Roamy is grumpy

Morale at work stinks. Layoffs, buyouts, and retirements for the last couple of years have sent a lot of good people out the door, and their corporate knowledge with them. SLS really isn’t moving very fast on my level, though I’m told that the requirements reviews have been going well. Those who apparently don’t have enough to do are making work for the rest of us, including mandating another lovely four-hour training class on safety. On a personal note, one of my aunts, the last of my mother’s siblings, passed away. She was 91, so as one of my co-workers said, she got all of that one. Fair warning that I’m not in a good mood.

So this morning, I was trying to clear my work schedule to take a day off for the funeral, and I open my email to find this take-charge, motivational message from the NASA Administrator.

NASA chief Charles Bolden focused on Mars as the “ultimate destination for now” for human space exploration, in a meeting with the USA TODAY Editorial Board.

“I have no desire to do a Mars landing on our own,” Bolden said. “The U.S. cannot always be the leader, but we can be the inspirational leader through international cooperation” in space exploration.


Granted, this is the same guy who said our foremost mission was to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science….” Granted these are seriously bad times for budgets. I still never expected a Marine and an astronaut to ever say that the U.S. won’t be the leader in space. Now I’m thinking that NASA might not be the leader, but I wouldn’t tell Elon Musk to take the backseat.

I’m nowhere near the smartest person in my field, but I’m damn good at what I do. I do my best to make sure astronauts fly safely. *I* desire an American to be the one to walk on the Moon again, to be the first on Mars or an asteroid. I don’t mind if it does end up being an international effort, because I think peace would follow, but we need to be the leaders.

It’s bad enough watching the Shuttles being moved into museums, to have to rely on the Russians for access to the International Space Station, to watch the Chinese start their own space station. Bad enough to cheer on SpaceX because you know the Orion launch date is going to keep moving to the right, and you’d like to see an American launch capability. Bad enough seeing upper level management move to the private sector and wonder if you’re a chump for staying. It just knocked the wind right out of me to read Charlie Bolden’s words and know that’s our leader looking out for us in DC.

If all I am is white-collar welfare, then tell me now, and I’ll move on.

8 thoughts on “Roamy is grumpy”

    1. He was an astronaut and flew on four missions, commanding two of them. He was a major general in the Marines. I thought at the time of his nomination that he was going to be another Dick Truly, and I was pretty happy about that.

  1. If we don’t lead, who will? I don’t want anyone else taking the lead in space. Why would we even want to cede leadership in space to anyone else? What a truly strange belief for someone who is supposed to lead NASA!

  2. Unfortunately, General Bolden had a reputation as a political animal. And not necessarily competence in his job.

  3. NASA is an important National resource. The leadership is stuck because of the current national anti-science leadership. We couldn’t even get a NASAsutra research project approved these days.

    Is there in-house talent that can lead NASA back to glory? Or an outsider with stature and a gift of explanation? Send the names to Romney’s staff.

  4. My time as a contractor as Social Security felt like middle-class welfare. 8 months of waiting for someone else to come up with requirements. Far happier where I am now.

  5. “You didn’t build that!”

    Seriously. Is any future manned program to Mars (or even the moon) likely to be in cooperation with other nations? Sure. But deliberately setting our sights low is a bad idea.

    Look to Britain to see how well managing decline works out.

  6. Now, now. NASA is engaged in a very important mission – Muslim outreach. I fail to see why you should be so grumpy when you are supporting such an important work.

    I used to read Jerry Pournelle’s blog before it got hard on my eyes to read. He has said some pretty harsh things about what NASA has become over the last 40 years. After Apollo it simply became just one more bureaucratic mess to use for patronage. Sad to say, but it has followed the pattern of every other FedGov agency in the past. FedGov is simply incompetent. The militaryt and NASA used to be bright spots, but no more.

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