Results tagged “Wolf”

Rep. Frank Wolf Comments at Space Policy Institute

"I want America to beat China back to the Moon and be the first to Mars.  I want the international community - countries that share our interests and values - working with the U.S., not the People's Liberation Army, on their exploration programs.  But this requires vision and leadership.  Congress can only do so much without the White House, and unfortunately I don't see that happening under this president."

Keith's note: There was a hearing today titled NASA Request and Oversight of NASA Security, Rep, Frank Wolf (R-VA) and John Culberson (R-TX) spent most of their time dumping on NASA and impugning Charlie Bolden's honesty. Culberson also seems to think that North Korea has an ICBM/time machine with which they can send us all back to 1813 (not certain why North Korea picked that year). Lots of snark in the room.

To get an idea of the Twitter stream from the event look at @jeff_foust, @Leone_SN, ‏@b0yle, ‏@Berger_SN, ‏@SpcPlcyOnline, and @NASAWatch. Franck Marchis has created a Storify version of all the Tweets. Here are a few of my NASAWatch favorites.

Wolf and Rogers Want Answers from Clapper on Implications of China's Space Program, Space Policy Online

"Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) wrote to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper today asking five questions about the implications for U.S. leadership in space and U.S. national security of China's recent accomplishments in space, including landing a rover on the Moon last weekend."

Lost in Space, John Logsdon, Politico

"After all, just under 18 months ago, NASA landed the Curiosity rover on Mars, a much more difficult feat than the Chang'e 3 mission by any measure. Curiosity is almost an order of magnitude heavier than Yutu and technologically much more advanced. So if there is a "planetary rover race," the United States is the clear leader. While China talks about a future space station, the United States is the managing partner of the multinational International Space Station, in full operation since 2011 and with six astronauts and cosmonauts in orbit today. The same holds true in almost every area of space activity--the United States has a clear technological and operational advantage over other countries. It's just not clear America has the determination to sustain that edge."

Earlier posts on China

NASA OIG Report: Bo Jiang's Access to NASA's Langley Research Center

"On March 16, 2013, agents from the Department of Homeland Security conducted a border search of former NASA contractor Bo Jiang at Dulles International Airport as part of an investigation of potential export control violations. Jiang, a citizen of the Peoples Republic of China, was preparing to fly home to China. After questioning him about what electronic media he had in his possession and searching his belongings, agents took Jiang into custody and charged him with making a false statement to Federal authorities."

- Attn Frank Wolf: Bo Jiang Had Porn - Not Secrets - on His Laptop, earlier post
- Congress Vs NASA on China (Home Alone with Wolf and Bolden), earlier post

Earlier China posts

Keith's note: The following is being sent out by the Kepler SciCon organizers:

"We have just learned that the efforts of NASA's Ames Research Center to ensure that our Chinese astronomer colleagues will be able to attend the Second Kepler Science Conference have been halted by the fact these approvals must be entered into a computer system at NASA HQ in Washington DC. Because of the ongoing federal government shutdown, there is no one at NASA HQ who can complete the approval process. Of course, if the federal shutdown continues much longer, the conference will not be able to begin as scheduled on November 3, 2013. We fear that the meeting may have to be cancelled as a result, or delayed. The ability of scientists to attend an open scientific meeting about the spectacular results produced by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope is another likely fatality of the failure of the U.S. Congress to enact a federal budget for FY2014. Alan Boss, SOC Co-Chair, KSC II"

Keith's note: As I understand the situation all of the final arrangements for this meeting - including the processing of all foreign visitors (not just Chinese) - can only happen if the government is open. If the government does not open in time then there's a chance that the meeting simply will not happen. And of course, Frank Wolf voted for the shutdown ...

