Congress, Other

Tax breaks and other incentives

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is expected to announced today legislation that would provide tax brakes for the commercial space industry. The Commercial Space Jobs and Investment Act would establish up to five enterprise zones around the country where businesses involved in the commercial space industry could get a variety of tax breaks or credits; the legislation would also provide tax credits for investment in such companies (the credits would be valued at 20 percent of their investment, which would have to remain in place for five years, according to the AP.)

The legislation faces two major challenges. One is that there’s no offset for the cost of the legislation, which would depend on just how many companies and investors take advantage of the bill. The second is that Nelson is introducing the bill very late in the current Congress: given the limited time left this year, even with a lame-duck session after November’s elections, it seems at first glance unlikely that the bill would make it through unless attached to other legislation.

In addition to Nelson’s legislation, details are emerging about the plan to provide $40 million in support to the Space Coast to help offset job losses and other economic impacts from the retirement of the shuttle. President Obama, who announced the funding in his April 15th speech at the Kennedy Space Center, asked for a plan by August 15th. Most of that money, $35 million, will go for grants to support businesses in several markets, including aviation, clean energy, homeland security, information technology and life sciences. The other $5 million would be for a proposed FAA commercial space center at Cape Canaveral, few details of which were disclosed. More details about the plan are due out today.

72 comments to Tax breaks and other incentives

  • amightywind

    Tax breaks. Fine. More corporate welfare for government picked winners like Elon Musk. How about cutting the corporate tax across the board? How about making the Bush tax cuts permanent? How about slashing spending and rescinding the stimulus? If Obama and the liberals do these things their problems with the economy will vanish. But they won’t do it because their first goal is wealth redistribution, not economic growth. In the long term, they are screwed. Until they are replaced we are all saddled with a pathetic economy.

  • Senator Nelson published this opinion article in today’s Florida Today. The paper also has this article on President Obama’s space industry task force recommendations for the Space Coast.

    I have to wonder whether Nelson’s proposal was part of the Senate compromise to reduce commercial funding, and that they’ll support it if it’s in a separate bill.

  • Ben Russell-Gough

    IIRC, the software industry has had a waiver from legal liabilities since the 1980s. Perhaps something similar could be arranged for commercial space? A sort of “If they’re stupid enough to ride on the tin can, they’re on their own” act.

  • Slow day for space news…

    Nothing to see here folks… move along…move along…

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Tax breaks. Fine. More corporate welfare for government picked winners like Elon Musk. How about cutting the corporate tax across the board? How about making the Bush tax cuts permanent? How about slashing spending and rescinding the stimulus? If Obama and the liberals do these things their problems with the economy will vanish..

    if that were accurate the last days of the Bush administration would have been filled with glorious economic news instead of the taxpayer bailout of the banks.

    get a life

    Robert G. Oler

  • Brian Paine

    OK Max I’m moving…can’t buy a good argument these days.

  • amightywind

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 10:38 am

    if that were accurate the last days of the Bush administration would have been filled with glorious economic news instead of the taxpayer bailout of the banks.

    George W. Bush served ably and well. The nation is beset by grave difficulties. We must expect more from our leadership than ‘its Bush’s fault’ after 20 months. We were led to expect more.

  • Derrick

    @amightywind

    Yes windy and the falcon 9 didn’t make it to orbit and you’re the victim here. Right?

    What a troll.

  • Coastal Ron

    amightywind wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 11:27 am

    “George W. Bush served ably and well. The nation is beset by grave difficulties. We must expect more from our leadership than ‘its Bush’s fault’ after 20 months.”

    If the shoe fits…

    But really, if tax cuts for the rich were supposed to fill the Treasury coffers, then how did Bush, who inherited a budget surplus, end up giving us the largest budget deficit in our nations history? Tax cuts for the rich sure didn’t seem to make a difference, and since Bush veto’d the fewest bills since Warren Harding, you can’t blame it on Congress.

    If tax cuts for the rich work, then where is the proof?

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I concur that one should expect more from the leadership then “it was the other persons fault”…and have said that since the right wing started blaming Clinton for 9/11 trying to excuse Bush and his 8 (OK give him a break) 7 months of bungling as OBL and Atta closed the deal on their plot.

