Status Report

Questions submitted to NASA Town Hall Meeting WIth Administrator Jim Bridenstine

By SpaceRef Editor
April 1, 2019
Filed under ,

603 Will the administration and congress back up this audacious goal with an appropriate influx of funding?

544 Isn’t this the first step in the return to “schedule over safety”? Been there, done that – with catastrophic results.

488 Accelerating our return to the moon is an unfunded mandate. How will we do it without gutting our other important missions?

427 Please explain in detail what “We’ll change the Agency, not the mission” entails.

415 NASA peaked at 34,000 engineers during Apollo, today we have half that. Are we going to receive more resources?

370 Over the past fifteen years, the Agency has been directed to go to Mars, then the Moon, then an Asteroid, then an Asteroid around the Moon, then Mars, then a space station around the Moon, and now the Moon again. What steps do you plan to take to reduce the programmatic whiplash that keeps us from actually accomplishing any of these grand plans?

354 VP Pence directed us to land a crew on the moon within the next 5 yrs “by any means necessary”, what means will you be using?

288 What assurance can be given that this plan for lunar return will survive a change in administrations after the 2020 election?

278 Is the plan to go to the Moon via Gateway, or go directly there?

266 VP said “NASA must transform itself into a leaner, more accountable, and more agile organization”, how will you do this?

204 Besides being given the mandate to just GO to the moon, what are the goals for the first crew that lands there to accomplish on the lunar surface?

201 What percentage of NASA contractors received back pay from the furlough?

159 What does “by any means neccessary” and “all hands on deck” mean to you? Are all centers to refocus? JPL? Goddard? Ames?

158 Why hold the Town Hall on April Fools Day?

151 What is NASA’s role over the next decade in responding to catastrophic climate change?

145 It seems top-level rhetoric often tells us to be leaner, faster, and more efficient; but when we try to reduce unnecessary processes it’s met with significant backlash. How do you plan to back up this rhetoric at every level when it means cutting people’s jobs and taking risks?

144 What are our plans for building a lunar lander? Seems we might need one of those pretty soon.

138 What will fall under the New Moon to Mars Mission Directorate?

121 If the goal is to go to the moon, what’s stopping Congress from funding NASA as it did in the Apollo era? When put in terms of 2014 Constant Dollars, NASA was funded an average of $29.5 billion from 1963 to 1972, with a peak of $43.6 billion in 1966, yet NASA is now being expected to return to the moon with an average of only $18.8 billion over the last 10 years. If NASA is to truly accomplish this while also supporting ISS and Gateway, all incredible goals, then wouldn’t more funding be needed?

113 NASA is unlikely to meet the 2024 deadline. How specifically can NASA be reformed to meet these ambitious timelines?

112 VP said he would recommend “a major course correction for NASA”, how are we changing course? It all seems more of the same

111 In one of your emails a while ago, you mentioned our budget was better than ever. Yet, in other information I have read, the NASA budget for FY19 was less than last year’s. Which is correct?

98 Reorganizing NASA to support the early return to the Moon without significant additional funding seems to be a presidential election campaign tool. This is already hurting the morale of much of our workforce. Has NASA become a political pawn to support a reelection campaign?

97 Besides SLS/Orion, what other critical hardware needs to be designed, built, and tested for a lunar mission?

96 It felt like the workforce rolled their eyes at the announcement that we will return so soon, how to we adjust that culture?

89 How can we protect our long term human spaceflight plans from rapid changes like this? We cannot start from scratch again.

86 What are the plans for “accelerating SLS” when it seems that the delays are heavily tied to a single piece (core stage).

85 Our proposed budget does not seem to sync with what the VP directed us to do. Did we not coordinate with the White House?

83 What do you see as the most important potential benefits from a 2024 Nuclear Thermal Propulsion flight demonstration?

79 The continued drumbeat of ever more restrictive Information Technology rules makes it ever more difficult to do our jobs. There seems to be no understanding or appreciation for what the scientists and engineers of NASA actually use their computers for or how new rules might impact them. Can you set up some kind of process such that the people who will actually be impacted by new rules can give feedback while they are still in the formulation process? Otherwise we will get to what seems to be the ideal goal, no one at NASA uses any computers at all and the job of regulating them is finally done.

73 There hasn’t been any new planetary spacesuits since Apollo, will the spacesuit sector be getting more resources?

69 If our time is valuable, and these Town Halls are valuable, why not publish transcripts, or at least detailed summaries?

66 NASA earth science has been absent from major budget announcements. Does HQ plan to support this work and how?

61 Two weeks ago we were going to the moon in 2020 to create a campaign talking point for the Trump reelection campaign. But since that wasn’t feasible now we are going to the moon in 5 years to create a talking point for a Pence campaign. Is your NASA going to have a strategic plan to achieve national goals or is your NASA just a tool for individual’s campaigns?

