tv NASA 60th Anniversary CSPAN July 23, 2018 1:05pm-2:36pm EDT
certainly pervasive across the country. >> i will turn it over for some closing remarks and we can do some yoga stretches at the end to round it out. >> thank you, and join me in thanking the wonderful group of speakers. and the four of you, this is the award for the crispest presentations of the day and sharp commentary and you have brought us to a wonderful conclusi conclusion. i know that you have to vote. thank you for taking the time. i won't summarize a long day of talk, but what you have seen is that rising leaders and people who are fighting for the health care and fighting for the kind of things that the public manifestly needs, and you know, if we can just get the agenda right, and take the big ton approach, we will find that this type of politics is the basis of which we can build new majorities around the country,
and start placing the seats in the red and the purple zone, because the alternative -- mc we will leave the last couple of minutes of con vversation that u can find online and take you to center of strategic conversation with nasa with jim bridenstine. >> and i would like to introduce jim bridenstine from oklahoma, and confirmed by the house of representatives, and he is just back to oklahoma and we are grateful that he came back for this service today. he flew combat missions in iraq and afghanistan, and he has also got a degree from rice university and mba from cornell, and following the keynote
address todd harrison who directs the a aerospace securities program will lead a panel. after all of that, we will invite everyone to join us for some birthday cake to celebrate nasa's 60th anniversary. and without further ado, please welcome administrator bridenstine. >> thank you. thank you, kathleen, for that nice introduction. and thank you for all you do for c ciss because the center of international strategic studies is is very important to us. i have spoken to this group as a member of congress and asset
administrator and it is an honor to be here in the new capacity in which i serve. i also want to start by letting everybody know that it is a little bit humbling for me to stand before this audience and have in my audience former nasa administrators sean o'keefe and charlie boldin and both of whom have served this country very well, and i'm so grateful to have the opportunity to to occupy an office once held by both of you. the shoes are very big, and i'm going to do the best i can to fill them. so thank you, guys, for your service as well. so, here we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of nasa. we are doing it at cics for organizations like the united
states of america. i will start by going back in a time a little bit. and how about the year 1915 and a lot of people don't realize that nasa had the start really a long time ago under an organization called national advisory committee on ae aeronautics. it was started in 1915 as a way in world war i to align academic institutions with the industry and the government in order to take advantage of aeronautics to ultimately win world war i. and to be clear in 1915 when it was created, i read this just this morning because i found it a bit fascinating. they tried to pass a bill in 1913 and drop ad bill in the house and the senate and identical cal language and tried to pass it through congress in 1913. and it failed. they could not et g it to pass. couple of years later in 1915, they actually shoved it into a
naval appropriation bill which made me think, that is interesting. that is how we do it today. if you are trying to get something passed and you can't get it done as a stand alone bill, you shove it into another bill that is guaranteed to pass and you voila have accomplish ed the objective and nobody knows it is done untilf a it is done. interestingly, i have had a little bit of experience with that as the american renaissance act that i dropped with the bill for the united states of america that i knew was a bill that had little chance of passing, but i knew full well it would be the are repository for best ideas of space reform and we could get parts of the bill pass ed ed in other legislation and we had a lot of success in doing that over to the course of the last two to three years. so now, as the nasa administrator, and we are able to effect, you know a lot of the policies from the executive branch, which is interesting and
a great change of venue, if you will, from my perspective. and so, naaca got the start on the national advisory committee on aero nautic, and there were four centers across the country. one was langley which is still langley. and one is ames in the san francisco area which is still ames. there was the lewis flight research center which of course is now the glenn research center out in ohio. and then the armstrong flight research center which is even before it was dryden, and at the time it was called the mirok flight center, and ooso these four centers compose naca and the objective was to help academia, industry and government advance aeronautics in ways that they the did not think would happen. so what they started to do is to
make air foils. how do we make wings that can benefit the united states of america. eventually the mission changed to not just win world war i, but to ultimately advance aero nautic s nautic -- aeronautics both commercially and at that time it it was the first offset. and you understand that, because it is the first offset and the second offset and the third, and the language was not used there, but -- this is another one that you use here -- the qualitative military edge. qualitative technological edge is what they were trying to accomplish and they did not use the terms back then, but they started to designing the air foils and the the ferings, and these capabilities that ultimately produced aircraft that could produce much better than they previously had. one particular capability was the fering over the radio engine, and if you can remember the big radio engines and
thinking back to the t-6 texan and not the texan ii or the t-28 trojan and f-4 and you know, the massive radial engines, and they put the fering on it developed by naca and all of the sudden, it reduced the drag by 60%. it increased the air flow over to the engine and did a whole host of other things that ultimately made the aircraft perform so much better. so the fer inings on the big engines that you saw were developed by naca and gave the united states of america a big advantage for a good period of time. eventually, it was not just wings and ferings, but they developed wind tunnels and engine test stands, and they developed places to test flight. ultimately resulting in the c e capabilities that did give us a qualitative military edge. when it came to world war ii, naca got involved in, you know,
turbo charging internal combustion engine, and if you can imagine, when you are flying above 15,000 feet, and the performance of the engine actually declines. and well, how do we prevent that declination from happen ining? well, those engines that hall loued us to flying higher and faster, and using the b-17 and not the initial purpose of it, but used in the p-51s and a whole host of capabilities that gave us the edge in world war ii all of the way through to the end. again, it wasn't just, you know, superchar supercharged engines, and air foils, and naca continued to be very involved in the air foils. in fact, it was great britain that wanted a new fighter in order to be more effective in
world war ii and they went to north american aviation and they said that we'd like for you to develop us a new fighter. they came up with the p-40 tomahawk and great britain said, no, we need something to perform even at a higher level. so then they came to naca and the air foil that they wanted ultimately ended up being the air foil used by the p-51 mustang, which is of course, everybody understands was, you know, the superior aircraftt that particular time in history. so these are very strategic capabilities, and it is important to understand that at this time, and people didn't always say it, but whoever controls technology ultimately controls the balance of power on the planet. and that was never more true than immediately after world war ii. as the war was ending, a lot of people in the room are familiar with the yalta conference and it was on crimea, and it was
franklin dell nano roosevelt an winston churchill and joseph stalin on crimea and negotiating of how to secure the peace for the long term in europe. it ended up being how do we divide europe between east and west and ultimately how do we divide germany between east and west. and the russians had lost millions and millions of people in world war ii and so they decided that they wanted the biggest and the preponderance of the land in germany and claimed this big swath of land in eastern germany. this is what we learned as the war was concluding. that there was amazing technology in germany produced at the hands of the most ruthless and the brutal people in the world history, the nazis. it is a scary thought. but they had advanced
capabilities and technologies using human beings as guinea pigs. we are talking about some of the most grotesque wave of testing the very fierce weapon systems. and it is something that we can never allow to happen again, but the reality is that these technologies were there. and the question is who was going to control them? you had things like, well, chemical warfare. chemical and biological weapons had been developed an tested on human beings, and of course, everybody is familiar with the concentration camps and the jewish holocaust and familiar with some of the most, and it was not just the jews, but others and all kinds of prisoners of war from different campaigns across europe. at the end, here is the key
concern. they had developed technologies that included pressurized cabins for aircraft. and they had developed of course chemical and biological weapons, but also the beginnings of nuclear weapons. and low observable submarine as, and the me-262 which is the world's first jet aircraft used for combat, and the jet fighter aircraft, and they had developed other of the v-2 rocket, and who can forget the v-2 rocket or the v-1 which is the world's first cruise missile, and v-2 being ultimately a technology that not quite an icbm but a short range ballistic missile that reigned terror in great britain and with all of the technologies in great britain that have been develop and ultimately extremely grateful for the war coming to
an end, and had the technologies have seen the battle, some of them could have extended the war for a very long time if not changed the the course. so at the yalta conference, the leaders of the world got together and they said, okay, this part of eastern germany is going to belong to the soviett union. and that is agreed to with joseph stalin present. well, within weeks, harry truman had authorized american soldiers to go into eastern germany for one purpose, so acquire all of the capabilities, all of the technologies, hundreds of trains, and hundreds of cars of trains were sent into east germany with american soldiers ultimately to gather up all of the capabilities of the v-2 rocket specifically -- and remember these rockets were built by slave labor. now they were at risk of falling into the hands of what is the former soviet union.
