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  U.S. President Obama and space exploration (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   U.S. President Obama and space exploration
LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 11-27-2008 07:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by rbnn:
Am I the only one befuddled by this trillion-dollar bank bailout?
Not really given who holds Congress... the initial bailout was questionable as well but less dubious with the lack of precedent, but after subsequently implementing the toxic mortgage bailout and observing that it is/was ineffective, misappropriated and that the promised oversight failed to materialize there should be great reluctance to replicate that move to the rest of the banking, auto industry... its money down a black hole.

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jimsz
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posted 11-27-2008 09:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
Source: UNICEF
According to the numbers I find on Unicef (who have been known to skew their numbers by the way) a child does not die by malnutrition every 5 seconds. A child does die every 5 seconds but that is with all infant mortality figured in.

Besides, if you want to go by Unicef's figures, the areas with the highest infant mortality rates in impoverished regions of the world have received amazing amounts of aid, resources and assistance for decades and it has made little difference.

quote:
But the space program can wait (and will have to).
If you had said mothball the Shuttle and ISS today, we could agree. I disagree with the Mars. I am all for returning to the moon and Mars and if we need to drop the trucker missions to ISS, so be it.

cspg
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posted 11-27-2008 11:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mjanovec:
What will waiting accomplish? Must we really solve every problem here on Earth before we can resume the exploration of space?
What will rushing things out accomplish, aside from finding yourself back to a post-Apollo (or shuttle) situation?

Resume exploration? We stopped? When did THAT happen?

quote:
Keep in mind that NASA employs thousands of engineers and keeps several large contractors busy (which also employ thousands).
Oh but I do keep this in mind. If the argument to continue (manned) space exploration is to maintain jobs, technological know-how, or even national security, then that's perfectly fine. And you'll probably get the necessary funding out of Congress. If the argument is "(manned) exploration", then the space program can wait.

Chris.

cspg
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posted 11-27-2008 11:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Indeed, especially when you compare the total cost of the recent bailouts (Citi included) -- $4.6165 trillion -- with the total cost of NASA, all 50 years, adjusted for inflation, $851.2 billion.
That was kind of my point when I wrote that the (manned) space program will have to wait. Where do all those dollars come from? Uncollected taxes. So 10, 20 and 30 years from now, we (our grand children for those who have kids today) will busy paying off today's "standard of living". And that's the irony of today's situation: we're so desperate to save the current situation that we may actually be jeopardizing our future, including space exploration.

Chris.

P.S. I wouldn't have said it better: "Rescue Plans For The Economy" by Chappatte in "International Herald Tribune" Nov 26, 2008. You can access the cartoon here, click on English, top left-hand corner.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 11-28-2008 08:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
Indeed, especially when you compare the total cost of the recent bailouts (Citi included) -- $4.6165 trillion -- with the total cost of NASA, all 50 years, adjusted for inflation, $851.2 billion.
A meaningless comparison IMO, given that it is not an either/or choice. You could also compare the cost of the "war on terror" which (as approved by Congress) is $864bn FY2001-2009 - just over 50yrs of NASA expenditure in just 7yrs. But then some would say that's not a meaningful conmparison either!

Paul

mjanovec
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posted 11-28-2008 11:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
What will rushing things out accomplish, aside from finding yourself back to a post-Apollo (or shuttle) situation?

I don't see any rushing taking place. The return to the moon goal is going to take at least 15 years from the date that the current administration outlined that as a goal...that's about 6-7 years longer than Kennedy's goal was. Holding off on Mars until at least 2030 doesn't seem like rushing either.

quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
If the argument to continue (manned) space exploration is to maintain jobs, technological know-how, or even national security, then that's perfectly fine. And you'll probably get the necessary funding out of Congress. If the argument is "(manned) exploration", then the space program can wait.

Why must we only choose one reason, instead of considering both reasons?

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 12-02-2008 10:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From Space News: Obama to Review Costs of Shuttle Replacement Vehicle
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's NASA transition team is asking U.S. space agency officials to quantify how much money could be saved by canceling the Ares 1 rocket and scaling back the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle next year.

...The questionnaire, "NASA Presidential Transition Team Requests for Information," asks agency officials to provide the latest information on Ares 1, Orion and the planned Ares 5 heavy-lift cargo launcher, and to calculate the near-term close-out costs and longer-term savings associated with canceling those programs. The questionnaire also contemplates a scenario where Ares 1 would be canceled but development of the Ares 5 would continue.

While the questionnaire also asks NASA to provide a cost estimate for accelerating the first operational flight of Ares 1 and Orion from the current target date of March 2015 to as soon as 2013, NASA was not asked to study the cost implications of canceling any of its other programs, including the significantly over-budget 2009 Mars Science Laboratory or the James Webb Space Telescope.

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Fra Mauro
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posted 12-03-2008 08:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How our you launch Orion if the Ares I was cancelled? Don't expect much good space news from the new administration. It's easy to pick on the agency that uses about 1% of the Federal budget instead of the big agencies.

cspg
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posted 12-03-2008 08:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Fra Mauro.

"The questionnaire also contemplates a scenario where Ares 1 would be canceled but development of the Ares 5 would continue."

Huh? So how would you launch Orion, then?

Saturn V was able to launch the CSM but that was dictated by the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous approach. Is (was) Ares V planned to follow the same approach?

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-03-2008 09:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ares V could support an manned Orion launch.

There are other alternatives too, such as modifying Orion to launch atop an existing ELV, such as Delta IV Heavy or Atlas V (Heavy).

That said, I think some people may be reading far too much into this document. Congress has and will continue to ask these same questions, so NASA under the new administration needs to be ready to answer them. And how do they do that? By asking the outgoing leaders and existing managers to provide them with the data.

Aztecdoug
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posted 12-03-2008 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aztecdoug   Click Here to Email Aztecdoug     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scott, any possibility in your opinion, that Jupiter may get picked up? I recently went back to read your threads about Ares, Griffin and Jupiter. I like what I read about Jupiter via the links and was surprised at what I read about Ares.

I get the feeling that based on the requests for these reports by the transition team that the NASA specific campaign promises may not make it to January 20th. It seems like the whole transition team may be taking the stand of don't let the door hit you in the behind on January 20th.

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Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-03-2008 06:52 PM     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 Aztecdoug:
It seems like the whole transition team may be taking the stand of don't let the door hit you in the behind on January 20th.
I would just point out that the transition team is led by individuals who have been and continue to be outspoken proponents for returning humans to the Moon.

Somehow I don't see them accepting a position that would contradict their own positions.

As for Jupiter, I tend to believe Wayne Hale when he described it as "viewgraph engineering".

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 12-03-2008 09:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Aztecdoug:
Scott, any possibility in your opinion, that Jupiter may get picked up?


Whether Griffin publicly acknowledges or not, given the concerns with Ares I, there is concurrent (under the radar) work being conducted within NASA to pursue man-rating an RS-68/Delta Heavy (the RS-68 is a key enabler of Jupiter) and the Atlas/RD-180 - I am hearing that either is a much more viable alternative (however keep in mind the 180 is actually a Russian engine to be produced under license here within CONUS and may not be well received politically). The questionnaire could represent the commencement of a nuanced approach to extricating NASA from the decision to go with a troubled solid first stage once Griffin departs (the presumption is that it would be justified based on economics rather then the technical merits). It would be interesting to see what the revised timeline might be, particularly any alternative to Ares-1/Solid which stands up an operational capability in advance of what was originally proposed with the original configuration.

Outsourcing CEV launch support abroad for primary lift wouldn't be tenable, not only for obvious reasons pertaining to co-dependencies on stable geo-political relationships (as Georgia recently demonstrated) and operational flexibility but also because it would undermine any efforts to preserve a robust organic industrial and engineering base within the US for manned launch capability. Its alarming that the transition team would even consider placing such an option on the table for discussion.

cspg
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posted 12-04-2008 12:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What about man-rating Ariane V?

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-10-2008 09:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Orlando Sentinel: NASA has become a transition problem for Obama
Tensions were on public display last week at the NASA library, as overheard by guests at a book party.

According to people who were present, Logsdon, a space historian, told a group of about 50 people he had just learned that President John F. Kennedy's transition team had completely ignored NASA.

Griffin responded, in a loud voice, "I wish the Obama team would come and talk to me."

Alan Ladwig, a transition team member who was at the party with Garver, shouted out: "Well, we're here now, Mike."

