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NASA's Confusion Over Presidential Transition Teams

By Keith Cowing on October 27, 2016 4:43 PM.

NASA Advisory Council Meeting March 31 - April 1 2016, NASA

"Dr. Wanda Austin asked Mr. Bolden to discuss how NASA plans to work with the Presidential transition teams to maintain progress on NASA's current programs and activities. Mr. Bolden explained that the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010 allows each political party, after their nominating convention, to assemble transition teams . Beginning in August 2016, NASA will have access to those transition teams. NASA 's intent is to be proactive with the transition teams and tell them as much as possible about NASA, its programs, and the President's vision and remind them, similar to the Hippocratic Oath, first of all to "do no harm. "The Nation is embarked as the leader of the world on an ambitious space exploration program. NASA has put together a great set of science programs. It has a more robust aeronautics program than at any time in the recent history of the Agency, and a technology development program that is helping to develop the cutting edge technologies that would be needed not just for the Journey to Mars but across the NASA portfolio. NASA will not wait for the transition teams to come to NASA, but will go to them."

"The Council discussed the upcoming transition in Presidential Administrations. Dr. Peterson advised that it would be important to be prepared to be proactive and present the transition teams with a plan for Mars. Mr. Hale reported that he had worked with the last transition team and learned that space policy is made at the White House. He asserted, "It is setting the expectation too high to suggest that NASA can affect the formulation of space policy." Ms. Blakey advised that it is important to know who is listened to on the transition teams."

Election only the start of a long-term NASA transition, SpaceNews

"While both Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump established transition teams after accepting their parties' nominations this summer, months ahead of the Nov. 8 general election, that planning has yet to involve "landing teams" for NASA. "We're at the point now where, any day now, we could hear about individual names for the landing team for NASA," said Michael French, NASA chief of staff, speaking at a meeting of the Federal Aviation Administration's Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) here. "NASA has not received this information yet."

Keith's note: Interesting. With regard to presidential transition teams Charlie Bolden said "NASA will not wait for the transition teams to come to NASA, but will go to them". Now, with regard to who is on these transition teams, his chief of staff says "NASA has not received this information yet". So ... I guess no one followed Bolden's direction to seek out the transition teams. In my experience, transition teams never reveal their membership until after an election, so I am not sure he'd know who to talk to anyway . If you compare Bolden's and French's approaches they seem to be the opposite of each other. I wonder who is giving NASA HQ advice on all of this?

- Now NASA Wants Special Treatment From Congress, earlier post


Stunning ISS Fly Through Video

By Keith Cowing on October 27, 2016 2:56 PM.

Keith's note: When "Interstellar" came out there was an Oculus Rift "experience" that toured a few locations around the country. The Oculus Rift tour inside the "Endurance" was pretty cool. If only NASA could find a way to take this ISS footage and convert it for use with Play Station VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard. etc. I am sure it would be a hit. Nice for training astronauts too.

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One Third of U.S. Astronauts Injured During Soyuz Landings

By Keith Cowing on October 27, 2016 1:04 PM.

Soyuz Landing Missions, NASA

"More injuries have been occurring on Soyuz landings than anticipated. Most injuries are minor in nature, but are unexpected due to the low energetics of the landing. This may be an indication that Soyuz landings are harder than previously thought, or that spaceflight deconditioning reduces human tolerance to impacts, or a combination of both. ... 37.5% of US crew members experienced an injury"


MRO Examines ExoMars Impact Site

By Keith Cowing on October 27, 2016 12:23 PM.

Schiaparelli Impact Site on Mars Viewed From Orbit

"This Oct. 25, 2016, image shows the area where the European Space Agency's Schiaparelli test lander reached the surface of Mars, with magnified insets of three sites where components of the spacecraft hit the ground. It is the first view of the site from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter taken after the Oct. 19, 2016, landing event. The Schiaparelli test lander was one component of ESA's ExoMars 2016 project, which placed the Trace Gas Orbiter into orbit around Mars on the same arrival date."


NASA Future In-Space Operations: An ISS Space Ambulance

By Marc Boucher on October 27, 2016 9:34 AM.

NASA FISO Presentation: An ISS Space Ambulance Based on X-37B Technology

Now available is the October 19, 2016 NASA Future In-Space Operations (FISO) telecon material. The speakers was Steve Robinson (UC Santa Cruz) who discussed "An ISS Space Ambulance Based on X-37B Technology."

Note: The audio file and presentation are online and available to download.

Marc's note: An interesting concept. Is there a future commercial application for this concept should other space stations come online (Bigelow etc.)?

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Scratch Newt From Your List

By Keith Cowing on October 26, 2016 7:40 PM.


Trump Space Advisor Wants To Invite China To Join ISS

By Keith Cowing on October 26, 2016 5:17 PM.

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U.S. - China Strategic and Economic Dialogue

By Keith Cowing on October 25, 2016 11:13 PM.

Orbital View of Tiangong 2 and Shenzhou 11

"CNSA has released imagery taken by a smallsat deployed the other day that shows Tiangong 2 and Shenzhou 11."

The Second Meeting of the U.S.-China Space Dialogue, State Department

"Pursuant to their shared goal of advancing civil space cooperation, as agreed upon in the Strategic Track of the U.S. - China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in June 2015 and reaffirmed in June 2016, the United States and China convened their second Civil Space Dialogue on October 20, 2016, in Washington, DC. This ongoing Civil Space Dialogue enhances cooperation between the two countries, promotes responsible behavior in space, and encourages greater transparency and openness on a variety of space-related issues."

