Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Maybe "Mediocrity" IS the Goal, Fellas

Obamamamamama is opposed to continuing spending on space exploration.

While it's fair to say that NASA has a case of 'mission creep' (complete with the usual 'budget creep'), zeroing out space exploration is not a good idea.

Some things only the FedGov can do--and this is one of them, if you intend to keep the US in first place..........

Canceling Constellation could lead to thousands of layoffs at some of America's biggest aerospace contractors, including Lockheed Martin, the Boeing Co. and ATK. Such job losses are among the factors behind congressional opposition to the cancellation. Armstrong and his fellow astronauts emphasize the bigger implications, however, and say in their letter that the decision would put the nation on a "long downhill slide to mediocrity."

The letter notes that the U.S. space effort will be dependent for years to come on the Russians for transport to the International Space Station, at a cost of more than $50 million per seat.

"For the United States, the leading spacefaring nation for nearly half a century, to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit for an indeterminate time into the future, destines our nation to become one of second- or even third-rate stature," they said in the letter.

Couldn't say it better.

Interesting that the astronauts identify Obama's basic operating philosophy: 'putting the nation on a long downhill slide to mediocrity.'

HT: AOSHQ

3 comments:

J. Strupp said...

From Ace's referenced article:

"Bolden told reporters last week that NASA's total employment might actually go up, based on the fact that the White House wanted to increase the space agency's budget from $18.3 billion to $19 billion for fiscal 2011. He acknowledged, however, that the increases might come in climate research and aeronautics rather than human spaceflight.

Bolden said elements of the Constellation program, such as work on the Orion spacecraft and a future heavy-lift vehicle, would likely be folded into the new flexible-path approach. And indeed, White House officials confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that the Orion program and the heavy-lift development effort would go forward.

Where will flexible path lead?
The flexible-path strategy just might get astronauts into deep space and on to the moon and Mars sooner than the Constellation program would have, said James Oberg, a former NASA mission controller who is now NBC News' space analyst."

It sure sounds like nothing is being outright abandoned here. Instead, it sounds like we're gonna focus on using the space program for actual human benefit.

If we make another trip to the moon in a couple decades then awesome. Great. Maybe we can hit baseballs instead of golf balls this time. Whatever. But if our greatness is measured by revisiting a frozen rock a few milion miles away from Earth that we've already been to a dozen times, than we have our priorities effed up big time.

Deekaman said...

"He acknowledged, however, that the increases might come in climate research and aeronautics rather than human spaceflight."

And that gets us there sooner....how?

J. Strupp said...

"White House officials confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that the Orion program and the heavy-lift development effort would go forward."