecurity Strategy

    6. Improved Air Cargo Security and Scanning

    7. Address the Growing Threat of Orbital Debris

    8. Assuring Strategic and Sustainable Direction for Space Policy

    9. Increasing Emphasis and Funding for Technology and Engineering in STEM

    10. Recruiting, Retaining, and Developing a World-Class Aerospace Workforce

    If you would like further information on these issues, or a copy of AIAA’s position papers on these issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Sincerely,

    Duane Hyland
    AIAA Communications
    Grass Roots Public Policy Coordinator

  • VirgilSamms

    I am seriously asking – what are you doing to make it better? Commenting on spacepolitics is fine, but we all know the audience is limited.
    I myself am helping to setup one of the events Mr. Foust listed. Because I believe action is required, and it means stepping up and doing something.
    Can you say the same?

    Hope you get better Ferris.
    I do write letters to my reps. But not being in one of the space districts I usually get replies back of the “thank you but we support programs that help people” nature.

    I could start a Mothers against drunk drivers kind of grass roots organization but the problem is after the earth gets run over by a comet there won’t be anyone left to organize. I am thinking of building some kind of a time capsule leaving a message for future alien archeologists. I want them to know that not all of our species were idiots and some of us understood what life is all about- staying alive.

    We are going to go extinct. How’s that for hopeless? We are too stupid to survive. Byeman is proof of it.

  • common sense

    @ VirgilSamms wrote @ February 17th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    “We are going to go extinct. How’s that for hopeless? We are too stupid to survive. ”

    - Yeah let’s all bail out from Earth!!! Let’s build a mega rocket for a crew of 6!!! We are going to be extinct!!!

    - When?

    - Someday!

  • Byeman

    “We are going to go extinct.”

    Another idiotic statement by samms. What changed in the 50 years that makes it so urgent to leave earth? The external threats to earth are no different than it was 150 years ago. There was no urgency to leave then.
    As for “We are too stupid to survive”, you must have a mouse in your pocket.

  • Bennett

    “But not being in one of the space districts I usually get replies back of the “thank you but we support programs that help people” nature.

    If you REALLY gave a shit, you’d RELOCATE in order to have a say. But you don’t.

  • Vladislaw

    Start a blog and include google ads, use the revenue for lobbying efforts or getting the message out, or a Space organization, charge dues from members and use the money to lobby or other forms of getting your message out.

    Controling only one voice in the choir is not as good as controling the whole choir. Money is the grease and ad revenue or membership revenue gives your voice a whole lot more leverage.

  • VirgilSamms

    “The external threats to earth are no different than it was 150 years ago.”

    Proof that we are too stupid to survive. Again.

  • Ferris Valyn

    “The external threats to earth are no different than it was 150 years ago.”

    Proof that we are too stupid to survive. Again.

    Which again goes to the point – its time you put up or shut up.

  • John

    If NASA does well, so will commercial. Lets support the process folks.

  • VirgilSamms

    “My prediction, the baseline positon has changed. It changed with SpaceX flew a capsule to space and returned it safe and sound for a fraction of the cost that NASA spent trying to do so and failed. The door closed on the old way of doing business then and SpaceX flys to the station later this year and starts it’s CRS contract as well.”

    Your nice private space fantasy ignores some basic problems.

    1. Liquid rocket engines can be built for one mission or they can be built for
    multiple missions. The one High ISP engine built for reuse- the SSME- is
    extremely expensive. For upper stages the liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen
    combination is unbeatable. At the other pole is the RS-68, which is much cheaper
    (but definitely not cheap) but burns itself into junk and is thrown away. These
    two poles in liquid engine design are not going to go away until some wishalloy
    comes along.

    2. Solid rockets like the SRB have evolved into extremely reliable and powerful
    first stage components. Over two hundred flawless firings of the 3 million plus
    pound SRB prove this without a doubt. They are expensive, not as safe to handle
    on the ground, and not environmentally very clean. They also have low ISP
    numbers that make them acceptable first stages but not very efficient at all as
    an upper stage. But per pound of thrust there is nothing else as simple,
    powerful, reliable, and……reusable. This situation is not going to go away until
    some unobtainium (like ALICE aluminum ice propellant) comes along.

    3. With half the globe covered with splash down sites, there is no other better
    method of returning to earth from space than parachuting into the ocean. Along
    with the ablative heat shield, the technique allows for the lightest possible
    space craft- the capsule. The escape tower complements the capsule and these
    designs from the late 1950′s have not been improved upon in half a century. The
    laws of physics and materials being what they are- this is not likely to change
    either.

    Conclusion: Since mixing cargo and crew is not economical, separate vehicles- a
    small human-rated launcher and a large Heavy Launch Vehicle, is the logical
    system. Using as few engines and stages as practical make make the following
    ideal launch stack; SRB first stage (reusable), and expendable Lox/H2 second
    stage, an ocean recovery ablative heat shield capsule (reusable), and an escape
    tower.

    And this is exactly the vehicle proposed in Constellation. And just as the
    shuttle was underfunded, so was Constellation. There is no cheap- space travel
    is inherently expensive.

    The private space enthusiasts usually melt down when presented with such
    concepts- but people who know what will work have been thinking about the best
    designs for decades and wishing for cheap does not make it so.

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