Friday, March 5, 2010

NASAx2, Posture Statement

AFA Member, Congressional Staffers, Civic leaders, and DOCA members, almost unnoticed in the Administration's budget announcement was a decision to not replace the Space Shuttle. This effectively ends the human spaceflight program - which has consequences for both NASA and DOD … and the aerospace industrial base. One of our members (who asked that his name be withheld) wrote an op-ed on the subject. We put in on our website - you can find it at:

Secondly, one of you sent me a fascinating link put out by USA Today [most of you might be interested to know that AFA has a partnership with USA Today to bring math and science education into hundreds of classrooms across the US]. The link is fascinating - it showed how the International Space Station was constructed. It makes one proud of the engineering and design talent of our nation to see how complicated, intricate, and important it was to oversea this program. You can find the link at:

Finally, this week and last, Secretary Donley and General Schwartz testified on the Hill in support of the Air Force FY11 budget. Their statement, usually referred to as the AF Posture Statement, should be read by every defense professional. I read every one when I was on active duty - not only to see exactly what Air Force priorities were - but also to see where I could support the Secretary and the Chief in my own talks and op-eds. You can find the statement at:

For your consideration,


Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association


Leon J Wright Detroit 100th CDR said...

Air and Space will always be around but the technology will change. As one door closes another opens. Space shuttle may no longer be maned or womaned but how about "Droned"? This is unoperated by humans.

Allan said...

Re the guest op-ed writer's dismay at the cancellation of the Constellation program. I support the decision to cancel the program. It enables NASA to spend funds on programs that matter: aeronautical research and space probes, and it does support the commercial ELV companies. We have been to the moon. There is nothing to be gained by an expensive revisit that would add little to the scientific knowledge base. The impact on the industrial base affects primarily ATK (solid rocket motors), and to a lesser extent Lockheed Martin. LMC will survive. ATK will struggle but will not go out of business. (I speak as former deputy director/commander of the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory). Space X and the other contenders have the potential to reduce the cost of access to space not the least of which is by reducing the very substantial costs of today's supporting government agencies. It doesn't bother me that we'll depend on the Russians for transport to the Space Station. They do a good job and are less expensive than the shuttle or Constellation. We are in tough fiscal times and we have to recognize we don't have the money to do everything we used to do.

Far better that NASA's hypersonic research support the DoD's own programs to power devices (Project Falcon or a derivative) carrying a large HE (or small Nuc) warhead we can use to dig out Iran's nuclear facilities. If and when we really do have to neutralize it. The Soviets and the U.S. never waged nuclear war because both sides recognized they couldn't win. Iran seems not to have any such common sense.


Allan J. MacLaren
Col USAF Ret