60 What will be the frequency of manned launches to the Moon? What is the ultimate goal? To build a surface base ? Timeline?

57 What can NASA do to raise the profile of it’s non-manned work? It seems all Congress judges us by is the ISS and SLS.

57 Respectfully, how will you as NASA’s leader ensure that in our excitement to go back to the moon in 5 years that NASA does not create mistakes, missteps or shortcuts with this tremendous urgency which we so painfully learned from the tragic 1986 Challenger accident and 2003 Columbia accident?

57 At the National Space Council meeting, there was an undertone of a threat that if Boeing doesn’t get its act together on the SLS core stage, other commercial means would be used to achieve this Moon to Mars goal. Many of us have labored long hours, for years, in order to get us to where we are today to achieve the dream of human exploration of Mars (and the moon, again) via the SLS. What assurance is there that we haven’t wasted those years away on a project that, yet again, will die on the vine before it reaches fruition?

55 The president has declined to give us a pay raise, yet wants us to go to the Moon in 5 years. Is this fair?

54 Is there a plan for the ISS to coexist with Gateway, being that they will share many of the same resources?

53 What would it take for SLS and/or Orion to be replaced by commercially developed rockets and spacecraft?

51 If Gateway is necessary to land astronauts on the moon by 2024, how soon can we expect to see a large effort begin to develop it?

51 Keeping in mind that the primary contractor for the SLS is Boeing, whose most popular airliner is grounded right now due to rushing and lack of oversight funding for the FAA leading to over 300 deaths, considering that the Trump budget proposal dramatically slashes NASA funding over the next 5 years and Boeing was just looking at a 2028 launch, four years later than what Pence just mandated, what are the chances the SLS will have a sensor malfuction and dive uncontrollably straight down to Earth, killing all of the astronauts onboard? Has anybody actually studied what agile development is really about? Really to pull off any real technical feat, you need effective, structured, multilateral communication with the good, bad, and ugly communicated, so solutions can be found and implemented. You can’t rely on the fly fixing these issues 300,000 miles from Earth by rushing out new, fixed hardware because what is onboard was never built right. Where is the real leadership? Why does it always seem to be “I am the hot stuff and I tell you what to do from the top down” and “my people handle this, not yours”, not let’s realistically coordinate a community of people to collectively get this thing figured out and built with all of the best minds effectively getting the best ideas out there and implemented so this thing will really work and work well? I haven’t seen this since Apollo when they let Wernher von Braun design the rocket and even at this they never allowed him to explore his particular ideas on reusing parts of the rocket, which he always wanted to do. So everything since has been sub-optimal, overly expensive, and even dangerous as evident by two whole shuttle crew loses and the shuttle ultimately cancelled because the design could not be made safe nor could it be made cheaper like SpaceX’s Falcon 9, which by the way why are we ignoring their efforts funding wise in recent years as they actually do implement good ideas in their rockets. So it is like we gave them a chance, they proved themselves, now we are ignoring them and not funding them on their bigger effort to get to full re-usability. Again I don’t see leadership and I would like to know what you are going to do to really lead this agency?

50 How about just collecting questions and send out your answers? Perhaps weekly? Why spend on the time on a live performance?

49 How do you expect this new 5-year goal of returning men and women to the lunar surface affect the Space Policy Directive 1 goal of building a “sustainable program”?

47 During Apollo, we only had one Program and were able to focus on the one Goal to get to the Moon. How will we be able to do the same today with 4 simultaneous Programs going?

45 I suspect that the new Moon to Mars Directorate is part of the plan to get to the moon in 5 years. What is the scope and who is the leadership of this new mission directorate? What programs, projects, and activities will be placed in the new mission directorate?

