Campaign '12, Lobbying

One endorsement for Gingrich’s space position

Yesterday the space advocacy organization Tea Party in Space (TPIS) formally endorsed Newt Gingrich for the Republican presidential nomination. “Newt Gingrich is the only credible candidate in this primary race in Florida who has any credibility when it comes to America’s future in space,” TPIS president Andrew Gasser said in a statement. The organization said it based that endorsement of an evaluation of the candidates’ space policy positions and a grading on “tea party core values of fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free markets”, where Gingrich was ranked as “superior”.

Although the statement made no mention of the other GOP candidates, a previous post on the TPIS web site by Gasser criticized a lack of vision by Mitt Romney in his policy, in large part because one of those people advising the Romney campaign on space is former NASA administrator Mike Griffin. “While we all agree that Dr. Griffin is well educated in physics and engineering, his track record suggests he is not grasping the economic condition of this country,” Gasser writes. “Moreover, NASA was crippled under Dr. Griffin’s leadership.”

While TPIS has come out strongly for Gingrich in advance of today’s primary in Florida, other space organizations have remained noncommittal. The National Space Society said it was “pleased” Gingrich released a space policy, the organization said in a press release last week. The organization stopped short of formally endorsing that policy, but noted the plan “contained many details that align with NSS goals”. The NSS asked other candidates to release their own policies (the release is dated January 26, a day before Romney’s space speech.)

The Space Frontier Foundation also didn’t formally endorse Gingrich’s policies, citing its desire to remain non-partisan, but the organization was clearly pleased with its emphasis on space settlement. “The SFF applauds Speaker Gingrich for embracing space settlement and is celebrating that support for space settlement has grown to include large parts of NASA, the current administration, and Speaker Gingrich,” it stated in a release Thursday. The organization was less welcoming of Romney’s plan, though, citing, like TPIS, Griffin’s association with the Romney campaign. Recalling Romney’s comment in Thursday’s debate that he would have “fired” any executive that came to him with a multi-hundred-billion plan for a lunar base, the Foundation’s executive director, Will Watson, said, “Confronted with Mike Griffin’s plan to return to the Moon, Mitt Romney would have fired Griffin and rightly so.” The Foundation called for the Romney campaign to “cast a much wider net for space policy advisors”.

While these organizations tend to show more support for Gingrich than for Romney, it doesn’t appear it will do the former Speaker of the House much good: latest polls showed that Romney was headed to a sizable victory in Florida today.

64 comments to One endorsement for Gingrich’s space position

  • Space advocate organizations are essentially fan clubs.

  • Your gonna get a blow hard raving gale from ablastofhotair on this one, Jeff.

  • GeeSpace

    Space development and exploration will never be a major issue in a presidential election. So if Gingrich loses in Florida if won’t be due to his proposed space program

    Gingrich proposal deals with a space objective that would be within a two term timeline (assuming Gingrich’s election in 2012 and 2016) , President Obama proposed a spaxe objective that would occur 9 years after he leaves office (in 2025). and Romney thoughts are to let private compamies do whatever they want in space.

    I believe that all 3 viewpoints are missing some major elements of a “good” space development and expolration emvironment. But it’s good to see the issue of Space talked about by the canidiates.

  • Mark

    Gingrich can be faulted for not lining up the support of these organizations in advance of his rolling out his lunar base proposal. This and the mistake he made by now explaining why such a thing is important is proving costly. That is why the support for it is so tepid, even among space advocacy organizations.

  • amightywind

    Although the endorsement of Three People In Seclusion is most impressive, the pony they’re backing is down by double digits. Why? Its simple. Newt is on all sides of every issue. Since leaving office under a dark cloud he has peddled influence in Washington and made millions. His sordid personal life makes him unelectable.

  • @GeeSpace:

    Space development and exploration will never be a major issue in a presidential election.

    It will if space industry grows an order of magnitude.

  • MrEarl

    I have a new campaign slogan for Gingrich:
    In the next decade America will be on the moon. Newt is there now!

