Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are being criticized for a deal they struck with NASA to base a VIP Boeing 767-200 and two Gulfstream Vs at the space agency's Moffett Field, minutes away from Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Moffett Field was transferred from the Navy to NASA in the early 1990s, but community opposition has prevented expanding the airport's use to general aviation or air cargo operations.
An appropriations bill approved by the House of Representatives shortly before Congress adjourned for its summer recess contains increases for NASA aeronautics research, along with hikes for exploration and earth and space sciences.
The Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) is calling on the Bush Administration to develop a vision for aeronautics similar to the one proposed recently by the President for space exploration.
“The most spectacular enhancements of life in the 21st century will be tied to discoveries made in research and development for aerospace,” said Clayton Jones, chairman, president and CEO of Rockwell Collins.
While the Aerospace Industries Association calls for more money for aeronautics research and development, the Bush White House wants a NASA budget that would slash funding for this type of work.
The first “A” in NASA stands for “aeronautics,” a fact often overlooked in day-to-day discussions of and references to what most people regard solely as the “space” agency.
While most of NASA is reaching for the stars, the segment of the agency that conducts aeronautics research here on earth has taken a budget cut for the second consecutive year following President Bush’s initiative to expand the exploration of space.
Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) president and CEO John Douglass said the National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy released late last year includes the tools necessary to revive federal aeronautics programs, but it must be backed up with money.
With White House budget cuts restored by Congress, NASA is returning to its roots by restructuring its aeronautics research mission directorate to emphasize cutting-edge fundamental research, as well as protecting its far-flung test facilities as national assets.
NASA once sprinkled its research monies throughout “a field of 1,000 flowers,” some of which would blossom. In coming budget years, the U.S. agency’s Aeronautical Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) has far fewer seeds to sow. This October, the ARMD will release the recommendations of its strategic roadmap committee (SRC) for research plantings out to year 2025, shifting from broad cultivation to a narrow circle of cash crops.
NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) recently marked its 30th anniversary. Established in 1975 under a memorandum of understanding with the FAA, the program has received more than 474,000 reports from flight crews, air traffic controllers, mechanics and others. According to ASRS officials, no reporter’s identity has been breached and no reporter has been prosecuted solely on the basis of the information reported.