45 Administrator Bridenstine, it is very dismaying to see so many comments and questions for the Torn Hall that are negative in tone and unenthusiastic about the Trump administration’s goal of landing American astronauts on the Lunar South Pole by 2024. The Vice President’s message to change our mindset and adopt a sense of urgency has been drowned out by skepticism, apathy, and self-interest. Be assured, not all of the NASA workforce is unenthusiastic about this call to action. I am with you. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for NASA to demonstrate it still has the Right Stuff and can deliver amazing results on a schedule. The Lunar South Pole is the most valuable real estate in the Solar System, outside of Earth itself. If the United States does not seize the initiative and get there first, other nations will, and that will determine the future course of space exploration and settlement for the next century or more. NASA has the necessary technology to accomplish the mission, but our culture has stagnated. People are too complacent, too comfortable, and too cautious, not too mention feeling entitled. We are very privileged to work at NASA and our level of commitment should reflect that. It’s not about endless analyses, architecture studies, meetings, and PowerPoints. It’s about flying where no one else can, landing on other worlds, exploring and developing those worlds for the benefit of the United States. If NASA cannot step up to this accelerated mission to the Moon and get it done in five years, then it no longer deserves the mission assignment and has outlived its usefulness. On July 29 of this year, NASA will turn 61 years old. Have we become too old and ossified in our thinking to recognize real opportunities when they are right on front of us? We suffered for nearly a decade with a meandering and pointless “Journey to Mars” that set a vague goal of landing on Mars decades in the future, or maybe an asteroid, or maybe collect a space rock, or….something. The Moon, clearly the most realistic next step, was dismissed as passé by the previous administration. Now we have a realistic mission with a strategic purpose that will align with the goals of our international partners and commercial space companies. NASA may never get another clear-cut, near-term, and achievable opportunity like this, with very strong support from the Executive and Legislative Branches of government, a President and Vice President who “get it”, and an Administrator with the vision to inspire the workforce. The skeptics and naysayers should read your American Space Renaissance Act from 2016. I do not envy your task of changing the entrenched institutional culture, which fears change. Many have staked their careers on the continuation of the status quo. Mediocre federal agencies do things to spend money. NASA should spend money to do incredible things. Will this generation of NASA civil servants and contractors be remembered as the ones who opened the space frontier for the United States, or the ones how couldn’t get it done and let down the nation?

44 How long are workers at KSC going to work 60 hour weeks in violation of maximum work time rules before we get more support?

43 Is the completed Gateway integral to achieving the landing in 5 years? If so, how are we going to accomplish both in that timeframe?

42 While any strict deadline can be a galvanizing force, is there a rationale for the 2024 target beyond presidential politics?

40 What are your plans for collaborating with ESA, as they are on track to go to the Moon as well, with their Moon Village?

40 When can we see the plan for how NASA will get astronaut boots on the surface of the moon in 5 years?

38 Since time is a precious resource in this endeavor, is there be a way to protect the agency from another political furlough?

36 A politician came to Florida and told the Shuttle workers that we shouldn’t worry about being laid off after Shuttle. I was laid off after Shuttle. I recently got a job with SLS. Should I worry about being laid off again?

36 What prompted this abrupt course change?

34 While one or more NASA centers might play a dominant role, would the remaining NASA centers be given opportunity to contribute to the moon project?

34 With current heritage hardware constraints we are limited to 8 SLS missions due to limited solid rocket booster structures and only 3-4 missions if the new RS-25 engine assembly line does not spin up on time. As we have learned from the Core Stage development these things take time to develop and qualify. With your planned launch cadence of 1 per year, we would run out of hardware by 2027. What is the long term plan to overcome these hardware constraints and how will you assure proper time for the design/development/testing phase for critical new items while maintaining a launch cadence?

32 When do we expect to see the updated manifest for this new goal of landing humans on the moon by 2024?

32 I have a concept for a Moon 2024 Alternative Mission Architecture that can affordably place two American astronauts at the Lunar South Pole before November 5th, 2024, uses proven technology, provides an important reconnaissance of lunar ice deposits, and does not rely on major increases in funding. Who should I send my presentation to so that it will receive serious consideration?

32 The prospect of such an exciting Mission and real direction is refreshing to many at NASA! To accomplish such ambitious goals, it would makes the most sense to utilize a skilled workforce that has experience in Manned Space Flight, such that the learning curve is small and appropriate safety culture is honored. That being said, at KSC, we are still losing daily the extremely skilled workforce that once served us on the Space Shuttle Program due to major reductions in compensation (pay and benefits). What will NASA do in future Contract RFP’s and Awards to ensure that the workforce doesn’t have to take another 20-40% pay cut to stay with the dream that they’ve devoted their life to, all so that the bidding companies come in cheaper?

32 Why is NASA not helping fund the development of SpaceX’s BFR, accelerating its ability to backup/compliment SLS? Wouldn’t that lead to a more capable and durable exploration program?

31 How can we work on two new programs, Gateway and a Lunar Lander, while we are behind in cost and schedule with SLS and Orion?

30 What is the rationale behind not flying EM-1 on commercial rockets?

28 When is NASA planning on rescheduling the first all female space walk for?

27 Will NASA continue to support SMA management who are actively hiding negative safety issues?

26 The VP said we shouldn’t cling to the status quo, but our plans still cling to SLS/Orion, what are we doing different?

26 Are the Gateway and the Lunar Robotic Missions still being considered after the release of the 2024 Manned Lunar Surface Landing?

