Congress, NASA

Senate rejects budget rescission

On Thursday, it appeared that NASA and other non-defense discretionary spending would be trimmed to pay for a $8.1-billion disaster relief bill. The House had proposed a 1.83-percent cut to such spending, which NASA confirmed to Space News on Friday would result in a $325-million cut it the agency’s FY2012 budget. Other non-defense agencies, including the FAA and NOAA, would also have their budgets cut by the same percentage.

However, the prospect of that cut has been averted after the Senate rejected the cut Saturday morning. The cut was contained in a separate piece of legislation from the actual disaster relief bill, allowing senators to vote for the disaster spending but vote against the rescission. Both bills passed the House on Friday.

37 comments to Senate rejects budget rescission

  • Bennett

    Well, that’s good, I suppose. As mentioned by others, I was afraid that the cut would be directed exclusively at CCP by the cabal of SLS porkers.

  • GuessWho

    Good? You have got to be kidding. The 2012 budget has an overall deficit of $1T. That $8B is round-off error. Debt servicing in 2012 alone accounts for $242B or 30x the cut the House added to pay for the relief (no additional spending but no additional cuts either so still not a good deal for the US taxpayer). This country is spending itself into oblivion and you think it is “good”. Typical statist.

  • Robert G. Oler

    GuessWho wrote @ December 18th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    “This country is spending itself into oblivion and you think it is “good”. Typical statist.”

    I agree with the notion but it needs more to make it accurate.

    The US is not spending to much; it is spending to much on things which have zero value for the cost; at least to this generation and most likely to the generations that will be stuck paying the actual tab.

    It cannot be argued by reasonable people that the money the US has invested in say its aviation infrastructure has not been paid back many times over. There is a continuing investment in say the ATC system; but imagine our economy our leisure; our defense if we still had the ATC infrastructure before the Grand Canyon crash? If the accident rate in commercial aviation were extended on a straight revenue seat mile line…we would lose a 757 a week. A lot of things have made that change; but one of them is federal infrastructure.

    The US spent over 200 billion on the space shuttle; and over 100 billion on a space station that was suppose to cost 8 billion…it is hard to image that we will ever see any value for that money. The US spent 15 billion on Cx…and literally got nothing.

    Today those same people who supported those goofy efforts are all for spending 3 billion a year on an SLS where there is no defined mission; the cost of each launch are unknown but higher then the shuttle…and the folks who are desperate to build it are making up one mission after another that will never fly ….and congress folks are voting on it.

    This is money that The Republic is simply throwing away…and its good old solid Republican pork.

    The problem that the country has is that in the last 10 years GOP Presidents and Congress have literally spent trillions on things which we will never recover value from. From the 15 billion spent on Cx to the trillions spent in overseas adventures…we are like a family that borrowed money on their credit cards to go on vacation while the kids could not go to college.

    When you can get money for literally no interest…then its a good time to borrow money. But you ought to spend it on something that has the ability to generate the revenue to pay the cost back.

    I dont know if commercial crew/cargo will develop a self sustaining space infrastructure…but along with a host of other questions people like Whittington and other supporters of SLS never answer…is how it does RGO

  • GuessWho

    Hogwash Oler. Over the last 10 years, the Senate was controlled by the Dems from 2001-2003 and then again from 2007 to the present, a total of six years. During that period, the GOP controlled it from 2003-2007. In the House, the Dems controlled it from 2007 to 2011 until losing it last November with the GOP taking over at the start of 2011. The GOP controlled the house (with small margins) from 1995 – 2007. The Dems controlled both houses the final two years of Bush’s administration and the first two years of Obama’s and thus are the owners of the most current spike in Government spending. But NASA’s issues are rooted in failures that reach back much farther than the last ten years and you know it. NASA (specifically HSF) hasn’t been meaningful since the early 70′s. From 1970 through 2001, Dems controlled the Senate from 1970 – 1981 and again from 1987-1995 with 60%-40% and 55%-45% average advantages respectively and the House from 1971 -1995 with an average 60%-40% advantage (roughly speaking). Thus when it comes to who has been in control of the purse strings of the US in total and NASA specifically, it has been overwhelmingly dictated by Dems who have pursued a highly statist agenda. They own Shuttle, they own ISS. They fully bought into and supported Constellation (along with their GOP counterparts). Porkers? Our run-away entitlement issue is the ultimate pork-fest ever imagined and is the Dems lasting legacy for which the current crop of politicians, from both sides of the aisle, are wholly unwilling to address in anything resembling a serious matter. We now spend in excess of $2.5T on entitlements that give zero return on the dollar. Against that backdrop, NASA, as is usually the case, is irrelevant.

