Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Obama funder gets insider deal at NASA
The Washington Examiner ^ | October 11, 2012 | Richard Pollock, Special Report

Posted on 10/12/2012 12:55:32 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Questions are being raised about NASA's relationship with Silicon Valley whiz Elon Musk in the wake of his Falcon 9 rocket delivering only half of the promised cargo on its first mission to the International Space Station.

The rocket lost power from one of its nine engines shortly after its Sunday launch and only delivered 882 of the promised 1,800 pounds of resupply cargo for the space station.

Manufactured by Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. ("SpaceX"), the Falcon 9 also failed to deliver as promised when it placed a prototype Orbcomm OG2 satellite into a lower orbit than required.

The satellite was a secondary payload on the widely heralded first-ever launch of a privately owned and developed rocket on a NASA-funded mission to the space station.

These are not the Falcon 9 project's first setbacks, as it is at least two years behind schedule and three previous test launches were cancelled.

The questions being raised in the wake of the equipment failures, however, concern the Falcon 9's mission funding instead of its technology, with some critics charging NASA made a sweetheart deal that lacks transparency and accountability.

Space X is one of three well-publicized Musk firms, the others being electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors and SolarCity Corp., a rooftop solar power panel manufacturer. Collectively, the three Musk firms have received more than $1.5 billion in government funding since President Obama took office in 2009.

Last year, Musk gave $5,000 to Obama for America and $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, but he has also contributed heavily to Democratic and Republican congressional incumbents and challengers.

Under Obama, NASA uses Space Act Agreements (SAA), which lack the financial transparency and competitive bidding requirements bidders face under the government's Federal Acquisition Regulation (DAR) system.

In a statement to The Washington Examiner, NASA spokesman Trent Perrotto defended SAAs, saying they put "flexibility in the hands of the providers."

But others, including space program experts and congressional critics from both parties, argue that SAA is a carte blanche handover of public money without litmus tests, design specifications, financial audits and adequate safety oversight.

A former NASA astronaut complained in an interview with the Examiner, that design and financial details under SAA are beyond the reach of government officials.

"The contractors are saying 'give us some seed money, trust us,'" said the former astronaut, who requested anonymity.

Thus far, NASA has awarded at least $2.1 billion in SAA money to private space companies, including a total of $824 million to SpaceX.

Michael D. Griffin, the former NASA Administrator under President George W. Bush, slammed SAA funding, saying it is a system "for which NASA cannot set requirements, cannot direct design features, cannot control management practices (and) cannot require financial audits."

His comments came in a prepared lecture Sept. 6 at Georgia Tech University,

Obama administration officials once told Congress NASA would use FAR funding for manned space flight, but in December 2011 reversed course and said the agency would continue to use the SAA program.

Rep. Jerry Costello, senior Democrat on the House subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, told a recent hearing of the panel that he worries about that reversal.

"I am concerned with NASA's reversal in its commercial crew acquisition strategy, using Space Act Agreements (SAA), instead of Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR)-based contracts for design activities and its possible affect on astronaut safety, which is of paramount importance."

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-MD, also a member of the House space subcommittee, told the Examiner that "NASA needs greater oversight than the Space Act Agreements can provide to ensure cost controls, safety, and reliability of these programs."

The space agency may now be re-thinking SAA use. Perrotto told the Examiner that NASA, depending on future results, "plans to transition to a FAR-based contract early next year."

A SpaceX spokesman declined comment for this story.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cronycapitalism; elonmusk; green; nasa

1 posted on 10/12/2012 12:55:41 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

SpaceX Head Obama Bundler?
2 posted on 10/12/2012 12:57:46 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All
April 15, 2012 (National Legal and Policy Center) Taxpayers Subsidize Forbes 'Green' Billionaires' Schemes........Musk, best known as co-founder of the company that became PayPal, is Chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, SolarCity spent $535,000 in 2009 and 2010 to lobby Congress and the Department of Energy on climate legislation, the Recovery Act, “green workforce training and development,” and provisions in various legislation “relevant to solar development.”

SolarCity has sought to extend a program, due to expire at the end of 2012, that delivers to manufacturers an upfront cash grant in lieu of a 30 percent Investment Tax Credit (called the Section 1603 grant program). So far, according to DOE reports, SolarCity has received more than $66 million from that program.

