Bolden vs Neil & Geno, Parte 2

House Science and Technology Committee Hearing: Review of the Proposed National Aeronautics and Space Administration Human Spaceflight Plan


* Mr. Charles F. Bolden, Jr., Administrator, NASA
* Mr. Neil A. Armstrong, Commander, Apollo 11
* Capt. Eugene A. Cernan, United States Navy (Ret.), Commander, Apollo 17
* Mr. A. Thomas Young, Executive Vice President (Ret.), Lockheed Martin Corporation

10:00a.m. - 12:00p.m.

2318 Rayburn House Office Building (WEBCAST)

Date: Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Location: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC, US

Sarà un bel match.

Però sono da ammirare…
Si dà e si vuole avere la possibilità di confrontarsi, cosa che in Italia non esiste.

Si. c’e’ anche il problema di “too many cooks”.
E’ giusto lasciare esprimere tutti (specialmente persone così importanti come Neil e Cernan), ma la decisione non può essere un processo “distribuito” in una democrazia rappresentativa…Non su questioni così specifiche.

Per distribuito intendi distribuito nel tempo o tra le persone?
Comunque, secondo me, queste discussioni pubbliche sarebbe state più fruttuose se fatte a monte della proposta di budget. Anche se è mancato il tempo per effettuarle

Concordo in pieno sulle tempistiche di discussione, le discussioni andavano fatte prima!!!
Bisogna dire che quest anno nn si è saputo nulla sulla proposta di budget fino all’ ultimissimo… Abbiamo avuto sorprese fino al Discorso di Obama (vedi Orion Rescue) e con le continue indiscrezioni che saltano fuori ogni giorno continuiamo ad averne… :astonished:

Lodevolissimo questo modo di procedere, ma non si può andare avanti all’infinito con gli interventi di chiunque…ad un certo punto bisogna dire “Stop” e si decide altrimenti non si arriva mai al punto.

Tra le persone (o tra commissioni, comitati e gruppi di interesse).
Ma anche la tua osservazione sul tempo è correttissima a mio parere.

Bolden è sotto torchio da quasi 90’, questa commissione lo stà marcando veramente stretto…



Neil on the rocks




Neil’s statement:

