Campaign '08

Obama clarifies his space policy

The Barack Obama campaign has been quiet about its space policy plans since the release of its education policy in November, which called for delaying the Constellation program for five years to help pay for its education initiatives. I contacted the campaign last month to seek clarification and heard nothing back. However, a reader in New Hampshire, Don Doughty, did hear back from the campaign last week on the topic, and forwarded the message he received to me. In the message, Lisa Ellman, Obama’s policy director in New Hampshire, said Obama “will work to strengthen American leadership in space” and that he “believes that the United States needs a strong space program to help it maintain its superiority not only in space, but here on earth in the realms of education, technology, and national security.”

Most importantly, Ellman clarifies what Obama meant by delaying Constellation by five years:

Obama believes we should continue developing the next generation of space vehicles, and complete the international space station. While Obama would delay plans to return to moon and push on to mars, Obama would continue unmanned missions, and use NASA to monitor the forces and effects of climate change, support scientific research, and maintain surveillance to strengthen national security. Obama also believes we need to keep weapons out of space.

That is considerably different than what his original statement sounded like: rather than an additional five-year post-shuttle gap, this approach would appear to permit the continued development of a new launch vehicle and spacecraft (be it Ares/Orion or some alternative), but put on hold anything that would be used for lunar missions and beyond. That puts his approach closer to what Hillary Clinton proposed in October, although she did not endorse any specific delay in human lunar missions.

44 comments to Obama clarifies his space policy

  • Al Fansome

    This is a minimalist set of space policy positions that I expect most (if not all) leading Democratic candidates will agree with.

    The statement that “will use NASA to … maintain surveillance to strengthen national security” makes it clear that the Obama campaign delegated the job of writing this paragraph to somebody who does not really understand space policy.

    - Al

  • Notice it doesn’t say continue manned missions or continue Ares and Orion development. Everything listed there could be done with unmanned probes.

    I would hope he only means lunar missions, and not the capsule itself…

  • MarkWhittington

    Mind, this “clarification” is still bad. Not only is the Vision for Space Exploration delayed, IMHO probibly forever, but there is still no mention of what Obama will do to support commercial space. And this nonsense of “keeping weapons out of space” ignores the objective reality of Chinese ASAT weapons development.

  • MarkWhittington

    BTW, will it be possible for the full text of the message from Ellman to be posted?

  • “there is still no mention of what Obama will do to support commercial space”

    Both Obama and Clinton refer to multiple “vehicles” in their statements:

    “Obama believes we should continue developing the NEXT GENERATION OF SPACE VEHICLES [emphasis added]”

    “She [Clinton] will speed development, testing, and deployment of NEXT-GENERATION LAUNCH AND CREW EXPLORATION VEHICLES [emphasis added] to replace the aging Space Shuttle.”

    It’s also worthwhile to note that Clinton’s campaign has endorsed Constellation, and Constellation includes both Ares I/Orion and COTS.

    The references to plural “vehicles” could be an indication that one or both of campaign favor a more commercial, multi-vehicle approach, like COTS, versus a government-design, one-vehicle approach, like Ares I/Orion.

    But we don’t know, and most likely both campaigns are not being specific about program, procurement, and vehicle options because they lack the information to make an intelligent choice and because it doesn’t benefit them to make a choice publicly until they’re in the White House, anyway.

    Of course, even with the lack of specificity, both the Clinton and Obama campaigns have been more specific than any other campaign, Democrat or Republican, on the future of NASA and NASA’s human space flight programs in particular.

    FWIW…

  • MarkWhittington

    “Anonynous Space” is really reaching to find some hint of support for commercial space in the Obama campaign. I’d like to see the full text of the message, of course, but so far I do not see the word “commercial” or the phrase”private sector” anywhere. Cinsidering the traditional hostility with whichDemocrats view business, I think we need to draw different conclusions. Unless there is a further clarification, we have to assume that there will be no support for commercial space in an Obama administration.

  • “‘Anonynous Space’ is really reaching to find some hint of support for commercial space in the Obama campaign.”

    How do you know that I am “really reaching to find some hint of support”? In fact, quoting from the post I just made, I made it very clear from the evidence available that:

    “… we don’t know, and most likely both campaigns are not being specific about program, procurement, and vehicle options because they lack the information to make an intelligent choice and because it doesn’t benefit them to make a choice publicly until they’re in the White House, anyway.”

