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  U.S. President Obama and space exploration (Page 1)

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Author Topic:   U.S. President Obama and space exploration
Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-04-2008 10:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Barack Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States.

During his presidency, Obama will make decisions that will shape the immediate and far reaching future for the United States' space exploration efforts. His administration will decide when the space shuttle program of the past 30 years will come to an end and influence the ultimate direction(s) that its successor will fly.

As a point of reference moving forward, Obama's space policy is offered here, as well as a video that captures some of the NASA-related comments he made during the campaign.

When I was growing up, NASA united Americans to a common purpose and inspired the world with accomplishments we are still proud of. Today, NASA is an organization that impacts many facets of American life. I believe NASA needs an inspirational vision for the 21st Century. My vision will build on the great goals set forth in recent years, to maintain a robust program of human space exploration and ensure the fulfillment of NASA's mission. Together, we can ensure that NASA again reflects all that is best about our country and continue our nation's preeminence in space.
-- Barack Obama

FFrench
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posted 11-05-2008 12:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I noticed that President-elect Obama also made a reference to the moon landings during his speech tonight.

KSCartist
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posted 11-05-2008 02:56 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Despite the passion of a hard fought campaign, this is still the UNITED States of America. We CAN accomplish anything we set our minds to do.

It's going to be a difficult few years and I wish our President success. I hope the gracious-ness of both Obama's and McCain's remarks tonight will turn into national cooperation as we tackle the difficult issues ahead.

Now let's fix these problems and light this candle!

jimsz
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posted 11-05-2008 06:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I wish Mr. Obama well I think this is a less than great event for the US space program.

All the social policies the new President Elect wishes to create will have to paid for from somewhere.

Fra Mauro
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posted 11-05-2008 08:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fra Mauro   Click Here to Email Fra Mauro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am very fearful for NASA's future. We space supporters have to start speaking out more.

spaced out
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posted 11-05-2008 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for spaced out   Click Here to Email spaced out     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Whatever the priorities of the new president he has unfortunately inherited an enormous budget deficit and an Iraq war whose annual budget is roughly in line with the total cost of entire Apollo project (adjusted to today's dollars). It doesn't bode well for space-related spending.

cspg
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posted 11-05-2008 09:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With a budget deficit of $438 billion (!) and national debt at $11,000 billion (you already owe that much), I wouldn't worry too much about it. And if the space program needs to be shut down to make sure that every American isn't left behind, as it is the case today, then so be it. I'm perfectly fine with it.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2008 09:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ever since the space age began there have been people asking, "Why go into space when we have so many problems here on Earth?" And time and time again, we have answered that question, not with words, but with results.

The rumors of our space program's demise is again being greatly exaggerated.

Should we be complacent and not vocalize our support for space exploration? No, absolutely not. Write letters, send e-mails, support pro-space organizations and rally for what you feel is right.

The federal budget is not, and has never been, the driving barrier to exploration. It is, and has always been, a matter of will. To quote from history:

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
President Kennedy wasn't referring to just the technical hurdles standing between the Earth and the Moon, but the political and personal will it would take to go there.

We didn't give up then, and we shouldn't -- and are not -- now.

jimsz
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posted 11-05-2008 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
And if the space program needs to be shut down to make sure that every American isn't left behind, as it is the case today, then so be it.
Left behind from what?

If after the massive amounts of money that has been poured into social programs for the last 40 years is still leaving people behind, more money is not going to solve anything.

Let's see, dump another 100 billion into social programs that will change nothing or dump it into something that will provide some financial return? I go with less social spending.

snf13
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posted 11-05-2008 09:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for snf13   Click Here to Email snf13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Kiss Constellation goodbye with Obama... at least for five years!

When asked why he was pitting the space program against education, he said:

"NASA has lost focus and is no longer associated with inspiration,' he said. 'I don't think our kids are watching the space shuttle launches. It used to be a remarkable thing. It doesn't even pass for news anymore."

The guy goes on to say:

"Obama seemed to resent my question. A little later, he addressed another on energy, and spoke of the need for an alternative energy effort. He concluded by turning to my direction and saying pointedly, 'And that, sir, is what our next Apollo Program should be.'"

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2008 10:01 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 snf13:
When asked why he was pitting the space program against education...
The article quoted is out-of-date: after inheriting Senator Clinton's space policy advisors and consulting with strong space supporters such as Sen. Bill Nelson, Obama revsied his education policy such that it did not seek funds from NASA.

