bmacleod
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Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:52 pm

I know it's too early for Senator Obama to outline his plan for space exploration, but I'm wondering if he intends on following Bush's plans for returning to the moon. Obama might want to focus on technology development for going to Mars....we really have no idea what he has in mind.
"What good are wings without the courage to fly?" - Atticus
 
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N328KF
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Thu Jun 05, 2008 5:58 pm

The guy has paid lip service to S&T, but I think he would cut non-social spending. Think of him as Carter v2.0.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
MCIGuy
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Thu Jun 05, 2008 6:40 pm



Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):
The guy has paid lip service to S&T, but I think he would cut non-social spending. Think of him as Carter v2.0.

Absolutely, Sen. Obama is no friend to NASA:

Link

Quote:
In a note on fiscal responsibility, the senator says he would delay NASA’s controversial moon-to-Mars program five years in order to fund education initiatives.


Obama: NASA “no longer associated with inspiration”

Quote:
“I grew up on Star Trek,” Obama said. “I believe in the final frontier.”

But Obama said he does not agree with the way the space program is now being run and thinks funding should be trimmed until the mission is clearer.

If NASA is uninspired it's because of funding cuts. He wants to cut NASA's budget and give it to his domestic programs. This man scares me.
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wannabe
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:01 pm

NASA's funding is a rounding error in the federal budget. You could pull 5% of senatorial and congressional pet projects and fund NASA for 10 years. It shouldn't even be an issue. At the same time, as long as you can get congressional leadership to push NASA funding, Obama is not going to veto an entire budget over it. So the goal is to focus on the people who can help deflect any challenge he may put out there.
 
Thorny
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:04 pm

In February or March, Sen. Obama outlined his plans for improving Education and said he would defer Constellation (Ares/Orion) for five years to pay for it. He later backpeddaled on that, when that move was widely seen as killing Constellation completely (which it would) and that it would leave the US with no indigenous manned space access at a time when Russia, China, and even India are increasing their activities in manned space.

He has (probably wisely) not discussed space very much since then, but it seems clear that Sen. Obama is no friend of NASA.

For the record, I'm not sure Sen. McCain would be much better. And it is entirely possible Obama would be supportive of NASA as President, these things happen (it happened to John F. Kennedy, who was largely indifferent to space until he needed to deflect attention from the Bay of Pigs and Yuri Gagarin's nearly simultaneous flight gave him the opportunity to do so.)
 
GDB
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:18 am

Well whoever wins, it's up to Griffin to really earn his pay and get presuading.

The only really NASA firendly President, that we have proof of over a period of some years, was LBJ.
(Not that building all those facilities in politically advantageoue area hurt either).
JFK did not live long enough for his commitment to be tested, if it ever would have been. Douttful I think, since it so personally linked to him.

Nixon wasn't 'anti' as such, after all he benefitted from Apollo 11's afterglow, but his period of office was not a good time to promote a big new programme, and what NASA Administrator Paine pushed for was way too much.
(Fully re-useable Shuttle, Large space station, Moon base, NERVA nuclear boosters, manned Mars missions starting with the 1981 launch window, or the 1985 one).
But NASA did suffer from big cuts well past the levels after the mid 60's 'Apollo peak', which was always unsustainable without stuff like Vietnam also going on.

Reagan was only intermittantly, Bush 1 again, like Paine 20 years for, asked for way too much in one go.
Clinton was disinterested, but flawed as it is, the way the ISS emerged then was proabably inevtiable whoever was in office.
So GWB in comparison looks a lot better, problem is here with the timing, launching the new programme in 2004 meant that he would not be in office for the peak spending.
Of course, this all came out of the Columbia accident, even so, imagine though had he started it in early 2001?

In NASA's favour now I think, is that the programme while far from cheap, is nowhere near as ambitious as previous efforts for a programme of manned flight beyond Earth orbit.
As well as Griffin being more astute too, we hope!
 
Thorny
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:15 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
Well whoever wins, it's up to Griffin to really earn his pay and get presuading.

Grffin will be gone by this time next year, no matter who wins.

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
The only really NASA firendly President, that we have proof of over a period of some years, was LBJ.