    Once again, Mr. Whittington, please stop putting words my mouth. If you can’t compose a response without claiming that another poster is doing, saying, or intending something that they explicitely are not doing, saying, or intending, then please keep the response to yourself.

    Or, if you’re just repeatedly failing to comprehend what another poster has written, then please read their posts, in full, multiple times, and think through the points they’ve made before composing a response.

    Sheesh…

    “Cinsidering [sic] the traditional hostility with whichDemocrats [sic] view business,”

    Evidence?

    There’s actually lots of evidence that Democrats are quite friendly to business. I’ll repeat myself from an earlier thread where you made similar claims.

    “For example, according to Wikipedia, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party favors globalization and NAFTA. The 2004 Democratic Party platform also plainly states that:

    ‘Free and fair trade that creates American jobs. Exports sustain about 1 in 5 American factory jobs. Open markets spur innovation, speed the growth of new industries, and make our businesses more competitive. We will make it a priority to knock down barriers to free, fair and balanced trade so other nation’s markets are as open as our own.’

    How is free trade anti-business?

    The platform goes on to state:

    ‘Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of our economy.
    We will encourage small business growth with a plan to make it easier for small businesses to secure capital and loans. We support tax credits and energy investments that slash overall operating costs for small businesses and encourage them to grow and expand here in America.’

    How is stimulating the growth of small business anti-business?

    The platform also commits to make the R&D tax credit permanent.

    How are tax credits for R&D anti-business?”

    Again, I offered up this evidence and asked these questions in a prior thread. You did not answer the questions or explain your overly broad and very inaccurate generalizations about the platforms of our political parties in that thread. If you cannot explain baseless claims, then you should not repeatedly make them. This forum is too good for that.

    “we have to assume that there will be no support for commercial space in an Obama administration”

    Again, based on what logic or evidence?

    Ugh…

  • Bias: if I was an US citizen and a Democrat (this is purely hypothetical, slim chance to put it that way) I would most likely vote for Obama.

    Thin gruel from the Obama-brand and I don’t see how it’s supposed to be any more worthwhile than a classic “no comment”. I do hope Obama himself is aware of the NRO, the idea that he might not be is somewhat scary considering he has been a senator since 2004.

    The “clarification” reads as quintessential political obfuscation that can be interpreted to mean just about anything possible and probably quite a few impossible things too ^_^

    But let’s admit it:that applies to just about all any of the candidates have said, or not, about space, even Clinton. So far there’s nothing but soundbites with November 2008 expiration dates out there, at least in relation to space.

  • reader

    But let’s admit it:that applies to just about all any of the candidates have said, or not, about space,
    In part, thats because nobody has asked them any sharp questions about it. Asking “do you support education?” is as useless as asking “do you support space?”. You will get only general blather.
    Asking, just for example, specifically: what role do you see for prizes for space technology development, which agency should be managing it, and how big percentage of overall space exploration budget should these be ?
    That leaves far less room for misinterpretations. Other topics need to be addressed in the same way.
    Another example: a very large part of current NASA and their direct contractors workforce is currently tied up in STS program. What, if any, role do you plan for this workforce when the shuttle program ends in 2010 ?

  • Al Fansome

    READER: Another example: a very large part of current NASA and their direct contractors workforce is currently tied up in STS program. What, if any, role do you plan for this workforce when the shuttle program ends in 2010 ?

    Dear Reader,

    Is this a request for a white collar welfare program?

    if so, just be upfront and honest about it.

    - Al

  • reader

    I assumed the role of hypothetical interviewer and posted a question i’d like an answer to from several candidates. Al, if you just assumed a role of a candidate and posted a hypothetical reply, i’d vote for your hypothetical candidate.
    Unfortunately such question will never be asked on any significant stage from any of the presidential candidates, and even if if it would, such reply will never be heard, even hypothetically.

  • Al Fansome

    Reader,

    I re-read your original posting. I agree that it is very hard in today’s “30-60 second” format to force candidates to give you anything substantive (e.g, non-blather).

    I personally would like to go back to the Lincoln-Douglas debates, or to the long (and very substantive) speeches that were given by Lincoln that led to him being selected as President. For example, on Feb. 27 1860 Lincoln gave a 90 minute speech on just one topic — opposing slavery and favoring the union. Many believe Lincoln’s “Coopers Union” speech was critical to him becoming President.

    The NY Times did an excellent story on this — and on a proposal to reinstitute this approach. See:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/28/us/politics/28coop.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    I am not sure what we can do to re-institute this kind of substantive political discourse. It is in the self-interest of candidates (and their campaigns) to play prevent defense. The party leadership helps — as it often is more interested in preventing errors that (it believes) will hurt its strongest candidates.

    There are a few members of the media who are both willing and able to force presidential candidates to answer substantive questions. The format is generally an interview show that lasts somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes, and the interviewer must both know their stuff and be willing to tell the candidate “you did not answer my question” and repeat the question until it is answered. One example of is Tim Russert.

    Unfortunately, most elected leaders go out of their way to avoid the Tim Russert’s of the world — if not any member of the media that might ask them a tough question. The Washington Post (not known as a vehicle or Republican conservatism) ran an article talking about how Senator’s Clinton and Obama tend to avoid the media.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/06/AR2007110601806.html

    Meet The Press
    By Ruth Marcus
    Wednesday, November 7, 2007; Page A21

    The candidates’ reluctance to engage in regular give-and-take with reporters on the campaign trail does not bode well for how they would behave if ensconced in the White House, swaddled in protective layers of presidential prerogative.

    AND

    “Politicians, with the possible exception of John McCain, don’t subject themselves to reporters because they enjoy it — they do it because it’s in their self-interest. Candidates eager, desperate even, for coverage are happy to make themselves available to reporters who have an interest in questioning them. Those in a stronger position don’t want to risk veering off message.”

    AND

    “Sunday talk shows offer the best opportunity for what passes for in-depth questioning. On this scale, Obama and Clinton have been the most elusive of the Democrats; Clinton made grand rounds of all five shows when she unveiled her health-care plan in September but has otherwise been unavailable; Obama has appeared just twice all year on Sunday shows — though he’s set to be on “Meet the Press” this weekend.”

    Among Republicans, Rudy Giuliani, who’s accessible on the campaign trail, has been the Garbo of Sunday talk, turning up just once — on Fox, naturally.

    - Al

  • Spacefan

    In my experience the topic of space with most americans is often seen as a waste of money. They don’t see the point of a space station or manned missions to, well, anywhere. It simply isn’t a popular subject. I can assure you if any of these candidates, Dem or Rep, made strong statements reguarding space exploration, or proposed putting more money into NASA other candidates would use it against them. It would be stated that he/she doesn’t have a strong grasp of important issues and it would lose them votes. A perception would be created that they will divert money from “real problems” to play in space. That candidate would spend valuable time defending his views. Time wasted holding ground instead of gaining ground. No one touches the space issue for this reason.

    Just remeber that the candidate’s goal at the moment is to win an election. There is no reason for them to touch a subject that could damage them, and every reason not to. The only real indicator for us will have to be past statements and actions during their political careers.

  • reader

    ::or proposed putting more money into NASA other candidates would use it against them

    Thats horrendously short sighted, assuming that everything can be fixed with more money.

  • Commander Hotdog

    Support human space exploration, not federal funded daycare.

    Vote against Obama.

  • [...] whether these two trends – together or individually will pan out into trends and/or paradigm shifts.Obama clarifies his space policy, Spacepolitics.com“Obama believes we should continue developing the next generation of space [...]

  • Am I the only one who noticed that Obama’s New Hampshire policy director is unaware that “Mars” is supposed to be capitalized?

  • MarkWhittington

    “Anonymous Space”, haviog lost the argument,. has chosen to engage in personal attacks, which I find doubly galling coming from someone who is afraid to post under his or her real name.

    The fact that the Democrat Party is hostile to private business, with it’s tendency to tax and regulate, not to mention anti business rhetoric coming from virtually all of the current Presidential candidates, is a matter not open to debate, no matter how much “Anonynous Space” chooses to obfuscate.

    In any event, if Obama or Clinton becomes President and postpones indefinately a renewal of human exploration of the Moon and beyond, we can forget about any support for commercial space development. If all NASA is allowed to do is send people flying in circles, it will do that and will not be willing to risk having that taken away as well by commercial upstarts. VSE and commercial space are linked and will rise or fall together.

  • “‘Anonymous Space’, haviog [sic] lost the argument,”

    Where was there an argument to lose?

    For several threads running now you have failed to respond to even one of the questions that I have posed to you about your baseless and overly broad claims about the platforms of our political parties.

    Unless you choose to respond, there is no argument or debate to be had.

    Oy vey…

    “has chosen to engage in personal attacks”

    Where did I engage in a personal attack?

