Space News is reporting that an “ad hoc” panel of the National Research Council (NRC) is looking into possible NASA Field Center closures. This is a codeword for “downsizing”. If NASA is to survive this must happen sooner rather than later. Here is a brief portion of the article:
The ad hoc panel of the National Research Council (NRC) has its origins in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2012 (H.R. 2112), which funded NASA and other federal agencies. The law set aside $1 million for the NASA inspector general “to commission a comprehensive independent assessment of NASA’s strategic direction and agency management.”
It is time for Senators on both sides of the aisle to acknowledge that our commercial communications satellite manufactures need relief from oppressive International Trafficking of Arms Regulations (ITAR). For too long ITAR has crushed American companies and put them at a direct disadvantage to foreign competitors in the free market. Competitors to such companies as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, ATK, and Loral openly advertise ITAR free satellites which are easier to buy.
There comes a point in time where the “old way of doing things” just becomes obsolete. This can be said of the industrial complex or unions. This could be said of both Democrats and Republicans. The dogma that plagues debates and shuts people down is destructive.
The massive mis-information campaigns against ordinary citizens, not to mention issues such as space policy is sickening. There is nothing wrong with trying to reshape our space program when it has had such poor performance. Everyone has excuses why Project X failed or Mission Y was canceled.
The system is broke – and simply throwing money at the problem does not work. It only strengthens crony capitalism. Moreover, in case you missed the memo, the United States is very broke. We simply cannot afford SLS, CxP, Shuttle, and JWST. Something needs to change.
And so it begins. As leaks of the FY 2013 NASA budget begin to trickle out the special intrests groups are beginning to worry. Here is a piece of analysis that actually frames the argument pretty well. While old space continues to chug along consuming a larger peice of the NASA pie, new space will get by with what it has. It is interesting to see how the author here thinks that the government is trying to slow down "new space". Here is the pull quote: