CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla – Kennedy Space Center Director and former space shuttle astronaut Robert Cabana briefly spoke with reporters concerning the impact that the 2013 fiscal year Budget proposal would have on the Kennedy Space Center’s (KSC’s) ability to launch.
The question-and-answer session was held at the Kennedy Space Center Press Site, located across from the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). Cabana had just attended the “Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate” media teleconference that took place at NASA Headquarters located in Washington.
Also present in that teleconference was NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. This marked the first time that the space agency invited aficionados of the social-media outlet “Twitter” to join in on the budget news conference. Some 20 “tweeps” total were invited to sit in on the teleconference which included NASA’s Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Robinson.
The Obama White House has released its proposal for the Fiscal Year 2013 budget calling for a 20 percent cut to NASA’s Planetary Science Program’s budget. This would have a dramatic effect on NASA’s unmanned missions. It will also almost certainly mean the end of the agreement that NASA has with the European Space Agency (ESA) on the “ExoMars” project to send an orbiter and lander to the Red Planet.
The agency held a number of teleconferences and briefings throughout the day to inform the media and public about the specifics as to how the proposed budget cuts will affect NASA’s ability to explore the solar system. The associate administrators of the mission directorates that will be impacted as well as NASA’s new Chief Technologist Mason Peck, who took over in September after Bobby Braun left NASA (Jeffrey Parrish, NASA’s Deputy Chief Technologist handled the responsibilities for a period until Peck took over).
Outside of the Kennedy Space Center, the Science Mission Directorate, Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate and Space Technology Program all held teleconferences and therefore will likely be affected by the budget proposal.
Cabana stated that overall the KSC fared very well and that as far as launch services go there would be minimal impact to the workforce caused by the new budget proposal. He highlighted the progress that is being made on the Commercials Crew Program and that improvements to the KSC infrastructure are also moving ahead on schedule.
“When you consider the tough fiscal times that we are in and look at NASA’s overall budget, KSC did very well, Cabana said. “It allows us to continue with everything that we are currently doing, commercial crew; Space Launch System, and ground ops here at Kennedy Space Center – as well as turning KSC into a multi-user space port – so overall it is very good for Kennedy Space Center.”Missions » ISS » COTS » Missions » ISS »