One of the Most Amazing 25 Minutes in (Recent) NASA History [Updated]

Or at least that’s how Stephen Flemming put it on Twitter regarding Jeff Greason’s presentation at the Augustine Committee meeting today in Florida. To be fair, the rest of the subgroup also did an amazing job, especially Chris Chyba’s wrapup near the the end, where he made the case forcefully that becoming a spacefaring civilization is the only motivation for a manned space program that makes sense.

Anyhow, Jeff managed in 25 minutes to address human rating, depots, whether or not we need heavy lift, technology maturation and R&T investment, and the need for NASA to find new ways to interact with business. I don’t think he could have hit more of my hot-button issues in 25 minutes if he had tried.

Anyhow, I hear that the HSF committee will have video of today’s proceedings up online soon (possibly tonight) for those who didn’t get up at 5:30am PDT to watch. I’ll comment more later.

Whew! I haven’t had this much hope for this nation’s space program in years!

[Update:  Here’s the link to the subgroup’s presentation (warning, it’s a 14MB powerpoint presentation).  All of it is interesting, but Jeff’s part starts on page 76 and goes through page 89.  Chris Chyba’s section was the last three pages.]

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Jonathan Goff

Jonathan Goff

President/CEO at Altius Space Machines
Jonathan Goff is a space technologist, inventor, and serial space entrepreneur who created the Selenian Boondocks blog. Jon was a co-founder of Masten Space Systems, and is the founder and CEO of Altius Space Machines, a space robotics startup in Broomfield, CO. His family includes his wife, Tiffany, and five boys: Jarom (deceased), Jonathan, James, Peter, and Andrew. Jon has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering (1999) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2007) from Brigham Young University, and served an LDS proselytizing mission in Olongapo, Philippines from 2000-2002.
This entry was posted in Commercial Space, COTS, ESAS, International Space Collaboration, International Space Competition, Launch Vehicles, Lunar Commerce, Lunar Exploration and Development, NASA, Propellant Depots, Space Policy, Space Transportation, Technology. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to One of the Most Amazing 25 Minutes in (Recent) NASA History [Updated]

  1. MG says:

    I think a key to a successful national space program is that it be “national”, as opposed to “State”. States tend to limit the options that members and subgroups of the nation can initiate.

    Consequently, if the State sees a national space program as removing the State from central power, it will oppose it.

    Nonetheless, the philosophical walls have been formally breached in public forum, and that is significant. Only time will tell whether that breach has the influence of Pickett’s limit of advance, or of MacArthur’s Inchon landings.

  2. Rand Simberg says:

    Jon, is your propellant depot white paper on line? If not, why not? I’m thinking about writing a piece for Pajamas Media on today’s presentation, and the background that led up to it, and it would be nice to be able to link it.

  3. Jonathan Goff Jonathan Goff says:

    Rand,
    I was worried about attracting political opposition to the concept before the committee had a chance to review it. In light of how things went today, however, I decided to post it in full:

    http://selenianboondocks.com/2009/07/depot-centric-human-spaceflight/

  4. kert says:

    Most amazing ? Im getting a deja vu. It seems to me that we already were at this point:
    http://www.nasa.gov/missions/solarsystem/vision_concepts.html
    In 2004, if memory serves ?

    Look at Schafer or t/Space. And judging by other actions of this administration, regardless of the options outlined by commitee, im not sure they’ll pick anything but most socialist way of doing things.

  5. Jonathan Goff Jonathan Goff says:

    Kert,
    I’ll admit that I was being a bit hyperbolic (though it was meant to be obviously hyperbolic). Also, I agree that we’re not out of the woods yet, or even close. As Mark points out, the committee report isn’t out, Obama hasn’t picked his plan, and Congress hasn’t voted on it. But just getting to this point, where the giggle-factor for depots is finally starting to die is huge for me, personally.

    ~Jon

  6. Nathan Koren says:

    Aside from being a generally right-thinking fellow, Jeff Greason is also an amazing presenter. I recall one talk that gave a few years ago at Space Access — about FAA certification processes — which he somehow managed to make not only wildly informative but also absolutely riveting, with abundant drama and comedy and everything. It takes some mad presentation skills to pull that off. The commercial space industry is lucky to have him.

  7. Eli Bashevkin says:

    Does anyone have a link to this presentation? I’d love to see it but can’t seem to find it anywhere online. Thanks!

  8. Jonathan Goff Jonathan Goff says:

    Eli,
    The HSF website guys just got them up this afternoon. I’ll update this post in a second with the url.

    ~Jon

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