tv NASA Administrator Holds Briefing on SpaceX Launch CSPAN May 30, 2020 2:27am-3:09am EDT
professor of epidemiology and medicine at the bloomberg school of public health, on how the covid-19 pandemic is affecting drug and alcohol addiction. watch c-span's washington journal, live at 7:00 eastern sunday morning. join the discussion. nasa administrator jim bridenstine says there's a 50% chance spacex crew dragon will launch saturday to the international space station. when it does, it will mark the first u.s. manned spaceflight since 2011. other dates are available if the launch cannot take place. good morning and welcome back to the kennedy space center for this historic mission as we prepare to launch bob and doug from right out there on that falcon 9 and crew dragon. an exciting time. where was this weather wednesday
afternoon? it is a challenge to compete with the weather in florida in the summer, but we will do what to write. we are moving ahead. it sounds like we have a 50-50 chance with the weather. we will see how it works out. it is my privilege to introduce our administrator. >> thank you. our highest priority is and doug, has been bob and and a couple of days ago, we had too much electricity in the atmosphere. the challenge is not we were in a lightning storm, the challenge is a launch could trigger lighting. the rocket itself can become a lightning booth. so we had these parameters set ahead of time, both the nasa and spacex teams knew what the parameter was. the limitations were exceeded
and that put us in a position to delay the launch. i think this is certain, though, we will launch american astronauts on american rockets, from american soil and we will do it with the absolute priority being the safety of our astronauts. i am very proud of the nasa team, proud of the spacex team. from american soil and we will do it with the absolute priority being the safety of our astronauts. i am very proud of the nasa team, proud of the spacex team. a lot of the comments that i had in the interviews ahead of time were, are you going to feel undue pressure, because of all of the attention on this, not just attention on the united states, but globally, all the vip's here. are you going to feel undue pressure to launch? and we have all been in agreement that there will be no pressure, we will launch when we are ready, and the president and vice president were proud of the nasa and spacex team for making the right call for the right reasons. when we do this again saturday,
if we do it again on sunday, we will feel no pressure. we will go when we are ready. safety is the highest priority, and that is what we are focused on. we will open it up to questions? jim morhart, deputy nasa administrator and a great friend. we are honored to have him as our deputy, having worked many years in the senate, he helps us a lot with the political aspects of the job that i deal with. thank you, jim. jim: good morning, i just really want to start by saying, we are at the dawn of a new age. we are really leading the beginning of a space revolution. and, think about it.
this is really something much bigger than all of us. but really, our hope and prayer for tomorrow is for us to inspire the next generation and to give hope for many people who need it right now. and, also to unite our country, and the world and you think about -- i guess what i'm trying to say is we need your support and we hope you will stay with us, as we get this flight test, whether it is the next day or the next day after that. a mercury seven astronaut said a good scrub is better than a bad launch any day, and that is where we are at. thank you. >> we will go to questions. >> good morning, irene, "aviation week." was there anything at all out of the countdown on wednesday that
is being changed, anything that the teams learned that will be applied for this? and a quick question for nicole. of course this is not boeing's day today, but can you give us an update on where you are with your training for your flight. thanks. jim: certainly, this was interesting, we have done a dry dress rehearsal but never a wet dress rehearsal. so, getting from a position of fueling the rocket, and arming the launch abort system and these kinds of things that we went through, and then defueling, yes, there were learning opportunities, and we are always gathering data. i will tell you the rocket was ready to go, the crew capsule was ready to go, all the ground systems were working according to plan. so, i would say no big changes,
but it is good for the agency to have a wet dress rehearsal behind us. that is all very positive, and every time we do one step further, we learn things, which is good for the agency. the second question was what? >> for nicole. nicole: thank you. yes, we are absolutely tremendously so proud of nasa and spacex. we are calling this the beginning of flight test season, and it really is. you will see the historic launch of the nasa spacex crew dragon. following that, next year you will see the launch of boeing's starliner.