and in a dose of realism, the united states of america said, and this is important for csif whoever controls the technology controls thele balance of power. and so they went in after signing an agreement that they wouldn't, and they went n and they took as much of the technology as they possibly could, and not just the hardware which they got a whole lot of the v-2 rockets and v-1 rockets, but then they went and they asked if the germans, and the german scientist would like to come to the united states of america. ultimately help us to understand the technology and develop it further. some of the german technologists ended up being some of the best rocket scientists in the history of the world and helping us to ultimately get to the moon and winning in the cold war. i want to be clear about this, and people say, nasa is aagencyt is. we do science, technology and
discovery. that is what nasa does and what we will always do, and no, we are not involved in warfare. and people ask me all of the time, well r you going to be the leader of the space force. i am here to tell you that is not what nasa is and not what nasa does, but i am also here to tell you that when we went to the moon and we had a strategic purpose which is to demonstrate that the united states of america has a superior economic, political and technological capability. so that the world would align with us rather than them. that is the purpose of that mission. what is even more fascinating is that 12 years later, and 12 years after the last person walked on the moon, which isn't that long, we had a president announce the strategic defense initiative which ultimately got, you know, in the media, it was a
terrible idea. it is no way that it was technologically, and we are talking about a missile defense shield if you will, and the strategic defense mission is too expensive and the technology was not and there it could not possibly be done, and sheer what we learned. because we had just walked on the moon, and when we walked on the moon by the way, we did it six times and 12 human beings walked on the surface of the moon because of what nasa did, and the whole world watched it. because of that, when we announced the strategic defense initiati initiative, people took note and said these are the folks who walked on the moon. and they can actually accomplish this. so in the united states they called pit "star wars" program to belittle it and they said it cannot be achieved and the people who believed it could be done was the soviet union, and they started to investing heavily in trying to mitigate gai against this strategic defense initiative. they went to all of the world conferences to try to prevent it from happening, and calling it
are provocative. ultimately, because of all of their investment, it was a small piece -- and by the way, how much did we spend on the strategic defense initiative? very, very little. it never really materialized, and we had the brilliant pebbles program and a few other things, but ultimately, what was the purpose of it? the purpose of it was to force the soviet union to the negotiating table, and by the way, here is another important thing to note. even before all of that happened, when we walked on the moon, who congratulated us first? the soviet union congratulated us. their cosmonauts were calling the american astronauts and conlatch late iing -- congratulating them, and welcoming them into their country to give speeches at the universities and elsewhere, and then the apollo soyuz program
was developed. and so it began to become a dialogue about the future and instead of competing with each other, and putting people's lives at risk, and he thinking back, apollo 8 was a tremendously risky mission, but it was to have a goal of beating the soviet union to or bbit the moon, and we did it with great risk to american astronauts. and then the soviet union and we began to say, instead of putting all of our astronauts and your cosmonauts at risk, maybe we should partner. and that is a great achieve mme with the two most powerful superpowers competing against each other, and ultimately sitting down at the negotiating table. and here is another thing that is fascinating. even today, that relationship forged back then continues.
as the relationships sometimes devolve as we have seen, because of world events, ultimately the devolutions have been protected from applying to space. i'll give you an example. after the invasion and occupation of crimea, the united states congress passed a sanctions bill on russia. oh, but one piece that had to be carved out, and that was space. why? because that is our best opportunity to dialogue when everything else falls apart, we have got american astronauts and russian cosmonauts dependent on each other in the international space station to maintain the dialogue. so i argue that one of the greatest values of nasa as an agency is that it is an amazing soft power tool for the united states of america. so you go back and you look at kind of how the apollo program
end ended. it ended with a partnership, the apollo soyuz partnership, and if you go to russia, it is the soyuz apollo program which is understandable, but today, that partnership continues and the next step was the strategic initiative which was built on the credibility of apollo, and thinking about how nasa has impacted the strategic position of the united states of america through history. and you think about all of the different challenges that nasa has gone through, and believe me, we know what they are, and they have been troubling, and the whole world stops when these challenges occur. people of course know challenger, and columbia and apollo one, and this is the
reality. this is the question. why do we do this? what is the purpose of this? did these folks who do these things, did they die in vein? i am he -- die in vain? i am here to tell you they did not die in vain, but it was for a clear perspective to create a world freer than it ever has been, and nasa is at the center of it when it was krcreated in 1958 by dwight eisenhower. and so with that, i wanted to the say it is an honor to be here. being at at the helm of nasa at the 60th anniversary is a little bit humbling. and it is an honor to serve in this capacity, and i look forward to a dialogue up here with my predecessors, and i look forward to hearing kind of their thoug thoughts and ideas as well. i want to be clear. we are here to talk about the 60th anniversary and there is a
lot of history that we have discussed. some of it we like, and some of it is not so fun to think about, and it is also true that nasa has an amazing future and i want to be able to talk about that, too. and in the coming months, you will hear about that. and a lot of it is possible wa because of the trail that was blazed because of these folks. and it is true and an important note to point out as well. you talk about the balance of power that i know that cisi has on the agenda, and i know that if there is one thing they accomplish with my time as nasa administrator, if i can elevate in the minds of the american public how important space is to their everyday lives and how it has transformed the ultimate ability to do basic things, i'lle just give you some examples and the way we navigate, and anybody use gps. the way we communicate. and anybody use directv or the dish network or the internet broadband from space? maybe an irradium phone.
i was at a swim meet with my kids this weekend and by the way, if i ever get some kind of disease that is going to kill me, i want to go to the swim meet, because they last forever. so i was there for three days and 14 hours a day and you are waiting around all day to watch a 30-second race. but anywhere, where was i? so here i was at this swim meet and i am sitting next to a gentleman from nebraska who has grand kids in the swim meet and we strike up, and he said, what do you do? i work for nasa. and that is fantastic. what do you do? i'm the administrator. and what do you do? he goes into depth how the nasa technology is helping them to understand when to plant crops
and when to get the crops to harvest, and understanding the moisture in the soil. he is telling me about how they produce food using the the nasa technology, and i am like, that is fantastic, and i will go to tell people about your story. so the way that we produce food in this country. there is a lot of people to feed and in the coming years to come, we have a lot more people to fe feed, and nasa technology can produce the food. the way we produce energy in the country, and the way we do disaster relief and predict weather. a lot of people in the room have heard me as a member of the congress talk about weather, because i come from oklahoma and i have had a lot of constituent technology exists to prevent that from happening. and so how do we predict weather n now. and nasa is helping with predictions of weather. and understanding climate change, and that is what nasa
do does. when you thinking of ultimately the natural disaster relief, and security, and one of the things that is most salient is the fact that every gps or every banking transaction in this country is that you are required to have a gps signal for timing, and for every banking transaction, and that is meaning that gps is critical and it is a critical piece of oinfrastructuor this c and you think about space and how important it is to our everyday lives and i would be willing to argue that most americans don't know that. and if i accomplish one thing as a nasa administrator is to have people understand how critical nasa to their everyday lives and how they have produced the investment that is made by the united states government, and not just the spinoff technology that a lot of people are talking about tank and velcro, and those are impressive and game changing as a matter of fact, but so much more that people don't always
talk about that is critically important. so, again, whoever is controlling the technology controls the balance of power. all of these technologies, nasa is involved in all of the technologies directly, and gps is a dod department, but nasa blazed the trail to make it possible. nasa going to continue to make it possible and at nasa it is just as bright as we have it at nasa, and again it is and keep doing what you are doing, and put out the scholarly decision, and that what you always do, and i will look forward to working with you again. anywayings, thank you guys so much.
mc i'm todd harrison, director of the space project here at csis, and i have a few prepared questions first, but we want to the hear from all of you. let me see if i can make the slide change here. if you have a question either those in the room or watching online, you can go to website here, and type in the question, and i will get it up here on the ipad and i can work it into the conversation here. so please, go ahead and ask any questions that you may have and getted up. my first question to you, mr. bridenst bridenstine. space force. it is the president coming out strongly in favor of it, and it is debated in congress and when you were in congress, it is debated as well and something similar to that has passed the
house of representatives and not the senate, but as nasa administrator and i'm glad that you have arctic ticulated that is not part of the space force, but what is the relationship and what would it be do you think between the military space force and nasa and why is that important to maintain that separation between the military space and the civil space programs. >> sir, that is a wonderful program. when president eisenhower, and his vision for -- look, there was a time before nasa was created when a lot of folks believed that the department of defense ultimately ought to be in charge of the space development if you l and the space exploration and space development and all of the national security provisions of space. president eisenhower specifically did not want that. he wanted a civilian space agency where all of our friends and even competitors around the world could ultimately partner with us to have an opportunity for dialogue. his vision was very different
than some others who wanted nasa which of course was not nasa at the time, but they wanted it to be as part of the department of defense. i want to be clear about the space force. i support it 100%, and i have always supported it, and i have voted on it three times in the house of representatives and at the time, you mentioned it is different called the space core, and what the space core is similar to what the space force is the way i see it, and of course, there is not any specifics released on what the space force might look like, but from what i have heard the president say, he wants a force that is separate from the air force, but equal in stature to the air force. that is what he said very clearly at the last national space council meeting. to me, that means that you are talking about a force that has somebody on the joint chiefs of staff for example and a force with its own service sek is tear for example that is not guaranteed what ultimately might develop here, but that is what it indicates to me.
think about what it is, the space force actually exists in the air force, and so you have, you know, the space, and all of the military service does is to organize, train, quip. that is all the military service does, organize, train, equip. and army, air force, marines and then you are the combatant commands that are joint and all four branches and talking about a separate space force which is organizing and equipping and training a cadre of professionals who are trained to do that. and so right now you have the space and missile center which is doing the acquisition piece for all of the air force's space capabilities and then you have got the -- not strategic, but
the strategic command, but the air force space command who ultimately does the training and the organizing. when i say organizing, recruiting the right folk, and then training them. and the space and missile system center are already doing the function of organizing, training and equipping, and strategic command which is combatant command which is joint command and strategic command could take advantage of the capabilities. so a lot of it already exists. one of the challenges that we see, and the debates that have been happening on the armed services committee is at what level is the air force leadership paying attention to space. now, i will tell you that they are paying attention to it without question they are paying attention to it. has that always been the case? i will tell you that many members of congress don't think that is always the case. would it always be the case in the future? unknown. but this is what we will see. when you are look at the
promotion inside of the air for force, the space cadre is not as much promotioned, and the space cadre does not have the morale as high, and thinking about the budget levels of the space component of the air force and maybe it is not getting as much attention as the other components of the air force. so the idea was to create a separate space force equal in stature, but separate from the air force to have an advocate on the joint chiefs and the separate service secretary, although it was not in our bill. and we did not have -- and it is much like the marine corps ultimately reporting to the the secretary of the navy, and the space corps would report to the secretary of the air force and that what we did in the armed services committee, and it passed. this is what is amazing, it passed overwhelmingly with a bipartisan vote in both the
strategic forces subcommittee and on the armed forces committee and then in the house of represents as part of the national defense authorization act. so s so it is a bill that has passed in my opinion given all that i just talked about how important space is to the everyday lives and the proliferation of the threat, and you have, you know, the chinese are launching direct ascent satellite missiles and the russians are doing the same, and co-or bital and dazzling, ad to halt satellites temporarily or permanent and all of the technologies are proliferating rampantly as the american people are explicitly dependent on space for national security and their everyday lives. so in my opinion, it is well past due for, to have a stand alone force capable of preparing a workforce to ultimately protect our assets in space. again, i want to be clear, because this is important.
this is not what nasa does. but nasa does have billions of dollars worth of your taxpayer dollars at risk, because of what is happening in space, and it is not just the hostile actions, but it is also the space debris and other challenges. and then it is also true that -- anyway, i should stop there. but the reality is that there is a lot of threat that the united states of america has a lot at stake, and nasa with at a stake up there, and in fact, we are the only agency who has humans at stake up there, and more space debris ultimately puts all of that at risk. so it is ultimately, something whose time has come and i supported it aed a member of the house of representatives. >> so i want to pick up on the human space flight there for a minute. and right now, we are of course, dependent on the russians and
the soyuz to put our astronauts in space, and it is that way since the shuttle retired in 2011, but the working with the russians to launch the astronauts has gone back about 23 years. so we have pulled the stats here, and it is looking like 52 american astronauts launched by the russians. what is interesting is not a single one of them have been african-american. none of the african-american astronauts have is ever been launched by the russian, and so since 2011 no african-american astronauts from nasa have been in space or had the opportunity. but it was going to change this past june, and jeanette eps was going to go up, but she was pulled from, that and i know that you cannot talk about specific personnel action, and it happened before you were the administrate to, but it does raise the question of what is going on. are the russians refusing to la launch african-american astronauts.