    Leadership is about acknowledging where one is when one “takes the decK” and working to make the situation better. It is fair to say “I had to do this or that because of these circumstances” but the inherited circumstances do not alleviate the judgment on “the cure” that has been prescribed.

    The nation is beset of grave ills, and most if not all of them stem from Bush’s eight years of “leadership” and dealing with circumstances…and to be fair I dont think that Obama has, in the grave issues of our time made them better.

    Nor will simply going back and doing what Bush did to get us into this mess fix things.

    The Space program under Bush pretty much illustrates his entire administration . Great rhetoric but no real follow through. Mike Griffin had a clean piece of paper, a fresh goal and he floundered. Why? He did what the Administration tried to do in almost every aspect; run an old playbook with no real idea of how to make it either work or fit into modern circumstances.

    Just as Bush tried to use cold war tactics to play into this centuries problems, Griffin tried to redo Apollo this time bigger, and redo it without the overriding political background or the competency of NASA that existed in the 60′s.

    Weather mindless tax cuts or reaction to 9/11 the entire effort of Bush was to replay Ronaldus the Greats administration in very very different circumstances. And that is the entire thrust right now of the GOP…I cannot tell you how often I hear someone who supports this or that GOP candidate say “he/she is the new Ronald Reagan”. Nutty.

    We are in a new era with new challenges that require new thinking. If the notions of unpaid for tax cuts or one bailout after another would have solved things then Bush would have left town with a booming economy instead of one headed for the toliet.

    If one war after another would redeem 9/11 then we would have in 7-6 years bought our way out of that…

    If redoing Apollo was going to work, Ares would be flying now instead of inept suborbital hops.

    I dont think Obama has done particularly well, and have been among his sharpest critics in general here and on other forums. But we are in this mess because Bush took an America that was prosperous and at peace and left it where it was.

    To advocate the policies that did that transition, is like your statements about the Falcon 9 second stage…uninformed rhetoric. And about on par with the bomb throwing that newt is doing on the mosque issue. Just designed to incite arguments…not fuel solutions.

    Robert G. Oler

  • amightywind

    Coastal Ron wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 11:59 am

    who inherited a budget surplus, end up giving us the largest budget deficit in our nations history?

    It started with the Clinton recession and the dot com bust. That brought the budget back to par. Then the security oversights of the Clinton came home to roost on 9/11 and Bush had to mop them up in Iraq and Afghanistan. Finally the current spendthrift democrat majority in congress took office in 2006. QED.

    If tax cuts for the rich work, then where is the proof?

    The Man’s name is Ronald Reagan. Let’s try to project ahead a little. Lets crank up capital gains and income taxes on the naughty rich. (How dare they!) Will it make the ‘hiring class’ any more likely to create jobs? 20 months of our dalliance with Bolshevism says no. Unemployment stays at ruinous levels. The stock markets (and union pension funds) tank, state budgets continue to hemorrhage red ink, and we have a free market revolution complete with regulation book burning in 2012. But we do have social justice in the meantime.

  • amightywind

    Robert G. Oler wrote:

    And about on par with the bomb throwing that newt is doing on the mosque issue.

    And a very successful issue it is. We cannot allow Islamists to erect victory shrines on our hallowed ground. They have done this throughout history. Not this time. The very name of the structure ‘Cordoba House’ celebrates the muslim conquests of Spain. I would sooner celebrate their defeats.

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    lol the FAlcon 9 second stage spinning out of control.

    The entire “Cordoba” thing is a fantasy of the right wing spun on by Newt Gringrich who knows better but is trying to out Palin Palin.

    The right wing always does this when it cannot sustain a debate on the issues…from debating Freedom Fries instead of what became the Iraq invasion to “Death Palins…oh sorry Panels” to one stupid slogan after another (including Michelle Malkin self describing “anchor baby” …she is one) the right wing is good at distorting history.