    I have called you out for repeatedly putting words in my mouth over several threads.

    I have directly and politely asked you to stop putting words in my mouth over several threads.

    I have asked you to slow down and comprehend the posts that you’re responding to before you respond.

    But I have not called you names, called your credentials into question, or otherwise engaged in a personal attack.

    “which I find doubly galling coming from someone who is afraid to post under his or her real name”

    This, however, is a personal attack. Instead of responding to the logic or facts of my posts, you call into question my status as a poster.

    Please, Mr. Whittington, debate the posts, not the posters.

    And again, Mr. Foust has repeatedly reiterated that he welcomes anonymous posts here. If you’re uncomfortable with that, then you have three choices:

    1) Take your comments elsewhere.

    2) Not engage or respond to anonymous posters like myself.

    3) Take an enlightened approach to your posts and realize that it’s only the debate, and not the status or background of the debators, that matters.

    You or I could be the village idiot, but if we put forth a coherent chain of logic backed by solid evidence to support our positions, it shouldn’t matter who we are.

    “In any event, if Obama or Clinton becomes President and postpones indefinately a renewal of human exploration of the Moon and beyond”

    Please, please, get your facts straight for once, Mr. Whittington.

    From their very first words on the subject, the Obama campaign has proposed postponing Constellation for five years, not “indefinately [sic]“. Mr. Foust even reiterated this fact in his post at the top of this thread.

    I’m not perfectly pleased with either campaign’s (or any campaign’s) statements on NASA or its human space flight programs to date either. But that doesn’t mean that we should confuse and obsfuscate the few statements that they have made with exagerrations and falsehoods.

    Ugh…

    “In any event, if Obama or Clinton becomes President and postpones indefinately a renewal of human exploration of the Moon and beyond, we can forget about any support for commercial space development. If all NASA is allowed to do is send people flying in circles, it will do that and will not be willing to risk having that taken away as well by commercial upstarts.”

    This statement is wrong on its face. COTS is already pursuing the support of “people flying in circles” on ISS and has nothing to do with NASA’s lunar return effort. COTS will succeed or fail regardless of whether or not the rest of Constellation ever fields a flyable vehicle to the Moon or elsewhere.

    This is actually a very sad statement about the ESAS implementation of the VSE — that there is no commercial involvement in the lunar elements.

    “VSE and commercial space are linked and will rise or fall together.”

    Again, this statement is wrong on its face. If its implementation was better structured, the VSE could better benefit commercial space. But many, maybe most, commercial space activities have nothing to do with the VSE, including Bigelow, Falcon I, AirLaunch, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, etc. In fact, the only commercial space activity that has any involvement in the VSE right now is Falcon 9/Dragon.

    Again, that’s a rather sad statement about the ESAS implementation of the VSE.

    FWIW…

  • Dave Salt

    Apologies for straying off-topic, but I just had to make a comment about Mr Whittington’s “contributions” to this forum.

    Having observed Mr Whittington’s postings for more than a decade, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him engage in a serious debate, let alone win one! His approach seems to be based entirely upon the idea that if you repeat something often enough and simply ignore any criticism, people will begin to believe it.

    Unfortunately, this is somewhat self defeating because it not only makes him seem ignorant – especially when people like anonymous.space rebut his claims – but also exposes a strong idealogical/political bias, which completely undermines his attempts to promote himself as a space policy analyst. Nevertheless, it may win him some points in the eyes of his favored political party and whatever candidate’s campaign team he may be trying to engage, so don’t be surprised to see more of this “technique” between now and November.

  • COTSadvocate

    Dave,

    My biggest issue is that Whittington’s approach is that his efforts are actually counter-productive for the commercial space industry. I can make a case that Whittington is actually an enemy of commercial space (albeit an unintentional enemy.)

    If Whittington held commercial space as a higher priority than his partisan political views, then he would:

    1) Challenge politicians of all political persuasion to do more on commercial space.

    2) Give due & appropriate credit to those politicians, regardless of party affiliation, when they do something good for commercial space — in order to encourage & promote more such activity.

    3) Specifically (and equally) criticize all politicians who do something negative against commercial space.

    Instead, Whittington’s history demonstrates a clear desire to give Republicans undue credit beyond what they deserve (and have not earned), and simultaneously a desire to never give credit to Democrats even when they deserve it.