Testimony of
Neil A. Armstrong
Before the
Committee of Science and Technology
United States House of Representatives
May 26, 2010
Mr. Chairman and Members, I appreciate your invitation to present
my assessments on the new NASA plan based on the President’s 2011
Budget Submittal.
I am, admittedly, an aerospace enthusiast, having spent 17 years at
NASA and its predecessor agency, NACA, prior to joining a
university faculty to teach aerospace engineering. I was a member of
the National Commission on Space and Vice Chairman of the
Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. I
finished my active career in a company manufacturing a wide variety
of highly engineered aerospace products and, more recently, served
on the NASA Advisory Council. I still get excited about great new
If one of the goals of government is to motivate its citizenry to ’be the
best that they can be’, few government agencies will surpass NASA
in that function. I have met countless now middle aged adults who
credit NASA’s human space programs for inspiring them to study
hard in order to master and excel in their chosen field. And they are
not just in aerospace, but in education, astronomy, computer science,
medicine, and engineering
The motivating quality of NASA programs and people is, I believe,
due to its success in achieving leadership status in space travel and
exploration, and to its enduring tenacity in exploring the frontiers of
the cosmos. That is one reason why maintaining that leadership
position is so important to our country. But it is certainly not the
only reason. Success in expanding our understanding of the universe
that surrounds us, and sharing that information with others around
the globe, engenders respect and admiration from people and
governments around the world. Discoveries and developments at
technology’s edge produce new theories, new products, new systems,
and ultimately, new ways of living. Who, at the time of Sputnik,
would have suspected that, two generations later, golfers would be
determining their distance to the flagstick using a Satellite based GPS
? Or that we could measure the rate at which the moon is moving
away from Earth (currently about 1.5 inches/year)?
Management gurus have written endless analyses of push versus pull
strategies. The applications are ubiquitous: marketing, advertising,
manufacturing, development, etc. The new NASA plan includes
technology push funding for research and the hope of
‘breakthroughs’ to hasten our success in developing craft to carry
humans to distant cosmic destinations. Some have compared this
approach to that of the National Advisory Committee for
Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor of NASA, whose only work
was research and only product was reports. Some have assumed that
NACA was completely a technology push agency.
As one of the small and ever diminishing number of NACA alumni, I
can confirm that NACA did, in fact, conduct some technology push
projects, such as the NACA airfoil series, the NACA engine cowl and
supersonic boundary layer heat transfer. On the other hand, most
research efforts were ‘pull’ projects, identified by the aeronautical
industry and the military as problems that required solutions, and
NACA help was requested. Examples are stability requirements for
aircraft at supersonic speeds, understanding and solutions for
transonic ‘tuck’, pitch-up, and roll coupling, practical variable sweep
wings, and supersonic drogue chute development.
That work was exciting and fascinating. It was, day by day, perhaps
the most genuinely satisfying work of my life. But it was not
motivating to the general public. Rarely was the general public even
aware of the remarkable research work that was going on in the
NACA laboratories and flight tests. My experience in both pull and
push operations leads me to conclude that pull research attached to
an operational space exploration program would be substantially
more likely to produce usable results in a timely manner.
Project selection and budgeting in the new NASA plan appears to
have been heavily dependent on the observations and options
presented in Seeking a Human Spaceflight Program Worthy of a Great
Nation (HSP), familiarly known as the Augustine Committee report. It
is interesting to review the constraints under which the Augustine
Committee operated, and the effects that those constraints imposed
on their findings.
The committee was “asked to provide two options that fit within the
2010 budget profile” (HSP p.15). The two options selected were the
“Constellation Program of record” and the “ISS and Lunar
Exploration”. The funding available for Constellation under the 2010
Presidential Budget Submittal was more than $1.5 billion per year
below the 2009 Budget and about $3 billion per year below the
original funding plan based on the Exploration Systems Architecture
Study The Committee quite properly concluded that the program
would be delayed and cost more and Ares and Orion would be too
late to serve the International Space Station, scheduled for
termination in 2015. They found that “human exploration beyond
low Earth orbit is not viable under the FY 2010 budget guideline"
(HSP p.96)
It is improper to conclude that Constellation was beyond help.
Constellation managers believe they would have been in reasonable
