Positive Life Changes due to NASA’s FY2011 Budget Chaos

In past posts I have asked some questions and asked for people to share their thoughts on the topic.  I’d like to do that again with this blog post.

How has your life changed in a positive way since the announcement on Feb 1st of NASA’s FY2011 budget?

Here are some starting questions to ponder, feel free to go beyond this.

  • Are you more aware of how the US Budget process works?
  • Have you taken the opportunity to create a new future for yourself?
  • Met new people and friends through discussion of the various budget proposals?
  • Shared the benefits of space exploration and exploring with others?
  • Exploring the possibilities of Commercial Spaceflight?

I look forward to reading your responses and I’ll share mine in a few days.

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Update: 9/23/10

The chaos of this past year has provided positive change to my life.   Change is good for questioning one’s purpose and trajectory and this past year offered ample opportunities to do just that.  The chaos has allowed me to create new opportunities at work that I otherwise would not have done because I’d still be going down the path I was heading (working Constellation).   While NASA was trying to chart out it’s future, I also spent time trying to figure out how I would fit into the new vision.  The future is unwritten, however I’m certainly enjoying the opportunities I helped create over the past 4 months.   Project Mongoose, an ISS participatory exploration project, was born out of submitting a Request for Information (RFI) to NASA back in June.  By the way Project Mongoose was named by Twitter followers after I asked for a code name for my super cool project I was working on.  Another project I’ve been added to recently is an amazing opportunity, and I look forward to seeing where it will lead.  But, the one I fought hardest for was to help out the business development team in capturing new business for my company.  I have long wanted to work in this area, using a mix of skills from my engineering experience and my MBA and starting October 1st I will get to do just that.   So, yes, this chaos has brought positive change to my life.  But, only because I sought it out.

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4 responses to “Positive Life Changes due to NASA’s FY2011 Budget Chaos

  1. Great set of questions. I am not directly affected by the wavering NASA budget, but still directly interested in what NASA’s future will be. That interest, or actually concern, includes all those direct and contractor employees that are affected by the willowy budget.

    Yes, it is good that we are getting a more coordinated commercial space systems involvement, but it should not be at either the expense of NASA’s long term goals or its highly experienced and valuable staff.

    As for continuing to promote space exploration philosophy and science, the answer is yes and with vigor. It is so easy to let this slide into the murky mix of the White House Space plan. That slide is dangerous and could set this nation back years in the pursuit of the space sciences and space exploration.

    The “go sit on a rock” philosophy of sending an astronaut to an asteroid is feeble science and misplaced funding that should be spent on real space exploration. We do not need an astronaut on a rock to determine the best way to deflect a threatening asteroid; unless that astronaut is the esteemed Rusty Schweickart who has already presented clear and effective methods for detecting and deflecting misbehaving asteroids. If we follow Rusty’s guidelines there is no need to sit on the rock, just make a few passing visits.

    Space exploration and the space sciences are no longer delightful little academic and flyboy games. Actually, they never were. That is just political misthinking. We must move forward in an orderly and essentially urgent manner in order to make sure we do the utmost to preserve sweet planet Earth, and to learn all we need to know about living and working in this place we call universe.

    Lastly we need to mature as a civilization to the point where we will never be like those dreaded “sky people” that descended upon the planet Pandora.

  2. The most important thing for me is that I went into action because I realized I can’t wait for someone else to create the future I want. Both Evadot.com and SpaceUpDC.org were born of this chaos.

  3. Are you more aware of how the US Budget process works?
    I am somewhat more aware of how the U.S. Budget process works in the sense of how complex the negotiation that goes on about the merger of Senta and House bills.

    Shared the benefits of space exploration and exploring with others?
    I think a lot of the budget chaos has resulted in something similar to the Streisand effect citation( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect ). Where the chaos has brought more attention to the matter than it would have gotten if NASA had been left un-changed from the addition of the Constellation Program. This past summer I taught a brief class to the students of the Kentucky Governors Scholars Program about NASA and the future of human space flight. However, I wish that I had better news for them, I just simply said the future is hazy and encouraged them to get involved in creating their future and not just let it happen.

    Exploring the possibilities of Commercial Spaceflight?
    To be honest I don’t know if commercial companies can do it. I hope they can, I’m not wishing bad on them but I don’t know if they can do it on the timetable that America needs them to “step up to the plate” on.

    A small rant about congress’ plans for the construction of a heavy lift rocket, this sounds like individuals trying to make it look like they care about the space industry but when in all reality they either care about money or they care about getting re-elected. If they were taking the mission of the space program seriously then they would come up with more than just vague talk about plans and concepts.

  4. Since the announcement of NASA’s new budget, I have achieved a job at Johnson Space Center, doing things I love. It isn’t the design job I wanted, but it is incredibly rewarding and endlessly interesting in and of itself. I’m working with great people who care about what they are doing. And I’m surrounded by people who don’t edge away and think of other previous appointments when I start talking about designs for Moon Bases or the legal and political and economic environments involved in developing space resources, or the best designs for a Mars Expedition Fleet. Or how to make a space toilet that really works. The exciting thing about architecture is that it’s basic premise is: if you don’t like the environment you are living in, design and build a better one. There really aren’t any excuses for living in an environment that isn’t working for you. We can change the stories we tell ourselves about who we are – we can change our narrative – and our narratives drive our designs.