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posted by martyb on Monday September 04 2017, @10:54AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the up-in-the-air dept.

President Trump has nominated Representative Jim Bridenstine as NASA's next administrator, to replace the acting administrator Robert M. Lightfoot:

Representative Jim Bridenstine, Republican of Oklahoma, will be nominated by President Trump to serve as NASA's next administrator, the White House said on Friday night.

Mr. Bridenstine, a strong advocate for drawing private companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin more deeply into NASA's exploration of space, had been rumored to be the leading candidate for the job, but months passed without an announcement. If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Bridenstine, 42, would be the first elected official to hold that job.

[...] Although NASA has little presence in Oklahoma, Mr. Bridenstine, a former Navy Reserve pilot who is now in his third term in the House [of] Representatives, has long had an interest in space. Before being elected to Congress in 2012, he was executive director of the Tulsa Air and Space Museum and Planetarium from 2008 to 2010.

[...] Mr. Bridenstine has supported a return to the moon, a departure from the Obama administration's focus on sending astronauts to Mars in coming decades.

Florida's Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson blasted the choice. Nelson said that "The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician."

NASA statement. NASA Watch analysis.


Original Submission

Related Stories

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Serious About Returning to the Moon 26 comments

NASA chief on Moon return: "This will not be Lucy and the football again"

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush announced the Space Exploration Initiative, a long-range commitment toward the human exploration of deep space, beginning with a return to the Moon. "Major parts of that policy went forward, but establishing permanence on the Moon was abandoned," Bridenstine said Tuesday. Then, in 2004, President George W. Bush announced a bold plan to send humans back to the Moon, where they would learn how to operate in deep space and then go on to Mars. This became the Constellation program. Again, major parts of that policy went forward, Bridenstine said. But NASA abandoned the drive back to the Moon.

Before the US Senate confirmed pilot and former congressman Bridenstine, the Trump administration announced a plan to send humans back to the Moon. "To many, this may sound similar to our previous attempts to get to the Moon," Bridenstine said Tuesday. "However, times have changed. This will not be Lucy and the football again."

How have times changed? During his brief address, Bridenstine listed several technologies that he believes have lowered the cost of a lunar return. These include the miniaturization of electronics that will allow for smaller robotic vehicles, the decreasing costs of launch, private investment in spaceflight, commercial interest in lunar resources, and new ways of government contracting. (Bridenstine did not mention the Space Launch System rocket or the Orion spacecraft).

The speech was only a few minutes long, so I wouldn't read too much into the absence of SLS/Orion. But it's no secret that BFR could deliver 150 metric tons to the Moon or Mars by using in-orbit refueling, vs. a lot less when using the expensive SLS.

Previously:

Related:


Original Submission

NASA's Acting Administrator to Retire as Nominee Impasse Continues 21 comments

NASA's acting administrator, Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., has announced that he will retire on April 30. The U.S. Senate has not yet voted on confirming Jim Bridenstine as a permanent replacement:

[...] In September, President Trump nominated Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, to be the next administrator. But the Senate has yet to vote to confirm Mr. Bridenstine.

All 49 Democrats in the Senate appear unified in opposition, in part because Mr. Bridenstine gave a speech disparaging climate change several years ago. Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, has also expressed doubts about Mr. Bridenstine.

The space agency's No. 2 position, deputy administrator, is vacant. The Trump administration has yet to nominate anyone. Steve Jurczyk, formerly the associate administrator for space technology, was named in late February as a temporary fill-in for Mr. Lightfoot's previous job, associate administrator. NASA is also lacking a chief of staff.

[...] Mr. Lightfoot's 406 days as acting administrator is by far the longest NASA has operated without a permanent leader, eclipsing the 176 days that passed at the start of the Obama administration before Mr. Bolden was confirmed.

Previously: President Trump Nominates Congressman Jim Bridenstine to Lead NASA

Related: President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by c0lo on Monday September 04 2017, @11:06AM (1 child)

    by c0lo (156) on Monday September 04 2017, @11:06AM (#563409) Journal

    Congressman Jim Bridenstine to Lead NASA

    Somebody, remind him that the maximum admissible amount of lead is 100 ppm [soylentnews.org]

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 1, Offtopic) by JoeMerchant on Monday September 04 2017, @01:05PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @01:05PM (#563433)

      Hey now, maybe this will go over like a Lead Balloon in America?