The linked article is dated April 2008; in August, Obama spoke of the change:

I know it's still being reported that we were talking about delaying some aspects of the Constellation program to pay for our early education program. I told my staff we're going to find an entirely different offset, because we've got to make sure that the money that's going into NASA for basic research and development continues to go there. That has been a top priority for us.
If we are going to hold Obama to his campaign promises -- which we should do -- then we must acknowledge the entire policy that was in place at the time he was elected.

Joe Holloway
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posted 11-05-2008 10:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joe Holloway   Click Here to Email Joe Holloway     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by KSCartist:
Now let's fix these problems and light this candle!
Well said, Tim, as always... especially the part about lighting the candle!

jimsz
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posted 11-05-2008 12:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
If we are going to hold Obama to his campaign promises -- which we should do -- then we must acknowledge the entire policy that was in place at the time he was elected.
A politician keeping his campaign promises after the election? Not going to happen!

Those he said would be paying less, won't. Those he said would be paying more, will pay an even larger amount.

That which would be accomplished will instead be replaced with "things are worse than we thought..."

That which he said would be accomplished with bipartisan cooperation will go down in flames due to "those dishonest, dirty (political party here)".

Nothing will change.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-05-2008 01:23 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 jimsz:
A politician keeping his campaign promises after the election? Not going to happen!
A study of presidential campaign promises conducted recently by Michael Wagner, assistant professor of political science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, disagrees with your assertion.
Between 1912 and 1948, presidents fulfilled about 72 percent of their promises, Wagner said. That number rose to around 75 percent between the 1950s and 1970s, and even though it's dropped recently, Wagner said, presidents still have a fairly high success rate.

"Typically, presidents work very hard to keep their campaign promises," Wagner said.

President Bill Clinton had the highest rate of successful campaign promises of the last seven presidents, Wagner said. President Richard Nixon had the lowest rate of fulfilled promises with a 56 percent success rate.

According to John Hibbing, a UNL political professor, the most common reasons presidents' don't fulfill all their campaign promises is lack of support by Congress. If the opposing party controls Congress, they generally don't support the president's legislation, which makes it increasingly difficult for presidents to accomplish their campaign goals. President Obama will be working with a Congress led by his own party.

snf13
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posted 11-05-2008 02:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for snf13   Click Here to Email snf13     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
sigh....

One thing us space guys are good at, dreaming!

fabfivefreddy
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posted 11-05-2008 03:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fabfivefreddy   Click Here to Email fabfivefreddy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have noticed several bloggers discussing the President-elect as a "giant leap for mankind."

There is no doubt that Obama is a transformational figure and that his story could only have happened in America. I am very proud of many American accomplishments, including this one.

This election proves our ability to shift and change when needed. I am confident that he will have the judgment to correct the course.

spacecraft films
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posted 11-05-2008 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for spacecraft films   Click Here to Email spacecraft films     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As an Apollo moonwalker recently said to me (on camera - and I won't say who it was yet)...

"I don't think we're going back to the moon for 50 years... maybe longer..."

He may well be right.

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-05-2008 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apparently it was Obama who was instrumental in getting legislation passed so NASA could purchase Soyuz flights past 2012. I was skeptical about him before, but that was one little ray of light. Funding education is one thing, but my philosophy has been that if something exciting is happening, then people (especially kids) will want to educate themselves about it. There is that potential with the space program.

I don't think the program will get cut, not when Florida, California and Texas employ a large percentage of the workforce needed to make it happen (three very powerful states during election years with some rather powerful companies in their borders). Space became an issue this election season and in the meshing of domestic, foreign and other policies, I don't anticipate it going away anytime soon. But that being said, the money will have to come from somewhere.

I do hope Obama keeps Griffin in charge of NASA. Mike seems to have the right set of engineering know how, understanding of budget and single mindedness to keep the agency on track. He also doesn't make glowing promises either (which I think was one of Dan Goldin's failings). He can do what needs to be done.

Bill Hunt
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posted 11-05-2008 06:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Exactly, Jay. Seriously, people need to chill.

capoetc
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posted 11-05-2008 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jay Chladek:
Apparently it was Obama who was instrumental in getting legislation passed so NASA could purchase Soyuz flights past 2012. I was skeptical about him before, but that was one little ray of light. ...

As I mentioned in the earlier thread regarding the candidates' space policies, the article that said that Griffin sent a letter to Obama thanking him for his leadership on the waiver to the non-proliferation act went on to say that MANY members of Congress were sent identical letters.

