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David Bowles Needs To Explain Pay Cuts To NASA Langley Employees

By Keith Cowing on June 25, 2018 8:28 AM.

NASA Langley contract employees get pay cuts under new contractor, Daily Press

"In March, NASA Langley announced it had chosen its newest contractor, Alutiiq-Fusion Joint Venture, to provide about 200 employees under Langley's administrative, media and professional services (LAMPS II) contract. Soon after, Stefula was stunned to discover she would have to take a 37 percent pay cut to keep her job. She wasn't alone. Several contract workers at the center interviewed by the Daily Press say their salary reductions range from 8 percent to 37 percent, and that countless colleagues have taken similar cuts, or greater. They cite unsubstantiated accounts of a few senior staffers who had their pay slashed by 70 percent."

"Langley's new contractor is a partnership between Alutiiq LLC, a Native American-owned business based in Anchorage, Alaska, and Media Fusion of Huntsville, Ala. The companies divvied up employees, with Alutiiq largely handling the administrative and professional staffing and Media Fusion the media services, video production and public affairs. Alutiiq-Fusion also took on a subcontractor, Banner Staffing in Washington, D.C., to handle about a dozen workers for Langley's Office of Human Capital Management."

Keith's note: The most pathetic aspect of this is a refusal to answer questions from the reporter from the Daily Press. Instead the companies involved and NASA Langley PAO simply sent a statement. And no one has heard from Langley Center Director David Bowles. As such, employees have to do their own investigative reporting to find out why they are getting pay cuts. How pathetic and uncaring. People working their asses off for Langley get unexpected and wholly unwarranted pay cuts and their management doesn't have the spine to face them or the media to explain things?

Let's hope Sen. Kaine and Sen. Warner take further action since David Bowles and his management team clearly are not going to. Cutting employee salaries with no notice or reason is not the way to go back to the Moon.

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Alabama Wants Y'all To Join Their Space Force

By Keith Cowing on June 24, 2018 4:44 PM.

Rep. Mo Brooks pushes to put 'Space Force' command in Alabama, AL.com

"Alabama's congressional representatives aren't wasting any time lobbying for the Pentagon to put President Trump's new "Space Force" command on Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville."

Mo Brooks pitches Space Force headquarters at Redstone Arsenal, WAFF

"Forgive me for diverging from the primary focus of this hearing, but it occurs to me that each of you has significant persuasive influence on where the new space command will be headquartered, so I am going to touch on that for a moment. In that vein, I hope you will help make Redstone Arsenal a finalist in the space command headquarters debate. Redstone Arsenal has a lot to offer. We have related to space command-- either related a lot or related a little-- the following space command activities: United States Army Aviation and Missile Command; Aviation and Missile Research Developmental and Engineering Center; PEO Missiles and Space; United States Army Space and Missile Command; Army Forces Strategic Command; United State Missile Defense Agency; Defense Intelligence Agency's Missile and Space Intelligence Center; NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, which is the home and birthplace of America's space program; a wealth of intellectual talent; engineers, we have the highest concentration of engineers in the United States of America; physicists; mathematicians; scientists."

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Aldrin Family Statement on Recent Lawsuit

By Keith Cowing on June 23, 2018 11:56 AM.

Keith's note: The following statement was received by NASA Watch from the Aldrin family:

"We are deeply disappointed and saddened by the unjustified lawsuit that has been brought against us individually and against the Foundation that we have built together as a family to carry on Dad's legacy for generations to come. When we established the current structure several years ago, it was done so at Buzz's request and with his full support. If nothing else, our family is resilient and our ability to work together to solve problems and accomplish great things is strong. We love and respect our father very much and remain hopeful that we can rise above this situation and recover the strong relationship that built this foundation in the first place.

We will not be commenting further on the lawsuit and ask your understanding and respect for our family privacy at this extremely difficult time."

--- Andy Aldrin and Jan Aldrin"

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Buzz Aldrin Is Suing His Family

By Keith Cowing on June 22, 2018 6:13 PM.

