SpaceX Politics

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frodo1008

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Well docm, if an article in the same LA Times is true, when the Republicans take over in Congress (as you seem to want it to) then at least one Republican Senator from South Carolina (the hotbed of federal revolt since before the Civil War, and now with the Tea Party types in ascendancy) has stated that he will be introducing a bill to take all US Government spending back to 2008 levels!

Under those circumstances I would guess that with a cut of about 15% in the 2011 federal budget of NASA's already minuscule budget then such extra programs as COTS are simply doomed. So I would guess that spacex will indeed have to depend upon private funding totally after all. That should make the ultra conservatives here happy, even if it devastates the beginning of private space efforts.

I was afraid of this when the Republicans suddenly became SOOOOOOO concerned about the federal deficits and the National Debt (that is, as long as it is Democrats that are in power at least). Of course, we in the know realize that they could eliminate ALL of NASA's budget (thus eliminating NASA) and it would not even be a bump in the deficit, let alone the entire federal budget. And I would think that our continuing war efforts in such black holes for spending as Afghanistan will of course probably be increased under the Republicans also!

Oh well, there will perhaps be the Chinese to lead humanity into space, perhaps.....

Somewhat sorry about the political rant, but I HAVE lived through this same kind of thing before (and then it was BOTH parties that at different times were responsible), with the black hole that was Viet Nahm, for which we destroyed the greatest space program in human history. And now that very same "enemy" is now one of our greatest trading partners in Asia!

Do we ever learn????? :x :x :x :x :x
 
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BenS1985

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Re: SpaceX Updates

Not to derail, but if we don't get federal spending under control, there won't even be a space program in 10 or 15 years. NASA is very important - I agree - but the government has made horrible choices for the past few decades, and unfortunately, every good program suffers when bad programs exist and flourish.

But fortunately, this is why we have SpaceX. They aren't beholden to government funding, and can flourish where politicians fail. I hope every day that they offer an IPO, because I sorely want to buy into the dream.
 
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stevekk

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Re: SpaceX Updates

That is one of the major planks in the Republican platform, rollback spending. It's really the only way the budget will approach a "balanced" level again.

This works because you and I know better ways to spend our money than the US Gov does.

The COTS and CCDev programs really aren't big targets for spending reductions. The production side is about the same or less than Shuttle support, and the development side of CCDev is only about 100 million per year (NASA cost). The HLV development might be the only big ticket item on the chopping block.

The best way to reduce spending is to reduce the funds going to Iraq and Afghanistan. We are spending too many billions to prop up these 2 countries. Time to get out of both, and let them pay for their own re-construction.
 
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docm

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Re: SpaceX Updates

This is getting OT & is more suited for Politics forum, but that requires an answer;

Those wars are chicken feed too compared to the eternally recurring costs of bailouts, Obamacare and other redundant, mismanaged and/or wasteful big-ticket social programs.

That all adds up to a huge chunk of the budget, and there are relatively easy reforms for many of these problems. They've been studied to death and the answers are almost always the same. Problem is getting Congress and the Administration to use those solutions instead of bowing to the unions, Bar and other special interests.

Ex: we waste more money in Medicare fraud alone than NASA could ever spend on the HLV program - estimates run 20% of expendatures, or north of $75 billion/year. Of this $400 million occurs in one small area; SE Florida.

THAT and things like it will be target #1.
 
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frodo1008

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Re: SpaceX Updates

I am sorry docm, but I have lived through this before, and the American people are under the impression (and it is impressions that count when the time of budgets comes up) to a great extent that it is such programs as NASA that are the problem, and so it is what is going to be the target of the new Republican Congress. Heck, that has even happened in the past with Democrat Congresses also, and I find that to be even more objectionable.

The Viet Nahm War that killed our first and greatest space efforts was a product (if the true horror of war can even be considered as such) of LBJ, a Democratic president, and then Richard Nixon, a Republican president.

And the latest estimates of the costs of the War in Iraq, both past costs, the ongoing costs now, and the future costs of such as the very high medical care (and I am not in any way saying that this country does not owe its fighting forces those costs, because it does) costs of the wreckage of human beings that are the inevitable result of war, altogether the estimates now reach some $3 trillion dollars, and the costs of Afghanistan while lower, still reach some $2 trillion dollars.

Some $5 trillion dollars over all. Some chicken feed!!

Will we EVER learn?????