- Confusion Over NASA's Policies That Ban Certain People, earlier post
- Frank Wolf Dumps on NASA For Doing What He Told Them To Do, earlier post
- Astronomers Dump on NASA About China When Congress Is To Blame, earlier post

NASA ban on Chinese scientists 'inaccurate': lawmaker (Update), PhysOrg

"However, Wolf's office issued a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Tuesday seeking to correct an article on the matter that first appeared Friday in The Guardian newspaper, as well as NASA's stance. "Unfortunately, the article is riddled with inaccuracies, as is, it appears, the guidance provided by NASA Ames staff to the attendees," said the letter. The law "primarily restricts bilateral, not multilateral, meetings and activities with the Communist Chinese government or Chinese-owned companies," it said. "It places no restrictions on activities involving individual Chinese nationals unless those nationals are acting as official representatives of the Chinese government." Wolf said NASA officials may have believed that the move was needed because of extra temporary restrictions on foreign nationals after a potential security breach by a Chinese citizen at a NASA facility in Virginia earlier this year."

Second Kepler Science Conference Statement from the Science Organizing Committee

"In late March, 2013, NASA, in response to Federal legislation, imposed a moratorium on visits to NASA facilities by citizens of several nations, including China. The legislation in question was initially crafted by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) to reflect national security concerns, with further modifications and restrictions added to the 2013 bill. The Scientific Organizing Committee (SOC) of the Second Kepler Science Conference (KSC2) learned about this moratorium in late September, as the final agenda was being constructed, when 6 of our Chinese colleagues who preregistered for the KSC2 had their registrations denied."

Keith's note: Given the relentless investigations, letters, and outright nasty badgering that Rep. Wolf has given NASA over this issue, it is small wonder that the agency made this decision. After all, Rep. Wolf had already ordered investigations into previous Chinese participation in NASA meetings and ordered NASA to do overhauls of various online servers and facility access procedures after a Chinese national was found with porn on his laptop. Now Wolf sends NASA a letter criticizing the agency for taking his rants and demands seriously. Its hard to figure out just what this guy does or does not want NASA to do.

In his letter to Bolden - supposedly sent about this meeting and Chinese nationals - Wolf veers from one topic to another - and does a copy/paste of text from earlier rants - clearly demonstrating that he has a vendetta against NASA - and Ames staff in particular. He will use whatever happens to be on his desk or in his waste basket to throw at them with the hope that something will stick.

Wolf Letter to NASA's Bolden Correcting Record on Restrictions Involving Chinese Nationals

"In one troubling example, last month, The Wall Street Journal reported on a Space Act Agreement between Ames and Google's executives to use taxpayer-subsidized airplane fuel intended for military aircraft for personal travel by Google's leadership. A dubious scientific data collection scheme appears to have been developed as an excuse for this preferential treatment for these executives."

- Astronomers Dump on NASA About China When Congress Is To Blame, earlier post
- Attn Frank Wolf: Bo Jiang Had Porn - Not Secrets - on His Laptop, earlier post
- Wolf Addresses Arrest at Dulles Airport of Chinese National Potentially Involved in NASA Langely Security Violations, earlier post
- Congress Vs NASA on China (Home Alone with Wolf and Bolden), earlier post
- Bad Research By Rep. Wolf's Staff
- Wolf to Bolden: Disinvite Those Chinese Visitors, earlier post
- Rep. Wolf's China Witch Hunt Resumes (Update), earlier post

Keith's note: According to this Facebook post: "On September 21 the Space Generation Advisory Council is hosting its SGC Gala Dinner in Beijing, China. Enjoy a nice evening with young professionals, students, and current space leaders from around the world, as well as our featured speaker, Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator."

Isn't NASA supposed to be avoiding interactions with China? Or is Bolden just going to phone his speech in? I wonder if Frank Wolf knows about this.

Earlier China posts

Keith's note: The gutting of the NTRS continues. This report used to be on NTRS: "Distribution of pressure over model of the upper wing and aileron of a Fokker D-VII airplane, Fairbanks", A J, NACA, 1927: "This report describes tests made for the purpose of determining the distribution of pressure over a model of the tapered portion of the upper wing and the aileron of a Fokker D-VII Airplane. Normal pressures were measured simultaneously at 74 points distributed over the wing and aileron."

Thanks to Google, there is a cached version of its previous existence on NTRS. (larger screengrab). But when you click on the PDF link you get an error "This PDF file is no longer available from NTRS." This document is freely available here at the University of North Texas Digital Library, here at Cranfield University in the UK, here at the University of Delft, Netherlands, etc.