25 If I was given the 5 years to the moon mandate, my first steps would be to create and colocate (outside the beltway) a formulation team with a relatively small number of smart, experienced, tough folks representing NASA, IPs and key commercial partners, and tell the mission support orgs to make them successful – what is your first step?

25 Do you plan to protect funding for various small research projects while carrying out this megaproject?

25 Will divestment from existing programs or centers be required in order to support the new mission?

25 How is this redirection any different from what the last four administrations have done? What makes you think this initiative will be successful?

25 Rockets in the late fifty’s were relatively simple. They fell over and blew up regularly. For every problem found – safety systems were created. As we learned more about getting men and women to space, every safety issue created more safety features. Now to man-rate the SLS we have so many safety features to stop the rocket from falling over and blowing up that modern computers have trouble keeping up. This rocket is being created in a much different safety environment than Apollo. Do we skip some tests and eliminate some quad redundant safety systems to get to the moon in 5 yrs?

24 How many Astronauts will be launched to the Moon in 2024? Will they leave any hardware or habitat for following missions?

24 If we adopt a more aggressive risk posture for EM-1 and EM-1 fails, will we have the support to learn and try again on EM-2?

23 The VP indicated we’re in a space race with the Russians and Chinese. The Soviets/Russians have never had a manned flight beyond LEO, and the Chinese haven’t had a manned flight in years. How are we in a space race with them?

23 Going back to the moon will certainly spark public interest in NASA, but are there significant science goals in this mission?

23 Can you ensure that funding for these goals will not be taken from, let’s say, Earth Sciences? Or STEM engagement?

22 Will NASA increase budget for AI and Deep Learning research? AI researchers are on demand and need to give them high salary.

22 The announcement of the accelerated return to the Moon has already caused funding to be discontinued for very important and low cost projects that are not related to this effort. Is this part of the “use any means necessary” approach? Will NASA be sacrificing other important and much more cost effective unmanned spaceflight projects to solely focus on the return to the Moon?

22 Can you ensure that protection and safety measures will not have their corners cut for the ambitious timeline?

22 Which programs and resources will be ended in order for us to be able to focus on going back to the moon?

22 Why is NASA Aeronautics budget only 3-4 % of budget (depending on congressional markup). Aeronautics is directly contributing to improve life via reducing emissions and improving transportation in the foreseeable future showing immediate tangible benefits to humanity, which cannot be said about the space program. Shouldn’t Aeronautics be given higher priority ?

21 In past Town Halls, you gave excellent examples of how NASA is benefiting the world. Can a written version be provided?

21 Will you please remove hiring restrictions between NASA Centers to allow experienced manned system personnel to return to JSC

21 How do you plan to change NASA’s government bureaucracy to enable faster decision-making? We need decision-making at the LOWEST level.

21 Why is the moon and mars our priority when the IPCC said we have 11 years to transform our society to stop climate change?

20 Why are the programs proceeding with PPBE, rather than declaring an agency wide stop and providing new direction for planning?

20 What is your goal for the percentage of effort involved in meeting the 5-year goal challenge being performed by civil service vs. contract employees?

20 What opportunities are available to help develop early career employees.

20 You have said that the President’s FY20 Budget request (which was just released a few weeks ago) for NASA is insufficient to meet the 2024 goal of returning to the moon. Why is this? Was the goal to land on the moon in 2024 an after thought and not well thought out with Congress and the Administration?

20 One launch of SLS is projected to cost several times a SpaceX reusable LV. How sustainable is this?

19 What volume of space traffic is anticipated for a long term moon station, and where will these rockets be launched from?

19 VP Pence talked about a “reorganization” of the Agency; was he referring to the re-org already proposed in FY20 — creation of the Moon to Mars MD?

19 How do we prevent this “go fever” from introducing new risks by cutting testing and pushing the workforce to do more with less?

18 With the recent discoveries of many Habitable Zone planets through the Kepler and TESS missions, shouldn’t NASA be preparing deep-space missions in the Vein of Voyager and New Horizons, to explore these new-found planets?

17 Given the greater acceptance of risk, has a number been provided for acceptable losses?

16 A suggestion: Ask each Center what they can do to help get US astronauts to the moons surface in 5 years. Ask both Center leadership AND the grass roots.

16 Does “any means necessary” include the funding required to execute the early return to the Moon?

16 VP made clear: w/new Moon goal, Mission>>Means; yet current Gateway NOT mandatory. Will you accept non-Gateway options-Y/N?

16 It seems to be obvious to everyone outside NASA that proposed cislunar Gateway actually makes returning to the Moon harder and take longer while symbolizing everything mediocre about NASA. Now that the focus has returned to permanent lunar surface presence – something which will be far more useful – will the Gateway finally be put out of its misery?