I applaud you for your optimism, but his leadership on the non-proliferation act waiver is not very strong evidence on which to base that optimism. IMO.

------------------
John Capobianco
Camden DE

Mercury7
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posted 11-05-2008 10:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am optimistic that Obama will fund and support Constellation, 3 months ago I would have even been more optimistic but the economic crisis may mean Constellation is only accelerated to finish Ares I. I think this is the worst case scenario. Ares I will be completed on time regardless. We should all just hope for a strong recovery before the main funding is requested for Altair and Ares V.

Go4Launch
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posted 11-06-2008 07:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As Robert notes, Obama's space policy platform issued during the campaign included reconvening the National Aeronautics and Space Council of 1958-1973 to "work toward a 21st century vision of space."

That alone should be of some concern; I have a shelf groaning under the weight of such past reports that few people except the commissioners ever read...

jimsz
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posted 11-06-2008 08:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
A study of presidential campaign promises...
I'll tell you what, you pick 6 campaign promises of Mr. Obama, I'll pick 6 and if he actually delivers 75% of the 12, I'll buy you dinner! If he fails to deliver the 75% you buy me dinner. With a totally Democrat controlled Executive as well as Legislative branch for the federal government, it should be a slam dunk for you.

I have not searched the study you cite but I in no way believe it it straight up. They must have a loose definition of meeting a campaign promise.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 11-06-2008 09:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those who believe Obama will deliver on space or any of his other nebulous promises of "change" I predict buyers remorse will set in before the first half of Obama's term.

------------------
Scott Schneeweis
http://www.SPACEAHOLIC.com/

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-06-2008 01:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has identified 13 "urgent issues" that are "time sensitive and require prioritized federal action" during the Congressional and Presidential transition.
  • oversight of financial institutions and markets,
  • U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan,
  • protecting the homeland,
  • undisciplined defense spending,
  • improving the U.S. image abroad,
  • finalizing plans for the 2010 Census,
  • caring for service members,
  • preparing for public health emergencies,
  • revamping oversight of food safety,
  • restructuring the approach to surface transportation,
  • retirement of the Space Shuttle,
  • ensuring an effective transition to digital TV, and
  • rebuilding military readiness.

Jay Chladek
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posted 11-06-2008 01:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Concerning my optimism, when considering the alternatives I have to be optomistic. When bad things happen to the program it usually ends up turning a knot in my stomach (as I am sure it does others).

Like it or not, we will be stuck with the incoming administration for the next 4 years. So I am not planning on obsessively worrying about what they are going to do (or what the won't do) every day that Obama is in office. That type of concern can eat at a person. I will stay informed though (which is different).

I have dialoged with the congressmen in my district and when the time comes for any big policy matters related to space, you know I'll be sending along my concerns about the said issues. The real power is with them. Presidents make policy, but Congress has the power to put it into law or to go its own way.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-07-2008 11:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
An action space enthusiasts can do now is provide your suggestions and/or support for NASA to President-Elect Obama through the Change.gov website.

Apollo Redux
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posted 11-07-2008 05:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
I'm perfectly fine with it.
Are you an American living abroad?

If not, no kidding you'd be fine with NASA shutting down, what are the odds of your nation picking up the slack?

You can thank the American space program for the following spin-offs:

  • Programmable pacemakers;
  • voltage controllers (escalators, elevators);
  • three-dimensional imaging systems that allow physicians to accurately scan casts from patients with cleft palates - thereby allowing more effective surgeries which in turn allows the patient the best possibility to develop better linguistic capability;
  • advancement of better lubricant technologies from industrial to household applications;
  • fire-resistant fabrics used by firefighters the world over;
  • carbon monoxide detectors that distinguished between deadly gases and simple water vapor;
  • conductive film that prevents the fogging up of windows on high altitude aircraft as well as clear plastic cradle warmers for newborns;
  • unsinkable life rafts;
  • document-deciphering technology - used to read nearly invisible text on historical documents, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls;
  • spray-on fireproofing protective barriers (used on the skeletal structures of every modern skyscraper in the world!) as the coating is burned off it dissipates the heat energy.
You can have your opinion, you are entitled to it.

I just wonder how willing some people would be to give up the things that make their modern life easier, the very things that owe their existence to the pioneering efforts of NASA?

cspg
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posted 11-08-2008 12:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Apollo Redux:
Are you an American living abroad?
No - although some people thought I came from New York!

I don't "belong" to any nation. I consider myself stateless. As for "picking up the slack", I didn't know that the space program was such a burden.

