MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10502 posts, RR: 38 Posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 6376 times:
From a column published in USA Today.
Is Obama grounding JFK's space legacy?
By Neil Armstrong, Jim Lovell and Gene Cernan
Updated 5/24/2011 4:45 PM |
But today, America's leadership in space is slipping. NASA's human spaceflight program is in substantial disarray with no clear-cut mission in the offing. We will have no rockets to carry humans to low-Earth orbit and beyond for an indeterminate number of years. Congress has mandated the development of rocket launchers and spacecraft to explore the near-solar system beyond Earth orbit. But NASA has not yet announced a convincing strategy for their use. After a half-century of remarkable progress, a coherent plan for maintaining America's leadership in space exploration is no longer apparent.
gigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16306 posts, RR: 87 Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6333 times:
Obama is doing what needs to be done - making access to LEO an everyday commodity and focusing our resources on never before visited phenomena.
Ares was an unqualified disaster - billions and billions over budget, and not even enough power from the Ares 1 booster. SpaceX has built a family of rockets in just a few years for a small fraction of the dollars, and are planning to execute a heavy-lift booster from the family in a just a year. That's precisely what the commercialization of space is intended to bring.
Congress, under Obama's guidance on this, mandated a rocket and a vehicle be ready in a reasonable timeframe at a reasonable cost to get us on our way to Mars and other celestial bodies.
NASA's inability to execute is what grounded the space legacy, for now. Not Obama.
NBGSkyGod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 673 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6325 times:
The writing was on the wall long before Obama or Bush. NASA is no longer in the business of taking real risks. During the moon shot days, NACA had an almost blank check for R&D. Now almost their entire space budget is tied up in shuttle launches. The atmosphere is no longer about boldly going, but rather just going where we can get without making too many waves. I think it is time to let private industry have their hand in space programs. The x-prize competition proved that private industry can do it given a chance. This is the kick in the pants the US space program needs.
"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10502 posts, RR: 38 Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6263 times:
Quoting NBGSkyGod (Reply 2): I think it is time to let private industry have their hand in space programs. The x-prize competition proved that private industry can do it given a chance. This is the kick in the pants the US space program needs.
Private means geared toward profit making - less costs.
Safety at less cost? I don't see how.
Looks like we are still a long way from seeing private US launchers taking astronauts to the International Space Station.
gigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16306 posts, RR: 87 Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6217 times:
Yep read the blog post again. Totally misguided, overjudgmental, and written like a Fox News segment.
So, I maintain my previous argument - idiot. Not to mention, SpaceX isn't it for us. The Boeing CST100 is designed to ride all 3 boosters - Delta, Atlas, and Falcon 9. And Its right on schedule as well. Also, Orbital seems to be bumbling around with the Taurus and Cygnus but they are in fact an old and established rocketry organization - their product will no doubt function.
kanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3055 posts, RR: 23 Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 6084 times:
In a perfect world with no budget constraints inherited from previous administrations and bailing out unsustainable banking practices, the picture would be different. I'm not sure today where the vast amounts of money would come from when everyone is protecting their piece of pork.
If we can resolve the economic crisis, we can resume the big plans. However, I believe public/private partnerships wil be required. Private for innovation and public for backing providing someone doesn't put a CO2 tax on rocket launches.
A, there's no such thing as giving money back to tax payers. It all gets taken, its going to get spent one way or the other, and there are far worse things to spend it on than jobs and scientific innovation.
2, Space as NASA is handling it is a black hole, but that doesn't mean it really is. It drives all sorts of scientific knowledge that has been given the back burner to the defense interests.
Third, I wanted to use several conflicting bullet headers.
Quoting kanban (Reply 8): bailing out unsustainable banking practices,
The government made money back on TARP, by the way. Far be it from me to approve of something from the previous administration.
Quoting kanban (Reply 8): Private for innovation and public for backing providing someone doesn't put a CO2 tax on rocket launches.
The rockets, like everything else on the planet, need to be taxed for their carbon.
MCIGuy From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 1936 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6018 times:
Yes, B.O. effectively ended the US space program and he and his group are gleefully putting America in the back seat in all things. Luckily, not even the Bin Laden mission is likely enough to get him reelected, especially if the economy is in the shape it is now or worse.
Wingscrubber From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 841 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6013 times:
Obama's administration is not just harming the space program, but aerospace & defense industry in general.
Programs cancelled; Constellation/Ares, VH-71, F-22, C-17, F-136, JCM missile, amphibious EFV, and there are probably more...
Not only that, but the anti-general aviation rhetoric after he was first elected hurt the civil aerospace world too, making a bad situation for GA even worse than it needed to be.
Regardless of whether you think those military programs were needed or not (somebody did at one point), and regardless of whether you agree with the 'savings' made by all those cuts, that's a lot of layoffs, and a lot of local economic negative impact caused by the loss of those jobs.
Bottom line is, no president in history has done so much to hurt the aerospace world as Obama.
Additionally, no single Nobel Peace Prize winner has fired as many hellfire missiles as Obama, which is what makes it so ironic that someone relying so heavily on the military can do it so much harm.
GDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 12948 posts, RR: 79 Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5998 times:
While I was sad to see the end of the program started in 2004, it does seem to be the case it was in a hell of a mess.
First Ares 1 manned by, they hoped, 2017? Space X will very likely beat that.
Back to the Moon by 2020 - wasn't it looking more like 2028 - in other words, never.
Safety - what about the design compromises of the Shuttle then the operational environment that destroyed Challenger and Columbia.
Under Bush, the Shuttle was going to end by 2010/11 anyway.
Maybe the best comment I've heard though was from a newspaper in Florida. That the Obama plan was trying to make the Space Coast more like Silicon Valley, the opponents of it (oddly usually very anti government spending types) wanted to turn it into Detroit!
eksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1213 posts, RR: 27 Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5912 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW ARTICLE EDITOR
Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 13): Yes, B.O. effectively ended the US space program and he and his group are gleefully putting America in the back seat in all things.
I like to point out that it is the Bush Administration that phased out the shuttle program. That administration put into place a future plan ("Vision for Space Exploration") that was underfunded and unsustainable.
If you really want to dig deep, the problems arose when the STS program replaced the Apollo program in the early 70s. We went to the Moon (240,000 miles) then pulled back to 225 miles. A factor of 1000 RETREAT!
If we really wanted to be serious, there should have been a dual low orbit and exploration system in place beginning in the 1970s. It was impossible to sustain that financially.
Successive administrations (Reagan,Clinton,Bush H, Bush W ) FAILED to advance the goal posts when it came to the shuttle program. The space shuttle was not designed to run for 30 years. At best, this was a 10 year program of flight that would yield the space shuttle 2.0 or something else. Successive administrations did not want to open that can of worms hence we we arrived at 2002. Bush made the call to retire the space shuttle and muddled the next step by the half baked VSE. Obama has tried to undue some of the moves regards to the next launch system but the direction from the top has been lacking. It is certainly an interesting time, the new ideas seem to hold more promise now.
A lot of the consternation is around not the retirement of the shuttle but the lack of a clear cut successor. However, I believe this will work out soon, it does not make sense to commit to something without proper planning.
I love it when non American taxpayers complain about "the killing of the space program". I love the saving of MY taxpayer money on poor return on investment systems. The space shuttle system at approx. $ .75 to 1 billion a launch is just not good economics in the new world order. Time to move on to something better and safer.
I am looking forward to the new era and as much time i have spent working around the orbiters, I will have a sense of relief when we close out the program safely. I shudder at the safety odds that we give our astronauts to fly on the orbiters.
New directions always have growing pains. We just have to deal with it!
kanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3055 posts, RR: 23 Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5854 times:
It's odd that the very people that bemoan fiscal tightening of military and space programs are the same ones who want decreased or no taxes. It's always easier to sit back and snipe and blame the current incumbant for problems created by previous administrations and congresses than to own up that we elected some of those turkeys.
commercialization of space launches / exploration will be difficult and require big bucks that are not available right now. We could pump billions into it if we called all foriegn stationed troops home, cut the F-35 to a third, mothballed 50% of the Navy, closed 40% of domestic bases..... but then what would all the furloughed military personel do as civilians?
BMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15058 posts, RR: 26 Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5746 times:
Quoting Wingscrubber (Reply 14): Bottom line is, no president in history has done so much to hurt the aerospace world as Obama.
Carter sure tried though.
Quoting eksath (Reply 16): We went to the Moon (240,000 miles) then pulled back to 225 miles. A factor of 1000 RETREAT!
Distance is not the only measuring stick that counts. If you don't think that the Space Shuttle and all of its associated missions and the ISS have not been major progress in space exploration and science in general, then you really need to do some reading.
Quoting eksath (Reply 16): I love the saving of MY taxpayer money on poor return on investment systems.
Do you know how much of your taxpayer money goes to NASA?
Quoting kanban (Reply 17): It's odd that the very people that bemoan fiscal tightening of military and space programs are the same ones who want decreased or no taxes.
Defense should always be the first money in and the last money out. And furthermore, NASA and the like is an investment, which is different than a handout.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
eksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1213 posts, RR: 27 Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5710 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW ARTICLE EDITOR
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18):
Distance is not the only measuring stick that counts. If you don't think that the Space Shuttle and all of its associated missions and the ISS have not been major progress in space exploration and science in general, then you really need to do some reading
you are telling the wrong person to read up on space exploration and space exploration goals,please do your background research. I stand by my statement regards the manned space program evolution over the last 40+ years.
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18): Do you know how much of your taxpayer money goes to NASA?
Yes. and in my case, the flow is also opposite. i.e. i get more money back due to the STS program but I still want a better accounting. I actually make money every time a STS mission is being processed for up or down because that is related to my job.
BMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15058 posts, RR: 26 Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5702 times:
Quoting eksath (Reply 20): I stand by my statement regards the manned space program evolution over the last 40+ years.
You think that building the ISS is not an achievement? That learning to work and live in space for months at a time is not an achievement, and one necessary for a Mars mission at that? You really think that making manned space travel so routine as to barely make the news and is on the brink of becoming a commercial pursuit is not an achievement?
I am all for a mission to Mars, but to characterize everything after Apollo as a step backwards is rather absurd in my opinion.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
NBGSkyGod From United States of America, joined May 2004, 673 posts, RR: 1 Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5661 times:
Quoting boeingfixer (Reply 5): Don't know if this is a mistype but NACA was abolished in 1958 and did not directly contribute to the race to the moon.
Yes that was mistype, I did mean NASA, thanks.
As for the fact that our space program has been moving backwards since Apollo, is just about spot on. While the STS and ISS programs are advancements, the fact that we have not left our low orbit in 40 years is absurd. The shuttle, while it has a brilliant purpose, it should not have been our go-to machine for as long as it has. There needed to be a replacement on the books long ago.
So after 40 years, we have gone from putting a man on the moon to not having a manned space program. It is not the result of the actions of one presidency, but rather many from then until now. We have gone from a nation of risk takers to risk avoiders. We don't want to put something together that may fail, may have flaws, may not go right.
"I use multi-billion dollar military satellite systems to find tupperware in the woods."
kalvado From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 483 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5634 times:
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21): You think that building the ISS is not an achievement?
It is. Can we get some use of it?
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21): That learning to work and live in space for months at a time is not an achievement,
Congratulations! Now US space program is on par with soviet space program of 1980s. OK, what's next? Is there a closed cycle life support system coming? At the very least, can we recycle oxygen from CO2? That would be a real step towards long haul flying..
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21): You really think that making manned space travel so routine as to barely make the news and is on the brink of becoming a commercial pursuit is not an achievement?
Last time Shuttle was launched, it was in headlines for a few weeks - first launch attempt, repairs, second try..
However you are right - barely anyone noticed another Soyuz which was launched this week.
Both Shuttle and ISS were built as tools, flying itself is not a goal. Shuttle did not get used properly until ISS construction started. ISS.. I haven't heard about any real science done on-board which would justify that level of costs.
Station can become a starting point for going further - a launch pad for Moon or Mars missions.. Probably station would be too old before that would happen. Same as Shuttle was 20 years old by the time it found a real job of flying to ISS.
Space flight problems were building up for decades, it's hard to blame anyone in particular. Costs are too high, outcome is barely noticeable.
eksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1213 posts, RR: 27 Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5560 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW ARTICLE EDITOR
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 21): You think that building the ISS is not an achievement? That learning to work and live in space for months at a time is not an achievement, and one necessary for a Mars mission at that? You really think that making manned space travel so routine as to barely make the news and is on the brink of becoming a commercial pursuit is not an achievement?
No where in my statement have I said that.
The ISS remains "our only foothold in the new frontier." as well put by a man I admire and respect the former shuttle program director.
My point - which appears to be still missed by you- is that the US manned space program got "stuck" in LEO.
Let me try and explain my statement in simple terms to you:
If, for the next 40 years after Columbus, European explorers merely sailed 225 miles offshore of Europe and cruised around then sailed back, how would Western civilization capitalize on the finding of the new world?
We (all us space faring nations) have a long history of LEO - Spacelab,Mir,ISS + hundreds of flights to and fro. It is time to move the frontier line beyond low Earth orbit. Frankly, we have been ready for awhile now.
World Wide Aerospace Photography
25 Revelation: America's leadership in many things is slipping. Manufacturing, engineering, medicine, education, and so on. Why should we pour money into a non-esse
26 BMI727: And there is a lot that was learned there. To write off everything after Apollo as being useless is just not the case. I'd say NASA didn't do so bad
27 aklrno: I am always amazed that the same people who think we should privatize medicare, social security, the post office (mostly private, but still works unde
28 rwessel: The US manned program hasn't had a clear-cut mission in 40 years. Heck, it's barely had any sort of discernable mission in 40 years. Skylab 3 and 4?
29 aklrno: Reminds me of the Concorde. A magnificent technical achievement, but a commercial dead end. TIme to move on to something else. I'll probably get flam
30 GDB: Well I had the luck involved with the aircraft, I'm not flaming, but agreeing. I think it's no coincidence that Apollo was cut back, funding restrict
31 Revelation: Yet somehow you think NASA does not suffer from the same problems? Give it a rest. You can't argue that government is evil except for NASA. And think
32 eksath: Here is an answer to the three gentlemen. It is a point of view worth reading and pondering. An Open Letter to Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, and James
33 BMI727: The Concorde is really more like Apollo than the Space Shuttle. The Space Shuttle gets closer to a lot of commercial applications than Apollo ever di
34 Revelation: Sure you can, and lose any/all credibility. That's tantamount to saying we should just give you the keys to Ft. Knox and let you have all the gold. B
35 BMI727: I don't think so. I'm the only one honest enough to say it though. The government can pull their funding, but then the government has no product, hav
36 Revelation: It's not the government pulling their funding, it's the contractors missing their schedules and budgets by orders of magnitudes. In the context of yo
37 BMI727: The key is needing to make the distinction between a good program having problems and a bad program. Furthermore, I think politicians are rather poor
38 Revelation: Yes. We're even generous to allow a 25% overrun before congressional review. This is where your earlier statements damn you. You've already admitted
39 BMI727: In a lot of cases, absolutely. Cancelling a program only wastes time and money and solves nothing while allowing the contractors to work through diff
40 Revelation: And then again it may not. It was quite clear in many of the cases we are talking about (Constellation/Ares, VH-71, A-12) that the further the progra
41 BMI727: Failure is not the same thing as being behind schedule or overbudget. If the government cut programs nearly as often as you advocate and issued only
42 Wingscrubber: What, it's ridiculous that I think Obama is hurting aerospace by cancelling military & space programs, effectively laying off thousands of people
43 eksath: ..er, perhaps you did not get the memo, but the STS program was retired by the last administration. The following are the words used by President Geo
44 Revelation: The 2012 defense budget is winding its way through Congress now, and it's at $690 B, i.e. two thirds of a trillion dollars. Ref: http://www.defensesy
45 aklrno: Bad accounting. That figure does not include development costs and interest on that investment. If it was profitable, other airlines would have bough
46 gigneil: I'm not either. Most good people aren't. NS
47 GDB: I would say that the tanker selection for the USAF is to create quite a few US jobs, you may say 'that was started under the previous admin', then the
48 kalvado: SpaceX makes a big point that they have much fewer people running operations, that reduces costs. And, well, that also means less jobs for same numbe
49 dk1967: Isn't that the point? Make LEO cheaper, creates more demand for/new innovations using LEO services from private sector, creates increases in LEO serv
50 GDB: Yes, though note I also said 'what may follow'.
51 kalvado: Who cares about what will follow in 10 years? Those who supported Shuttle for 30 years and who are being terminated as program winds down are those w
52 Revelation: It'll be interesting to see how all those who voted for 'less gummint' last time around will be voting.
53 eksath: or when the suits at NASA were promising plans for upto a max. of 52 shuttle flights a year to the government as proof of the return on investment. T
54 GDB: Given SpaceX's performance so far, given the very different configurations of the two systems, it's quite obvious they will be an order of magnitude
55 kalvado: Nothing is obvious.. We can _hope_ things would work out, but reliability has to be _proven_. It's unknown unknowns which always come into play. So f
56 eksath: The writing is on the wall when Newt join the bandwagon. GINGRICH & WALKER: Obama’s brave reboot for NASA http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/..
57 gigneil: Yeah that part kinda hurts my feelings too, but I'm really more of the "lets govern effectively" type than the party type. Some of the comments below
58 BMI727: Depends on who I think will do a better job lining my pockets. Just give them the tools to do it.
59 gigneil: You have an awful lot of opinions on politics for someone barely old enough to vote. NS
60 GDB: Isn't that mutually exclusive? But you've hit the nail on the head, even if unintentionally, there is just not the public support for the sort of pro
61 Thrust: IMO, Obama is doing what is necessary for our economy right now. We're not in any position to be spending billions on space launches to Mars when we a
62 BMI727: Just in a position to spend billions on everything else. Better to create jobs for Americans filling potholes and screwing together subpar automobile
63 GDB: Really? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13355220 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13529338 Will public support for the Space Program be helped i
64 aklrno: Actually, yes. The potholes have to get filled sooner or later. Better to do it now with labor and materials more available. Space travel can wait. K
65 BMI727: Actually you'd be surprised at how much of the money spent on space missions stays on the ground. The great Keynesian stimulus can't find money to fu
66 aklrno: 100% of the money stays on the ground. The issue is what it buys, and what impact that purchase has. My point is that money spent on infrastructure an
67 BMI727: If the goal is stimulating the economy it doesn't make a difference.
68 aklrno: If the goal is also long-term financial strength, it does. In the short term it doesn't. I prefer to think long term. The good news is that I won't li
69 BMI727: That's a given, so if the government is going to waste money, I'm only going to support it if they waste it into my pocket.
70 gigneil: The goal is to also have roads and bridges. What part of that are you missing? Do you live on a farm and take an ATV to work? NS
71 BMI727: Then don't call it economic stimulus. Call it building roads and bridges.
72 TheSonntag: Before the flamefest continues, maybe one should consider the following article: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/...announcement-after-sd-hlv-vict
73 oykie: Have you heard about Helium-3? According to the Chinese Academy of Science one of the main goals with their lunar program is to start mining of Heliu
74 aklrno: I don't think we have to hurry to get the He-3. When I was first involved with a fusion power project in 1968 it was thought to be 20 years away. Now,
75 aklrno: I forgot to point out that the real market for He-3 today is for neutron detectors. But I don't think that application would justify going to the moon
76 oykie: LOL! I have been following the fusion power for a while, and noticed it has had an inverse time scale However with the Chinese gamble they might cont
77 GDB: I think the problem with the NASA beyond LEO program initiated in 2004 was that it was an attempt to do an 'Apollo', with greater capability of course
78 BMI727: Funny how that happens when you end a war.
79 aklrno: I was at a meeting last week with several physicists and engineers from Lawrence Livermore National Lab, home of laser fusion research. We all had a
80 srbmod: Please keep the political commentary and rhetoric in Non-Av, as that is the only forum in which such is allowed. While the Moderators understand that