on the heels of that you will see the launch of orion. we talked about the first step of us going to the moon, there will be a lot of launches and a lot of movement, and it is starting with the spacex launch. >> good morning. so nice to be here and godspeed for tomorrow. thank you for taking our questions. i want to ask you about the 45th task force, specifically. as you know, america's best at patrick air force base are going to rescue bob and doug, god forbid something goes wrong and they end up in the water. they showed us the equipment and they have been training for years. they told us that they started training after the shuttle program ended in 2011. they are so excited. they have this warehouse full of stuff, 150 men and women. they only step in, as you know, if something goes wrong. if not, we are not going to see or hear about them. they did not say this, but i sensed a little bit of sadness? that they are not going to get the glory when bob and doug come home and we can welcome our
heroes back. is there any way to give them some of the glory? they know this is spacex's show, and we understand that. but is there any way to involve them a little bit considering what they are going to do and probably never be seen? jim: i will be happy to take that, and i will tell you that bob cabana works with the 45th space wing day in and out, and they are amazing partners for nasa. deck three is the organization that should something go wrong, and the launch abort system is triggered, they will be rescuing bob and doug. and they will be involved in recovery, but even beyond that, the 45th space wing does so much more than recovery. they are involved in helping us understand, second by second, what the weather is, helping us with the data, helping us with the numeric weather models for
the weather. they help us with the range, making sure we have everything we need for the range and clearance of the range. this is their range, and they are amazing partners. this whole launch, we have branded this importantly, this is not launch nasa, it is not launch spacex. it is launch america. this is america's launch and the interagency is critical. the 45th space wing, which is a new component of the brand-new space force, i want to reemphasize that they are now part of the space force. and, emphasize that we have other partners as well. the faa is very involved, the department of transportation is the parent of the faa. so, this is an all of america effort, and when we launch, it will be launch america.
bob? bob: i want to emphasize what the administrator said, spaceflight is a team sport, none of us are successful unless all of us are successful. we could not have a better relationship than we do with general doug and the 45th space wing. we would not be here without them. everything we have done working with space wing and the faa to improve our operations, to enable commercial operations in a more user-friendly environment. this has been years in the making getting us to where we are, and it is not just the engineering team, not just nasa, or the commercial crew program. this is across-the-board and all of the support organizations in nasa and the air force making this a successful launch. this is launch america, not just launch commercial crew.
so, our whole nation needs to take pride in this, and everybody has had a role to play. they need to own this. they are part of it. we would not be here if everybody was not playing their role in making us successful. >> administrator, great to see you again. this is florida, the weather can do what it wants to do, but the forecast is not looking so great for tomorrow or sunday. some of our viewers are wondering why not wait until the weather is good? why go through the whole process with lightning in the area? jim: we are balancing so many things, and i want people to know that when we balance all of those things, there is always going to be uncertainty. we could wait another week and see that the weather is going to be good. the question is why is the weather good a week from now? the answer is because the winds
are going to be east from west, so all of the cumulonimbus clouds and all of the storm systems are going on the west coast of florida. -- looks r loons like like it will be fantastic. the problem is, when the wind are east to west, if we have a pad abort capability, which is what we did not have under the space shuttle. if we have that triggered, we are going to have our astronauts landing on land, and that is not an option for us. we are balancing a lot of things. we are also balancing the time of day we launch, making sure that -- we have to consider the sleep cycles of the crew to make sure that they are not in the middle of a very critical portion of the flight when they have been without sleep for a period of 24 hours, and that will not happen because we are
managing for that. it is not just the sleep cycles of the crew, but also the sleep cycles on the international space station, and all of these things that we are balancing have to match. we have these unique opportunities of time. it is interesting when you talk about launching to the international space station, your launch window is not a window at all, it is instantaneous, if you do not meet it, you do not go. you have to have all of these things ahead of time, and then you select a window. if the weather is good, you go, if the weather is not, you do not go. we have these different opportunities in the weeks ahead, but it is important to note, and bob just said this in a meeting earlier, we cannot forget that this is a test flight. this is a test flight. we are not in normal operations. we are learning. everything we are doing as an institution is about learning. and, as we get ready for this launch, we want to make sure that we have everything as safe as possible. again, cannot say it enough. bob and doug are our highest priority. this is a test flight.