Only until he launched his Great Society, then his support of space largely evaporated. The death of Apollo started under his watch (the "budget massacre of 1967", which cancelled most of Apollo Applicatiions and the second production run of Saturn V.)

Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
In NASA's favour now I think, is that the programme while far from cheap, is nowhere near as ambitious as previous efforts for a programme of manned flight beyond Earth orbit.

That won't help. Just yesterday, Reuters ran a story that mentioned the "$100 billion International Space Station." The actual cost is about $30 billion. Constellation sounds expensive, and the press will absolutely use the most expensive price estimate they can find, no matter how poorly justified. Once they start saying "Half a trillon dollar moon program!" (and I guarantee you SOMEONE will, mistaking the 1989 SEI for Constellation) it will be dead in Congress, no matter how much it really costs.
 
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N328KF
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:41 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 5):
The only really NASA firendly President, that we have proof of over a period of some years, was LBJ.

No, your only good example would be JFK.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
Mir
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:06 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 4):
For the record, I'm not sure Sen. McCain would be much better. And it is entirely possible Obama would be supportive of NASA as President, these things happen (it happened to John F. Kennedy, who was largely indifferent to space until he needed to deflect attention from the Bay of Pigs and Yuri Gagarin's nearly simultaneous flight gave him the opportunity to do so.)

If the Chinese get a moon program going I'd bet that the calls for more US space funding will come, and whoever is president will have no qualms getting the money going.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
GDB
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:34 pm

Wasn't a serious factor in the late 60's, the escalating Vietnam war?
After all, LBJ must have had his 'Great Society' in mind on becoming President, then winning in 1964.
While I doubt he ever imagined SE Asia would become such a burden for his administration at that time.

Is there any reason why Griffin will be gone by next year, do NASA Admininstrators have fixed periods or will he just be out of favour with whoever wins this year?
 
Thorny
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:14 am



Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
Wasn't a serious factor in the late 60's, the escalating Vietnam war?

Not particularly. It was far more the "wasting money in space when we could be feeding the poor" fallacy, especially after the Apollo 1 Fire. There were protests (orchestrated by the Urban League, among others) against Apollo 11, for example.

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
Is there any reason why Griffin will be gone by next year, do NASA Admininstrators have fixed periods or will he just be out of favour with whoever wins this year?

NASA Administrators serve at the pleasure of the President. When he goes, so do his appointees. The only exception in NASA's history is Dan Goldin, appointed by Bush 41 and kept on by Clinton, reportedly because he couldn't find anyone else willing to take the job (this was with the Hubble fiasco, the 1990 Shuttle hydrogen leaks, the Mars Observer loss, Space Station delays and cost overruns, and the botched SEI still fresh in mind.) Goldin also appealed to Clinton for his "never saw a budget cut he didn't like" attitude and his push for Faster, Better, Cheaper.

I don't think Griffin has distinguished himself in any way, and his heavy-handed control of the Constellation program (cutting off any discussion of cheaper alternatives) won't win him fans in a McCain or Obama Administration. He'll be gone by April.
 
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N328KF
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:12 am



Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):
Not particularly. It was far more the "wasting money in space when we could be feeding the poor" fallacy, especially after the Apollo 1 Fire. There were protests (orchestrated by the Urban League, among others) against Apollo 11, for example.

Walter Mondale was hugely responsible for the jihad against NASA in the late 1960s.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' -Theodore Roosevelt
 
Flighty
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:52 pm

It's not as if Bush has been terribly kind to NASA, or is well-liked by NASA. He altered their mission statement to exclude "Understanding our home planet." Of course, this eliminates a whole range of possible NASA activities, probably the most important ones.

One could say NASA's specialty is coordinating space flight and exploration, with remote sensors. In this, NASA has been very successful since 1969. Just not its manned programs, which have been largely stagnant, scientifically lackluster and incredibly dangerous.

The Hubble telescope repairs are the most substantial manned missions since 1969, IMHO. The space station, while amusing probably hasn't done much for our human know-how. It's a useful 2nd-gen device, but already probably very obsolete.

We can do so, so much with unmanned probes that human exploration is seemingly irrelevant, at least for the moment.
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:37 am



Quoting Thorny (Reply 4):
probably wisely



Quoting Thorny (Reply 4):
Sen. Obama

When you listen to Sen. Obama when he does not have a prepared speech, or a tele-promtor, the term "wise" does not come to mind.
 
magyar
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:42 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 12):
We can do so, so much with unmanned probesnthat human exploration is seemingly irrelevant, at least for thenmoment.

And it has a HUGE selling point attached to it. Testing ground for robotic warfare. Building
and sending autonomous devices to hostile environment where they have to deal with
problems in situ without real-time interaction with controllers.
 
Thorny
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Tue Jun 10, 2008 1:27 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 12):
It's not as if Bush has been terribly kind to NASA, or is well-liked by NASA. He altered their mission statement to exclude "Understanding our home planet." Of course, this eliminates a whole range of possible NASA activities, probably the most important ones.

Well, technically, isn't that NOAA's or EPA's mission? What does monitoring climate change have to do with aeronautics or space exploration?

Quoting Flighty (Reply 12):
The Hubble telescope repairs are the most substantial manned missions since 1969, IMHO. The space station, while amusing probably hasn't done much for our human know-how. It's a useful 2nd-gen device, but already probably very obsolete.

No, it is far from obsolete. ATV, Columbus and Kibo, launched this year, are all state of the art, vastly more capable and sophisticated than their predecessors. And ISS's contribution to the first deep space manned expedition, whenever it finally happens, will be enormous. It may not have produced anything substantial yet, but remember... it isn't finished and didn't achieve significant laboratory capabilty until four months ago.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 13):
When you listen to Sen. Obama when he does not have a prepared speech, or a tele-promtor, the term "wise" does not come to mind.

I'm going to show my Trekkie geekdom here (and probably ruin my reputation!)
There was a line in Star Trek, the first episode with Klingons. Kirk and the Klingons are trying to persuade a simple, peaceful people to choose sides in their Cold War, but the people ignore Kirk's pleas and the Klingon's threats, and just continue smiling broadly. Finally, the Klingon says, "I don't trust men who smile too much."

I think of that line every time I see Barack Obama.
 
Flighty
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:02 am



Quoting Thorny (Reply 15):
And ISS's contribution to the first deep space manned expedition, whenever it finally happens, will be enormous.

This is true. In some ways, the ISS is necessary for that purpose. But is it necessary NOW... instead of in 2050.... I guess I don't see the point. We won't be going to Mars anytime soon.
 
L-188
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:49 am



Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 2):
Quoting N328KF (Reply 1):
The guy has paid lip service to S&T, but I think he would cut non-social spending. Think of him as Carter v2.0.

Absolutely, Sen. Obama is no friend to NASA[/quote



Quoting N328KF (Reply 11):
Quoting Thorny (Reply 10):
Not particularly. It was far more the "wasting money in space when we could be feeding the poor" fallacy, especially after the Apollo 1 Fire. There were protests (orchestrated by the Urban League, among others) against Apollo 11, for example.

Walter Mondale was hugely responsible for the jihad against NASA in the late 1960s.

That's kind of what I am afraid of, Obama sounds like he would be less freindly to NASA then Mondale was
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Thorny
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:05 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 16):
But is it necessary NOW... instead of in 2050.... I guess I don't see the point. We won't be going to Mars anytime soon.

Not if we keep putting off laying the groundwork, no. It's time to stop talking about it and start doing it. It doesn't have to be a "$50 billion over the next five years" affair, but lets start building toward that goal.
 
bmacleod
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Tue Jun 10, 2008 5:55 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 16):
We won't be going to Mars anytime soon.

The techology needed for humans travelling to Mars will take decades to smooth out.
True there are much bigger problems such as heathcare and education that need to be overhauled and perhaps America needs Obama now. VP Hillary (my guts are strong on this!!!) will step in to save NASA and promote its scientific programs to help solve the food crisis as well as the energy crisis.

No I don't have a crystal ball but I feel it's a very good possibility.
"What good are wings without the courage to fly?" - Atticus
 
Thorny
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:46 pm



Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 19):
The techology needed for humans travelling to Mars will take decades to smooth out.