What purpose could possibly be served by Charlie Bolden and Frank Wolf in keeping this 86 year old document about World War I biplanes off of NTRS? It is utterly harmless (unless your air force still flies Fokker D-VII aircraft - or is threatened by them) and it is readily available (as is all NTRS stuff) around the world. This gutting of NTRS is tantamount to vandalism - and these actions are fueled by partisan paranoia on Wolf's part and lack of a backbone on Charlie Bolden's part. Moreover, these actions are in direct contradiction of what the agency is chartered to do:

The National Aeronautics and Space Act Pub. L. No. 111-314 124 Stat. 3328 (Dec. 18, 2010)

"Sec. 20112. Functions of the Administration (a) Planning, Directing, and Conducting Aeronautical and Space Activities.--The Administration, in order to carry out the purpose of this chapter, shall-- ... (3) provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information concerning its activities and the results thereof;"

- Charlie Bolden is Erasing NASA's History, earlier post
- Charlie Bolden's Gutted Version of NTRS is Back Online, earlier post

Keith's note: NASA SP-125 "Design of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines" was online for decades at NTRS. Not any more. (we have it online here) It was declassified on 30 Nov 1969. Here is an excerpt from the book's preface:

"This book intends to build a bridge for the student and the young engineer: to link the rocket propulsion fundamentals and elements (which are well covered in the literature) with the actual rocket engine design and development work as it is carried out in industry (which is very little, if at all covered in literature). The book attempts to further the understanding of the realistic application of liquid rocket propulsion theories, and to help avoid or at least reduce time and money consuming errors and disappointments. In so doing, it also attempts to digest and consolidate numerous closely related subjects, hitherto often treated as separate, bringing them up to date at the same time."

Oh yes, in the foreword, Wernher von Braun said: "As man ventures deeper into space to explore the planets, the search for perfection in the design of propulsion systems will continue. This book will aid materially in achieving that goal."

Not any more. Charlie Bolden took this half-century old book offline because Frank Wolf scared him into doing so.

- Charlie Bolden's Gutted Version of NTRS is Back Online, earlier post
- NASA Technical Reports Server Mysteriously Taken Offline, earlier post

Attorney: Former Chinese contractor at NASA's Langley Research Center to plead not guilty, Washington Post

"Jiang's attorney Fernando Groene said Jiang was unfairly targeted and is looking forward to being vindicated. He said he plans to ask for a jury trial and wants Jiang's side of the story coming out. Groene said Jiang was leaving the country because his work visa was about to expire and he had been unable to find other employment since losing his job in January."

Attorney: Former NASA contractor subject of 'witch hunt', Daily Press

"... But Jiang's lawyer, Fernando Groene -- a former federal prosecutor who now practices out of Williamsburg -- said he's not going to let Wolf misportray Jiang. ... Groene challenged Wolf to come to the trial in Newport News federal court to present his evidence against Jiang. If Congressman Wolf testifies as a government witness, Groene said, "We'll be glad to cross-examine him." Asked why Jiang was going to China, Groene said, "He was going home."

- Congress Vs NASA on China (Home Alone with Wolf and Bolden), earlier post
- NASA Technical Reports Server Mysteriously Taken Offline, earlier post
- Former NASA/NIA Employee Arrested by FBI Trying to Leave U.S., earlier post

NASA locks out foreigners, orders security review following concerns of Chinese spying, Fox News

"NASA has locked its facilities to foreigners, disabled online research databases and ordered a complete review of access by foreign nationals to its facilities, as allegations swirled of foreign spies within the space agency. In addition to the security review, Bolden announced that he had closed down a publicly available NASA technical reports database due to the risk of confidential information leaking out. A message on the site indicates that "until further notice, the NTRS system will be unavailable for public access. We ... anticipate that this site will return to service in the near future."

Congressman: NASA intentionally skirted rules, Daily Press

"Robert D. Wyman, a spokesman for NASA Langley, did not return phone calls this week seeking comment on Wolf's assertion that Langley officials intentionally circumvented the rules. Calls to NASA headquarters in Washington were routed to Allard Beutel, the chief of the NASA communications office there. Beutel did not return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday. Timothy Allen, a spokesman with the National Institute of Aerospace, declined to comment on Wolf's assertions that Langley conspired with NIA to get around the rules. "I can't comment on an ongoing investigation," he said."