The company also won a partial guarantee from DOE of a $344 million loan that will place up to 160,000 rooftop solar installations on military housing across the country..........."

____________________________________________

Tesla has even more questionable connections:

Tesla brings political pull, as well. A former Tesla board member, Steve Westly, is an Obama bundler who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the president in 2008 and for his 2012 re-election campaign. His Westly Group was also a financial supporter of Tesla Motors until Tesla went public in 2010, and Westly continues to back the company.

Tesla’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk, is a hearty political contributor who has primarily backed Democrats, including Obama. According to published reports, another Tesla investor is Nick Pritzker, a donor to Obama and a cousin of Penny Pritzker, the national finance chair of Obama’s 2008 campaign...." Source

___________________________________

Tesla shares drop after cutting outlook [amends loan agreement with U.S.Energy Dept]

3 posted on 10/12/2012 1:04:22 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Thanks Cincinatus’ Wife. This is a brilliant discovery. Can’t get my head around it tonight but will save it for tomorrow.


4 posted on 10/12/2012 1:09:34 AM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: All
.....Manufactured by Musk's Space Exploration Technologies Corp. ("SpaceX"), the Falcon 9 also failed to deliver as promised when it placed a prototype Orbcomm OG2 satellite into a lower orbit than required......

ORBCOMM Satellite Launched by Falcon 9 Has Fallen to Earth

5 posted on 10/12/2012 1:10:59 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: bronxville

Obama and his Science and Technology Adviser and Policy Czar, John P. Holdren [”Population Bomb” and advocate for policy that the world is better off when America isn’t number one], are actively de-developing America - nurturing destruction in every corner of our economy and national security (The grow government administration championing free market capitalism for NASA? Hardly!). It’s time to wake up and smell the dismantling of our national space program, infrastructure and scattered workforce.


6 posted on 10/12/2012 1:19:52 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
"The rocket lost power from one of its nine engines shortly after its Sunday launch and only delivered 882 of the promised 1,800 pounds of resupply cargo for the space station."

How is this possible? It's not like they were lightening the ship by throwing cargo overboard. Or did they not have a full payload? Inquiring minds and all that.

7 posted on 10/12/2012 1:34:49 AM PDT by Truth29
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Truth29

Sounds to me like the ship jettisoned one of two cargo pods.


8 posted on 10/12/2012 1:45:26 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (let me ABOs run loose, lew (or is that lou?))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Truth29
SpaceX satellite loss is a warning for ride sharers
9 posted on 10/12/2012 1:48:33 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: HiTech RedNeck
Thanks, didn't know that was possible. That would make the mission largely a failure - loss half of the cargo and failed to properly insert the satellite into orbit.
10 posted on 10/12/2012 1:53:49 AM PDT by Truth29
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Truth29
The Dragon carried a full 1995 lbs of cargo, 1015 of which was usable items. I presume the rest was packaging material. The cargo includes 118 kilograms (260 lb) of supplies for the crew; including food and clothing; 117 kilograms (390 lb) of scientific equipment for NASA, the US National Laboratory, ESA and JAXA; 102 kilograms (225 lb) of spares and other station hardware; and 3.2 kilograms (7 lb) of computer equipment; mostly spare hard drives and CD cases. I have been checking over sites such as NASA Watch and Spaceflight Now. I have been unable to find anything on a loss of cargo due to the early engine shutdown.
11 posted on 10/12/2012 2:37:26 AM PDT by jmcenanly ("The more corrupt the state, the more laws." Tacitus, Publius Cornelius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Corruption? Obama?/s


12 posted on 10/12/2012 2:37:33 AM PDT by Eleutheria5 (End the occupation. Annex today.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Eleutheria5

“MR. MUSK: The ideal thing to do would be to tax CO2. But taxes are difficult to implement. So, we’re doing an indirect thing, which is to subsidize electric cars to some degree, and other sort of renewables.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304636404577297871083834362.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


13 posted on 10/12/2012 2:59:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Electric cars are not renewable. You can use anything to make electricity, oil, diesel, coal, mice running a treadmill. Just because you don’t see the generator from which the electricity comes does not make an electric car a renewable. What a twit.


