Friction Between Congress and NASA

Members of Congress are having issues with NASA’s Inspector General and Administrator candidates.

Lawmakers: NASA watchdog lacks bite, needs to go

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Key members of Congress from both parties want NASA’s internal watchdog fired, arguing he can’t be trusted to oversee the $1 billion in additional money the space agency is getting under the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package.

Government reports dating back to 2006 have accused NASA Inspector General Robert “Moose” Cobb of ineffectiveness, of profanely berating employees and being too close to the agency’s leadership. Calls for his ouster have intensified in the past month, since NASA is getting additional stimulus money for space exploration, research, and aeronautics.

“Apparently, Mr. Cobb thought he was supposed to be the lap dog, rather than the watchdog, of NASA,” Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tennessee, told CNN.

Bill Nelson and Co. take down Obama’s NASA frontrunner

Word is that Steve Isakowitz, the frontrunner for the NASA Administrator’s job, has been taken down by a group of his opponents on Capitol Hill.

 

According to Washington insiders and Hill staff, a group of lawmakers led by Florida’s Democratic senior Senator Bill Nelson are taking credit for pushing Isakowitz out of the picture.

2009 Space Exploration Alliance Legislative Blitz

Jeff Bingham, Craig Dooley, Mark Hopkins, Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Greg Allison, David Millner, Lee Jones, Dan Cano
Jeff Bingham, Craig Dooley, Mark Hopkins, Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Greg Allison, David Millner, Lee Jones, Dan Cano

The National Space Society was part of Space Exploration Alliance 2009 Blitz which occured February 22-24, 2009 in Washington, DC. We had 128 meetings, of those, 37 were with Senate offices. Individuals representing National Society of Black Engineers, The Moon Society, The Mars Society, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The National Space Society and other organizations spent two days talking to representives about the importance of space.

Rick Zucker Motivating The Troops
Rick Zucker Motivating The Troops

The overriding theme of our February 2009 visit to Capitol Hill was that space must be a national priority. An appropriately funded space program will not only provide unprecedented advances in science and technology, but it will also energize and encourage our nation’s youth to pursue careers in engineering and science. Space will stimulate new growth industries, and create thousands of new jobs. We need space, and the vast resources that it offers, to enable us to stimulate our economy, to address the problems of an ever-growing population, and to help us solve the increasing energy needs of our nation and our civilization. At the Orientation on Sunday Rick Zucker talked about the importance of meeting with elected officals and there staff to push the space agenda. He also went over the talking points. Legislative Talking Points 1. Support NASA as it aims for the asteroids, the Moon, Mars and Beyond 2. Close the Human Spaceflight Gap by accelerating development of vehicles such as Ares I and the Orion crew exploration vehicle, and by harnessing private sector ingenuity and programs such as COTS-D. 3. Fund Research into Space- Based Solutions to Earth’s Energy and Environmental Needs like Space Solar Power and Clean Helium-3 Fusion 4. Protect and Expand Opportunities for Private Industry and Entrepreneurship such as COTS-D 5. Keep Key Science Missions Alive – robotic space missions are important.

Rick Zucker and Chris Carberry
Chris Carberry and Rick Zucker

Chris Carberry talked about what to expect and what to do in meetings in congressional offices.

Jim Muncy
Jim Muncy

Jim Muncy talked about funding COTS-D and its importance to the International Space Station and to driving launch technology development with creativity and competition.

Mark Hopkins
Mark Hopkins

Mark Hopkins discussed the importance of funding Space Solar Power Research.

Greg Allison
Greg Allison

Greg Allison talked about the importance of Lunar and Asteroid resources like Helium-3 for Fusion and rare metals for Hydrogen for the future of clean energy.


Brad Cheetham
Brad Cheetham

Brad Cheetham thanked Rick Zucker and Chris Carberry for all their hard work organizing the Blitz as well as everyone who was particapating. He also went over logistics.

Rick Zucker, Patt and Tam Czarnik
Patt Czarnik, Tam Czarnik, and Rick Zucker

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

NSS Comment on NASA FY 2010 Budget

The National Space Society (NSS) was informed that President Obama has requested $18.7 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for Fiscal Year 2010, an increase of $900 million over the current year’s budget. The Recovery Act (stimulus bill) passed earlier this month provided an additional $1 billion to NASA.

“We are pleased that one of the four budget priorities for NASA includes returning Americans to the Moon,” Greg Allison, NSS Executive Vice President, said. “This is a worthy goal for the world’s leading space agency. It will challenge a new generation of American scientists and engineers, open vast new resources for economic development, and drive improvements in technology.”

Other areas highlighted in the budget were climate change research and monitoring, aeronautic research, and completion and utilization of the International Space Station. “We agree with the Administration’s decision to stick with the plan to retire the shuttle by the end of 2010,” Allison added. “This is necessary to keep new launch vehicle development on schedule.” The Ares launch system is not expected to be ready until 2015, requiring the United States to purchase rides to space from the Russians in the interim.

