WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In an effort to ensure effective fulfillment of the Biden Administration’s climate science objectives for NASA, the agency has established a new position of senior climate advisor and selected Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, to serve in the role in an acting capacity until a permanent appointment is made.
The White House wants Congress to provide more money for the Artemis moon landing program, and to save about $1.5 billion by dropping the requirement that NASA launch the Europa Clipper mission to Jupiter’s icy moon on the Space Launch System (SLS).
The Trump Administration is opposed to any further study on whether new 5G communications services will interfere with meteorological satellites and degrade the accuracy of weather forecasting.
In a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the White House said it wants a provision removed from the FY 2020 funding bill that would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to review the impact of 5G services operating in the 23.6 to 24 gigahertz bands on weather satellites.
“Such a study would be directly duplicative of past Agency studies on this subject, which were fully considered by the Administration in a lengthy interagency process earlier this year, leading to a carefully-wrought compromise that balances the spectrum needs of government and private enterprise,” wrote Russell Vought, acting director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Some studies have shown that 5G transmissions could interfere with weather satellites. However, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has criticized the studies as flawed.
The Trump Administration continues to press Congress to designate the newly created Space Force as a separate military service instead of being subordinate to the U.S. Air Force.
“The Administration strongly urges the Congress to explicitly designate the Space Force as a separate sixth branch of the Armed Forces and include all related technical and conforming amendments,” Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Russell T. Vought wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders.
The Trump Administration has included space research and development to support returning astronauts to the moon by 2024 under NASA’s Artemis program among its top R&D priorities for fiscal year 2021, according to a White House memo.
“Departments and agencies should prioritize in-situ resource utilization on the Moon and Mars, cryogenic fuel storage and management, in-space manufacturing and assembly, and advanced space-related power and propulsion capabilities,” the memo said.
SpaceNewsreports that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine didn’t do much on Wednesday to clear up what the Trump Administration’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2024 is going to cost in testimony before the commerce, justice and science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Bridenstine declined to offer a dollar figure, saying that the agency submitted a “pretty good” proposal to the Office of Management and Budget, which is performing its own review along with the staff of the National Space Council. The goal, he said, is to “come up with a unified administration position” on how much additional funding NASA will request. (more…)
MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Developing a Sustainable Spectrum Strategy for America’s Future
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. It is the policy of the United States to use radiofrequency spectrum (spectrum) as efficiently and effectively as possible to help meet our economic, national security, science, safety, and other Federal mission goals now and in the future. To best achieve this policy, the Nation requires a balanced, forward-looking, flexible, and sustainable approach to spectrum management.
Donald Trump’s nominee to become administrator of NASA proposed a fundamental overhaul of how the space agency would be run last year.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s (R-OK) American Space Renaissance Act (ASRA) proposes the establishment of a 21-member board to oversee the space agency, giving the NASA administrator a five-year term, and the creation of 10- and 20-year strategic plans.
The overarching goal of these proposals is to insulate the space agency from changes in direction each time a new presidential administration takes over.
ASRA was a catch-all bill that contained proposals for broad changes to the nation’s civil, military and commercial space efforts. Bridenstine did not intend the ASRA to be passed as a single bill but as a series of individual measures. Congress has not taken up any of the NASA management reforms included in bill.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The Administration is concerned with the reduction of $670 million from the Presidentâ€™s FY 2010 request for Exploration Systems. This large reduction would likely cause major negative impacts to any options that may emerge from the ongoing blue ribbon review of U.S. human space flight plans. The Administration appreciates the Committeeâ€™s strong support for the NASA Earth science program, which advances the Presidentâ€™s goal of deploying a global climate change research and monitoring system. The Administration is concerned with the elimination of $21 million from the request for NASA innovation, which uses public-private partnerships to advance important technologies and enable access to new sources of innovation through incentive prizes and partnerships. In addition, the Administration is concerned about funding NASAâ€™s R&D activities with primarily one-year rather than two-year appropriations. Such an action would increase the cost and complexity of budget execution and would diminish flexibility without improving management.
White House underscores support for NASA Houston Chronicle
The unusually blunt war of words between the White House and the former NASA administrator continued Monday as the Obama administration defended itself against caustic criticism from former space agency chief Michael Griffin.
“President Elect Barack Obama has named Peter Oszag, current Director of the Congressional Budget Office, as his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The selection will bring into the Obama White House an advocate of prizes to foster technological innovation. Recently, in his blog as Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Peter Orszag praised the idea of prizes as a means to encourage technological innovation.
“‘In many settings, prizes can be an efficient way of encouraging new breakthroughs…I was therefore particularly encouraged to see that the X-Prize Foundation and Wellpoint have created a competition with a prize of at least $10 million for innovative approaches to addressing health care problems and improving the sector’s efficiency â€” which is a key issue for our long-term fiscal and economic future'”