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NASA Chief Plans To Step Aside Under Biden

yasotay

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Unfortunate. NASA has done well under his leadership. I agree that he is smart to step down. I am not optimistic that NASA will retain its funding and priorities.
 

Moose

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Pam Melroy would be a great choice, by all accounts.
 

Hobbes

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Isn't this common in the US? Agency directors are political appointees and are routinely replaced when a new government is installed?
 

Archibald

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For the many quirks in the Trump administration, one has to recognize: Bridenstine did a good job, and more generally, Artemis is on far better ground that STG 1969, SEI 1989, or VSE 2004.

This, for a simple reason: massive participation of private space companies into NASA new venture. This is of paramount importance, because that private slice of Artemis is independant from Congress.

Even if NASA budget is starved or slashed, a company like SpaceX (also Blue Origins) had plenty of separated business opportunities elsewhere. SpaceX notably, is fueled by satellite launch contracts and Starlink cash cow, obviously.

In turn, this makes Artemis harder to cancel or starve of money. Just like in the ISS, foreign partners and their international agreements made it cancellation-proof in the 90's.

Now let me tell you something funny. Since 1969 and the death of Apollo, space nerds longued and wished for a new JFK and/or a new "JFK Apollo moment". Every single new US president was scrutinized to see his "NASA credentials". Well, most of the time, it failed - STG, SEI, VSE went nowhere.

Now that Artemis has enlisted private companies, it has far better chances to succeed.

...and I find it both funny and a little unnerving that Trump, of all presidents, did THAT.

This doesn't intend to start a flame war: I'm not American, but I'm a space nerd who is impressed and respecful of NASA achievements.

The space agency is really America as its best: admired and respected for its prowesses by foreign countries. The United States we like.
 

Orionblamblam

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The space agency is really America as its best:
But for how long? If NASA switches from exploration to climatological navel gazing, why should the Space Nerds working at NASA not send their resumes to SpaceX? Climate science is not the job of NASA... it's the job of the NOAA. NASA should be exploring.
 

Moose

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Nobody is proposing switching "from exploration to climatological navel gazing" or anything of the sort. Earth science programs are a small part of NASA's topline, the incoming Administration is at most going to seek increasing the Earth observation budget a bit. Commitment to HSF remains essentially where it has been for the past several years, the Legislature has kept the exploration budget reasonably healthy even if the oft-promised large funding increases for NASA still haven't happened.
 

Flyaway

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The space agency is really America as its best:
But for how long? If NASA switches from exploration to climatological navel gazing, why should the Space Nerds working at NASA not send their resumes to SpaceX? Climate science is not the job of NASA... it's the job of the NOAA. NASA should be exploring.
What a reductionist black and white way of looking at who should be doing what. NASA is all about cooperation these days. Look at Sentinel 6A for example of this between ESA & NASA. Also I really, really doubt there will be a mass exodus of staff from NASA.
 

Dilandu

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My anticipations: SLS would continue to be build (too much invested to kill this project anyway). Artemis program efforts would be switched back toward "Lunar Station", with manned landing as a side effort, not the main goal (with the hidden message to Musk that "it would be great, if you do it first - and we then buy cargo space from you").
 

Orionblamblam

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What a reductionist black and white way of looking at who should be doing what.

The purpose of NASA is to advance technologies and to explore. Looking at Earth is the *job* of the NOAA. Maybe the NOAA should send manned missions to the moon? Sure, and the Air Force can operate submarines, the Border Patrol can regulate casinos and the IRS can run TV networks.
 
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Hobbes

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What a reductionist black and white way of looking at who should be doing what.

The purpose of NASA is to advance technologies and to explore. Looking at Earth is the *job* of the NOAA. Maybe the NOAA should send manned missions to the moon? Sure, and the Air Force can operate submarines, the Border Patrol can regulate casinos and the IRS can run TV networks.

NASA's 2020 budget request includes about 2 billion for Earth sciences. Some 300 million of that is for technology advancement, but there are operational missions in the mix too (e.g. Landsat 9, Sentinel-6), plus a large block of 'research' that doesn't seem directly tied to satellite missions. Clearly, NOAA isn't the only agency looking at the Earth.
 
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Flyaway

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What a reductionist black and white way of looking at who should be doing what.

The purpose of NASA is to advance technologies and to explore. Looking at Earth is the *job* of the NOAA. Maybe the NOAA should send manned missions to the moon? Sure, and the Air Force can operate submarines, the Border Patrol can regulate casinos and the IRS can run TV networks.
If all you can do is produce a bunch of what aboutery to support your view, then you have no argument at all. Go look up the history of NASA in Earth sciences and you will see why it has always been in their remit.
 