  • Das Boese

    GuessWho wrote @ December 18th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    We now spend in excess of $2.5T on entitlements that give zero return on the dollar.

    Are you talking about things like unemployment benefits and health care?
    Because if you are, you’re talking nonsense.

  • amightywind

    Thanks for the excellent reply GuessWho. No need to refute Oler’s laughable reasoning. Can’t figure out what his politics are. Nothing, I guess. Let’s hope the reprieve is temporary. The new year starts in a few weeks and there will be ample time to force Obama to swallow poisoned pill legislation.

    Because if you are, you’re talking nonsense.

    GuessWho is right. These are transfer payments on which there is no return. Just the indolent segment of society seizing the wealth of the productive segment, which of course, might otherwise be productively invested in growth. Misery loves company. Euro-socialism is destroying your economy paying for those same things. We are about 1 year behind. Entitlements are going to have to be slashed. Yours and ours. It is just a matter of when and how much disruption it will cause.

  • GuessWho

    DB – “Are you talking about things like unemployment benefits and health care? Because if you are, you’re talking nonsense.”

    Spoken like a true statist, one of many voices of the moocher class. You’re welcome for all my hard work. Unemployment benefits for 99 weeks. That’s nearly 25 work-months! Where’s the incentive to get off that gravy train? And the return on that investment is zero, absolutely zero. Statist health care has been and continues to be rejected by the US voter. Latest polls show 55% would vote to repeal while only 35% would oppose to repeal. I take it you are one of the 35%, consistent again with the moocher class. Go read “Atlas Shrugged”, I am sure you will recognize yourself.

  • Robert G. Oler

    GuessWho wrote @ December 18th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    LOL the entire post I am sure plays well with the Whittingtons, Wind and the rest of teh Rush ditto heads but it does not survive any analysis by you know facts.

    The reality is that the Budgets submitted by Mr. Bush and those passed by the various Congress never varied by more then 1 percent…meaning Bush got the spending he wanted, including a lot of “off books” spending for the war that was suppose to “pay for itself”.

    SEcond “We now spend in excess of $2.5T on entitlements that give zero return on the dollar. Against that backdrop, NASA, as is usually the case, is irrelevant.”

    more goofiness. I am sure that you are fine with old people not getting health care and people in red states dying because the companies that they work for have NO health insurance; and you can believe what you want as to what makes a great nation; but a test for your theory is to go try and take away the “entitlement” of social security and medicare and see which group squeals the loudest; that would be the only group that the GOP holds a solid majority in…aka the over 60 group. As for other entitlements like oh say unemployment…go talk to all the folks at the NASA contractors whose government entitlement job (technowelfare) ended and are now taking actual unemployment.

    Actually that brings us to the last goofy point

    NASA spending.

    NASA spending is the most wasteful spending that one can imagine. We spent over 200 billion flying the shuttle including developing and flying it. Now assume that US Navy aircraft carriers stayed at today’s 9 billion dollars per boat. you do the math. We could have replaced the fleet of CVN’s several times over…and while the era of the boat might be ending…right now there is no doubt that the boats are important.

    NASA spending on the other hand, particularly on teh shuttle has ended and nothing in our economy has changed; except the technwelfare jobs held by mostly right wing folks like you who are eager to beat up on the unemployed (including Vets from Iraq) …and are now screaming at the loss of their government job.

    If you cannot post more then Rushroom babble then stay anonymous. I am sure that you have some self esteem RGO

  • GuessWho

    Oler – “The reality is that the Budgets submitted by Mr. Bush and those passed by the various Congress never varied by more then 1 percent…”

    Negotiated by, plussed-up by, voted and passed by predominantly Dem led Congresses. Thanks for proving my point.

    “I am sure that you are fine with old people not getting health care and people in red states dying because the companies that they work for have NO health insurance…”

    I made no such statement. What I did say is that entitlement spending (or investment in liberal speak) provides no return on investment. Look, if you can’t comprehend the arguments made, don’t respond.

    “a test for your theory… see which group squeals the loudest; that would be the only group that the GOP holds a solid majority in…aka the over 60 group.”

