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NASA Chief Plans To Step Aside Under Biden

helmutkohl

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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.
NASA has always been examining the Earth (because it is a planet) as well as other planets, and other aspects of space. it was like that since the very beginning.
To study space AND the atmosphere (earth's)

NOAA needs to use NASA's satellites and other equipment to better understand weather and other climactic conditions on Earth. hence why NASA uses the GOES satellites with NOAA. If you make the earth exclusively under NOAA, then they will need a significant upgrade in their budget so they can directly operate space based tools, among many other things.
 

Orionblamblam

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If you make the earth exclusively under NOAA, then they will need a significant upgrade in their budget so they can directly operate space based tools, among many other things.
I see no problem with that. In cahoots with SpaceX and Space Force, the NOAA could become quite capable in this area.
 

helmutkohl

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If you make the earth exclusively under NOAA, then they will need a significant upgrade in their budget so they can directly operate space based tools, among many other things.
I see no problem with that. In cahoots with SpaceX and Space Force, the NOAA could become quite capable in this area.

that sounds like a reasonable compromise!
 

Rhinocrates

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NACA and later NASA were established during the Cold War and when space travel was itself a cutting edge endeavour that could only be done with government support for strategic aims. We're now entering an era when access to space is not in itself extraordinary. It makes sense that the NOAA should be concerned with climate rather than NASA, and be a routine customer of launch services. They will have the opportunity in the next few years, if lawmakers understand that.

However, 'should' and 'if' are far away from 'is'.

In some ways this reflects the debate over the Space Force - the US Army, Navy and AF and various intelligence agencies such as the NRO all have their own space programmes and so the emergence of the USSF has been in the context of turf wars. I expect the same to continue elsewhere.

Coming from a British heritage, I'm used to silly and vague compromises. Maybe one day Americans will learn to deal with them too. As Terry Pratchett put it, 'Of course it's daft - it's traditional'.
 

sferrin

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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.
Careful, you're gonna get banned. Sacred cows are not allowed to be questioned.
 

Orionblamblam

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Coming from a British heritage, I'm used to silly and vague compromises. Maybe one day Americans will learn to deal with them too.
I hope not. Compromises are *sometimes* fine. Sometimes there is no compromise. Attend:
Person A: I want to live in peace.
Person B: I want to kill you.

What is the compromise here? A light maiming? Naw, sometime the compromise is "you get NOTHING." It all depends on the situation. NASA vs NOAA is kinda like USAF vs US Army with regards to ICBMs. Since they would end up with essentially the exact same thing, there's no good reason for both to have them. Building and operating weather/climate satellites should be NOAAs job, not NASA's. Building orbital low/no-gee sexaterias should be Bigelows job, not NASAs. Building ginormous launch vehicles should be SpaceX's job, not NASAs.

Advancing technology should be NASA's job. And I'm honestly stumped at what new technologies NASA needs to be developing for NOAA climate satellites. Much of the work seems to be devoted towards making the existing sensor tech better/lighter weight. Which quickly becomes a ridiculous waste of resources when SpaceX can drastically drop the cost of launch. Better to build a one-ton satellite in one year for a hundred million dollars and launch it for five million dollars than spend five years and a billion dollars developing a half-ton satellite that you can launch for three million. What could universities do about making climate satellites the size of Starlinks? Or nanosats? Fill the sky with a hundred thousand nanosats looking down at Earth from every possible angle for less than what NASA is currently spending. Sure, the astronomers will be annoyed... but that's what compromise is for. The same tech advancements allow them to launch a hundred thousand nanosat telescopes that look *up.*
 

Rhinocrates

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Coming from a British heritage, I'm used to silly and vague compromises. Maybe one day Americans will learn to deal with them too.
I hope not. Compromises are *sometimes* fine. Sometimes there is no compromise. Attend:
Person A: I want to live in peace.
Person B: I want to kill you.

What is the compromise here? A light maiming? Naw, sometime the compromise is "you get NOTHING." It all depends on the situation. NASA vs NOAA is kinda like USAF vs US Army with regards to ICBMs. Since they would end up with essentially the exact same thing, there's no good reason for both to have them. Building and operating weather/climate satellites should be NOAAs job, not NASA's. Building orbital low/no-gee sexaterias should be Bigelows job, not NASAs. Building ginormous launch vehicles should be SpaceX's job, not NASAs.
Agree with all these. I was being ironic. We both know that what governments should do and what they actually do are very different things. The fact that the SLS is still around proves that. Light maimings are par for the course - though it's red ink that usually gets spilled.
 

jeffb

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Coming from a British heritage, I'm used to silly and vague compromises. Maybe one day Americans will learn to deal with them too.

