Thursday, April 08, 2010

NASA To Open Commercial Crew Office At Kennedy Space Center

NASA will open a new commercial crew development office at Kennedy Space Center that will help foster development of commercial space taxis designed to carry astronauts to and from the International Space Station.

In partnership with a deputy program manager at Johnson Space Center in Houston, the office will manage $500 million in fiscal 2011 and $5.8 billion over five years "to foster private-sector space transportation services to Earth orbit," a NASA fact sheet says.

The center also will head up a program aimed at transforming KSC into a "21st Century Launch Complex." A new program office will manage $429 million in 2011 and $1.9 billion over five years to modernize KSC facilities. The aim is "to reduce launch costs not only for NASA but for other users," the fact sheet says.

"Flagship Technology Demonstrations" also will be managed, in concert with a program office at JSC. The office will manage $424 million in 2011 and $6 billion over five years to demonstrate "transformational technologies for next-generation space flight capabilities."

At least three demonstration mission will be staged in 2011 in areas such as in-orbit propellant transfer and storage, lightweight inflatable module and autonomous rendezvous and docking. Presumably these mission would be launched from the Space Coast.

The president's budget also provides an additional three months of funding for shuttle fleet operations, or $600 million in the final quarter of this calendar year.

It's unclear what the new exploration initiative means in terms of jobs at KSC and whether flight demonstrations would be launched from KSC or perhaps Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

THESE IDIOTS JUST KEEP ON TRUCKING ALONG LIKE NO ONE HAS EVER SAID A WORD ABOUT THIS BUDGET.. Just another Obama hack overlooking millions of Americans that want to see Shuttle continuied until we have a real US capability.. not a model rocket company.. COMMERCIAL WILL ""NEVER"" MAKE MONEY FOR ANY PRIVATE COMPANY, SO IT WILL FAIL.. UNLESS THE TAX PAYERS FUND THEIR PROFIT..

Please listen to the people.. build a heavy lift vehicle, keep shuttle flying till then..

Bill Powell said...

Same ole bs. Time to send Bolden packing!

Anonymous said...

Too bad they never streamed the audio like the frontpage said they would...gutless weasels.

Anonymous said...

why is it only cry baby's post on here?

MadMike said...

Pull the plug on the Spaceflight Jobs Program... which hasn't found anything worth a damn in 30 years.

Tango & velcro... living on the coattails of real heroes.

Anonymous said...

They streamed it on Real Audio...even tho most systems use Media Player which was SUPPOSED to streamed as well.

By the by...NOTHING has changed. Same old same old...your homes in Brevard will be worthless in less than a year, unemployment will hit well over 20% and we'll all be in hell as
Holden & Garver made the incomprehensible and uncompromising basket.

Bill Powell said...

We don`t need to fund more NASA paper pushes at KSC, just holding meetings and "talking" about going into LEO, the moon & on to Mars. We need funding to BUILD a heavy lift vehicle, not just "talk" about it. When we decided to build the atomic bomb, we did not have the technology, we developed it to reach our goal. When we decided to go to the moon, we did not have the technology, we developed it to reach our goal. Now we are developing technology and we have no goal. Bolden, when the Chinese take down our 6 American flags on the moon & put our lunar rovers up on blocks, what will you say to the American people than? This is a sad day for the United States Manned Space Program. Bolden, you are a complete idiot!

Stephen C. Smith said...

It streamed just fine from the NASA.gov page. I listened to it using Windows Media Player.

It's laughable how some people here think the universe revolves around them. The Obama administration is doing what's best for this nation's space future, not to continue obsolete and bloated programs just to keep funding government jobs.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Stephen C. Smith......first sensible comment I've heard in a while. Refreshing change from the cry baby "protect all Space Coast jobs" posts that are constantly posted here.....

Bill Powell said...

This is not about jobs in Brevard. This is about the security of the United States. Do you realize that ATK is the ONLY company in the United States that builds large solid rocket motors? Minuteman III, Trident D-5 missiles are getting old. The Russian`s are always upgrading their missile systems. If DoD ever wanted to build a new ICBM to counter the Russians who would build it if ATK was shut down because NASA did not contract to build more SRB`s for shuttle or first stage for Ares? The Chinese? NASA should have checked with DoD first. We have to keep our Military Industrial Complex alive with NASA as a partner. As in Dr. Strangelove- "We cannot afford a mine-shaft gap".

Anonymous said...

Stephen C. Smith...a recent Brevard resident and Idiot Savant of these forums.

Anonymous said...

"...millions of Americans that want to see Shuttle continuied until we have a real US capability.. not a model rocket company..."

