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Author Topic:   Review of US Human Space Flight (Augustine)
issman1
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posted 01-13-2010 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jimsz:
But the implementation should be USA alone not like the ISS debacle of the last decade.
I find it extraordinary for anyone to describe ISS as a "debacle".

That "debacle" has given the Shuttle a destination, and purpose, since late 1998. Additionally, it has allowed American astronauts a continuous presence in LEO for the past decade.

If it has been a "debacle", then in my opinion, it's because the space station's international potential has yet to be fully realised (China, India).

The current woes of the US space programme go all the way back to Nixon's curtailment of Apollo, with no encore (ie. a Moonbase or mission to Mars).

gliderpilotuk
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posted 01-13-2010 11:45 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by cspg:
And the UK would be ok with this? Hasn't China recently executed a UK citizen? You'd like to travel into space with this country? No thanks. Let them have their own space program.
I think the majority of UK citizens would see no connection between the execution of a drug dealer and participation in a cooperative space program. Bringing "human rights" into the debate is as questionable as political partisanship. We all live in glass houses.

SpaceAholic
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posted 01-13-2010 01:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Consideration of a countries human rights record and other behaviors which deviate from internationally accepted "norms" is applicable - the same argument can easily be extended to North Korea and Iran. Achievement in space brings internal prestige. Collaboration with nation-states that have a value system in conflict with the West not only serve to enhance legitimacy of the government practicing abysmal behavior and subjugating its people to tyrannical policies; it endows that country with dual use technologies which can advance their military capability.

Mercury7
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posted 01-13-2010 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's all I've been trying to say... well said.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-13-2010 01:41 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 SpaceAholic:
Collaboration with nation-states that have a value system in conflict with the West...
That would describe the Soviet Union in 1975...

Though partnering with conflicting foreign countries on space activities can be seen as rewarding them, it can also be used as a means of gaining a foothold into the nation to demonstrate the benefits of Western culture and democracy. Though many other factors came into play, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project has been credited with helping to advance the transition to a Russian republic.

Delta7
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posted 01-13-2010 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I doubt the level of cooperation we have now with the Russians would have been possible with the old Soviet Union. However, it goes to show that today's foe is potentially tomorrow's equal partner. And China certainly isn't a foe of ours on the level of the USSR during the Cold War.

China is going into space with or without us. They don't seem to need our participation. I'd rather find ways to cooperate and benefit from each other's resources, than admire their achievements from a distance as they go to the moon and beyond. Short of another Cold War with the Chinese, I don't have a problem working with them to the benefit of all mankind. The Chinese people will take care of their own society, of that I'm pretty sure.

gliderpilotuk
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posted 01-13-2010 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for gliderpilotuk   Click Here to Email gliderpilotuk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SpaceAholic:
Collaboration with nation-states that have a value system in conflict with the West...
The point is you could actually use cooperation as a routemap to engender change and you never know, "the West" might actually learn something from other parties.

Mercury7
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posted 01-13-2010 03:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Although you may have a valid point Robert let's not forget we are talking in the context of equal full partnerships as described by Bolden. If we wanted to do a few special projects with the Chinese or Russians then I am sure most people would not find fault with that, but if you are going to open up your bag of goodies for a landing on the moon or something as grand then you might want to stick with our allies.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-13-2010 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Had the Soviet Union not turned down President Kennedy's invitation, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project might very well have been the first moon landing.

The International Space Station program (including Phase 1, the Shuttle-Mir program) taught all the partners involved important lessons about how to work together in space. We have learned from those errors and one would hope, we could build from them such that they aren't repeated.

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posted 01-13-2010 03:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think I need to be educated about Kennedy's invitation?

On edit: Okay then, how bizarre I have not read that before... and what a strange thing for him to do.

issman1
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posted 01-14-2010 02:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wonder how the close bonds and relationships forged between NASA employees and their comrades in Russia, Europe, Canada and Japan would fare if a future American president announced America is going it alone?

I'm sure there are certain political ideologies in Washington who want to see that. But is national prestige what space exploration should be about?

China already has the prestige of being an economic and nuclear power as well as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. And since 2003, it has been one of only 3 nations on Earth capable of launching humans into orbit and returning them safely.

Nothing humanitarian or otherwise seems have been accomplished by isolating them out of ISS? With them, leaving LEO sooner is more likely than not.

That is much more important for the human condition than petty, worldly bickering.

jimsz
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posted 01-14-2010 06:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
That "debacle" has given the Shuttle a destination, and purpose, since late 1998. Additionally, it has allowed American astronauts a continuous presence in LEO for the past decade.
That LEO presence has been akin to performing little more than maintenance routines on an international hotel.