In fact, ALL of the space programs of the entire world for the last 50 years would come to less than $1 trillion!

And this discussion IS not too far off topic here, as the fate of such as spacex may very well be to at least some extent be tied up in NASA's future budgets.
While many here (including myself) disagreed with NASA's Ares I and V concepts as put forth by NASA, we certainly did not disagree with the over all goals set by the last administration either. One of the few things that many of us DID agree with the last administration, but this is such an important effort that it almost balances out the negative things of that administration, at least in my mind anyway. If the goals could be retained while having NASA come up with better rocket methods to accomplish those goals, then I for one would be ecstatic!

Further, those goals should either be accomplished through its own excellent contractors, or though such as spacex, which would then join those contractors as a contractor to NASA itself.

And others that wrote here seemingly did not bother to read what I said. NASA's ENTIRE budget would not put even a dent in the current deficits (nor the deficits of the last several administrations either for that matter).

Besides which, as has been shown extensively in the past, and would be even more true in the future, "NASA is NOT an "EXPENSE" of the federal government, it IS an "INVESTMENT" in the past, present, and especially the future of this great nation by the federal government! And as such should NOT be cut, but increased by that government.

IF we would ever have any kind of a true economic stimulus, then NASA is a very important part of that stimulus.

Can we not at least (as fellow space effort supporters) agree on that much anyway??

If so, then maybe there is some degree of hope after all!! :D :D :D
 
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docm

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I agree that it's an investment, no doubt, but you're also going off based on comments by <1% of Congress. Not exactly a significant sample. I know for certain that at least 2 incoming House chairs have strong ties to aerospace, Howard McKeon (Calif) (LockMart & NG) and Doc Hastings (Wash) (Boeing & General Dynamics), so hold your fire a while.
 
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dragon04

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I love space and I like SpaceX, but the fact is that I'm not willing to make my grandchildren pay for getting to watch Elon Musk launch rockets into space. That would be selfish and arrogant of me. Others' mileage may vary.
 
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frodo1008

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I do not totally disagree with your thinking dragon, I also have grand children.

But once again we know that NASA's budget so totally small as to be truly insignificant in particular when compared to such areas as the military budget and the health care programs (social security does not count as it is separately taxed and funded).

Besides, those countries and companies that get in on the building of a true space faring civilization are going to make today's oil sheikdoms look downright poor in comparison. The materials and the energy for building a future civilization for all mankind lie outside of LEO, but within the solar system. And that is not just my opinion, it is scientific fact.

So, for every dollar invested in such as NASA and spacex, we will eventually get back the very monetary returns that will give our future generations the ability to pay off any National Debt, regardless of just how large it is.

And this is not even with the very real possibility of humanity going the way of the dinosaurs if we do not have such a civilization with the ability to avoid the kind of disaster that killed them off.

Further, as we have now made such wonderful capitalists of the Chinese, they seem to realize the direction the future will be taking here. I would absolutely prefer that the US was the leader here, but if we do not, then it is becoming more and more obvious that they quite probably will. That is not what I think that you would want anymore than it is what I would want either!!
 
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frodo1008

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Thanks docm, I really do hope that cooler heads will prevail in Congress, Heck, are there even cooler heads anywhere in this over heated political atmosphere that we in the US find ourselves in today???

But I do reserve the right to at least be somewhat worried.

As I have stated, I have been there before and have no wish to see these programs gutted again.
 
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dragon04

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frodo1008":2dh45scv said:
But once again we know that NASA's budget so totally small as to be truly insignificant in particular when compared to such areas as the military budget and the health care programs (social security does not count as it is separately taxed and funded).
That's absolutely correct.



We need Government that will reduce spending significantly and use savings from a program or programs to fund other ones. The problem, IMO, tends to be that Government cuts budgets "across the board" as if they are all proportionately overfunded (or overspending as the case may be), and that's not usually the case in reality.

As far as who the "Leader in Spaceflight" is? I don't care if it's the Chinese, Russians, or the Samoans so long as the United States remains capable of spaceflight.
 
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MannyPim

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Frodo,

I don't remember seeing any posts from you, someone who is obviously a strong advocate of space exploration (just like me) when it came out that obama's prime directive to his hand picked new NASA Director was to REACH OUT TO MUSLIMS.

Also, the fact that he cancelled the Return to The Moon (Moon, Mars and Beyond) Program....

I think BOTH of those decisions are very big setbacks to the Space Program...