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Orionblamblam

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If all you can do is produce a bunch of what aboutery to support your view, then you have no argument at all. Go look up the history of NASA in Earth sciences and you will see why it has always been in their remit.
Their remit was also "say, can we even put a human into orbit?" Things change. The purpose of NASA is to look *forward,* not to stay and do one job that some other agency is supposed to do.
 
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Archibald

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Hey, for some unknown reason, I keep receiving alerts saying "X, y, quoted your post" and then - nothing.

Never seen such a weird bug.
 

drejr

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What a reductionist black and white way of looking at who should be doing what.

The purpose of NASA is to advance technologies and to explore. Looking at Earth is the *job* of the NOAA. Maybe the NOAA should send manned missions to the moon? Sure, and the Air Force can operate submarines, the Border Patrol can regulate casinos and the IRS can run TV networks.
If all you can do is produce a bunch of what aboutery to support your view, then you have no argument at all. Go look up the history of NASA in Earth sciences and you will see why it has always been in their remit.
National Aeronautics and Space Act:

(c) The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:

(1) The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;


It's literally the first part of their remit.
 
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TomS

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Hey, for some unknown reason, I keep receiving alerts saying "X, y, quoted your post" and then - nothing.

Never seen such a weird bug.

I've seen this too. It seems to happen when someone removes the quoted text out but doesn't actually get the Quote tags themselves deleted.
 

Orionblamblam

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National Aeronautics and Space Act:

(c) The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:

(1) The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;


It's literally the first part of their remit.
And they can do that via pushing for improvements in, say, launch vehicle technology. By working on improved engines or materials, they can make procude the thigns that SPaceX can use to make launch cheaper... which makes the NOAAs job of looking down on the atmosphere easier. That way agencies do what they're actually good at, and good for. An agency that *should* be sending manned missions to Titan is wasting it's time and talent with looking at clouds on Earth when the NOAA is already doing that.
 

trose213

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For the many quirks in the Trump administration, one has to recognize: Bridenstine did a good job, and more generally, Artemis is on far better ground that STG 1969, SEI 1989, or VSE 2004.

This, for a simple reason: massive participation of private space companies into NASA new venture. This is of paramount importance, because that private slice of Artemis is independant from Congress.

Even if NASA budget is starved or slashed, a company like SpaceX (also Blue Origins) had plenty of separated business opportunities elsewhere. SpaceX notably, is fueled by satellite launch contracts and Starlink cash cow, obviously.

In turn, this makes Artemis harder to cancel or starve of money. Just like in the ISS, foreign partners and their international agreements made it cancellation-proof in the 90's.

Now let me tell you something funny. Since 1969 and the death of Apollo, space nerds longued and wished for a new JFK and/or a new "JFK Apollo moment". Every single new US president was scrutinized to see his "NASA credentials". Well, most of the time, it failed - STG, SEI, VSE went nowhere.

Now that Artemis has enlisted private companies, it has far better chances to succeed.

...and I find it both funny and a little unnerving that Trump, of all presidents, did THAT.

This doesn't intend to start a flame war: I'm not American, but I'm a space nerd who is impressed and respecful of NASA achievements.

The space agency is really America as its best: admired and respected for its prowesses by foreign countries. The United States we like.

Except Commercial Crew was initiated by Obama. I could see them skipping the space station.
 

rooster

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What a reductionist black and white way of looking at who should be doing what.

The purpose of NASA is to advance technologies and to explore. Looking at Earth is the *job* of the NOAA. Maybe the NOAA should send manned missions to the moon? Sure, and the Air Force can operate submarines, the Border Patrol can regulate casinos and the IRS can run TV networks.
That's what you get from politicians who support green new deals that eliminate airplanes in favor of trains and tell 50 year old miners to go back to school to learn coding.
 
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drejr

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National Aeronautics and Space Act:

(c) The aeronautical and space activities of the United States shall be conducted so as to contribute materially to one or more of the following objectives:

(1) The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;


It's literally the first part of their remit.
And they can do that via pushing for improvements in, say, launch vehicle technology.

Or even spacecraft.
 
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Orionblamblam

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Hobbes

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The purpose of NASA is to advance technologies and to explore. Looking at Earth is the *job* of the NOAA. Maybe the NOAA should send manned missions to the moon? Sure, and the Air Force can operate submarines, the Border Patrol can regulate casinos and the IRS can run TV networks.


Let's not get ahead of ourselves. The article we're talking about says this:

While the transition site doesn’t explicitly state its plans for NASA, many observers expect it to play a role in that fourth priority, climate change. That stems from a line in the Democratic Party platform from July that states, “Democrats additionally support strengthening NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth observation missions to better understand how climate change is impacting our home planet.”


“Managing the Earth’s ability to sustain human life and biodiversity will likely, in my view, dominate a civil space agenda for a Biden-Harris administration,” said Lori Garver, a former NASA deputy administrator during the Obama administration, in a Nov. 7 speech at the SpaceVision 2020 conference by Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.

