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Obama withdraws funding for constellation

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bobble_bob

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Well for a while anyway

NASA's plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way.

When the White House releases his budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program that was supposed to return humans to the moon by 2020. The troubled and expensive Ares I rocket that was to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space will be gone, along with money for its bigger brother, the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies needed to take humans back to the moon.

There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases, no Constellation program at all.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/spa ... 0904.story

Real shame. And hasnt Obama gone back on what he promised before he got elected?
 
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Zipi

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

There will be Russian and Chinese manned ships flying no matter what... And now Indians are joining the game as well:

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index. ... ic=19740.0

So if NASA is left out of money and USA is no longer able to launch astronauts, others will. And eventually commercial launch providers will gain ability for manned launches, like SpaceX with its Falcon 9 / Dragon.
 
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bobble_bob

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

Yea sorry missed abit out of the title. I meant Nasa wont be sending humans in space for a long time
 
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trailrider

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

If this, indeed, is the apparent ending of U.S. space exploration for the foreseeable future, then it will probably take a shock to America's collective ego...like a Chinese landing on the Moon...to get the public mad enough to force our politicians to fund the program. Depending on what comes out of the White House and the Congress, someone needs to point out to that bunch that if they really want to stimulate the U.S. economy, one way to do it is to keep our aerospace & defense people employed! After all, what do they expect the engineers, scientists and technicians to do if our manned space program is flushed? There are only so many taxis to drive, and most of these people won't do well at digging ditches!

Sadly, given that our technological base will have atrophied by the time we get our act together again, it will take a looong time to catch up...if we ever do. Indeed, it may be that the commercial industry will be the key to the U.S. going beyond LEO, to the Moon and beyond. In one respect, that may be the best, albeit it will take a LOT longer than my generation had hoped. At 67, I hope to live to see it happen.

One thing that we space exploration advocates MUST DO is to stop arguing amongst ourselves about spending all our available funds on robotic exploration versus human exploration, going to Mars versus the Moon first! There has to be a plan that includes BOTH, in the proper order and emphasis! Send probes where humans can and cannot explore, then where humans CAN, send us ouot there! Are you listening National Space Society, Planetary Society, Mars Society, Moon Miners, et al? Make Ben Franklin's statement our watchword: "If we do not all hang together, assuredly, we will all hang separately!"

And, if our politicians won't listen...vote 'em out and get people in who will! (No, I don't mean ME!)

Ad Luna! Ad Ares! Ad Astra!
 
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bobble_bob

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

A massive shame that Nasa wont have a manned space program in the near future. Nasa need this not only to further understand our universe and to one day go to Mars, but to keep kids interested in space. The kids that will one day become the future scientists and astronauts
 
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mr_mark

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

I like this idea actually, I'm for private space meaning Spacex, Orbital Sciences, Virgin Galactic and Bigelow Aerospace. Private space will be first launching passengers into suborbital space starting in about a year via virgin galactic's spaceship 2. After that, under the upcoming program, Spacex and other manufactures will start to launch astronauts to the ISS and other orbiting destinations. In fact, Spacex's Falcon 9 launcher is already at Cape Kennedy undergoing final integration for a launch in a few months! Ares was not slated for final integration and launch until 2017. We are clearly not at the end my friends, WE ARE AT A NEW BEGINNING. A new beginning that will put thousands of people into space not just a few hundred. As for deep space that will happen for NASA either through a new administration or through the current administration ok'ing a heavy launcher for future beyond LEO needs. :D
 
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Gravity_Ray

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

Yes the title does show a bit of bias towards our way of thinking. For sure there will be humans in space. The Russians are very able to get to space without any help from anybody else, and China will keep working on their slow but steady military program of human space flight.

At the risk of getting attacked here. This is probably the best thing that can happen to NASA. NASA has been so hamstrung with arm chair quarter backing from hindsight media and the immoral Congress that they cannot get people into space without massive cost over runs to satisfy them. What they in effect have forced NASA to do is make manned space flight be 100% safe, and that can NOT be done, ever. The money for manned space flight is a waste.

Therefore what this will do is free NASA up to do a lot more robotics and science in space that will only improve our capabilities. Trust me there will be a lot more engineers working on robotics than manned space flight. For manned space flight you just have institutional workers that do repetitive low level work to keep the system moving, with a scientific and robotics program there are more engineers than technicians.

