World Space Week Awards Reception

I went to the World Space Week Awards Reception last night. It was a really nice event. Honorees included Lori Garver- President Capital Space, William Gerstenmaier – Associate Administrator for Space Operations NASA, Edward Weiler – Associate Administrator for Science NASA, Bill Nye -“The Science Guy”. It was a very well attended event. The Reception had great food especially the salmon.

NSS had a good representation Brett Silcox – NSS Associate Director was there. George Whitesides former Executive Director of NSS was there, it was his Birthday. Happy Birthday, George, we hope you have a prosperous year. Honoree Lori Garver is also a past Executive Director.

Peter Kokh Has Won The Gerard K. O’Neill Award

The National Space Society Awards Committee is very pleased to announce to the NSS community and the larger space community that longtime activist and editor of the Moon Miners’ Manifesto, Peter Kokh, is the winner of the 2009 GERARD K. O’NEILL AWARD FOR SPACE SETTLEMENT ADVOCACY. He joined NSI (one of the two NSS predecessor organizations) in 1974. After joining the L5 Society about 1977, he was the co-founder (in 1986) and is current president of the Lunar Reclamation Society (NSS Chapter) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is also currently president of the Moon Society, an NSS affiliate organization. He is the editor and principal writer of the M.M.M., which has been published monthly continuously since December, 1986, and is in its 23rd year of publication. It is now up to issue 222. This is the longest running printed pro-space publication of its type, since most of the other {quot}regional{quot} space newsletters ceased publishing over a decade ago. Peter has also served as Region 6 director on the NSS Board of Directors in 1991-2, and was chair of ISDC ’98, held in Milwaukee. He is currently a member of the NSS Board of Advisors, and maintains an extensive web site for his chapter.

Source: NSS Awards Committee

GAO – NASA Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects

Government Accountability Office released NASA Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects

What GAO Found

GAO assessed 18 NASA projects with a combined life-cycle cost of more than $50 billion. Of those, 10 out of 13 projects that had entered the implementation phase experienced signifi cant cost and/or schedule growth. For these 10 projects, development costs increased by an average of 13 percent from baseline cost estimates that were established just 2 or 3 years ago and they had an average launch delay of 11-months. In some cases, cost growth was considerably higher than what is reported because it had occurred prior to the most recent baseline. Many of the projects we reviewed experienced challenges in developing new technologies or retrofi tting older technologies as well as in managing their contractors, and more generally, understanding the risks and challenges they were up against when they started their efforts.

GAO’s previous work has consistently shown that reducing the kinds of problems this assessment identifi es in acquisition programs hinges on developing a sound business case for a project. In essence, this means establishing firm requirements, maturing technologies, and assuring other vital resources, such as time and funding, are suffi cient before making long-term commitments to acquisitions. NASA has acted to adopt practices that would ensure programs proceed based on a sound business case and undertaken an array of initiatives aimed at improving program management, cost estimating, and contractor oversight. Continued attention to these efforts should help maximize NASA’s acquisition investments.