    And like the Falcon 9 second stage spinning out of control…you are part of that.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    you wrote this…
    . Then the security oversights of the Clinton came home to roost on 9/11

    after writing this

    “I concur that one should expect more from the leadership then “it was the other persons fault”

    goofy

    really goofy

    you are a troll.

    and I dont say that lightly. I like free spirited debate, and am known to give a tough shot or two myself…

    but when you contradict your own self.

    Goofy

    Robert G. Oler

  • amightywind

    Death Palins…oh sorry Panels” to one stupid slogan after another (including Michelle Malkin self describing “anchor baby” …she is one) the right wing is good at distorting history.

    Your misogyny puts you in good company with the islamists.

  • Jeff Foust

    Please keep the discussion on topic to the original post. (Hint: “Death Palins” and “victory shrines” are not on topic.) Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Jeff Foust wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    hint taken

    Robert

  • If we really want to kick start the private commercial manned spaceflight industry in this country then the Federal government should start a Space Lotto system so that the rest of us can get a chance to fly into space.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that there are hundreds of millions of Americans in the US and billions of people around the world who would be willing to spend a few dollars every year for a chance to fly aboard a NASA certified private commercial spacecraft. Plus I think most Americans would enjoy seeing average Janes and Joes flying into orbit.

  • byeman

    “NASA certified private commercial spacecraft”

    that is the issue, it is not NASA’s job to certify commercial spacecraft. The FAA deals with commercial spacecraft. Nor is it NASA’s job to run lotteries.

  • Bennett

    byeman wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Good points, and Marcel’s idea could be implemented by any of the New Space companies (if running a private lottery is even legal, that is).

    However, most of the large State Lotteries yield enough $$$ that the winner could simply use the money to purchase a seat to a Bigelow Habitat if they wanted to. I don’t buy lottery tickets, and doubt that making the prize different than cash would cause me to ignore the stupid odds and pull money out of my wallet.

    In my opinion, lotteries are for fools.

    That said, tax breaks for space investment makes a lot of sense to me (Hi Jeff!). ;-)

  • @Bennett

    A Space Lotto system would be a way of funding private commercial manned spaceflight without having to raise taxes or reducing tax revenues

    Its could also bring in billions of dollars from foreign countries from individuals who want a chance to fly into space. I’d also include a monetary award of about $200,000 since individuals will have to take time off from work for some minimal astronaut training.

    But its a lotto, the odds are supposed to be against you! However, as the flight rate increase, the cost will go down allowing a larger number of individuals to fly into space each year. If you won $20 million in a regular lotto, you most certainly wouldn’t spend it all for a single flight into space– no matter how much you loved space travel!

  • “foreign trade zone” is a status we achieved several years ago that allows a company to bring in foreign material and “export it to space” without paying taxes on it, so it never really enters a taxable zone in the US through the foreign trade zone concept. We’re using that a lot right now as we prepare for the Taurus II as you know, the first stages are a Ukranian developed stage and we’re going to bring it in, we’re going to export it to space without tax, which is very beneficial. Also the Cygnus spacecraft is built in Italy. So it makes it very convenient to avoid those import/export taxes by having that sort of an arrangement. – Dr Billy Reed, Wallops. http://thespaceshow.com/detail.asp?q=1408

  • Byeman

    ““foreign trade zone” Port Canaveral is one, and the Spacehab modules were built by the same Italian company.

  • Bennett

    @ Marcel

    I like the idea. Who knows, I might even bend my personal rules for it.

  • Doug Lassiter

    “Plus I think most Americans would enjoy seeing average Janes and Joes flying into orbit.”

    With all due respect, contemporary astronauts pretty much ARE average Janes and Joes, but with a lot of Shuttle- and ISS-specific training. They really don’t come across as the heroic test-pilot astronauts of days past, nor are they really articulate enough to inspire people about what they do, as did many generations of historical explorers. Rather few astronauts have been particularly inspiring speakers. They are smart and talented, as are lots of Janes and Joes. They all have funny hair in zero-g.

    I think that’s a defensible part of the NASA PR plan. At least the first part. These are moms, dads, and neighbors. Needing someone who drives a “space truck”, you really do need “truck drivers”. They do have a risky job, but many people do these days.

    Reference has been made to the “astronaut cult”. To a large degree, it doesn’t exist anymore, except maybe to kids.