16 SLS means little to the public. Will the new vehicle be given a more dynamic name before launch, like Daedalus or Jupiter?

16 Which NASA centers are slated to work on the moon project?

16 Can we have a ‘down arrow’ to vote against bad questions on here?

16 Why are these scientists asking these esoteric questions that have nothing to do with executing the mission the VP outlined?

15 An accelerated effort to but USA astronaut boots on the moon in 5 years will required extra funding this fiscal year. Is this possible?

15 Which Orion Mission, i.e. EM-3, 4, etc., is anticipated to be the one for the moon landing?

14 Will the 2024 lunar landing mission be the beginning of a sustained presence on the Moon or a “flags and footprints” mission?

14 How are we approaching crew gender inclusivity in our lunar return efforts? Are we requiring design for women, too?

14 Who is going to launch Europa Clipper?

14 What’s the expected service life of SLS given it’s been in development for a decade and uses some outdated Shuttle hardware.

14 What can/will you do to promote NASA as an autism-friendly place to work and minimize the current discrimination against autistic employees?

14 Is it financially better for NASA to have contractors rather than having government employees? Is it fair to employees?

14 Can we get a Taco Bell in the cafeteria? We need more than Subway and Sonnys.

13 Time and time again this administration has demonstrated that it does not have public support for many of it’s core policies. How will the administration promote this to both sides of the aisle in these divided times and what will keep it going beyond 2020/2024?

13 With our “bold vision” to go to the moon in 5 years, will you make the bold move to push for using SLS funding to support commercial launchers?

13 How can an agency that can’t manage to provide spacesuits to female astronauts who are already on ISS hope to get back to the moon?

13 Why don’t you focus more on voted on questions that hundreds of people are asking rather than asking people in the crowd?

12 Can we take a step back and offer the President a few different acceleration options to return to the Moon? 5 yrs, 7 yrs…

12 I believe we can, without new $, establish a sustainable, growing human presence on the Moon in 5 years. But there’s no will, in NASA or stakeholders, to change. It’s like asking someone before the ’08 crisis to stop partying with the junk loans they benefit from. My Q: Have you considered chartering anyone to plan out the change, mostly assuming no new funding yet minimizing trauma.

12 Will we use partners to go back to the Moon?

12 The response of the agency, particularly line management, to the President’s bold and visionary challenge has been resistance, dismay, and skepticism. Clearly, a massive cultural change is needed. What measures can be taken to replace people who look for excuses to keep making Powerpoint slides with those who gratefully accept this bold new direction and have the competence to execute it?


11 Is there a technical justification to manned space missions? What can people do that robots cannot do ?

11 What is NASA’s role over the next decade in responding to catastrophic anthropogenic climate change?

11 If we send you questions or thoughts via email about agency level issues, will that feedback ever reach you, or be filtered?

10 How long will the first crew to return America to the Moon stay on the lunar surface and what size will this crew be?

10 With the accelerated emphasis on returning to the Moon by 2024, does Congress need to adjust NASA’s appropriations to support this objective?

10 How do we shape our future workforce to be educated and excited about our place in the universe and about working for NASA?

10 With the new push to the Moon within 5 years, what does that mean to the funding of flight operations in support of Earth Science and Aeronautics? Will we still have a mission?

10 What are we doing to get America and the media excited about this mission? The spacesuit story dominated headlines last week.

10 Is there a timeline for when the NASA FFRDC study results will be released? Is this part of the transformation that will be required to become a more agile workforce that has been alluded to?

10 Several years ago JSC built the Morpheus lander, which could be considered a subscale lunar lander, with a team of roughly 40 people who built the lander hands-on as an in-house project. While their landers were not full scale human landers, they were built in a short timeline for a very low cost. Would you consider using in-house teams like this to meet the 2024 human lunar lander deadline?

10 The culture and bureaucracy are the bigger hurdles than the fact we only have 1937 days to pull this off. It should be with renewed urgency we rise to the challenge and open the mindset to find the right players for the right segments via existing contracts (engineering services and others not the bloated cost plus budgetary albatrosses), BAAs, prizes and grand challenges. The normal procurement route is a non starter and will waste time we don’t have. Like Thor reigniting the Forge at Nidavellir we need to restart the engine of innovation that made this agency able to achieve great things but has since grown cold and frozen. We are in the endgame now either let complacency have us wither away or we once again become the shining beacon in the night sky of what humanity can accomplish when it puts it’s mind to it.

10 This administration submitted a budget in the past few months without dramatic increase in funding. Was this decision made after that budget was submitted?

9 What can we do to compete with commercial space capabilities in regards to lunar landings?

9 Apollo received significant support from preliminary exploration by unmanned vehicles (such as Ranger). Will we conduct quickly resume similar polar preliminary exploration, perhaps re-using Ame’s Modular Common Spacecraft Bus?

