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  UPI: Bush OKs new moon missions (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   UPI: Bush OKs new moon missions
Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-11-2004 03:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Between 1975 and 1981 we didn't have international partners to turn to for access to space. In 2007, we will have the Russian's Soyuz and Progress, Europe's ATV, Japan's HTV, and even maybe China's Shenzhou providing logistics and crew support to the ISS. If additional flights are needed beyond the agreed upon responsibilities of the partners, then the President has the ability to authorize funds be transferred to purchase flights.

Further, I think there has been a misunderstanding of what has been reported as the President's plan.

The shuttle fleet is said to be retired when ISS assembly is complete, which is projected to coincide with the first unmanned flights of the CEV to lunar orbit. But its a reasonable assumption to believe that while unmanned CEVs head for the Moon, manned test flights could start within a year or two of that to Earth orbit (a.k.a. ISS).

Yes, there is a risk the CEV could be delayed, leaving a larger number of years before US manned space flight resumes service, but great challenges require great risks. We could have missed the end-of-the-decade goal that Kennedy proposed for the Moon, but we used that deadline as a means of motivating the workforce. Today's workforce will have the risk of being grounded to push their development of the CEV forward. No one in the aerospace industry wants to be grounded; its bad for business.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited January 11, 2004).]

bruce
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posted 01-12-2004 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The press has already started pressing the public's space hot button regarding "spending all that money in space instead of here on earth", etc.

I am reminded of a great statement that Gene Cernan once made. It goes something like this: "People use to complain back in the Apollo days about how much money we were spending out in space instead of down here on earth. Well, if you ask any one of the 400,000 or so people who were employed during the Apollo program, they will tell you that the money they earned was spent here on earth; on their houses, at the grocery store and on their kids education."

It would seem to me, that if the president is sincere about selling his upcoming proposal(s) to the public, that there would be enough political savy in the room as the speech is being written to make sure the announcement is prefaced with economic benefits like the above. This new effort could also bring much needed relief to many US workers at this time of record unemployment. Another fact worth considering is that when the government invests in any long term construction project, the result is jobs, jobs, jobs where the money is poured back into the economy.

Again though, having said that, the press has always enjoyed playing its "NASA bashing" card, and they will most certainly prey on any lofty new goals whose headlines can not be easily grasped.

Controversy sells, and this most certainly will be controversial; politically, publically and privately. But it is one controversary that, to paraphrase JFK, we should be willing to take, one that we should be unwilling to pospone and one that we intend to win.

Best,
Bruce

DavidH
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posted 01-12-2004 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In case anyone hasn't seen it, von Braun team member Ernst Stuhlinger wrote an excellent article on the topic:
http://www.meaus.com/articles/whyExplore.html

------------------
"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

Richard Jackson
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posted 01-12-2004 10:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Richard Jackson   Click Here to Email Richard Jackson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Sister Mary Jocund letter was written some thirty years ago, I believe.
It is a model of how to explain the cultural necessity for scientific exploration.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-12-2004 10:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I would greatly encourage everyone read the following:

Mission Worth It?
Space haters vs. lovers on heading to Mars.
by Stanley Kurtz

quote:
There are two main camps in the space debate. Space is a waste of money, say those who believe government can solve our earthly woes. But the space haters aren't just hankering for NASA's money. Many believe space exploration serves no useful purpose. So we find a fossilized microbe on Mars, they ask. So what?

Space lovers, in contrast, are a hopeful lot. They seek to conquer space for sheer glory's sake. And space-o-philes don't just crave evidence of life; they intend the colonization of space to remake human society. Space lovers even expect to save the world by giving humans a new home in case a stray asteroid, or ecological disaster, threaten Earth. Dreams like this keep the space lovers going.

In the middle sits the public, fascinated by space travel, yet easily bored, discouraged by failure, and concerned about costs. I'm in that middle. Yes, space conquest is inspiring and worthwhile. I support the president's intentions. Yet I'm skeptical of the space lovers' bolder plans and claims. Unfortunately, this middle ground is poorly represented in public debate. Instead we generally find heated polemics between know-nothing space haters and know-it-all space lovers.


Continued here:

http://www.nationalreview.com/kurtz/kurtz200401120904.asp

Rodina
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posted 01-12-2004 11:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rodina   Click Here to Email Rodina     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

True as far as it goes, but I won't set aside my space fandom crendentials for anyone and I think this Moon/Mars approach is likely to be a fundamentally bad one, that leaves us no closer to the [U]permenant[/U] occupation of space than did Apollo itself.

bruce
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posted 01-13-2004 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The quote by Stanley Kurtz posted by Rpbert further echoes my original points above this post.

Until NASA, or any other person who speaks about continuing our presence in space can begin their very first sentence with things like "For every dollar spent during the Apollo program, we had a return of nine dollars added to our economy", there will be lots more in the "them" group than the "us" group.

I once spoke to an elementary school class about the benefits of space exploration, begining my presentation with "NASA saved my grandmother's life!" I went on to talk about various microsurgury techniques, especially those used for heart patients.

The majority of people are more likely to understand relatable facts like these than discussions about the possibilities of a rover finding past evidence of water on Mars via hemitite rocks. As much as I love to "geek out" with my other space buddies, it is that majority of people we need on our side to help support space endeavours.

To help further the exploration of space, we should all practice putting our mouths where the money is.

Best,
Bruce

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-13-2004 09:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's interesting Bruce, as my reading of Kurtz's essay was different.

In his comparison of California and Mt. Everest as exploration frontiers, I agreed with what I believed Kurtz to be saying -- that space flight is and will forever be closer to the tallest mountain than the next gold rush.

Space advocates are quick to tout spinoffs as an argument for why space exploration is important, however the same reasoning can be applied to the military. Certainly, the DoD has turned out new technologies that have bettered mankind, but you rarely see their supporters using that as the key reason to bolster military efforts.

Just as the DoD's primary purpose is to provide security for a nation, NASA's primary selling point should be to provide a nation with inspiration. Safety and imagination are both intangible benefits, but they go to the core of our existence.

Carl Sagan wrote of the spinoff justification as follows: "It is alleged that 'spinoff' will transpire - huge technological benefits that would otherwise fail to come about -- thereby improving our international competitiveness and the domestic economy. But this is an old argument: Spend $80 billion (in contemporary money) to send Apollo astronauts to the Moon, and we'll throw in a free stickless frying pan. Plainly, if we're after frying pans, we can invest the money directly and save almost all of that $80 billion."

When I speak to school groups and the public about space exploration, I try to relate elements of their life to activities in space, rather than show how space has already influenced their day-to-day lives. For example, kids today would rather be sports stars than astronauts but when I show them video of shuttle crews playing football and basketball in space, they can imagine how their passion for sports could be applied to space.

We need to find ways to show how the actual activity of space flight is relevant to the average joe and jane, rather than its after effects. The public takes the spinoffs for granted and often reasons that space program or no space program, if they need for a pacemaker is identified, it will be invented regardless (and in reality, the pacemaker was invented without NASA's contribution).

bruce
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posted 01-13-2004 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert,

You're absolutely right about the Stanley Kurtz piece and I certainly do see the fair and balanced nature of the piece. His words make for interesting reflection about the "whys" of our space exploration goals.

My point in referencing the Kurtz piece was to agree with him about the "middle ground" group he refers to and that they are very rarely given relatable information to consider regarding the "whys" of space exploration.

bruce
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posted 01-13-2004 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bruce   Click Here to Email bruce     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
(oops! hit the wrong button!)

I would add that, while DoD initiatives also create spinoffs, this moves the discussion into more of a philosphical area ("Make Rovers, Not War!"), etc.

You're also right on track that the public takes the spinoffs for granted. I proposed to Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas many years ago that a slimmed down version (brochure) of the annual NASA Spinoffs publication be included in every US citizens tax forms mailing. He was actually going to propose this in the Senate, but he retired before doing so.

I do like the idea of showing kids shuttle crews playing football and basketball in space! Where can I get a copy of this video?

Best,
Bruce

DavidH
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posted 01-13-2004 03:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidH   Click Here to Email DavidH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Homer Hickam, of Rocket Boys/October Sky fame, has an excellent editorial in today's Wall Street Journal. Well worth reading.
http://tinyurl.com/26gzu

All those who have been griping about the cost, please read!

------------------
"America's challenge of today has forged man's destiny of tomorrow." - Commander Eugene Cernan, Apollo 17 Mission, 11 December 1972

WAWalsh
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posted 01-14-2004 09:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I might feel a lot more positive about this new commitment but for

a) It comes close to mirroring the first President Bush's proposal;
b) Beyond the enthusiasm here and in other select small groups, there is little national support for the idea, no significant constituency to support and motivating force to drive it (unlike the power of an assassinated President's goal as a symbolic element of the COld War); and
c) It is coming at the same time that President Bush is apparently planning to propose spending $1.5 billion in support of marriage.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-14-2004 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by WAWalsh:
a) It comes close to mirroring the first President Bush's proposal;

SEI called for a permanently manned lunar base and manned Mars missions for $400 billion. This plan calls for a robotic mission to the Moon to be followed by humans to a man-tended base (not permanently crewed) to prepare for future Mars missions for $1 billion.

quote:
b) Beyond the enthusiasm here and in other select small groups, there is little national support for the idea, no significant constituency to support and motivating force to drive it (unlike the power of an assassinated President's goal as a symbolic element of the COld War);

Polls show that the country is split in their support. As mentioned elsewhere, even after Kennedy was shot, the majority of Americans still did not support the Moon landing.

quote:
c) It is coming at the same time that President Bush is apparently planning to propose spending $1.5 billion in support of marriage.

Yes, but he is asking for that $1 billion for NASA to be delivered over five years.

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited January 14, 2004).]

Scott
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posted 01-14-2004 09:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wayne is right about these Shuttles and the ISS. The ISS is just a horrible mistake in an investment-return sense. When we really start doing something in manned space flight again it will become even more apparent how much we had been spinning our wheels for so many precious years, and wasting billions of dollars in the process.

Scott
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posted 01-14-2004 10:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott   Click Here to Email Scott     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As of this writing, the current CNN QuickVote Poll (albeit unscientific):


Is a manned mission to Mars worth the risk and cost?

Yes 69% 43931 votes
No 31% 19750 votes

LunarRover
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posted 01-14-2004 10:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LunarRover   Click Here to Email LunarRover     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
$1B over five years. That's one SMALL step for man....

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-14-2004 11:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LunarRover:
$1B over five years. That's one SMALL step for man....

Not so small if you ask me:

http://www.space.com/news/bush_rtq_040114.html

Rick Boos
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posted 01-14-2004 02:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rick Boos   Click Here to Email Rick Boos     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Seems to me like these posts(and the press) are all getting back to the question of "money and politics" that I brought up in a previous tread on this topic and was shot down for! Bruce is right. President Bush needs to go before the public TODAY and tell them the rate of ruturn on each dollar invested!(The Chase study) If he would do that TODAY and durring the State Of The Union address he would silence the critics, and his vision would have a fighting chance.The Chase study showed that for every billion dollars invested in the space program on a sustained basis between 1975 and 1984, the effects on the economy would include:1.An increase in the gross national product of $23 billion. 2.Creation of 800,000 NEW jobs. 3.In terms of "rate of return" (would be called "profit" in a private firm),each dollar spent would produce a 43 percent return. 4. The "multiplier effect" for dollars spent "ON" space is somewhere between three and eight; this means that every dollar spent on space has the effect of three to eight dollars worth of new purchasing power.That doesn't even touch upon all the other benefits and spinoffs.

As for the loss of jobs for the Shuttle people... too bad! The Shuttle program lasted longer then any other U.S. manned program and it sucked NASA dry! Seems to me between each and every manned program people employed because of that program had to switch contractors that they worked for, or find another job. It goes with the territory.

WAWalsh
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posted 01-14-2004 06:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WAWalsh   Click Here to Email WAWalsh     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
<<Polls show that the country is split in their support. As mentioned elsewhere, even after Kennedy was shot, the majority of Americans still did not support the Moon landing.>>

May well be true Robert, but politics and political programs are never about majority support. The Bill of Rights would lack majority support if the entire text was put up for a national referandum (a point that polls have consistently demonstrated through the past few decades). The key was that the support for the missions was sufficient to insure that they continued. I also suspect that the fact that NASA had to invent itself in the 1960s and, accordingly, was in a position to pass out various porkbarrel projects, had something to do with it. Moving forward 40 years, I do not believe that the support for NASA and a new lunar mission is strong enough in Congress to sustain the proposal. Having seen what Congress can do to a proposal with respect to the space station, it will be interesting to see if the commitment is there.

FFrench
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posted 01-14-2004 06:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert and Co...

Just finished doing some local TV news interviews here regarding both the Presidential announcement and the latest Mars images. I'd like to thank you all for the great debate going on here, as it provided great background info. for me, allowing me to be ready to talk the moment the announcement was confirmed. Thanks guys!

FF


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