>> if that is the case, i have never heard it, and certainly, i will start asking the question now that you have mentioned it to me, and i have not heard of that, and i am unaware if that is the case. >> may i add something, and i'm not sure where that conjecture came from, but it is absurd. i served as the nasa administrate for for eight years, and one of my biggest partners was with a guy with whom i flew sergei crickolov on the first mission that was set up to be like apollo soyuz to demonstrate that russians an americans could in fact work collaborately in space in anticipation that we might want to send american astronauts to mir, and then subsequently operate on a space station together. so, you know, that is the beginning of it. i never saw any indication in the whole time i was an
administrator from communicating with the head of kos kncosmonau themselves or anybody that we had any hesitation to who we would fly. >> and the russians flew with you on the space shuttle? >> yes. >> you trained with them? >> yes. >> you never experienced problems? >> no, more problems here than there there. >> i don't know if it is good to hear or not. >> well, it is american history. >> and next question, i want to go down the hear from each of you on this, and obviously, in your remarks, administrator bridenz e bridenstine, you have talked about how nasa has maintained a coalition on the international space station for many years, and you know, for you, what are you thinking that the coalition is going to be in the future and
evolve -- add partners? drop partners? how do you believe that is going to evolve for the space station and for plans going book to the moon? >> i think that we will add partners. i think that -- you know, what we are in the process of right now is developing an architecture that is very open for our return to the moon starting with the gateway. and so, all of the interfaces whether you are talking about docking interfaces or the electrical power, all of the interfaces are going to be standardized and publish and everybody is going to see it and then lit enable a whole host of countries who maybe don't have, you know, an agency with our level of budget that they can maybe krcreate a small lander tt ultimately could, you know, robotic lander, if you will, that could interface with the open architecture gateway around the moon. when i say "gateway" i am tal g talking about a small outpost around the moon capable of human
habitation, and power propulsion and able to go to more places around the moon than ever before with human beings. but the idea is to create an open oarchitecture where all of the commercial and international partners can join. in fact, the partners can join that historically, they have not had access, because it is going to be that easy. if they want a space program and ultimately participate, we want to find a way for them to do that. it is not going to happen overnight, but we want it to be the most collaborate international kind of program in history. and i think that we can accomplish that. >> mr. o'keefe, your time the at nasa, what were your experiences trying to maintain the international partnership on the space station? was it worth it? >> it was a challenge, no question about it that. and we were talking about and comparing some notes a little bit about the respective issues that we have encountered in
dealing with all of the international partners and working through it. but in many respects like jim said, as a fundamental part of the history of nasa, it has been a great convener of capabilities and not only around the world, but among and between what used to be and can be adversaries and then finding common space and common position and common interest and trying to develop it in a more collaborate manner as a e global intenterprise, ant takes a lot h of time and effor to find that common position. and it can be a mutual advance for each of the players involved is an enormous effort, and in binding negotiation and every element of this involved is worth it, because you then at least create the opportunity for the common dialogue, and reduce
the tensions just as jim said. i think that it is very powerful in how this is playing a very effective role that really kind of lowering the temperature level in any number of different adversarial condition over the course of the last several decades. that is a huge achievement. nasa is not a foreign policy development activity, nor is it the only development technology by any means burk smeans, but i place to what can be mutual advantage and mutual gain if done properly. that is always the risk. one of the things that we were talking about is that you have to the avoid the issue that the u.s. is setting a position and forcing everybody else to come along, because this is something that take s a lot more effort i that regard. certainly, we are seeing the very effort of that mutual
collaboration, mutual dependency at play today, every single day on a remarkable capability that has been operational now for 18 years continuously with folks from all imaginable partners engaged with the international space scenter working together collaborately in order to achieve a gain that we never would have agreed or found a way to understand and then agreed to otherwise. so it is a remarkable achievement in that regard, and another one in that regard takes a lot of effort and time, and working through a lot of differences of opinion. >> so, general boldin, you are an -- you were an administrator when the relationship with russia started to evolve with
crimea and -- somehow it held together with the csis, and the partnership held together, and what are the experiences and the fact that we are a able to continue to engage in russia in one earea while we have a lot o disagreements in another area. >> one thing that the administrator is saying is how humbling it is to sit in the office. the one thing that i think that the three of us hopefully have an appreciation of is that when you are going to the international forum, there is no question who is the person to whom everybody looks. it is the nasa administrator the. and with the international space station, we tried to meet quarterly, and with the member organizations, and all five of us. there was never a question of who was going to be sitting at the head of the table, and who would set the agenda and who was going to essentially make sure that the meeting flowed well. it was the nasa administrator. and so, as jim mentioned the
term soft power. aim stronger than he was when you talk about the soft power. i think that with all deference to the state department and the department of defense, they are all one one of the strongest pu purveyors of soft power for this nation is nasa, and it is, if you want an example of it, it is, in fact, the sustainability of the international space station over the last 17, 18 years in spite of everything else that goes on down here on the planet, and one of the reasons is because everybody's focused on a mission. everybody realizes that it's a team and that no one element survives without the other elements when we have problems in the russian segment with waste management, you know, you run over and you get something out of the u.s. segment or everybody runs into the u.s. segment to do normal kinds of things that are necessary for human beings to survive. and that may seem trivial. >> you picked that example.
