Politics Trump pick for top NASA role has no past experience in space operations

07:01  13 july  2018
07:01  13 july  2018 Source:   thehill.com

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The White House has tapped a long-time Senate aide with little experience in space operations or technology to be the No. 2 official at NASA . The White House announced on Thursday that President Trump Donald John Trump Ex-Russia ambassador

The goal is for other countries and private space companies to pick up the slack and “operate certain elements or capabilities” of the ISS, so that NASA still has a platform to conduct science experiments, according to the document.

a close up of smoke © Provided by The Hill

The White House has tapped a long-time Senate aide with little experience in space operations or technology to be the No. 2 official at NASA.

The White House announced on Thursday that President Trump picked James Morhard, who currently serves as the Senate's deputy sergeant at arms, for the deputy administrator post at the U.S. space agency.

Morhard has a long career in Washington, including stints as the staff director for the Senate Appropriations Committee and a job in the Secretary of the Navy's Office of the Comptroller.

But absent from his resume is experience in space operations.

NASA put Kepler to sleep to preserve its remaining fuel

  NASA put Kepler to sleep to preserve its remaining fuel NASA announced today that the Kepler spacecraft, which has been searching for distant Earth-like planets near Sun-like stars, is running very low on fuel. So much so, that it has decided to put Kepler in a sleep mode to preserve fuel over the next few weeks. Back in March, the agency warned that this could happen soon and on Monday, the Kepler team observed a drop in the spacecraft's fuel pressure, indicating a very low fuel level. So for now, Kepler won't conduct any more scientific observations and will instead rest until August 2nd when research it has collected over the last 51 days is scheduled to be downloaded.

Sending astronauts back to the moon is one of the top space priorities of President Trump . But his administration wants to accomplish that without giving NASA additional money, and By contrast, the United States has spent close to 0 billion building and operating the International Space Station.

1 would have NASA turn over space station operations to commercial and/or international partners after 2024. Overall, NASA would receive a slight top -line funding increase next year, from .5 billion to .9 billion. More: What's in Trump 's 2019 budget proposal?

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine had said publicly that he wanted Janet Kavandi, a former astronaut who runs the agency's Glenn Research Center, to be tapped as his deputy.

But according to The Washington Post, Morhard got the nomination because of his close ties within the Washington establishment.

Trump has expressed ambitions for reinvigorating NASA, which has for years seen frequent shifts in its mission based on each new presidential administration.

Last year, Trump relaunched the National Space Council with Vice President Pence at the helm. And just last month, he said he would order the Pentagon to establish a so-called "Space Force," a sixth branch of the military intended to defend U.S. interests beyond Earth's atmosphere.

The U.S. ceased human spaceflight from its own soil in 2011 when the space shuttle was officially retired. Since then, Americans have hitched rides to the International Space Station with other countries, like Russia.

SpaceX is one step closer to launching astronauts into space .
This week, SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule arrived at Cape Canaveral, Florida after completing thermal vacuum and acoustic testing. This means the spacecraft is one step closer to its first launch, which will be an uncrewed test mission to the International Space Station. Demonstration Mission-1, or DM-1, is currently scheduled for sometime next month. Crew Dragon arrived in Florida this week ahead of its first flight after completing thermal vacuum and acoustic testing at @NASA's Plum Brook Station in Ohio. https://t.co/xXJE8TjcTrpic.twitter.com/lr0P95zzIK— SpaceX (@SpaceX) July 12, 2018Whether SpaceX and NASA can stick to this schedule remains to be seen.

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