Campaign '12, NASA

Houston Chronicle cites space policy in its Romney endorsement

On Sunday, the Houston Chronicle formally endorsed Mitt Romney for president, four years after the paper had endorsed Barack Obama. The Chronicle’s editorial focused on a few major issues, including its disappointment with the Obama Administration’s approach to space:

It has been an insult to the memory of American heroes like Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride to allow manned spaceflight to languish in the country that put men on the moon. The notion of paying $50 million a seat to Russia for commercial taxi service to the International Space Station is galling.

Obama has failed to articulate a bold vision of his own for the agency. That failure forsakes a legacy of scientific achievement that has showered benefits on the nation. This approach to NASA has abandoned the American imperative of lighting out for the territory and exploring new worlds. NASA’s legacy must be reclaimed.

In recent days we have seen a welcome return of popular enthusiasm for space exploration, thanks to the success of the Mars rover Curiosity. When NASA stuck the landing in a tour de force of technical precision, the international excitement was palpable. Let’s seize upon it.

That will require more effective presidential leadership.

The editorial follows on the criticism in recent days by Republican candidates like Reps. Paul Ryan, running for vice president, and Connie Mack, running for the Senate in Florida, that the administration has no plan for NASA. And, like Ryan and Mack’s earlier comments, some of the criticism of the Obama Administration’s policies levied in the endorsement, most notably the reliance on Russian vehicles to transport American astronauts to and from the ISS, dates back to policies of the Bush Administration and the original rollout of the Vision for Space Exploration.

Most curious, though, is the passage that it is “an insult to the memory of American heroes like Neil Armstrong and Sally Ride to allow manned spaceflight to languish” in the US. Armstrong was a critic of the administration’s plans, to be certain, as he did in testimony before the House Science Committee in September 2011. Ride, though, was not a critic of the Obama Administration’s approach: she served on the Augustine Committee in 2009 that studied NASA’s human spaceflight programs and developed several options, including the “Flexible Path” approach the administration adopted. As presidential science advisor John Holdren noted in May 2010, Ride was included in a “large array” of astronauts who supported the Obama Administration’s policy. Ride also endorsed Obama in 2008.

Beyond “more effective presidential leadership,” the Chronicle endorsement doesn’t explain what it thinks a Romney Administration would do differently so that “NASA’s legacy,” is it puts it, is “reclaimed.”

40 comments to Houston Chronicle cites space policy in its Romney endorsement

  • Robert G. Oler

    The Salt Lake City paper endorsed Obama.

    The Houston Chronicle’s comments are weak. What people in the space “cities” cannot figure out is that the glory days of a big government program spending billions in a sort of mindless program mentality are over.

    Clear Lake is a sterling example of how wrong the GOP philosophy is. Federal spending turned it from rice fields into a thriving community and that spending started its now prime industry…health care. All the folks (or at least most of them) who worked in the effort had excellent federal health care coverage and the free market responded.

    There is a modest aerospace industry there; but the health care dollars are the prime drivers. Bring on Obamacare. RGO

  • RockyMtnSpace

    Robert G. Oler wrote @ October 21st, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    “Federal spending turned it from rice fields into a thriving community and that spending started its now prime industry…health care. There is a modest aerospace industry there; but the health care dollars are the prime drivers. Bring on Obamacare. RGO”

    This is rich coming from someone decrying federal “techno-welfare” which spends all of $18B (NASA). You’ve just substituted your favorite program, “healthno-welfare” in its place at an annual budget well in excess of $1T! For a country that spends $11 for every $7 it collects and Obummercare still to hit the books, your “vision” has the US economy swirling down the toilet, doing its best to catch up with Greece. Your tax-the-rich-at-any-cost mantra now makes perfect sense. What a left-ist.

  • Robert G. Oler

    RockyMtnSpace wrote @ October 21st, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    that is not a fair statement of my position…but so be it I’ll run with it

    At the very least NASA techno welfare spending (most of HSF and a good chunk of the science program) benefits a very small number of people…ie the “throw down” number is small. When I was a minor political figure in Clear Lake we had access to some studies by groups who thought that they were going to get the opposite result. that really the federal spending in Beaumont for the federal penal institutions there had about thesame affect per dollar on the local economy as NASA spending did at Clear Lake.