And what do you expect to fly on the shuttle? Bags of sand? All the remaining components of the ISS that are built are already scheduled to fly this year.
Face it - the shuttle is done. It's been a great machine, but these final flights have been in the works for years. There aren't even external tanks ready. It would take years to retool and build more tanks, and probably longer to build any worthwhile components for the station to be built and tested.
Wake up dude!

Anonymous said...

"If DoD ever wanted to build a new ICBM to counter the Russians who would build it if ATK was shut down because NASA did not contract to build more SRB`s for shuttle or first stage for Ares?"

Then I guess DoD needs to pull out their pocket books......NASA shouldn't have to base its programs on what DoD "might need in the future".... Should be easy to find the $ in their $.5 trillion budget.

Anonymous said...

NASA pays the private companies to develop rockets that are owned by the company, NOT NASA. Company signs a 3 year contract to fly US astronauts to LEO. 3 years is up, other country offers private company more $$ for services. Private company takes THEIR rockets (whose design and development was paid for with US tax dollars) to different country. US has no access to space, and wishes they still owned the hardware, like the "good ol days". What a colossal blunder.

Anonymous said...

Bill Powell

It's not about national security. Obama sold that to Russia yesaterday.

Paul said...

You said the "Tango" and Velcro were invented by the human space flight program?! Heh, heh. I guess that's why they picked Buzz Aldrin for that ridiculous dancing show...

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of crap watching those two today reading from their written dialogues. Talking about all the great things that are going to happen without naming specifics. Made me want to throw up. The BIG road to nothingsville.
We're sooooo screwed!

Jerry W said...

The purpose of this office is to keep the goverment NASA employees with a job, why do you need a commerical office to manage commerical Rockets what a joke.
Contractors hit the road NASA will call when some GRUNTS are needed same thing happened when Saturn shut down, NASA drumed some nothing work to keep goverment employees on the pay roll.

Stephen C. Smith said...

Anyone on Planet Earth the last six years knows it was President Bush who cancelled Shuttle in January 2004, who set the deadline to retire Shuttle in 2010, and whose administration cut the deal to put U.S. astronauts on Soyuz spacecraft thereafter.

It was the Bush Administration that came up with the Constellation program that failed to live up to its promise. The non-partisan Augustine panel found that Ares I wouldn't launch until at least 2018-2020. The non-partisan Governmental Accountability Office warned time and again that Constellation was an out-of-control boondoggle under the Bush Administration that would fail to live up to its promises.

You guys can spin paranoid fantasies about Russia all you want, but you can't deny history. In fact, it was the first President Bush who negotiated the treaty with Russian back in 1992 that made us partners in space. American astronauts have flown on Soyuz since 1995, and regularly ride Soyuz to ISS today.

If you don't like it, take it up with the last President. It was his decision.

Anonymous said...

When GWB ordered the Space Shuttle to be retired back in 2004, there was no chance to revive it. The costs involved would be overwhelming.
Privatization is the way to go. It will work like it did for the Air Force when they when to commercial air travel for military members way back in the 1960's. There are no more military passenger planes, just contract air carriers.

Tom Tucker said...

Well folks....what did you expect when that lying jerk came to FL and made a bunch of promises that he has shattered. Then he hired another worthless idiot to run the one federal agency in America that actually inspires young folks to pursue careers in science and engineering. But we do not need that now....we be have healthcare. Thanks a lot you IDIOT Obama supporters! Anyone at KSC that voted for the jerk should be the first ones shown the door.

Anonymous said...

" It is my sincere hope that the KSC workers, their families, and all the communities in Brevard and Florida line the roadways leading into the meeting site by the thousands and let Obama and his cronies know just how they feel about his killing America’s Human Space Flight Program. Be seen and be heard folks!" - RV-103

Please see: http://www.rv-103.com/?p=283 and http://www.rv-103.com/?p=415 for a good read on this issue.

History will not remember Charlie Bolden for being a shuttle astronaut or a general in the military. He will be remembered for being the NASA Administrator who carried out Obama's will in killing America's Human Space Flight Program and harming our country and thousands of families. I don't know how he can look the other astronauts or aerospace workers in the eye without shame when he walks the halls of the various space centers.
Remember, this is America's Human Space Flight, your jobs, and your communities survival at stake. It's up to you to take a stand and line the streets going into KSC on April 15th showing Obama and Bolden what you think of their actions. Be there, be seen, and be heard!

Anonymous said...

MadMike said... - You're either an idiot or a troll...either way get an education, and a hobby.

Anonymous said...

Stephen C. Smith - Can you please explain why Obama ran with this in speech while campaigning then???

When I was growing up, NASA inspired the world with achievements we are still proud of. Today, we have an administration that has set ambitious goals for NASA without giving NASA the support it needs to reach them. As a result, they’ve had to cut back on research, and trim their programs, which means that after the Space Shuttle shuts down in 2010, we’re going to have to rely on Russian spacecraft to keep us in orbit.

