Petition in Support of keeping Mike Griffin as the NASA Administrator
Dr. Michael Griffin is one of the most technically and managerially competent administrators in NASA’s history. He has brought a sense of order and purpose to the U.S. space agency, guiding decisions in all programs with the firm belief that our strength as a world power is determined in a large part by our preeminence in space, particularly in human spaceflight. Dr. Griffin has guided the Constellation Program--the goal of which is to return the United States to the moon, and then explore Mars and beyond--out of the conceptual phase and into the factory, with contracts for all of the major elements, despite severe budgetary limitations. In the process he has helped NASA regain the respect of the Congress. Mike Griffin--a true rocket scientist and systems engineer and gifted administrator--is uniquely qualified to take NASA into the next era of space exploration. The undersigned hereby petition the new administration in the White House to retain the services of Dr. Griffin, holding the firm conviction that he is the best hope for the NASA’s future and for the future of U.S. leadership in space.
On April 14, 2005 Dr. Michael Griffin became the 11th administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Mike Griffin is widely considered to be the most capable Administrator since the Apollo era. He has instituted substantial changes at NASA and is rebuilding capabilities that have atrophied and eroded since the days of Apollo and Space Shuttle development (it has been over 30 years since NASA or industry has developed a human rated spacecraft). It has been argued that the NASA administrator need not have the skills of a chief engineer or rocket scientist, but during this critical phase of developing the future of U.S. space flight, there is no more essential skill set this leader should possess. Mike Griffin is a leader of the highest integrity, with the knowledge and intellect to understand the most complex technical, programmatic, and organizational issues and to train and guide a new generation of technical leaders to make the right decisions. Under his direction NASA has made more progress in restoring America’s spaceflight design and development capabilities in the last 3 years than was accomplished in the prior three decades.
When Dr. Griffin first became the NASA Administrator, the agency was struggling with returning the Space Shuttle to flight in the wake of the loss of Columbia and her crew. He skillfully guided NASA and its contractors through the critical first few flights post-Columbia to return the Shuttle to flight and continue the construction of the International Space Station. Since flying the Space Shuttle is still a high risk activity, Mike Griffin’s leadership is critical to insuring that the remaining Shuttle flights have the highest probability of success.
In the aerospace industry and within NASA, there is a widely held view that Dr. Griffin has instituted more positive change in the agency than any administrator in memory. Under his direction:
•The Space Shuttle successfully returned to flight
•The Exploration Systems Analysis Study (ESAS) was completed
•The Constellation Program was started, and is currently designing, developing and testing hardware to execute exploration missions
•There is International support for NASA’s Global Exploration Strategy
•The Hubble Space Telescope repair mission was reinstituted
•The International Space Station is approaching completion
•The Commercial Orbital Transportation System (COTS) program was initiated and the first commercially developed rocket has flown
•The James Webb Space Telescope project has been put on track
•Earth Sciences funding has been increased to new highs
•Fundamental Aeronautics research was restored
Mike Griffin--a true rocket scientist and systems engineer and gifted administrator--is uniquely qualified to take NASA into the next era of space exploration. It is important to NASA and the nation that he remains the NASA Administrator.
Scott "Doc" Horowitz
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