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Obama kills US manned space flight


Senior Member
Jun 13, 2009
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$500 million launcher lacks one thing: rocket - Washington Post- msnbc.com

A comment on the story from another site I visit:

Here's the kicker to all of this:

"What will really hurt, workers say, is the disappearance of the know-how accumulated over decades here at the Cape.

"We lose that knowledge base, it's very hard to get that back," adds Chris Loines, 43, a United Space Alliance contractor who has been launching rockets his entire adult life.
It's the same crap that retarded our advancements in space after Nixon canned Apollo, and it's the same thing that will happen again if this goes through. What will happen is we'll see private companies basically re-inventing the wheel (as is happening currently anyway), and all of those decades of accumulated knowledge will go to waste. Essentially we're going to be reverting back to 1961.

Now, before anyone says "Obama is increasing the NASA budget!" let's look at one thing here:
First, it's only a 6bn increase over the next 5 years, or 1.3bn per year. Of that 6bn, 2.5 is dedicated to Constellation closeout costs, and most of the rest (I can't recall the exact numbers at the moment), is dedicated to climate science and all of that. There isn't really a whole lot in there that's going to get manned flight going anywhere.

The August Commission never said that the Constellation program was flat-out unsustainable. It said it was unsustainable given the existing budget (with no alterations). On their recommendation, an increase of 3.1bn per year over the next 10 years would have gotten the thing going. What bothers me is that the administration seems to be cherry-picking the language to make it sound like it would NEVER work. It's completely misleading and isn't going to have any positive effect in deciding the future of manned spaceflight.

Yes, perhaps Ares I should be canned, but I'd say keep working on the Ares V, Orion, the Altair lander, etc. Those are things we are going to NEED if we ever want to get out of LEO again.

That brings me to the next issue I have with this, which is that this plan has no "bold vision," to speak of. Frankly, saying you're going to throw a bunch of ideas to a wall and see what sticks isn't particularly "bold." It's entirely non-committal and reeks of a "not my problem" attitude. The thing is, tech doesn't drive the missions on these type of endeavors, the missions drive the tech. Without a clearly directed mission, we could spend decades developing random pieces of teach and still be no closer to consistently getting beyond LEO.

Frankly, the lack of a committed alternative is what makes this whole budget a bad idea (well, that and redirecting NASA towards climate science. Isn't that NOAA's job? I mean, really...). There's nothing "bold" about having no clear vision whatsoever.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

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