    That being said, I agree that a space lotto plan is an intriguing one.

  • Coastal Ron

    Bennett wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    I like the idea. Who knows, I might even bend my personal rules for it.

    I too am normally against lotto’s, but I have been known to do raffles for good causes – both are essentially giving my money away, but with a raffle I at least know it’s going for something I want it to go to.

    Marcel’s idea is an intriguing one, and represents the types of promotions that could be in store for us if space can be opened up for anyone with the money to afford it, work at the right place, or win it.

    I have no doubt that advertisers will be trying to attach their logo’s to whatever positive promotions they can get their stickers on, so in that way space travel will end up looking like, well, every place else. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but I’d like the opportunity to test it out…

  • Mr. Mark

    Derrick commented that amightywind believes the Falcon 9 did not make it to orbit so here is independent tracking data compiled by Heavens Above satellite tracking website.

    1 36595U 10026A 10177.95752728 .32171212 75409-6 37788-3 0 726
    2 36595 034.4831 240.6410 0001391 255.6829 104.5617 16.50051425 3591

    Epoch (UTC): 22:58:50, Saturday, June 26, 2010
    Eccentricity: 0.0001391
    Inclination: 34.4831°
    Perigee height: 138 km
    Apogee height: 140 km
    Right Ascension of ascending node: 240.641°
    Argument of perigee: 255.6829°
    Revolutions per day: 16.50051425
    Mean anomaly at epoch: 104.5617°
    Orbit number at epoch: 359

    Sorry for being of topic… ;P

  • vulture4

    The discussion of tax cuts is apropos. Several recent economic analyses have found that the same spending on food stamps produced twice the economic stimulus of spending on tax cuts http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/29/news/economy/stimulus_analysis/index.htm. Ninety-eight percent of the dollars from the Bush tax cuts went to the wealthiest 20% of the population, and 70% of the dollars went to the top 1% alone. The problem is that the wealthy people who benefot use the money for speculating on real estate or derivatives, or investing in overseas manufacturing, not in rebuilding US manufacturing.

    I remember the Fifties and Sixties, our longest period of sustained economic growth. The marginal tax rate on the wealthiest was about 90%, so they had an incentive to reinvest profits. We need to start thinking of tax cuts as a form of government spending that transfers money to the group that needs it least.

  • The discussion of tax cuts is apropos. Several recent economic analyses have found that the same spending on food stamps produced twice the economic stimulus of spending on tax cuts

    There is no such thing as “spending on tax cuts.” The very notion is economic and accounting nonsense. Tax-rate cuts are not “spending,” and there is no way to know what the loss (or gain) of revenue is from them.

  • Bennett

    Sorry Rand, vukture4′s comments have merit. A tax cut amounts to spending. Everything is either a plus or a minus to the pot. Tax cuts to the top 1% of earners are a direct minus, and no one an show that they result in more money generated (plus) than revenues lost (minus).

    Reagan started us down the terlet with his trickle-down BS, and the middle class has declined ever since. Our country’s overall prosperity started it’s decline with Kennedy’s reframing of the tax rates, and as the rates have come down, the wealth of the middle class have evaporated. It’s not socialism or redistribution of wealth, it’s a formula that keeps the wheels of economy lubricated.

    The super rich are never denied any of their pleasures or luxuries, their wealth just goes up a tad slower than it does today.

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    I’m amazed. This one’s got to set a record for least number of:
    - troll posts
    - name calling
    - off-topic discussion
    - rational discussion posts in a row

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Whoops, my bad.
    - most number of rational discussion posts in a row

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Off topic – noticed SpaceX had a Dragon parachute test the other day. Seemed to be successful. More progress.

  • Coastal Ron

    Beancounter from Downunder wrote @ August 17th, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Off topic – noticed SpaceX had a Dragon parachute test the other day. Seemed to be successful. More progress.

    Yes it is off topic – this is the space for politics…. uh, oh, I just reread the name, and I guess it is really Space Politics – D’OH! And I just had a pithy tax-related comment to post… ;-)

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Please by all means. Tax is an integral part of Politics after all.