  • Robert G. Oler

    Mark wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Gingrich can be faulted for not lining up the support of these organizations in advance of his rolling out his lunar base proposal. >>

    the definition of leadership is not choosing ones policy by the support it will enable to be lined up or by lining up organizations to support ones notion of leadership.

    It is doing what Newt did which is formulating a policy and trying to sell it to people. The effort is not selling because 1) Willard is essentially lying at one stop after the next about what Gingrich said and 2) most of the “professional groups” in space (and that includes NSS) are caught up in the notion of a space effort like Apollo as the next effort to do.

    You really should be ashamed of yourself. The Whittington of the 90′s would have supported Newts notion of 1) a goal to synergism commercial efforts and 2) the use of commercial, truly commercial efforts to try and do that goal in a reasonable time and monetary amount.

    Willard is doing what you do a lot…lie. Sylondra has nothing to do with commercial lift or crew but you constantly make that claim. You cannot explain why commercial crew/lift is like Sylondra but you keep making that claim.

    In the end the GOP is reaping the whirlwind of what it has sown over the last 20 or so years. The exaggerations and lying about Newts space effort is stifling RGO

  • Its been so long since humans have been on the Moon that it seems almost like a fantasy to most Americans under the age of of 40.

    Marcel F. Williams

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Although the endorsement of Three People In Seclusion is most impressive, the pony they’re backing is down by double digits. Why? Its simple. Newt is on all sides of every issue.>>

    and Willard is NOT are you insane? RGO

  • E.P. Grondine

    Someone needs to tell these utopianists that mankind is already settled in space, on planet Earth.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 9:37 am

    @GeeSpace:

    Space development and exploration will never be a major issue in a presidential election.

    It will if space industry grows an order of magnitude.”

    I would agree if the sentence were “It will if the human spaceflight industry grows an order of magnitude.” RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 7:39 am

    Space advocate organizations are essentially fan clubs.>>

    yes RGO

  • @Marcel Williams
    “Its been so long since humans have been on the Moon that it seems almost like a fantasy to most Americans under the age of of 40.”
    And if we continue the SLS route it will remain that way.

  • amightywind

    and Willard is NOT are you insane?

    You took that statement out of context. We both know that Newt’s bigger problems are the last two points. You wouldn’t see that happening to GDub. There is even less of a problem with Romney. As much of an Anti-Christ as Obama is policy-wise, he is squeaky clean from a family standpoint. Our candidate would be at a disadvantage if he were not too.

  • GeeSpace

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 9:37 am
    It will if space industry grows an order of magnitude

    Even if space industry grows Several mgnitudes, space development beyond Earth orbit will never be a major presidential election issue.

    Only in our Dreams.

  • Robert G. Oler

    All cycles in politics and government evolve..and the 12 election will likely be an inflection point (one way or the other) for the GOP in general, space politics in specific and the foundation of both the GOP and right now space politics…the military and space industrial complex.

    My belief is that we are seeing the end of the notion of space spending on large “goal” oriented programs…stations at any L point, one on the Moon, a mission to Mars etc have all been touted for dubious reasons at best by their proponents but one of them is that without such a goal the entire notion of NASA HSF collapses. PRoblem is that the collapse has happened.

    Newts notion of a lunar base as the foundation of his space effort in his “Presidency” is now being ridiculed not only by GOP opponents BUT by the very people who often argue that there should be a big government goal. The prime reason for this is that Willard found it easy to mock the notion and a Willard Presidency is important to most of these people (ie it in theory saves the space industrial complex) and they are not really deep thinkers anyway…and so they were willing to support an effort which ridiculed the very “thing” that they wanted.

    In the end, the end of this is that there will not be anytime soon a major national politician supporting a firm human spaceflight goal…with firm dates and funding…and that is in my view a good thing.

    Particularly since commercial lift is going to happen and commercial crew will be inevitable as the Russian space effort continues its slow collapse.

    I honestly would like Willard to be the nominee of the party because it will set up a clear contest between GOP style economics and an alternative…and if GOP style economics, as I believe it will, loses then we can finally cast aside the stupid notions of a corporate run America…and move back to some sort of democracy.

    This will be good because in the end it will break apart the space and military industrial complex…which is choking both efforts RGO

  • amightywind

    a clear contest between GOP style economics and an alternative

    You pretend the last three years haven’t happened. The Keynesian experiment has failed miserably, yet again. Spending as a share of GDP has gone from 18-25%. Our freedom has been handed to incompetent government kleptocrats. We are locked in a low growth high unemployment economy. Higher taxation will only exacerbate both problems. We have a political culture who persecutes employers and celebrates looters. We are careening toward a debt crisis. Yes, America has a choice to make. Bankruptcy or spending and entitlement form and renewed growth.

  • @Rick Boozer

    MW: “Its been so long since humans have been on the Moon that it seems almost like a fantasy to most Americans under the age of of 40.”

    Rick Boozer: “And if we continue the SLS route it will remain that way.”

    And if Presidents continue start new programs and then stop them and then start new programs and then stop them, we’ll never get there either.

    Congress had the choice to choose ULA technology but it choose the shuttle derived technology instead. Its time to move on.

    Marcel F. Williams

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    the only people who get blown about a candidates personal life are the right wing of the GOP…few cared about Clinton’s problems in that regard and the flip flops that Willard has had on every major policy are what will sink him Along with being .1 of us…in the end the GOP right wing is on a short flight to political extinction RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    amightywind wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Our freedom has been handed to incompetent government kleptocrats….

    that describes SLS RGO

  • @Marcel Williams
    Congress had the choice to choose ULA technology but it choose the shuttle derived technology instead. Its time to move on.
    And will accomplish nothing or very little when it goes way over budget and behind schedule a la Booz Allen. That’s OK for Congress because all they want is terrestrial jobs for their constiuents. Since you go along with it, either you don’t really care about truly having a lunar base or you are delusional. It’s a binary choice.

  • Herb

    “Space advocate organizations are essentially fan clubs.

    In this case, I think it’s just a blog. But it does take some organization to write a blog. Actually, TIS started out as a blog, and then they decided to make it a party.

    ISS astronaut Don Petit has a marvelous video about tea in space, which he drinks with chopsticks. I suspect that would greatly offend the TPIS folks, as chopsticks are symbolic of Chinese exceptionalism. See, spoons need gravity to function. Chopsticks don’t. No question that, as a result, the Chinese have a great future in space.

    The labeling of Gingrich as “credible” with regard to our future in space is a hoot. He’s innovative and bold, but credible? Seems like credibility is the one thing he lacks. Permanent presence on the Moon by 2020?

  • Egad

    > See, spoons need gravity to function. Chopsticks don’t.

    I believe that a properly structured and generously funded research program could develop a spoon that, like chopsticks and tea, would use capillary forces to keep liquidish foods attached. Where do I apply for a grant?

  • Robert G. Oler

    Herb wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    . Permanent presence on the Moon by 2020?”

    is doable and probably for under 15-20 billion maybe even less. But NASA couldnt do it. RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    Herb wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    “ISS astronaut Don Petit has a marvelous video about tea in space, which he drinks with chopsticks”

    not impressed. in the VC when I wasnt driving I was pretty good at doing it with only my mouth RGO

  • Coastal Ron

    Marcel F. Williams wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    And if Presidents continue start new programs and then stop them and then start new programs and then stop them, we’ll never get there either.

    So I guess if the presidential race is between Obama and Romney, then you’ll be voting for Obama, right?

    Because Romney has already said he’s going to set up another “study group” for space, whereas Obama would be able to keep his current direction moving forward.

  • DCSCA

    God could endorse a space policy but how it is delivered/interpreted in the MSM is all that matters. And what should be of concern to all space advocates at every point of the compass is the way America’s 40-something pundits, journalists and talking heads across the media landscape roundly dismissed a grand message from a grandiose messenger about space with laughter as he tried to ignite discourse at the national level.

  • Googaw

    NRO online poll — is a lunar colony an absurd idea?

    Is a lunar colony an absurd idea?
    Yes 61 %
    No 39 %

    This from a conservative readership that would tend to favor Gingrich over Romney.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/

  • DCSCA

    @Prez Cannady wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 7:39 am

    “Space advocate organizations are essentially fan clubs.”

    Hmmm. Seem to recall a few space and rocket ‘clubs’ in the ’20s-’30′s across the pond in Germany and the USSR that spawned, over time, some fairly dedicated individuals who rose to push the technology forward– all the way to the moon and beyond.

  • DCSCA

    amightywind wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    The Keynesian experiment has failed miserably, yet again.

    Nonsense.

  • common sense

    After all those bewildered comments for Gingrich or Romney I thought I would provide a little dose of reality. Now of course we are months away from the general campaign but I hope it helps.

    I love the size of donations percentages though. Yeah we’ll have the 1%ers trying their best. And maybe they’ll make it then again maybe not…

    http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/campaign-finance

  • Googaw

    RGO: Presto magico, you’ve reduced the cost of a lunar base by an order of magnitude! Wow you’re clever! We’re all dying to see the details of this breakthrough. How much do the lunar habitats cost? The rovers? Robots and other machines (if you dare such anti-astronaut heresies)? Landers? Upper stages? And after all that what is your base supposed to accomplish, anyway?

  • Robert G. Oler

    Googaw wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    RGO: Presto magico, you’ve reduced the cost of a lunar base by an order of magnitude! Wow you’re clever! We’re all dying to see the details of this breakthrough…”

    it is not that hard. Mostly its just “keep NASA the hands off”

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2011/05/31/nasa-analysis-falcon-9-cheaper-traditional-approach/

    If by traditional (meaning big government feed all the “stakeholders”) NASA would have taken between 1.7 and 4.0 billion to do Falcon9 and SpaceX has used oh lets say 500 million…it is obvious that there are considerable cost savings to be had over traditional NASA methods.

    NASA HSF is the repository of sloth, ignorance, and incompetence if they are measured against any other technical effort by the US government and its private contractors/companies for acquisition. These clowns killed 14 people and had near misses with others while filling out endless work orders/change orders/having meetings with hundreds and most of those people need to go find a real job.

    Here is an example that I have first hand knowledge of. Go see what it cost NASA to modernize 1 (one) T-38 cockpit and what the USAF is doing it for.

    A moon base (or anything) can be done for several orders less magnitude then NASA does it. They should be able (exclusive of launch cost) to operate ISS for about 300-500 million a year. and get good science from it.

    RGO

  • BeanCounterfromDownunder

    It’s pretty clear that the Reps in Congress are in denial. The U.S. will not be able to get it’s fiscal house in order without changes to the tax structure which from here seems incredibly scewed in favour of the wealthy and even by Aust’ standards, relatively well to do. Personal tax rates are one area however it does seem that the U.S. needs a broad based consumption tax of one sort or another to assist in the effort. Something akin to an Aust’ style goods and services tax or a value added tax. That’s only one side however. The spending side is trickier due to the likely impact on jobs (very very political) and general economic growth. I think on this front, there needs to be a serious shift in focus from government to private jobs. Markets need freeing up from red tape and competition opened up.
    But the really unfortunate thing is that the above dialogue doesn’t appear to be even happening to any serious degree. Until that dialogue commences, there’s little hope other than at some future (not too future I would say) point, there’s a serious economic meltdown, something akin to what’s happening in Europe now. And like Europe, the impact on World markets will be severe. JM2CW.

  • Googaw

    With about 60% of the votes counted, Mitt “you’re fired” Romney is beating Newt “lunar dreams” Gingrich in the space state of Florida by 17%.

  • Googaw

    “Seem to recall a few space and rocket ‘clubs’ in the ’20s-’30′s across the pond in Germany.”

    Clubs that spent their time actually developing technology, themselves, at their own expense, rather than lobbying and begging politicians to fund their economic fantasies. When governments finally did sign up in WWII, it was to aim for London, not the moon.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Googaw –

    You’re confusing the issues again.
    What we need is CAPS, not a lunar colony.
    CAPS, not Griffin’s flags and footsteps on the Moon.