    In both cases there is no product that is a residue of the spending which then continues to change “society”. Spend 1 billion on a shuttle launch all you get is the spending…spend the same money on say a I-45 or 646 or whatever rebuild and at the end of it; when the jobs have all vanished…you get the product.

    Health care for all is a “continuing product”. ie at the end of it you get well people.

    AND you get an industry which actually has that product.

    The country spends 11 dollars for every 7 it collects because in large measure we are spending 1) on projects which are valuless…take away the wars, the bloated defense spending and useless program like SLS/Orion the spend number goes down and 2) collect taxes from those who have seen their income do far better then any other group in the Bush43 years the revenue comes up and the two lines merge quickly.

    but you are probably one of those people who have bought the lie taht “the rich create jobs” LOL RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    This is 2012…I will make people here the same bet that I did when Cx was announced.

    3 no lets make it 2 years from now:

    SLS will be either cancelled or no closer to flying in 2017 then it is now…ie if still going it will have slipped right.

    Orion will be going down the same path

    SpaceX will be paying more in federal income taxes on private sales that it is making then on federal contracts. SpaceX will be employing more people on commercial non federal government efforts at all of its facilities then they do on government efforts.

    neither Boeing space nor Lockmart Space nor ULA will be able to make that statement.

    Even though my prediction about Cx incinerated Whittington and even KC of NASA watch…I was dead right.

    two year from now I will be as well. RGO

  • amightywind

    The Leftists giveth and the Leftists taketh away. The Houston space industry was born of naked democrat politics, back when Texas reliably voted democrat. Those days are long over. Texas grew up and became prosperous capitalists, and earned the reprisals of an ever jealous left. The downfall of Johnson Space Center is no more complicated than that. Obama turned Houston in the Detroit of space.

    The endorsement of a Houston paper isn’t much news. Romney is likely to carry the state by 10 points. An endorsement in Florida or Virginia would be more consequential. Undecided voters are breaking for Romney as the election reaches its most critical phase.

  • Coastal Ron

    Apparently the Houston Chronicle thinks that a requirement for a President is to “articulate a bold vision” for space. OK.

    What’s Romney’s “bold vision” for space?

    He’ll call a meeting.

    What a bold vision…

  • Robert G. Oler


    SpaceX will be paying more in federal income taxes on private sales that it is making then on federal contracts. ”

    some not elegant wording

    revise and re something my remarks

    “SpaceX will be paying more in federal income taxes on private sales then it is PAYING income taxes on federal contracts”

    I also believe that SpaceX will be making more on private sales then it is “making” on federal contracts”

    For the record

    Robert G. Oler

  • GUEST

    I’m disappointed in Obama over his lack of a definitive space policy, though I am not sure its entirely in his power-I dont think he was behind the maintaining of Orion or the instigation of SLS. However I put no more faith in Romney since he seems to have no plans other than to make sure a lot of money continues to flow to big corporations. There are a lot more effective ways, as LM and Orion are demonstrating as compared with Dragon and Space-X. So far I am not sure who I will vote for.

    My biggest disappointment, however is reserved for the NASA management and their lack of leadership now and over several past years. The politicians do not come up with plans on their own. That NASA has no idea for a plan is my greatest disappointment.

  • DCSCA

    Houston Chronicle cites space policy in its Romney endorsement

    As if newspapers even matter anymore.

    Rather than look to Mr. Obama’s position on space, which clearly did a 180 after he was elected (based on the rfecommendation of his people BTW) w/t subsequent torpedoing of Constellation, Houston area residents and businesses dependent on NASA ops better look to themselves and the less-than-stellar management they’ve displayed to the nation so far this century.

    Shuttle. Curiousity, JWST…. fiscal nightmares all. NASA is as much a Cold War relic as the space station it operates. It is sorely in need of a massive house cleaning. Shuttle era management was mediocre at besr; station keepers equally average. Shuttle costs soared when they wre supposed to be dropping and the current NASA remains top-heavy, festooned with unimaginative bureaucrats plodding toward retirement clashing with grandiose planners who waste time and dwindling resources on make-work dreams with no bidgets in the foreseeable future to fulfill them. All running in place with an ex-lobbyist and an over-the-hill astronaut lauding praise upon outsourcing ops that go in circles, no place fast and on artifacts designed from the last century as they’re placed in museums. This stand-alone agency is ripe for consolidation into the DoD as a civilian division of same.