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Who Is Behind Buzz Aldrin's Recent Online Activity?

By Keith Cowing on June 22, 2018 6:00 PM.

Keith's note: Some background information posted on Twitter with regard to @TheRealBuzz and people associated with various activities using Buzz Aldrin's name. Click below to read.

Continue reading: Who Is Behind Buzz Aldrin's Recent Online Activity?.

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Yet Another NASA Reorganization Study

By Keith Cowing on June 21, 2018 3:18 PM.

NASA Assessment of Mission Flexibility and Agility, NASA

"As you know, the President's National Space Strategy and Space Policy Directives have set NASA on an ambitious path of discovery and exploration that will require us to be more agile and flexible than ever. To that end, as NASA's part of an Administration plan for reorganizing the Executive Branch, the agency has been asked to assess over the next few months whether expanding the Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) model beyond JPL is the best approach for increasing agility and flexibility in support of the mission."

Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century (NASA Excerpt)

Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century

Page 17: "Establish an accelerated process for determining whether one or more of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Centers should be converted to, or host, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC). FFRDCs can potentially allow the agency to be more agile in rapidly responding to changing needs and in recruiting and retaining scientific and technical expertise."

Page 83: "Process to Determine Best Role for FFRDCs

This proposal lays a process to determine if one or more of NASA's other Centers should be converted to, or host, an FFRDC. NASA would oversee this process and provide an analysis, including recommendations, to the White House by the end of August 2018 so that the outcome can be reflected in future budget and policy plans and proposals. NASA's analysis would draw from prior studies of this topic and evaluate the potential of an FFRDC to further the Administration's policy goals more effectively. In addition to studying whether one or more Centers could potentially be converted to an FFRDC in whole or in part, NASA would also establish whether it may be effective to perform new programs and projects using an FFRDC structure."

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Is The Voice Behind @TheRealBuzz Really Buzz Aldrin?

By Keith Cowing on June 21, 2018 2:05 PM.

Keith's note: The following statement was received by NASA Watch from the Buzz Aldrin Space Foundation (https://buzzaldrinfoundation.org) in response to an inquiry we made about recent postings on @TheRealBuzz:

"Keith,

Thanks for your interest and concern. In response to your questions from NASA Watch, I have been reassured by the Buzz Aldrin Space Foundation that, contrary to recent Twitter postings on @TheRealBuzz, Christina Korp has not been terminated. Such a termination would require a majority vote of the board, which has not occurred. Christina is continuing in her ongoing roles with the Buzz Aldrin Space Foundation and Share Space Foundation.

We are not sure who is responsible for the Tweet regarding Christina, but we are confident Buzz did not write this. It appears, as many have speculated online, that management of the Twitter account @TheRealBuzz has indeed been reassigned without proper verification.

I will add that the Aldrin family and Foundation colleagues have expressed concern for Buzz's potential vulnerability to manipulation by other parties seeking to gain access to and control of Foundation and personal resources. In addition to the important mission of the Foundation, they remain committed to protecting his personal reputation and professional legacy, as well as his ability to remain self-sustaining financially.

Thanks for your interest.

Jeff Carr
Spokesman for Buzz Aldrin Space Foundation"

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NASA Was Closed. Who Knew?

By Keith Cowing on June 21, 2018 2:00 PM.

With three words, President Trump fortifies a flawed perception about NASA, Ars Technica

"Fresh off an appearance at a National Space Council meeting Monday, space was evidently on his mind when President Trump spoke at a campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota, on Wednesday night. "Our beautiful ancestors won two world wars, defeated fascism and communism, and put a man on the face of the Moon," he told his adulatory crowd. "And I think you saw the other day, we're reopening NASA. We're going to be going to space." President Trump makes news at Space Council meeting by going off script. The crowd responded by chanting, "Space Force! Space Force!"

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Defending Our Planet Against Impact Events

By Keith Cowing on June 20, 2018 10:02 PM.