  • Brian Paine

    Still nothing much to see…so here goes:

    Let’s work to make commercial space
    The future of the human race,
    With malls in orbit in the sky
    All filled with shoppers Space X fly,
    And hotels built by Bigalow
    The place where honeymooners go,
    To join in perfect harmony
    By making love in zero G…

  • Dennis Berube

    I just love your space poems!!!!! Keep it up…. LOL….

  • Dennis Berube

    I was just wondering, with China planning to launch their military space station into orbit in 2011, what are we going to be doing? Will Bigelow inflatable hotels be orbiting within range of these military outposts? Sure send a Chinanaut over and pin prick the inflatable and see what happens! Will the commercial based space systems be able to provide our military with alternatives to the other military oppositions. Will military men and women fly in Dragon capsules?

  • Justin Kugler

    Inflatables actually have excellent MMOD protection. A Chinese attack on a manned orbital platform would be an act of war, anyways. Come on, now.

  • Coastal Ron

    Dennis Berube wrote @ August 18th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    Will military men and women fly in Dragon capsules?

    I’m sure SpaceX hopes so. For me, I don’t care if it’s in a Dragon, or a CST-100, or a Dream Chase, or all of them – we just need to get moving on this so the nation has the ability and the flexibility.

  • Al Fansome

    The signal-to-noise ratio here at spacepolics.com is much lower than it used to be. This is sad, as this is a useful resource for discussing the substance of space policy.

    The problem is not just the trolls, but those who feel compelled to engage the trolls.

    The BEST way to fix this problem is to IGNORE THE TROLLS. Don’t Feed Them!

    My next post will be on substance.

    - Al

  • byeman

    “was just wondering, with China planning to launch their military space station into orbit in 2011, what are we going to be doing?”

    The same as we are doing now, it doesn’t require a specific response. Manned spacestations do not have significant military applications. Unmanned spacecraft can do military missions better.

    The space is large, stations will not be close together.

  • Al Fansome

    The Nelson bill is a surprising, and very positive, contribution to the space policy discussion. ****Senator Nelson should be commended by those who care about commercial space.****

    My initial quick assessment is as follows:

    The positive benefits of this approach include:

    1) It leverages NASA’s limited budget using “other people’s” (e.g., investors) money.

    2) It is proven effective. Orbital Sciences raised its first large investment ($50M) in the mid-1980s. Orbital, which is a billion-dollar company, might not exist today without the existence of that investment tax credit.

    NASA, DOD, and Commercial Space industry — and the American taxpayer — are all beneficiaries today because of the Reagan/Democratic investment tax credit that existed in the mid-1980s.

    QUESTION: Does anybody want to add up all the “taxes” paid to State and Federal Government by Orbital, and Orbital’s employees, for the last 25 years?

    QUESTION: Does anybody care about how many high-wage jobs that now exist because of that tax credit?

    3) It is a bi-partisan solution. Orbital received this investment tax credit because it was part of the Reagan tax policy, and was approved by a Democratic Congress.

    4) This approach to space policy is STILL bi-partisan. Investment tax credits have a rich history of supporters from the other party, including Bob Walker, Newt Gingrich, Ken Calvert, and Dana Rohrabacher.

    5) Rep. Calvert (R, CA) and Rep. Ortiz (R, TX) introduced an investment tax credit bill (“Invest in Space Now”, HR 2177) for space transportation in 2001.

    See:
    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=5189

    6) Rep. Rohrabacher introduced the “Zero Gravity, Zero Tax Act of 2005″ (HR 1024) in March 2005. It includes an investment tax credit.

    See:
    http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc109/h1024_ih.xml

    It was co-sponsored by Ken Calvert (R, CA), Jane Harman (D, CA), Frank Lucas (R, OK) and Dave Weldon (R, FL)
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d109:31:./temp/~bd4WnD:@@@P

    The bill had 23 co-sponsors
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.02177:

    Rep Baca, Joe [CA-42]
    Rep Bartlett, Roscoe G. [MD-6]
    Rep Capps, Lois [CA-22]
    Rep Carson, Brad [OK-2]
    Rep Foley, Mark [FL-16]
    Rep Hinojosa, Ruben [TX-15]
    Rep Istook, Ernest J., Jr. [OK-5]
    Rep Largent, Steve [OK-1]
    Rep Lewis, Jerry [CA-40]
    Rep Lucas, Frank D. [OK-6]
    Rep McKeon, Howard P. “Buck” [CA-25]
    Rep Ortiz, Solomon P. [TX-27]
    Rep Paul, Ron [TX-14]
    Rep Rehberg, Dennis R. [MT]
    Rep Reyes, Silvestre [TX-16]
    Rep Rohrabacher, Dana [CA-45]
    Rep Sandlin, Max [TX-1]
    Rep Sensenbrenner, F. James, Jr. [WI-9]
    Rep Skeen, Joe [NM-2]
    Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21]
    Rep Watkins, Wes [OK-3]
    Rep Watts, J. C., Jr. [OK-4]
    Rep Weldon, Dave [FL-15]

    7) Most of the cost of failure (80%) is still on private investors. The credit is only an incentive to invest in a narrow area that strategically benefits the nation … most of the downside is still on investors and they will need to conduct serious due diligence.

    8) It gets the government out of the role of “picking winners”. In this case the financial free market, in the form of investors writing checks, “picks the winners”.

    Rather than depending on a central planning system where a few government bureaucrats, make the critical investment decisions for this nation about what space projects we invest in, and who gets those investments –> it incentivizes private investors to put their skin in the game.

    9) Nelson is on Senate Finance, so he is in a position to get this added to another piece of tax legislation, IF he is serious.

    10) It is very narrowly constructed. This is likely to limit how “costly” this legislation will be scored at.

    Now for some of the DOWNSIDES:

    A) The bill has not been introduced. It has not been scored.

    B) It is not clear, yet, that Nelson is really serious. Nelson may just be reacting to pressure from local (Florida) interests who have been criticizing him for hurting Florida’s economic interests in growing a space industry, and he (Nelson) may be believe that drafting a bill is enough to relieve some of the pressure and criticism.

    C) It is very narrowly constructed. This limits how many other Members of Congress will support it. A broader piece of legislation could gather critical support.

    What about approving tax credits for all commercial space firms located in & around federally licensed spaceports?

    What about approving tax credits for U.S. firms that are investing in, and flying, suborbital RLVs?

    Just some space policy thoughts for consideration.

    FWIW,

    - Al

  • Al Fansome

    CORRECTION:

    I mistakenly inserted the co-sponsors for the Calvert-Ortiz “Invest in Space Now” bill into the section under Rohrabacher’s “Zero-G, Zero-Tax” bill.

    Rohrabacher’s 2005 bill had 4 co-sponsors.

    Calvert’s 2001 bill had 23 co-sponsors.

    – Al

  • MrEarl

    Al;
    Good points. I especially like the fact that tax credits gets government out of the role of picking winners. The key question here; is he serious or just pandering to constituents voting in November with no intention of follow through?
    As for Trolls………..
    On this board a troll is anyone who does not hold to the gospel of “SpaceX good – NASA bad” and “HLV bad, SD-HLV the end of civilization as we know it!”. Any difference of opinion or interpretation of facts that dose not support the above mentioned notions is shouted down as heresy with the writer labeled an idiot and a troll. So writers with differing points of view may engage in behavior that plucks the nerves of the humorless folks on this board. I’ll admit that I have on occasion.
    A little more tolerance and open mindedness may be the best way to deal with the “trolls”.

  • byeman

    wrong,
    a troll is anyone who

    1. spouts space policy based solely on political rhetoric.
    2. posts inaccurate, false information, or marketing spin
    3. only equates commercial space to Spacex while ignoring ULA, OSC, Boeing, etc
    4. makes commercial space and NASA an “either or” proposition.
    5. Inanely repeats unsubstantiated claims over and over.
    6. Has no experience or generally clueless about spaceflight engineering

  • Dennis Berube lied:

    I was just wondering, with China planning to launch their military space station into orbit in 2011, what are we going to be doing?

    There is no such thing. You’re making it up. Prove otherwise or be branded a liar once and for all.