Would you share some of your thoughts on those ?
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Manny, I really do not know much about the Muslim thing, one way or the other. Is the new director of NASA a Muslim? I do not actually know, but to me at least it certainly would not disqualify him for being the director at any rate.

Further, as science is relatively neutral as to religion, then I do not see where NASA can even accomplish such a directive, again one way or the other.

And I can indeed see both sides of the picture for the over all direction of NASA. While I still fully believe that NASA should be leading the way in getting us out of LEO and on to the moon and eventually Mars and the asteroids, I do also find that I believe that NASA does indeed have a very urgent current need to reduce the costs of getting a pound up to LEO. We need to do this as soon as possible and NASA's current budget allows for that at least through its COTS efforts with such as spacex..

As I previously stated many of we here that fully supported the goals of the previous administration were NOT happy with the methodologies that NASA was using to implement those goals. Quite frankly it was largely believed by those here that the entire Constellation project was a general disaster, at the very least from a funding standpoint if not from the standpoint of actual design.

And Manny, let us face the truth here, all you are doing is fishing for somebody else with at least some degree of respectability and knowledge in this area to help you in your totally negative attacks on president Obama. This is rather obvious because I have never if very rarely ever seen you comment on the more scientific forums at all.

Most of the people here have now adopted a more "wait and see" type of attitude towards the current directions of NASA. For instance, I and others (even such a relative conservative as docm) fully support NASA's new initiatives towards making use of the fully private alt.space people for LEO activities. I also like the emphasis being placed on a heavy lift vehicle (as long as its design is not the flawed Ares V). This will be the major key towards eventually getting out of LEO and further out into the solar system.

If I have one real complaint against president Obama it is that such an otherwise intelligent man has fallen into the same trap as a lot of other Americans when he stated that "We have been there and done that" when it comes to the exploration of the moon. And no, this is not a deliberate lie either, but it IS a myth that unfortunately many believe.

Just one of the many proofs that this is a myth is that it was NEVER said by ANY of the 12 men that actually walked on the moon either, and if anybody should know it is they.

It is like if I would explore about half of the San Fernando Valley and then state that I had thoroughly explored an area with the approximate size of Africa and Australia put together. After all, how many human beings have walked on the hidden (not Dark, hidden) side of the moon? Absolutely none at all!

So there you have it Manny, something negative against president Obama, now build that up into an apocalypse if you wish!! :lol: :lol:
 
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adrenalynn

Guest
frodo1008":34aq224e said:
Manny, I really do not know much about the Muslim thing, one way or the other. Is the new director of NASA a Muslim? I do not actually know, but to me at least it certainly would not disqualify him for being the director at any rate.
Oh bullpucky. You allegedly follow NASA's activities closely, but you missed the biggest NASA story since the lunar landings?!?!

Dodge This:

http://buzzroom.nasa.gov/multimedia/videos/351/
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Bullpucky yourself! This is nowhere near anything that is as important as either Apollo, the space shuttle, or the ISS. Heck, it is not even anywhere nearly as important as either the Hubble, or Chandra for that matter!

In fact, I can think of literally dozens of projects far more important to both NASA in the past and certainly NASA now than this. This is the sort of thing that is only important in the minds of such as you and Manny!

Besides which is making any kind of a reach out to the Muslim world such a bad thing either?

Taking an antagonistic attitude towards these people has given us what so far? Some thousands of our own young people killed, and who knows just how many maimed, to say nothing of literally $trillions of dollars lost.

Just a small portion of those dollars (less than 1% in fact) would have gotten us back to the moon by now, and probably at least a long way towards Mars also!

And if we do not reach out to the more moderate elements of the Muslim religion (and what could be more moderate and even science orientated than those Muslims interested in space activities?), then we just give the more extreme elements (and they are there, I will grant you that) that much more ammunition to violently impose western civilization.

I pay far more attention to the scientific and Human Space Flight activities of NASA, than to any political initiatives that may be started by any administration. So I do not feel that competent to give anything but a kind of general answer to such politically inclined individuals as yourself and Manny.

I tell you what, you and Manny can stay focused on this kind of thing, and the rest of us "Space Cadet" types will stay focused on NASA's scientific, aerodynamic, and Human Space Efforts (and the politics of the funding thereof)!

This is why I really wish that MW had NOT taken this type of discussion over here to the political arena.

If it would belong anywhere, it should be in Space Business and Technology, for that IS what it really IS!
 