I'm not questioning the space program's spin-off; just the fact in view of increasing number of issues this planet is facing, there are some aspects of the space program which can wait. I'm playing the devil's advocate here but I still don't see any rationale, let alone convincing argument to send people to the Moon or beyond, especially when such program will have to come up from (future) taxes that apparently no one is willing to pay. Not that issues need to be mutually exclusive but when you're aware that on this planet a child dies every 5 seconds of malnutrition, prioritizing may be in order.

quote:
I just wonder how willing some people would be to give up the things that make their modern life easier, the very things that owe their existence to the pioneering efforts of NASA?
Oh please, if you were to cancel the "space program" today, all those benefits you've mentioned are not going to disappear tomorrow; we're not going back to the Stone Age (try shutting down the Internet).

Chris.

Bill Hunt
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posted 11-10-2008 06:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bill Hunt   Click Here to Email Bill Hunt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I presume everyone has read this story on Obama's space policy intentions.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-14-2008 11:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
President-Elect Obama's transition chief John Podesta's website includes an essay by Neal Lane (President Clinton's director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy) and George Abbey (former Johnson Space Center Director) about "Restoring Preeminence in Space Science and Exploration", recommending:
The new president should immediately assign White House coordination of all non-defense space activities to his science advisor, the assistant to the president for science and technology, who will also serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. In the first 100 days, the president, with the advice of his science advisor, should appoint a commission to assess the current status of the U.S. space program and make specific recommendations for necessary actions in both the short term and the long term.

Specifically, the decision to phase out the shuttle by 2010 should be reconsidered; it should be flown until a suitable replacement becomes available. Talks with our international ISS partners should be held to openly discuss the future of the ISS and commitments by the partner nations. The Vision for Space Exploration should be reevaluated and modified to reflect realistic goals and expectations of future budgets, manpower, national priorities, and opportunities for international cooperation, including access to the program for our space partners. And any future plans by the United States to return women and men to the moon and someday to Mars should involve many U.S. federal agencies, universities, and industry, and should be fully international in scope.

In the meantime, science, including earth observations, should be restated as a top priority for NASA. Wasteful cuts and delays in science missions should be reevaluated and, where warranted, restored. Coordination between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Geological Survey should be strengthened. Consideration also should be given to the suggestion that NOAA and USGS be combined to form a new Earth Systems Science Agency.

The steady decline in funding for NASA's aeronautics programs -- down 32 percent between FY2004 and 2007 -- should be reversed. And a group of eminent aeronautical experts from the government, academia, and industry should be constituted and charged with laying out a roadmap for a revitalized NASA aeronautics program, along with supporting test facilities that would provide the research and development to ensure U.S. leadership in this critical discipline.

A key stated objective of all NASA's research and technology programs should be to excite a new generation of scientists and engineers and rebuild scientific and technical expertise within NASA and across the nation -- a critical need highlighted in the National Academy report "Rising above the Gathering Storm." NASA's research center structure should be reestablished with this objective in mind.

A revitalized NASA will be essential to ensure U.S. leadership as a strong international partner in the peaceful uses of space. Over these past eight years, there has been a movement urging U.S domination of space. We should heed instead the words of John F. Kennedy:

"We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For space science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends on man..."

Our civil space activities must continue to play a preeminent role in making President Kennedy's words a reality.

ewilson
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posted 11-16-2008 09:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ewilson   Click Here to Email ewilson     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As I am observing the posture of the President Elect Transition Team (PETT), and reviewing the statements of the President elect, Barack Obama, on space issues, I trust Lori Garver and Roderic Young, the new and outstanding PETT points of contact can help facilitate the process of initiating the discussion about the retirement of the space shuttle. It is obvious that retirement of the shuttle should not be an option. We should try to adhere to an updated and newly crafted policy mandate.

ernst wilson

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-26-2008 10:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A couple of recent staff announcements relevant to space exploration and NASA:
U.S President-elect Barack Obama has added a Virgin Galactic adviser and two more former NASA officials to the team leading the transition at the U.S. space agency.

The selection of Alan Ladwig, NASA's associate administrator for policy and plans under U.S. President Bill Clinton; Ed Heffernan, then-NASA Administrator Dan Goldin's chief of staff; and George Whitesides, executive director of the National Space Society and senior adviser to Virgin Galactic; brings the number of NASA transition team members to five.

