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MAIN ARTICLE: Neil Armstrong: President Elect Obama.

In an open letter Neil Armstrong call in the new Administration to continue funding NASA.

Poll Results: Yesterday's poll "Should America establish an American Lunar Cup Race?" gave a rare result in 'Americans in Space' polling. Scroll down to see the results, click subscribe to stay informed on space issues.

Star Trek: In the News. What does the New York Times have to say about Star Trek? Scroll down for the latest.

Yesterday's Comments: "Didn't Apollo 13 fly around the moon? Lets try Venus or Mars." - Void Indigo

Today's Poll: "Percent of Budget towards Space Spending."

Weekly tracking poll on what percentage of the Federal Budget should move to space funding.

In yesterday's Wall Street Journal, Neil Armstrong wrote a letter in response to an article penned earlier by Andy Pasztor "Tough Decision Looms on Space Shuttle's Fate ". Neil Armstrong is certainly not a stranger to space:

"former American astronaut, test pilot, university professor, and United States Naval Aviator. He is the first person to set foot on the Moon. His first spaceflight was aboard Gemini 8 in 1966, for which he was the command pilot. On this mission, he performed the first manned docking of two spacecraft together with pilot David Scott. Armstrong's second and last spaceflight was as mission commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission on July 20, 1969. On this mission, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface and spent 2½ hours exploring while Michael Collins remained in orbit in the Command Module. Armstrong is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor." - wiki

When someone has walked on the moon, their voice, on space issues, is not taken lightly. Armstrong took exception with some of the statements in Pasztor's article:

Future Space Opportunities Are the President's Call

"You recently reported on the decisions that the new administration will face in connection with the American manned space program ("Tough Decision Looms on Space Shuttle's Fate," U.S. News, Dec. 17). Your article indicated that President-elect Barack Obama's transition team "faces a tough early choice between extending the life of the aging space shuttle and accelerating its replacement."

I certainly hope that isn't accurate, in that the transition team should play no part in such decisions. While these men and women are experienced and enthusiastic space program veterans, they are neither aerospace engineers nor former program managers and cannot be sufficiently knowledgeable to make choices in the technical arena."  

Armstrong is correct there, the transition team is only to gather data so President Elect Obama can make any final decisions. Neil went on to say:

"He should have no difficulty receiving high-quality information from NASA. Engineers are painfully honest and insist on presenting any assumptions used in their decision process. Therefore a conclusion can only be challenged when an erroneous assumption can be identified."

There I take an exception with the idea that if the engineer is from NASA, they are painfully honest. History has shown that voices can be shut down or pushed to the top at NASA.

The Moon Walker finished with his final thoughts and his thumbs up for the current Constellation program:

"A great deal of thought and analysis has gone into NASA's program to return to space exploration as the principal focus of the agency. The breadth of NASA's creative thinking was limited by the funding constraints, and compromises had to be made. Even so, the agency has fashioned a challenging but credible program to return to the moon and go on toward Mars.

NASA's management is very strong and its engineering and scientific talent extraordinary. I believe they can be counted on to deliver new knowledge, excitement and inspiration as they continue their expansion of the human boundary.

Neil Armstrong
Former Astronaut"

Again I can not entirely endorse the idea that, "A great deal of thought and analysis has gone into NASA's program" because that is not the case. The architecture presented in the Contellation program was not entirely  vetted and was not what the President had called for in the "Vision for Space Exploration" or VSE.

The VSE called for completion of the International Space Station, using the Space Shuttle, then retire the shuttle at the end of 2010. ( To avoid a costly recertification called for in 2010) The Space Shuttle heritage was supposed to be used as much as possible but that was not even really considered when the Constellation was rolled out. The SME's ( shuttle main engines) were not used, so a new engines had to designed and developed, and was recently test fired. The four segment SRB's (solid rocket boosters) were not used either but TWO news ones were to be developed by ATK, a five segment SRB for the Ares I and a 5.5 segment SRB for the Ares V heavy launch vehicle. So the idea that alternative were actively pursued is not really accurate.

Pasztor didn't really suggest there was any alternatives either:

"Another possible shuttle alternative, which is strongly opposed by current NASA management, envisions using existing military rockets for propulsion. Proponents contend they would be more reliable and could be developed more quickly."

The "military rockets" refered to are the Atlas V and the Delta IV launch systems or EELV's (evolvable expendable launch vehicles). They are used for both the military and commercial satellite launches. They currently are not configued for human crewed flight and many suggest a capsule for these would be faster and cheaper then the current Orion capsule NASA is developing.