9 It was 5 years from Kennedy’s famous announcement to N. Armstrong’s small step on the Moon and they did this with less capable technology. We, NASA, have been working on parts, since 2011, for going to the Moon so we should have a head start. What technical and resource hurdles and solutions do you see for us, NASA, to make this happen within the 5 year goal?

9 Will the accelerated timeline for reaching the moon affect the timeline for getting to Mars?

9 What does the future of NASA’s hand in the International Space Station look like? Will NASA continue to work operations?

9 Rarely does an opportunity this bold come around in human history. If there is an organization on the planet that can do this, its NASA. The biggest challenge will be having the leadership needed to clean the deck for procurement changes, establish a culture that leverages Commercial entities and approached, and eliminates bloated self-levied processes that add little to no value. Based on the challenges, the current guidance given to the new DSG Program of uber-small staffing, exclusive use of NETS, and overly heavy matrixing, what updated authority will be given to the new PM to attract the most experienced, most capable people to this risky new program?

9 Do you expect a new call for new spacesuit design proposals based on the sizing issues we had week?

9 Over the past two decades, NASA’s primary flagship goal has changed several times, between the Moon, Mars, and asteroids. How will NASA focus on its goals such that politcal changes don’t scrap our hard work and change our mission before we have to opportunity to be successful?

9 Are you who you say you are?

9 VP kept talking about “urgency”. Other than POTUS and VPOTUS’s elections, what is the real urgency that drives 2020 for EM-1 “test” flight and 2024 for Gateway and now Landing.

9 A big threat to achieving the new lunar objectives is that many of NASAs employees do not believe it can deliver on time within budget because of recent history. For example, SpaceX would never have been able it achieve what it has if its employees didn’t believe it was possible. What are we going to do to rekindle NASA employee’s belief that we can do this and invigorate the workforce to move quickly and effectively towards the goals.

9 To ensure that the next generation is prepared to be the next generation of scientists engineers and professionals that will carry out NASA’s missions, we need to engage, inspire and educate this generation. What can be done to stop continuing efforts to zero out NASA’s education budget item?

8 What is your view on the funding and technical synergy of near term robotic missions to Mars and the longer term human missions to Mars?

8 To save time on building and launching all of Gateway, could we not use some of the ISS Modules?

8 Will we be strengthening planetary protection and international relations/transparency to ensure private industries don’t cut safety corners?

8 What strategy/power do you have to make any changes at NASA given politicians’ push to retain jobs in their states/districts?

8 Given the aggressive deadline to bring so many elements together in 5 years and with the SD # 1 of also making our return to the Moon sustainable , how will your plan approach this challenge so that it’s not Apollo like and short lived?

8 What will happen with aeronautics if we utilize all of our resources on human space exploration?

8 I hear little mention of the science rationale of why NASA has been directed to return to the moon. Instead I hear militaristic terms like “boots on the ground.”

8 It’s not a backslash! Please stop saying that. Here is a forward slash, aka “slash”: /. Here is a backslash: \. URLs use the former and not the latter.

7 As an intern pursuing a dream of working in space exploration (in some form) with NASA. I have noticed that major players in industry use ML/AI to optimize operations and accelerate discovery. At NASA it seems the process of exploring how best to utilize ML/AI is in progress. How will you fit this with the lunar goals and NASA’s future in general?

7 Would it be worth it to announce a list of possible opportunities for manufacturing that would be best performed in cislunar? If this return to the Moon is to be sustainable I would think corporations should have possible projects in consideration to immediately move to take advantage. Not just “We are going back to the Moon”… and that’s it.

7 I think the new mission directorate should be given real authority and responsibility to sort this all out (I bet that’s what VP Pence thinks). We need to move ALL the $ for Return to the Moon into the new directorate and transfer the corresponding budget and knowledgeable folks from HEOMD, SD, and STMD. I think there needs to be a single technical decision maker (Head of the new MD) for this to have a decent chance of working. Like Von Braun in Apollo. It wouldn’t have worked the first time if we had as many disparate points of view and decision-making orgs as we have now. Will you consider doing this?

7 You said we’d have a review of commercial rocket options for EM-1 this week, but HEOMD is saying we’re going to use SLS, no matter what. What’s the right answer?

7 How old are you?

7 Testing public access

7 Why is this on April Fools Day?

7 Will the unaddressed questions be answered in written form later on?

6 Given that SLS and Orion are being developed under contracts, what flexibility do you have to change the mission architecture?