This will also be a boon for all the private firms that are going to space. They will suddenly have the room to grow instead of competing with NASA. This is great news for private space industry. :D

I have always wanted NASA to go back to the immoral Congress and tell them that "Hey due to these insufficient funds we will not do manned space flight", but that will take too much balls and probably will end up in the head of NASA losing his job. But sometimes you have to stand up to bullies in Congress and White House and stand up for the right thing eevn if it means losing your job.

I am very happy that NASA manned space flight is going to stop. Often you have to lose something before you really understand what it meant to you. When/if people of this country see what they are losing by losing manned space flight; maybe they will get motivated to support “their” manned space program.
 
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vulture4

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

The people who are attacking Obama now should have said something when Bush and Griffin announced they were abandoning Shuttle and ISS, apparently because they were bored and wanted to go to the moon. Obama would never have canceled Shuttle if the experts hadn't decided they didn't want it. At least Shuttle and ISS had some chance to lead the way toward productive human spaceflight. That was their goal, and if they failed, at least they had a meaningful objective.
 
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mr_mark

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

Consider yourself attacked gravity_ray. Space is never going to be 100% safe and never will be but, neither is driving a car or talking a walk down the street. Anyone who assumes this is not living in the real world. Ever hear of the term defensive driving. Space is for human beings to explore and preserve themselves if need be.. It is not enough to send out a few probes for scientific information. Space is for human colonization. That is the end goal. Private space will do the job that this and other administrations have not had the guts to do. That is the American way, ever heard of Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Elon Muck, the Wright Brothers just to name a few? All private individuals who owned companies that changed the world. These are the business leaders that will take us into the future.
 
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Swampcat

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

Nowhere in the article does it imply the end of US HSF. It speaks only to going back to the Moon. There will still be US astronauts going to ISS. How they'll get there is the real question. The article addressed that, mentioning heavy-lift launchers and "an 'attractive sum' of money...for private companies to carry astronauts..." to ISS.

Constellation has been on life support for some time now. Ares I is not likely to survive, but that's probably a good thing as it is proving to be underpowered. Ares V was just a design for an HLV. With Ares I out of the way, more money can go to HLV development in both public and private sectors.

The article even mentioned a budget increase for NASA. OK, so it's not much (relatively speaking), but considering the rest of the US budget and economy I would suggest that space cadets be thankful NASA's budget isn't decreasing.

For me, the most important part of the article was the last paragraph. The fact is, that for all practical purposes, politicians have a disproportionate influence in areas that should be the purview of engineers. The Constellation program was a monument to pork. I doubt that will change very much with any new programs, but it's somewhat heartening to see the President doesn't agree with the status quo.

I am in general agreement with mr_mark. Private enterprise is the way to go. As long as government HSF is the only HSF, there will never be more than one program at a time. There will be no sustainability of any long term programs and government astronauts will be the only ones flying. That was OK, 30 years ago when HSF was still relatively new, but it's clearly time to try a different way of doing things.
 
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bobble_bob

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

vulture4":wvdo9jiu said:
The people who are attacking Obama now should have said something when Bush and Griffin announced they were abandoning Shuttle and ISS, apparently because they were bored and wanted to go to the moon. Obama would never have canceled Shuttle if the experts hadn't decided they didn't want it. At least Shuttle and ISS had some chance to lead the way toward productive human spaceflight. That was their goal, and if they failed, at least they had a meaningful objective.
I think its right to end the shuttle program. It has been a great success, but the shuttles are ageing now and cant last much longer. The shuttle program was only ever intended for low earth orbit - which we have done with the ISS. I dont think there is much more we can do in low earth orbit now, we need to look further afield - whether its mars or the moon. Either way the shuttle wont take us there
 
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Gravity_Ray

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

mr_mark":1jvbmibv said:
Consider yourself attacked gravity_ray.
Woah big fella, I think we are on the same side here.

mr_mark":1jvbmibv said:
Private space will do the job that this and other administrations have not had the guts to do. That is the American way, ever heard of Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Elon Muck, the Wright Brothers just to name a few? All private individuals who owned companies that changed the world. These are the business leaders that will take us into the future.
Well I know your on a roll here, but its "Elon Musk". Also this is just what I was saying!! (maybe I wasnt doing a good job and thats why you didnt hear me out) I am all about private space companies. That is why I said this is the best thing that could happen to private space industry. Read my post again, especially the part just before the :D
 