There is another possible alternative that has some NASA insiders support called the Direct 2.0 system. This was covered in NASA News

POLL RESULTS:

Having posed various ideas and proposals for America to advance it's space program it was a surprise the last one enjoyed the highest DKOS member support with 62% voting for "America establish an American Lunar Cup Race" with 34% expressing it was a harebrained scheme that shouldn't be funded. Only three percent chose no opinion.

STAR TREK: In the News.

The New York Times

"In the annals of fandom, "Star Trek" has a special place. The original series gradually became a pop-culture staple and the cornerstone of an immense commercial franchise largely because of the devotion and — crucially — the collective creativity of its fan base. The original series went off the air in 1969, after three seasons. But fans continued to dream up their own "Star Trek" stories, distribute zines, make videos, write songs, publish newsletters and create visual art. And they gathered at conventions, some dressed in homemade Trek outfits, which is why, in the annals of "Star Trek" fandom, Joan Winston holds a special place: she was an organizer of the first Star Trek fan convention, in 1972."

YESTERDAY'S COMMENTS:

Bill White has been working on a fasinating proposal for another space race:

"A teaser ... US space advocates need to accept two realities:

(1) Tax dollars shall be insufficient to fund what we desire to see in terms of space exploration; and

(2) By being willing to participate with international space ventures we do NOT dominate, we (the US) can re-build a reputation for being able to cooperate, which shall enhance our geo-political soft power (IMHO).

A creative re-interpretation of why we did Project Apollo.

Sponsor a lunar race WITHOUT a giant chunk of taxpayer money - offer instead US "approval" and perhaps a name for that trophy and a willingness to be good sports if another nation wins.

That plus assistance from Houston's Mission Control and our deep space tracking radars, etc" - L2 Cup

----------

"The Russians could absolutely send a person - around the moon.

Remember: the Soyuz was built as USSRs moonship. True, their booster is a little weak, but they could dock it with another vehicle in orbit, to provide the extra oomph." - Rayk

---------

The Blue State Bandit "Had an interesting conversation...with Dr. Derrick Pitts (Head of Astronomy TFI, and KO's Space Advisor) that touches on space and resources a few months back.

We were talking about the retirement of the Space Shuttle Fleet, and I brought up what I call "Green Space".

There are many rare earths used in the manufacturing of satellites. Gold is on of the most well known (electrical wiring and circuitry), and I'm sure that there are many others. But beyond precious metals, there are other materials, and (here's where the interesting part comes in) system packages that could be recycled cost effectively in low earth orbit.

Here was my idea:

As a final mission for the Shuttle program, retrofit the shuttle to land on Mars. Send it into low earth orbit on a one year mission to collect parts and materials from dead satellite. I'm talking conductive materials, solar arrays, chemicals, power supply systems, nav computers, structural elements (aluminum, titanium, and composites), and what ever else could be re-purposed or recycled in the future should we stage a permanent presence on Mars. Then fit the shuttle with a few retros and sent her to her final landing on Mars.

This would serve many purposes.

  1. Reduction of space junk equals a reduced risk of LEO collisions.
  1. The need for materials launched into LEO would be reduced thru culling from expired sats saving valuable payload space, and reducing number of launches (reduces fuel burned).
  1. The shuttle itself would increase available work/living space for Mars Teams.
  1. This would give Mars Missionaries a head start on setting up a more permanent presence. It would provide extra computing power, electrical energy, energy storage capacity, and spare parts and materials for projects.

Dr. Pitts was curious, and said he had never thought of such an effort, but surmised that someone was probably drawing up something like this now.

Still have not seen anyone else talking about "Green Space"."

This is an interesting idea. I am a firm believer in developing Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geosyncronus Earth Orbit (GEO) commercial space. Getting rid of space junk is one of the tasks IN space ships could work on. Space spells JOBS.

TODAY'S POLL:

This is the "Americans in Space' weekly tracking poll of NASA spending. During the peak spending during the Apollo lunar missions the NASA budget reached four percent of the federal budget. NASA currently recieves less then one percent. Six tenths of one percent with human space flight getting about half of that number.

Originally posted to Vladislaw on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 12:24 PM PST.

Poll

Percent of Budget towards Space Spending.