14 posted on 10/12/2012 3:13:52 AM PDT by Eleutheria5 (End the occupation. Annex today.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: All
Live from the HuffPost Obama Pre-Inaugural Ball - blogging excerpts

Monday January 19, 2009

10:00 elon musk: the future is green

10:01 elon musk: oh my god, sharon stone is here!

10:55 Matt Petersen: What a rush to be here tonight at the HuffPo party and be party of this amazing event. Hats off to Arianna and her inimitable, irrepressible, and unmatched vision and passion. And to Elon Musk!, and all the other sponsors...

10:56 Matt Petersen: Global Green USA is in the house...and need all of you to push for the green parts of the stimulus package...to pursue economic revitalization and environmental restoration...they're one in the same.

10:57 Matt Petersen: I'm going to the swearing in - standing tickets...looking forward to every cold moment for it is a small price to pay for the struggles of so many for so long that have brought us to this place in history...

10:58 Matt Petersen: It reminds us that history is not preordained...it is how we face each crisis...each opportunity...that defines history

15 posted on 10/12/2012 3:20:55 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: All
Al Gore has thrived as green-tech investor

".....Just before leaving public office in 2001, Gore reported assets of less than $2 million; today, his wealth is estimated at $100 million.

Gore charted this path by returning to his longtime passion — clean energy. He benefited from a powerful resume and a constellation of friends in the investment world and in Washington. And four years ago, his portfolio aligned smoothly with the agenda of an incoming administration and its plan to spend billions in stimulus funds on alternative energy.

....In last week’s presidential debate, Romney criticized the $90 billion that went to promote green technology, saying a number of businesses owned by Obama campaign contributors were winners.

....Gore, 63, divides most of his time now between his home in Nashville and a St. Regis tower apartment in San Francisco, where he can visit his West Coast investment partnership and see his new girlfriend, an environmental activist. (He and his wife of 40 years, Tipper, separated two years ago. She lives in the $8.9 million mansion they bought in 2010 outside Santa Barbara.)

....Gore had won a Nobel Prize and Oscar for his 2006 book and movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Supporters had begun hailing him as the single most effective spokesman on the threat of climate change. With his prize winnings, Gore created the Alliance for Climate Protection, an advocacy group that ran ads warning of looming climate change. In the process, he gained high-placed admirers and business associates in Silicon Valley.

Gore entered the investment world full time by co-founding Generation Investment Management [GIM], a London-based investment firm. He was the type of high-profile partner sought by Goldman Sachs executive David Blood, who had headed Goldman’s $325 billion asset management division and was looking to start a new firm. The pair launched GIM in 2004 to back companies focused on sustainability, including clean energy, water scarcity and poverty....

....Gore also found himself to be a sought-after star among elite Silicon Valley investors. In late 2007, he became a senior investment partner at one of the world’s most successful venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins. He was combining forces with longtime friend John Doerr in a joint mission to spur clean tech.........

As Obama was preparing to take office, it was clear his public agenda supporting clean energy aligned with Gore’s personal agenda. Obama held a highly publicized meeting with Gore at transition headquarters in Chicago to talk about energy policy. Later, Obama closely echoed several of Gore’s talking points and his plan for public investment in clean energy. Obama even adopted Gore’s campaign catchphrase for the effort, “Repower America.”

“This is a matter of urgency and national security,” Obama said. “We have the opportunity now to create jobs all across this country in all 50 states to repower America, to redesign how we use energy and . . . make us competitive for decades to come — even as we save the planet.”.....

Gore’s investments coincided with the government’s largest investment in clean tech. A full 10 percent, estimated at $80 billion to $90 billion, of the 2009 stimulus package was devoted to clean energy.......

....Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee and is a leading critic of clean tech funding, said Gore’s portfolio “is reflective of a disturbing pattern that those closest to the president have been rewarded with billions of taxpayer dollars . . . and benefited from the administration’s green bonanza in the rush to spend stimulus cash.”......."More

________________________

GIM: Generation Investment Management LLP co-founders: [Al Gore and David Blood [headed Goldman’s $325 billion asset management division] LINKS to their advocacy and editorials.