Soon after, Garver and Griffin engaged in what witnesses said was an animated conversation. Some overheard parts of it.

"Mike, I don't understand what the problem is. We are just trying to look under the hood," Garver said.

"If you are looking under the hood, then you are calling me a liar," Griffin replied. "Because it means you don't trust what I say is under the hood."

cspg
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posted 12-11-2008 12:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Even before this, I could feel the tensions, even from this side of the Atlantic. There's something rather pathetic about this.

By the way, for what book this "party" was for?

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-11-2008 06:14 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 cspg:
By the way, for what book this "party" was for?
The latest volume of "Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program" as edited by John Logsdon.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-11-2008 05:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The following was distributed to NASA employees:
A Message from the NASA Administrator

A recent report in the Orlando Sentinel suggested that NASA is not cooperating with members of President-elect Obama's transition team currently working at Headquarters. This report, largely supported by anonymous sources and hearsay, is simply wrong.

I would like to reiterate what I have stated in a previous e-mail to all NASA Officials: we must make every effort to "lean forward," to answer questions promptly, openly and accurately.

We are fully cooperating with transition team members. Since mid-November, the agency has provided 414 documents and 185 responses to 191 requests. There are six outstanding responses, and the agency will meet the deadline for those queries.

Also, we strongly urge full and free cooperation by companies performing work for NASA. I am appalled by any accusations of intimidation, and encourage a free and open exchange of information with the contractor community.

The transition team's work is too important to become mired in unsupported and anonymous allegations. The President-elect's transition team deserves everyone's complete cooperation.

Michael D. Griffin
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cspg
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posted 12-12-2008 12:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Griffin didn't have much choice than to contradict the Sentinel's report, did he?

If there were no arguments, then maybe Lori Garver should say so officially.

But then, in Griffin's statement, I'm not quite sure to what extent we're supposed to read anything into the leaning forward being in quotation marks. One could interpret such quotation as "we're providing the info they want but we don't agree with them." If so, it would add credibility to the Sentinel's report, wouldn't it?

Chris.

bobzz
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posted 12-12-2008 02:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bobzz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm afraid Constellation is in for an Obama "haircut".

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-12-2008 02:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
All that has happened to date has been that the transition team has asked questions, which is the same thing (to lesser headlines) that the transition teams for all the other government agencies have been doing.

It should also be noted that the NASA transition team was not the first to ask the questions they have. The current Congress have already posed many of the same queries and it is before the House and Senate that President-Elect Obama will have to make his case for the future of NASA, whatever it may be.

ilbasso
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posted 12-12-2008 02:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ilbasso   Click Here to Email ilbasso     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Time Magazine is carrying a story on the reported argument.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-12-2008 03:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Time magazine article points out that the alleged argument is not about canceling Constellation but changing the launch vehicle:
What [Garver] and others are said to be considering is to scrap the plans for the Ares 1 -- which is designed exclusively to carry humans -- and replace it with Atlas V and Delta IV boosters, which are currently used to launch satellites but could be redesigned, or "requalified," for humans. Griffin hates that idea, and firmly believes the Atlas and Delta are unsafe for people. One well-placed NASA source who asked not to be named reports that as much as Griffin wants to keep his job, he'll walk away from it if he's made to put his astronauts on top of those rockets.

Mr Meek
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posted 12-12-2008 04:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Meek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At this stage of the game, wouldn't shifting launch vehicles and man-rating a Delta IV or an Atlas V cause even more delays? Man-rating, despite cartoonish ideas of strapping monkeys to rockets, is not a simple thing. NASA would run the risk of traveling down the Shuttle/Centaur road again if Ares is dropped now.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-12-2008 04:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Excellent question, and I think that is the point of the transition team's questions. They want to learn as much as they can about all the options and then make the best decision moving forward. Maybe the best decision is staying the course with Ares, maybe it's not, but to operate on just the assumption that the status quo is the best option would negate the reason we embrace transition in the first place...

328KF
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posted 12-12-2008 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 328KF   Click Here to Email 328KF     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
to operate on just the assumption that the status quo is the best option would negate the reason we embrace transition in the first place...

This is one transition that many inside the agency and outside don't exactly embrace.

To operate on just the assumption that Ares is the wrong vehicle to do the job before it is even tested might start us down the path of being stuck in LEO for a very long time, and hitching rides to it from the Russians, at that.

Our President-elect realized there were political gains to be had by pledging his support to Florida voters last fall. But now that he is guaranteed the job, he is free to do as he wishes, at least for the next four years.

Politicians have a way of distancing themselves from any direct contact with controversial decisions. They leave it to "advisors", "task forces", and yes, even "transition teams." The newly crowned king waits in the wings while his minions are sent out to arrive at the conclusions he wants them to reach. When they return with the expected answer, he points to them, claiming he is only following the advice of "the best and the brightest."

I cannot claim any inside knowledge of this current process, but on the surface it smacks of a politically convenient escape route from promises made.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-12-2008 09:59 PM     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 328KF:
To operate on just the assumption that Ares is the wrong vehicle to do the job before it is even tested...
For what it's worth, I agree, in so much that I feel Ares should be tested. I believe Ares is the right vehicle, but I have absolutely no problem with the transition team asking the questions they are. In fact, I find it encouraging. People who don't care about the outcome of a decision generally don't ask many questions. The most fervent supporters are often the most persistent inquisitors.

cspg
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posted 12-12-2008 11:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I thought the problem came not from the fact that the transition team asks questions but rather from the fact that some at NASA are unwilling to answer them. Wasn't that the source of the "argument"?

Chris.

MoonCrater1
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posted 12-13-2008 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonCrater1   Click Here to Email MoonCrater1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You must also consider that President-Elect Obama has the option of replacing Griffin as NASA Administrator and any lact of cooperation with his team may prompt this change. The Bush Initiative for Space may face some restructuring but, in my opinion, we will proceed with a new moon mission, perhaps on a longer schedule (2024-25) to allow for a better flow of cash, considering the current financial situation.

capoetc
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posted 12-13-2008 08:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
IMO, we will build a spacecraft to access LEO, and that's it ... for a very long time. I would be very, very surprised if funding is forthcoming to keep any kind of exploration program on track.

I hope I am wrong.

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John Capobianco
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MoonCrater1
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posted 12-13-2008 09:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonCrater1   Click Here to Email MoonCrater1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by capoetc:
I hope I am wrong.
I believe that you ARE wrong. IMO, the Obama Administration would be criticized if he would turn away from our space initiative. What would be the declared objective of repeated LEO missions, to service the ISS or the Hubble or Webb telescopes or to repeat what Russia has already done in space or to compete with China in some way? What happens if China launches a manned lunar orbit mission while we are orbiting earth repeatedly?

We will, IMO, return to the moon, but much later than planned. We have had six successful manned moon landings (1969-1972) and an additional three lunar encounter missions (Apollo 8, Apollo 10 and Apollo 13). But we are not finished with the moon. The new generation thirsts for adventures in space, IMO. Once we test the vehicles in LEO we will slowly proceed to the moon. Personally, I hope that there IS competition from China, Russia and others. That will cause the US to proceed more deliberately to keep up. We do not have to beat anyone to the moon, but we should not drop out of the "race" completely by concentrating on LEO missions. The funding will be there when we need it. The path to the moon is not a bridge to nowhere, it is our bridge to the future.

cspg
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posted 12-13-2008 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MoonCrater1:
What would be the declared objective of repeated LEO missions, to service the ISS or the Hubble or Webb telescopes...
The James Webb telescope is not built to be serviced like Hubble and it will not be in Low Earth Orbit, but 1 million miles from Earth.

Chris.

MoonCrater1
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posted 12-14-2008 07:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonCrater1   Click Here to Email MoonCrater1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Yes, I saw that yesterday on the NGC that the Webb Telescope will be in GSO. I just mentioned it when I intended to state that we may just be servicing satellites in some manner in LEO for years while other countries go to the moon. I think that we will join them. You believe that also, I think, but on a longer time line. In any event, it will take much longer than we had hoped a few years ago.

Orthon
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posted 12-14-2008 08:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Orthon   Click Here to Email Orthon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As this 36 year return to the Moon roller coaster reaches yet another possible dive, it brings to light not only the incredible determination, but the talent, commitment (both political and technical) and grasp of the philisophical importance of putting men on the Moon.

I fear that these brilliant people were way ahead of their time. We were given a gift that few people realised.