shape had NASA been provided the funding of the 2009 President’s
Budget Submittal or even the 2011 Budget. Indeed, Mr. Augustine in
his testimony to this committee last September said: “…we believe
that the existing program, given adequate funds, is executable and
would carry out its objectives.”
In determining the reasonableness of competing concepts to be
compared, the Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) was engaged by
the Augustine Committee to provide estimates on cost and schedule.
Your Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, thoughtfully, saw fit
to ask Aerospace to provide details of that process.
Aerospace projected the development costs for a 4 person
commercial spacecraft with launch abort system at 12 billion 2009
dollars plus $8 billion for the launch rocket. Similarly, costs for a 6
person spacecraft would be $17 billion (spacecraft + LAS) plus $10
billion (launcher) respectively. The Committee assumed NASA
would contribute 3 billion dollars to this project, which Aerospace,
using historical growth and other factors, raised to 5 billion dollars
(HSF, p. 70). The contribution remaining for the commercial provider
is a very substantial investment and, if accurate, raises questions
about the ability and willingness of a public or private company to
accept that financial risk. Aerospace stated their assumption was that
three competitors would bid and two would be selected. They
further assumed that NASA would need two flights per year to the
ISS. A reasonable business case supporting this proposal is elusive.
Some question why America should return to the moon. “After all”,
they say, “we have already been there.” I find that mystifying. It
would be as if 16th century monarchs proclaimed that “we need not
go to the New World, we have already been there.” Or as if
President Thomas Jefferson announced in 1808 that Americans “need
not go west of the Mississippi, the Lewis and Clark expedition has
already been there.”
Americans have visited and examined 6 locations on Luna, varying
in size from a suburban lot to a small township. That leaves more
than 14 million square miles yet to explore. There is much to be
learned on Luna, learning to survive in the lunar environment,
investigating many science opportunities, determining the
practicality of extracting Helium 3 from the lunar regolith,
prospecting for palladium group metals, and meeting challenges not
yet identified.
The lunar vicinity is an exceptional location to learn about traveling
to more distant places. Largely removed from Earth gravity, and
Earth’s magnetosphere, it provides many of the challenges of flying
far from Earth. But communication delays with Earth are less than 2
seconds permitting Mission Control on Earth to play an important
and timely role in flight operations. In the case of a severe
emergency, such as Jim Lovell’s Apollo 13, Earth is only 3 days travel
time away.
Learning how to fly to, and remain at, Earth-Moon Lagrangian points
would be a superb precursor to flying to and remaining at, the much
farther distant Earth-Sun Lagrangian points.
And flying to further away destinations from lunar orbit or Lunar
Lagrangian points could have substantial advantages in flight time
and/or propellant requirements as compared with departures from
Earth orbit. And flying in the lunar vicinity would typically provide
lower radiation exposures than those expected in interplanetary
The long communication delays to destinations beyond the moon
mandate new techniques and procedures for spacecraft operations.
Mission Control cannot provide a Mars crew their normal helpful
advice if the landing trajectory is 9 minutes long but the time delay of
the radar, communication and telemetry back to Earth is 19 minutes.
Flight experience at lunar distance can provide valuable insights into
practical solutions for handling such challenges. I am persuaded that
a return to the moon would be the most productive path to
expanding the human presence in the Solar System.
Mr. Chairman, you asked that I present my priorities for the human
space program. I suggest that:
1) We maintain American leadership
2) We guarantee American access
3) We continue to explore the Solar System.
Leadership, access, and exploration are my priorities.
This issue facing this meeting has produced substantial turmoil
among space advocates. So many normally knowledgeable people
were completely astounded by the President’s proposal. Had the
announcement been preceded by the typical review, analysis and
discussion among the Executive branch, the agency, the congress,
and all the other interested and knowledgeable parties, no member of
this committee would have been surprised by the announcement of a
new plan.
In this case, a normally collegial sector of society was split in many
fragments, some focused on contracts and money, some on work
force and jobs, some on technical choices. All because a few
planners, with little or no space operations experience, attempted an
end run on the normal process. It has been painful to watch.
Mr. Chairman, I sincerely hope the members of this Committee, and
all the others involved in this process, will work openly together to
provide a plan which will be the best choice for our country.

