While I normally don’t scan the so-called blogosphere for commentary about space policy, one post on Blogcritics.org caught my eye: “Bush Guts Critical Science Projects And Outsources NASA Projects To India To Further His Ambitions”. The author, who identifies himself as only “Jet in Columbus”, decries both the cutbacks in NASA science programs and the space agency’s decision to cooperate with India on lunar exploration. However, he claims in his lede that “‘ol GW apparently is slashing NASA’s research funds by $59.8 billion in order to make budgetary room to salvage his pompous and extravagant scheme to get a moon base in his name set up by 2020.” $59.8 billion? That’s nearly four years’ worth of NASA’s entire budget; the cuts to NASA’s science programs over the next several years are more than an order of magnitude smaller. “Jet in Columbus” never provides a source for that figure, perhaps because he can’t.
Later, he claims that NASA’s decision to fly two instruments on ISRO’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter mission is evidence that NASA is somehow outsourcing its science program to India. Nowhere in his analysis, though, does he mention that NASA recently confirmed its plans to launch its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter—a much larger and arguably more capable spacecraft than Chandrayaan-1—in 2008. “Jet in Columbus” also argues that “Everyone seems to be overlooking the fact that India’s four-stage Chandrayann-1 [sic] rocket that’s going to be used for this mission is also potentially the same device being developed for carrying possible nuclear warheads.” In fact, that hasn’t been ignored (even if he confuses the Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft wth its PSLV launch vehicle), although as previously noted here most consider that a very weak argument.
There does appear to be one truthful item in his post: “Jet in Columbus” has his own blog, titled “The Absent Mind”, with the subtitle “The insane ramblings of a conservative trapped in a Liberal’s body.” Tough to argue with that.