25%18 votes
15%11 votes
9%7 votes
19%14 votes
12%9 votes
2%2 votes
15%11 votes

| 72 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think NASA are at odds with Obama... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grndrush, aaraujo, Vladislaw

    because in the WORST economy we've had since World War II, can we really afford a progressive space program? That's something best left for boom times.

    The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place -- in cities all over America.

    by OReillysNightmare on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 12:26:46 PM PST

    •  Done properly (9+ / 0-)

      A space program can be a huge pump primer for the economy from R&D to Materials Science to General Technology and every other type of spinoff etc. These all create jobs in the long run.

      You have, unfortunately swallowed the line that space is a resource sink, an indulgence.

      •  Yeah (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grndrush

        Unfortunately, the impression I get is that Pres. elect Obama may have swallowed that line as well.

        At the very least, it doesn't seem like space exploration is all that high a concern to him.

        To be honest, I'll just be happy if he sticks up for labor rights (especially with the EFCA), invests in infastructure and mass transit, and moves us in a sane direction with global warming, health care and Iraq.  Insofar as space exploration is concerned, though, as much as I hate to say it - I'm not expecting a whole lot from him, and I haven't been expecting a lot since I started to get the impression that he was so disconnected with the issue on the campaign trail

        •  Is this user name a play on (0+ / 0-)

          the actor Wayne Knight?

          If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

          by HamillianActor on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 03:49:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  then our task is to... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Vincent, Vladislaw

          ...generate a blizzard of email and postcards to the White House.

          Science & engineering are the best and most productive longterm investments we can make in our future.  

          This is not the time for short-term thinking.  

          •  exactly and I do not feel (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Neon Vincent

            that the way to draw students into math, science and engineering is through a better wind generator.

            Building a space ship and a trip to the moon is what drove an entire generation of engineers. When Apollo ended America used their talents for the following forty years.

            Neil Armstrong: President Elect Obama join in the wild debate, pros and cons for space spending.

            by Vladislaw on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 09:09:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  actually, better wind generators will also do. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Neon Vincent, Vladislaw

              Not everyone is inspired by the same things.  

              Some will find their way into science & engineering via wind generators, some via space propulsion systems or space habitats, and so on.  We can do both, and more.  

              There is no need for rational supporters of science to act like other humans and animals who view those who are most like themselves as their greatest competition.  

              And/both, not either/or.  

              (And as I write this, I should be getting back to work on a useful little piece of technology I'm designing, that has to do with plumbing.)

              •  Yes that is true, I am refering to the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Neon Vincent

                5th 6th grade kids, surveys I have seen still puts "space" at or near the top. What career someone settles on after college is a long way from what can tend to inspire a child to explore it.

                Neil Armstrong: President Elect Obama join in the wild debate, pros and cons for space spending.

                by Vladislaw on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 10:58:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  so about those surveys... (0+ / 0-)
                  And no doubt other kids are inspired by other fields of science and engineering.  

                  The thing is, there is no need to limit this.  Reach the kids where they are.  In the back of the class there may be a kid drawing diagrams of an electric power transmission grid, or resource flows in an industrial process, or designing the next generation of electric vehicle, or something else.  They may find space exploration & development completely inaccessible to them for whatever reason, for example temperamental compatibility with the "culture" in one field and not another (e.g. some of the best geeks in the past 30 years are ferocious nonconformists who would fail out of a government agency such as NASA but succeeded in private sector startups).  

                  A close friend of mine is a genius who has specialized in electric vehicle design and spent much time on aerodynamic efficiency issues.  Another has developed whole-system plans for sustainable settlements in inhospitable environments (I found his work so compelling that I subsidized it financially for a year), and is presently acting on those plans.  

                  The ones you especially don't want to leave behind, in particular, are the quirky geniuses who tend to slip through the cracks or who have no talent for the social game-playing that goes along with self-promotion.  

                  We can't look at science education through the lens of isolated issues such as space or sustainability or economics:  the key here is to find everyone who has science/engineering interest and talent, and encourage them to develop in their own particular way.  Ecological and resource crises (climate, peak oil) make this a national security priority.  Space exploration and development has a critical role to play in providing data for assessing climate events and trends.  One thing leads to the next, and all are relevant.  

        •  Did you see his final space policy piece? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Vincent, Vladislaw

          I wont claim perfection, but I am fairly optimistic

        •  I have a feeling if (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Neon Vincent

          Peter Diamandis and other New Space companies backed him, you may see something different.

