Whither America’s Human Space Program? | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne Unlimited-
Monday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI-
Tuesday

Airborne Unlimited-
Wednesday

AMA Drone Report-
Thursday

Airborne Unlimited-
Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 12.11.17

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17

Airborne 12.13.17

AMA Drone Report 12.14.17

Airborne 12.15.17

Airborne-YouTube

Airborne 12.11.17

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17

Airborne 12.13.17

AMA Drone Report 12.14.17

Airborne 12.15.17

Thu, Jan 12, 2012

Whither America’s Human Space Program?

Former Shuttle Program Manager Ponders The Nation's Future In Space

Analysis By Wayne Hale

The following article appeared December 9th on a blog written by former NASA Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale. It is reproduced here in its entirety with permission.

The 2012 Presidential campaign dominates the news but space policy rarely gets mentioned; and when it does the mention is often ill-informed or very abstract.  Perhaps that will change.

The old paradigms supporting America’s space program have faded; China has not replaced the Soviet Union as an opponent which requires a national demonstration of technical capabilities.  Spinoffs and jobs provided from space are overlooked in the larger economic mess.  Science is nice but hardly urgent when the debate centers on the national debt or the social safety net.
 
Somehow, the ½ of 1 percent of the federal budget that gets spent purely on the future has gotten overlooked.
 
Almost three years ago, the Review of Human Plans Committee (aka “the Augustine Commission”) was announced.  I know we all had great hopes of that commission and its report.  Whatever you may think of their work – and I believe a lot of it was good – the political leadership in Washington has made hash of the nation’s space policy.  Not only did the current administration fail to adopt any of the major options which Augustine reported as “worthy of a great nation”, but the Congress has decided to fight the administration’s initiatives at every step. Paul Spudis just named 2011 as America’s space “Annus Horribilis”.  It has really been a lousy three years.
 
Not that there haven’t been great accomplishments; Hubble still making discoveries every day, as is Kepler; the ISS is fully crewed with research going on every day; Curiosity is on its way to Mars; even the Shuttle made a graceful and successful dénouement.  But the future, the plans and policies for the future; there lies a sad state of affairs.
 
In the spring of 2009, Bill Gerstenmaier asked me to be one of the NASA support staff to help the Augustine Commission effort.  He also assigned one of the senior NASA HQ staff, Tom Cremins, to work with me.  So all summer, Tom and I played a tag team along with several other NASA folks helping to provide support to the Augustine Commission. I got to know Tom really well during this period and have a great deal of respect for his judgment and knowledge. That friendship was my best personal reward for supporting Augustine.
 
Now, Bill and Tom are in the final stages of preparing a paper reviewing the value of human spaceflight to the nation.  In the midst of bickering and roadblocks, they remain positive and are looking for the way ahead.
 
Many of us, including my friend Tom, are gathering in Boulder, Colorado, in less than two weeks to review this situation and hopefully find meaningful ways to explain the importance of space exploration in these days.  You can join us for this discussion; see  http://sas.data-engineering.com/
 
I’ll give you a report on the outcome in about two weeks.

FMI: http://waynehale.wordpress.com/

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 12.15.17: New Shepard Flies Again, Falcon 5X Cancelled, Flying Car Race

Also: Online Pilot Records Database, GA Security Bill, $1M 4 ERAU, Blades Aerobatic Team Blue Origin's New Shepard made its seventh test flight Tuesday afternoon at the company's l>[...]

AMA Drone Report 12.14.17: Drone Registry, AMA Q&A, New IDRA Boss

Also: LAFD Drones, Toys For Tots FPV, Modular Racing Drone, Community College Drone Program President Donald Trump has signed the Defense Authorization Bill that includes a reinsta>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 12.12.17: ERAU Storm Chaser, USMC Drone Insignia, Malawian UAV

Also: NLR Signs Agreement, QinetiQ, Big Bend Community College, 2nd Annual UAS Conference, Tigershark UAS Kicking off a series of tests for its capstone project, the UAV Storm Chas>[...]

Aero-News: Quote of the Day (12.18.17)

“Classic jets have been part of the EAA AirVenture warbirds lineup for a number of year, but to include rare British aircraft such as the Meteor, Venom and Vampire makes the >[...]

Klyde Morris (12.18.17)

The Airline Gig Isn't Getting Any Easier, Klyde FMI: www.klydemorris.com>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2017 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC