Campaign '12

Florida space campaign odds and ends

While a lot has been written about Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s proposal for a lunar base by 2020 and related initiatives, Space News has some insights from the candidate on some more near-term space issues. Regarding the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), he said he’d want to examine them in “the context of how rapidly alternatives could be developed and whether or not there was a way to actually have lots of competition to actually fly something.”

Gingrich added that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) needs a “serious review” in light of its cost overruns. “The fact that the Webb telescope has gone from $1.5 billion to $9 billion — and I’m told that people don’t believe that at $9 billion it’s going to be on budget — at some point you have to stop and say, ‘There’s something systemically wrong when you get into this scale of an overrun.’”

Meanwhile, Gingrich’s rival, Mitt Romney, will likely expound on his space policy ideas later today in a campaign appearance in Cape Canaveral. The time has shifted to later in the day—4:45 pm—at an Astrotech Space Operations facility. However, Rick Santorum has canceled an appearance on Florida’s Space Coast. He was scheduled to speak at a luncheon Saturday, but informed event organizers yesterday he would not be able to attend for undisclosed reasons.

32 comments to Florida space campaign odds and ends

  • DCSCA

    Problem is, any valid points Gingrich might make are drowned out by the laughter over the lunar colony. He’s the wrong messenger for messaging space policy. He’s no JFK.

  • The latest Quinnipac poll shows Romney with a 38%-29% lead over Gingrich.

    The poll was taken Jan. 24-26, which would have been during the timeframe that Gingrich was espousing his space policy.

    A week ago, it was 40%-34% in favor of Gingrich.

    We’ll have to wait for more detailed polling, but at first glance it appears talking about space didn’t help Newt much.

  • guest

    What a disaster for NASA. On the one hand no one comes forward and defines or develops a story about why spending on space is a good thing, and yet the politicians are publicizing that NASA and future space planning is a waste. In the meantime, NASA has no manned space program, is years and maybe a decade or longer away from having a manned launch capability, so Newt’s statements that NASA mainly dreams about a future in space is pretty accurate. The entire world is seeing that despite earlier years, where a Shuttle went from approval to flight in 5 years, other spacecraft in even fewer years, and today NASA is spending billions and going nowhere. Its not the workers; The NASA people have never known more than they do today. It is the management; management needs serious overhaul. How did they get into this situation?

  • Rachel Maddow’s lead last night was Newt’s lunar colony/51st state on the Moon. Video at:

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-rachel-maddow-show/46157256

  • sc220

    What a disaster for NASA. On the one hand no one comes forward and defines or develops a story about why spending on space is a good thing, and yet the politicians are publicizing that NASA and future space planning is a waste.

    Thank the Bush and the Constellation Circus for that. We dumped billions into a wasteful boondoggle that achieved absolutely nothing but a glorified model rocket launch. Gingrich is not the only one who is scratching their head wondering why we don’t have a human-rated Atlas V capability. The tragedy is we would have had a fully operational EELV-based system now if we hadn’t followed the failed ESAS/Ares path. In retrospect, this should be held up as an example of exactly why the non-science side of NASA is no longer relevant.

  • The media and even the “expert” reaction to Gingrich’s proposal shows us how pitiful space advocacy is today. At some point, the boosters themselves need to take responsibility for the sorry state of national space policy and capability.

  • In the meantime, NASA has no manned space program

    Except a permanently crewed space station.

    is years and maybe a decade or longer away from having a manned launch capability

    Only if commercial crew isn’t properly funded.

    so Newt’s statements that NASA mainly dreams about a future in space is pretty accurate. The entire world is seeing that despite earlier years, where a Shuttle went from approval to flight in 5 years,

    On what planet did this occur? On this one, Shuttle was approved in 1969, and didn’t fly until 1981.

  • Ron

    guest wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    “The entire world is seeing that despite earlier years, where a Shuttle went from approval to flight in 5 years, other spacecraft in even fewer years, and today NASA is spending billions and going nowhere.”

    The Space Shuttle Program actually received final approval from Congress in 1972 and first flew in April 1981; a little bit longer than just 5 years. Perhaps you were referring to the development and construction of some of the follow-on vehicles after Columbia.

  • guest

    Shuttle was approved in 1972. The first Orbiter, albeit not yet ready for spaceflight, was flying independently of its 747 SCA in 1977. That was with budgets similar to what NASA has today. And that was a vary large and sophisticated vehicle, state of the art for its time (actually pretty much state of the art even for today). NASA has spent $15 billion and 7 years since the Vision was announced in 2004, and as it was put up above, accomplished one glorified model rocket launch.

    Yes, our partners have an International Space Station. We even get to send a person or two to visit every now and then. Much of it was built in partner countries decades ago. Today we have no means of reaching it. A US program?

  • Mitt Romney will give us Augustine 2. Four more years of nothing. Again, if space is your issue there is no way anyone could vote for Mr. Romney.

    Respectfully,
    Andrew Gasser
    TEA Party in Space

  • Robert G. Oler

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    The media and even the “expert” reaction to Gingrich’s proposal shows us how pitiful space advocacy is today. At some point, the boosters themselves need to take responsibility for the sorry state of national space policy and capability.”

    BUT we are not there now.

    Sometime ago the usual Republican suspects here came on and castigated Obama for not including the Cx program into the stim bill …or advancing a trip to Mars or going back to the Moon or whatever their special thing is…and my response was a mock speech for Obama where he announces such a program.

    Even Dennis W a few threads back tries to lay the sorry state of space vision/economy on Obama…where really the situation is such that even someone who is a true Space devotee (Gingrich) and from a party which normally embraces space spending (the GOP…indeed Whittington and others have championed the great changes that are going to happen when the GOP gets back in charge)…cant get anything out of a really good speech on human spaceflight.

    The reality is that there is no reason to spend massive dollars on any grand or even semi grand or even not so grand human space effort. The folks at NASA who are preparing “visions” (as heralded over at Nasaspaceflight.com) which required 15-20 SLS type launches for a trip to Mars and then expend it all…are simply living in their own fantasy world.

    No President or Presidential candidate is going to go to the American people with a lot of human space spending after we have spent 200-300 billion on the space shuttle and space station and really have not a lot to show for it. Particularly with a “vision”that takes 10s of billions of dollars and is an exclusive one for NASA employees.

    There is almost nothing space advocacy can do about this. Dennis can chime in however he wants to; but apparently at least according to his post, he and others are having almost no luck in convincing people to spend dollars on I guess uncrewed efforts that are out of the norm.

    For all the BS that goes on here about the American people waiting for a leader to give them a vision of doing great things in space; the reality is that the American people thanks to NASA and 30 years of incompetence…really dont see human spaceflight as really doing anything useful. Space advocates cannot change that.

    Robert G. Oler

  • E.P. Grondine

    We could have had DIRECT and two manned launch systems for the money that was wasted on ARES. But that did not occur, and it did not occur for very specific reasons…

    If you need some good jokes for laughs, consider that a sizable part of the US population thinks that man did not walk on the Moon.

    Consider that a sizable part of the US population thinks that the government has a UFO locked up in a basement somewhere.

    Consider that a sizable part of the US population thinks that it was aliens fighting wars with nuclear weapons that led to those astroblemes in India.

    Consider that a sizable part of the US population thinks that the mammoth went extinct due to over hunting and/or gradual climate change.

    Consider that 1.75 kilometers of comet 73P is now lost, and no one knows where it is, except that it will be in Earth’s vicinity in 2022.

    Consider that a sizable part of the US population has entirely unrealistic estimates of the difficulties and costs of manned flight to the Moon and Mars.

    Consider that a sizable part of the US population has no idea of space defense systems, nor of the commercial space industry as a whole.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Andrew Gasser wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Mitt Romney will give us Augustine 2. Four more years of nothing. Again, if space is your issue there is no way anyone could vote for Mr. Romney. >>
    I dont even think a Willard Presidency would get to Augustine 2…but there is no real reason to speculate if Willard is the nominee he will have himself wiped all over the floor by Obama.

    Outside of the GOP Primary voters the issues that Willard is hard up against are growing increasingly unpopular in the US…and Willard is the facebook picture of corporate greed and wealth with no value.

    He (or Ricky S) are about the only things that can give Obama a coast to reelect.

    What has surprised me a tad is not that the GOP establishment (including the mouth pieces) are beating up on Newt pretty hard (they do that to the non establishment candidate…) but that they have so easily slipped into beating up on his space plans.

    it should not have surprised me all that much but it has. and its a tad sad.

    Robert G. Oler

  • Vladislaw

    Romney just got endorsements from Crippen, Cernon and Dr. Griffin. In an open letter they also go after President Obama.

  • For those who missed it, Neil Degrasse Tyson’s appearance on Martin Bashir is now online:

    http://video.msnbc.msn.com/martin-bashir/46152472/

    Vladislaw wrote:

    Romney just got endorsements from Crippen, Cernon and Dr. Griffin. In an open letter they also go after President Obama.

    So the Constellation people are endorsing a candidate who wants to form another committee. Yikes.

    Romney is scheduled to speak today at 4:45 PM EST in Cape Canaveral. Let’s see if he announces those endorsements.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Vladislaw wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Romney just got endorsements from Crippen, Cernon and Dr. Griffin. In an open letter they also go after President Obama.>>

    Of course their space program needs Willard to pump in the cash RGO

  • @Oler:

    BUT we are not there now.

    Of course not. That would require space lobbyists to exercise a modicum of reflection on their uselessness.

    Sometime ago the usual Republican suspects here came on…

    Yada, yada. No one cares about your partisan misadventures with anonymous posters real and imagined.

    Even Dennis W a few threads back tries to lay the sorry state of space vision/economy on Obama…

    Why wouldn’t you? He’s the President, and before that a member of the Democrat majority in Congress. You know, the one that oversaw the purse strings at the start of the financial crisis and enacted the 2010 authorization. Of course, in your world the Executive Branch has no responsibility for anything unless its run by a Republican. So cue your next round of whining.

    …where really the situation is such that even someone who is a true Space devotee (Gingrich) and from a party which normally embraces space spending (the GOP…indeed Whittington and others have championed the great changes that are going to happen when the GOP gets back in charge)…cant get anything out of a really good speech on human spaceflight.

    And whose fault is that? Hint, why would anyone bother donating to NSS these days?

    The reality is that there is no reason to spend massive dollars on any grand or even semi grand or even not so grand human space effort.

    This has to be the single dumbest thing I’ve ever seen posted here. There’s 10e28 kg and 4e28 W worth of reasons to kick space wide open on the grandest of scales. In the immediate future, there’s a $170 billion a year satellite industry bottlenecked in RFP to deployment by launch costs.

    The folks at NASA who are preparing “visions” (as heralded over at Nasaspaceflight.com) which required 15-20 SLS type launches for a trip to Mars and then expend it all…are simply living in their own fantasy world.

    Lori Garver’s doing a bang up job, ain’t she? Now that she’s full speed ahead with SLS, I’m amazed you have as much energy for railing against a done deal as oppose to demanding NASA do something useful with their latest boom stick. Surely the fact that commercial lift is progressing–with no evidence that the heavy lifter is waylaying it in anyway–should take some of the fire out of you.

    No President or Presidential candidate is going to go to the American people with a lot of human space spending after we have spent 200-300 billion on the space shuttle and space station and really have not a lot to show for it.

    No President has to, and you have no excuse for making such an ignorant claim.

    Particularly with a “vision”that takes 10s of billions of dollars and is an exclusive one for NASA employees.

    Are you kidding me? NASA spends $15-20 billion annually.

    There is almost nothing space advocacy can do about this.

    Because space advocates are a flighty lot that by and large see space as a very expensive academic exercise.

    Dennis can chime in however he wants to; but apparently at least according to his post, he and others are having almost no luck in convincing people to spend dollars on I guess uncrewed efforts that are out of the norm.

    Case in point.

    For all the BS that goes on here about the American people waiting for a leader to give them a vision of doing great things in space; the reality is that the American people thanks to NASA and 30 years of incompetence…really dont see human spaceflight as really doing anything useful. Space advocates cannot change that.

    Then space advocates should go away.

  • @Gasser:

    Mitt Romney will give us Augustine 2.

    Doubt it.

    Four more years of nothing.

    I’m dying to know, exactly what do you think could have been accomplished in the past four years? Just give me the laundry list of things that could have been done and the bottom line cost. Something that simple would be the most valuable thing your group has contributed since its founding.

    Again, if space is your issue there is no way anyone could vote for Mr. Romney.

    Sure you can.

  • DCSCA

    @guest wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    “What a disaster for NASA.”

    Yeah, and they always seem to arrive on the agency’s doorstep in the late January/early February time frame. Gingrich has done more damage to any serious. discourse on space than he realizes and it will linger for months if not years.

    @Andrew Gasser wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    In other words, let’s form a committee to study the problem. That’s a deatrh sentence in ‘Legislationland’ and on Jon Stewart’s ‘Moonlandia.’ Good grief.

    Rand Simberg wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Shuttle was approved in 1969, and didn’t fly until 1981.

    Inaccurate. The final vote approving funding for “the shuttle” occurred in April, 1972 and astronauts of Apollo 16 were informed of same as they erected the U.S. flag on the moon.

    —–

    In Memory-

    Gus Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee– lost 45 years ago this day, January 27, 1967. RIP.

  • DCSCA

    @Stephen C. Smith wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    “So the Constellation people are endorsing a candidate who wants to form another committee. Yikes. Romney is scheduled to speak today at 4:45 PM EST in Cape Canaveral. Let’s see if he announces those endorsements.”

    It’s already up on his website so of course he will. But based on his dismissive responses for big dollar space investments in last night’s debate, the ‘Constellation huggers’ prepared endorsement was premature. They clearly have made a mistake because they’re not going to get the asupport they seek from a Romney WH.

  • MrEarl

    Another reason to expedite CCDEV:

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/01/27/russia-to-postpone-two-manned-launches-to-international-space-station/

    I know a lot of you would loath going to Fox News but you take your alies where you can. Don’t be afraid Fox dosen’t bite.

  • Greg Smirnoff

    Pres Cannady wrote …the reality is that the American people thanks to NASA and 30 years of incompetence…really dont see human spaceflight as doing anything useful…

    Its more like they haven’t seen human spaceflight doing anything. For all the billions being spent year after year, what is being designed or built? What advancements are being made? Most of the money has gone into operating a 40 year old vehicle. Never made any improvements. Never made it more cost effective. Never derived anything ‘next generation’ from it. And now Orion, its a throwback to fifty years ago. Not an advancement at all. Instead of the money being spent they would have done better to just start up Apollo production lines again.

    That is a leadership and management problem. At some point you need to try and advance.

  • @Smirnoff:

    Pres Cannady wrote …the reality is that the American people thanks to NASA and 30 years of incompetence…really dont see human spaceflight as doing anything useful…

    Those weren’t my remarks, they were Oler’s. And I don’t agree with a word of’em.

    1. The failure of civil space is one of policy, not execution. Specifically, successive Presidents and Congresses, and their advisors, have spent 30 years preserving–expending only modest effort to improve–astronautical expertise.

    2. The American people don’t give much thought to civil space, and to the extent that they do they don’t object to much of anything done its pursuit. If it were otherwise, we wouldn’t be wasting $5 billion a year on SMD.

    Its more like they haven’t seen human spaceflight doing anything.

    Do you really think the average citizen is more impressed by robotic rock sifting on Mars than people floating in a space station? Congress can’t even kill a telescope, yet we think that Americans are itching to kill HSF?

  • @Smith:

    So the Constellation people are endorsing a candidate who wants to form another committee. Yikes.

    Relax, you’re going to have commercial manned lift in a few years. You always were. Pace and Griffin aren’t out to kill it.

  • DCSCA

    @Prez Cannady wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Yeah, well, Von Braun cultivated his pitch over decades back in the day and was in the right place at the right time and made the most of it. That kind of timing and luck with the credentials to back it up doesn’t occur very often.

    Many of these advocates today are well past their shelf life, too– ol’Geno is in his 80s now and hasn’t ridden a rocket in 40 years and comes across as just angry over the scuttling of Constellation; Crippen is more or less a footnote to shuttle operations; Griffin has zero cache after the Ares mess and apperars motivated only by vindicating his rep and feuding with Garver, who’s little more than a lobbyist/bureaucrat. Bolden’s got a bad case of the Peter Principle, Aldrin has diminshed his own gravitas with his foray into cheezy entertainment venues, Lovell makes a good pitch but he more or less is a voice in the wilderness, is remembered, thanks to the film, for 13′s ‘successful failure’ rather than the Apollo 8 triumph and Armstrong, though consistent in his views over the years since Apollo 11, has avoided strong public advocacy positions when it really counted. Now it’s a little too late.

    They sound just a little too old to inspire this generation- hence the laughter over moon bases by younger media folk across the media landscape today. Awful. Regardless of your stand on NewSpace or NASA, it had to make you wince. And Sagan’s dead. Paine is dead. Fletcher is dead. Petrone is dead. Low is dead. Faget is dead. Gilruth has passed; Kennedy and LBJ long gone as well. Lunney and Jerry Griffin have a voice but are overshadowed by Kranz, who’s is in his 80s and Kraft is what… near 90 now. They’re entitled to their retirement, too. Like Glenn.

    Many years ago when times were more flush, Tom Stafford quietly warned that there’s no guarantee for a space program and that it’s something you have to work at to keep or it’ll just disappear. Seems he may very well have been right.

  • DCSCA

    @Prez Cannady wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    “Relax, you’re going to have commercial manned lift in a few years”

    ROFLMAO tick-tock, tick-tick, bring a proposal like that to President Romney and he’ll give you an inswer in two words, per last evening: “You’re fired.”

  • @DCSCA:

    ROFLMAO tick-tock, tick-tick, bring a proposal like that to President Romney and he’ll give you an inswer in two words, per last evening: “You’re fired.”

    In what world does Romney–the businessman–kill a commercial manned lifter?

  • Robert G. Oler

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 27th, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    In what world does Romney–the businessman–kill a commercial manned lifter?”

    LOL this and your other post, you really have no clue do you?

    NASA HSF has accomplished almost nothing of value over the last 30 years EXCEPT it has kept various “commercial” firms employed doing almost nothing of value for the money. The entire GOP theory of life these days is keeping corporations that the GOP likes in business even though they accomplish nothing very much of value.

    SpaceX is what the GOP hates…an innovative company that is actually accomplishing something that is making one of its old time “friends” look bad.

    RGO

  • Mark

    Hmm. Newt did not commit to cancelling the SLS outright. I can sense heads exploding in certrain quarters.

  • @Oler

    LOL this and your other post, you really have no clue do you?

    You keep yammering but you’re saying nothing.

    NASA HSF has accomplished almost nothing of value over the last 30 years EXCEPT it has kept various “commercial” firms employed doing almost nothing of value for the money.

    And?

    The entire GOP theory of life these days is keeping corporations that the GOP likes in business even though they accomplish nothing very much of value.

    You should really try and take a day off from making stuff up.

    SpaceX is what the GOP hates…

    Funny. SpaceX signed contracts with a GOP Administration.

    …an innovative company that is actually accomplishing something that is making one of its old time “friends” look bad.

    How is SpaceX making anyone look bad?

  • Vladislaw

    Greg Smirnoff wrote:

    “Pres Cannady wrote …the reality is that the American people thanks to NASA and 30 years of incompetence…really dont see human spaceflight as doing anything useful…

    Its more like they haven’t seen human spaceflight doing anything. For all the billions being spent year after year, what is being designed or built? What advancements are being made? Most of the money has gone into operating a 40 year old vehicle. Never made any improvements. Never made it more cost effective. Never derived anything ‘next generation’ from it. “

    And never turned human spaceflight into a commercial concern where Americans could actually be personally involved. It became a cult of astronaut heros that only 1 in 10 million ever had a shot at.

    With the lottery you only have to toss in a buck to be a part of it. You know you’re not going to win but you have a shot. You have to invest about 30 years of your life first to even begin to enter the astronaut lottery system. A price most Americans found to high an entry cost and why not many are interested.

  • D. Schrimpsher

    Whatever we could or couldn’t have is irrelevant. We need someone in leadership that cares about space. In my experience incorrect steps are better than not steps at all. At least you are learning something. If you support candidates who mock the idea of space exploration, then space just isn’t that important to you in my opinion. Newt is the only option.

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