  • DCSCA

    a Romney Administration would do differently so that “NASA’s legacy,” is it puts it, is “reclaimed.”

    NASA has demonstrated it can’t fiscally manage itself– so somebody else wil have ot step in and manage the assets for them. Mr. Romney’s response to Mr. Gingrich in the primaries (I’ll fire managers who push for moon bases) and his nebulous comments along the Space Coast during the campaign should be a tip-off, along w/his attitude toward ‘Big Bird.’ A free-wheeling Romney will decimate NASA. The only ‘legacy’ it would have is it’s meatball logo. .

  • DCSCA

    In Romney’s mindset, there is no difference between AmPad and NASA.

  • Heinrich Monroe

    I wouldn’t read that much into the Chronicle endorsement. The Houston Chronicle has endorsed a Republican presidential candidate almost every time (except the last time!) for almost 40 years. Oh, that decades olf Democratic endorsement was for LBJ in 1964 … what a surprise. So their space argument isn’t very deep, nor very well thought out. Once you decide who you’re going to endorse, this is what you call “piling on”. The state of Texas is irrelevant in this election anyway. Everyone knows that. I agree that it’s not as if major newspapers are all that relevant either anymore. A large media conglomerate might have some political power, but Hearst largely doesn’t have that anymore.

  • The Houston Chronicle lied:

    Obama has failed to articulate a bold vision of his own for the agency.

    April 15, 2010. Kennedy Space Center. Operations & Checkout Building.

    Click here to see for yourself.

    There was an incident today at the KSC Visitor Complex where someone in a Romney campaign shirt stood up in the middle of a lecture to claim Obama was shutting down NASA to send the money to ObamaCare. The person on the stage told the truth and told her she didn’t know what she was talking about, which drew applause from the audience.

    It seems that all Romney and his followers have are lies.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ October 21st, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Look I am voting for Obama and he is head over heels better then a person who just lies and says anything that he thinks the people want to hear…

    But in the end Obama has got no one to blame but himself for the sorry state of this campaign.

    I think there is a vision there for space and a few other things, I guess but really “I” couldnt tell you what it is because Charlie, Lori and the rest of the dancing political bears never really talk about it. They babble on about this or that but I have never heard for instance Lori Garver name one thing in space she is against.

    That is true for everything that Obama has going now. And the latest NBC/WallStreet journal poll more or less shows the breakdown.

    The vast majority of people voting for Romney are doing it based really on lies or mis truths about Obama…and the vast majority of people voting for Obama are voting on what they hope is true for a second term.

    There is never a speech where Obama gets up and says “I am doing SLS/Orion because of those sacks of (excrement) in the Congress” and I wouldnt be doint it if I didnt have to but they are wasting the money blah blah blah and this is where I want to go in space policy and politics.

    It is discouraging. RGO

  • NeilShipley

    GUEST wrote @ October 21st, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    There are a lot more effective ways, as LM and Orion are demonstrating as compared with Dragon and Space-X.
    ??????

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ October 21st, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    “It seems that all Romney and his followers have are lies.”

    Stephen…it is a combination of lies and half truths but mostly they are the result of a simple fear of the future.

    history as always is illuminative.

    When Mr. Clement Attlee, Prime Minister of United Kingdom, in June 1947, introduced the Indian Independence Act in the British Parliament, Sir Winston Churchill, war time Prime Minister of England, argued:-

    “There cannot be an England without India and India without an England is a sea of rabble that will never amount to much of anything…..Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues & silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power & India will be lost in political squabbles. A day would come when even air & water… would be taxed in India.”

    the Republican party as it stands today is run by people who simply cannot imagine a future that is much different from the past which THEY HAVE CREATED. Much like Winnie in his declining years they are always harking back to some earlier time (REagan for instance) where in their mind the answers were easy…

    Winnie as he campaigned against the inevitable march of independence of all the English colonies simply could not see that the world had changed after WW2…and that included England.

    The US has changed with the fall of the Soviet Union, but for the GOP those are the halcyon days which need to be relived. Hence the actions in Libya sad as they are/were become Teheran in the late 70′s…and that includes at least for the GOP masses the hatred of Obama for mostly made up reasons ” Obama was shutting down NASA to send the money to ObamaCare.”

    and the notion of a NASA that is more or less out of the 60′s.

