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POLL: NASA's New Space Plan Fare Under the New Congress

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POLL: How Will NASA's New Space Plan Fare Under the New Congress?

  • Huge Change Coming – A change in Washington means new folks in charge of NASA's oversight committees

    Votes: 15 42.9%
  • I Vote 'Undecided' – It's too early in the game to decide one way or another.

    Votes: 13 37.1%
  • Stay the Course – Congress and President Obama have already decided NASA's new direction. Everything

    Votes: 7 20.0%

  • Total voters
    35
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brokndodge

Guest
There will be someone minding-the-store for NASA, as well as America now.
There is already someone minding the store. NASA has to pay $20 million out of their budget annually to cover the cost of an 'Inspector General'. Best I can figure, his job is to review NASA's book and make sure the money goes where it is supposed to and not wasted. Seems to be a waste of money to me.

On a side note, I think this guy did come up with the idea to only give projects the money they need as they need it instead of all at once. That allows NASA the flexibility to cover the cost of big projects over several fiscal years. Previously when someone like ULA ask for $10 billion to build a 5 year project, they got the $10 billion up front. Now they have to demonstrate and document how much money they need and when they will need it annually. Secondly, now NASA has to rate the likelihood of completing a project on time and on budget, but they are only requiring 70% likelihood.
 
Y

YetAnotherBob

Guest
Skyskimmer":1rrtku08 said:
YetAnotherBob":1rrtku08 said:
I have always believed that to colonize Mars, we have to learn to live on the Moon first.

I really don't understand this line of thinking. I mean do you work as a mechanic for ten years before becoming a mechanical engineer, but I digress I'm scared that's all I can say I'm scared :(
As a practicing Professional Engineer, I can tell you that if the Engineer doesn't understand the work of the Mechanic, then he cannot be a successful Mechanical Engineer. A lot of Mechanics can tell you that too! So, yes, a good Engineer has to be able to anticipate the needs of those who will use and repair the systems. It doesn't take 10 years. As an Engineer, I always found that the workmen who had to use my designs were quite willing to tell me all about what they saw as my failings. I learned a lot from them. The same kind of process is needed for living on another world.

I can understand your being scared. We are told every day by the Media that the world as we know it is about to end. It's not. They are just selling commercials. Fear sells. Same as with Politics. Every politician tells you to be afraid of the
competition. Just like in Politics, it is mostly lies. Study a little history. The Media never has been either Fair or Honest.

The reasoning for the Moon is simple. It takes 3 days to reach the Moon (if you have a vehicle ready). It takes 9 months to 3 years to reach Mars (if you have a vehicle ready). If you are using an new and untested system, then failures are to be expected. It is much easier to get help from 3 days away that from 3 years away. It is also much easier to stock 3 days of emergency supplies than it is to stock 3 years of emergency supplies.

Conditions on Mars are much closer to those of the Moon than they are to those of the Earth. The systems for the Astronauts/Colonists on Mars will be designed and tested here on Earth as much as they can be. The Moon will provide additional testing of those systems. With so much new going into it, we can expect failures due to conditions and experiences we cannot now predict. Only after years of experience in the alien environment of the Moon will we be ready for a real Mars attempt.

A Flag and Footprint program like Apollo will not cut it long term, any more than the Chinese expeditions of the 1450's assured Chinese dominance of Europe. Long term, we need colonization off Earth. This is for resources, as well as to increase the chances of human survival. If in the meantime, we get a profitable Moon enterprise, well, that is just icing on the cake.

By the way, what applies to us applies equally to the Chinese and the Russians, Japanese and Europeans, Indians and Brazilians. Everybody. Some of them know it.
 
D

DrStrange

Guest
Republicans opposed, fillibust, countermined and hijacked every project coming from Obama. Not because it was bad ideas, but because they want him to fail. They care about nothing else. They have no vision nor desire to serve their own people, only a huge need for power.
So, they will try to scrap the Mars program if they find the time. Actually, they might even try to spoil it soon just as a symbol.
 
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Booban

Guest
JonClarke":21y8hh2v said:
postman1":21y8hh2v said:
Anyone who thinks the Chinese will share the moon once they are there in force, surely needs to study a little Chinese history. Once they make a claim to real estate, it is theirs in perpetuity.
You do realise that the Chinese are probably the least imperialistic major power in history?
You assume that mainland China itself is homogeneous. It is not. You just think Chinese all look the same and therefore are all in one country. China is a massive empire. It has had emperors and Khans. China is comprised of many different conquered people, did you know that China has 293 different languages?
 
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Booban

Guest
BaronHarkonen":27gkky83 said:
But an asteroid mission has no pay-off, it is unsustainable.
Oh? Well, you will then have to measure every mission in space by the same yard stick. So there is some other mission which you can see a pay off or sustainable? Is the ISS paying off? We can barely sustain it. The moon somehow pays off? Mars? Colonization? There is nothing in space which pays anything off, so you might as well choose sexy. There are no US missions which are even trying to make pay-off its goal.
 
