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

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 08.24.15

Airborne 08.25.15

Airborne 08.26.15

Airborne 08.27.15

Airborne 08.28.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 08.24.15

Airborne 08.25.15

Airborne 08.26.15

Airborne 08.27.15

Airborne 08.28.15

EAA/ANN AirVenture Innovation Preview

AIP-#1 Vimeo

AIP-#2 Vimeo

AIP-Part 1 YouTube

AIP-Part 2 YouTube

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 08.27.15: Golden Wings Flying Museum, AUVSI v CA, FAA Delays Pilot DB

Also: Join The API!, ATC Goofs... Badly, Shuttle Water Tanks, Herlong Rebrands FBO, Gogo's Next Generation, China A/C Demand, Chatham MA RFP You won’t see us run very many fo>[...]

Boeing Completes 777X Firm Configuration

Milestone Establishes Basic Airplane Design; Program On Track For First Delivery In 2020 Boeing has completed the firm configuration milestone for the 777-9, the first member of th>[...]

Airborne 08.26.15: New U-2?, Carter PAV Update, AK TFR Concerns

Also: Skydive Mid-Air, Classic Aero-TV, United Airlines, Forest Service Policy v Helicopters, WestJet Pilots' Association, NASA Drops Plane, Flightnow in Court Is it possible that >[...]

Airborne 08.27.15: Golden Wings Flying Museum, AUVSI v CA, FAA Delays Pilot DB

Also: Join The API!, ATC Goofs... Badly, Shuttle Water Tanks, Herlong Rebrands FBO, Gogo's Next Generation, China A/C Demand, Chatham MA RFP You won’t see us run very many fo>[...]

AD: Airbus Airplanes

AD NUMBER: AD 2015-17-07 PRODUCT: All Airbus Model A300 B4-603, B4-605R, B4-620, B4-622, B4-622R airplanes; all Airbus Model A300 C4-605R Variant F airplanes; and certain Airbus Mo>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC