Administrator Isakowitz?

Given all the previous “front runners,” I’m taking this latest rumor with at least one grain, and maybe half the shaker, of salt. Some of the comments are encouraging, and Steve is undoubtedly a smart guy, but my recollection of him from OMB was that he was a pretty traditional thinker when it came to launch and didn’t think that costs could be reduced much from where they were. But if Griffin chased him out with Steidle, that’s definitely a point in his favor. And commenter “Major Tom” (who I think is “” under a new pseudonym) is pretty impressed, which seems like a good sign to me.

[Update a few minutes later]

“Major Tom” weighs in in comments with more info (of which I had, surprisingly, been unaware). Any negative impression I have of Steve Isakowitz is from back in the nineties, and may be based on a single (perhaps even out-of context) quote that I saw from him somewhere (perhaps Space News). So don’t take my opinion over the majority (and particularly “Major Tom”‘s) in this matter.

2 thoughts on “Administrator Isakowitz?”

  1. Yes, I’m the same person (“Major Tom” and “”). With Griffin gone, it felt like it was time for a change.

    At OMB, Isakowitz pushed for two x-vehicles instead of one huge X-33. After the X-33 debacle, he was key to keeping NASA pushing in the reusable direction via SLI. The predecessor to COTS, Alternate Access, also originated in his office at OMB. And under Steidle, Isakowitz was part of the original ESMD team pushing to transition as much of NASA’s routine ETO access to the private sector as possible so the agency’s human space flight programs could focus on in-space/deep-space development and operations.

    Isakowitz is not dogmatic about space access (no “religion”), but he’s very practical about the issue when it comes to NASA and where the agency’s overall focus should be from the perspective of good policy. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s written one of the reference bibles on the topic, too.


  2. Based on my two brief encounters with Mr. Isakowitz in 1998 and ~2001 I would say he then definitely supported entrepreneurial space. I believe NASA funding for at least two interesting ideas significantly benefited from attention by him and his younger associate Brant Sponberg: gossamer spacecraft and the Centennial Challenges.

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