    How serious this delusion is; is that people who are Romney supporters are willing to believe whatever makes them happy about his space promises…when he clearly has promised nothing except less money.

    RGO

  • Robert G. Oler wrote:

    Stephen…it is a combination of lies and half truths but mostly they are the result of a simple fear of the future.

    The fear is mostly self-inflicted.

    Last week, a co-worker stood up and told everyone in the room that we’d better vote for Romney, because if Obama gets re-elected our employer will convert us all from full-time to part-time and we’ll lose our health insurance.

    First, it’s impossible because we’re in a union with a contract. Second, as everyone enters the pool insurance rates will go down so our employer’s insurance costs will decrease.

    But the bottom line is that this Romney supporter was trying to extort votes for his candidate based on a lie.

    I haven’t seen any Obama supporters, either co-workers or customers, come through behaving like this.

  • Robert G. Oler

    Stephen C. Smith wrote @ October 22nd, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Stephen the GOP is pushing that country wide. A bunch of people have gotten that call in the last week…a friend at NNSA when he got the call (he works in Nevada a swing state sort of) the phone person made their speel and then said “I can check to see if the company you work for has said it will do this” so he told them he works for “NNSA” and amazingly the company was on the list (it is an agency of the Federal government).

    The GOP learned to lie under Bush with the Iraq war. and they have lied since. There is no set of circumstances where there is a coherent space policy under Romney/Ryan but the mere “we are going to have a plan” is good enough for the irrantional minds. RGO

  • Look I am voting for Obama and he is head over heels better then a person who just lies and says anything that he thinks the people want to hear…

    Yes, because Barack Obama never does that.

  • Beyond “more effective presidential leadership,” the Chronicle endorsement doesn’t explain what it thinks a Romney Administration would do differently so that “NASA’s legacy,” is it puts it, is “reclaimed.”

    Does that mean NASA’s budget will increase under a Romney Administration?

    Hardly, lol.

    What it might mean is that commercial crew is downselected to Atlas 5/CST-100 and the money routed to SLS/MPCV with little to no funding for science space probes.

    I’m sure the NRO will get more funding though.

  • William Mellberg

    Robert G. Oler wrote:

    “Look I am voting for Obama and he is head over heels better then a person who just lies and says anything that he thinks the people want to hear…”

    I am voting for Romney because Obama is in over his head, shows no understanding of basic economics (other than the Socialist variety) and has squandered the goodwill which accompanied him into office four years ago. Obama has divided the American people. And I don’t think the world has become a safer place under his inept leadership (think Benghazi).

    Obama has also scuttled America’s hard-earned leadership in space. But that has nothing to do with my vote for Romney. My vote is based on the economic ruin Obama has heaped upon tens of millions of Americans via his “redistribution” mindset. He hasn’t “spread the wealth.” He’s spread the misery. He hasn’t restored confidence. He’s shaken it. Which is why unemployment continues to plague tens of millions of Americans.

    I don’t know what Mitt Romney will do with regard to redirecting America’s space program — putting NASA on a “Mission to Somewhere.” But I do know that he has the intelligence and the experience to get the economy back on track. As James Carville noted in 1992, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

    With a healthy economy, we can see the return of a healthy space program — and lots of other programs. More people working in the private sector equals more tax revenues for the government. Mitt Romney understands that basic economic principle. Barack Obama does not. All he thinks about is punishing “millionaires and billionaires.” That’s NOT an economic plan.

    Besides … “commercial” space needs “millionaires and billionaires” to prime the pump.

  • Vladislaw

    Robert wrote:

    “Spend 1 billion on a shuttle launch all you get is the spending…spend the same money on say a I-45 or 646 or whatever rebuild and at the end of it; when the jobs have all vanished…you get the product.”

    You also get a lot more than just the product with a 646. You get the increases in productivity, I do not have to least all the benefits of higher productivity and along with that, more consumer disposable income with higher sales tax revenues. (if clear lake area has them)

    Disposable infrastructure is never a good buy over permanent like a road.

  • DCSCA

    @William Mellberg wrote @ October 22nd, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    “I don’t know what Mitt Romney will do with regard to redirecting America’s space program —”

    In fact, we’ve got a pretty good idea based on his slap down of Gingrich in the prmaries of any manager who’d bring ideas of a ‘moon base’ to his officve (je saisd he’d firethem) coupled with his nebulous comments while campaigning along the space coast.

