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What NASA actually lacks?

Posted by: 8900 - Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:17 pm
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What NASA actually lacks? 
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Post What NASA actually lacks?   Posted on: Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:17 pm
Note: this post only reflects my personal opion
What NASA lacks?
1) Creativity (the most basic problem)
2) The ability to meet deadlines
3) The ability to control budget (ie. SS/Shuttle)

NASA ABSOLUTELY did not lack FUNDING
Take a look at CNSA's manned missions
approx. $20B. so far (From 1992)
And always launch on time

I hope NASA can deal with these problems seriously


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 30, 2005 1:25 pm
There is a special point I already mentioned in another post:

NASA does have NO funds and thus no funding.

This is an irremovable fact since NASA is governmental and governments do have no funds and thus no funding never. They can by real estate and the like - but they do that by tax money and by budget deficits the tax money is used to pay the interests for and - sometimes to pay back the credits takten to cover the deficits.

Funds are capital owned by someone and made available for a purpose for a period of time which can be choosen freely - governments don't have something like that never.

Governments only get tax money and can pay only by using this tax money. Governments can take credits but have to pay back them by tax money or by new credits plus they have to pay interests on the credits and have the only chance to do that by tax money and new credits.

Since the amount of tax money, the level of the tax rates and the credits to take require a law that has democratic agreement and legitimation they can be agreed to by only one year and no longer.

Since NASA is governmental all this is valid for NASA too and there is no escape and no rescue.

What's looking like a funding of NASA is something else - the expenses NASA did based on a law which is valid for only one year. That's no capital and the period of time the money is available is not and cannot be choosen freely.

And this is one of the reasons why they can't control the budget.

If funds and funding are desired then the private way is required because of democracy, constitution and law. Societies like the Mars Society or the Planetary Society can have funds and get funding as well as foundations like the XPRIZE Foundation can. Plus private companies.

From all these a government and in particular NASA can buy what they need without needing funds or funding but simply by making use of tax money and credits.

What Mike Griffin is saying sometimes it seems that they may be approaching there.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)

Edited by Admin (Sigurd); We don't need very bold large text, normal bold is ok, removed the resizing of the bold text, else it may be seen as an accusation.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 30, 2005 5:03 pm
NASA has plenty of creativity and money but they do not control their own budget, congress does. And they have too much red tape.

Ekkehard,
In English funding can just mean money, even tax money. Here is the definition of the English word funding from dictionary.com:

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=funding

Notice the last entry:
To furnish a fund for: funded the space program.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:19 pm
IMO what NASA lacks is someone who is willing to swing an axe, take politically unpopular decisions (and get backed up from the White House) and take risks.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 30, 2005 8:45 pm
Dan Golden was not afraid to take the politically unpopular decision of opposing Dennis Tito's trip to the ISS. And I think he was dead wrong to do so and am glad to see him gone.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:06 am
Interesting discussion. I actually think that the real problem for NASA is that it's a meal ticket for so many people both in Government and in private corporations.

NASA 'funds' through it's disbursements, prizes, contracts, and so on, various research and development across the science and technology arena not just space-related activities. Thinking on that, maybe the real problem is that it is far too broad in its undertakings. Perhaps, if it is really going to provide the drive towards space exploration, it needs to become focussed on that activity and the US Government needs to create either a new body to do only that with its own budgets or split NASA off from the other activities. It would then buy finished products from other government or non-government organisations to allow it to achieve its goals. Application of a sort of specialisation.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:43 am
Another problem with NASA was mentioned on yesterday's space show. The employees who negotiate contracts with the aerospace companies get promotions and pay raises based on the dollar amount of the contracts they handle. The more money they handle the higher they get rated. And the aerospace companies get cost plus contracts, where they are guaranteed a certain profit above whatever the costs end up being, so they have no incentive to lower costs. In fact, since the profit is usually specified as a percentage of the cost, they actually try to make the contract cost more. NASA and contractor actually work together to inflate the cost!


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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 01, 2005 5:13 am
That is just so totally depressing. :( but not really a surprise. Is it any wonder that the results are less than spectacular, unlike the failures. :x

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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 01, 2005 2:37 pm
However, I notice that China's space programme has been using much less money. Also, rockets are able to launch without delay usually.