and we will go when everything is as safe as we can possibly make it. >> good morning, this is marsha from "the associated press." i would like the two active astronauts to answer this. this is being described as a revolution, a new dawn, and i would like you to tell me what your image of the future is going to look like in your lifetimes. is it too much to hope for jetsons, tony stark, ironman? realistically, what do you want to leave people with and what is possible in our lifetimes? kjell: thank you for that question. i am still waiting for my personal jetpack, but the future is incredibly exciting. it has been said many times already that we are really at the cusp of the next generation
of space flight, and that is so true. what we will witness in the near future, and hopefully tomorrow, is a culmination of that relationship between a government and commercial entity helping us to get to low-earth orbit and to the international space station. my vision is that this ignites that next generation of spaceflight. i look forward to see artemis take the first woman and the next man to the lunar surface for a permanent habitat where we will be doing research and science, and exploration on the moon. and that will serve as a launching pad to get us to mars. i think that is doable within my lifetime, and i am so excited about this launch, because i remember in second grade watching the space shuttle launch. the teacher wheeled a television into our classroom and that inspired me to recognize that this job of exploration was a possibility for me.
tomorrow's launch will do that for our next generation of scientists, explorers, and astronauts. it is that generation that will take us to the moon, mars, and beyond. thank you. nicole: thank you. i think what i look forward to is a vision where the younger generation sees no limitations in their life. whether that be because of their gender, orientation, nationality, or anything, they just see possibilities. what this allows, this partnership between public and private and commercialization of low-earth orbit, you see opportunities open up. in the future, i envision an opportunity where it is not just astronauts and government folks that are going to low-earth orbit, but there are other folks, scientists, doctors, poets, reporters. imagine if you were up there,
and you were able to capture it with your own eyes and write this incredible story, you would be able to convey that to america and to the world, much better than we can tell our story to you. i see it as a real possibility. the word, 'unbelievable' shall be stricken from the dictionary because you see a lot and go that is unbelievable, but it is believable, we are watching it. this change is taking place, this step is happening. you will see low-earth orbit open up and see us go to the moon and see artemis, and a man and woman on the moon and eventually you will see us on mars. >> joey with "reuters." a question for jim bridenstine, have you talked to bob and doug? anything mission was scrubbed?
how are they doing? are they eager to go to the station? have you come to a decision on how long bob and doug will be staying on the iss since we locked down the august 30 date for the next mission date for the next mission? jim: we have to remember that this is a test flight and that will determine what we do. we are targeting a date of august 30. you used the word "locked down." nothing is locked down before a test flight. we will do this test flight. bob and doug are in great spirits and are ready to go, and certainly we have been in touch via text, and of course i will be talking to them before they launch again. before they get ready to launch again. thank you. >> hello, stephen clark from spaceflight now. a question for the astronauts, have you had a chance to talk to bob and doug and if you have any more insights about their experience on wednesday, having propellant loaded into a rocket for the first time. there was a lot of discussion about the risk involved with the
load and go fueling procedure, i want to get your perspective. for the administrator, just an update on boeing's schedule, if you have an update on when their second oft flight test will occur, and when the crew flight test might occur. thank you. nicole: i was fortunate enough to talk to doug hurley the night before their first launch attempt, and i think he gave me a call because i will be the next marine flying. and he wanted to give me a little bit of fatherhood, we talked about the weather and i asked him how does it feel. hat would it feel like to scrub? did he have concerns? and he did not. he mentioned the first time he flew on a shuttle he scrubbed five or six times before they launched. he said you just have to keep in mind that you have to remain flexible, and that calls and decisions will be made and everybody is out there keeping you safe and making sure you will have a successful mission. i thought that was a really good
key, applicable for the rest of your life. there are plenty of things that you cannot control, the weather being one of them, and you need to be flexible and not waste energy on things you cannot control, and do what you need to do to prepare, and when it is time for the next opportunity, you are ready to go. kjell: as far as a replay, of oft 1 we are targeting by the end of the year, that is eminently achievable, i would say for the first launch of crew that has yet to be determined. >> this is daniel, with wired magazine, with a question for the administrator. we are all not hoping for another scrub, i was hoping you could tell us a little bit about the precautions that nasa takes, i imagine you have to shut down the range. so could you tell us about that and the costs per scrub. jim: that is an important question. a couple of things that we have
to consider when we make these kind of decisions. we do not consider cost, because again there is no cost to the lives of bob and doug. we will do whatever it takes to make sure they are safe. but, for example, right now we are going through a process, thinking tomorrow, it is about a 50% probability that we will have the conditions capable of launching at the time of launch. here at the cape. and, of course, when you add in the uncertainty downrange, because we have a launch abort capability, we have to have the right weather conditions down range at the same time. and so, the question is, when we have a 50% probability, and the next opportunity is on sunday, we could put ourselves in a position where we are doing back to back wet dress rehearsals saturday and sunday, and the thing we have to do start to consider are the human factors.
the human factors add risk as well because it wears everybody out, including our astronauts, although they never complain. we want to make sure that everybody is well rested and ready to go. one of the things we might do, even today, this afternoon, we might get another weather brief and make a decision that sunday is the day, not saturday. it will depend on every thing is a range of probabilities. what are the probabilities on saturday and on sunday? if it is high enough on saturday, we target that day. we are looking at all of these different options. earlier i mentioned that we have to consider sleep cycles. we want to lunch at a time when our crew, if the time to orbit is 15 to 20 hours, that is in the sweet spot, because they can get on orbit, get some rest, and then dock to the international space station. so, getting that right is important as well.
when we talk about their sleep cycle, depending on the day we launch and the time we launch, we have got phase burns and boost burns that we have to get accomplished, and if those are in the middle of the times when the astronauts are trying to catch sleep, then that is not optimum either. so, we are having to balance all of these things. there is cost associated with the delay, make no mistake. there is cost. we load the rocket with liquid oxygen and unload. we have all of these people at the cape that are focused on getting the mission accomplished, there is absolutely cost associated. as far as the total dollar amount, given all of the things that we do, i do not have that number handy right now, but there are costs associated. but, again, compared to the investments that it took us to get to this point, that is minimal. compared to the lives of bob and doug, we are not worried about
that. remember. it is a test flight and we need to make sure that we are maximizing the opportunity for success, and that is what we are focused on. >> briefly do you have the ball park figure, hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars? jim: we will get you a number. >> this is michael sheetz from cnbc. my question is for jim, and bob could probably add color. jim, you've asked people to stay home for this mission. given that we are all wearing masks and social distancing. but, the visitor complex reopened the day after the scrub. so this launch attempt is going to see people being able to come to the visitor center, as well as it is the weekend, people do not have to take off work if they want to watch the launch. what kind of measures is nasa
taking, that is different than we saw on wednesday? and what kind of crowds are nasa expecting in the local area, and even on-site? jim: so you are aware, yes. i do not know what the count is, but lots of people came to the cape to watch this launch. so, i will tell you what we are considering as an agency. this is an important mission for us. and in july we are launching a robot to mars. so, we have to protect the safety and the health of the workforce here at the kennedy space center. and, of course, once demo two is successful, which it will be, once it is successful, we will launch crew one. so, right here, at the kennedy space center, we have no shortage of opportunities. we have to make sure that without question we are doing everything we can to keep our people safe at the kennedy space center, and keep them healthy.
remember, if we have an outbreak, all of the contact tracing begins, and then all of these mission essential people could end up getting sidelined. that is not the outcome we are looking for. so, the visitor center is open, there is no doubt that times are changing and people will travel. the visitor center is going to be open. what we expect is when people come here, they follow the guidance of the governor, and they follow the guidance for social distancing, and personal protective equipment. if you are not going to maintain that distance, and if people do that, they are going to be safe. we will make sure that the people involved in these mission essential functions for this country, launching american astronauts from american soil, launching our next rover to mars, that these mission essential functions will not be placed in jeopardy. bob: i would like to add to that.