- this is guesswork by outsiders to the Biden administration, no policy has been published by the Biden team
- even the guesswork mentions both NASA and NOAA
 
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Archibald

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Could somebody tell the crazy forum software - that none of you has quoted my initial post (since Orionblamblam did it) ? I keep receiving notifications about non-exisiting quotes.

It is quite telling: seems politics (US or not) have pushed the forum software over the edge.

So much toxicity !
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Its not the forum's fault. Orionblamblam managed to leave empty quote tags containing no text in his post in your name (and others). I've manually cleaned up all the posts.
 

Orionblamblam

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Its not the forum's fault. Orionblamblam managed to leave empty quote tags containing no text in his post in your name (and others). I've manually cleaned up all the posts.
There doesn't seem to be a way to get rid of the damn things. Whenever I hit reply on a post with a string of quotes in it, it won't let me delete the friggen things. I can get rid of the actual quoted text, and when it posts it looks like the quote-tags are gone, but I guess they're hidden. This wasn;t a problem before the update.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Its not the forum's fault. Orionblamblam managed to leave empty quote tags containing no text in his post in your name (and others). I've manually cleaned up all the posts.
There doesn't seem to be a way to get rid of the damn things. Whenever I hit reply on a post with a string of quotes in it, it won't let me delete the friggen things. I can get rid of the actual quoted text, and when it posts it looks like the quote-tags are gone, but I guess they're hidden. This wasn;t a problem before the update.

I haven't had that issue - but then I normally press the [ ] button in the toolbar and edit the BBCode directly.
 

Orionblamblam

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Its not the forum's fault. Orionblamblam managed to leave empty quote tags containing no text in his post in your name (and others). I've manually cleaned up all the posts.
There doesn't seem to be a way to get rid of the damn things. Whenever I hit reply on a post with a string of quotes in it, it won't let me delete the friggen things. I can get rid of the actual quoted text, and when it posts it looks like the quote-tags are gone, but I guess they're hidden. This wasn;t a problem before the update.

I haven't had that issue - but then I normally press the [ ] button in the toolbar and edit the BBCode directly.

For giggles I went upthread to an earlier post and hit the "Post Reply" button. it starts off looking like this:
Screenshot_2020-11-11 NASA Chief Plans To Step Aside Under Biden.png
When I delete all the replies except for the last one, the one I'm actually replying to, it looks like this:

Screenshot_2020-11-11 NASA Chief Plans To Step Aside Under Biden(1).png
The previous quote-tags seem to be invincibly stuck and un-deletable. The first time it happened and I hit "Post Reply," the earlier tags seemed to vanish, so it I just shrugged and went on about my day unaware that anythign screwy was going on. Seems like a bit of a bug.
 

Hobbes

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I've seen the same: a bunch of empty quote tags visible while editing, that seem to disappear when I post the reply.
I'll use the 'edit bbcode' workaround for now.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Okay - the ability to have nested quotes was a plugin to the core forum functionality, so I'm picking that this is why the nested quotes are impossible to delete in the editor view.

I'll consult with the developers.
 

Colonial-Marine

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Why the hell does NASA even need a review team looking at it? Especially one filled with hacks like that guy?
 

Orionblamblam

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Shut up, that's why. Looks like *all* agencies will have teams of, ahem "experts" reviewing them. This is, I imagine, standard procedure for each new incoming administration.
 

Moose

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Why the hell does NASA even need a review team looking at it? Especially one filled with hacks like that guy?
Every time there's a transition from one administration to another without continuity,* the incoming administration sets up a bunch of temporary teams which review the current state of various agencies. They are both "getting a feel" for the way things are being run by the outgoing agency leadership, so that the new team can take over in January without needing a long work-up period, and setting recommendations/roadmaps as to what changes should be implemented in the near term. This is bog standard stuff, usually these teams are invited to visit the agencies by the outgoing leadership to facilitate their mission. Of course, this year they may have to do without such help from the outgoing Administration.

For comparison, here's the 2016 Trump Transition Team NASA review team, which they called the NASA "landing party." I'll point out that the 2016 team was formed in mid-December, after the Transition realized their plan to forgo such a review was...unworkable.

Mr Noble has worked as a NASA deputy chief of staff in the past, and I for one am shocked his bio on an ACLU page talks up ACLU priorities rather than NASA ones. The full team includes Pam Melroy, who's a former astronaut and current leading candidate to be NASA administrator, Bhavya Lal, who's a space technology and space policy analyst, Waleed Abdalati, who's a former NASA chief scientist, and is headed by Ellen Stofan, veteran of JPL and multiple exploration programs. This is not a team of extremists or NASA haters.

*"without continuity" meaning a different President from a different party is taking over and is going to introduce new leadership rather than keep that which is already in place
 

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