I have thought of some possible reasons
1) manned spaceflight schedule is infreqent (2yrs , 1 mission)
2) Slow but carefully scheduled progress
3) NO interplantery missions/not many space science researches so far
4) Chinese government's non-democratic nature (I don't know if this is relavent)


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Post Re: What NASA actually lacks?   Posted on: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:40 pm
Let's see.

8900 wrote:
What NASA lacks?
1) Creativity (the most basic problem) Due to the Xprize acting as a brain drain
2) The ability to meet deadlines Due to Congress giving little funds compared to Iraq
3) The ability to control budget (ie. SS/Shuttle) Due to Congress interfereing and ignoring.

NASA ABSOLUTELY did not lack FUNDING
Take a look at CNSA's manned missions
approx. $20B. so far (From 1992)
And always launch on time

Actual buying power down--and used for Make work programs under Goldin as shuttle safety was ignored



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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 01, 2005 8:41 pm
campbelp2002 wrote:
Dan Golden was not afraid to take the politically unpopular decision of opposing Dennis Tito's trip to the ISS. And I think he was dead wrong to do so and am glad to see him gone.


We are still recovering from his foolish decisions.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:21 pm
I just heard the most amazing story on the December 14 space show.
In the 1970’s Barbara Marx Hubbard initiated a project called Harvest Moon. She asked Werner Von Braun if the citizens could rent a Saturn V rocket and bring back 400 pounds of Moon rock. A jeweler named Harry Winston said he would pay $400 million for that material. They almost did it, but NASA stopped them. They had Astronauts and Dr. Thomas Payne as an advisor. They were going to involve people in supporting an aspect of the space program but NASA wouldn’t let them. They were bureaucratic and afraid of any kind of intrusion and they stopped it. This kind of attitude, exemplified more recently by Dan Golden’s attempt to keep Dennis Tito off the ISS, is why we don’t already have hotels on the Moon.

:evil: :evil: :evil: Unbelievable! :evil: :evil: :evil:


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Post    Posted on: Thu Dec 15, 2005 9:31 pm
Thanks alot Dan.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:56 am
What NASA is lacking from my points of view are a timetable and ideas how to keep such a timetable.

This does NOT mean milestones or the like but fixed dates for trips, launches etc. that NASA themselves or somebody else can use by booking them.

Given such a timetable of scheduled launches and flights NASA could schedule their own doings what to lift when to where. In particular lunar activities would get firmer grounds for plans then - regarding the rockets and vehicles, regarding what to do on the Moon, regarding the equipment needed the, regarding the selction of astronauts.

And it would be of particular help for getting the budgets from the congress as well as for getting the assistance of the public.

To keep the timetable may be hard if they continue to rely on Lockheed Martin, Boeing etc. - the privates are the way out. SpaceX for example has a launch manifest while Virgin Galactic is driven to act as if they had a timetable due to their number of suborbital tourists. If NASA would order flights from SpaceX at fixed dates then SpaceX's launch manifest would become a timetable partially. If Virgin Galactic would operate CXV or another orbital vehicle of t/Space NASA could order flights from them as well which also would lead to a timetable of Virgin Galactic/t/Space.

...
...
...



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:48 am
NASA has 2 major budget problems:

Firstly, a large part of it's budget goes to congressionally mandated programs in local districts. Basic pork barrel stuff.

Secondly, the glory of the Apollo program was achieved in a very short time, due to political pressure. This was accomplished by throwing people and money at the problem and by building on the existing ICBM programs, themselves crash, "money is no object" programs. Worse still, every politician demanded that some of that was spent in their electorate.

This left NASA with a very large workforce, spread over much of the country, and expensive, labor intensive, expendable vehicles. They tried to replace these with a reusable shuttle, but weren't allowed to rationalize the workforce. So they ended up with an expensive, labor intensive, reusable vehicle.

Now they have to replace the shuttle, and the same rules apply. So they will undoubtedly end up with 2 expensive, labor intensive, expendable vehicles.

And in 20 or 30 years? The same thing will probably happen again.

What they need to do is find a way to use their workforce more efficiently, to achieve a lot more. But with their management heavy structure, that can't be done.


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