Briefs: Palazzo visits Stennis, recalling NPOESS missteps

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) paid his first visit to NASA's Stennis Space Center as chairman of the space subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on Tuesday. Palazzo indicated he'd be looking out for the center, located in his district, while in Congress. "We have the infrastructure here to be able to do anything we want to do. Some questions are what is the mission of NASA for the future, and I think it's going to be space exploration and manned flight," he told local TV station WLOX. Surprise, surprise: the various agencies involved in the NPOESS weather satellite program "failed time and again in their management and oversight" of the program, according to an Aerospace Corporation study of the program, DoD Buzz reports. Combining formerly-separate civil and military satellite programs, with a "hydra-headed management system", and loading the spacecraft with a large number of sensors, contributed to the problems that led the administration a year ago to split NPOESS into separate NOAA/NASA and DoD programs. "What happened was a series of unfortunate events. If only one of them had happened it could have been recoverable, but mistake after mistake was made," former congressional staffer and Pentagon official Josh Hartman told DoD Buzz.

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