Let's not tell the right wing crazies that President Obama is following the advice of Daily Kos Science Editor, and regular presenter of This Week In Science, our very own DarkSyde. In an almost prescient post on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 01:00 PM CST, before President-elect Obama was in office, DarkSyde said this:
The same Ares super rocket, or something like it, intended to put humans back on the moon and eventually on Mars has the power to loft 50,000 kilos of payload beyond the earth-moon system. A booster of that magnitude could put much of the ISS up in a single launch. It could put the ATLAS telescope, with its enormous 8 meter primary mirror that makes Hubble look like a pair of binoculars, in high earth orbit and have enough capacity left over to still put every major deep space unmanned mission launched in the last ten years beyond low earth orbit in one glorious shot. Regardless if the payload is deep space probes or crew capsules bound for the moon and beyond, we need Ares.DarkSyde was talking about NASA's plans for a heavy lift rocket to service exploratory missions beyond earth orbit.
I'll be darned if President Obama hasn't done exactly that.
Follow me out into the tall grass if you would like to review the coverage of this on DailyKos and talk about it some more.
Since President Obama took over, NASA, as described in the diaries of those mentioned above, the President has abandoned, as quickly as possible, the Bush era Constellation Moon Base program to concentrate on a more versatile heavy lift rocket and a more versatile crew vehicle.
The comeuppance of Daiy Kos' highly accurate coverage or, at least, the happenstance, is that the Obama Administration has placed the United States in position to take control of the next frontier in space explorations, heavy lift beyond Earth orbit. Once we have an assembly line for the heavy lift capacity of the Ares V rocket, and the capacity to produce multipurpose-high capacity Orion crew capsules, the Solar System is, potentially, an American Lake. It i hard to tell what the consequences of this might be, but it was pretty hard in 1803 to judge how valuable the Louisiana Purchase was to the United States. Sometimes American Presidents accomplish extraordinary and unexpectre3d triumphs.
Of course, the stepping stone to access to the Solar system is low Earth orbit. President Obama hopes to turn low Earth orbit over to private companies, that Kenyan socialist. It actually makes sense, though. Consider this most excellent rant by Neil deGrasse Tyson:
President Obama is preparing to launch American explorers beyond low Earth orbit. How much would you pay for the Universe?