Houston, NASA Has a Very Serious Problem – The One (elect)



Something that could be just a little bit ugly appears to be going on between The One (elect)’s  Transition Team and NASA.  According to the Orlando Sentinel, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin is being accused of “obstructing” The One’s minions when it comes to destroying our future.  There are those within NASA who think that The One (elect)’s transition point person for NASA is incompetent.

It also appears that The One (elect)’s people may be planning to shut down Langley.

“…In a heated 40-minute conversation last week with Lori Garver, a former NASA associate administrator who heads the space transition team, a red-faced Griffin demanded to speak directly to Obama, according to witnesses.

In addition, Griffin is scripting NASA employees and civilian contractors on what they can tell the transition team and has warned aerospace executives not to criticize the agency’s moon program, sources said.

Griffin’s resistance is part of a no-holds-barred effort to preserve the Constellation program, the delayed and over-budget moon rocket that is his signature project.

Chris Shank, NASA’s Chief of Strategic Communications, denied that Griffin is trying to keep information from the team, or that he is seeking a meeting with Obama. He also insisted that Griffin never argued with Garver.

“We are working extremely well with the transition team,” he said.

However, Shank acknowledged Griffin was concerned that the six-member team – all with space policy backgrounds – lack the engineering expertise to properly assess some of the information they have been given.

Garver refused comment about her conversation with Griffin — and his remark that she is “not qualified” — during a book-publication party at NASA headquarters last week. Obama’s Chicago office – which has sent similar transition teams to every federal agency – also had no comment.

People close to Garver, however, say that she has confirmed “unpleasant” exchanges with Griffin and other NASA officials. “Don’t worry, they have not beaten me down yet,” she e-mailed a colleague.

And this week, Garver told a meeting of aerospace representatives in Washington that “there will be change” to NASA policy and hinted that Obama would name a new administrator soon, according to participants….”

Naturally Mike Griffin denies the story.

“A recent report in the Orlando Sentinel suggested that NASA is not cooperating with members of President-elect Obama’s transition team currently working at Headquarters. This report, largely supported by anonymous sources and hearsay, is simply wrong.

I would like to reiterate what I have stated in a previous email to all NASA Officials: we must make every effort to “lean forward,” to answer questions promptly, openly and accurately.

We are fully cooperating with transition team members. Since mid-November, the agency has provided 414 documents and 185 responses to 191 requests. There are six outstanding responses, and the agency will meet the deadline for those queries.

Also, we strongly urge full and free cooperation by companies performing work for NASA. I am appalled by any accusations of intimidation, and encourage a free and open exchange of information with the contractor community.

The transition team’s work is too important to become mired in unsupported and anonymous allegations. The President-elect’s transition team deserves everyone’s complete cooperation.”

It only gets better.  While Griffin says he is cooperating with The One (elect)’s transition team, others say it isn’t true.

“…On Thursday, the Sentinel reported that Griffin, in an effort to shield his signature Constellation moon-rocket program from complaints it is under-performing and over-budget, was obstructing efforts by the transition team to get information. The six-member team is reviewing the agency’s policies and scouring its budget.

The story also quoted witnesses’ accounts of a heated 40-minute conversation last week between Griffin and Lori Garver, a former NASA associate administrator who heads the transition team. At one point, they said, the NASA chief demanded to speak directly to Obama, because he said Garver is “not qualified” to judge his rocket program.

Garver refused comment on the report, and Griffin made no reference to the argument, which took place in front of about 50 people.

Sources close to the transition team said Thursday that Garver and her five colleagues until now have been getting cooperation from “most” NASA staff on most programs except Constellation. According to one very informed official, “[Griffin’s office] is definitely resisting, and telling others to resist.”

The team, however, does not appear to be intimidated.

In a meeting Tuesday with the Coalition for Space Exploration, a space advocacy group, Garver said that her team was “unhappy” with NASA’s plan – pushed by Griffin — to retire the space shuttle in 2010 “no matter what.” Griffin has said the shuttle must be grounded to free up money for Constellation if its Ares 1 rocket is to fly by 2015.

She also said that under NASA’s current plans the possibility for exploration beyond the Earth’s orbit seems unattainable at present, an industry executive who attended the meeting.

Garver didn’t say what options her group might recommend, such as more money to keep flying the shuttle or changing the rocket systems NASA is currently developing to go to the moon. However, she promised that “Change is coming.”…”

There are theories that The One (elect) is planning to utilize an idea from the Space Frontier Foundation (the old L-5 Society) utilizing massive solar projects. If so, it would greatly expand the role of NASA and do something quite remarkable. I just don’t have much faith in anything positive coming out of NASA at this time.  All those lying little crocodile tears coming out of the The One (elect) and his apologetic minions basically point to the fact that NASA is in bad shape.  Space Politics thinks that NASA may come out okay.  I’m not so sure, though. When we get Dems in office who want to cut the budget, the first place they head is to NASA.

“…While members of the Texas Congressional delegation are gearing up to defend NASA against budget threats, real or perceived, supporters of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia are planning similar action. The Daily Press newspaper reports that the president of Hampton University is planning a luncheon to “get the community’s leadership re-engaged in the process to head off any potential budget cuts”.

Anna McNider, a “volunteer lobbyist” with a organization called the NASA Aeronautics Support Team, is concerned: “The state of NASA today is as bad as it’s been in the last 10 to 15 years.”…”

I don’t have a lot of faith in anything Democrats do when it comes to space exploration.  This may be due to those dark and dreadful days of the Carter Administration when NASA was cut back to basically nothing.  Carter took a promising idea with a reusable vehicle and turned it into today’s shuttle program. I don’t trust Democrats and the Space Program.  It’s that simple.   They would rather slash science and technology in favor of hand-outs to buy more votes than actually invest in our future.

On the other hand, the fact that Bill Richardson will be Secretary of Commerce has very interesting implications for New Mexico and private space systems.  Private systems are the actual future of humanity’s exploration of space. Technology has reached the point where it may soon actually be cheaper for private systems to explore space than NASA.  When that dream finally comes true, it is going to be extremely exciting.
Trackposted to Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Allie is Wired, Political Byline, Woman Honor Thyself, Walls of the City, The World According to Carl, DragonLady’s World, Leaning Straight Up, Democrat=Socialist, L.O.M.A., Conservative Cat, Right Voices, and Gone Hollywood, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.


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