    In other words, Whittington’s actions make it clear that his first priority is partisan advocacy (e.g., helping the Republican party) and that promoting the commercial space industry is somewhere lower on his priority list.

    - Al

  • “Obama believes we should continue developing the next generation of space vehicles, and complete the international space station. While Obama would delay plans to return to moon and push on to mars, Obama would continue unmanned missions…”

    Exactly what in this statement really says anything different from what Obama already said? I read “continue unmanned missions”, “continue developing next generation of space vehicles” and “complete the international space station” – while he would “delay plans to return to the Moon and push on to Mars”

    Finishing the space station – that is already manifested, the hardware is all built and awaiting launch and it has all been approved budget wise – so he would be doing nothing there. Translation “I will not stop the launch of the already funded last 6 space shuttle missions” – gee thanks Barack!

    Continue unmanned missions – ok great – too bad that is a completely separate budget from the Shuttle, ISS and Constellation Project. What does this have to do with Constellation or VSE? Oh yeah nothing.

    Continue developing the next generation… – how is this different from what he already said? It is not. He said in the original statement that he would leave a $500 million life support budget for Constellation during the delay. This essentially says the same thing. Constellations budget is $3.6 billion now and after shuttle is retired should be more then doubling. So he is basically destroying the budget and destroying the Constellation Program with that concept.

    Delay return to the Moon and push to Mars – yes, that plan would certainly do that and then some.

    I can’t believe this past weekend he had the audacity to invoke John F. Kennedy and compare himself to John F. Kennedy – sepcifically mentioning the Apollo Program and landing man on the Moon – and here he is trying to destroy our Lunar program!!!!

    Basically, this whitewashed statement says nothing new. He does not support VSE, he does not support the Lunar program and does not support exploration of Mars. To read it any differently is fooling yourself.

    Hillary on the other hand has come out very strongly in favor of Exploration. The only othe candidate to come out strongly in favor of Exploration was Huckabee. The rest have been indifferent at best, and damning at worst.

    I feel like people are grasping at straws with this statement, when really it says nothing different then the original statement.

  • [...] posted yet on Obama’s official campaign web site.) The document largely is an elaboration of a previous, brief statement from the campaign. Obama supports development of the Ares 1 and Orion (which are explicitly named [...]

  • [...]  Well, in the last few weeks, the Obama campaign has begun to rectify that.  First, on Jan 2nd, Lisa Ellman, Obama’s policy director, issued the following statement, Obama believes we should continue developing the next generation of space vehicles, and complete [...]

  • Mike

    Obama is frightening. His policies are ridiculous. Spend here,.spend there, but cut the space program. Going to the Moon is not an ego trip, but a necessity to harvest the energy resources on the Moon. An energy crisis is here, the Moon is the next Saudi Arabia of energy with its vast store of Helium3. Yet, Obama wants to cede this to other countries. I don’t get it and I don’t get him. Pull out of Iraq and let it get overrun and then Saudis will be threatened. I liken Obama to Hitler. He’s memerizing the masses. When that happened in Germany they followed their furhrer right down the path of total destruction. He won’t wear the flag, won’t stand for the the pledge and won’t put his hand over his heart for the National Anthem. We have met our enemy and his name is Obama.

  • canttellya

    An energy crisis is here, the Moon is the next Saudi Arabia of energy with its vast store of Helium3.

    What a joke. The uranium and thorium resources right here on Earth will keep us in energy abundance for tens of thousands of years.

    Let other countries go chase the helium-3. They’ll only bankrupt themselves.

  • Thomas Boomer

    By pitting space exploration against education Barack has proposed a fallicy of false dilemma. It is a point of view that says we can have either the Constellation program or funding for education in math and science. Both are vitally important and there is no reason why we cannot have both.

    Cutting Constellation would deprive the nation of any manned space flight capability since the shuttle is slated to be moth balled in 2010. The life of the shuttle could be extended but this would cost even more. The Constellation was intended to save expenses associated with the more costly shuttle operations.

    NASA’s total budget outlay typically represents between 0.7 to 1% of the total budget for the country and has been steadily declining. “For comparison, NASA’s FY 2008 budget of $17.3 billion represents about 0.6% of the $2.9 trillion United States federal budget.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget

    My point of view is this agency has already experienced severe budget cuts and is not the bloated cow that Barack apparently perceives. If you want to fund science and math education a lot more money is available to be cut from other programs. Like 99.4% of the nations budget.