6 The goal to land astronauts on the Moon within 5 years is bold and inspiring. Thanks to you and the Administration for providing leadership and vision to our space program. As part of this effort, how do you foresee NASA infrastructure, such as SCaN networks, especially the Deep Space Network, adjusting to support the demands of the new human lunar activities, while keeping up with current demands to support robotic spacecraft across the Solar System and beyond? Will these assets be upgraded and expanded to support the new goals?

6 Is WFIRST funding going to be slowed down for any reason (e.g. to focus resources on getting JWST off the ground)?

6 NASA’s contractors have lost confidence with the public. How do we make SLS/Orion favorable again before EM-1 Launch?

6 When will one of these events start at the advertised time?

6 Why are you sending astronauts to the moon?

6 Does this accelerated timeline mean the agency is changing its risk posture to human space flight, and does the uncrewed EM1 have permission to fail?

6 You stated “anything that isn’t mandatory is a distraction”. I’ve heard several folks state that they think you’re referring to MAP. Do you view MAP as a distraction?

6 What is a space fence?

6 Will the work be evenly distributed among the NASA centers?

5 Can you share any details about how to apply to participate in the Bed Rest/Sleep Study that NASA is co-sponsoring with Germany? I am getting inquiries as people are interested in being a part of the study.

5 With SLS running behind schedule, shouldn’t NASA be doing an outreach to retired “hands-on” employees for oversight and assistance with regard to both External Tank and Solid Rocket Booster processing?

5 How will the new lunar plans change the on-going space-suit work at Johnson Space Center?

5 I joined NASA to work on exactly this type of mission, sign me up! When selecting the Moon to Mars team please pass over those persons who have forgotten the NASA can do spirit.


5 Will the going to the back to the moon goal compromise the NASA Earth Science mission and budget?

5 Does “by any means necessary” mean that you are at last going to accept that SLS is an expensive boondoggle and should be left by the wayside?

5 Will the private industry be tapped to reach this lunar goal, or are all bets on SLS and Orion?

5 What data do you hope to gain from this mission that may help with going to Mars?

5 Can you talk about the Moon to Mars directorate and who will lead that organization?

5 How many astros will go and how long will they spend on the surface of the moon?

5 What technology do you plan to use for this mission?

5 In order to accomplish NASA’s mission & ensure personnel moral remains intact, will contractors receive back-pay?

5 What are your thoughts on consolidating NASA centers down to 4-5 to reduce cost and increase productivity?

5 People keep selling moon water but we only truly know there are signatures in the ppm range. How will we prove quantities?

5 So we looking at melting the Lunar Polar Ice Caps for fuel and LS? Isn’t that the problem we are dealing with on Earth?

5 The Vice President said we need to look at doing things differently. We are a capable agency with an amazing workforce. We are often hobbled or crippled by too much process and out of date work practices from the 1960’s. How are we going to look at doing things differently? How can we harness the best ideas of our workforce?

5 Could you give insight of what programming languages NASA is planning to use for their moon technology.

5 In 1962 it took just seven yrs to “put a man on the moon”. With 50 years worth of advances in tech why is it taking so long.

5 What immediate returns, to people on Earth, come from this rapid return of humans to the surface of the moon? Cost worthy?

5 Will NASA redirect funding from its other mission areas to pay for Moon and Mars?

5 The goal to go to the moon in 5 years seems unachievable when it takes an inordinate amount of time to conduct basic day to day operations, including hiring people (can take a year!), order products with an IT component (which is practically everything these days…I’ve seen delays in ordering a presentation pointer due to the need for an RFI), etc. How do we open the way to accelerate these basic functions, to in turn enable the larger goal of reaching the moon in 5 years?

5 How are we going to protect the Moon from miss-use, from contamination, from the many things we have done to our earth that have had negative impacts? What is the Plan?

5 Will there be more civil servant job openings with this new goal, and directorate?

4 With such a task (Moon & Mars); Will NASA be able to provide a safe computer network from a Cyber Security Standpoint?

4 Are you following the progress of SpaceX’s Starship Hopper prototype? Is there a test payload it could launch for NASA?

4 “any means necessary” = green screens, augmented reality, harnesses and CGI

4 Clearly we don’t have a way to get to the Moon without commercial partners – why not just let go entirely? It’s still US.

4 Can you go into detail on what options are being considered for accelerating SLS development?

4 If we really want to make it by 2024, will we have a primary and a backup plan with diff designs. Competition incentives.

4 People keep selling lunar propellant production but there are NO in-space cryogenic propellant systems in existence-No users.

4 Moderator needs to turn off her mic while not talking. We keep hearing her laugh while the Administrator is talking.

4 What is the long term plan for exactly WHAT we are doing on the moon? If this is not answered this will just be a flag event.

4 …feels like an April’s Fool prank….

