Nasawatch and some papers are making a big deal about money still going to ATK and Orion and this is being reported as “NASA spending $500 million for canceled rocket…” (Orlando Sentinel).
This sounds a lot like ADA funds last summer that cut off CxP, then money still went to primes, but not NASA centers. This is not money going to revive the Ares 1. Ares 1 is dead and buried. Get over it.
This money is going to keep work going on things that Ares 1 had that may become part of SLS.
Meanwhile, back at centers that were working Ares, the money is NOT flowing. The current CR is not helping things at all. At MSFC specifically, tasks are running out by Jan 1 and many layoff notices have already gone out. There is no official count, but the number is not trivial.
At lot of people have rightfully asked how can this be? If the CR says don’t cancel any programs or start new ones, why lay people off? It’s because the money is there, but NASA is can’t or won’t spend it on tasks that keep people busy.
This is too bad. Assuming that eventually Congress will appropriate something to get NASA busy on SLS besides small planning teams, tasks will need to be filled again, but the people will be gone. It’s also not just the people. The orgs that needed Project money to survive are doing a re-org at the same time and they are losing not just people, but core capability.
Again we should note that Congress has left the door open to keep Primes at least functional, but they don’t seem to notice or care what damage they are doing to NASA.Share