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vulture4

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

bobble_bob":6u9t0jge said:
I think its right to end the shuttle program. It has been a great success, but the shuttles are ageing now and cant last much longer. The shuttle program was only ever intended for low earth orbit - which we have done with the ISS. I dont think there is much more we can do in low earth orbit now, we need to look further afield - whether its mars or the moon. Either way the shuttle wont take us there
If you or anyone reading this has any data to show that the shuttles are "aging", I'd genuinely like to see it. They aren't even the same age. The most recent flight crushed the previous record for the fewest problem reports. The tile damage is less than it has ever been. There were five flights last year with no major problems. The shuttles were designed for at least 100 flights each and to my knowledge have no components subject to wear which cannot be replaced. Of course, if they stop ordering parts, stop doing overhauls, and fire the experienced technicians, then the shuttles can't be maintained, but that's a management decision, not a design deficiency. As to what we can do in LEO, we can show that humans can be productive in space. If we can't do that in LEO, we certainly can't do it on the moon.

As to private vs government, either is fine with me. But there's no need for NASA to develop a new "heavy lift vehicle" since it requires no new technology. ULA already advertises augmented Delta versions up to 100 tons to LEO, or NASA could just issue an RFP and let the contractors propose clean sheet versions. Injecting NASA into the design process wouldn't serve a purpose except to hamstring contractors by forcing them to use ATK SRBs or other odd pieces of hardware as ocurred in Constellation.

Where NASA should be involved is in developing new basic technology for advanced reusable launch vehicles; the linear spike engine, metallic heat shields, air launch, vertical vs horizontal landing, etc. Paradoxically the major error of the X-33 and X-34 programs was the attempt to "privatize" the investment; this does not work for a technology development effort since there's no immediate market.
 
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MiamiBeach

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

So Obama wants to turn NASA into a climate and earth sciences agency...ie...an environmentalist propaganda arm of the executive branch. Ok, I can go with private enterprise doing much of what NASA does near earth. But with all the money spent on the Constellation program to date, perhaps there is something there that can be salvaged instead of just throwing it away?! Trillions are being spent on mostly useless programs, but $5 billion more for NASA is not possible...we cant divert $5 billion from Stimulus to NASA? Oh.
 
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gpurcell

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

Swampcat":3tecjm9n said:
Nowhere in the article does it imply the end of US HSF. It speaks only to going back to the Moon. There will still be US astronauts going to ISS. How they'll get there is the real question. The article addressed that, mentioning heavy-lift launchers and "an 'attractive sum' of money...for private companies to carry astronauts..." to ISS.
Nonsense. Obama is killing what he can kill now (Shuttle and the program of record), promising a new vehicle that can be killed in a couple of years, and setting up the final killing shot for the wind down of ISS operations in 2020 or thereabouts. It is over.

Obama is doing EXACTLY what everyone should have known he would do. Heck, he told you his plan right up front about transferring NASA funding to education. It is what the urban, liberal wing of the Democratic party has wanted since the 1960s--to stop "wasting money in space." Obama got the chance to pull the trigger and he did so. (And 3488, it isn't racist to say that, no matter what you thought in the past when you moved my post saying that. It is simply the truth.)
 
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earth_bound_misfit

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

While it's a great loss to manned space exploration, IMO Obama isn't really the one to blame here, it's the greedy buggers on Wall St. The GFC has caused pain world wide and now US space exploration program is another victim. So if there's any psychopath's/rednecks reading this that are feeling the pinch..........
 
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MeteorWayne

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

BTW, this doesn't concern a Mission or a Launch, so is being moved to SB&T.
 
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MiamiBeach

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

Its the greedy buggers on Wall St.??? Are you insane??? Its the leftist social engineers that are greedy with $2 Trillion that somehow cant seem to part with $5 Billion for NASA. I have no great affection for Wall Street, but at least they are generating revenue, unlike government workers.
 
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Swampcat

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

gpurcell":1azudhl8 said:
Swampcat":1azudhl8 said:
Nowhere in the article does it imply the end of US HSF. It speaks only to going back to the Moon. There will still be US astronauts going to ISS. How they'll get there is the real question. The article addressed that, mentioning heavy-lift launchers and "an 'attractive sum' of money...for private companies to carry astronauts..." to ISS.
Nonsense.
gpurcell, calling my words "nonsense" when they were taken directly from the referenced article is rude. Try reading the article with a little comprehension. Or direct those kinds of comments to the author of the article.