Not really. There is no fundamental new technology we need to do the job. A few things, like long-duration life support, we need to prove. But that's what the Space Station is doing. Orion and Ares are developing the launch infrastructure already, the Mars transit spacecraft will very likely be derived from Space Station hardware. We'd need new dust-resistant spacesuits and rovers (technology presently intended to be developed for the lunar missions) but these are not widely seen as major challenges.

Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 19):
VP Hillary (my guts are strong on this!!!) will step in to save NASA and promote its scientific programs to help solve the food crisis as well as the energy crisis

I don't think Hillary will be Obama's VP, she burned too many bridges in the last two months. In any case, I don't see NASA technology having much bearing on the food crisis. The energy crisis, yes NASA could perhaps be the lead agency for Space Solar Power, but it would be a gigantic... I mean, bigger than Apollo by far, to make it work. It will take much longer than a Presidential term or two to carry out, which makes it unappealing to contemporary politicians (who don't generally think beyond the next election.) When there are less costly, nearer term alternatives (such as massive spending on wind technology, or a new nuclear energy initiative) I don't see Space Solar Power being on the table any time soon.
 
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:13 am



Quoting Thorny (Reply 20):
any case, I don't see NASA technology having much bearing on the food crisis.

Actually you are wrong there.

Just look at how much work they have done ground mapping and performing atmospheric studies. They all relate.

Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 19):
rue there are much bigger problems such as heathcare and education that need to be overhauled

That's the way Mondale thunk too.
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MCIGuy
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:18 am

The list of modern products given to us by the space program are too numerous to list here.
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GDB
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:38 am

We will have to wait and see, if Obama wins.
But I doubt he'll be quite as bad as Mondale, that is, I cannot see Obama wanting to put NASA under another Federal Dept (transportation wasn't it? When Mondale was VP?)

If we go with 'we have to fix things here first', we'll never get anywhere, not just in space exploration either.
Y'know Columbus, I just don't think the time is right for you to go sailing off to find this so-callled 'New World', we've got too much here to worry about.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:18 pm

When does the real budget change occur at Nasa? I mean, the development of Ares I is already underway and will not be killed, because the end of Shuttle is already decided and cannot be changed anymore within reasonable cost.

So the next few years, I do not think that the Nasa budget has too much poltical controversy in it. But this would change a lot when the moon would get on the table again. Ares V is expensive, and will need a lot of support to be realised. Do you know when the decision whether to fund Ares V or not probably will be taken? I think that date is decisive for the chances of the moon programme.
 
PC12Fan
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:58 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 15):
"I don't trust men who smile too much."

I think of that line every time I see Barack Obama.

My thoughts exactly with McCain. Looks like he tries to hard when he smiles.

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 22):
The list of modern products given to us by the space program are too numerous to list here.

Agreed. Which is why I would support a "Super ISS". Although going to the Moon or Mars would be exciting, I personally don't see the point. Improved technology and medical break throughs' discovered on a/the Space Station would be a better benefit to us in the short term.
Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
 
Thorny
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:00 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 24):
When does the real budget change occur at Nasa? I

There isn't one. NASA's budget has only been rising a modest amount in recent years. Constellation is being funded with money that was previously going to the International Space Station, now that Space Station's big funding is winding down. But the real Constellation spending has to wait until the Space Shuttle is retired. Shuttle's $3-4 billion/year funding will go to Constellation.

This assumes the next President doesn't simply cut the Shuttle funding from NASA's budget after 2010, which both candidates probably will.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:08 pm



Quoting Thorny (Reply 26):
This assumes the next President doesn't simply cut the Shuttle funding from NASA's budget after 2010, which both candidates probably will.

I somewhat doubt that they will cut a budget that goes directly into development of new technology, as this budget directly creates jobs and ensures the US presence in space. But this is pure speculation.
 
Thorny
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RE: Obama's Vision For Space Exploration.

Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:50 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 27):
I somewhat doubt that they will cut a budget that goes directly into development of new technology,

Obama has already said he will. He backpeddaled a bit later, but it is clear where his thinking lies.

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