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adrenalynn

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Remove the "Space" and "Aeronautics" from NASA and you just end up with N/A. Which is about the bottom line.
 
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frodo1008

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See, once again Adrenalyne you go way above the ability of this simple ex aerospace worker. You are saying the bottom line is National Administration? But just how do you remove such as "Space" and "Aeronautics" from NASA?

NASA has and maintains scientific satellites and probes all throughout this entire solar system. They maintain telescopes all throughout this world. NASA still has at least some space shuttle flights up to the ISS (which we help maintain and use), and has already contracted with the Russians to continue to have a presence on that station for scientific space research.

Besides which, NASA is now contracted with spacex and orbital sciences for future flights up to that station on less expensive orbital space vehicles.

And aeronautical research still gets $billions of NASA research dollars for actual projects.

If you actually think that any administration past or present is going to take those items out of NASA, then you do so only in your own mind, and that also goes for anybody else also.

And a reach out to Muslims is not in any way hardware oriented, and is only a very small part of NASA's budget at best. Probably as little to the over all NASA budget, as NASA's budget is to the over all federal budget!

And if this helps to avoid future wars and terrorists with these people it would be cheap at almost any price!

Wars are incredibly horrible, stupid, and expensive in both blood and treasure!

It is ironic, but sometimes it actually takes people that have been in positions of authority in the military to actually realize these truths. A man such as the former Commander and Chief of the invading forces of the Allied powers into Europe, who was a truly great Republican president. His name as I am certain you know was Dwight D. Eisenhower, and he truly hated having to even send good young men off to war in such a just cause as WWII was!

So perhaps opening up a dialog with Muslims on such neutral subjects as space exploration is not only a good thing in itself, but may even be far cheaper than the alternatives over the long run?

It may not work, but I would like to both hope and even pray that it does.

If that is even what you are referring to at all!
 
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adrenalynn

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N/A ... Not Applicable.

We're not even capable of getting to space now without sticking our proverbial thumb out and trying to hitch a ride with another country. That's pretty freakin' sad.

And it's not about opening discussions with them regarding space exploration. The specific task is to "make them feel better about their historic contributions to science and math".

That's the new _prime directive_.

Maybe you should follow this a little more closely?
 
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vladdrac

Guest
A isn't so much about space as she is anti Obama. Her pals had eight years to fix things. Some folks in the space industry are complimenting Obama's overall plan. She focus's on the directors religion......
 
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frodo1008

Guest
You are probably correct about that vlad. The only place she and others might even have a point at all is that the Arabic people of the world (who are mainly Muslim) really do not even have a need for we in the west to point out their contributions to science and math at all. Those contributions can easily stand on their own merit anyway.

Our entire numbering system, including the use of the number zero is a result of Arabic mathematics, including a great deal of our algebraic concepts as well!

It IS she and Manny that really need to be looking at this far more carefully and dispassionately. In fact,under the circumstances I would think that the main thrust of this effort is not to so much make the Muslims feel good about what far more of them already know, it IS to make some of our more ignorant people more aware of these positive contributions of Arabic society.

I went and Google Arabic contributions to math and science, and this is just one site I find:

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/D ... 42208.html

There were many others also, and this is just one that can tell such as Adreanalyn just what at least some of those mathematical contributions were, and so I am glad to give it here for them.
 
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MannyPim

Guest
Frodo, you could easily have googled the story about obama's directive to use NASA as an outreach agency to the muslims of the world. Instead you decided to make a comment on that topic based on shear speculation and googled muslim/arab contributions to science throughout history.

That's typical. You claim ignorance on the issue, and then purposely KEEP yourself ignorant on it rather than look it up (even though you spent just as much time looking up something that has NOTHING to do with the issue).
And that is why your speculation is completely off the mark...
It's not just that you DON'T KNOW about perhaps the biggest NASA controversy since obama took over, it's that you obviously PREFER not to know....

By the way, I have to claim ignorance on the new NASA director's religion.... I did not think he was muslim... and I still don;t know what he is. I also could care less what he is. His religion should have absolutely NO bearing on the performance of his duties.
 
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MannyPim

Guest
vladdrac":p17guqfm said:
Manny, make that typical of 'us'. I'm with Frodo.

Well, I don't have as clear an example of you actively cultivating your own ignorance on a topic.
But if you are telling me that you do that kind of thing, then by all means, do include yourself in my comment.
I would not want you to feel left out.
 
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