Facing South

Lost in space: NASA chief fighting with Obama

Florida's Orlando Sentinel is reporting that there is at least one major hiccup underway in the Obama transition: getting along with NASA. According to yesterday's report:

NASA Administrator Mike Griffin is not cooperating with President-elect Barack Obama's
transition team, is obstructing its efforts to get information and has
told its leader that she is "not qualified" to judge his rocket program.

The piece also says that Griffin had been "scripting NASA employees and civilian
contractors on what they can tell the transition team and ... warned
aerospace executives not to criticize the agency's moon program"

Griffin is no stranger to controversy. A huge fan of space colonization, Griffin told Congress in 2004 that "the single overarching goal of human space flight is the human settlement of the solar system." Griffin promised not to cut space research in pursuit of his colonization dreams, but just two years later he had slashed NASA's research budget by 25%.

As chief of NASA, Griffin is also in charge of overseeing NASA's role in tackling global warming -- which Griffin isn't sure is really a problem. Last year, Space Daily reported Griffin saying the following:

"I have no doubt that global -- that a trend of global warming
exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we
must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the
state of earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate
that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to
make sure that it doesn't change.

First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings
to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of
history have shown, and second of all, I guess I would ask which human
beings - where and when - are to be accorded the privilege of deciding
that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now
is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather
arrogant position for people to take."

The future direction of NASA is of special interest on Florida's "Space Coast," where federal space program spending has been a very successful public jobs policy (much like the military in other parts of the South -- call it Space Keynesianism). But that's all at risk when Space Shuttle program wraps up in 2010, taking 7,500 jobs with it.



People Referenced:


re: Lost in space: NASA chief fighting with Obama

It all makes sense. Soon it will be as if we're living on another planet. If we can colonize Mars and Venus, maybe we can colonize the future Earth. He's just preparing for our future. Stop being so critical.

re: Lost in space: NASA chief fighting with Obama

NASA needs to get over themselves, they are wreckless. They had engineers begging them not to launch the shuttle when the temps were to low for the rocket booster seals to function as designed. But due to their own selfish interest they launched against the engineers pleas and killed an entire crew. That crew died due to greed and arrogance, not because of natural job hazzards. Drastic cuts and restructuring need to be made at NASA, Obama will take care of that.

re: Lost in space: NASA chief fighting with Obama

I read somewhere that NASA had planned a manned mission to Mars by August, 1982, but the fact that the Viet Nam war was way too pricey. This sort of mission could have been a drop inside the fiscal bucket, when compared to military spending in those days. When you compare the worthiness of a manned mission to Mars to that of slugging it out in Southeast Asia, I vote Mars, all the way. We lost Viet Nam; what a waste. We lost our earlier journey to Mars; what a waste. Now, we now have financial woes and budget cuts. Once again, Mars normally takes the back seat only to fall out of the vehicle. What can we do to prevent strike three?