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Marcia Smith, Friday, 3-13-15 March 14, 2015

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Marcia Smith, Friday, 3-13-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2433-BWB-2015-03-13.mp3

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Guest:  Marcia Smith.  Topics:  NASA budgets and their process, specific NASA programs, U.S. congress and more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Marcia Smith back to the program to discuss the proposed NASA FY 16 budget and process, sequestration, specific NASA projects and more.  During our one segment 69 minute discussion, Ms. Smith started out by stating that the proposed 2016 FY NASA budget was bigger than the 2015 NASA budget by about $500 million!  Ms. Smith continued saying the trend was upward with continued strong support for SLS, Orion, and even Europa.  Also, NASA remains largely bipartisan in its congressional support.  I asked our guest about the coming sequestration for 2016-2021 and here, uncertainty prevails.  We also learned that there would be more flexibility for targeted sequestration cuts than there were the first time.  Sequestration has a focus towards two categories, security and non-security projects and expenditures.  Bob in Tucson sent in our first email to inquire about a possible “war” within the NASA planetary science and human spaceflight directorates.  A question came in regarding congressional motivators with a focus on SLS motivators.  Among the SLS motivators mentioned by our guest were national prestige, global leadership, preserving and growing our industrial base, and keeping people employed.  Jerry emailed in asking about NASA educational outreach and support in the proposed FY 16 budget.  Our first caller was Michael Listner who wanted to expand on earlier comments about the private sector and NASA, specifically government programs.  Marcia and Michael had an interesting discussion focusing on these issues.  Both cited examples including ULA, the EELV program, and the concept of “skin in the game plus the opportunity for a private sector company to fail and maybe needing a government bailout if all our eggs were in that one private sector basket. The new Lockheed Jupiter commercial cargo space tug program was mentioned and Michael said it might be useful for removal of some space debris.  The subject of building LEO infrastructure came up multiple times during our discussion, especially the issue of who or what entity would pay for its development. Government or the private sector?  BJohn asked Marcia email questions about reusability thus providing NASA with more “bang for the buck” so to speak.  I asked Marcia several questions about the discretionary part of our budget, we talked more about the Europa mission and the best way to influence congressional space policy makers.  Our guest had some very interesting things to say about this so don’t miss the discussion.  Near the end of the program, I asked if there was any serious effort to move to ten year funding for space and other very long projects given the likelihood of a program not lasting ten years due to congressional changes and program cuts.  Marcia did mention that the shuttle and ISS programs survived so it was possible for a program to last a long time. She also did not think there would be ten year funding as congress would not give up its continue oversight responsibilities for such a long term obligation.  Peter in San Diego asked about the 2016 elections and if we were likely to see a radical shift in space policy.  Donald in Los Angeles asked if the one party congress would get the budget done or if we were likely to see a CR at the end of September.  BJohn sent in another email asking about possible congressional motivators to be even more supportive of space than they have been given their $500 million budget increase.  Beverly asked Marcia about international cooperation with space projects.  Marcia said she was a strong supporter of international cooperation.  She also provided us with a few of her excellent reasons for supporting international cooperation.  Before the program ended, we came back to the issue of LEO infrastructure and cislunar development.  Given the private sector’s reluctance to invest in these areas so far, a natural conclusion would be that the private or commercial markets are not yet developed.

Please post your comments on TSS blog above.  Visit Marcia’s site, www.spacepolicyonline.com for the latest in space new and policy developments.  You can reach Ms. Smith through her website or me.

 

Marcia Smith, Friday, 11-21-14 November 22, 2014

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
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Marcia Smith, Friday, 11-21-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2360-BWB-2014-11-21.mp3

Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

If you rate shows on live365.com, email me your rating reasons to help improve the show

Guest:  Marcia Smith.  Topics:  U.S. space policy, budgets, Congress. Civics 101, SLS, Falcon Heavy, policy makers.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back Marcia Smith back to the show for a preview of the upcoming 114th Congress & space issues with a focus on budget issues & just how congress works with NASA & space policy.  During our 97 minute discussion, we started out with a short Civics 101 lesson on how Congress works, NASA funding, & Congressional oversight of NASA.  For those of you not that familiar with how the U.S. Congress works and funds space programs with NASA, you will find this short discussion most helpful.  Marcia explained both Senate and House roles and their appropriations and authorization committees.  As you will hear, Congress controls NASA spending and there is very little discretionary spending available to the NASA Administrator.  As for the new Congress that will be taking office in early January, the big focus will be on budget issues because by law, the sequestration returns for Fiscal Year 16.  If Congress keeps the sequestration in place, while hurtful to many government agencies and programs, it is damaging to NASA.  We also talked about a possible renewed interest in the Europa Mission as Texas Representative John Culberson will chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science. His Houston district is close to JSC & he’s very enthusiastic about NASA and a Europa mission.  Marcia mentioned the NASA SOFIA program as an example of Congress wanting the program despite it being eliminated in the budget proposal so it added it back in to the NASA budget.  Listeners asked about long term projects being funded for longer than a year.  Marcia addressed this issue though there is no good answer because Congress has oversight & they can change or modify positions from year to year.  Our guest was asked about Congressional policy impact on the private & entrepreneurial space industry.  Unless a public/private partnership exists or the government is a major customer of the private company, congressional policy does not overlap into the private sector.  It is also important to distinguish between regulatory and budget issues as we are talking budget issues in this program.  Several listeners wanted to know if the media and the public could impact Congress & space policy makers.  Another set of listener & Space Show comments over recent weeks addressed the 2016 presidential election, wanting to know if history bears out a change in president equaling a big change in space policy.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Later, Ralph in Phoenix wanted to know if the Falcon Heavy was very successful, would such a success impact congress & policy makers to move away from the SLS program as unnecessary.  Doug called in to clarify Ralph’s question for a more precise response from our guest.  It was clear that Doug and many other listeners believe that a FH success should and would impact SLS policy, perhaps demonstrating that SLS was not needed in light of a successful Falcon Heavy.  However, Marcia questioned that outcome. Don’t miss this important discussion.  BJohn in Sweden wanted to know if SLS, when operational, would create more space opportunities for congress to consider.  Kelly got the last email question in asking about the Space Act Agreement vs. the FAR (cost plus contracting).  He wanted to know if the changes in congress might result in more big space projects using a Space Act Agreement over the FAR.  Marcia did not think so given the FAR offers congress more oversight.  As the show was ending, I asked Marcia what we should look for as hints about space policy in the new congress.  Our guest pointed to the budget and what happens with the FY 2016 sequestration already on the books.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Marcia Smith through me or her website, http://www.spacepolicyonline.com.