The ISS in my opinion was built to give the shuttle something to do and to provide less capable countries with a means and purpose to be in space all at the cost of the US Space program and American taxpayer.

I think the ISS focus of the shuttle has been one of the causes that has crippled the US Space Program as it has drained money, ideas and forward thinking.

The shuttle was a great idea for it's time but that time passed a decade or two more ago.

quote:
If it has been a "debacle", then in my opinion, it's because the space station's international potential has yet to be fully realised (China, India).
Again, here I respectfully disagree. The ISS is trying to be too much and the cost is too high. There is limited US tax dollars to go around and I would rather it go to a NASA program and goals outside of LEO and on an American centric program. (I also think NASA should be getting more money as well).

Nothing is stopping China, India, UK, etc., from developing their own space program with their own rockets.

quote:
The current woes of the US space programme go all the way back to Nixon's curtailment of Apollo, with no encore (ie. a Moonbase or mission to Mars)
It wasn't Nixon it was Congress. The democratic majority wanted to shift money to social and welfare programs as many of them (Mondale) thought the space program was a waste of money.

issman1
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posted 01-14-2010 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
ISS has always been an "American centric" programme since Reagan first announced it in his 1984 State of the Union address.

And a Democrat vice president (Gore) saved it from becoming a permanent CGI in 1993. But if I recall from history Nixon famously said, "Space must take its place with other national priorities."

I truly hope Obama does more than that as his Kennedy-esque legacy.

capoetc
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posted 01-14-2010 05:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
I truly hope Obama does more than that as his Kennedy-esque legacy.
I feel quite confident that Kennedy would not have taken the US down the path to the moon if not for the Cold War. He too would have preferred to spend the money elsewhere.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-16-2010 09:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Spaceflight Now: Safety panel cautions against canceling Ares 1 rocket
A panel of independent safety specialists says abandoning NASA's besieged Ares 1 rocket is "unwise" because potential commercial space transportation providers are currently unable to meet stringent safety standards.

In a report released late Friday, the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel discussed their opinions on commercial crew transportation to space, the Constellation moon program and the approaching retirement of the space shuttle fleet.

President Obama is expected to decide NASA's future trajectory in the coming weeks. Private companies are expected to take on a large slice of the human space program, and the agency's Ares 1 rocket may be canceled in favor of a new heavy-lift design for exploration.

NASA should only choose an alternative to the Ares 1 rocket and Orion spacecraft, called the "program-of-record" in policy parlance, if commercial vehicles offer equal or better safety, the panel said.

(Charlie Bolden was a member of this same Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel until his appointment as NASA Administrator.)

Mercury7
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posted 01-16-2010 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That safety panel statement reaks of politics. There is no basis of fact saying that commercial space ventures can not meet saftey requirements for manned launch vehicles.

I would also like to comment on the latest remarks by Sen. Nelson suggesting that Obama will not make a public announcement regarding NASA funding. Supposedly he would just let the budget release speak for itself.

I have let the President know I feel it is a huge mistake to not take advantage of the hype of bipartisan support. I also feel like it would be a disservice to all of us who have waited so patiently over the last year while he made a decision. I almost feel like he owes us a speech at this point. At the very least he owes the children an inspiring speech on why we are finally leaving low Earth orbit.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-16-2010 07:56 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 Mercury7:
There is no basis of fact saying that commercial space ventures can not meet saftey requirements for manned launch vehicles.
The safety panel, neither in their statements nor report, state that a commercial space venture cannot ultimately meet the safety requirement for manned launch vehicles. What they do say is that at present, neither SpaceX nor Orbital Sciences are qualified for manned spaceflight nor does their exist a means to verify they are complying with the standards set for such activity.
quote:
I almost feel like he owes us a speech at this point. At the very least he owes the children an inspiring speech on why we are finally leaving low Earth orbit.
This past Thursday was the sixth anniversary of President Bush's "Vision for Space Exploration" speech at NASA Headquarters. Some have charged that that speech was the last thing that President Bush and his administration did to advance space exploration forward and from that point forward during his presidency he largely neglected the topic.

With that in mind, given the choice between a speech and strong support, I believe we would all favor the latter. Hopefully, President Obama will favor us with both...

issman1
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posted 01-17-2010 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Surely there won't be a presidential U-turn for Ares I? Then again, the whole Orion/Ares is a compromise anyway.