United States, China hold Space Dialogue, working around Congressional barriers, GBTimes

"Notably NASA Administrator Charles Bolden was in attendance, despite Congressional barriers to engaging Chinese state entities, with the Dialogue offering a way of working around such road blocks. ... From there, Mr Bolden went on to stress that NASA's apparent human Journey to Mars requires collaboration with many nations, without specifically noting China. Earlier public statements indicate that he is a proponent of cooperation with China."

Earlier posts on China


Clinton Campaign Op Ed

By Keith Cowing on October 25, 2016 10:22 PM.

Hillary will expand our space potential, op ed, Space News

"We are fortunate to be entering a dynamic new era in space - one that will enable us to explore new worlds, expand our scientific knowledge, push the frontiers of technological innovation, and achieve our boldest aspirations in space. This forward trajectory has been fueled by pragmatic policies that have brought together our brightest minds, and newest technologies, to forge new frontiers. As president, Secretary Clinton will not only build on our progress in space, but will advance inspirational, achievable, and affordable space initiatives."


Trump Promises to "Free NASA"

By Keith Cowing on October 25, 2016 4:46 PM.


Potential Education And Public Outreach - On Steroids

By Keith Cowing on October 25, 2016 12:08 AM.

Making 3D Images With Hubble and Webb Space Telescopes

"The two most powerful optical/IR telescopes in history -- NASA's Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes -- will be in space at the same time. We have a unique opportunity to leverage the 1.5 million kilometer separation between the two telescopic nodal points to obtain simultaneously captured stereoscopic images of asteroids, comets, moons and planets in our Solar System. Given the recent resurgence in stereo-3D movies and the recent emergence of VR-enabled mobile devices, these stereoscopic images provide a unique opportunity to engage the public with unprecedented views of various Solar System objects."

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Will Someone Please Start Launching Rocketships at Spaceport America

By Keith Cowing on October 24, 2016 7:46 PM.

Spaceport America Relay Race Features an Amazing 200 Mile Course Along the Historic Rio Grande River from Texas to New Mexico, Spaceport America

"Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico in the USA, today announced that, in collaboration with relay racing specialists MH Enterprises LLC, the Spaceport America Crew will host and support a two-day, 200 mile, relay race event."

Spaceport America, Wikipedia

"As of August 2012, Spaceport America is substantially complete and the cost of the entire project was $209 million. ... In May 2015, budgetary details made public revealed that the substantially unused spaceport has an annual deficit that has been running approximately US$500,000, with the deficit being made up by state taxpayers. The primary planned revenue in the times of delayed operations by Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, with limited operations by other minor tenants, is local tax revenue, paid by the taxpayers of Sierra and Dona Ana counties."


Second Trump Space Op Ed Omits Support of SLS, Orion, ARM, #JourneyToMars

By Keith Cowing on October 24, 2016 7:35 PM.

Donald Trump's "peace through strength" space doctrine, op ed, Space News

"A key Trump goal will be to create lower costs through greater efficiencies. We must ensure that space products developed for one sector, but applicable to another, will be fully shared, not duplicated. It makes little sense to develop numerous launch vehicles at taxpayer cost, all with essentially the same technology and payload capacity. Coordinated policy could end such duplication of effort and could likely determine where there are private sector solutions that do not necessarily require government investment."

Keith's note: A second Trump space policy op ed in 2 weeks - and still no overt mention of support for SLS/Orion, ARM, or #JourneyToMars - just the same statement that government should not be developing launch capabilities when the private sector can do so.

- Trump Space Advisors Omit Support of SLS, Orion, ARM, #JourneytoMars, earlier post


Space Foundation CEO Departs

By Keith Cowing on October 24, 2016 7:30 PM.

Space Foundation CEO Steps Down, Space Foundation

"Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Space Foundation, Admiral James O. Ellis Jr., announced that Space Foundation CEO, Elliot Pulham, has resigned his position, and the board has commenced a search for new leadership of the organization. ... We are committed to an open and competitive process to select the Foundation's next leader, and are grateful for the continued support of the space community."


Trump Scrubs KSC Visit

By Keith Cowing on October 23, 2016 7:24 AM.

Keith's update: According to CNN, Trump has cancelled plans to visit KSC. So much for the photo op of his jet landing at KSC shuttle landing facility. Apparently they could not find a rally location offsite in a nearby location that would meet the expected audience numbers. I've also heard that there was a NASA concern that the campaign would try and do a tour where giant NASA logos would appear in campaign photos.

Donald Trump adds Sanford, St. Augustine to Florida swing,

"In addition, he's expected to tour Kennedy Space Center and meet with the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast. That activity originally was scheduled for Monday but the Space Coast EDC reported it has been postponed to Tuesday. No details are yet available."

Donald Trump to meet with Florida space officials Monday, Orlando Sentinel

"Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to tour Kennedy Space Center and other locations on the Space Coast before sitting in on a roundtable of space industry leaders on Monday, Oct. 24. ... So far, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has not accepted invitations to tour the region. Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the economic development commission of Florida's Space Coast, said she hopes Trump's visit encourages Clinton to follow suit."


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