notavo lo stadio iniziale del morbo di parkinson in Neil Armstrong e il suo abbastanza bencelato imbarazzo nel nascondere il tremolio della mano destra incrociandola con l’altra…

Geno’s statement:

Written Testimony of
Captain Eugene A. Cernan, USN (ret.), Commander, Apollo 17, Astronaut (ret.)
Before the
Committee on Science and Technology
United States House of Representatives
May 26, 2010
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for giving me the opportunity today to express my personal
views concerning The Administration’s “game-changing” proposal for the future of
America’s role in Human Exploration in Space.
Some weeks ago when we became aware of The Administration’s plan for our nation’s
role in the future of space exploration, Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and I felt compelled to
voice our concern and did so in an opinion paper signed by the three of us. We spent a
great deal of time writing and refining our document, choosing our words very carefully,
words such as “devastating”, “slide to mediocrity”, and “third rate stature”, so that the
intent of our message would neither be misinterpreted nor would our deep concern about
the future direction of human space flight as outlined in the President’s proposal be
misunderstood. We particularly wanted to avoid any political overtones because the
support of America’s role in space since its beginning has traditionally transcended
partisan politics.
It was determined after the Columbia accident that NASA should return to its core
values, focusing its resources once again on space exploration while continuing its space
exploitation through the Space Shuttle support of the International Space Station (ISS)
and other national priorities of Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The Congress supported such a
focus with a near-unanimous bi-partisan approval in both the 2005 and 2008 NASA
Authorization Acts.
We have recently heard a lot of eloquent verbage about the exploration of space – landing
on an asteroid, circling Mars, and at some time in the future perhaps landing on the Red
Planet. There is talk about a decision yet to come of building a large booster which might
ultimately take us almost anywhere we want to go into the far reaches of the universe.
There are, however, no details, no specific challenge, and no commitment as to where or
specifically when this exploration might come to pass. My personal definition of space
exploration, in contrast to exploitation, is “going where no man has gone before, doing
what has never been done before, doing what others couldn’t do, wouldn’t do, or perhaps
were afraid to do.”
And, when one examines details of the FY2011 budget proposal, nowhere is there to
be found one penny allocated to support space exploration. Yes, there has been much
rhetoric on transformative technology, heavy lift propulsion research, robotic precursor
missions, significant investment in commercial crew and cargo capabilities, pursuit of
cross-cutting space technology capabilities, climate change research, aeronautics R&D,
and education initiatives, all worthwhile endeavors in their own right. Yet nowhere do
we find any mention of the Human Exploration of Space and nowhere do we find a
commitment in dollars to support this all important national endeavor. We (Armstrong,
Lovell and I) have come to the unanimous conclusion that this budget proposal presents
no challenges, has no focus, and in fact is a blueprint for a mission to “nowhere.”
In this proposed budget we find several billions of dollars allotted to developing
commercial human access to low Earth orbit, based upon the assumptions and claims
by those competing for this exclusive contract who say that they can achieve this goal
in little more than three years, and that it can be done for something less than 5 billion
dollars. Even The Administration has shown some concern over these claims by
admitting a willingness to subsidize the commercial enterprise until it ultimately becomes
successful, calculated by some to be as long as a decade or more with costs rising by a
factor of three. (These are the same entrepreneurs who are well over a year late delivering
the first unmanned cargo to LEO.) This assumes they have the capability in hand to
design, build, flight test, and develop a man-rated spacecraft and booster architecture
meeting the stringent requirements for safety along with the infrastructure required for
such a venture. Infrastructure such as redesigning the requirements of mission control,
developing and supporting training simulators, writing technical manuals for ground and
crew training including all onboard procedures, developing the synergy between a
worldwide tracking network and the uniqueness of a newly designed space vehicle along
with an emergency recovery force standing by to handle this new space architecture.
These are only a few of the development and support requirements necessary to put any
new manned system into space. Although I strongly support the goals and ideals of
commercial access to space, the folks who propose such a limited architecture “do not yet
know what they don’t know”, and that can lead to dangerous and costly consequences.
There are a myriad of technical challenges in their future yet to be overcome, perhaps of
greatest importance are safety considerations which cannot be, nor will be, compromised
as well as a business plan and investors that will have to be satisfied. For example, it
took over a year and a half of review and redesign of the Apollo I hatch prior to ever
getting Apollo 7 off the ground, before operational and safety requirements were fully
Based upon my background and experience, I submit to this Committee and do support
the view that it will take the private sector as long as ten years to access LEO safely and
cost-effectively. A prominent Russian academician is quoted as saying in order to bring
a craft to the standard of quality and safety for piloted flight, the United States will be
dependent on Russia until at least 2020. The Aerospace Corporation, although directed