  • MrEarl

    byeman:
    Points 1 through 5 is purely subjective as applied by those on this board.
    Point 6, since when is spaceflight engineering experience a prerequisite for commenting on a board by the name of Space Politics?

  • James Behling

    wrong
    a troll is anyone who goes by the name of James O. Behling and works for United Launch Alliance (ULA) and constantly trolls the space forums, being himself a troll, and then labels anyone a troll with which he disagrees.

    Jim also has a blog where he doesn’t allow anyone to comment.

    Classy Jim, real classy.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Dennis Berube wrote @ August 18th, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I was just wondering, with China planning to launch their military space station into orbit in 2011..

    I was just wondering why you think that the Chinese are going to do that?

    What do you think that their “military space station” is going to do?

    Robert G. Oler

  • Derrick

    byeman wrote @ August 18th, 2010 at 12:23 pm

    2. posts inaccurate, false information, or marketing spin

    Or claims the Falcon 9 second stage spun into the Atlantic…

  • Martijn Meijering

    6. Has no experience or generally clueless about spaceflight engineering

    I would suggest that that by itself merely qualifies one for the honorific “knucklehead space bloviator”, perhaps even one with good intentions. ;-)

  • Robert G. Oler

    MrEarl wrote @ August 18th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I am not seeing the words “military space station”.

    But even though the “space station” such as it is has far less capability then what Ivan was doing in the 70′s you can be alarmed if you want to…

    Robert G. Oler

  • Dennis Berube

    Mr. Oler, the first module of their Military space station is already in completion stages. They are set to launch in 2011. What will they do with it? Good question! It is kind of like the Salyuts of the early Soviet Uniions space program. All military applications. I guess now they have found that by being in partnership with us, they can just come aboard and learn all our secrets.. I am all for sharing knowledge across the board with regards to space. Mankind must push outwards and onwards, with no delays, which sadly is all we are seemingly doing these days.

  • Coastal Ron

    Dennis Berube wrote @ August 18th, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I responded to you originally on a different topic, where you probably had mistakenly posted the above SpaceFlight link. I’ll repost here where the conversation is actually taking place – I said to the following:

    Their “space station” is really the equivalent to two Soyuz joined together, and their Tiangong 1 space station module weighs 8.5 tons – compare that to the ISS, which weighs 408 tons.

    It certainly is a start for them, but they have a long way to go before they can start assembling ISS-sized modules in space.

    You know Dennis, the internet has a lot of information, and you could have found this out before you posted. Do you enjoy other people doing your research for you?

  • Ben Russell-Gough

    I’ve seen reports that the Tiangong project is military-led too and I have to say it puzzles me. I thought that the Russians more-or-less proved that crewed orbital military spacecraft weren’t really viable with their (allegedly armed) Almaz spacecraft. Is this a case of China re-inventing the wheel and hoping for a different outcome or is this merely a case of everyone assuming anything China does must automatically have a malign motive?

  • Dennis Berube

    well Guys thats it for me. Im going back to my sailing page, which I never left. Being called a liar, and someone who doesnt look subjects up on the Internet, well Im not asking anyone to look anything up for me. Ill just go my way. Have fun……………
    signing off….

  • Coastal Ron

    Ben Russell-Gough wrote @ August 18th, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve seen reports that the Tiangong project is military-led too and I have to say it puzzles me.

    My understanding is that quite a bit of industry in China is controlled by the military, and that includes their space program. Technically this makes any space flight they make “military”, but that’s not too different from how our space program has been run, where a majority of pilots and commanders have come from the military, even though they are paid by NASA.

    I think the Chinese program is too nascent to know what their ultimate plans are, but they are definitely pushing ahead incrementally. A little boring too, because they are using Russian designs that have been around a long time, and not really making anything new and exciting on their own.

  • Al Fansome

    I will reiterate what I said earlier — the signal-to-noise ratio of this once wonderful discussion board — is going down rapidly. As an example, getting into an argument about the definition of a troll is noise.

    Spacepolitics.com used to be a place where serious intelligent and often professional people could OPENLY have a discussion based on facts and logic.