Obama is killing what he can kill now (Shuttle and the program of record), promising a new vehicle that can be killed in a couple of years, and setting up the final killing shot for the wind down of ISS operations in 2020 or thereabouts.
Obama didn't kill STS. That plan was put in place by Bush. However, the politician involved is irrelevant. NASA would have likely seen a major change in direction irregardless. The PoR is proving to be little more than a jobs program and a sop to ATK and a certain Senator's constituents. Orion, from what I've seen, won't fly until 2017 and ISS will be closing in on its design life expectancy by then. What's the point of continuing down this tired, worn out path?

It is over.
I doubt it, but so it goes.
 
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menellom

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

Did anyone actually READ the article? Because I'm not sure if even the author did.

NO WHERE in the article does it confirm the end of HSF or even plans to go to the Moon.

What it DOES say is that NASA will likely receive a small budget increase of a few hundred million (which is disappointing but not when you consider that NASA will free up several BILLION dollars once its no longer having to launch several shuttles each year), that the Ares I will likely be axed in favor of a heavy lift vehicle (which most of us were expecting and in fact hoping for) and that private space will likely get some money its way.

Again, NO WHERE does it say human space flight is ending, and the ONLY suggestion that lunar goals may end is an offhand comment from an 'administration official' (translation, probably a random clerk).

Christ you guys are quick to jump on the pessimist boat.
 
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bdewoody

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

It is truly a sad day for America if what was posted here ends up being factual. I'm sorry but I don't think SpaceX and Bigelow are up to the task. The moon won't be governed by some international peace loving tree hugging coalition. It will be dominated by whoever gets there first. It isn't pretty or nice but thats the way exploring has always been. Did the Spanish welcome the English, Germans or French with open arms after Columbus stumbled on America, hell no they did everything within their power to keep everybody else out. Once the Chinese have claimed all the places with adequate water they will dictate the course of events from that point on. I just hope they remember who their buddies were in 1941-42 when their next door neighbor was running amuck thru China.
 
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menellom

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

Again, if anyone bothered to actually READ the article carefully - nowhere in it is there anything that can confirm the authors outlandish claims of Obama 'killing human spaceflight'. So how about we all just take a deep breath and stop with the Chicken Little-esque 'sky is falling' hysteria for a moment.
 
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PiotrSatan

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

Eurasia(I mean EU + Russia) seems to be the last hope for domestic space travel if the posts concerning NASA are dead. Cheers from the European Union! Don't worry, I'll send you card from Mars once!
 
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EarthlingX

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

PiotrSatan":2gktit38 said:
Eurasia(I mean EU + Russia) seems to be the last hope for domestic space travel if the posts concerning NASA are dead. Cheers from the European Union! Don't worry, I'll send you card from Mars once!
Yes, they actually woke up a little bit on a HSF front :
End-to-end European transportation capability: The Advanced Re-entry Vehicle
This is not the first time they talk about such plan. They are also rather shy about any exact dates and plans. I have no doubt about capability though, just the usual, dineros :)

Russians, as usually, with a joke of a budget, comparing to ESA or, rather not, NASA :
Russia to finalize design of manned spacecraft booster in Aug. 2010
Check those links with the article too, khm, you can avoid those Alien links .. ;)
They mean business, or at least it looks like it.
Is there some forum where i could annoy Medvedev and Putin in English ?
 
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Swampcat

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Re: So thats it...no more humans in space

menellom":2w26vl2p said:
Again, if anyone bothered to actually READ the article carefully - nowhere in it is there anything that can confirm the authors outlandish claims of Obama 'killing human spaceflight'. So how about we all just take a deep breath and stop with the Chicken Little-esque 'sky is falling' hysteria for a moment.
I tried to point this out with my first post, but it seems once pessimism, gloom and doom get started in the flock, little things like facts and the encouragement of reading comprehension aren't much use in stopping it. It's how rumors, urban myths and conspiracy theories survive.

IMO, this article was intended to make a political point and stir up the space-related workforce, particularly in Florida, against changes in the PoR. Jobs are at stake and it's understandable that local media editors (and senators) would argue against changes that could potentially cost Floridians jobs. So what if it means an overly expensive national space program that is unsustainable and lacking in attainable long term goals? Federal taxpayers deserve better.
 
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