Keith's 20 March note: I asked LaRC PAO the following questions:

"- Was this shutdown in response to a request from Rep. Wolf? If not, then who requested the shutdown of this website?
- Was there any technical material posted on the NTRS website that violated ITAR regulations or any other NASA/government security requirements?"

LaRC declined to answer these specific questions and would only say "As you know, the NTRS system is unavailable for public access. NASA is reviewing the sites content to make sure it's consistent with the U.S. export control laws, regulations and review processes that are in place."

Clearly the fact that NASA took the extreme action of pulling the entire website down - one that had been online for decades - means that they either found something on there that did not belong and/or could not affirm that all applicable rules were being followed. Someone had to make the decision to take this action. Either Rep. Wolf asked them or someone to do this or someone at NASA decided to do so on their own. LaRC PAO is unable or unwilling to admit that this is the case. Isn't it rather odd for NASA PAO not to respond with comments in support of what the agency's administrator said in open congressional hearings? Meanwhile, neither NASA or the House Appropriations Committee has bothered to post Bolden's prepared statement.

At today's hearing Rep. Wolf gave the NASA OIG and "F" grade for their ARC and LaRC investigations and suggested to Bolden that the agency needs a new IG. Wolf also lectured Bolden about blind dissidents and human organ trafficking in China. Wolf asked if Bolden would meet with various Chinese activists/dissidents at NASA HQ. Bolden said he would if he could ask them a question as to why Congress prohibits any interaction by NASA with China's space agency. When Bolden talked about the progress of moving the Arc Jet facility from JSC to ARC Wolf said "just make sure the spies are not involved out there" (i.e. at ARC).

Probably the most important thing to emerge from this hearing was the fact that both Wolf and Bolden liked the two "Home Alone" films.

Keith's 21 March update: here is the Prepared Statement by Charles Bolden Before House Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies. NASA still has not released it (but Congress has). Do a search for the word "China". Nothing. NASA really does not want to talk about this.

- NASA Technical Reports Server Mysteriously Taken Offline, earlier post
- Former NASA/NIA Employee Arrested by FBI Trying to Leave U.S., earlier post

Wolf: Chinese National Potentially Involved In NASA Langley Security Violations

"Even more troubling, the investigative report identified how Mr. Jiang was allowed by NASA and NIA supervisors to take his work and volumes of other NASA research back to China for a period of time, as documented in an investigative report I received."

Federal agents stop, arrest NASA Langley contractor on plane for China, Daily Press

"A former employee of a NASA Langley Research Center contractor was sitting on a Chinese-bound plane at Dulles International Airport on Saturday when federal agents came on board and asked to have a word with him. Federal prosecutors are now accusing that man, Bo Jiang, of lying to those federal investigators about what he had in his possession."

Affidavit in Support of an Application for Criminal Complaint and Arrest Warrant

Criminal Complaint

Bo Jiang, LinkedIn

Research Scientist - National Institute of Aerospace
October 2012 - Present (6 months)Visual Information Processing Lab, NASA Langley Research Center
- NASA Aviation Safety Program, External Hazards Sensing and Mitigation:
-- Developing a computational visual servo, which provides an active, automatic image enhancement,
-- Researching on generic pattern recognition combining computer vision and neuroscience.

Research Assistant - University of Electronic Science and Technology of China
July 2004 - June 2007 (3 years)Chengdu, China
- Adaptive median filter for multi-layer noise reduction,
- Image recognition based on Neural Network and Gabor filter,
- Speech recognition based on Neural Network and Hidden Markov Model.

Frank Wolf's Weekly Hearings on NASA and China, earlier post

Oversight Hearing - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

"Wednesday, March 13, 2013: Witness: Paul Martin, NASA Inspector General"

Oversight of NASA - Statement of Paul K. Martin NASA Inspector General

Keith's note: For some reason today's hearing with the NASA OIG will not be webcast. So much for trying to be open and transparent.

Keith's update: According to someone present at the hearing, Rep. Wolf focused a lot of this attention on news reports of a Chinese national who had been hired by LaRC. Wolf also asked Martin about ARC. Rep. Fattah suggested that if there are Chinese nationals employed by NASA that there should be some Americans employeed at at Chinese space centers. Wolf and Fattah then asked NASA for a list of the NASA employees currently working at Chinese space centers.

Oversight Hearing - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

"Wednesday, March 20, 2013: Witness: Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator"

Earlier posts on China

Wolf says NASA prompted hiring of person linked to Chinese espionage; may be dozens more in agency, Washington Examiner

"Today, Wolf said he has not received a response from Pete Worden, the retired Air Force general who is director of the Ames facility."

NASA ARC Centerwide Announcement: Ames and National Security (12 Feb 2013)

"I have offered to talk to the news reporter, meet with the US representatives and/or testify under oath regarding export control issues at Ames."

Keith's note: Worden has offered to testify on this issue - under oath - nearly a month ago. Apparently Rep. Wolf's staff didn't get that message. Or they forgot. Or they don't care. The NASA IG met with Rep. Wolf et al a few days ago to tell them all that there is nothing to the IG's knowledge to substantiate the reports about ITAR issues and espionage at ARC. Yet Rep. Wolf continues to link these claims about ARC to China even after the Justice Department and the NASA OIG state that there is no "there" there.

Letter From Rep. Wolf to NASA Administrator Bolden Regarding Chinese Visitors to CEOS Strategic Implementation Team meeting

"It has come to my attention that NASA will be hosting the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Strategic Implementation Team meeting at the Langley Research Center from March 12-14, 2013, and that officials from the government of the People's Republic of China are currently planning to attend. ... Because it is now less than 14 days before the commencement of the CEOS meeting and no such certification has been provided, the hosting of any Chinese visitors would be in clear violation of the law. Accordingly, I expect any participation by official Chinese visitors will be promptly cancelled."

Earlier posts on China

Letter from Rep. Wolf to NASA Regarding Attendance at the International Astronautical Congress

"In your June 15 response to me, you wrote, "As the NASA Administrator, I take my responsibility and accountability for use of taxpayer dollars in this area very seriously..." and you outlined your process for reviewing NASA-sponsored conferences exceeding $20,000 and non-NASA-sponsored conferences exceeding $100,000. That is why I was concerned to learn from the Web site NASAWatch.com that, "[sjources report that 50 or more NASA employees will be attending the IAC (International Astronautical Congress) meeting from 1-5 October in tourist-friendly Naples, Italy."

NASA's Delegation to the IAC, earlier post

Let's bring logic to NASA's budget process, Editorial, Houston Chronicle

"Culberson's and Wolf's bill would model NASA's budget process after that used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Doing so would make the agency less political and more professional. It calls for the president to appoint the NASA director to a 10-year term and would make the budget cycle multiyear rather than annual. The notion has Coats' endorsement. He notes that if they were able to plan out four or five years "it would be amazing what we could do with our team."

Keith's note: During today's NASA/FAA teleconference, Charlie Bolden said that the new commercial crew Space Act Agreements are targeted for July. However, Phil McAlister said that these downselects will not be "downselects" at all but will be open to any bidder. However Rep. Frank Wolf recently issued a press release that said "Additionally, NASA has stated that it will reduce the number of awards anticipated to be made this summer from the 4 awards made under commercial crew development round 2 to not more than 2.5 (two full and one partial) CCiCAP awards. This downselect will reduce taxpayer exposure by concentrating funds on those participants who are most likely to be chosen to eventually provide service to ISS."

Hmm. "reduce the number of awards" and "this downselect will reduce ..." It certainly sounds like Rep. Wolf thinks that he has agreed to a NASA "downselect". Phil might want to check with Rep. Wolf on this.