    I have no problem with others who disagree with my point of view. Just bring provable facts, and logic, to the argument. Reasonable, rational, and intelligent people can disagree.

    More and more this site is dominated by name-calling, inuendo, unsubstantiated rumor-mongering, etc.

    If anybody here thinks that this works, they are misleading themselves.

    FWIW,

    - Al

  • Rhyolite

    I think it is in the nations interest to foster commercial space but I am opposed to additional tax credits on prinicple.

    The tax code is already riddled with exemptions, credits and other loopholes that play that play favorites with selected industries and activities. A simplified tax code with fewer loopholes would generate as much revenue with lower marginal rates, which would serve everyone’s interest. This would be another step in the wrong direction.

    The best way to foster commercial space would be for the government to contract for the services it requires on a firm fixed price basis with open competitions.

  • Ben Russell-Gough wrote:

    I’ve seen reports that the Tiangong project is military-led too and I have to say it puzzles me.

    Even though NASA has always been nominally civilian, all the astronauts through Mercury and Gemini were military, the rockets were military, and the people responsible for designing the spacecraft once worked for the Nazis.

    Yet this doesn’t seem to trouble any of the people who worry about the Chinese “military” having anything to do with their space program.

    This ranks right up there with a tiny beeping spheroid circling the Earth posing absolutely no threat to the U.S. — but that didn’t stop certain people from blowing Sputnik all out of proportion for political propaganda purposes.

    It’s just laughable that someone would think linking together a capsule and a tiny module somehow equates to a “military space station.”

    Besides, the information about this “military space station” originates with the Xinhua news agency, a propaganda organ for the Chinese government. Funny that someone who’s so paranoid about the Chinese would believe anything that comes out of Xinhua.

    Let us know when that “military space station” starts bleeping so we can all run around like the end is near.

  • vulture4

    Chinese goals for human spaceflight are to 1) generate national pride and show that China is in the first rank of industrial countries, and 2) advertise Chinese commercial space and industrial capability. These objectives are satisfied with a very low flight rate just sufficient to remind the world they are there, only 1 or 2 flights a year. They have no interest in human spaceflight for military purposes, since military goals rely on unmanned systems. They have no interest in a race to the moon. If they lost they would look incompetent, if they won they would irritate their biggest customer. They would like to be invited to join the ISS program; this would show they are “in the club”. As for stealing technology, there’s nothing classified on the ISS. The most advanced electronics on the ISS are the laptop computers. Wonder where they’re made.

  • vulture4

    As to Nelson, he previously cared only about preserving Constellation, which would only create jobs in other states. He did nothing to prevent the loss of Shuttle. A public outcry seems to have convinced him to at least give lip service to “commercial”, really just a blanket term for every concept except Constellation.

  • vulture4 wrote:

    He did nothing to prevent the loss of Shuttle.

    Bush cancelled Shuttle in January 2004 after the Columbia Accident Investigation Board concluded the Shuttle design was fundamentally unsafe (i.e. the crew vehicle mounted on the side where it was exposed to flame and falling debris). CAIB recommended a system with the crew vehicle on top. Bush followed that recommendation and Congress agreed.

    Blaming Nelson is disingenuous at best.

  • Martijn Meijering

    Blaming Nelson is disingenuous at best.

    Fixed that for you. ;-)

  • common sense

    @ Al Fansome wrote @ August 18th, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Yes it is pretty sad what is happening here. I see the likes of you going away. People who always brought thoughts and substance to this forum.

    On the other hand “trolls” may represent the common thoughts of the public at large. I know: Pretty scary sometimes…

    I am not sure how you deal with this. Especially if you want public access and feedback.

    Oh well…

  • Martijn Meijering

    Blaming Nelson is disingenuous at best.

    Hmm, markup fail. Fixed that for me.

  • Aggelos

    I hope China to join Iss..
    It wil be good for all space agencies..

  • Beancounter from Downunder

    Aggelos wrote @ August 19th, 2010 at 1:53 pm
    ‘I hope China to join Iss..
    It wil be good for all space agencies..’

    Faint hope and for heaven’s sake why would they?

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