>> i picked that example because kids, the first two things -- the first things kids always ask used to be, how do you go to the bathroom in space? and there are only two places to go to the bathroom in space. you can go in the u.s. segment or you can go in the russian segment, and they don't always work all together, but always one of them is working. and i'm not trying to make light of anything but i just want to re-emphasize what jim said about the critical importance of sustaining the partnerships and expanding them whenever we can, you know, the -- one of the things that we started doing in the last few years, and tom is sitting in the front row who was one of the architects is every time we went to an international forum, opening it to everybody and saying station was one way to do things. we're getting ready to go explore now, and there are nations that didn't even have a space program when the international space station program started, so we invited everybody to the table, and we could have 25 nations, some of
whom didn't even have a space program but wanted to be at the table giving their ideas and sharing their ideas on what we do when it comes to exploring, what will we do when we go beyond low earth orbit because we want to be there. we can't build a rocket ship but we can do some other things, and i think that's critically important. >> to pig ggyback on what charl was just talking about, the whole world, all the different space agencies from around the world are all looking one direction. i did a trip to israel and then a trip to the air show where all of the different space agencies in europe were represented. i met with a whole host of them, one-on-ones and then of course in groups as well, and it was astonishing to me how they -- a lot of them were saying, tell us what you need, we're ready to go, and we'll go sell it. we'll get our governments behind it. but tell us where you are, and
of course, you know, i was expecting i was going to have to do a hard sell. they're ready. they're just looking for americans to say this is what we need to do and they'll pull the trigger. so i think, of course, that's all there because of the history here, because they know what we've been able to achieve in the past and they want to be a part of it in the future. speaking of what we've been able to achieve in the past, sean o'keefe, of course, was at the helm at a time when the international space station was at great risk of being cancelled, and i want to be really clear, there was a pew research poll that came out not too long ago, many people in this room probably saw it but one of the questions in the pew research poll was the specific question was, was the international space station a good investment for the united states of america? that was the question. over 80% of the respondents said yes, the international space station was a good investment for the united states of
america. that -- you know, i come from the political realm. you don't get 80% of the people to agree on anything ever. you could say the sky is blue and you're not going to find 80% agreeing, but they agree that the international space station is a good investment. that just shows you the impact that it's had and of course there was a time when, you know, sean was going through his confirmation process, i watched it because i went through a confirmation process of my own, i don't know if you guys with aware of that, but i watched his confirmation process and i was astonished at the challenges that were happening at the time, and ultimately, here's what's so wonderful. it came down -- was it one vote? one single vote in congress that allowed the international space station to go forward and now you've got 80% of americans saying it was a good investment. that shows you how nasa is different than probably every other government agency you can imagine.
so it's all good. >> so i want to go to some questions here from the audience. one related to soft power, you know, the question is, when china seems to have similar plans to use space exploration as a means of soft power, how does nasa kind of maintain the leadership role here and engage other countries, international partners and private sector partners, in its plans to return to the moon. what are you thoughts? start with you. >> so, the -- again, i think the big thing is to get everybody engaged is ultimately to accomplish stunning achievements. i mean, that's kind of how nasa has led in the past. that's how nasa will lead in the future. again, like i mentioned, you know, the president's space policy, directive one, takes us back to the moon and he wants -- he wants it to be done sustainable. he said sustainably. how do you create an architecture that takes us back to the moon sustainably? we are all in awe of apollo,
what an amazing accomplishment, but when it was over, it was over. the president wants it to be sustainable. we're going to go back to the moon and we're going to stay. how do you accomplish that given our budget? and i want to be very clear, he's been very generous with his budget requests and congress has been even more generous so nasa's in really good shape right now as far as the budget goes, but to be sustainable, we need to take all of our international partners with us and we need to take our commercial partners with us. so that means it has to be an open architecture and it starts with landers that are small that can get us to the surface quickly and then it moves to medium class landers and large class landers taking humans to the surface of the moon all being able to integrate with a gateway, if you will, we should say an outpost around the moon, and why is this important? what we've learned from commercial industry is that if rockets are reusable, the cost of access to space goes way down and we're learning that more and more every zday and we're
grateful for it and there's more companies now developing reusable capabilities. that's great for our country. it's great for the world. we need the entire architecture between here and the moon to be reusable. that's what gateway landers do. whatever they pick up from the surface of the moon can be -- you have sign tipcientists that ultimately check out what they're picking up from the surface of the moon. this is also important. from 1969 up until 2008, 2009, those 40 years, we believed that the moon was bone dry. because of where we went. we went to six spots on the surface of the moon, all, you know, the equatorial regions, and 2008, the indians made a discovery. in 2009, nasa doubled down on it. there's hundreds of billions of tons of water ice at the poles of the moon and the question is how did we not know that for 40 years and how did it not change the trajectory that we were headed?
ultimately, it's because we only went to certain spots. it would be like studying the earth and landing in, you know, the middle east and trying to deduce something about colorado. it wouldn't work. there's so much more about the moon that we don't yet know and there's so much opportunity to discover there that we want to go to more parts of the moon than we've ever gone to before with the sustainable architecture where we can get back and forth on a regular basis not just with humans but also with robots and then ultimately all that architecture would feed forward. it would all perfectly replicate itself for a mars mission. so we're continuing, if you will, the journey to mars, and i think it's important that we do that. so -- but that's how we bring in our international partners and commercial partners. >> and general bolton, one of your achievements when you were nasa administrator was commercial cargo and crew program, bringing in these
private sector partners and getting them into the game with nasa. you know, companies like spacex and blue origin, they've got their own plans to build space infrastructure and even some of the companies are talking about going to the moon on their own. you know, one of the questions from the audience here is, how do you see nasa working with these private sector organizations to coordinate and to leverage what they're doing to help vanesadvance nasa's exploration goals? >> i wish i could take credit for having done something with commercial crew and cargo but it started a couple of administrations before us, actually. we just facilitated it and i think that's the magic word is nasa's job is to facilitate the success of the commercial entities. we found a vehicle called space act agreements, which is a type of a contract, but it's a non -- it's a contract that's much more flexible to the commercial entities so that's the way we chose to do business with the
commercial entities up front. we said, okay, we're going to tell you what kind of service we want, and then it's up to you to design and build, propose to us the type of vehicle to do that, and i look to give people my best example of the wisdom of that, and again, it did not start in the obama administration. it is -- it's like most things with space, it's a continuum. you know, what jim is doing is stuff that machisean started, t honest. >> i take full credit. >> one of the things i told him, you only get to be the nasa administrator for a brief period of time. take credit for everything that happens on your watch. >> that's right. he did say that. >> you're the guy that made it happen. you're the person who allowed it to happen. but facilitating the success of the commercial entities is one of the duties of nasa. and we took that seriously, and so you try to find ways for nasa to be flexible in the way that we do business, to adapt --
adopt some of the practices and policies that the civilian entities, you know, recommend to you, and that was what i think made us so successful. i was going to say, if you wanted the best example i can give you of the value of the system that we put in place was we lost back-to-back-to-back commercial vehicles in less than a year's period of time when we lost the spacex dragon, we lost, you know, orbitable atv vehicle off the pad and then we lost the cargo vehicle. we were kind of stunned for a while, but we had our european partners to lay back on with an atv. we had the japanese with the hdv so we still had capabilities to get cargo to the international space station and sustain the crew, so it's facilitating the success of the commercial partners, working to open the door to enable as many international partners who want