first off, the visitor center is a limited opening. full capacity. they limit the number of people that could come on to the main full capacity. they limit the number of people that could come on to the main complex.full capacity. they limit the number of people that could come on to the main complefull capacity. they limit the number of people that could come on to the main complex.full capacity. they limit the number of people that could come on to the main compleull capacity. they limit the number of people that could come on to the main complex. there are no bus tours. they are not going out to the saturn five, so it is in with keeping what disney has done, and what universal has done. not even all of the venues on the main complex are going to be open, and this was planned to open, had we launched on time, it would have been after the launch. now those folks will be able to view it from the visitor center. but, they have strict rules in place for cdc guidance, and all i can say is that they are doing it in the safest way possible, and in keeping with the governor's guidelines for helping open up the state of florida, but it is by no means a full opening of the visitor center, the kennedy visitor center. it is limited participation. here on-site, as the
administrator mentioned, we are still in phase three for our guidelines onsite for the coronavirus. we require folks to wear masks in common areas, in buildings, if they cannot be six feet apart, they have to wear a mask, in hallways, common areas, and elevators. we are taking this seriously. we have to protect our workforce to make sure we can complete nasa's essential work. >> hello. ken chang. "new york times." i was wondering what bob and doug are doing during these two days of downtime? jim: i don't know honestly. they might spend time at the beach house. again i do not know, but that is probably what they will do. they started a new tradition of
launching little rockets, i do not know if you have seen any of that. they started a new tradition of launching rockets from the beach at the beach house before they launch, and so, i would imagine they are getting downtime. they are probably thinking about what is coming. maybe changes that they would like to have for their next route to the rocket. do you have any insight? bob: i launched on a soyuz rocket, and even with our launch we experienced a delay, so, you certainly get excited about the launch, you are prepared and your mindset is such that you are ready to fly. and certainly bob and doug were ready to do that on wednesday. and so, the scrub represents an opportunity for the team to learn, and then an opportunity for them to reunite with their families. i know they are spending time with their families and enjoying this little bit of time before
they get ready to fly again. i am sure they are getting briefings from the nasa team and the spacex team, on what the weather looks like and how the vehicle looks. and, getting back into the zone for whatever we decide for tomorrow or sunday. >> greg from news 13. this is for the administrator and mr. cabana. it has been nine years since america saw a launch. this area was devastated after the shuttle was retired, and a lot of people laid off. what inspiration after nine years does this flight mean for the space coast in particular, and florida? jim: it is huge. i cannot compliment bob cabana and his team enough. as you mentioned, when the shuttles were retired nine years ago, this area was devastated, and then that was with the cancellation of the moon program, constellation.
all of those jobs anticipated were also eliminated, and it was all at once and absolutely devastating. and so, what has happened, bob and his team have put together -- and i will say this because bob will not brag about himself. they put together a multiuse space part. we have commercial, civil, and military launches happening in a very robust way, and the economy has come back. the markets are working here in
a way we could not have even envisioned nine years ago. and now we have a budget, a nasa budget that is the highest it has ever been in history in nominal dollars and, obviously, apollo in real dollars was higher. our trajectory is right. when i took over this job, our budget was $19 billion, and the budget request for next year is $25 billion dollars. for the first time since 1972, we have a human landing system funded to go to the surface of -- of course, with the development of space force and the 45th space wing, air force station, it will be lots of economic opportunity. some of it for good reasons, because we want to do exploration and science and discovery. some of it for not so good reasons, because we have bad actors around the world making space more dangerous. we need the 45th space wing and the air force to do it to keep our country and the commercial capabilities of space safe. but, i will tell you right now, we are thrilled to have the support from the administration at the level that we have it. we have strong bipartisan support. one of my jobs, and i took this
seriously as the nasa administrator, when i took the job, how do we create a program that is sustainable and not going to invest billions of dollars and then get canceled? we do it by getting strong bipartisan support, which we are having. we do it by making sure our international partners are engaged and contributing in dollar values and in capabilities, which they are doing. we think about building a space station in orbit around the moon. our international partners want to go to the moon with us and they welcome that. the president's space policy says go to the moon sustainably with international and commercial partners. when we go to the moon in 2024, we will go with a commercial human landing system. so we are expecting providers to get customers that are not nasa driving down costs and increasing access. we are building the markets that make it sustainable. the history of spaceflight is that the government created the
demand and the supply. and when you do that you are limited and subject to the whimsical budgets of politicians. and that is where we were nine years ago. because of bob and his team, and the vision to commercialize space, that is not where we are today. we need a resilient space program that includes the best that america has to offer from a government perspective, from a commercial perspective. and we need to bring a coalition of nations with us, which was what the international partnerships are about. we need bipartisan support, and we need these people that are watching on television to support the program, and they do. that is why we do so much communication outreach. if we have public support we get the support of the representatives in congress, which provide nasa's budget, and they have been overwhelmingly supportive. in a bipartisan way. so, yes, we all remember what happened nine years ago. we remember it.