Lori Garver, who replaced Ladwig as associate administrator for policy and plans in 1999, and Roderick Young, Goldin's one-time press secretary, were named to the NASA the transition team Nov. 14.

Ladwig was manager for space systems consulting at Whitney, Bradley & Brown Inc. of Reston, Va., but resigned that post Nov. 14. Whitesides is on leave from both of his positions and Heffernan, who most recently was vice president of government relations for Safeco of Seattle, is between jobs, according to associates.

And then there's Obama's rumored pick for Commerce Secrectary...
The political buzz is that President-elect Barack Obama is looking at New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary or some other senior post in his administration.

...During a press gab session [at the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge in October], Richardson was asked about any possible post he might play in an Obama White House. The New Mexico governor played it a little coy, but said:

"Here's what I want to be sure of... that the Obama administration is pro-commercial space... that the administration is pro-space, pro-government space, pro-commercial space," Richardson observed.

Richardson said that "it's in the interest of our national space industry that commercial space could properly develop... so I will be an advocate wherever I am... hopefully here, still as governor of New Mexico... you never know."

jimsz
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posted 11-26-2008 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
...but when you're aware that on this planet a child dies every 5 seconds of malnutrition, prioritizing may be in order.
This figure is derived from where? What the US chooses to prioritize if in the US's best interest (or should be).

Space program or not will have no affect on those dying of malnutrition.

cspg
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posted 11-26-2008 11:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
This figure is derived from where?
Source: UNICEF
quote:
Space program or not will have no affect on those dying of malnutrition.
No. But the space program can wait (and will have to). There's no rush to spend hundreds of billions of $ to send an astronaut to Mars by a given deadline. That's what I meant by prioritizing.

Chris.

mjanovec
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posted 11-27-2008 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mjanovec   Click Here to Email mjanovec     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
No. But the space program can wait (and will have to).

What will waiting accomplish? Must we really solve every problem here on Earth before we can resume the exploration of space? Again, this is the same old tired (and false) argument that the dollars appropriated for NASA must have been taken from the mouths of children...and that if only we ended the space program, we might be able to solve all of our other problems in the world.

Keep in mind that NASA employs thousands of engineers and keeps several large contractors busy (which also employ thousands). End the space program and you'll suddenly leave many thousands of space workers (and their families) without an income. Ironically, the immediate impact of ending the space program would be that many families would go "hungry."

The reason we set deadlines is for both the purpose of setting a goal and for budgetary reasons. If we didn't set deadlines for space exploration, we would have no benchmark to measure our progress or to gauge the effectiveness of our spending. It's a basic principle of project management that most program managers (whether they be in the space program or not) must adhere to. Try telling the American taxpayer (or Congress) that we'll land on Mars "eventually" while asking to spend billions of dollars every year to reach that goal.

A goal without a timeline is just an empty promise.

Blackarrow
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Posts: 2024
From: Belfast, United Kingdom
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posted 11-27-2008 06:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
There's no rush to spend hundreds of billions of $ to send an astronaut to Mars by a given deadline.

But there does seem to be an unseemly scramble to pay hundreds of billions of $ to profligate bankers whose greed and stupidity has brought the world to the edge of economic catastrophe. The irony is that the last few months have shown us in very graphic terms what a comparatively miniscule amount of money goes to NASA.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-27-2008 06:12 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 Blackarrow:
The irony is that the last few months have shown us in very graphic terms what a comparatively miniscule amount of money goes to NASA.
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.

rbnn
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posted 11-27-2008 06:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for rbnn   Click Here to Email rbnn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Am I the only one befuddled by this trillion-dollar bank bailout?

NASA struggled for decades and did breathtaking things with their budget, eventually landing on the moon. It offered to go to Mars for less than a trillion. When it did justify its budget, it did it based on a track record of many years and of huge amounts of concrete benefits. And still, it didn't get the money it wanted.

When a few banks come up with some story about how, unless they're bailed out, there will be a great depression, people just say: sure, here's the cash. No evidence, no track record of right economic prediction (the reverse in fact), no particular benefit to humanity - it doesn't matter.

Surely it must just drive the NASA folks up a wall, that they risk their lives, assemble some of the most talented people on the planet, make strong, compelling arguments, yet get nothing. Some financial speculators who bet wrong get way more than that in a month of lobbying.

ejectr
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Posts: 1488
From: Brimfield, MA
Registered: Mar 2002

posted 11-27-2008 06:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oooo... there's that word again... "SPECULATORS".

Remember they had nothing to do with oil prices going through the roof, either.


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