to be a part of the -- i call them the family of space-faring nations. finding nontraditional partners, the kind that jim visited. israel's a great partner of ours in a lot of things. israel is not a big space nation, but they are one of the nations that we would call, you know, a nontraditional partner. they're providing something for orion that's going to be a device to mitigate the radiation effects on the crew member. that's a really big deal from a country that really doesn't have a big powerful space agency or space program like some of the other countries do. so, that's our role. >> just to add to this too. i think the punctuation point that both of my friends here have enunciated is that by and large, when you really look at all the different elements of technologies and capabilities and so forth that are merging, yes, some of them come from federally sponsored agencies,
departments, et cetera, laboratories over the course of history, but an awful lot else has come from a wide range of commercial sources. and it's -- what is common, though, about every one of those circumstances, whether it's defense, whether it's nasa, whether it's any other organization that really relies upon the available commercial technology that is out there that can be leveraged to a different gain is to establish the mission objectives, the imperative for which you're attempting to use it for, what is the problem you're trying to overcome. and that is one of the most remarkable elements, i think, that's embodied in the 1958 act and what the primary objective of nasa's supposed to be. and that is really to explore, to develop capabilities that will overcome limitations to get do something that you want to do, and in that, you've got to martial resources, some of which are organic, progressively less
and less within the government, as this has really moved off much more to a commercial capacity, but it is primarily for the purpose of trying to look at what is the limitation of getting to that next capability, that next capacity where you need to go, where you need to achieve the next outcome, and that is what nasa's able to crystallize in the statement of here's a capability we're looking for. and with that comes some enormous achievements and successes and some unbelievably tragic failures, and those are accompanied, i think, in every case, those bookends, by the fact that no one else has ever attempted to try to leverage it to those kind of levels. and that's -- that requires not just collaboration with commercial capabilities but also with international partners, the broader capabilities, wherever it resides on how you find that solution, that's what you're
looking for to try to harness, martial, hopefully lead and develop that great capability for that gain. >> i just want to raise one point and it's because we always tend to drift into conversations about human space flight. nasa is a big organization that does a lot of things. they have four dominantly -- four relatively nice size directorates and the lesser directorates, if you will, in money only, aeronautics is our heritage and that is where some of the incredible developments today are going on inside nasa, when you talk about maybe now got two recognized x planes. it's been decades since we did that. one, the quest, the super sonic low boom super sonic aircraft and then an all electric airplane in maxwell. science, we lead the world when you talk about earth science, heliophysics, planetary science, you name it and that is where everybody looks to us and that's where we also have unbelievable
international -- unlikely unbelievable international partnerships. the partnerships with the chinese, whether you're talking about planetary science, looking at earthquakes, looking at glacial characterization of the himalayas, those are areas where scientists of the world who could care less what nation you come from, they've got to focus on solving really tough problems to make the world a better place to be and nasa provides the, you know, through the -- their science mission directorate provides just a great place for everybody to be able to come and assemble and take a look at those kinds of things. >> great point. >> i want to ask each of you your thoughts on the future plans for the international space station. so the current plan, retirement around 2024, but trying to hand it over to commercial partners, operators, who can take it over and do work there. you know, so administrator, do you think the international space station needs more time to make that transition, or do you
think it can make it by 2024 and what happens if it doesn't? >> well, we're going to find out. and when i say we're going to find out, what i mean is, we put out requests for information from industry as to ultimately seven years from now, would you be able to -- a consortium of private companies, would you be able to manage it in a way that would be, you know, cost effective and close your business case, provide the right return on investment. now, i don't know what the answer will be from what we get back from that. it might be different than what we're hoping for. i honestly don't know. but i'll tell you, here's, i think, the most important thing to take away from it. you know, we had a period of time when, you know, apollo ended and we had eight years before the launch of the first space shuttle and we had a period of time when the space shuttles ended and we're now on
the precipice of being able to launch a commercial crew. what we don't want is another gap. we want to do everything possible to mitigate that gap. we know that the international space station cannot last forever. it is a physical impossibility. can we extend it? sure, we can extend it. but what we're doing right now is we're forcing a conversation as early as possible to say, if we want to have humans in low earth orbit forever, you know, think about people graduating from high school right now, people graduating from high school, they have had somebody in space the entire time they've been alive. multiple people in space the entire time they've been alive. that's a big accomplishment and we don't want it to go away and in fact we want to grow the number of people in space, not shrink it. so the question is how do we get there? the other thing is, you know, nasa has been plowing a ton of money into human activity in low earth orbit for 20 years. the question is, can we go further? is it now time to go further? have we learned sufficiently
what we need to learn to go further? and the answer is, probably not, but if nasa can be one customer of many customers for a commercial capability, whether it's the international space station or some other habitation capability that would be done commercially or multiple habitation capabilities provided commercially where the government, and in fact, nasa is one customer of many customers and the other customers could be manufacturing, could be medicine, you know, they're doing 3d printing now of biological components, think about organs being printed in space because of the microgravity environment that enables that to be possible. so these capabilities are developing right now very, very fast, and seven years from now, is it going to be possible to have commercial industry carry that forward so that we maintain a presence in low earth orbit and at the same time use government resources to go further than we currently can go, and that's ultimately -- that's the objective. now, we're going to see what
industry proposals -- proposes, but ultimately, i think seven years is quite a long time as fast as technology is developing right now. and i do believe that low earth orbit can be commercialized where the government is one customer of many, there are multiple providers, each competing on cost and each competing on innovation, and i think that's ultimately what will give us the best results. >> sean, what are your thoughts? stick with 2024 or extend it? >> i think the argument jim advances over avoidance of a real gap between these kind of circumstances where we're able to operate together, continually learn something, et cetera, is a real risk. it's a real hard time. learn from it now, gosh, we keep repeating the same instances in which we've discovered that reality and that logic. but the added what i think goes to this and the logic behind continuing an effort like this is in many ways -- and again,
you know, there's a number of different arguments that can be posed from a scientific, engineering, et cetera, on both sides of this argument as to whether or not it can be sustained, whether it should be, whether it's a better platform, a better approach, but in the meantime, you've got this ability that keeps -- it's a convening capacity to keep exploring, keep turning over different ideas of how to use capabilities and infrastructure to the next gain, which defines them what the limits are and then in turn informs what you need to do as a succeeding opportunity as opposed to constantly start with a blank sheet of paper every time it's been one of these kind of gaps. and then the last point, i think, has been repeated several times, in the course of this discussion is just the amazing ability to keep a focused objective on the part of several different international, global partners, players, engaged in
this capacity is a means to then keep discussing, a dialogue of broader gain, and it's hard. i mean, there is no discounting this. this kind of combination of collaboration between different nation states with differing objectives and very different views and so forth is a really difficult challenge, and you spend a lot of time working through it. but it's always to great gain. it's always to advantage. and you're always, in the process, settling differences on a wider range of other issues that you never anticipated because you've had the opportunity and reason to define how do i deal with this limitation, overcome it, and get on to the next thing, together. rather than each of us all going out there and everybody's going out for a pass. you know? it just doesn't work that way. you've really got to leverage this in a way that's important. >> so, general, what are your thoughts -- >> i'm charlie.