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @11:33AM (27 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @11:33AM (#563413)

    My initial response was disdain. Not only a politician, but an MBA. But then I got to thinking about Charles Bolden. Bolden is exactly the sort of person you want on paper. An engineer who turned to the military and eventually became an astronaut with multiple missions to space. On the other hand, he was a failure. Under his watch NASA was marginalized. All their major programs were cut, and they've been left to cheerlead for the SLS, which is now draining the lion's share of their resources even though it's unlikely to ever achieve anything other than filtering money to a handful of congressmen's districts. Things like Kepler were achieved purely in spite of Bolden's failings. Bridenstine seems to be a boyscout, both literally and figuratively, and his funding records [opensecrets.org] on OpenSecrets seem positive. His top individual donations come from the space industry, which is pretty rare.

    I do think Trump is genuinely interested in space and likely sees achievements there as a way to lay a legacy for himself analogous to JFK, though presumably with a happier ending. There's an enormous amount of cronyism and corruption in the current space system and so I think ideally you'd want somebody that's big on space, big on private industry getting involved in space, and clean. He seems to hit all the checkmarks. Rubio, the embodiment of much of what's wrong with congress, coming out vocally and strongly against him is another checkmark in my book.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday September 04 2017, @01:08PM (7 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @01:08PM (#563434)

      Rubio isn't just what's wrong with the Senate, he's the embodiment of all that's wrong with politics. Saw him give a speech to a group he didn't care about once, saw that flash of "oh crap, how am I going to snow these people" go across his face before he lit up the smile and turned to the crowd to give the speech. Saw him ride off into the sunset and never look back at a single promise he made to this group and 99 others just like it.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
      • (Score: 3, Funny) by Ethanol-fueled on Monday September 04 2017, @04:46PM (6 children)

        by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Monday September 04 2017, @04:46PM (#563486) Homepage

        Not only that, but he is a homosexual.

        And by the type of homo I mean, the "Go wild!" type. There are pictures of him dressed like a Chippendale's dancer in attandance of foam parties -- gay foam parties.

        He looks like a bottom.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @04:52PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @04:52PM (#563488)

          Takes one to know one! Can't say I'm surprised, all that trollish anger is coming from somewhere.

        • (Score: 4, Touché) by HiThere on Monday September 04 2017, @05:54PM (1 child)

          by HiThere (866) on Monday September 04 2017, @05:54PM (#563507) Journal

          Why is that important? Does it mean he'll have trouble getting a budget passed? Does it mean he won't support a radio telescope on the backside of the moon?

          Seriously, I'm not sure it's not important, but I don't see any reason to think that it is.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Tuesday September 05 2017, @06:01PM

            by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday September 05 2017, @06:01PM (#563843)

            I'd say it's important because he's a Republican. Remember, they're the party of social conservatives, and are generally opposed to homosexuality, so when they turn out to be closet homosexuals, like Senator Larry Craig, it exemplifies their hypocrisy.

            For Democrats, it wouldn't be a big deal, because as a party they never have anything bad to say about homosexuality. But strangely, they never seem to be outed as homosexual either (except for the ones who are openly gay of course).

        • (Score: 1, Troll) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday September 04 2017, @07:36PM

          by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @07:36PM (#563539) Journal

          Eth, the problem is his OWN dick in his mouth, not someone else's. He's a walking, organic Klein bottle.

          --
          I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @08:43PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @08:43PM (#563568)

          And by the type of homo I mean, the "Go wild!" type. There are pictures of him dressed like a Chippendale's dancer in attandance of foam parties -- gay foam parties.

          Are we to take it that you search for these sort of pictures?

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by kurenai.tsubasa on Monday September 04 2017, @09:27PM

          by kurenai.tsubasa (5227) on Monday September 04 2017, @09:27PM (#563579) Journal

          Nice! [jezebel.com]

          High heeled boots even! [esquire.com]

          I approve! [towleroad.com]

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by richtopia on Monday September 04 2017, @05:27PM (7 children)

      by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @05:27PM (#563500) Homepage Journal

      Perhaps he will be effective at finding funding, however he also will set priorities. And naturally Trump selected someone who does not accept the scientific consensus on global climate change. NASA is the last government organization that should ignore global warming; most of the research is derived from NASA measurements and much of it is done by NASA directly. I am seriously worried about this selection.

