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Nasa as The Department of Homeland Security

Posted by: FerrisValyn - Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:38 am
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Nasa as The Department of Homeland Security 
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Post Nasa as The Department of Homeland Security   Posted on: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:38 am
For those wondering how did I get from the DHS to Nasa - Over at the Spacepolitics blog there has been some op-eds basically bringing back the whole robots vs manned arguments, the basic arguement being that we get better returns for our dollars per science we learn. After reading that, I was looking at the discussions concering the CEV and some of the other posts in this thread - the point is that Nasa is seen as a Space Agency, as opposed to a science agency, or a colonization agency, an aviation agency, etc.

Anyway, the more I thought about this, the more I was reminded of how DHS is, in terms of when it was created and re-organized. The problem is that, to a certain degree (not Griffin's fault, per se, it just kinda happened) it is micromanaged such that its supposed to be like the Department of Justice or the CIA.

So, I pose the question - how would you reorganize Nasa, in such a way as to be a space agency? Or does it need to be broken up, much like how the FAA is dealing with liscencing private SpaceFlight and sub-orbital tourism? And I am wondering across the board, even to the point of actually granting titles on lands in space (yes, I know, you can buy a piece of the moon right now - at somepoint, I would hope, there would be a rule of law that would actually apply to space property)

Anyway, thoughts/sugestions?

I ask this to partially help me flesh out the final sugestions of my paper I am writing.


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Post Re: Nasa as The Department of Homeland Security   Posted on: Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:55 pm
FerrisValyn wrote:
it is micromanaged such that its supposed to be like the Department of Justice or the CIA.
I think that applies to any and all government agencies. Probably there is no way to change that, government just works that way.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:53 pm
I'd disagree, partly because the job of those agencies is better defined.

Lets take Fema before the DHS reoraganization. Prior to, she was a cabinet level position, and yet, it wasn't difficult to understand what the job of FEMA was, and its mission was clear enough that it couldn't be pulled apart, because it was runing in many completely opposite directions.

Maybe I am all weight on this, but it seems to me that if Nasa was reformed to be more of an umbrella organization thats designed to be pulled in 20 different ways, it'd work better.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:18 pm
Hi Ferris! you wrote:
Quote:
it seems to me that if Nasa was reformed to be more of an umbrella organization thats designed to be pulled in 20 different ways, it'd work better.


I admit to not really having studied this topic in any particular depth, but isn't that what Dan Goldin did?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:52 pm
Goldin had his pluses and minuses, but, from what I've read about him, the thing he was doing was implementing reforms that should've been put in place, back in the late 70's, yearly 80's (although I admit this is some armchair quarterbacking)

What I am talking about is much much larger

case in point - at somepoint, the issue of property rights will come up - there has already been I believe a court case over a nasa probe that landed (does anyone else remember this, and know what happened)

Given that nasa is the Space agency, why shouldn't this fall into its domain (i admit its not a big thing right now, but at somepoint it will be needed to dealt with)

Or, to look at something somewhat closer, the recent SpaceFlight Rules that the FAA put out - why put that under the auspicous of the FAA - why not allow a brand new department under the NASA banner be created?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:47 pm
FerrisValyn wrote:
case in point - at somepoint, the issue of property rights will come up - there has already been I believe a court case over a nasa probe that landed (does anyone else remember this, and know what happened)
Maybe this?
http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9707/24/yemen.mars/


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 25, 2006 1:43 am
that mighta been it, but the one I was thinkning of was that it was an asteriod mission, and they were charging them for either storage, or littering.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:06 am
Ahhh, this one then?

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/displa ... ews_ID=771


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:25 am
yup, that was it


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:17 am
Haha -- That's very amusing. Nothing more, as he can't do anything about enforcing his ownership (and that's what counts at this point in time). But still amusing.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:25 am
Hello, FerrisValyn,

there are some good arguments why NASA shouldn't get property rights and authorities which FAA has currently.

First it is required that NASA-flights and launches are regulated as well as those of other authorities or privates - if NASA would regulate its own flights and launch this would cause a collision of interests and they would have problems to keep the required neutrality. In particular internal political problems would be caused since some sub-departments would have to serve to intere´sts which would be against the interests of other sub-departments.

Second there is the danger that NASA-responsibles would tend to abuse regulation rights for prohibition of private spaceflight including suborbitla trips.

You are right regarding the Umbrella-idea and I can't but assist your there. But the umbrella should be neutral regarding private or governmental in order to make NASA an agency which has the task to help the evolution of mankind to a spacefairing civilisation - at the national level which is a decentral component seen from a worlwide level. This evolution is assisted by private spaceflight very much.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:13 pm
NASA is actually in the best shape it has been in in years. Griffin is the closest thing we have had to a strong Chief Designer like what the Soviets had. He just needs more muscle. New Horizons proves NASA a more competant organization than the alt.space frauds who cannot even begin to match that mission.

In 2008 we will see a Stick abort test at a higher speed and altitude than Rutans whole launch profile.

No comparison.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Feb 10, 2006 7:39 am
Possibly but unlikely. As I posted under another thread, the stick has many new things about it that need to be ironed out before it gets anyway near launch not to mention new ground infrastructure.

Speaking of Rutan, he claims to have solved the re-entry problem (I presume he means the heat-shield issue) and that means that he at least has a vehicle partially designed. Remember, he doesn't use any scale models or anything like that, he designs using CAD systems and refines things there until he has something that will do the trick like SSOne where he built only one (I think) and made only minor adjustments.

At the moment he's busy putting together 2 new toys - SS2 and WK2 so I'd say he's a bit busy to play any other games but give him time. I think his interests have taken a bit of a direction change and now space is the challenge for him. By the way, if you don't think that his composite techniques will translate into large aircraft/spacecraft, then you're mistaken as Boeing are looking a building their next generation aircraft in composites. Rutan is still in the lead and if you're looking at private companies only, then he's still there as SpaceX hasn't launched yet and when they do, they aren't going for human-rating - yet.

Sorry about going off topic. :)

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