          Neil Armstrong: President Elect Obama join in the wild debate, pros and cons for space spending.

          by Vladislaw on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 09:06:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, (0+ / 0-)

        NASA should be out of the launch business for astronauts to LEO. They should be able to buy a ticket to the ISS or a Bigelow Station as easy as a commercial airline.

        Neil Armstrong: President Elect Obama join in the wild debate, pros and cons for space spending.

        by Vladislaw on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 09:05:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  WHen we support NASA (6+ / 0-)

      we support American scientists--keeping them here--and American spin-off technologies, ideal investments for this time.

    •  We can spend $400 billion dollars on defense... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius, Anna M, Vladislaw

      programs, many of which are wasteful pork projects, but we are too poor to spend a paltry $16 billion on NASA? Not even 1% of our federal budget.

      •  This is a terrible argument in favor of NASA (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        Justify it on its own terms. What's next? Are you going to use Ted Stevens' bridge to nowhere as a justification for NASA?

        Hopefully the days of 400B defense budgets are over. Now justify the 16B...

        •  Please check out NASA's Spinoff page or just... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vladislaw

          Google it since there are several publications.  And listed in there will be many reasons for justifying NASA.  Plus, try going to NASA's website and looking at pictures of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus.  Studying the solar system has given us a greater understanding of the dynamics of our own planet.

        •  Spending on NASA (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bill White, NellaSelim, Vladislaw

          is an investment into the future and the technologies of tomorrow.

          If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

          by HamillianActor on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 03:50:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Enough of the "Bridge to Nowhere" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vladislaw

          As progressives, we should be ashamed of this. That bridge was a bad solution to a real problem. The bridge would have provided year-round access to an essential airport. Yes, it was unjustified. But no alternative was developed or even proposed.

          Moreover, there are plenty of equally bad projects that get funded. There are real people who rightfully resent having their problem made into a punchline.

          "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

          by homogenius on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 04:53:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  that is exacty why I do not apologize about (0+ / 0-)

        calling for spending increases that some people consider HUGE amounts for space. If 20 billion can get spent on ear marks and it only rates one day in the news cycle because it is so small then 20 billion on a space project is small too.

        Neil Armstrong: President Elect Obama join in the wild debate, pros and cons for space spending.

        by Vladislaw on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 09:12:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The order of the day will be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Vladislaw

      deficit spending. The important point is to make sure it's wisely invested so that the economy gets a greater return.

      Done right, space spending can do very well in that role.

      If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

      by HamillianActor on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 03:48:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  can we afford science at all....? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vladislaw

      Why not just shut down highschool science labs and public university science labs while we're at it?

      Plenty of money to be saved by turning our backs on science.  

      /snark.

    •  I believe a better question to ask is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NellaSelim

      can we really afford NOT to have a progressive space program. I want more funding that moves to commercial space development. Not more of the same at NASA.

      America has to look to what areas are the jobs going to be in the future. If you do not believe what John F Kennedy said:

      "If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind"

      Then there is probably nothing that I can say to convince you.

      Other countries are not standing still. China, new launch center, Russia, new launch center. India, adding manned flight. Japan, launching payloads to it's Space Station Lab.

      I would like to see America invest in space infrastructure that will be a launching pad for new entrepreneurs. They are the true job engines in our economy.

      Neil Armstrong: President Elect Obama join in the wild debate, pros and cons for space spending.

      by Vladislaw on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 09:03:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only the top NASA management (4+ / 0-)

    are that political. It's important to remember (as I tell my students) that any funds paid to NASA are paid to American scientists and graduate students, so they are definitely part of infrastructure.

    I agree with you that working engineers (as opposed to appointed administrators) will be "painfully honest" if asked the right (and very specific) questions. It is up to the transition team to ask those questions.

    My bet is that NASA's science budget will increase.

  •  I am hoping the EMDrive works but it won't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek

    work in all likely-hood but a big one should be built to see if it does work.EMdrive uses Microwaves and Relativity to work so google EMDrive(personialy I don't think it will work as anything more than a "toy" but then again this may be one of those things that work in real life when most everything "on paper" says it shouldn't so go ahead and build a full sized one and see).

  •  The space race was a massive spur to (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Bill White, wbr, dougymi, Vladislaw

    research and development.  This gave U.S. companies a significant edge for a long time.  Science was respected and we had a goal as a nation.   Way past time to do this again.   Our solar system is waiting to be explored.

