Thursday, April 21, 2005

NASA: this time it is personal

Anne Kinney came for dinner yesterday.
Good wine, good food, fun conversation; she has excellent taste, I feel quite cheered up about long term NASA science prospects. Also interesting "business" lunch, but not for the record.
For dinner we had the good taste to avoid business talk.
I think I will also give Griffin a pass until we see what happens. Am still worried about Hubble, the squabble over the rescue has dragged too long, and either robotic or Shuttle refurbishment is probably too late to put together for a finite amount of money; but for various political reasons, it may be that hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent on optional plans and powerpoint presentations. I understand why, but it still grates. Someone has to make a decision (and it is a political level decision) that is final. Piss or get off the pot.

Still in for some hard times; and the root cause is that NASA has been told to do too much, without being appropriated the resources to do it. In particular, Return-to-flight is sucking out funds, with Congressional porkearmarks a close second. (BTW Keith was right (comments in previous thread - Exploration ramp up has not really hit the Science Directorate very badly yet; I thought the Lunar Exploration reprogramming within the agency had taken a bite, but it is insignificant).
May still squeak out of this ok. If not, maybe ESA will have some euros to pass around (and those are worth real money nowadays).


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