A top NASA official said Thursday that the agency remained confident that budget sequestration could be avoided, even though they were starting to think about the potential effects should those automatic budget cuts take effect. “If you talk to the leadership in the administration or Congress, most people believe it’s not going to happen,” said NASA chief of staff David Radzanowski in response to a question on the subject after his keynote address at the NewSpace 2012 Conference in Santa Clara, California, Thursday morning. “They’re confident because the alternative is not good policy.”
He did say, though, that the agency was starting to examine what might happen if those across-the-board cuts did take effect in January. “We’ve started thinking about what it woud mean, in general,” he said, adding that he expected at some point there would be some guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on planning for sequestration. “A lot of the significant planning is going to be happening in maybe September or October.”
On one other NASA hot topic, the impending awards for the agency’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) program, Radzanowski said that announcement would come “real soon” but didn’t offer more specifics. “I’m not going to make any news by saying when,” he said. The announcement is widely expected for any time between now and the end of August.