Orion crew size was reduced from 6 to the point of being ineffectual for possible deep-space missions. Why? Because Ares I is incapable of launching bigger crews.

On the flipside, the post-Shuttle "gap" will only increase in length.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-17-2010 11:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Orion/Ares I has always been capable of carrying a six-person crew however, as the ISS program did not have an immediate need for Orion to service the station, NASA streamlined its development to the four-person, lunar configuration. Were the need for a six-person crew be reinstated, NASA could modify Orion's cabin to support such.

LCDR Scott Schneeweis
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posted 01-17-2010 12:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for LCDR Scott Schneeweis   Click Here to Email LCDR Scott Schneeweis     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There have already been some tradeoffs in Ares I design and performance margin which have taken into consideration reduction in crew size (payload) in an effort to implement fixes to the first stage Thrust Oscillation issues. Returning back to the larger crew size may not be achievable on Ares I.

issman1
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posted 01-17-2010 12:40 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It just beggars belief that in 2010, Orion with it's maximum crew complement of 3/4 is the best option available to take humans "back to the Moon, to Mars and beyond"?!

DChudwin
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posted 01-17-2010 02:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In my opinion, Ares I is a rocket without a mission. Even if the space station is extended to 2020, as appears likely, by the time Ares I gets qualified, ISS will be in its final months.

Rather than waste $2 billion or more a year on a dead-end, I'd rather the funds go to a heavy lift vehicle to get us out of low earth orbit.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-17-2010 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Some might have leveled the same charge at the Saturn IB, a vehicle manned just once in support getting us out of low earth orbit, but which later became useful for other applications (Skylab and ASTP).

Go4Launch
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posted 01-17-2010 05:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Go4Launch   Click Here to Email Go4Launch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Saturn 1B, however, was needed to test the Apollo CSM and LM while the Saturn V was being built to be able to meet the end-of-decade moon-landing deadline, which was an agreed-on and funded national goal. Not only is there no deadline to launch Orion, there's no agreement on whether it should be the next national space goal, nor really even what that goal should be. Ares I strikes me an example of what happens when there's enough impetus to move "forward," but without knowing for sure where you're going, or if the money will be there even if you did know.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-17-2010 06:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just as the Saturn IB was used to prepare for the advent of the Saturn V, the Ares I was also to be used to support the development of hardware and systems for the Ares V.

And like the Saturn IB, Ares I would also provide a more efficient means of launching crews for earth orbit missions as needed.

The Vision for Space Exploration was codified into law in 2005 and so we did have set of national goals, which included humans returning to the Moon by 2020.

Unfortunately, while NASA was prepared to answer the technical challenges presented by developing a new launch vehicle, the agency was not equally ready for the disinformation campaign that was staged by those desiring to replace the Ares architecture with their own.

issman1
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posted 01-18-2010 03:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't think "disinformation" is what happened with Ares I. It's more related to the curious relationship between ATK (formerly Morton Thiokol) and NASA.

Were other options, such as Boeing's Delta 4 or Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5, dismissed by former NASA administrator Griffin because of that nearly 40-year relationship?

Now we see this again with regard to the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel casting aspersions about the commercial sector.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-18-2010 09:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To the contrary, I think you just made my point: the suggestion that Ares I is somehow a lesser vehicle because of a conspiracy between ATK and NASA is by definition, disinformation, as is (in the absence of any solid evidence) the suggestion that the safety panel had anything but safety in mind when making their recommendations.

issman1
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posted 01-18-2010 10:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It could be seen as a "conspiracy theory", but there are many who feel that Delta or Atlas could have been modified to launch Orion sooner.

Having said that, if Obama deems Ares I is the best launch vehicle for Orion then I will support it 100%

Leaving LEO is what we all want, ultimately.

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posted 01-18-2010 12:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think the Ares I biggest problem was it is/was uninspiring. Although it was tall, it did not capture the imagination like the Saturn V or the shuttle did. The shuttle with its limited capability was at least inspiring. I am not a big fan of the flying stick whose only purpose was to achieve LEO for Orion and my biggest fear since it was initially announced was it would be all we had after all was said and done... funding for Ares V would be cut off do to budget constraints, etc. If Ares I is canceled then I will start to be happy although the big if is what will they replace it with. A manned rated Ares V would be awesome.

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posted 01-18-2010 05:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The State of the Union is set for January 27, so sometime in the next nine days we are likely to finally have some answers and stop some of the speculation and create more at the same time. I'm excited!

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-18-2010 05:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The latest suggestion from an associate director of the National Space Society is that the NASA budget rolling out next month will not include the new direction for human spaceflight but rather it will come later in the form of a supplemental budget request. If accurate, then I would not expect details to emerge before or during the State of the Union.