      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday September 04 2017, @05:58PM

        by HiThere (866) on Monday September 04 2017, @05:58PM (#563508) Journal

        I don't expect to like the politics of anyone Trump selects. But it would be nice if they were competent. One of NASAs problems is lack of long term funding for specific projects. Would this guy be better than the current at obtaining this. Another problem is goals that are unfeasible under the operating constraints. Would he be better at that?

        I don't seriously expect Trump to select anyone competent, but he *has* occasionally done so. A politician and an MBA as head of NASA isn't really unreasonable, pre se.

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 05 2017, @02:58AM (4 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @02:58AM (#563641)

        So, quit sending up those "sciency" satellites for 3 years and get the juice for some manned missions going. Once the manned missions are launching, a single constellation booster stage (or the funding to build one) can launch dozens of science satellites. After the 2017 hurricane season passes $100B in damage, I think NOAA will get all the funding they need to continue good coverage of storm track prediction.

        Yeah, we're being run by bigger idiots than usual this cycle, but it can be good to push the pendulum to a bad extreme so it can start to swing back the other way, instead of stalling out by constantly pushing in the "good" direction all the time.

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday September 05 2017, @05:15AM

          by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 05 2017, @05:15AM (#563662) Journal

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_costliest_Atlantic_hurricanes [wikipedia.org]

          Sandy caused $75 billion in damage, Katrina caused $108 billion.

          Even if Harvey, Irma, and the rest collectively cause $200 billion in damage, the public's memory is short and Congress can easily get away [opensecrets.org] with doing nothing. There's still talk [cnbc.com] of a government shutdown (the ultimate "doing nothing").

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          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 05 2017, @07:48AM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @07:48AM (#563684) Journal

          Yeah, we're being run by bigger idiots than usual this cycle, but it can be good to push the pendulum to a bad extreme so it can start to swing back the other way, instead of stalling out by constantly pushing in the "good" direction all the time.

          And if you applied that same logic to the Earth's climate? Maybe pendulums don't always swing back?

          As to hurricane damage, let's not subsidize it first. Below cost, public flood insurance is the big problem here.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 05 2017, @01:06PM (1 child)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @01:06PM (#563742)

            Hey, I'm all for private pay for flood damage - what segment of the population do you think owns most of the property value along the coasts? Hint: it's not the working class, anymore.

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 05 2017, @10:35PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @10:35PM (#563958) Journal

              Hey, I'm all for private pay for flood damage - what segment of the population do you think owns most of the property value along the coasts? Hint: it's not the working class, anymore.

              Seems to be a common theme with such handouts. They might be intended to benefit the poor in flood-prone areas, but as usual, the wealthy can take better advantage of flood insurance than the poor.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @05:03AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @05:03AM (#563658)

        I feel that congress is attempting to turn climate change into another gun ownership or abortion. Both sides make token gestures on these issues, but their overall action is more or less identical - perpetuation of the status quo.

        Obama was, visually, strong on climate change. Yet his achievements? His "landmark environmental treaty" with China allows them to increase their pollution levels as high as they want until 2030 where they're then supposed to decrease their emissions. If they choose not to, there are no enforcement mechanisms. What that treaty effectively did was let China ignore any international pressure for the next 15 years. His actions on coal are even sillier. He did strengthen the rules against coal and coal operated plants. However, he only did so after it was 100% clear the industry was already going to die thanks to natural gas becoming cheaper than coal - making the rules completely pointless.

        The reality is that we have a government that worships business. They need donations to get elected and those donations come from the very companies that would be hurt by any meaningful action on climate change. It is simply not going to happen. It's the same reason that most of the world is passing privacy legislation from the GDPR in the EU to even India that recently had their supreme court rule [indiatimes.com] that personal privacy is a fundamental right. Yet the US? Privacy interferes with the religion of business.

        What I'm getting at here is that in reality you can focus on the actions you see as being most important, yet if progress is not realistically possible - you are completely wasting all your efforts. I think you need to pick fights that you can win. So long as democrats and republicans control our government, you're never going to see meaningful action on climate change - regardless of their rhetoric. However, private industry in space, colonization of Mars, asteroid mining, and all of these other revolutionary technologies are kosher under the religion of business. And so these are areas that we, and more specifically NASA, can actually make progress. And on top of this, Trump has expressed an interest in centralizing climate research to NOAA. While it's obvious that he's doing this since it's easier to 'contain' a single body, I also don't think it's a terrible idea. Multiple disparate agencies, each individually strapped for funds, working on the same topic is rather an inefficient use of brain power and what economic power is available.

    • (Score: 2) by Geezer on Monday September 04 2017, @05:33PM (3 children)

      by Geezer (511) on Monday September 04 2017, @05:33PM (#563501)

      I'm inclined to agree, as you say, tentatively.

      Anything thing helps us get beyond flying in circles in LEL is a plus.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @02:55AM (6 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @02:55AM (#563639)

      NASA has long been about pork, but Obama's NASA pick went beyond that. NASA got used and abused for Muslim outreach, which is pretty damn crazy for a supposed space agency.

      https://www.space.com/8725-nasa-chief-bolden-muslim-remark-al-jazeera-stir.html [space.com]

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Tuesday September 05 2017, @05:07AM (4 children)

        by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Tuesday September 05 2017, @05:07AM (#563659) Journal

        It sounds like he was just tailoring his message for his audience. He was speaking to Al Jazeera.

        --
        [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
        • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @09:58AM (3 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @09:58AM (#563706)

          He said specifically that the president gave him three directives as director of NASA. That's hardly tailoring his message.

          I think the reality is that I think most of us are denial about Obama. It's difficult to look at his actions (and lack of) contrasted against his message. A message that was delivered in the most genuinely authentic, compelling, and charismatic fashion possible. I've no idea what Obama's goals as president were. Whatever they were, they absolutely were not what he said they were. And that realization is unpleasant.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday September 06 2017, @04:02PM (2 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 06 2017, @04:02PM (#564179) Journal

            He said specifically that the president gave him three directives as director of NASA. That's hardly tailoring his message.

            And why isn't that tailoring his message? Telling the audience things that they would want to hear? Let us note that "outreach" is a really public thing. So where is all this Muslim outreach? If it's a real thing, shouldn't there be more to it than a seven year old statement?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 06 2017, @06:12PM (1 child)

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 06 2017, @06:12PM (#564216)

              Bolden had high profile and highly publicized globe trotting affairs in the Mideast organizing agreements with Saudi Arabia, Israel, the UAE and more. And that's of course just the tiny fraction that receive media coverage. I've been unable to find a complete list of NASA's Space Act Agreements (SAA), but I was able to find this [nasa.gov] which is, somewhat coincidentally, helpful. That's a scathing audit of NASA's usage of SAAs from the Office of Inspector General. It provides a few interesting datums. It shows exponential growth in "international agreements" from NASA with a total of 539 agreements made from 2008 to 2012. Japan, Canada, and the EU accounted for 38% of all international partners. The organized and public list of all SAAs should be publicly available and quite informative if you can find it.

              It's easy to forget that just because something doesn't show up on facebook or our preferred headline aggregators doesn't mean it's not happening. Bolden was undoubtedly instructed to keep things more quite following the press that event received. And the press, at large, rarely went against our last political regime.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday September 07 2017, @12:53AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday September 07 2017, @12:53AM (#564357) Journal
                You can look at the list of agreements here [nasa.gov]. Not seeing a suspicious pattern here.
      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @05:14AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @05:14AM (#563661)

        I think this is a good example of the issue. Bolden seemed to be very content to play ball. At some point, you need individuals that will take a stand. When the president tells you the goal of the space agency is:

          - Inspiring kids
          - International relations
          - Muslim outreach

        I think that's the point you take a stand. Obama was charming and Bolden probably felt like he'd need the president's support to achieve what he wanted to accomplish in space. But in the end, people and especially politicians are exploitative. If somebody never draws a line, they're going to get pushed further and further back until the next thing you know - they look back and that position they originally stood on (and I do believe Bolden initially had nothing but the best of intentions and goals for NASA) is nowhere to be found. It's the analog of working in a corporation and a well intentioned lower executive trying to change things with 'baby steps'. It doesn't work. Those 'baby steps' are appeasement to make you feel like you taking half a step forward is an acceptable compromise for each 10 feet you are sent backwards.

