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View Diary: What NASA Could Be (320 comments)

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  •  Griffin insulted by due diligence (13+ / 0-)

    At the end of the linked article, I find

    Griffin responded, in a loud voice, “I wish the Obama team would come and talk to me.”

    Alan Ladwig, a transition team member who was at the party with Garver, shouted out: “Well, we’re here now, Mike.”

    Soon after, Garver and Griffin engaged in what witnesses said was an animated conversation. Some overheard parts of it.

    “Mike, I don’t understand what the problem is. We are just trying to look under the hood,” Garver said.

    “If you are looking under the hood, then you are calling me a liar,” Griffin replied. “Because it means you don’t trust what I say is under the hood.

    Well the Ponzi schemes that have been the Bush administration remind us that looking under the hood is what competent people do. And the Ponzi schemes of financial institutions have made money for moonshots harder to justify.

    •  The fact that he doesn't want Obama's transition (17+ / 0-)

      team to look under the hood should be throwing up red flags to everyone of potential problems.  Either you have confidence in your program and your abilities or you don't.  But don't throw out a "trust me" and expect people to just move along.

      If Obama's team weren't looking under the hood it would be a gross dereliction of duty on their part.

      Griffin sounds exactly like an insecure tyrant who is just a little overly protective of his "baby".  

      Elections have consequences.  Oversight is one of them. After years of the government refusing to look under the hoods, I'm eager for all hoods to be thrown wide open to the sunlight because that's the only way we are going to get this country up and running again.

      Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? - Robert Orben

      by mentaldebris on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 11:44:11 AM PST

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      •  There is a long list of reasons to be (5+ / 0-)

        concerned about what Griffin has done.  

        Whether its his involvement in global warming coverups, or the fact that there is a growing concern about Ares I, or many other issues, Griffin doesn't deserve trust.

      •  A hundred times this. (6+ / 0-)

        Frankly, that's the single most alarming report that I've heard about this transition. External reviews are a part of life in every organization that I've ever been a part of. Yes, they're irritating sometimes, and sometimes you get a biased reviewer, but you can fight that by either requesting a different reviewer or filing a response to the report. "How dare you insult my integrity," is an outlandish response that I've only heard from the dishonest hiding the disastrous.

        Frankly, if I were Garver I'd be filing a request for additional resources for an audit with Obama NOW. Something is screwed up above and beyond the normal governmental oddities if Griffin's putting out that kind of BS.

      •  Silly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SJLeonidas

        The sad thing is that Griffin and Garver are on the same side on basic issues - they both get it. (Not to mention the incredible Alan Ladwig.)

        Griffin was in arrogant engineer mode being questioned by a policy person.  But I worry about getting a new Administrator who doesn't really understand the nitty gritty of the tech side of things.

        The vision needs to come from the Obama Administration.

        HOWEVER, if Griffin really is a global change denier, who doesn't understand the potential and fundamental importance of space solar power, then we need someone else.

        Surprise, we live in a Left-Of-Center Nation! Act accordingly.

        by VA Gal on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 12:50:51 PM PST

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        •  He said it on NPR (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eloise, SJLeonidas

          and you can listen to him say it

          As for the administrator understanding the tech, I've actually heard an interesting take on how to select NASA admin, and his/her deputy

             The Administrator should be OUTWARD focused, and linking NASA to the needs and demands of the White House, Congress and the American public. James Webb was the ideal.

             The Deputy Administrator should be INWARD focused, taking the requirements from NASA’s bosses — the White House and Congress — and managing the agency to deliver on those requirements.

          Add in that they need to be good administrators, and I am sure we'd have good NASA policy

          •  Is it an either or? (0+ / 0-)

            Rocket Science isn't politics and Politics is not rocket science.

            Do you want someone who is politically adroit and can manuver through the halls of congress and manage a huge agency or do you want an engineer who can build great rockets.

            •  Not always an either or, but (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elfling, alizard
              those people are hard to find.  And I would submit that you don't necessarily want someone who can design the rocket - they need to be able to understand it, but thats not the same as being able to design it.  
            •  I want someone (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Vladislaw

              Who can give the engineers the political and financial freedom to build a great rocket. And a clearly defined goal for that rocket to built for.

              If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

              by HamillianActor on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 01:10:00 PM PST

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            •  Having "an engineer who can build great rockets" (4+ / 0-)

              as a manager is exactly what's wrong with NASA (and, for that matter, many engineering companies. I worked on Apollo for 9 years, and one of the main reasons I left was that virtually the only route to advancement for engineers was to go into management -- and the talents it takes to be a good manager are not the same as the talents it takes to be a good engineer. By failing to recognize engineering talent except by promoting into the ranks of management, an organization loses twice: it loses engineering capability and gets lousy managers.

              •  dilbert (0+ / 0-)

                don't you get pointy haired boss with no technical competence in a manager?

                But, you are correct, engineers generally do not make good managers.

                How do you train one to work well with the other?  

              •  I agree with the gist of this comment, but... (0+ / 0-)

                remember it is also important to have managers with technical competence.  Remember the Challenger disaster was due in part to managers who overruled engineers arguing against launching in freezing whether.  Also, you might consider the case of Wernher von Braun, an excellent engineer and a smart manager.  He led and managed the development of the Saturn V.

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