    I can’t argue the validity of this statement or not. A quick google search shows several demographic analyses, none that indicate age breakout that I could find but I didn’t spend hours looking. Please provide references to support your claim. I doubt you can but ….

    “We spent over 200 billion flying the shuttle including developing and flying it. Now assume that US Navy aircraft carriers stayed at today’s 9 billion dollars per boat. you do the math.”

    Nice attempt at a redirection, … won’t work. Try comparing the development and operating costs of the four Shuttles vs the development and operating costs of the first four nuclear carriers (in say 2010 dollars). Citing build costs for a design upgrade of an existing platform vs the NRE and Rec costs associated with a first of a kind platform is a false analogy (which I suspect you know). By the way, I do agree that the Shuttle (along with the ISS) was a colossal waste of money, as far as NASA budgets/priorities go. But it is still a drop in the overall deficit bucket.

    “… except the technwelfare jobs held by mostly right wing folks like you who are eager to beat up on the unemployed (including Vets from Iraq) …and are now screaming at the loss of their government job.”

    First, argue the post, not the author. Second, I am not beating up on the unemployed, NASA workers or otherwise. What I am arguing is that rather than sink the economy with debt through massive entitlement spending, those resource be left in the private sector to create and grow jobs so that the current unemployed have somewhere to turn other than for a handout from Uncle Sam. Entitlement spending offers no return on investment, rather it takes investment resources out of the private sector. It provide no multiplication factor what-so-ever. A fact you have yet to argue, yet alone dis-prove. And no, I don’t work for NASA, I don’t work for the USG (although I do have some USG clients), and I don’t work for a Govt. contractor (although I do have a number that are clients).

  • Justin Kugler

    Overspending is the problem with the government, whether it is healthcare, defense, entitlement, or spaceflight.

    I have read “Atlas Shrugged” and even met my wife through the Objectivist movement. Using a fictional account of Rand’s ideal to try to win an Internet argument is a deeply flawed approach. We left the movement precisely because of its blind opposition to data and reasoning that contradicted Rand’s conclusions.

    NASA can and should be spending its budget more effectively. That goes for most government agencies, though. Instead of sniping at each other, though, why don’t we try actually discussing how to get to a better state?

    For example, NASAspaceflight.com just reported on a behind-the-scenes effort to bring Atlantis and Endeavour back to flight through a commercial mechanism at minimal cost to NASA. Those negotiations ended because so much of the infrastructure has already been dismantled or appropriated for SLS. That same group is now reportedly looking at what it would take to commercially build and operate a next-gen Shuttle.

    If they can find a path forward, such a capability would change the trade space for NASA’s options dramatically and surpass even what is being considered for CCDev.

  • Robert G. Oler

    GuessWho wrote @ December 18th, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    “Spoken like a true statist, ”

    from someone who I guess supports the “state” space effort SLS that is a hoot.

    There is nothing more “statis” then SLS. it is designed to keep the technowelfare people employed, it has no mission, no performance goals period much less in terms of dollars and dates. it is now looking for missions to justify itself…and yet people like you and Whittington and Wind support it.

    Dont lecture on “statist” policies while you are promoting them.

    F minus RGO

  • Vladislaw

    I forget, how many spending bills did President Bush veto in his first term? Second term? How many years did the wars get funding off budget? I forget how many times has America fought in wars without raising taxes? I forget how did the prescription bill get paid for? I forget how much spending was cut as promised as part of cutting taxes and cutting revenue going into two wars?

  • MrEarl

    As I’ve said on this site and many others, NASA is not bankrupting this nation. Nor are the FBI, FDA, the Centers for Disease Control or any of the other government agencies listed as discretionary spending. Cutting all discretionary non-military spending by 50% wouldn’t come close to balancing the budget.
    Two things are bankrupting this nation, the Democrats insistence that all problems can be solved by massive government financial assistance and the Republican’s insistence that all the nation’s problems can be solved by tax cuts unsupported by spending cuts.
    We can’t even begin to address spending issues until the above mentioned knee-jerk reactions are replaced with thoughtful consideration of the nation’s priorities.
    Fat chance of that!

  • amightywind

    I forget, how many spending bills did President Bush veto in his first term? Second term?

    Facts are inconvenient. Since 2008 government spending as a percentage of GDP has risen from 19 to 25%. The “It’s Bush’s fault” argument just doesn’t wash. I am embarrassed for you people when you use it.