    If we can split the costs internationally, RGO’s numbers are not too far off.
    Think in terms of lunar orbit operation, and modularity.

    Japan has the android robot part worked out pretty well. You could try and find their costs.

    What happens after CAPS I leave for others…

    We could have had DIRECT and 2 manned launch systems for the money that Griffin et al wasted on Ares. If we can’t get NASA to focus on this soon…

  • Googaw

    RGO, what a spectacular response: you answered exactly zero of my questions about your moon base projection.

    I take a back seat to no one in sharing your criticism of NASA and praising SpaceX’s development cost reductions (from the projected $1,700 million to about $390 – $500 million, depending on when we consider the Falcon 9 operational). But their actual operational (per launch) costs don’t appear to have fallen nearly so dramatically — and their reliability remains a big question mark. An even bigger question mark is whether they are going to be so distracted by all the nonsense they are doing or talking about in the process of chasing NASA contracts (Dragon, ISS docking, Falcon Heavy, reusable rockets, Mars missions, walks with Obama, yada yada yada) that they fail to take care of their real commercial customers (esp. Loral and Iridium). Where we really need SpaceX’s cost reductions to have a big impact is in lowering the costs of real space commerce. And SpaceX needs a strong real commerce business to avoid being captured by NASA and turned into just another NASA-military-industrial complex contractor.

    Meanwhile, your moonbase remains 100% moonshine. It seems you can’t answer any of my questions but can you at least try to answer one: what is this moon base supposed to accomplish?

  • Fred Willett

    Prez Cannady wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 9:37 am
    @GeeSpace:

    “Space development and exploration will never be a major issue in a presidential election.”

    It will if space industry grows an order of magnitude.

    Let’s see. The space economy is around $300B pa.
    It is growing at around 10% pa.
    Wow. That’s only 2025.

  • DCSCA

    Googaw wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Inaccurate. In fact, you’ll discover, particularly in Germany, the ‘clubs’ sought sponsorship wherever possible and welcomed government interest/funding to subsidize their experiments through the Great Depression, long before the war, the construction of Penemunde and London became a ‘target.’ Von Braun became particularly skilled at sourcing funding from competing bureaucracies- an experience he put to good use in the U.S. years later. In the same era in the U.S., , Goddard sought funding for his rocket experiments and spent much of the same time frame barely able to keep his research financed and fell dependent upon the philanthropy of Guggenheim, thanks to the interest taken by Lindbergh, not the U.S. government. .

  • DCSCA

    Googaw wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Hmmm. So the 40-something media turns a good message from a bad messenger into a punchline then takes a poll afterwards to confirm the joke was funny- yep, that’s how it works.

  • @Marcel Williams
    Oh and one more thing:
    “Congress had the choice to choose ULA technology but it choose the shuttle derived technology instead. Its time to move on.
    The same argument can be made for ISS. Yet, the fact that Congress chose ISS does not keep you from calling for its demise. You can’t use that argument for SLS, and not be an utter hyprocite when it comes to ISS: “Its time to move on.”. That twisted logic holds just as well for ISS as it does to SLS. Maybe this will give you an idea how inane that argument is.

  • Click here for overall primary results.

    Click here for Brevard County election results on the Florida Today web site. Overall results in parentheses.

    Romney 42.7% (46%)
    Gingrich 32.9% (32%)
    Rick Santorum 15.3% (13%)
    Ron Paul 7.7% (7%)

    So Brevard County really didn’t go much different than the rest of the state. No evidence that the space policy speech had an effect one way or the other.

    Particularly interesting is this CNN exit poll. It seems that the lesser educated, lower income, more conservative voters tended to go for Gingrich. Read into that what you will.

  • @GeeSpace:

    Even if space industry grows Several mgnitudes…

    If space industry grows an order of magnitude, it will be as large as the automotive industry. Therefore…

    …space development beyond Earth orbit will never be a major presidential election issue.

    The point you’re trying to make here is beyond stupid.

  • DCSCA

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ February 1st, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Interesting. Of course these percentages are restricted to registered Republicans so it really gives us a picture of how GOP voters in that region prioritized– and it appears electability is more important to them than candidates positions on space policy.

  • vulture4

    Some small companies like Armadillo, Masden and Xcor are making progress. I think there is a chance to develop what we used to call enabling technologies. Obama has at least demonstrated some understanding of the problem through his attempt to accelerate the Commercial Crew program, though even his own party (i.e. Nelson) fought it and has delayed it by a year or more. In contrast Romney (the probable Republican nominee) has no interest in space and wans to slash discretionary spending.

  • @vulture4:

    Obama has at least demonstrated some understanding of the problem through his attempt to accelerate the Commercial Crew program…

    Completely false.

    …though even his own party (i.e. Nelson) fought it and has delayed it by a year or more.

    Also false.

    In contrast Romney (the probable Republican nominee) has no interest in space…

    And once again, false.

    …and wans to slash discretionary spending.

    And finally, irrelevant.

  • Vladislaw

    Zubrin endorsed Newts Mars prize in a new article here:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/289775/mars-prize-robert-zubrin

    He tells a little bit of his history with Mr. Gringrich and also explains how much it would cost.

  • Zubrin loves multiplying and dividing by ten.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Googaw wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    “I take a back seat to no one in sharing your criticism of NASA and praising SpaceX’s development cost reductions (from the projected $1,700 million to about $390 – $500 million, depending on when we consider the Falcon 9 operational). But their actual operational (per launch) costs don’t appear to have fallen nearly so dramatically — and their reliability remains a big question mark”

    the above is a typical “well they have made it this far but watch them fail now” response.

    I dont know if SpaceX will be able to meet their cost numbers or to make a profit and stay in business or whatever but the fact is that they have made it this far on a lot less money then NASA or the conventional contractor base would have made it…and had the R&D or whatever they are calling it for the space station been done at the same burn rate…it would cost far less then the 100-200 billion it has cost.

    Which is my point about a lunar base. It is unaffordable as long as NASA does it RGO

  • @Rick Boozer wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    “And will accomplish nothing or very little when it goes way over budget and behind schedule a la Booz Allen. That’s OK for Congress because all they want is terrestrial jobs for their constiuents. Since you go along with it, either you don’t really care about truly having a lunar base or you are delusional. It’s a binary choice.”

    Congress had four choices:

    1. It could continue the Ares I/V program

    2. It could man-rate an EELV program

    3. It could develop a Sidemount Shuttle program

    or

    4. It could develop a shuttle derived linear rocket system

    What Congress and NASA designed was a little bit of all of them:

    They kept the current shuttle external tank diameter and RS-25 engines (DIRECT) but stretched it to accommodate 5-segment SRBs (Ares) while intending to develop a man-rated ICPS (probably an man-rated EELV upper stage) and an HLV Upper Stage (Ares) . Combined with the MPCV development, this is currently costing NASA about $4 billion a year from the $8.4 billion a year man spaceflight related budget that Obama inherited from George Bush. Spending $4 billion a year to develop a new rocket system and a beyond LEO space craft is not an enormous financial burden on NASA.

  • Vladislaw

    You forgot choice #5

    Congress could have insisted, via the Vision for Space Exploration and 1984 addition to the NASA mandated that Reagan pushed and that is to utilize commercial to the maximum extent possible.

    Congress could have ordered NASA to do competitive bids that would NOT be cost plus fixed fee. Instead the contracts would have been milestone based fixed cost.

    No pork, no cost plus, no excalator clauses, no close out costs give aways. Just fixed priced fully competitive bids.

    Of course congress never even considered that but actively campaigned against those concepts.

  • amightywind wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 8:28 am

    “Although the endorsement of Three People In Seclusion is most impressive…”

    You did get a chuckle out of us. Congratulations amightywind.