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by tonyPick on Monday September 04 2017, @11:38AM (19 children)

    by tonyPick (1237) on Monday September 04 2017, @11:38AM (#563415) Homepage Journal

    Compare Trump's to Obama's NASA appointees.

    One chose a vietnam combat veteran and test pilot who served as an astronaut for 14 years, received 16 military awards, had a Bachelor Of Science from the US Naval Academy, a Master of Science from the university of Southern California and four honorary doctorates before being appointed and has picked up six more since then.

    The other has chosen a career politician with an MBA, no science or technology qualifications, who denies climate change is happening, and has been known to make stuff up [thinkprogress.org] and attempts to shut down the research that proves him wrong.

    Guess which is which.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by khallow on Monday September 04 2017, @12:15PM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @12:15PM (#563424) Journal
      I'll take a person who gives a shit [spacenews.com] over someone who doesn't. I think Bridenstine will be limited more by the usual politics (for example, bipartisan opposition in the Senate is probably why it took so long to get him appointed in the first place) than by his experience and knowledge. Bolden, the previous NASA administrator started out fairly strong, but then he gave up (a fate which may well happen to Bridenstine as well). Lightfoot is just a place holder.

      From the link above, that's an announcement for reform of space-related law that is probably the best legislative approach I've heard of since the mid 1980s when commercial space launch was legalized and some related space law was passed to open things up to the commercial world. And as a representative from Oklahoma, Bridenstine has to be doing this as a labor of love rather than pandering to the near non-existent Oklahoma space industry (or even the whole "Alt Space" industry which just doesn't have the money that established space industry players have). We'll see what happens, but my take is that NASA won't go anywhere until it gets someone willing to push the agency into doing great things again.

      Even so, those great things have to make some sense. Michael D. Griffin who served from 2005 to 2009 as NASA administrator was a disaster because he took on the cause of Constellation [wikipedia.org] (which now lingers on as the Space Launch System [wikipedia.org]), the obsession with using the former Space Shuttle supply chain to build a big rocket.

      We'll see. This could be a turning point, or Bridenstine could be another mediocre administrator in a long line of mediocre administrators. But at this point, I couldn't care less about how much experience the new administrator has. NASA is almost irrelevant to space development these days. Even as a funding source, it tends to have so many strings attached, that NASA support hinders more than it helps (lots of small groups and businesses have been burned by onerous NASA contracts).
      • (Score: 4, Touché) by JoeMerchant on Monday September 04 2017, @01:21PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @01:21PM (#563440)

        Constellation was the brain child of W, as such it was doomed to failure by idiotic conception.

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 05 2017, @08:51AM (2 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @08:51AM (#563696) Journal
          Sorry, Griffin is the daddy on that one. Bush proposed a vague plan to get to Mars and appointed Griffin to fill in the gaps.

          For example, in July 2004, Griffin steered a Planetary Society report [usra.edu] to favor Shuttle-derived heavy lift. That was almost a full year before his appointment as NASA administrator (and half a year after Bush's initial "Vision for Space Exploration" [wikipedia.org] speech). Then after his appointment, Griffin contrived the Exploration Systems Architecture Study [wikipedia.org] (ESAS) to recommend the Constellation launch architecture (which purported to compare the Shuttle-derived architecture to rival approaches, but slanted [selenianboondocks.com] the evaluation to favor the eventual Constellation architecture). On the link I just posted, that is written a full four years after ESAS was published. It took that long to reveal (via FOIA requests I believe) the hidden, biased criteria for deciding on the Constellation architecture.

          I don't know how long before, but Griffin had decided on the Constellation architecture (and its heavy reliance on ATK solid rocket motors) well before becoming NASA administrator - perhaps even before George W. Bush became president.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 05 2017, @01:04PM (1 child)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @01:04PM (#563741)

            As I said, brain child - W made the "I wanna be JFK" speech and left the heavy lifting to everyone else. Entirely logical that there were plans in place prior to the speech and he just let one of them step up and start development. When Martinez became Governor of Florida he increased sales tax (Florida government's primary income stream) by 25%, which accelerated all sorts of existing project schedules across the board. On the one hand, Martinez might take credit for making all of those things happen faster, on the other, he had nothing at all to do with their conception or planning.