  • ROBERT OLER

      GuessWho wrote @ December 19th, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Negotiated by, plussed-up by, voted and passed by predominantly Dem led Congresses. Thanks for proving my point.

    Lol. I attack the messenger when the messenger insist on using goofy logic or rhetorical nonsense which in this case you do. Along with bad facts

    If Mr. Bush had wanted to maintain the balanced budgets that he inherited he would not have submitted budgets which were at the time of submission known to be out of balance. He would not have mad goofy statements or had his twits make them such as “the war will pay for itself”. What happens after a out of balance budget is submitted is almost irrelevant.

    The Bush tax cuts nor the war paid for itself…I agree that the Dems were spineless opposing him.. But Bush lead where the nation went and is responsible for it.. We won’t even talk about the notion of vetoing

    “Try comparing the development and operating costs of the four Shuttles vs the development and operating costs of the first four nuclear carriers (in say 2010 dollars)”

    LOL. Again. The reality is that for what we spent on the shuttles total in their lifetime we could have replaced the entire CVN compliment several times.

    What we are talking here is value to cost.

    There is no value for cost that justified keeping the shuttles flying and so far at least there is value to cost on the CVN. But comparisons are fun.. Cx consumed about as much as it took toR&D the Ford CVN AND BUILD THE FIRST ONE.

    Cx returned nothing for the cost and it’s “legacy” program SLS needs about 20 to30 billion more to make it off of view graphs…and there is no mission for it. It is a statist program by definition.

    The argument on entitlements you make would have at least consistency if you were arguing to do the same thing with SLS money..ie spend it creating private infrastructure which in your words. “those resource be left in the private sector to create and grow jobs so that the….”

    I think.that federal entitlements of a social nature have value…I was in Mississippi the other day and why it looks today like it does instead of how it looked in my youth is in large measure federal entitlement spending. We can disagree on that but not on the facts of multipliers.
    Unemployment payments have a far larger multiplier then NASA spending. Which has very little.. That is not my viewpoint alone it is that of the Clear Lake economic development group
    If tax cuts etc would spur the economy Bush should have left us in fine shape…

    He got nothing correct RGO

  • ROBERT OLER

      Justin Kugler wrote @ December 19th, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Sniping at each other is so much fun.

    The proposals as outlined on Nasaspaceflight and the link you had on youre Facebook page had not a chance of working. So far all we have are people waiving their hands aging “wow this could have worked” but not sharing a word of how.. Did you look at their flight rate? Not a single customer is listed. RGO

  • ROBERT OLER

      MrEarl wrote @ December 19th, 2011 at 11:43 am

    You forget the need to spend 700 billion or so on defense. RGO

  • Jeff Foust

    A reminder to keep the discussion here focused on space policy, not general political issues. Thank you, as always, for your cooperation.

  • Zombie Watcher

    If they can find a path forward, such a capability would change the trade space for NASA’s options dramatically and surpass even what is being considered for CCDev.

    Then they would have to put hydrogen engines on an airdropped core for single ‘drop to orbit’ capabilities with the Stratolaunch platform, which won’t leave them much for a bunch of overweight shuttle bells and whistles, let alone payload capability. I normally charge for these tips.

    They need to get off their high horse and realize that shuttle capabilities come at a huge cost in weight and complexity in both its operations and maintenance, and that has to come out of payload and their bottom line.

    NASA could have a minimal transport flying by 2017 using this simple mode, if they had any brains … Brains … BRAINS … you get the idea.

  • gregori

    I guess a sense of irony is lost on some people posting on space forums.

    There is really no return on investment on NASA. If NASA had to justify itself in terms of profit, it would be shut down tomorrow. Without the government funding these ventures, they would evaporate over night.
    The odd chance of useful “spin offs” is not a credible reason to justify spending billions, as often as this is parroted. It would be far more cost efficient to invest directly in the solving problems through basic science and R&D.

    Using “Atlas Shrugged” as a reference point for a serious argument is utterly comical. Its a fictional book from 1957. While we’re at it, why might as well throw in Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk.

    Complaining that social security does provide a return on investment is bizarre to say the least. Its not supposed to. The point of “entitlements” spending is to stop people from starving to death, being homeless or ill. It this old fashioned thing called… empathy!!…. the idea of actually caring about other human beings and not just seeing them as an economic unit to be exploited or exterminated.