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ddo43095

Guest
Come on people. I have grown up loving NASA and what they do. I know Im not the only one, NASA has been around for to long to be just thrown out. For some crazy reason they cut the funding for NASA or even shut them down in the future, they would be in trouble. Not just from the fact they have just handy caped our ability to go into space but from the people of the US. In my opinion there are to many people that love NASA in the US. So there would be a lot of mad people out there if NASA was disbanded, or even given a major budget cut. Also like I said our ability to go into space would be handy caped. Even with all those privet organizations that try to get into space. If you do not agree with me, fine. But that is my opinion on this mater.
 
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YetAnotherBob

Guest
Chairshot215":2phm4omu said:
Both sides may be concerned about unemployment but you have to remember that the Republican platform believes that the Government does not create jobs.
You don't understand the Republicans. It is always a mistake to get information about any group only from their enemies.

Republicans (and most Libertarians for that matter) believe that Government DOES create jobs. However, they do not create productive jobs. Productive jobs are those that actually produce things people want to buy.

A job, after all is just a way of getting Money to buy stuff with. The jobs that are productive are where all the stuff we want is made, grown, harvested or mined. If there is not enough stuff made, then we have to do without. Republicans (and others) believe that it is a problem when we have to import most of our stuff. This is a problem for several reasons. First, We can only import when we can give other nations things that they want. If we are not making things that they want, they won't want to do business with us. That means the dollar falls against the other currency (Yen, Yuan, euro, etc.). So, just giving someone a government job might actually make the economy worse, as we found with Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal jobs programs. However, there are important jobs that Government does. Republicans do support those jobs. That includes Military, and NASA. It does not usually include so called Social programs. This explains why the Military overwhelmingly supports Republicans. Democrats cut military pay, Republicans increase it. Thought they are not as honest about it, the same thing explains why University faculty overwhelmingly support Democrats. Just look who gives them the most money.

In most industry, around 1/3 of the jobs are productive. The rest are sales, support or management. Society can allow for about 1/4 of the jobs to be productive. Factor in government with entertainment, law, Medicine and some other service based professions, (which may be necessary for our nation) and see what that does to the total. When it falls below 1/4 productive, we are in trouble. Right now, we are in trouble.
 
B

Booban

Guest
Temporary stimulus like the New Deal has a role to play as well. Otherwise I think your assessment is on the mark.
 
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nobidon

Guest
All of this discussion is analogous to arguing about how the chairs should be arranged on the Titanic as it is sinking.
American politicians have no ability to participate in creating or funding anything that is forward looking, especially something as profound for the future of mankind as what NASA aspires to be.
Thankfully for humanity, China does not have the same limitations. China has the money and the vision to move forward with Space Colonies, Moon Colonies, Mars Colonies, space based power generation platforms and more.
Also Thankfully, China is not an enemy of the United States, as some politicians would have us believe.
If you have to bet on one country making progress in the next 50 years, are you going to bet on the real deal, or on the country that is only surviving because China is still willing to buy our massive debt? Congress debating the NASA budget
is like a teen age kid who only has spending money because his/her parents give them an allowance each week.
They want to pretend they are mature enough to manage money and act like a grown up but they don't demonstrate good behavior in their daily actions. Note, I'm not bad mouthing NASA and the great science missions that they do. I'm being truthful about the American political system and the ineffective Congress. I just hope China is gracious enough to allow American citizens to visit their Lunar colony. We do have some great scientists and engineers who could be useful contributors in China's space initiatives. If I was a Chinese politician I might ask myself should I spend $20Billion this year handing money to NASA or should I spend that same $20Billion at home on our own Chinese engineers building awesome space technology? That's a pretty easy decision to make.
 
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Booban

Guest
nobidon":9bkt5nv2 said:
Also Thankfully, China is not an enemy of the United States, as some politicians would have us believe.
If you have to bet on one country making progress in the next 50 years, are you going to bet on the real deal, or on the country that is only surviving because China is still willing to buy our massive debt?
Funny, the Chinese generals see the US as it's enemy.

And do you know *how* the Chinese can afford to buy your massive debt? You gave it to them in the first place! They are buying your debt with YOUR OWN money when you buy their products! So now you are borrowing money from them to give them more money.

And why is it like that? Because Chinese are more efficient? Cheap labor? ok, maybe...but maybe it has something to do with it being AGAINST THE LAW to export to China. You want to sell something there, they don't care if you can do it better or cheaper, you build it there to sell it there. Exceptions are high tech things they want and can't produce themselves and want to copy from you.
 