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday September 05 2017, @10:39PM

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @10:39PM (#563959) Journal

              As I said, brain child - W made the "I wanna be JFK" speech and left the heavy lifting to everyone else.

              Being president doesn't magically make you an expert on Mars exploration, even if you are smart. Delegation is the norm.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday September 04 2017, @01:18PM (10 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @01:18PM (#563437)

      O.K. - you're not wrong, but... the new guy actually has equal, perhaps better, chance of getting funding for NASA to actually do something great. Now, maybe those great things NASA will be doing are BS, wasteful, and an affront to "good science" - but wouldn't it be nice for NASA to actually do some great things again, instead of slowly dwindling into irrelevance - able to be ignored by politicians and large segments of the population when they inform us of things like climate change?

      Or, it could be a hatchet job, intended to sink NASA into obscurity faster.

      More likely, it's a random act that could go either way - or, possibly an intentional act in one direction or the other that has a roughly equal chance of backfiring on the intention.

      Whatever it is, it's different than what's been tried in the past, and that has a better chance of changing NASA's course than maintaining the status quo, and I, for one, do not approve of the course that NASA has followed for the past 30+ years.

      (The previous statement is in no way intended to endorse the current political administration, their policies, or the perception they are spreading around the world about the American people in general. It is, however, intended to point out that change - no matter the source, can be a good thing, and is often better than continuing to pursue failed strategies because they are still perceived as the "best possible course." When the "best possible course" has consistently led you to bad outcomes, maybe it is time to try something different?)

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
      • (Score: 1, Troll) by VLM on Monday September 04 2017, @02:03PM (1 child)

        by VLM (445) Subscriber Badge on Monday September 04 2017, @02:03PM (#563457)

        When the "best possible course" has consistently led you to bad outcomes, maybe it is time to try something different?

        Try applying that to politics especially in direct contrast to

        in no way intended to endorse the current political administration, their policies, or the perception they are spreading around the world about the American people in general

        Essentially your first quote is the intellectual death of the left and the neocons and the globalists, which is why they have nothing left but Stalinist style repression and intimidation.

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @04:42PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @04:42PM (#563484)

          He said "something different" not "anything different". The actual left has little to no representation in congress; what you call the left is probably just neoliberalism with a veneer of identity politics.

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday September 04 2017, @06:42PM (7 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday September 04 2017, @06:42PM (#563521)

        the new guy actually has equal, perhaps better, chance of getting funding for NASA to actually do something great.

        I'd agree to "equal". Certainly not "better". The simple reason is that NASA has a snowballs chance in Hell of doing something great when doing something great takes a decades-long effort and each president who comes in wants to redirect the mission so that they'll go down in history as the guy who set the mission that got people to Mars or something. Add to that legislators who see NASA more as a pork feeding trough than a goal in and of itself, and it's completely surprising that very little if anything gets accomplished in the manned missions outside of LEO.

        One of the reasons the Apollo missions actually happened was that neither Lyndon Johnson nor Richard Nixon didn't screw it up by saying "Whoops, never mind what JFK said, we're actually going to do something else."

        --
        Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
        • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Monday September 04 2017, @11:21PM

          by isostatic (365) on Monday September 04 2017, @11:21PM (#563599) Journal

          I wonder if they would have been so continuating if JFK hadn't been killed - was Apollo seen as a Kennedy legacy at the time? Johnson couldn't have overrode it, and Nixon even if he could would go down as an unorganised president - his name and signature on the moon long after the US and the rest of earth turned into a smoking crator.

        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday September 05 2017, @02:52AM (1 child)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @02:52AM (#563638)

          Well, September 12, 1962 to July 20, 1969 is a bit less than a decade. W might blame BHO for not following through on his vision, but that's a bit disingenuous when W himself wasn't able to provide any more backup for return to manned deep spaceflight than Trump has demonstrated for getting his wall built.

          I assume by "equal" you mean 0 = 0, I think we're better than that - not anywhere near what Stephen Hawking and I want, but better. I think what got Apollo done was Sputnik and the continued threat of Russian nukes raining down from ICBMs - we needed to demonstrate launch reliability and payload capability, and we did, in spades, and that backed up the MAD doctrine for the next 20 years.

