Friday, February 5, 2010

Obama Hates Brains

That's the only reason I can think of why he would make yet another stupid decision. Great, why not also cancel the public school program?


brent said...

I am hoping that this commenter knows what he is talking about :

This article, like just about every media/blog critique of the new NASA budget, is based on the flawed premise that the Constellation Program is the same thing as the "manned space program."

It is not. Constellation is a set of four specific vehicles: Ares I and V, Orion, and Altair. Four specific vehicles that were envisioned in response to the goals of replacing the Shuttle as a LEO taxi and returning us to the Moon by 2020, all while using 20-year-old technology. What we are actually getting out of Constellation is a LEO taxi much, much less capable than the Shuttle that will enter service just in time for the ISS to deorbit and a booster that will put three people on the Moon, over Apollo's two, in about 2030.

Obama has not "killed the manned space program." He has killed off a set of vehicles that represent a sunk cost, a failure of national ambition, and a mockery of NASA's true capabilities. If you actually look at what the new budget contains and why it is there, you find that NASA now has at least $11 billion in research and development money geared specifically towards human spaceflight and the new technologies we will need to get us beyond not just LEO, but the Earth-Moon system. Inflatable habitats, in-space construction, centrifuge chambers, plasma rockets, self-contained life-support systems - the new NASA budget is all about making science fiction into reality. More than that - it's going to get us out there much faster! Charlie Bolden - a NASA administrator who I can personally attest gets choked up and cries about spaceflight - thinks that the new budget will let humans get to Mars in HIS lifetime, compared with us MAYBE getting to the Moon (again) in mine with Constellation.

Right now, NASA serves as a LEO taxi agency that also researches the effects of exercise on the human body in zero g. What the new NASA budget does is turn over those taxi responsibilities to the private sector, making NASA into a true exploratory agency. The crewed missions to Mars, the Moon, asteroids, comets, Lagrange points, and inner planets will NOT be turned over to private space; they remain NASA's purview. And when we consider that boosters from Deltas to Atlases to ARES are built by private contractors, we find that the new paradigm changes mostly nothing - except that NASA has been given the freedom and direction to get back on the cutting edge and push human boundaries out way beyond the Moon!

Leo said...

Be that as it may....Steve's original comment stands correct in many respects. He believes many things that are not factual. Global warming for one. The belief that redistributing wealth is the way to prosperity. The belief that capitalism is evil.

Luckily, people are waking up.