you did that twice. >> i'm sean, you're joe. i like that. >> military side of me. you know? >> i haven't been a general for a long time. >> two stars is a lot more than i ever had. i apologize. what are your thoughts on 2024 and, you know, can nasa push forward with a new space exploration agenda while still sustaining -- >> i'm going to take a different -- fairness here, we talked a little bit about this before we came in so i'm going to take a little bit of different tack because i -- one of -- and again, i refer everybody to tom, who was my brain when i was there and i'm glad to see jim still have him at least alongside him there. >> he served that capacity a lot. >> this is three of us who have relied on him. >> he's continuing now. >> one of the stipulations that we made in the last few that we had internationally with all these nations that want to be a
part of the exploration program is we do not want to have a gap. we cannot tolerate a gap. and while we all recognize the fact that the sooner we can get off the international space station as something that the u.s. has to be the primary partner for, the better. but we're not coming off station with nowhere to go, and that's why when jim talks about the gateway and everything else, it is really critical for nasa to facilitate the success of commercial entities to take over, if you will. a lot of people don't like that word, but take over low earth orbit and let nasa be a customer. let us be one of many. and then for nasa to do what it does so well, be be the leader in li in lunar orbit until commercial entities and entrepreneurial entities with migrate there with us. but we do not want to have humans in lunar orbit wherever
that day comes that the international space station goes away because it's over. we cannot tolerate another big gap like that and that's why i'm a mars guy. i see buzz sitting here in the front row. buzz and i are both mars guys and i happen to be one that thinks, yeah, you could skip the moon, but who cares. we need to do it all, and -- but we have got to -- i like being the guy at the head of the table. i like the u.s. being the person at the head of the table and if you're not there inviting other people to come along with you, you're not at the head of the table. and when we talk about other nations, whether they're adversaries or whatever, jim hinted at this. you know, we provided for the world a set of international docking standards, so anybody who wants to go to the international space station or anything else in space today can use the international docking standards that he made available. that's anybody. and they're available. you can go online and get them. i mean, it's not secret. it's not private. it's not anything.
and it's as you build your spacecraft by these standards, you can probably qualify to dock to the international space station. i want them docking on a u.s.-led place rather than somebody else's led place. that's just kind of one little thing. a quirk. >> so, administrator, i want to go to you. >> i'm jim. >> okay. we'll all go first names here. >> sure. >> question from the audience here. this is a tough one. get ready. what's your view of repealing the law that prohibits meaningful china-u.s. cooperation in space exploration and science? >> so, it's interesting. i don't know that it would necessarily require a repeal, because it's done an appropriation bill annually, it's the wolf amendment, so you just don't have to put it in the next cgis appropriations bill. if i'm thinking about it right.
is that right? >> can i make a -- let me ask a question here, because i appreciate the question. the prohibition is not against collaboration in science. the prohibition is against collaboration in human space flight. >> that's correct. >> because, you know, we work cooperatively and aeronautics and air traffic management and science and global characterization of glaciers and all kinds of stuff. that was the last thing that congressman wolf did before he left the congress was he softened the language and said, come to the congress, let us know what you want to do, tell us who's going to be there, by name, and guarantee through all the intelligence agencies that you're not going to have any bad actors at the table, mainly for human rights violations. that was his passion. and so i think -- you know, i'm -- >> no, that's exactly right. in fact, we just sent a letter over to congress indicating that i'm going to be meeting with some chinese space folks over at
iac in germany, and so yeah, we're going to have that dialogue. because as charlie said, we do have partnerships already. the challenges going forward, you know, there's, of course, the law that we have to follow, which is critically important, and then there's also a whole host of other challenges that we have with china to include the theft of intellectual property and as charlie mentioned, human rights challenges and a whole host of other things. and so, the -- certainly, to the extent that a deal can be hatched that ultimately puts other things on the table, if it enables, you know, nasa to partner with china in a way that doesn't ultimately challenge our own national security, then i would be for that. but i think that deal is going to be well above my pay grade, and it would include things that could -- i mean, it could
include direct dissent anti-satellite missiles. it could include the air defense identification zone over the islands. it could include building islands in the south china sea. all of these things are outside the realm of the nasa administrator, and i'm thrilled about that. >> grateful. >> yeah. but i would imagine that to the extent that it changes, it would be inclusive of a number of other things. >> okay. well, sean, charlie, if you want to chime in, what are your thoughts? should we be trying to cooperate more with china on human space flight, particularly plans going back to the moon? should we try to bring them in as a partner? >> i think it's inevitable, in part because you've already created an open source system as it is. as charlie said, you've got -- any capacity right now, you could research online and don't
have to breakthrough anything, right there on the nasa website, you can find out all manner of different things and what kind of characteristics, positioning, specifications you have to have to be able to dock on the international space station. do almost anything. so, this is, again, part of the wisdom of 1958 act was to make this capacity, to leverage knowledge, technology, investments that are made by the government, by the people of the united states, to greater gain for anybody in order to get to that next solution set. and so it's, by definition, available for open source. i mean, in all the years i spent in the pentagon, previously, it's exactly the reverse. you're attempting to protect the information in a way because of the nature of its sensitivity. the exact opposite is the charter and mandate of what nasa does. to make it available,
ubiquitously, as a means for anybody to do so. and in that regard, the linkage to the question, toldd, i think is very clear, that yes, this is a partner that does have an international reputation for trying to derive information from all manner of sources, no question about that. that said, they can avail themselves of it now. might as well be working with folks to common objective rather than to be constantly competing for the purpose of something as basic as how do you access what's already commonly available anyway. and then that means, i think, we have, again, the same way we did with apollo, moving through each of these individual intervals of time, a common reference point and mission objective and understanding exactly where each other are coming from with all the advantages and limitations
of that far better than constantly being on opposite sides of an equation and attempting to artificially limit something that fundamentally is impossible to do. no technology discriminates over its ultimate application. we discriminate over it. individuals, people, nation states, et cetera. the technology doesn't care. it can be in any circumstance you want to use it for, and how you control that and how you then in turn apply it to leverage gain is the best example of how that can be done. far better to do it together than to do it in a way that encourages lots of adversarial condition or otherwise. i would be an -- i've always been an advocate of saying, far better to bring everybody in the tent than not. >> i spent 34 years on active duty as a marine, and what i learned as a marine almost cost me my job as the nasa
administrator in year one. i have not changed my mind. i think engagement is absolutely essential. i think that our system of government and our democracy is the strongest thing in the world, and i have not met anybody yet that doesn't -- if they spend enough time with me or with us, doesn't recognize the fact that what we have is something that everybody else wants, and you can't get them to believe that if you don't allow them to at least see what's going on. sean mentioned the military. ironically, among the most open when it comes to the tent is the military, because we want people to know, you know, you do not want to come and tangle with me. so, i will let you inside my tent, and i will let you see the kind of things that we can do, but we can do them together or we can go the other route and