          Oh, I heard we're invading Afghanistan, again. Doesn't anybody pay attention to history? Afghanistan, more than any one other thing, is how the USSR lost the cold war. If we're struggling so with our economy, do we need to go in there and stabilize the Afghan political/economic situation so we can get their minerals on the world market, or are we just stupid? 10% of Gulf War II's funding would have put men on Mars and returned them safely to earth, I'm sure when the final bill comes in for this Afghanistan adventure, it will be enough that it could have accelerated Constellation's timetable by years and also established a lunar settlement.

          --
          Україна досі не є частиною Росії.
        • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday September 05 2017, @04:58AM (2 children)

          by dry (223) on Tuesday September 05 2017, @04:58AM (#563657) Journal

          Actually Nixon did screw Apollo in favour of the shuttle, just took a year or so. Remember, Nixon got inaugurated shortly after Apollo 8 visited the Moon, it was hard to cancel it quickly but Apollo 18 and 19 never flew along with the other planned skylab missions.

          • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Tuesday September 05 2017, @08:53AM (1 child)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @08:53AM (#563697) Journal
            While Nixon ended Apollo, it would have been hard to continue the program anyway due to US Congress cutting back as early as 1967. As to the Shuttle, it appears to me to be a consolation prize to NASA rather than the thing that caused Nixon to cancel Apollo.
            • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday September 05 2017, @03:12PM

              by dry (223) on Tuesday September 05 2017, @03:12PM (#563773) Journal

              Good points.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @07:19PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 05 2017, @07:19PM (#563878)

          This whole 'space takes decades to do anything' is simply not true.

          In 1962 when JFK gave his space speech, we had barely put a man in orbit. Granted that is an achievement, but it's millenia away from putting a man on the moon. At least ostensibly. We landed on the moon 7 years later. Or even go back a little bit more. The first time we put anything into space was 1958 - Explorer 1. So we went from having done nothing in space to landing on the moon 11 years later. Or zoom forward to modern times. SpaceX was founded just 15 years ago. They've managed to completely revolutionize space, and have announced plans to send a man around the moon next year, all in 15 years with a budget of shoestrings and duct tape.

          Give an organization a goal, sufficient funding, and sufficient manpower - and there is less than no reason that we could not be on the moon before Trump leaves office. The issue has nothing to do with the complexity or length of space, but rather the other part of what you said "legislators who see NASA more as a pork feeding trough than a goal in and of itself". I don't know why Bolden failed, but I don't think it's unreasonable to expect than a man of personal merit and achievement was unable to discover how to deal with the manipulation and deceit that pervades our government today. And because of that I do think it's entirely possible a man who is going to be vastly more familiar with 'the game' might manage to achieve things that Bolden was unable to do so.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @02:08PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @02:08PM (#563458)

      Mr Bolden said: "When I became the Nasa administrator, he [Mr Obama] charged me with three things.
      "One, he wanted me to help reinspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math, and engineering."

      Yeah, clearly good ole' Obama clearly had NASA's best interests at heart, and advancing science and space travel were his top priorities. Obviously.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by khallow on Tuesday September 05 2017, @02:39AM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 05 2017, @02:39AM (#563635) Journal
        It's a throw away comment, probably intended to placate some political request higher up to say something nice for his audience (Al-Jazeera viewers). It's quite clear that Muslim outreach was never a high priority goal of NASA, then or now. It's weird how much legs Bolden's comment has, but I suppose a single comment from 2010 is enough to prove anything these days for some people.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @05:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @05:35PM (#563502)

      And your over-achieving war hero got us...where?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @03:19PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @03:19PM (#563469)

    SEWP continues to experience incredible growth during the 2017 Fiscal Year.
    [...]
    To Date, SEWP has over $1.5B in orders – an increase of 10% over last year

    https://www.sewp.nasa.gov/documents/July2017Newsletter.pdf [nasa.gov]

    Everyone keeps saying things like "NASA is becoming irrelevant", but this isn't true. It is pivoting into being the "geek squad" of the government, activities in that role are at all time highs.

  • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @03:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 04 2017, @03:38PM (#563474)

    marco rubio is alleged to have said something. heh

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