    Space exploration is not going to be profitable for a long while. Space fans are a minority compared to those who depend on social spending. Whether its Republicans or Democrats in office next, NASA will be at the bottom of priorities list. Social spending simply benefits more people than techno-welfare in space. People can cry about it all they want, its not going to change the fundamental reality.

    If the sole justification for doing anything is merely to make a profit, it doesn’t speak well of our society or spirituality. We might be materially rich and practical but will be lacking anything in meaning and a ‘why?’.
    Being productive and growth are important, but not on their own.

    Otherwise we’re culturally no better than a virus.

  • Justin Kugler

    If they really are pursuing a second-gen Shuttle, they’re not going to disclose their business case just yet and leave themselves vulnerable to competitors, Robert. Their investors likely also required confidentiality. Mary Lynne is a mentor and friend of mine. She would not get behind this lightly.

  • Justin Kugler wrote:

    For example, NASAspaceflight.com just reported on a behind-the-scenes effort to bring Atlantis and Endeavour back to flight through a commercial mechanism at minimal cost to NASA. Those negotiations ended because so much of the infrastructure has already been dismantled or appropriated for SLS. That same group is now reportedly looking at what it would take to commercially build and operate a next-gen Shuttle.

    Justin, the fundamental problem with various efforts to somehow extend Shuttle — or even resurrect it from the grave — is that these efforts overlook WHY Shuttle was cancelled in the first place.

    To quote from the CAIB report, Shuttle is “a complex and risky system.” It was cancelled because it killed fourteen people. It had no escape system, and by placing the crew vehicle on the side it exposed the vehicle to falling debris. It required a small standing army to fly it; take the total cost of Shuttle and divide it by 135 flights, and you get about $1.2 billion per flight.

    Not to mention all the design compromises 35 years ago to accommodate both civilian and military cargoes …

    There is no need for a Shuttle-type vehicle.

    Crew rotations? Much cheaper and safer to put a crew capsule back on top of a rocket.

    Cargo deliveries? Automated supply vehicles such as Progress have been around for decades. If all goes well, SpaceX will join the party in February with Orbital Sciences in the spring. Again, a lot cheaper than Shuttle because no crew fly along, requiring the supply vehicle to be human-rated.

    Orbiting satellite repairs? We gave that up early in the program. It was too dangerous.

    Hubble maintenance? There’s more than one way to do that. With a little ingenuity, we could send a crew capsule on one rocket, and a supply ship on another to rendezvous with the telescope.

    Shuttle was an evolutionary mistake. It was a remarkable vehicle, arguably the most successful space vehicle in human history, but using it for crew rotation is the equivalent of buying a Hummer just to drive down to the neighborhood 7-11.

    It’s time to move on, and efforts to perpetuate Shuttle just suck all the air out of the room.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Justin Kugler wrote @ December 19th, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    If they really are pursuing a second-gen Shuttle, they’re not going to disclose their business case just yet and leave themselves vulnerable to competitors, Robert.”

    Well…

    they have made extraordinary claims about the proposal for the orginal STS which to be taken seriously need some facts from them…for instance the claim that the proposal would “That same business case had to be sufficiently robust to enable full-cost reimbursement to the government for any and all infrastructure and other resource use; and”

    how much did they think that the US was going to sale the orbiters to them for?

    Besides Randy Stone is a part of it (isnt he?) and he has fracked up everything he has been a part of

    Robert G. Oler

  • vulture4

    I am a Democrat but I think both parties share the blame. Senator Nelson’s actions are particularly inexplicable. Bolden and Garver wanted to increase funding for Commercial Crew and Technology Development (hey, that’s the sliver of NASA that actually tries to do something useful here on Earth). Nelson, along with Hutchinson and other Republicans, has insisted they slash these at least somewhat useful programs to pour even more tax dollars into $L$ and 0ri0n

  • Justin Kugler

    Stephen,
    Knowing Mary Lynne as well as I do, I don’t think she would have overlooked any of that. In fact, I’m sure she recited those issues from memory the first time they approached her. We’re just going to have to wait to see what they do next. It’s the business case for a reusable vehicle that they’ve developed that I’m interested in, much more so than actually resurrecting the STS itself.