No details were yet available regarding programs such as additional funds for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) to provide cargo to the International Space Station, or funds for research into Space Solar Power. NSS members expressed their support for these programs to their members of Congress during the NSS and Space Exploration Alliance Blitz on Capitol Hill earlier this week.

“Both of these programs are vital to the long-term economic health of our nation,” Allison said. “COTS is needed to spur the development of less-expensive launch vehicles by the private sector, and research into space solar power now will allow the United States to reap the long-term rewards of an endless supply of clean energy.”

Media contact:
Brett Silcox
Phone: (202) 429-1600
E-mail: nsshq@nss.org

About National Space Society

The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and more than 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space. For more information about NSS, visit http://www.nss.org/.

Ad Astra Special Report "Back to the Moon" now available online

The Special Report “Back to the Moon” from the Summer 2008 issue of the National Space Society magazine Ad Astra is now available online. The report chronicles the many reasons for returning to the Moon and the vehicles that will take us there, and examines the lunar materials that will help us stay there permanently. The report is downloadable as a 4.3 megabyte PDF file.

This beautifully illustrated report showcases the exceptional quality of the publication that NSS members regularly receive.  The latest issue of Ad Astra includes a special report on the threat of impact of near Earth objects. If you are not yet a member, check out what you are missing in the Ad Astra section of our website, and then join NSS to receive this superb publication (not to mention to also support the creation of a spacefaring civilization for the benefit of all humanity!).

NSS Executive Director Search Committee Formed

The members of the Executive Director Search Committee are Greg Allison, Rick Zucker, Joe Redfield, Al Globus and Lynne Zielinski. David Brandt-Erichsen was elected to be Secretary. Mark Hopkins will be the Chair of the Committee.

The 7 members of the Committee were chosen last Monday by the 17 Board members who volunteered for the Committee. It had been decided earlier by the Executive Committee that no more than 7 could serve on this Committee.

NSS HQ is Moving

The National Space Society is moving its headquarters.
Starting March 1st the new address is

1155 15th Street NW
Suite 500
Washington DC 20005
The phone Number is still 202-429-1600
The Fax Number is still 202-463-8498

Brett Silcox is continuing as the Associate Director as is Tenisha Fortson Membership and Chapters Director. George Whitesides has left the NSS, so the Position of Executive Director is open so if you are interested submit your resume. Mike Usilton, the Finance Director is not making the move with the NSS. Good Bye Mike and George, Thank you for Your Service.

Director's Screening of the Film "Orphans of Apollo"

 
The International Space University,
The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation
&
George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute
 
Invite You To
An Exclusive Director’s Screening of the Award Winning Film
“Orphans of Apollo”
 

 
Inaugural Event for the New Arthur C. Clarke Fellowship Endowment
Of the International Space University
 
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 27, 2009
5:00pm Doors Open
5:30pm Introductions & Film Followed by Director’s Q&A
6:30pm Closing Reception
 
$250 “Event Sponsor” (3 tickets Included)
$100 “Scholarship Booster” (2 tickets Included) 
$25 General Admission    $15 Student 
 
R.S.V.P   michael.freeradical@gmail.com
 
Jack Morton Auditorium, George Washington University, 805 21st St. N.W.
 
www.orphansofapollo.com
“Join this band of rebels out to change the course of history in space, as they board a private Gulf Stream jet, fly to Russia and negotiate one of the most remarkable business deals of the final frontier. ”
 
Supporting Institutions

American Astronautical Society
Space Frontier Foundation
ISU-USA Alumni Association
Society of Satellite Professionals International
National Space Society
Women In Aerospace
The Progress & Freedom Foundation
 
All gifts to the International Space University are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. A non-deductible cost of $15 per person must be accounted for in reporting this philanthropic gift for those attending the reception.  Donations benefit ISU’s Arthur C. Clarke Fellowship Endowment and General Scholarship Fund and the George Washington University Space Policy Institute Fund for ISU Scholarships.

National Space Society Needs a New Executive Director

 Since George Whitesides has decided to follow other Opportunities.

Posted by Mark Hopkins

Call For Applications For The Position Of Executive Director Of The National Space Society

If you know someone, who you think might make a good candidate, please contact them. Suggest they email their resume to Mark Hopkins at loby4space@aol.com AND (for backup purposes) to Bill Gardiner at analytech_1981@bellsouth.net.

Potential candidates can obtain information about NSS by reading our Philosophy Statement (which includes our Vision and Mission Statements) http://www.nss.org/about/philosophy.html at and our five year Strategic Plan at http://www.nss.org/docs/NSS_Strategic_Plan.pdf. Additional information can be obtained from our website at nss.org.