Apollo Redux
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posted 01-19-2010 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Apollo Redux   Click Here to Email Apollo Redux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thesaurus: leadership
noun
- firm leadership guidance, direction, control, management, superintendence, supervision; organization, government.
I'd like to add; the ability to make an informed decision without vacillating.

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posted 01-19-2010 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mercury7   Click Here to Email Mercury7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From what I am reading today, although Obama may be adding money to the pot to fund manned spaceflight, details of what we will be flying and destinations may be coming as late as May through the House Appropriations Committee. Can these people just make a decision already?

SpaceAholic
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posted 01-19-2010 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The congressional dynamics introduced as a result of tonight's election win in Massachusetts of Republican Scott Brown to fill the senate seat formally held by Democratic senator Ted Kennedy will likely compel a more substantial effort by Congress to attack the deficit. I do believe this will spillover into NASA's budget which is unfortunate, but it is imperative the US get its fiscal house in order if the country's economy has any chance of returning to viability.

Jay Chladek
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posted 01-20-2010 11:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay Chladek   Click Here to Email Jay Chladek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The safety panel makes a valid point. Although Orbital and SpaceX are in the best position commercially to develop a manned alternative. But between them they have had ZERO manned launches and no experience at pulling off such a feat. SpaceX does tout its Falcon 9 design, but to date they've only had one success (maybe two) with Falcon 1. The former NASA administrator brings up a valid point that before any consideration is given to flying men on a new rocket design, there needs to be a proven track record of unmanned flights to LEO before any consideration is given to strapping a capsule to the top of it. Of course it wouldn't just be proving the hardware, but also the procedures and the workforce.

Granted Ares 1 isn't quite proven either, but its certification process for man rating are different then certifying one for cargo. However, it is further along in the development que then any of the alternatives. The Ares 1-X proving flight answered a lot of questions in that regard, as did the DM-1 test of the five segment SRM by ATK.

The Ares 1 I think will live up to all its expectations if it is given a chance to fully mature. Lofting capacity will increase as the rockets are made as manufacturing gets better (that happened in Saturn and shuttle, so Ares should be no different). To pull an about face now when infrastructure is being built and parts are being built and tested is IMHO a very DUMB idea when the competition is at this point only a paper project.

jimsz
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posted 01-20-2010 11:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jimsz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
With the power in party receiving a near body blow to their social agenda with the election is Massachusetts, will Obama now use the space program as Kennedy did, to divert attention from a less than spectacular beginning of their Presidency?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-20-2010 03:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A decision is coming but it will not be as part of a speech, says Florida Today.
Indications are that President Barack Obama is not planning a big announcement about where he intends to take U.S. human spaceflight.

"The president is going to speak to that through his budget," David Axelrod, a senior advisor to Obama, told a roundtable of regional reporters in Washington Tuesday. "I don't want to preempt what's being done."

"But we recognize the importance of it, not just symbolically but in terms of the economic importance to some communities and the importance in terms of research and development..."

Similarly from the Orlando Sentinel:
David Axelrod said Obama was “committed” to NASA and that his belief in space would be revealed with the agency’s 2011 budget. Axelrod would not comment, however, on whether NASA would see an increase in its 2010 budget of $18.7 billion.

issman1
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posted 01-20-2010 04:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for issman1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I hope Obama isn't shirking from his responsibility in light of that political earthquake in Massachussetts.

America has reached a tipping point in its human spaceflight ambitions and so deserves prominence. If Obama fails to seize the moment then I fear years of mediocrity lie head.

In my humble opinion, its is more important than any ongoing war and economic crisis.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-20-2010 04:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space News: Sources: No Billion-Dollar Boost For NASA
...although Obama's 2011 budget request is no longer expected to include the $1 billion boost that has undergirded NASA's planning in recent weeks, sources familiar with the latest developments said any increase is an improvement over NASA spending projections Obama sent to Congress last year.

Those projections showed NASA's 2011 budget declining by 0.3 percent relative to $18.68 billion Obama requested for the agency for 2010. Sources said NASA instead will see a slight increase, despite Obama's November guidance to federal agencies to plan for a freeze or even a five percent cut to their budgets in 2011.

capoetc
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posted 01-20-2010 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for capoetc   Click Here to Email capoetc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by issman1:
I hope Obama isn't shirking from his responsibility in light of that political earthquake in Massachusetts.
Of course, the US President's primary responsibility is to do what is best for the American people.


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