We cannot cede our leadership in space. That’s why I will help close the gap and ensure that our space program doesn’t suffer when the Shuttle goes out of service by working with Senator Bill Nelson to add at least one additional Space Shuttle flight beyond 2010; by supporting continued funding for NASA; by speeding the development of the Shuttle’s successor; and by making sure that all those who work in the space industry in Florida do not lose their jobs when the Shuttle is retired – because we cannot afford to lose their expertise.

Anonymous said...

Shuttle End has been coming for years. Obama is not responsible for the end of the Shuttle program - geez people!

Anonymous said...

"NASA pays the private companies to develop rockets that are owned by the company, NOT NASA. Company signs a 3 year contract to fly US astronauts to LEO. 3 years is up, other country offers private company more $$ for services. Private company takes THEIR rockets (whose design and development was paid for with US tax dollars) to different country. US has no access to space, and wishes they still owned the hardware, like the "good ol days". What a colossal blunder."

a. With very few exceptions, NASA has purchased the rockets they use from commercial suppliers. For science payloads, NASA purchases launch services which means that the commercial company is responsible for supplying the rocket, preparing it for launch, conducting the prelauch activities, etc.

b. Why would "some other country" pay to launch on US rockets when it would probably be cheaper to buy from the Russians? Even if "some other country" wanted to pay more, what would be the logic of duplicating the ground facilities already in place in the US? And why would a commercial company turn down NASA business? Why wouldn't the company sell to both "some other country" and NASA, since space launch business suffers from oversupply? And just who is this "some other country" you're thinking of?

Robert Puckett said...

I disagree with Stephen C. Smith's assessment of Constellaton being an obsolete and bloated program. We're not using 1960's electronics in the Ares I, just tried and true sensible approaches that have been demonstrated to work with the least risk to human life and best chance of success. Unlike Obama's "warp drive" initiative, the Ares I and Ares V will actually work and accomplish the goals set forth in 2004, backed up by over 40+ years of experience. Ares I-X was a successful flight proving a new concept in rocket design. I don't see anything obsolete or backward about that. Call me crazy, but I think that's the best investment of our technology dollar. I'm not saying that we shouldn't research different concepts in propulsion and develop ways to travel faster; however, I think the first goal should be to have a means of at least getting to LEO orbit with our own rockets without depending on foreign governments or private industry.

I don't think we should put ourselves in the position of relying on commercial industry and foreign governments for access to space. It's not just a matter of national pride, but one of common sense, and national security. Where's Obama's vision? When will we have "warp drive"? Is Obama's proposal going to get us to the moon or mars or back into space any sooner than Constellation? Where's the time table? Where's the plan? Where's the cost benefit analysis and breakdown showing improvement over Constellation? How do I know, his "warp drive" initiative isn't going to fail, be a waste and set us further behind? Convince me? So far, I haven't seen anything with this new FY2011 budget beyond political rhetoric and more of the same message from his regime. So far, I haven't read anything of substance with the 2011 budget, so I'm not convinced his way is better. By the way, the shuttle fleet's obsolescense was known long before George W. Bush took office. Where was Bill Clinton's foresight?

I also find it interesting how the Augustine commssion comes up with completion dates for the Ares I and V. Funny, Norm didn't come by and talk to me about completion dates or my status while I was finishing up my design work and getting the hardware up and running in the lab.

Bill Powell said...

Their will be no roads to line when POTUS comes to KSC. Air Force One will probably land at the Shuttle Landing Strip? Thus preventing the public from protesting his new plans for NASA.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has made their living in the "bloated military/space programs" for the last 25 years it deeply saddens me to see the way our national leadership has become simpering,boot-licking, toadies that are hell bent on giving the technological advantage to countries that have a vested interest in seeing us the USA fail. The pouring of money into social programs is like pouring water into a swamp, it produces no results. If the US funds Space programs the money doesnt just go into one persons pocket. I spreads out thru the infrastructure and produces jobs and taxes that make the sytems work.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it, Obama is a liar and will tell anybody anything to get a smile or vote. I'm surprised he hasn't appointed a "space czar" to oversee the money and the resources. Charlie Bolden isn't far behind, but we must remember he's only a puppet in the administration and is probably on remote control from the White House. This is all a big and sad joke for all of us, whether we support our space program or not. As far as I'm concerned, our manned EXPLORATION space program is sunk...

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have an idea. How about all you overpaid NASA employees taking a cut in your pay to have the Space Program continue.Live like the rest of us brevard county citizens.Reduce your pay by 1/2. Hum, you still want to work for NASA? Quit whining and work like the rest of us.It will do you good.