    Also, as a point-of-order, all visiting vehicles to the Station have to be rated for the crew to enter them while docked or berthed. Part of SpaceX’s business model is using that flight experience on the cargo-version Dragon to help get them to the crew-version Dragon. That’s why the cargo-version design was already scarred for eventual crew system upgrades. The cost savings on CRS come from the business model and the entrepreneurship.

  • GuessWho

    Oler – “from someone who I guess supports the “state” space effort SLS that is a hoot.”

    You guess wrong. SLS is pork spending, as is most of NASA HSF spending. I have never advocated for it nor support it. You failed to even make the grading curve.

    “Cx consumed about as much as it took to R&D the Ford CVN AND BUILD THE FIRST ONE. Cx returned nothing for the cost and it’s “legacy” program SLS needs about 20 to30 billion more to make it off of view graphs…and there is no mission for it. It is a statist program by definition.”

    CX was a waste of money. No argument. And it’s dead. So why do you keep resurrecting it? Can’t you articulate something more meaningful (and current) than Cx bashing? Besides we were discussing life cycle costs of the Shuttle versus nuclear carriers. You still insist on comparing the total lifecycle costs of the shuttle program ($200B according to your numbers which I will accept for the moment) vs the development and acquisition costs of a nuclear carrier. This is a false comparison. If your $200B number is correct, then for an average operational fleet consisting of four shuttles, the lifecycle cost per shuttle was $50B. This covers, presumably, all of the shuttle support services but you don’t provide any facts with which to work with. Numerous lifecycle cost estimates for CVN carriers peg their lifecycle costs in the range of $22-$26B, a number which only covers the carrier itself and does not include the costs for the attached air wings nor any of the carrier task force that accompanies it. Given those additions, I suspect (but haven’t tracked down any numbers to prove it) that the total costs are on a par with the carrier costs. That said, I will agree that the US carrier fleet offers infinitely more value than the shuttle program could ever have hoped to achieve.

  • Guess Who

    CX was a waste of money. No argument. And it’s dead. So why do you keep resurrecting it?

    Because NASA and congress have in fact, resurrected it? SLS and MPCV?

    IGuess who missed that Cx is not dead.

  • Robert G. Oler

    GuessWho wrote @ December 20th, 2011 at 8:55 am
    “Besides we were discussing life cycle costs of the Shuttle versus nuclear carriers”

    NO we are not discussing that..we are discussing the spending of money for things which have little or no value…and money is money.

    In these Bush/Obama depressionary times one does not say “well I can waste XXX dollars on this or that while not making the XXX car payment” my original post stated at the top

    “The US is not spending to much; it is spending to much on things which have zero value for the cost; at least to this generation and most likely to the generations that will be stuck paying the actual tab.”

    there is a case (although I think a declining one) to be made that in the last 40 years the “boats” contributed to the peace and to our victories in the “wars” (to kind a term for them) that we fought.

    The shuttle spent 200 billion plus and we end it with ease; because there is no real thing we are losing in proportion to the dollars spent.

    Since you dont have the courage to tell us who you are I dont know your politics or your beliefs other then what is posted in this thread (and then who knows if you are the same person)…but the contention you had was that the US spends to much…no it spends to much on things which do not have value for the cost and hence return no reward.

    Human spaceflight the last 40 years is the poster child for that RGO

  • Coastal Ron

    Guess Who wrote @ December 20th, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Guess who missed that Cx is not dead.

    The Constellation program (Cx) was a program with a plan – return humans to the Moon. Even though it was just a slightly expanded Apollo program (Griffin’s “Apollo on steroids” comment), nevertheless it went somewhere and did something.

    The SLS and MPCV are just echos of that program, but not part of any planned effort to go anywhere or do anything – just a bunch of hardware looking for a need.

    So yes, Cx is dead, but not everyone wants to let it (i.e. the money) go.

  • Guess What

    Even though it was just a slightly expanded Apollo program (Griffin’s “Apollo on steroids” comment), nevertheless it went somewhere and did something.

    I don’t seem to recall that part of Constellation’s accomplishments. Can you point out to me where it actually went and what it actually did, besides surviving a new administration? And FWIW I’m not opposed to programs that don’t go anywhere and do anything, as long as they have intrinsic value to their stakeholder’s, and deliver that value expeditiously, which in this case happens to be value for the citizens of the United States of America if I recall. Constellation did not do that.

  • Coastal Ron

    Guess What wrote @ December 20th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I don’t seem to recall that part of Constellation’s accomplishments.