Hearing Notes: Charles Bolden Testifies on NASA's FY 2013 Budget

"When asked about CASIS, the non-profit organization chartered to manage the U.S International Laboratory on the ISS, Bolden did not know what the history behind CASIS was (how or why it was formed), did not know how many people worked there, and would not give a grade for its performance thus far. When Rep. Wolf noted that the Director of CASIS had quit recently and that this was like "the captain leaving the ship" Bolden said "they're just getting started". Rep. Wolf suggested that NASA needs to look at CASIS carefully saying "if they are not with it in 30-45 days we should pull it and give it to NSF". Bolden replied that a letter was being sent to CASIS to remind them of their milestones and "if they they do not meet milestones we will find another way"."

CASIS Reviews NASA Experiments for Commercialization Potential, CASIS

"The panel, led by Timothy Yeatman, a veteran surgeon, scientist and pioneer in the fields of genomics and personalized medicine, is the first of its kind. The effort marks the first high-level international scientific review of NASA experiments with the aim of maximizing use of the station and unlocking the value of America's investment in the $100 billion orbiting platform."

Keith's note: This statement by CASIS is simply untrue or, at best, grossly over-hyped. NASA has been convening review and oversight panels for this purpose for decades. I know because I used to help organize some of these panels and have attended innumerable others set up by NASA, NIH, NAS/NRC, and others. That said, the previous panels have not done very much of lasting signifigance since no one outside of a small subset of NASA really understands what the ISS can do - or has done. So maybe this new CASIS panel will be different. Given the weak and incomplete infrastructure in place at CASIS I would not hold high expectations for the output this first panel. Also, given that Rep. Wolf and House Appropriators have put CASIS on notice to get "with it" in the next 30-45 days the folks at CASIS who are "just getting starting" (according to Charlie Bolden) need to get this done properly - right out of the gate. The clock is now ticking.

Previous CASIS postings

Keith's note: As you can see from this screen shot from the hearing's webcast (shown only on NASA TV) as John Holdren and Charlie Bolden were testifying, that virtually no one other than Rep. Rohrabacher, ranking member Rep. Carnahan, and their staffs even bothered to show up for this hearing. A few selected tweets:

- Rohrabacher: DOJ says that WH can do whatever it wants in terms of diplomacy. My colleagues and I will fight this overreach.
- Rep. Carnahan: I have a different view on how we can engage with China and push ahead with reforms.
- Rep. Wolf "NASA wants to work with the PLA who is killing people for their organs"
- Rep. Wolf is now showing posters and shouting.
- It is now clear why Rep. Wolf needed his own panel - he is taking up the time that 3 witnesses would normally take
- Rep. Wolf is showing more posters and shouting about China blocking UN missions
- Bolden: my predecessor travelled to China to talk about space cooperation while GW Bush was president. I travelled there in 2010.
- Rohrabacher: this came to you from DOJ? Holdren: DOJ's opinion represents the Administration's opinion on this matter & it is binding on me
- Holdren: WH asked DOJ lawyer to be present - that request not granted by the committee - Rohrabacher said he would have granted had he known
- Most absurd aspect of the China/OSTP/NASA hearing: Committee staff refused to allow a DOJ rep to explain its decision for WH to follow

Hearing: Efforts to Transfer America's Leading Edge Science to China

- Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (subcommittee chair) - statement
- Rep. Carnahan (ranking minority member) - No prepared statement

Panel I
- Rep. Frank Wolf - statement/press release

Panel II (new)
- Thomas Armstrong, Managing Associate General Counsel, GAO - statement
- John Holdren, OSTP Director - statement
- Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator - statement

Panel III (new)
- Rick Fisher, Senior Fellow, International Assessment and Strategy Center - statement
- Adam Segal, Ph. D., Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations - statement

Office of Science and Technology Policy--Bilateral Activities with China, October 11, 2011

"Section 1340 prohibits OSTP from engaging in bilateral activities with the government of the People's Republic of China or Chinese-owned companies unless specifically authorized. Because OSTP was prohibited from using appropriated funds to participate in the Innovation Dialogue and the S&ED, OSTP violated the Antideficiency Act."

Wolf Asks Justice Department to Hold White House Science Adviser Accountable for Breaking Law

"Rep. Frank Wolf, chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations subcommittee, today asked the Justice Department to hold the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) accountable for breaking the law for leading science policy discussions with China."

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