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posted 12-14-2008 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonCrater1   Click Here to Email MoonCrater1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree. By the time that we do return to the moon we will have new scientists working on the project and astronauts who were not even born when we last set foot on the moon (Apollo 17 - 1972). The original scientists who worked on this project were an exceptional group of visionaries.

capoetc
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posted 12-14-2008 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MoonCrater1:
I believe that you ARE wrong... We will, IMO, return to the moon, but much later than planned.
1. I did not say we will never return to the moon or explore the solar system and beyond. Never is a very long time. I said that I do not believe funding will be forthcoming in the short term to keep the planned lunar program on track, and I believe it will be scaled back to pay for other programs.

2. You say the Obama administration will be criticized if it doesn't follow through with the space program. Are you suggesting that the party faithful will not criticize the Obama administration if they spend money on a space program instead of health care? Or any of the myriad other programs outlined during the campaign?

I believe that many participants in the Apollo era understand that going to the moon was about beating the Russians (read: a battlefield in the Cold War), not about scientific discovery. Some great science was done, but that was a fortunate bi-product, not a primary goal.

It will (IMO) be very, very difficult to gather the sustained political support necessary to undertake a major space exploration program by the US for the purpose of scientific discovery.

YMMV.

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John Capobianco
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posted 12-14-2008 11:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MoonCrater1   Click Here to Email MoonCrater1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
John, when did I say the word NEVER? I have not used that word in this thread. You and I both agree that we will eventually return to the moon, no matter what the reason, but well into the future, beyond the announced estimated date.

This is a work already in progress. It will take a great many years of preparation to get there again. IMO, we will reach the moon again when we are ready and when we have the funding. Competition from another country and public opinion in favor of a return will eventually be an incentive to make us follow through with our plans.

As for national health care, that will probably take 20 years to accomplish, again for many reasons, if at all. The space program is a small percent of the national budget. Nationl health care will cost many times that. IMO, the Obama Administration will try to begin national health care by covering the very young and the very old and those with debilitating diseases. Then they will tackle major diseases, such as those with cancer and heart disease. Those in the general population will have to fend for themselves for decades, perhaps taking advantage of a few national health credits on their income taxes. There are over 315,000,000 people in the US. To cover all of them is probably impossible now, as it was last year and the year before that. The recession did not cause this. It was impossible before the recession IMO.

Returning to the moon will not happen during two Obama administrations because that is only 2016. Neither will national health care. However, they will both be started during the next eight years with little steps, one step at a time, with years between each step.

cspg
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posted 12-15-2008 12:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Orlando Sentinel: Special report: NASA's budget scrutinized
Agency officials said they have improved financial controls -- including forcing managers to better estimate costs. But the problem is so bad that the Congressional Budget Office estimated that NASA's new moon rocket would go over budget by as much as $7 billion.
Maybe that's the reason why Griffin and Constellation office do not want "outsiders" to look under the hood.

Chris.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 30359
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-15-2008 12:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And yet another article, this time from the Washington Post. This one though, does include an insightful observation:
As Scott Pace, the new director of the Space Policy Institute, puts it, "Those who talk don't know, and those who know don't talk."
Though Pace was referring to the identity of the new NASA Administrator, I believe his comments could apply to much of the current speculation about NASA's future.

Colin Anderton
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Posts: 118
From: Great Britain
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 12-15-2008 05:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Colin Anderton   Click Here to Email Colin Anderton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MoonCrater1:
What would be the declared objective of repeated LEO missions, to service the ISS or the Hubble or Webb telescopes or to repeat what Russia has already done in space or to compete with China in some way?
By the same token, the new administration will argue, what is the point of returning to the moon to prove we can do what we've already done? They will be responding to what the public perceives the programme to be about, which may be somewhat different to the reality.

I have a ghastly feeling that, whoever had been elected President, US manned flight in space may be drawing to a close - at least for a decade or more.

I do feel that many members argue their case based on their wishes, rather than the cold hard facts.

As I predicted in another thread, we ain't returning to the moon for many, many years - and certainly not in the next 20!

One can already sense the new administration starting to trim round the edges, and it won't be long into the new Presidential term when I believe the lunar programme will be cancelled. Sorry, but that's my opinion.

Colin.


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