none of us wants to go the other route so i am a strong advocate for engagement, which means bringing everybody in that wants to be in and watch them and, you know, kind of monitor what they do the way that i think we handle our relationships with everybody right now. >> one final question down the line. i want to ask the two former nasa administrators. looking back on your time at nasa, what was one of the hard things that you had to do as an administrator? reflecting back on it now. >> i -- the most concise answer i've been able to come up with on what is a regular question in these cases is i discovered, realized in fairly short order in the privilege and the honor as these guys have also reiterated of being in that capacity, is again, the highs are really high and the lows are
really low. and there's not a hell of a lot in between. other than, and with all due respect, sir, testifying before congress. that was always -- >> was that a high or a low? >> i'll leave it at that. but it was a circumstance where you have to really adapt to both ends of that equation and trying to work through was an extraordinary group of amazing professionals that are incredibly gifted people and the expertise of every discipline you can imagine, any problem you got, you can assemble folks to find a solution to something that is just an imponderable problem that you have. but having everybody focus on how do you get to that objective, and oh, by the way, avoid the highs and avoid the lows, you know, in the extremes, and how do you find how to move
everybody through both ends of that equation. towards those common objectives. resustain, reemploy, rededicate themselves to that next solution. that's what got us, you know, to the achievements that buzz aldrin and his two leagues were able to attain because everybody kept their eye on the objective. during times that were really tough in some circumstances and times that were really celebratory, but it always stayed the same. here's the real goal. let's not get distracted from the objective. and that was a challenge given the extremes in those cases and also, i think, just the nature of how sometimes those tragedies and successes can in turn then motivate people to look in different directions how you got to revise what that mission ought to be or what that objective ought to be. and yet, go through that debate and discussion in a way that then resolves it and moves on,
rather than continually debating where our differences are. >> charlie? >> i'm not sure whether this will answer your question. you know, but i share it with people because it's really important. i was the worst -- the absolute worst administrator the agency could have ever had my first two years. i was lousy. and -- because i did not understand washington. i did not understand, you know, the politics, the system, and everything else, and it was not until, you know, i got through that first two years of being the rogue administrator that i recognized the fact that, okay, what did i believe in and why did i come? why did i let the president talk me into doing something that my wife said do not go to washington because he's going to ask you to do something and you don't know how to say no. but you know, i really believe in the agency and most importantly, i love the people, and so once i realized that my
job was to take care of the people and they would take care of everything else, it became the best job -- one of the best jobs i've ever had in my life. i just -- i cannot say enough for the workforce and the people that just made every single day really special. you know, driving up -- i lived down in mt. vernon, and driving up the gw parkway every morning, worrying about what kind of day it was going to be, knowing it could be a really bad day, but every single day that i went home for, you know, the last six years, i just said, boy, did we really make a difference today, and i think that was the -- for me, that was the biggest thing, just being around the greatest group of people in the world, next to marines. >> jim, i want to give the last word to you. looking forward, you got 60 years of history behind you and nasa. what are you most excited about,
coming in the future? >> well, there's -- anything i say right now is going to get me in trouble with somebody else, right? >> what are some of the things you're excited about? >> right. so, you know, i really think that what we're seeing right now is kind of a -- for the first time in a long time, increasing budgets at nasa. the president's budget request has been strong. congress has been increasing it from there. the president is calling for us to do big things going back to the moon, on to mars, creating this sustainable architecture that includes commercial and international. there's no shortage of exciting things. as far as the challenges go, we have to be really clear about what commercial industry brings to the table and ultimately, what nasa is currently doing brings to the table. one of the -- one of the foundational things that -- i
should say one of the fundamental challenges that i think i'm going to face over my tenure at nasa is, you know, should government do this or should government buy it as a service? and on any given issue, there's no one right answer. there are capabilities right now that we need to develop, and there are capabilities right now that exist, and we need to purchase as a service. but i am very excited about seeing how ultimately all of it develops in a way that enables the united states of america and our international partners to do more than we've ever done because of the new capabilities that are coming online. i think what we have to be really careful of is not allowing it to become political or partisan that, oh, this person is for commercial and this person is for traditional. and i want to be clear. our traditional partners are acting more commercial than probably ever in history, and our commercial partners are having to figure out how to meet
nasa requirements in ways they've never had to figure out before. so, there's this massive blending, i think, that's happening where ultimately, nasa is trying to figure out what is the right way to acquire, you know, the capability that we need right now. and i think it's destructive to our country to try to pit one against the other and create these fights. of course i understand industry is all -- they're always trying to win for themselves and that's an important part of the american culture as well, and we like that because it makes them compete, but at the same time, trying to make that a reality without turning it into a, well, he's this guy, and she's that way, and that is not in the long-term going to be good for our country. so, that's going to be a challenge, i think, that i have going forward, but i am also excited about the fact that if managed correctly, we're going to be able to do more than we've ever done before as a country and we're going to be able to do it with all of our international partners and nontraditional
international partners. you mentioned israel, which of course i mentioned earlier. they've got a commercial company right now raising money, privately, that's going to the moon. they're launching, in december, to the moon for a small lander, and they're going to be landing in february. that's one of the reasons it was important for me to go to israel. okay, how are you doing this? what are you doing? is there a way that nasa can take advantage of it and bring them on board with a future architecture for our lunar activities? so -- and that's just one country. look at some of the other countries that have never had space agencies before that now have space agencies. united arab emirates, for example. they've got a mission to mars right now for all -- that's an -- for a country with 1 million people and 9 million immigrants, that's an amazing capability that they have developed and of course they want to have a big partnership with the united states. they want to have an astronaut program. there is no shortage of
opportunities in the future because of what's happening, the transformational capabilities that have just come about probably in the last ten years because of the trail that these gentlemen have blazed and others. so many others. you know, if managed correctly, the future is very, very exciting for -- for a whole host of capabilities. >> all right. well, i want to thank all three of you for joining us here today. it's been a great discussion. we're going to have some -- i don't know if we actually got the cake. we heard that there was a problem with the bakery earlier. so we'll see what we've got out there to celebrate the birthday. please join me in thanking three administrator and former administrators.
later today here on c-span3, the group christians united for israel hosting a dinner marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the state of israel. speakers include israeli ambassador to the u.s. and u.s. ambassador to the u.n., nikki haley. we'll have that starting at 7:00 p.m. eastern. you can watch it live here on
c-span3 or online at c-span.org or listen live using the free c-span radio app. supreme court nominee brett kavanaugh continues to meet with senators on capitol hill. follow the confirmation process on c-span, leading up to the senate confirmation hearings and the vote. watch live on c-span. watch any time on c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. the senate banking committee last week held a confirmation hearing for the nominees to lead the consumer financial protection bureau and the export-import bank. most of the questions were directed to the cfpb nominee, kathleen. this is two hours and 40 minutes.