"The $683 million "Climate Solutions Fund" piece of GIM has made direct, minority investments in a number of cleantech firms including SolarCity, Tigo, Ausra, and SMA." Source Oct. 4, 2012

16 posted on 10/12/2012 4:22:12 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Like just about everyone else here, I’m all for beating up the president, but I also believe in honesty. As far as I understand SpaceX is paid by the pound to deliver stuff to the space station. If they deliver less stuff on this mission - maybe because they’re getting paid more for that satellite - who knows, they will have to deliver more on later flights, or simply get hit in the wallet.

It sounds like a decent deal for taxpayers.


17 posted on 10/12/2012 4:44:37 AM PDT by BobL (You can live each day only once. You can waste a few, but don't waste too many.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BobL
"......“MR. MUSK: The ideal thing to do would be to tax CO2. But taxes are difficult to implement. So, we’re doing an indirect thing, which is to subsidize electric cars to some degree, and other sort of renewables.”...... [LINK Post #13]

Quote from this article "Obama funder gets insider deal at NASA": "............Space X is one of three well-publicized Musk firms, the others being electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors and SolarCity Corp., a rooftop solar power panel manufacturer. Collectively, the three Musk firms have received more than $1.5 billion in government funding since President Obama took office in 2009.

Last year, Musk gave $5,000 to Obama for America and $35,800 to the Obama Victory Fund, but he has also contributed heavily to Democratic and Republican congressional incumbents and challengers......."

_____________________________________________

Tesla [electric] Motors and Solar City have gone public, Space X is next. How nice that we have subsidized Mr. Musk's lifestyle and fortune. At the same time our carbon energy sources and autos are attacked and regulated to assist Mr. Musk's "companies." Our manned space program is being left to wither on the vine while Mr. Musk works to re-invent what we already had (but even he can't can't carry Americans to the International Space Station).

18 posted on 10/12/2012 4:56:10 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Truth29
NASA did not manifest a full load going to station, it's the return that is full. mostly frozen labs samples that they wanted and broken down parts that they want to examin.
19 posted on 10/12/2012 7:40:50 AM PDT by markman46 (engage brain before using keyboard!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Romney will need to have a large cadre of forensic accounting experts on hand on Jan 21, 2013 to start finding out EXACTLY where all the nation’s money has truly gone under Obama. IMO, this is a huge scandal.

I think there are a number of shell companies that got ‘stimulus’ money and Obama himself is the end recipient.


20 posted on 10/12/2012 9:09:20 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ridesthemiles

And we, our children, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are all financially on the hook to pay this off.


21 posted on 10/12/2012 9:12:51 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Cincinatus' Wife

Everything’s for sale, the White House has become a Whore House. That certainly is a change...


23 posted on 10/12/2012 5:46:02 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Gore’s investments coincided with the government’s largest investment in clean tech.

No, no insider trading here...

24 posted on 10/12/2012 5:50:49 PM PDT by American in Israel (A wise man's heart directs him to the right, but the foolish mans heart directs him toward the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

One has to wonder how many of these “Green Energy” Obama Bundlers are in the woodpile?

One also has to wonder if there is anyone sniffing them out?


25 posted on 10/12/2012 9:20:15 PM PDT by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: American in Israel; Taxman; All
SolarCity — Another Obama Scandal "SolarCity (SCTY), another “green energy” company and recipient of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds, in under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), sources reveal.

The company, which recently filed for its initial IPO, has disclosed that it received subpoenas in July from the U.S. Treasury Department. The Treasury Department is investigating whether companies overstated the market value of solar panel arrays they installed when claiming the 30% federal cash grant. The IRS also notified SolarCity that it is auditing two of its investment funds and reviewing the claimed value of solar systems submitted to receive the federal cash grants. ........SolarCity’s founder is Elon Musk; the high-profile billionaire has a history of giving lots of money to the Obama campaign..............."

26 posted on 10/13/2012 3:39:35 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Cincinatus' Wife

The Romney Attorney General (Mark Levin?) will have his hands full!


27 posted on 10/13/2012 8:43:30 PM PDT by Taxman (So that the beautiful pressure does not diminish!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson