NASA prepares for life after space shuttles
Unveils plan to open NASA offices to oversee commercial development of space taxis
Computerworld - As NASA's shuttle program nears its end, the space agency is working hard to lay out a roadmap for the post-shuttle era.
The effort includes the opening of an office at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to oversee NASA's new strategy of issuing contracts for what essentially will be commercially built space taxis that will ferry astronauts to the International Space Station and possibly to the moon.
The NASA plan, which still requires congressional approval, calls for creating new program that will oversee the commecial development of heavy lift rockets, rocket propulsion technology, and advanced robotics systems, the space agency said.
"These assignments build on the deep knowledge and expertise that NASA has developed during five decades," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, in a statement. "They recognize our work force's wealth of experience and commitment, and the specialties already existing at the NASA field centers."
The new NASA plan, which was unveiled to the public yesterday, comes about two months after the release of President Barack Obama's 2011 federal budget proposal.
The Obama budget plan calls for eliminating a NASA project aimed at returning humans to the moon by 2020. Instead, the budget calls for NASA to join with commercial firms to develop new engines, in-space fuel depots and robots that can venture into space.
Obama's plan for NASA has been met with opposition from some members of Congress and from people living in areas housing NASA facilities.
The space shuttle program is currently slated to end in September, though NASA's Office of the Inspector General late last month said the deadline is unlikely to be met. The NASA office said it may take until the second quarter of next year to complete the final four planned space shuttle mission, including the Discovery mission now underway.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Government IT in Computerworld's Government IT Topic Center.
- 20 Best iPhone/iPad Games of 2013
- Google Chromebook Buyer's Guide
- 10 Signs You're Probably a Techie
- 8 Things Kindle Fire HDX Does That iPad Air Can't
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
Not that Sarah Connor, you fool.
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is on a robot buying spree. And nobody knows why. Amid worries of Skynet, there's also talk of elder care and nuclear cleanup. Whatever the company's plans, we'd better get used to this new reality. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers speculate to acclimate.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Bring Networks and Applications Closer--Cisco ONE
- A series of sweeping trends is placing new requirements on the tried-and-true network model--requiring network infrastructure and applications to communicate. Get the open...
- Lippis Research Reviews the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X
- In this Lippis Report Research Note, Lippis Research reviews the latest edition of the "most popular access switch on the planet" -- the...
- Design Guide--Scaling Up to a Campus-Wide LAN
- Is it time to scale your network environment to a campus wired LAN? Here's the framework you need to set up your LAN...
- Comprehensive Security: Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- With a rich and comprehensive set of security features, Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches can help you address networking megatrends such...
- Be Energy Efficient--The Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- How much energy could be saved if all 230 million Layer 2 and 3 fixed managed switch ports sold in 2012 were as... All Government IT White Papers
- How SIEM Addresses the Challenges of Big Security Data This webcast will help you understand today's big data security challenges and how intelligent and scalable SIEM solutions give IT the tools and...
- BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 In Action Designed for business leaders, IT decision-makers and IT administrators, this webcast features organizations that have migrated to BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 - or...
- BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 Implementation Solutions - BlackBerry Technical Services to Make your Deployment Fast, Effective and Robust Find out how BlackBerry® implementation and migration services can help you optimize your Enterprise Mobility Management infrastructure and ease your transition to BlackBerry®...
- BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5 to BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 - Lifting The Hood This webcast takes a close look at the differences between BlackBerry Enterprise® Service 10 and BlackBerry® Enterprise Server 5. Learn how BlackBerry Enterprise...
- BlackBerry 10 Tips and Tricks from the Pros Find out how advanced users do more, faster, with their BlackBerry® 10 devices - with tips and tricks on using the swipe and...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 20, 2013.