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The KSC/NASA story from different perspectives

NASA's Kennedy Space Center hosted a conference on April 15, 2010 about the future of the space program, keynoted by the President of the United States, Barack Obama. All of us who have an abiding interest in the U.S. space program have been waiting for the President to let us know how he feels about it and what he wants to do about NASA in the future. I first learned about the conference from one of my favorite White House reporters, Mark Knoller, on Twitter.  Earlier Knoller tweets had signaled what was about to be announced:

  1. Feb. 1, 2010 – Kiss lunar visits goodbye: Obama budget proposes scrapping the Constellation program to return Americans to the moon.
  2. Feb. 1, 2010 – Aides say Obama wants NASA to focus on "longer range R&D advanced robotics" & longer range research for possible human trip to Mars.
  3. March 7, 2010 – White House just announced that Pres. Obama will attend a Summit on the US Space Program April 15 in Florida.
  4. March 7, 2010 – Obama will use space summit to discuss "new course Administration is charting for NASA and future of US leadership in human space flight."
  5. March 7, 2010 – Obama's new budget canceled funding for the Constellation program to return Americans to the moon.by 2020.

KSC Space Conference – Mark Knoller, naturally, became my source for what happened at the April 15 conference.  He added photographs to his coverage, to which I have linked.

KSC images by Mark Knoller of CBS

And on top of a sign at the press parking area at KSC, an eag... on Twitpic An eagle has built a nest  above the area where the press gathered for the big space conference at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  Knoller explained his pic in a tweet reply to: "@team_venture Our NASA escort said it was an eagle. Born in Brooklyn, I only know pigeons. My ornithology is for the birds."

Obama now addressing NASA personnel in Operations and Checout... on Twitpic President Barack Obama addresses the crowd gathered to hear his plans for the future of the United States' space program under NASA.

CBS White House reporter, Mark Knoller posted a series of tweets April 15, 2010 from the Space Conference held at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  They are worth repeating here because they so effectively and succinctly present part of the story that I watched unfold yesterday on NASA television.  Knoller's play-by-play on Twitter follows:

  1. Obama now addressing NASA personnel in Operations and Checout building at Kennedy Space Center.
  2. Obama says he is 100% committed to the mission of NASA and its future.
  3. Obama delivers speech– flanked by mockup of Orion space capsule and by space shuttle main engine.
  4. Obama reaffirms commitment to increase NASA budget by $6-billion over 5 years. Gets polite but unenthusiastic applause.
  5. Obama defends his strategy to jumpstart new commercial space transportation industry by private sector.
  6. Obama pledges to finalize a design for a new heavy-lift launch rocket no later than 2015 and then begin to build it.
  7. Obama asserts that "nobody is more committed to manned space flight" than he is. But he says it must be done "in a smart way."
  8. Obama says his plan calls for manned landing on an asteroid – and then to Mars by the 2030s. "And I expect to be around to see it."
  9. Obama acknowledges some want the US to go to the moon again. "We've been there before,"said Obama advocating new destinations.
  10. Obama says he wants $40-million in job retraining funds for personnel losing jobs as space shuttle program winds down.
  11. Even at a time of record deficits, Obama defending spending money on NASA and the space program. (more)
  12. Obama says space pgm improves our lives, advances our society, strengthens our economy & inspires generations of Americans.
  13. NASA press office staff was heavy-handed in trying to prevent reporters from interviewing NASA employees at Obama event.
  14. Obama said he knows the space pgm is "more than just Tang..I had to point out I actually really like Tang. I thought that was very cool."
Mainstream media coverage

leading up to the conference had focused almost exclusively on the controversy among various factions regarding what the Obama administration was about to do to NASA.  Astronauts either opposed or accepted the Obama plan, as did lawmakers, Floridians, NASA workers and others with an interest in the future of space flight.  MSM coverage after the conference held to that flawed model, for the most part. 

For further more valid program information

here are some links for follow up.  The primary story, by Steven Siceloff, is from NASA.gov

: "President Outlines Exploration Goals, Promise."  The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy posted "THE FACT SHEET: Obama's Space Plan Revealed" at Space.com.  On April 12, Bill Harwood, one of our very best space reporters, posted this at The Space Shot on CNET News, "Russian president calls station, suggests 'space summit.  Here is Harwood's story about the space conference: "Obama insists new plan will spur deep space exploration."  Irene Klotz is another great space reporter, and her stories on the issues can be found on Reuters.

Posted via email from Southwest Postings

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