not to examine the data submitted on cost and schedule by the commercial sector,
estimates an initial cost of 10-12 billion dollars, plus the added cost of modifications
required to launch vehicle ground systems. Should such a commercial venture run into
insurmountable technical problems, business venture concerns, or – God forbid – a
catastrophic failure, it would leave the United States without a fallback program, unable
to access even low Earth orbit for some indeterminate time in the future. Without an
extension of the Shuttle on the front end and viable access to LEO on the far end, “the
gap”, or the period of time when America is grounded, could very well be extended
The sole reliance on the commercial sector without a concurrent or back-up approach
could very well lead to the abandonment of our 100 billion dollar, 25 year investment in
the ISS, default on our commitments to international partners, and will ultimately cost the
American taxpayer billions of unallocated dollars and surely lengthen “the gap” from
Shuttle retirement until the day we can once again access low Earth orbit leaving our
nation hostage to foreign powers. Moreover, for a variety of reasons, a “Going Out of
Business” sign hanging on the door is always a possibility in any high dollar - high risk
investment. Is this one of our “Potential Grand Challenges” of the 21st century?
The United States, through NASA, has spent a half-century learning what we didn’t
know, finding answers to questions we weren’t smart enough to ask at the time,
developing technology that was needed to meet the challenge and get the job done. We
came from Alan Shepard’s flight in 1961 to the Shuttle and Space Station today with a
side trip or two to the moon along the way. The evolution of this learning process was
not without its cost – not just in dollars, but also in the lives of our friends and colleagues.
It took the courage, effort, dedication and self-sacrifice of thousands of Americans who
allowed us to come this far this quickly. And, although we paid dearly for our mistakes,
it is a testimonial to their commitment and American ingenuity that everyone who went
to the moon came home. Therein is a lesson we cannot afford to ignore. Is this the
NASA we want to transform?
Additionally, The President’s proposal suggests we develop “game-changing” technology
for the future. The technology we enjoy today, 40 years after Apollo, is technology that
evolved from a purpose, from the acceptance of a challenge and from a commitment to a
goal. It was technology with a focus, with a mission. To simply put the best and the
brightest in a room and tell them to develop breakthrough technology that could or might
or may be useful in the future is a naïve proposition. Exploration drives technology
innovation – not the reverse.
Also in the proposal is the possibility that maybe, at some time, perhaps as far down the
road as 2015, the United States might decide to develop a heavy lift booster. This is a
very vague proposition, one that will likely never be funded to fruition. Coincidently,
Constellation has a heavy lift booster, Ares V, not only on the drawing boards but in
component test today. Do we need a decision in 2015 for one already made today?
A late addition to the Administration’s proposal, and one very obviously not well thought
out, was a provision to build an “Orion Lite” spacecraft as a rescue vehicle on the ISS.
Although we have never had need for a rescue vehicle, we have today under contract
with Russia two Soyuz continuously stationed on the ISS capable of carrying as many
as six people to safety should the need arise, with a provision for a third Soyuz were the
crew complement ever to increase to as many as nine – which is highly unlikely. An
“Orion Lite”, before it is qualified to transport human beings to safety from the ISS,
certainly would have to be man-rated. To man-rate a spacecraft and its ride into orbit
requires a great deal more than following a list of safety requirements and protocol
instructions included in its development. The “Orion Lite” would have to go through an
extensive development, test and evaluation phase before being qualified to carry humans.
It sounds very similar to what the existing Ares I/Orion development proposal is all about
and would most likely cost as much, and require the same amount of time to bring it to
man-rated flight status, yet leave us with half the capability of a full up Orion.
Constellation itself is an architecture that over a five-year period has gone through
several detailed reviews and has been vetted by every government agency from the OMB
to the DOD, and certainly by NASA – by every agency that has an ownership interest in
any technical, scientific, budget or benefit to be derived from Human Space Exploration.
In addition, an arsenal of the best engineers, scientists and management experts in
America’s aerospace community added their knowledge and expertise to the review of
the proposed Constellation architecture before it ever became an official program worthy
of consideration. Constellation follows the Von Braun model in the evolution of the
Saturn V, wherein the development of the Ares I is the embryo for the development of
the heavy-lift Ares V. This shared DNA, with commonality of critical components
throughout, leads to greater cost effectiveness, a higher degree of confidence and safety,
and provides the first elements of a heavy lift booster. It is not unlike the Boeing family
of jetliners wherein the technology built into the 787 evolved from that of the original
Embedded in the Constellation architecture is the culture of a long-range building
block that cannot only service the ISS, extend the life of the Hubble, meet other national
priorities in LEO, but additionally can carry us back to the moon and on to Mars. In
doing so, it makes use of existing hardware and facilities while developing new
technologies with a purpose. Appropriately under the law, both Houses of the Congress
