Bridenstine’s ASRA Bill Proposed Radical Changes in NASA’s Goals, Structure

NASA LOGORepublished from April 25, 2016

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA would be given a mandate to pioneer the development and settlement of space and a commission dominated by Congressional appointees to oversee those efforts under a bill proposed by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK).

The measure’s basic premise is that NASA’s problems stem from unstable presidential commitments to space exploration as opposed to Congress’ tendency to support expensive programs that bring funding into particular states and districts.

“Over the past twenty years, 27 NASA programs have been cancelled at a cost of over $20 billion to the taxpayer,” according to a statement on a website devoted to the measure. “Many of these have come as a result of changes in presidential administrations.

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Defense Bill Includes Commercial Weather Pilot Program

Stormy winter weather (Credit: Douglas Messier)
Stormy winter weather (Credit: Douglas Messier)

On Wednesday, the Senate Armed Services Committee will take up legislation to fund the Defense Department that includes provisions for a pilot program to determine how commercial weather data could be used to support military operations.

“The [Defense] Secretary would have 1 year and up to $3.0 million to carry out the pilot program by purchasing and evaluating commercial weather data that meets the standards and specifications set by the Department of Defense,” according to a summary of the provisions. “The Secretary would be required to provide interim and final briefings on the utility, cost, and other considerations regarding the purchase of commercial satellite weather data to support the requirements of the Department of Defense.”

Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a schedule for its Commercial Weather Data Pilot program, which also will last one year.

The American Space Renaissance Act, which Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) proposed earlier in April, calls for the incorporation of commercial weather data into NOAA and defense forecasts.

Bridenstine’s Bill Would Radically Restructure NASA

NASA LOGOBy Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA would be given a mandate to pioneer the development and settlement of space and a commission dominated by Congressional appointees to oversee those efforts under a bill proposed by Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK).

The measure’s basic premise is that NASA’s problems stem from unstable presidential commitments to space exploration as opposed to Congress’ tendency to support expensive programs that bring funding into particular states and districts.

“Over the past twenty years, 27 NASA programs have been cancelled at a cost of over $20 billion to the taxpayer,” according to a statement on a website devoted to the measure. “Many of these have come as a result of changes in presidential administrations.

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USAF Space Commander Announces Space Enterprise Vision

Gen. John E. Hyten
Gen. John E. Hyten

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., April 12, 2016 (USAF PR)  — General John Hyten, commander of Air Force Space Command, announced the command’s Space Enterprise Vision here today. The SEV is the result of an AFSPC-commissioned study that looked at how to make the nation’s national security space enterprise more resilient.

The August 2015 SEV study addressed the findings of several previous studies that identified the U.S. space enterprise is not resilient enough to be successful in a conflict that extends to space. The SEV also recognizes that acquisition and programmatic decisions can no longer occur in mission area stovepipes, but must instead be driven by an overarching space mission enterprise context.
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DOD to Investigate Remarks by Former ULA Executive

ULA_logoFormer United Launch Allaicne Vice President Brett Tobey’s recent remarks about competition with SpaceX not only cost him his job, but they have now led to a federal investigation. The Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector posted the following statement on its website:

At the request of the Secretary of Defense, the OIG DoD has opened an investigation regarding assertions made by United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) former Vice-President of Engineering relating to competition for national security space launch and whether contracts to ULA were awarded in accordance with DoD and Federal regulations.

This investigation will include, but is not limited to, site visits, interviews, and documentation review with DoD and ULA personnel.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has been a fierce critic of ULA, called for the investigation after Tobey’s commented that “bent over backwards” to help ULA compete for launch contracts against rival SpaceX.

ULA has said Tobey’s comments were inaccurate.

National Security Space Strategy Focuses on Stability, Safety

DOD PRESS RELEASE
Feb. 4, 2011

The National Security Space Strategy released today responds to the realities of a space environment that is increasingly crowded, challenging and competitive, said senior Defense Department officials.

“The National Security Space Strategy represents a significant departure from past practice,” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said in a DOD news release issued today. “It is a pragmatic approach to maintain the advantages we derive from space while confronting the new challenges we face.”

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