4 Can we simply hire SpaceX to go to the Lunar Pole for us? And then we can stick a NASA sticker on the outside?

4 Should NASA be focused on climate change instead of going back to the moon?

3 LRO remains a critical part of our return to the Moon. What are the plans for additional assets to support human return?

3 How much do you plan on bilking the US taxpayers for this next hoax?

3 What is the importance of claiming rights to precious metals on the moon before other governments?

3 How NASA ensure that our Small Business Partners are part of the plan to get back to the Moon?

3 Hi, I’m Manish! One of the crucial aspects of that is mining water on the Moon that would provide the fuel to propel us on to Mars?

3 What role do you see lunar skylight exploration and characterization playing in near and medium term exploration of the moon?

3 Should we continue to reorganize mission support activities considering these new policies contain additional unknown hurdles/ challenges?

3 Where did the telemetry data from the man landings go?????

3 Will Human Systems Integration and Human Factors Engineering take a lead role in developing the technology to return to the moon, on to mars and beyond?

3 What really is holding us up from launching Orion/SLS? (will we be able to at least launch w/astronauts to orbit in 5 yrs?)

3 Considering we’re now planning to go back to the Moon within 5 years, are we also now planning calls for new NASA astronauts?

3 In order to “mine” resources on the moon, what power source will be used? Water ice can be converted to H and O2, but what energy will need to be transported to the moon to start the process?

3 What metrics of technologies,systems,and events will give administration and public confidence for moon in five years?

3 What architecture are we going to use to get to the lunar surface in 2024?

3 Have you ever watched Eric Johnson (@ej_sa) on twitch?

3 “The old carpenter asked me if I really believed it [the moon landings] happened. I said sure, I saw it on television. He disagreed; he said that he didn’t believe it for a minute, that ‘them television fellers’ could make things look real that weren’t. Back then, I thought he was a crank. During my eight years in Washington, I saw some things on TV that made me wonder if he wasn’t ahead of his time “ – Bill Clinton

3 What is your definition of “Sustainability” and how will its application be applied, measured and assured?

3 Our NPRs specify our agency processes as requirements. Is there an intent to do things different than our established procedures??

3 VP said the mission over the means – I think this should include a new acceptance of risk (and astronaut safety). Apollo met their deadlines because they accepted risks that we – simply put – are no longer willing to take. Rockets fail, we should be ok with that to some level – a level that allows us to learn and move on. I don’t want astronauts to die, but if the mission is the priority then you minimize the risk within the budget and time you have and you move on. Coming from the military, I think you understand this. Apollo would not have been a success without the sacrifice of the men we lost in Apollo 1. NASA learned so very much from that failure and the resultant vehicles were re-designed BETTER because of it. Saying Risk/Safety is paramount is to cripple us to continuing to spend forever in design and analysis. Pick a date, give us the funding, and then make the safest system we can to do the mission.

3 Choosing any moon site with the goal of resource usage means you have to know with 95% confidence that they exist. Proof?

3 When is the next call for NASA astronauts?

3 The geology and environment of the Moon and Mars are completely different and thus the technology demonstration is limited.

2 Idea: Use B2 Spirit technology meshed with F-22 Raptor technology for the ejection system which would have the multi function of a lunar jump shuttle to take off, move around and land on the moon for exploration as well as having defense capabilities.

2 Will NASA ever use the slow approach Moon Orbit intercept to save on cost?

2 Can you please comment on how the proposed Communication Services Program, which effectively mandates migrating our space and ground network infrastructure to commercial managed services, will relate to current programs like SCaN and NASCOM? Thank you.

2 How will this mission affect the MAP Transition for Human Resources? Is the agency looking to hire more contractors or CS?

2 Re: Moon to Mars Directorate as being a proposal submitted to Congress. Can you explain which programs would be part of this?

2 Will NASA immediately start working on creating an environment on the Moon where a human can continuously live for several years?

2 The trade space of launch options are all old, old technical issues that mission designers have known for many decades

2 How does the Administration feel about staying a lunar night? If that’s not in five years, then when?

2 Landing at a site on the moon that does not have PROVEN volumes of resources makes the landing a waste. How to prove this?

2 NASA released a plan for humans landing on the moon in 2028 with a descent element demonstration landing in 2024, an unscrewed demonstration landing in 2026. Is the plan to eliminate demonstration missions and go straight to a human mission in 2024?

2 Will all the humans being put on the Moon be degreed Geologists? If not, what exactly will astronauts be doing there?


2 Sir, We desperately need a new Fire Station 1 at KSC. Please Help!

1 What are the current estimated volumes and timelines for the extraction of water, from the moon, back to Earth?

SpaceRef staff editor.