  • Marcel F. Williams

    I’m a strong Obama supported. But his views of the– manned– space program are probably his biggest weakness, IMO. In fact, it could hurt him in Florida if he runs against McCain in the general .

    However, Bush’s Constellation program is a joke. It doesn’t do what we really need which is to establish a– permanent– human presence on the surface of the moon and on Mars. There needs to be a shift in emphasis at NASA from space exploration to space commercialization and space industrialization. We need to go to the Moon and Mars to exploit the natural resources of those worlds– not simply to explore.

  • Mike

    Obama is a naive fool. Look at his agenda. Cut America at every corner, space, defense, open our door to illegal immigrants, sit down with our enemies. Hitler reincarnate. Only the “rich” (those making more than $96,000) are his target as the enemy of the people. Do your research fool on the Helium3. It is the only subtance in the universe worth going to the Moon to get. Just a pound could power L.A. for a year.

  • Susan Bonicillo

    I cannot agree with obama’s lack of consideration for the space program.
    We don’t need to sacrific NASA in order to help the sorry state of public education.

    First of all, education and NASA are funded by two different means. For the most part, state funds propel education programs while NASA receives its dollars from the federal budget. Even in its requests for federal aid, the Department of Education does not compete with NASA for funds as they are put in different funding bills set before Congress.

    The Constellation program may seem like an outlandish and impractical endeavor but consisder what benefits it reaps. Take for example New Orleans. In a city that is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina, NASA has given this city a huge boost in awarded three multimillion dollar contracts for the development of equipment for the Constellation program.

    The contracts have generated hundreds of jobs and contributes a payroll of $156 million dollars, thus diversifying the mostly tourism-based economy of New Orleans. The proposed delay of the Constellation program that Obama advocates will effectively take away a huge source of revenue that this city needs in order to fully recover.

    Also, I cannot trust a candidate who says he advocates the furtherment of scientific literacy and then propose to cut funds for scientific endeavors.

    Obama may be frequently compared to President Kennedy in many ways but he fails to share in Kennedy’s vision for the future. And this future involves recognizing the importance of science. One cannot fully comprehend the benefits of space travel until it is actually done. For my generation (I’m 24) we have never witnessed a lunar landing and cannot imagine what the 500 million people around the world felt when they saw Neil Armstrong take that first step on the moon. Yet, I can imagine that it must have given them a tremendous amount of pride not only for Americans but for the entire world that a group of dedicated people could achieve the impossible.

  • Jeff

    Cut America at every corner, space, defense, open our door to illegal immigrants, sit down with our enemies. Hitler reincarnate.

    Yes, Hitler was a huge fan of immigrants in particular and diversity in general. And his defense spending cuts were outrageous. Great point.

  • John N.

    To think in a positive way, diverting funding to education can only help us out in the long run. Who wants a bunch of uneducated rocket scientists tackling the huge responsibilty in the future of getting us to Mars and back when all of the leading scientists of today are dead and gone.

    Don’t get me wrong, I sincerely hope that I will be able to experience a moon landing and even a Mars landing before i am dead and gone. But the simple fact of the matter is this: we, being the community advocating manned space exploration, can not possibly expect NASA and other government funded (or lack thereof) entities to put a man on the moon again or Mars for that matter. The only way it will happen is through private sector R&D and money. NASA just doesen’t have the luxury of being the flagship project to directly compete with the USSR like it did in the 50s and 60s. That world is gone, the USSR is gone. It’s time for the multi-billion dollar corporations that post billion dollar profits year after year in the face of a struggling economy, to fork out some of that “hard earned” cash for the furtherance of humanity in space.

  • Rico 111

    Why not put weapons into Space, I have believed for many years they already do exist there. Any gap in the control of Space Station deployments handled by anyone other than the United States is ridiculous.

    Billions a week into Iraq and nothing for continuance of the US Space Program?? We are losing our “VISION”!

  • Casey

    It all comes down to which president wants to be responsible for sending a human to another planet and having quite possibly the worst space disaster on their administration!? I dont think that we have come as far as needed from a technological standpoint to say for certainty that we can make it to / from Mars without concern of our astronauts life/safety. I mean we haven’t sent a man to the moon in what 30+ Years?! I am a HUGE supporter of NASA and manned space flight… but Its politics truly until we have a way to build/construct/test/repair a “mothership” in space that will allow for true exploration.
    Just me 3 cents.