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believer_since_1956

Guest
Ruri":3trn6fhx said:
nubsyn":3trn6fhx said:
If they significantly reduce or eliminate funding for the COTS program we are done. We would be better off cutting NASA loose and giving them 1% to 2% of our budget and allow an oversite committee consisting of a physicist, biologist, astronomer, robotic engineer, mechanical/rocket engineer, chemist, a democrat and republican (or a independent), heck we can even add a tree hugger also. They must all be able to name charactors from star trek and star wars. They must also study the full history of NASA and the effects of government on it. They must be elected every 4 years and cannot spend more than 8 (same as the president). And each of their terms must be staggard. Their main objective should be finding a new earth, resources and life-forms. They must also be committed to the advancement of robotic missions followed by manned missions as far and fast as possible! God Speed!
Agreed COTS is going to have a far more profound impact then Constellation ever could.

COTS will eventually give us a space infrastructure like in movies like 2001 etc all CxP would have done was put a handful of boot prints on the moon.

One of my big complaints of project constellation was it ignore everything learned about space flight since 1981 and it scuttled ISS.
Orion would have had no where to go from 2016 to 2020 as Ares V would not have been ready until 2020.
It also killed all there research on advanced propulsion for RLVs which only recently has been reinstated.
CxP would have got us to the moon but we would have lost our leadership in aerospace technology in the process.
Actually the electronics in the Constellation are far more up to date than the shuttle. The Orion Space Craft was all "glass cockpit" where Apollo had all discrete electronics (Transistors and probably low scale integration), it was only about 8 years ago the shuttle had 486 based computers installed.
 
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Nisse112

Guest
I have followed the "space race" since the first Sputnik 1957. That also means I have followed the US space efforts continuously , especially the Apollo project and all the moon landings. But, step by step I was more and more disappointed with the US planning. For instance, I realized that the overall objective of Apollo was just to beat the Sovjet. After that I haven't been able to see neither a national vision nor a strategy for space exploration. To me it has been more like ad hoc and a lack of national cooperation. If Us had taken advantage of the Apollo success US could have been on Mars already now. A company without a vision and strategy will fail and it is no difference with a nation. With the current "cold civil war" going on between the two parties in US I see no way there will be a vision. I hate to say it, but it is a big risk China will take over the lead, because I think the leaders in China have a vision and a strategy. I think Obama is on the right track, but I am afraid "the war" will destroy it again.
 
V

vulture4

Guest
Under Constellation NASA appeared to have a goal, but it was illusory, since Constellation is blatantly unaffordable and produces nothing useful either scientifically, technologically, or geopolitically. Unfortunately the same goes for the "flexible path". Obama maintained the Constellation architecture and abandoned the Moon as a destination, assuming that was what made it unaffordable. In reality, he should have kept the moon as a destination and abandoned the Constellation architecture, shifting to a progressive LEO/RLV based approach. An asteroid is pointless as a destination for the Constellation architecture, since there are only a few NEOs that can even be reached with this approach and they can be fully studied by robotic probes.

Some blame for the present debacle must be placed on Augustine, who incredibly considered it reasonable to extend Shuttle but didn't list this as an option. Some must be assigned to Obama and Bolden, who might possibly have been able to continue flying the Shuttle had they moved aggressively enough. Considerable blame falls on NASA management, who discouraged Shuttle extension because they still want Constellation, despite its high cost and lack of any strategic value, because "at least we'll be going somewhere". But the most serious blame has to go to Mike Griffin and George Bush, who abandoned 30 years of work just when Shuttle was on the threshold of actually beginning its design mission, and tried to abandon ISS as well, apparently because they were bored.

Right now, the only ray of hope is "commercial", i.e. SpaceX, OSC, and Boeing plans that do not involve any part of Constellation, and the "CRLV Roadmap" proposed by various people at NASA and DOD with real vision but little funding.
 
G

Gravity_Ray

Guest
NASA is going to get hammered under the new Congress.

Constellation is dead and gone.

Shuttle is retiring and not coming back.

Flexible path is on its way out.

James Webb will go on a slow death roll.

Only thing that will survive is some robotic missions that can be done on the cheap.

The future of all human space activity is commercial or not at all.
 
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vulture4

Guest
Agree. Jettison the remains of Constellation and fully fund commercial. It's our only chance. Basically what Obama tried to do. But try to get that by Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions.
 
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Zi

Guest
Do not mistake the misuses of pork barrel addicts for the common view of Republicans regarding space. In truth the 'commercialization' of space will be widely embraced and supported by Republicans. I myself am an independent but know many both in the Republican and Democratic camps. The difference is not in the perceived value of space. The difference is in who should be going there and how. Properly approached Republicans will be far stauncher advocates and allies of sustained and rapid progress in space than Democrats simply because they see the profit if done right and don't consider the government a sacred cow in implementation. Pork Barrel economics is about to take a hit in Washington... that is what is going to tell the long term tale for NASA and the commercial space industry.
 
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