1. Monday, May 21, 2012, 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): No show today as I am at the Sea-Space Workshop at Googleplex in Mountain View, CA.
2. Tuesday, May 22 2012, 7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): No show today as I am at the Sea-Space Workshop at Googleplex in Mountain View, CA.
3. Friday, May 25, 2012, 9:30-11 AM PDT (11:30- 1 PM CDT, 12:30PM-2:00 PM EDT) : We welcome back KEVIN SLOAN to the program to discuss this year’s University Rover Challenge which is part of the Mars Society.
4. Sunday, May 27, 2012, 12-1:30 PM (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT). We welcome back DR. SCOTT PACE to discuss policy, commercial space and more. Dr. Pace will also tell us about the Global Space Exploration Conference 2012 sponsored by AIAA and the IAF which has a strong commercial space component. Interested listeners should hear our recent Space Show program dated May 1 on this conference
In a move destined to anger NewSpace advocates, Mitt Romney has released a letter of support signed by eight space leaders, including prominent commercial space critics Mike Griffin, Scott Pace and Gene Cernan. Pace, in fact, is chairman of the Romney Space Policy Advisory Group.
“We have watched with dismay as President Obama dismantled the structure that was guiding both the government and commercial space sectors, while providing no purpose or vision or mission,” the signers wrote. “This failure of leadership has thrust the space program into disarray and triggered a dangerous erosion of our technical workforce and capabilities. In short, we have a space program unworthy of a great nation.”
The Space Transportation Association conducted a panel discussion yesterday during which some quite divergent views were expressed over the future of NASA and the Obama Administration’s commercial focus.
The NASA Inspector General released a blistering report on Monday claiming that the agency broke the law when it created a key advisory board for its Orion lunar program and stocked it full of advisers who were employed by and stockholders in the companies they are supposed to oversee.
“NASA did not establish the Orion SRB [Standing Review Board] in accordance with Federal law or NASA guidance,” the report’s Executive Summary reads. “The Orion SRB meets the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) definition of an advisory committee. Although FACA committees must be established in accordance with FACA and NASA Policy Directive (NPD) 1150.11, ‘Federal Advisory Committee Act Committees,’ September 22, 2004, the Orion SRB was not.
“Had NASA initially recognized the Orion SRB as an advisory committee subject to FACA, NASAâ€™s ethics process associated with advisory committee participation would have been triggered, resulting in a focus on board member independence and conflict of interest resolution. Aside from these considerations, independence is a requirement for SRB participation; however, of the 19 members of the Orion SRB, 6 (32 percent) were not independent of the Orion Project.”
The SRB’s chairman, former Skylab astronaut Edward Gibson, is a senior vice president and stockholder in Orion contractor SAIC, as is fellow member and former NASA flight director Neil Hutchinson, the Associated Pressreports. Another unidentified SRB member works for SAIC.