and we are doing everything in our power to make sure that it doesn't happen again. and that is my job as the nasa administrator. bob, i will let you say a few words. bob: jim, first off, thank you for your kind words, and i am pleased to be a member of this team. it is awesome what we have accomplished. you say we have not seen a launch. every time a rocket ship leaves planet earth, it is worthy of note. when you talk about humans and what it means, i looked at the max brewer bridge for the last launch attempt in titusville, and it looked like the last flight of the space shuttle. in our nation, it means a lot to see astronauts launching on u.s. rockets from u.s. soil. anytime you put a human on a rocket, it is another step up. it raises the level of concern, the level of importance, the level of our looking into it to
make sure that everything is right. and, it is awesome. i cannot tell you what it will mean to me to see a u.s. rocket launching crews off the pad. that is what they were designed for. we went from to the moon from that pad. i launched three times off that pad. to see bob and doug launch off of it and then get boeing launching, we are on the verge of a new era in human spaceflight. this is just the beginning, and it will only get better. it means a lot and i truly am excited. it is the culmination of a lot of hard work by this team and i cannot be more pleased. jim: i enjoy every launch, you know that. thank you very much. >> this will be our last question. >> how much credit do you put on elon musk personally to be where you are today? i know it is a big effort, but he is the lynchpin in that all,
and he is a colorful, high-profile figure for lots of reasons. how much attention is being drawn to all of this just by virtue of him as a person? jim: you are making a wonderful point. what elon musk has done for the american space program, he has brought vision and inspiration that we had not had for 10 years, since the retirement of the space shuttle. and, i will tell you, he is brilliant. he is capable. i have been the nasa administrator for over two years, and there have been times when maybe there has been a little tension because of the priorities we were focused on. but, when i talk with him and meet with him, he gives me a commitment and he delivers on that commitment. that has happened every single time. so we are proud of the team that he has at spacex, we are proud of the partnership between nasa
and spacex. in this case, we are at a point in time where we have asked him to do certain things, and he has absolutely delivered. jim m.: i would just like to add to that. i witnessed the flight readiness review last week, and it was said, we started out as a partnership, and in many respects, it has become a friendship. there is still a healthy distance between a contractor and this agency. in but, there are a lot of relationships, and that is what makes our success. they actually embedded bob and doug into their manufacturing facilities so that their line workers got to know them personally, so they are personally invested in their safety. and yes, as jim says, from elon, but it goes down to the line
worker, and i cannot reiterate how much jim has said, and it is of jim's vision, the vice president and president's vision, and they are helping us execute that vision. >> that was the last question. do you have any closing remarks? jim: well, i want to reemphasize that this is a test flight. we learned a lot a couple of days ago, and in the days ahead we will learn more. part of what we are learning is what we need to be safe to launch as it relates to the weather. of course, we are looking at saturday and sunday. we have some other days beyond that where we could launch. the seventh and the eighth are reserved, but we are looking at maybe the second and third as well, although that is not a certainty. but i want to reemphasize that this is a test flight and that we will do everything we can to keep bob and doug 100% safe.
they were ready to go before and even more ready to go now. this agency that we call nasa will pull off something spectacular with our partners at spacex and we are excited about it. thank you for coming and covering this press conference. >> thank you, this concludes the press conference, have a great day. >> this morning, beginning at 11:00 a.m. eastern, c-span has live coverage of the rescheduled launch of the spacex crew dragon. liftoff is scheduled for 3:22 p.m. eastern, as nasa astronauts bob behnken and doug hurley launch to the international space station. watch live on c-span, c-span.org or on the free c-span radio app. next, a discussion with
mayors who need financial help from the government to stabilize their economies and safely reopen their cities. leaders from los angeles, atlanta and seattle daily briefing to a house panel. thanking to begin by our distinguished panelists and esteemed members for joining us today. passed a our country grim milestone, 100,000 americans have lost their lives due to the coronavirus pandemic. thousands of americans continue to contract this virus every day. wednesday marked our largest single day increase of covid-19 deaths. local community leaders across thent