    Just to give you a personal update we are a tad bit bigger than three individuals. We have regional and state coordinators popping up around the United States in some very unlikely places. (Well what do you know, space policy debate in non-space states? Go figure.)

    We are currently putting together a powerpoint presentation for each of the coordinators to ‘take on the road’ as they appear as guest speakers to local tea party organizations across this great nation. Heck, there are 230 local tea party groups in New England alone, and a good number have already asked me to be in attendance. (This is getting exciting)

    As for our endorsement for Newt it did wonders. Yes we got a few more amighywind style jabs which we take in stride, but we also got 10x more ‘Wow, we didn’t know you existed, keep the information flowing’ style responses.

    We will keep posting here, but you can be assured we are taking a fiscal sound space policy debate to the public at large and we are only going to get more vocal day by day.

    Gary Anderson
    NE Regional Coordinator
    Tea Party in Space (TPiS)

  • “Spending $4 billion a year to develop a new rocket system and a beyond LEO space craft is not an enormous financial burden on NASA.
    No, SLS is an not an enormous financial burden on NASA. That is not what I am saying. It’s not about the relative size of the amount, it’s about being able to do more with that same amount of money if we use other methods than SLS. If we are going to spend that amount of money, why not get more for that money than we will get with SLS? Are you really that dense?

    ANSWER THIS: You keep telling everyone that Congress chose SLS and so they should stop talking about cancelling it and just to “move on”. That is one of your primary excuses for keeping SLS. But Congress also chose ISS, but you keep harping on cancelling it instead of just to “move on” with that. Do you not see the extreme hypocrisy of your postion? My God, what an Alice In Wonderland mentality you have!

  • DCSCA

    Googaw wrote @ January 31st, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Any comparisons of SpaceX to NASA are utterly absurd.

  • Any comparisons of SpaceX to NASA are utterly absurd.

    Indeed. SpaceX does things cost effectively, and provides a return on investment.

  • DCSCA

    Rand Simberg wrote @ February 1st, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Indeed. SpaceX does things cost effectively, and provides a return on investment.

    So does McDonalds… but MickryDees ain’t very healthy and as we all know, if SpaceX tried to fly a crew today, they’d kill ‘em., NASA has been flying crews into and back from space for over half a century nd SpaceX has flown nobody– and most likely never will as they can’t make a buck doing it. That’s why governments do it. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

  • Googaw

    I see that RGO still has not been able to answer even a single one of my simple questions about the costs of moonbase features and what they are supposed to accomplish. Just handwaving about SpaceX which is doing stuff that was done 50 years ago — versus a moonbase which has never been done. It’s great that SpaceX can take very old capabilities and reduce their costs. That’s a very important thing to do, and they deserve all the praise in the world for it. But it is nowhere near the same as doing very new and very different things like moon mining (or whatever it is supposedly useful that our lunar gigapilgrims are supposed to actually do).

  • Googaw

    “I dont know if SpaceX will be able to meet their cost numbers ”

    Then why are you invoking them is an authority on cost numbers?

  • as we all Loons know, if SpaceX tried to fly a crew today, they’d kill ‘em

    FTFY.

  • @Googaw:

    Then why are you invoking them is an authority on cost numbers?

    Because they’re the best numbers we have, they’re credible given the solid figures available for the dev to launch costs, and they’ve stuck with the sticker price all this way. But that wasn’t Oler’s point, now was it?

  • @Oler:

    Which is my point about a lunar base. It is unaffordable as long as NASA does it.

    Not true.

  • Coastal Ron

    DCSCA wrote @ February 1st, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    …and as we all know, if SpaceX tried to fly a crew today, they’d kill ‘em.

    Must be nice living in your alternate universe.

    Here in the real world an astronaut could have ridden in the Dragon during their Dec. 10′ test flight and stepped out the capsule back on Earth unscathed and in good spirits. And all things considered, that flight would probably have had a higher chance of survival if something had gone wrong than on the last 131 Shuttle launches.

    But of course no one is paying SpaceX to launch crew to orbit yet, so like most things you blather about, you’re indulging in fantasy.

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