    Don’t be daft, or too literal. I was speaking of it’s plans.

    And FWIW I’m not opposed to programs that don’t go anywhere and do anything…

    Nor I depending on what the goal is. Knowledge. Capability and infrastructure for future use. All good things to spend money on if they provide the right future value.

    Constellation did not do that.

    I have been quite vocal about how I thought that Constellation was an uninspiring program, and an inefficient use of public money. I supported it’s cancellation, as well as the cancellation of the SLS. I also think the MPCV is of marginal use, and that it will be superseded by better systems once we get our exploration act together.

    Just so you know what I do support, I support those things that lower the cost to access space. I see that as the key enabler for us to venture beyond Earth in a sustainable and affordable way.

    What do you believe or support?

  • Guess Not

    What do you believe or support?

    Certainly not human exploration of ‘space’ funded by federal dollars.

    There is no space exploration ‘act’ to get together, and if there was it certainly wouldn’t involve humans. Human space exploration at taxpayer expense is a paradigm so obsolete – people are laughing behind your back.

    Human space ‘flight’ is another story, but certainly that doesn’t justify the enormous expenditures with such little actual value returned to US citizens.

  • Rhyolite

    “So yes, Cx is dead…”

    More accurately, it is undead…a zombie that eats the living.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ December 19th, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Well with all due respect to the folks who were involved in this effort (the one to “save our shuttles” or “build another one but more advanced”) the entire notion sounds far to good to be true and as we say in the engineering business…”incredible claims require solid proof”..

    So far all we have is a lot of “wow”…”wow we looked at the business case and all these wonderful things could happen but alas the entire transformation had gone to far so it wont work”…

    Along the way I find the notion of a “second gen” shuttle more fiction. The nomenclature is even strange …what is a second generation shuttle?

    is it just a machine that is reusable or is it another orbiter that rides on the rest of the STS stack or ?????

    NASA and people associated with it are full of “if we only waive our hands” then pigs can fly, the shuttle will be safe, and the station deploy on time…and we all get ponies.

    All this is in my view with no proof is more Fantasy Island stuff. RGO

  • Bennett

    Ah yes, the “Mr. Jingles”/”Mr. Jangles” username morphing “advocate” that we’ve seen over the years on this and other sites. From what I’ve observed, unless the conversation is positively focused on his/her small specific belief set, he/she finds it much more productive to tear down or attack whatever is being discussed than to promote or support or debate constructively.

    There’s no upside to engaging. Other than pointing out the inconsistent logic or facts employed, but even then…

    GuessWho wrote @ December 18th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I’m not a Statist, rather a realist. This broken congress isn’t capable of undoing the mess that selling out has brought about. All three branches of Government have sold out, and as long as the fix is in, I’d at least like to see MY pet interests get funded.

    At least MY pet interests are based on looking forward and upward for the long term future of our (unlikely and potentially rare) semi-intelligent life form.

    YMMV

  • Guess Whatnot

    Ah yes, the “Mr. Jingles”/”Mr. Jangles” username morphing “advocate” that we’ve seen over the years on this and other sites. From what I’ve observed, unless the conversation is positively focused on his/her small specific belief set, he/she finds it much more productive to tear down or attack whatever is being discussed than to promote or support or debate constructively.

    In other words, the Apollo Moon Program, the Space Shuttle program, the International Space Station and Constellation were so successful and delivered such immense value for the citizens of the United States of America, that we should just keep repeating that paradigm over and over again, no matter what the results and costs. Many hundreds of billions of dollars thus far as I see it. Close to a trillion dollars I’m guessing so far if you add it all up.

    And now you complain when some people question your line of reasoning, and criticize those who would diverge from the mob based on the historical evidence.

    Old paradigms fall hard, and human space exploration will be no exception.

    Where are the terrestrial planet finders Mr. Bennett?

    Where are the lunar rovers?

  • Bennett

    You’ll get no argument from me. Ever since Apollo was cancelled, the paradigm has been focused on keeping the standing army paid, little else. Any challenge to that was met with NASA’s Iron Law of Satus Quo.

    Kill the SLS and use the money to pay down the debt, but don’t let the meager development funding for commercial HSF be thrown out with the bathwater. It’s the first time there has been a serious challenge to the do-nothing series of cash-cow programs doled out to the good old boy military industrial complex.

    You are free to disagree.

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