  • Hiram Henry

    This irresponsible gutting of America’s manned space flight program is the one and only factor that is preventing me form voting for Obama in November. He has fallen prey to the unmanned faction of Nasa who distain manned space flight because it costs a lot more than unmanned probes. The United States needs to maintain it’s lead in manned space flight. This of one of the few areas where we are still in the leading world affairs. If his foolish policy is implemented, we will be dependent on the Russians to ferry our austronauts to the ISS for more than a decade! The Russians! Have you noticed how great we are getting along with them lately? Barach, please come to your senses and adjust your manned space flight policy to keep the US competitive. Find the fund for your pet education programs somewhere else.

  • beowulf2700

    it sickens me to find that the politicians are turning a blind eye to space exploration. the last time we had any manned missions to anywhere besides near earth orbit is the Apollo program. Must i add that the Apollo years were one of the DEFINING MOMENTS of American history.

  • Henry Harris

    Let’s wait until Obama becomes President before we jump to conclusions about his space policy. He’ll be handed the results of one of the worst Presidents in American history. He’ll be given a briefing that will include things that don’t even make the papers. The world is very different than when Bush first took office. Back then, space exploration was basically a two-country effort. That’s no longer true. We even have private spacecraft now. As for me, I’m still wondering why Jimmy Carter broke his promise to tell us about all that space traffic that’s not ours.

  • Edward

    NASA should have nothing to do with national defense! NASA should have all the funding it desires and we should have been on mars 20 YEARS AGO! That about sums up my feelings.

  • [...] som han har lovat mer resurser till Nasa. Rymdsektorn väntar otåligt på klargöranden. Det som läckt ut tyder på att Constellationfarkosterna fortsätter att utvecklas, men att man väntar med allt som [...]

  • ‘…delay the Constellation program for five years to help pay for its education initiatives?’ What. a. crock.

    I recall the same type of rhetoric being used to cancel the remaining Apollo moon missions. The money that was supposed to be saved back then amounted to only $40M which was nothing compared to the $25B that had already been spent. The New York Times stated, “The budgetary myopia which forced this . . . decision can only vindicate the critics who have insisted that Apollo was motivated by purely prestige considerations, not scientific goals.”
    http://www.solarviews.com/history/SP-4214/ch12-2.html

    Now look:
    “Obama’s team has indicated it’s likely to kill NASA’s Constellation and Ares programs.”
    http://government.zdnet.com/?p=4280

    Those in the know saw this coming about 30 seconds after Bush announced the scratching of the shuttle and then tooted his ‘wool-over-the-eyes’ moon program back in 2004.

    It’s daja vu. Only this time, it’s the entire manned space program that’s going to go.

    A. Kill the shuttle (btw, the tools, dies and the shuttle work stand in California were ordered destroyed immediately so the program couldn’t be restarted.) Done.

    and B., announce a specious moon program on an interim food-stamp budget so the next administration (whichever) cancels it too without his administration taking the heat from the public or ISS partners. Thus (aw, shucks, it can’t be helped) -effectively shutting down the US manned space program. In progress.

    300+ million people and this is the best forward-thinking science and technology leadership we can get?

    It’s as true now as it was then: NASA lives or dies by the perceptions of Congress and the administration of the short-term value of its projects.

    I, for one, am disgusted.

  • Don

    Obama is more than happy to scrap the future of America and mankind itself to score points with the socialized medicine groups. He talks of high tech jobs and energy independence then trashes our best hope of achieving these goals. The space program has done more for this Nation than just about any other program put forth by the government.

    I grew up with Gemini and Apollo, I saw the jobs and gains created from these programs. Now Obama would rather throw money at banks and Chrysler and cut an already underfunded program.

    Its been 40 years since we first set foot on the Moon, now Obama wants to make it so we can’t even get into Low Earth Orbit!

    I too am disgusted!

  • Columbus

    It’s beginning to look like the Constellation program will be cancelled. It’s also becoming clear that without more money, the U.S. will not have humans in space for a long time after the shuttle is retired.

    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/news/n0908/12augustine/

    We should know more in September, but it will hinge on what Mr. Obama wants to do.

  • Frank

    Obama’s space policy is abysmal. His soul-killing vision of the future is probably to be expected, but what might we learn about the environment by terra-forming the moon and mars (if the environmental alarmism happens to be your bag)? Incidentally, there are already weapons in space: EARTH IS IN SPACE.

  • Food Stamps are great and i wish that there were more of them.’””

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