    Gitcher' red hot Obama Bahama llamas right here! Available in three flavors. On sale for a limited time only!

    by Aaa T Tudeattack on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 12:45:04 PM PST

  •  NASA has some of the best Physicists we have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wbr, JML9999

    They should be re-tasked to the most pressing problems we have: global warming, energy, and transportation.

    If Physicists can't be retrained, who the hell can?

    Space exploration is a luxury in a time of economic catastrophe.

  •  Diary misstates purpose of transition team. (0+ / 0-)

    "Armstrong is correct there, the transition team is only to gather data so President Elect Obama can make any final decisions."

    Transition teams job is to help Obama put in place team to make policy decisions vs. making the policy decisions.

    It is the job of the eventual appointees, Obama's science adviser, Obama's NASA head, to present policy options to President Obama and for Obama to make the decisions.

    Diary also misstates Pasztor's original article which laid out the options and the consequences of each option vs. making any kind of policy advocacy.

    Armstrong is a bit off base with his comment that "NASA's management is very strong and its engineering and scientific talent extraordinary". NASA's current management are Republicans who put ideology and corporate special interest over science. Only when we get people who respect science back in charge at NASA and in US government science commissions will we get honest technical evaluations.

    Focus of US space program needs to be climate change. That technology and mission takes precedence. It may be that the manned program will  have to curtailed altogether, canceling shuttle and the replacement Constellation program as we focus our science on planetary survival.

    •  Climate change and NASA (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, Wreck Smurfy

      The Carbon Observatory is going up in 2010 (?) and that should offer us a better worldwide inventory of the carbon cycle.  Beyond that, I wonder what aspects of climate change can be affected or monitored by NASA.  

      People with answers to this question and university affiliation are warmly invited to submit proposals -- such proposals are the stuff NASA loves to fund.

      If anything, the largest unknowns in climate change are found in soil and ocean chemistry.  By definition, such observations are not amenable to direct observation from space.  We tend to find a host of proxies and establish links between the proxies and soil conditions.  
       

      Dems in 2008: An embarassment of riches. Repubs in 2008: Embarassments.

      by Yamaneko2 on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 01:44:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  proposals invited: OK, where to send? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vladislaw
        Is NASA looking for proposals, or is the Obama team looking for proposals?  Where to send them?

        I have a proposal for a NASA program that would involve a large number of relatively inexpensive robotic craft sent to the outer planets and their satellites.  Some would attempt to land, some would remain in orbit, some would drift in space.  All would be linked by a mesh network to relay data back to Earth.  

        This would produce data that we can't presently obtain, and would serve as a prototype for similar missions to scope out NEOs.  Finally it would provide a basis for a similar but far more ambitious mission to the nearest star systems with potentially life-bearing planets.  

        The latter project would have a multi-thousand-year time frame between the launches and their destinations.  At minimum it would provide an incentive for Earth civilizations to retain their scientific and technical competence while data come in from the journey and ultimately from the destinations.  And at most it would be an enormous source of knowledge, when the first data are returned from the destination star systems and planets.  

        Today the best we can hope to leave future generations is a planet that hasn't been completely wrecked: with about 2/3 of its species still living and enough resources to maintain a human population about half the present size.  

        With the proposed mission to nearby stars, we would give future generations an unimaginably rich gift of knowledge.  

        Imagine being alive when the first pictures come in, of life-bearing worlds in other star systems.  Imagine seeing another blue or perhaps green marble for the first time.  

        We can set the proverbial wheels in motion by starting off with a simple mesh-network mission to the outer planets, which will bring us a wealth of information over the next few decades.  This is worth doing for its own sake, and it's worth doing as a prototype for more to come.  

        •  I should have been more specific. (0+ / 0-)

          The NASA proposals I am familiar with are research grants -- pure research.  NASA welcomes proposals that use their current or near-term facilities for research purposes.  I do not know who to send them to.

          Dems in 2008: An embarassment of riches. Repubs in 2008: Embarassments.

          by Yamaneko2 on Sun Dec 28, 2008 at 11:40:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Armstrong's comments can be "politely" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vladislaw

    described as cockeyed optimism and impolitely as delusional . Like the DOJ, NASA seems to be infected with Gooper zealots so it cannot be counted on to provide "unvarnished" assessment based on their behavior regarding environmental issues.

    It seems to me that dusting off the blueprints of the shuttle and building a few brand new ones with upgrades would be far more cost effective than this "Apollo on Steroids" manned launch system.