of the United States with overwhelmingly bi-partisan support, approved and agreed that
Constellation should go forward.
In contrast to the five-year review of the overall Constellation architecture plus the
carefully monitored program development, the Augustine Committee was required to
provide their report in 90 days. The report contained several suggestions and alternatives
to Constellation, few of which were included in the FY2011 budget, but ultimately the
Committee came to the conclusion that Constellation’s architecture had been well
managed and is indeed executable, providing it has the appropriate funding that had been
denied for several years. Important to note is that the Committee was directed to base
their conclusions and recommendations not on the FY2009 budget, but rather on the
FY2010 budget from which tens of billions of dollars had already been removed between
2010 and 2020. Additionally, their conclusions were based upon a 2015, not 2020, life
span for the ISS and did not take into account ongoing requirements for access to LEO at
other inclinations. Naturally, the Augustine Committee concluded that Constellation
was not doable within the constraints of The Administration’s mandated guidelines and
budget restrictions. Under these constraints, one might have expected the conclusions to
be predetermined. More importantly, however, the funding proposed for FY2011, if
prudently administered, is more than adequate to continue the development of
It is unknown how much time and thought was put into the existing budget proposal
for FY2011, or by whom this proposal was generated, but it is common knowledge
that few if any of those government agencies referred to above were asked to participate,
nor, of significant note, was the DOD or the engineering or management expertise that
exists throughout NASA today. With no transparency, one can only conclude that this
proposal was most likely formulated in haste by a very few within the Offices of
Management and Budget (OMB) and Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), with
the alleged involvement of the NASA Deputy Administrator, and by his own admission,
with little or no input from the NASA Administrator himself. Neither did NASA’s
Center Directors, nor senior NASA management throughout the agency, nor program
managers have any input. If that is indeed the case, the originators quite likely were
promoting their own agenda rather than that of NASA and America’s commitment to
Human Space Exploration as directed by Congress in the Authorization Bills of 2005
and 2008.
With the submission of FY2011 budget, The Administration and the originators of this
proposal were either misinformed or showing extreme naivete, or I can only conclude,
are willing to take accountability for a calculated plan to dismantle America’s leadership
in the world of Human Space Exploration resulting in NASA becoming nothing more
than a research facility. In either case, I believe this proposal is a travesty which flows
against the grain of over 200 years of our history and, today, against the will of the
majority of Americans.
The space program has never been an entitlement, it’s an investment in the future – an
investment in technology, jobs, international respect and geo-political leadership, and
perhaps most importantly in the inspiration and education of our youth. Those best and
brightest minds at NASA and throughout the multitudes of private contractors, large and
small, did not join the team to design windmills or redesign gas pedals, but to live their
dreams of once again taking us where no man has gone before. If this budget proposal
becomes the law of the land, these technicians, engineers, scientists, a generation
removed from Apollo, yet re-inspired by the prospect of going back to the moon and
on to Mars, will be gone – where I don’t know – but gone.
America’s human space flight program has for a half century risen above partisan
differences from Eisenhower to Kennedy to the present day. The challenges and
accomplishments of the past were those of a nation – never of a political party or of
any individual agenda. Those flags that fly on the moon today are neither blue flags
nor are they red flags – they are American Flags. We are at a cross road. If we
abdicate our leadership in space today, not only is human spaceflight and space
exploration at risk, but I believe the future of this country and thus the future of our
children and grandchildren as well. Now is the time for wiser heads in the Congress
of the United States to prevail. Now is the time to overrule this Administration’s
pledge to mediocrity. Now is the time to be bold, innovative and wise in how we
invest in the future of America. Now is the time to re-establish our nation’s commitment
to excellence.
Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee for this opportunity to share
my concern and passion for that which means most – the future of our country!
Sincerely, and with respect,
Eugene A. Cernan
Commander, Apollo XVII

Ci sono andati pesanti…
Non condivido alcuni punti ma mi sento molto più vicino alla dichiarazione di Armstrong che a quella di Cernan. non sono così pessimista riguarda alle società provate, in quanto per i CCV sarebbero entrati colossi come Boeing, Lockheed che hanno già l’esperienza e i mezzi per realizzare buoni progetti. Riguardo poi le infrastrutture è chiaro che verrebbero utilizzate quelle NASA. Sicuramente però i tempi sarebbero dell’ordine della decina di anni (forse qualcosina in meno) e i costi sarebbero più elevati.
D’accordissimo sul ritorno sulla Luna, sull’analisi del push e pull delle tecnologie, d’accordo sulle critiche alla proposta di budget, confusionaria e poco trasparente. Se poi è vero che non è stato contattato nessun ufficio tecnico è veramente grave. Sicuramente il poco tempo a disposizione non ha permesso di avere una proposta ricca di dettagli, ma se non c’è l’intervento tecnico… rabbrividisco…
Comunque mi domando come si è arrivati a questo punto… a pochi mesi dalla chiusura dal programma shuttle non si sa neanche dove andare…