National Near Earth Object Preparedness Plan Released

"A new multiagency report outlines how the U.S. could become better prepared for near-Earth objects -- asteroids and comets whose orbits come within 30 million miles of Earth -- otherwise known as NEOs. While no known NEOs currently pose significant risks of impact, the report is a key step to addressing a nationwide response to any future risks. NASA, along with the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several other governmental agencies collaborated on this federal planning document for NEOs."

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Dialing Back The Space Force Thing

By Keith Cowing on June 20, 2018 6:51 PM.

Mattis: Legislation needed to create 'space force', The Hill

"Defense Secretary James Mattis on Wednesday said President's Trump's recent direction to establish a "space force" will require work with Congress that has not yet started. "This as you know is going to require legislation and a lot of detailed planning and we've not yet begun," Mattis told reporters outside the Pentagon prior to meeting with his German counterpart. "We've clearly got to start the process," Mattis added, noting that it is among the issues Pentagon leaders will bring up bring up on Friday morning when they meet with National Security Advisor John Bolton."

Air Force says planning for Space Force will be 'thorough' and 'deliberate', LA Times

"A letter to airmen signed by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright said the Air Force looked forward to working with the Defense Department, Congress and other national security partners to "move forward on this planning effort." However, it said the work to create what could be the sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces would be a "thorough, deliberate and inclusive process." "As such, we should not expect any immediate moves or changes," the letter stated. "Our focus must remain on the mission as we continue to accelerate the space warfighting capabilities required to support the National Defense Strategy."

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Looking For User Advisory Committee: The Next Generation

By Keith Cowing on June 19, 2018 1:45 PM.

Keith's note: This is the question I asked at the User Advisory Council meeting today. "I have a question about the actual composition of the User's Advisory Group: With one exception only one person seems to be under 50 years of age and the panel is rather heavily loaded with Big Aerospace management. There is no apparent representation of the next generation of people who will actually live and work in space - you know, young people. Is this lack of representation by the next generation deliberate or an oversight?"

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National Space Council User Advisory Group Meeting

By Keith Cowing on June 19, 2018 10:35 AM.

The National Space Council's User Advisory Group will meet on Tuesday at NASA Headquarters. The event will be webcast on Webex and audio will be available via dial-up.

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Reaching Beyond The Usual Suspects

By Keith Cowing on June 18, 2018 5:05 PM.

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Here Comes The Space Force - Maybe

By Keith Cowing on June 18, 2018 5:02 PM.

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President To Sign Directive Dealing With Space Traffic Management

By Keith Cowing on June 18, 2018 12:45 PM.

Today the President will sign Space Policy Directive 3 (SPD-3) at the National Space Council meeting being held at the White House. SPD-3 deals principally with space traffic management. This morning in a media call National Space Council Executive Director Scott Pace said the U.S. needs to ave unfettered access and the ability to operate space - but space is becoming congested. The new policy (SPD-3) addresses these challenges.

SPD-3 establishes principles, goals, and guidance on how to achieve these goals. It also establishes responsibility within the U.S, government for taking on the task of implementing these goals: the Department of Defense will take the lead on developing an authoritative catalog of space objects; the Department of Commerce will be responsible for the releasable portions of the catalog for collision avoidance purposes; the Department of Commerce and the Department of Transportation will lead the development of standards and practices, and the State Department will lead U.S. efforts to conduct these activities internationally with transparency.

Pace says that this is going to be a "bottom-up process" using best practices from industry. As such no treaty-level document is envisioned. Pace said that the U.S. wants to avoid creating an international treaty since that would be complicated and take time to do Instead, Pace says that they will be working to make this happen faster by having recommendations incorporated into various countries' laws and regulations.

Pace concluded by saying that a next step for the space council will be space debris and proximity operations as it relates to on-orbit servicing.


Update: President Donald J. Trump is Achieving a Safe and Secure Future in Space - Fact Sheet, White House

"FURTHER SPACE DEVELOPMENT: President Donald J. Trump signed Space Policy Directive - 3 directing the United States to lead the management of traffic and mitigate the effects of debris in space."

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