    The GOP has resorted to Cannibalism. Please send Condiments to GOP HQ

    by JML9999 on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 01:28:49 PM PST

    •  Armstrong's tenure there... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BruinKid, JML9999, Vladislaw

      ...occurred at a time when NASA was at its peak, and American culture supported science.

      Today, Armstrong speaks like a WW2 veteran who liberated a concentration camp, to a gathering of Iraq vets who served under an incompetent CinC.  

      The fact that NASA has managed to function at all, given the incompetence and corruption of the Bush regime in general, is a miracle akin to the fact that our military has managed to remain functional despite the regime.  

      A corrupt incompetent ruler can only do so much damage in eight years.  Two more years of that, and we would be a broken nation.

      And if nothing else, Armstrong's belief in NASA is a sound reminder of what it can be if given the support to do its job fully.  

      That's something to work for.  

  •  Put NASA spending on hold in favor of a big push (0+ / 0-)

    on renewable energy. When we are energy independent and have reduced (or at least stabilized) our CO2 emissions the boys can have their toys back.

  •  There is no reason (0+ / 0-)

    to include humans in space exploration. The robot/ electronics can easily handle it. No costly life support systems. And most important , until science can build something that can travel millions of times faster than the speed of light a human astronaut can live long enough to get anywhere significant.

    •  Here is what a recent MIT Study said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vladislaw

      Human spaceflight, and its attendant risk, turns a spaceflight into a story that is compelling to large numbers of people. Exploration also has a moral dimension because it is in effect a cultural conversation on the nature and meaning of human life.

      http://web.mit.edu/...

      Reasonable people can disagree about this however I do assert that enough people support the above passage to cause the termination of NASA to be politically infeasible, unless NASA fails to deliver a compelling narrative, with respect to space exploration,  

      Health care crisis in a nutshell: Too much is expended on "managing" & too little on "caregiving"

      by Bill White on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 03:08:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But science isnt the only product of space (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vladislaw

      Space is full of resources that can help us solve any number of problems, and large scale space development is impractical without hmans

    •  robots can build cars too. (0+ / 0-)

      lets have them do that, and mow the lawn, shovel the snow, heck let the robots build everything and lets have Americans just sit on the couch and watch. Robots are cheap then humans they are better, lets face it. Let them do everything.

      Neil Armstrong: President Elect Obama join in the wild debate, pros and cons for space spending.

      by Vladislaw on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 09:25:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  fuck nasa, fuck the space program. (0+ / 0-)

    every dollar spent on the pseudoscientific militarization of space is food snatched from the mouth of a hungry child and healthcare denied to a sick person.

    It's called the american dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. - G. Carlin

    by RabidNation on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 02:30:45 PM PST

    •  Factually untrue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vladislaw

      Anyway, if President Obama abolished NASA, the diminution of his political capital would make it more difficult for him to accomplish the needful in other areas such as health care and hunger relief.

      This is what Bill Clinton said in February 2008 and I can only imagine what FOX News would say:

         "Hillary has always supported the manned space program just as I did when I was president," he told a crowd of over 250 who gathered in a picturesque neighborhood park in a Houston suburb today. "Her opponent says we should downgrade man space travel and upgrade robotic travel."

         "There are 16,000 jobs and a lot of Americans’ futures riding on this centered here in Houston," said Clinton today. "You have to make a decision whether you care about this."

      Health care crisis in a nutshell: Too much is expended on "managing" & too little on "caregiving"

      by Bill White on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 02:54:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  hooboy you sure live up to your userID. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vladislaw
      Rabid indeed!

      Dude, your ignorance knows no bounds.  

      As for feeding hungry children, that's another demonstration of ignorance, because you left out contraception.

      Foreign aid without contraception is slow-motion genocide disguised as a gift.

      And if you don't like "wasting" taxpayer money on science & engineering, how'bout unplugging that thing that looks like a slightly large telephone plug, from the side of your computer.  That was a Pentagon boondoggle called the ARPAnet.  Go on now, unplug it.  There, that's better.

    •  I wont troll rate you, but I was tempted (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vladislaw

      First, NASA isn't military.  2nd, space development snt about militarisation - its about getting access to the resources to help human beings

      G2geek is right

  •  to the stars and beyond (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, Vladislaw

    mankind is in its infancy. the future is out THERE.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 05:09:37 PM PST

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