Better to build a one-ton satellite in one year for a hundred million dollars and launch it for five million dollars than spend five years and a billion dollars developing a half-ton satellite that you can launch for three million.

The five years and the billion dollars go mostly into building and testing the new advanced sensors that you simply can't build yet for a hundred million.

Advancing technology should be NASA's job. And I'm honestly stumped at what new technologies NASA needs to be developing for NOAA climate satellites.

Again, it's the better sensors and networking technology. Turning university developed theoretical sensor platforms into actual working technology.

What could universities do about making climate satellites the size of Starlinks? Or nanosats?

A number of them are doing just this with microsats (starlink sized sats), but such small sats limit sensor apertures and capabilities and networking them into new mesh style sensor platforms takes up space in the satellite bus' as well which is already limited. So quite hard to do with a university's budget.

Nanosats same deal. Even smaller sensor space/capabilities and bigger networking requirement. So even more difficult at this point.
 

Orionblamblam

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Agree with all these. I was being ironic.
Oh, ho, ho, irony! Oh, no, no, we don't get that here. See, people ski topless here while smoking dope, so irony's not reallya high priority. We haven't had any irony here since about '83, when I was the only practitioner of it. And I stopped because I was tired of being stared at.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Careful, you're gonna get banned. Sacred cows are not allowed to be questioned.

Not sure where you are going with this remark but it sounds like criticism of the forum moderators.

I draw your attention to the second item on the forum rules post:
Political, religious and nationalistic posts are discouraged.
 

sferrin

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Careful, you're gonna get banned. Sacred cows are not allowed to be questioned.

Not sure where you are going with this remark but it sounds like criticism of the forum moderators.

I draw your attention to the second item on the forum rules post:
Political, religious and nationalistic posts are discouraged.
So if a politician kills a program are we supposed to pretend it just kind of disappeared without saying why?
 

Arjen

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Read the forum rules. Then name the sacred cows.
 
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overscan (PaulMM)

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Careful, you're gonna get banned. Sacred cows are not allowed to be questioned.

Not sure where you are going with this remark but it sounds like criticism of the forum moderators.

I draw your attention to the second item on the forum rules post:
Political, religious and nationalistic posts are discouraged.
So if a politician kills a program are we supposed to pretend it just kind of disappeared without saying why?
No, relaying facts is fine, its the poltical opinions I don't like.

If I was to post that the UK Labour government cancelled the TSR2, that would be factual.

If I make a post that Harold Wilson was a despicable human being, probably a KGB spy (or alternatively a US stooge), and cancelled the TSR2 for no good reason except that hating on military projects is what Socialists like to do, that wouldn't be factual, that would be opinion (and counterfactual).

Project this historical example to the present day.
 
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1635yankee

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In general, the political appointees, a group which includes all the cabinet secretaries, most of their deputies, and the heads of all the independent agencies, such as NASA, tender their resignation when the president who appointed them leaves office. Arguably, there are far too many of them.

I think that there are many agencies, like the EPA, OSHA, SEC (all of which have important law enforcement functions, which should not be subject to political whims), FEMA (see Michael Brown & Katrina), and a few others where this is a bad idea. A major part of the reason the military functions as well as it does is that its uniformed leadership isn't just given to some hack who raised a few thousand for the president.
 

Flyaway

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By the way this is referenced in that article.

 

Orionblamblam

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Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos would disagree.
The article seems to indicate that the collaboration needed is *with* private space companies. Private enterprise gets more space in the piece than foreign governments.
 

sferrin

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Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos would disagree.
The article seems to indicate that the collaboration needed is *with* private space companies. Private enterprise gets more space in the piece than foreign governments.
Yeah, that'll learn me to make assumptions based on a headline. Figured it was more of the, "this is too big for NASA to do alone. We need help from other countries" stuff.
 

Flyaway

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Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos would disagree.
The article seems to indicate that the collaboration needed is *with* private space companies. Private enterprise gets more space in the piece than foreign governments.
Yeah, that'll learn me to make assumptions based on a headline. Figured it was more of the, "this is too big for NASA to do alone. We need help from other countries" stuff.
I didn’t like to say anything as I thought I might have missed something in the article, but I was rather confused by your initial post.:)
 

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