    “Look I am voting for Obama and he is head over heels better then a person who just lies and says anything that he thinks the people want to hear…”

    A plutocrat like Romney will kill the space program. His mind set toward NASA is the same as that toward AmPad. He has no interest in it, either. Case in point- when Apollo 8 was circling the moon, and much of the planet was focused in on events that Cheistmas Eve, wger was Mitt????— Romney was literally chaising down Annie in an airport. He simply didn’t have any interest in it. . Speaks volumes.

    “I am voting for Romney because Obama is in over his head, shows no understanding of basic economics (other than the Socialist variety) and has squandered the goodwill which accompanied him into office four years ago. Obama has divided the American people. And I don’t think the world has become a safer place under his inept leadership (think Benghazi).”

    Nonsense.The wreckage left by the previous administration and its cohorts, not to mention the trend over three decades of trickle down Reaganomics all but wrecked the aspirations of our space agency. And it will take more than a few years to clean up this mess. It took a generation and a terrible war a war to clean up the Harding/Coolidge/Hoover disaster. .

    We’ve already voted by mail.

  • Coastal Ron

    William Mellberg wrote @ October 22nd, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Obama has divided the American people.

    Yes, when Republican’s said they wanted to make Obama a one-term President right after he took office, it was their way of saying they wanted to work together for the good of the nation. NOT!

    In case you haven’t notice, half the nation really doesn’t like “the other guy”. That’s always been the case, but especially today with TV and radio shows telling everyone how to think, especially when they are telling everyone that “the other guy” is a socialist, a muslim (supposedly bad I guess), or wants to ruin the country. Yes, that is just their way of uniting the country, not dividing it.

    Obama has also scuttled America’s hard-earned leadership in space.

    Where in the world have we lost dominance?

    We are still the majority owner of the largest space station in history, and Obama has accelerated the crew transportation capability we lost with Bush’s cancellation of the Shuttle. Also, our first commercial cargo system just started service, and the second one is on schedule to start operations next year. And add onto that the sub-orbital and horizontal launch systems that are in work – what country has the depth of capabilities the U.S. has?

    You may try to point to the Constellation program as some sort of “loss”, but you refuse to acknowledge that with the Constellation program, America would have given up our permanent outpost in space for decades just to walk on the Moon a couple of more times – and then that would have ended just like the Apollo program did. It was a completely disposable architecture.

    Talk about denial.

  • Robert G. Oler

    William Mellberg wrote @ October 22nd, 2012 at 1:46 pm
    ” And I don’t think the world has become a safer place under his inept leadership (think Benghazi).”

    You are free to vote for whoever you want…I live in Texas and well my vote wont matter all that much…but if the above is one of the metrics you use then it is sadly thin gruel and you move into an Uninformed voter category in my viewpoint.

    What happened in Benghazi was “part of the noise”. Yes we lost four people and they were good people, the ambassador was one of the best..but what happened on the ground there has no more to do with the world being a safe place then the barracks being blown up under Reagan.

    What it has to do with is the end of superpower domination of a region far to long under a form of colonialism; 10 plus years of stupedly waged war by this country in response to a single event…and the notions of a people yearning to shape their own destiny.

    The latter is always filled with extreme groups and that includes “our” first civil war/Revolution

    as for “dividing the American people”…maybe Obama is guilty of that at least on retrospection. There is right and there is wrong; and I think most people in the red states are simply wrong about the issues they push out. Obama is not a Muslim (and why should we care if he is), he was born in this country, he is not a (sadly) socialist…the list is endless but people in the red states keep saying those things and electing stupid people who say those things.

    We had a major politican in the state of Arkansas this weekend get up at a GOP rally and explain that slavery couldnt be all that bad; Jesus and Paul put up with it.

    yeah divide me from idiots like that.

    As for our space program. you wrote “Obama has also scuttled America’s hard-earned leadership in space.”

    How? He cancelled a program that was underperforming.

    As for the economy. Romney can fix the economy if you want a country like Bain…ie a place where the top 1 percent keep their thumbs on the next 19 percent and those people keep their thumbs on everyone else. See Walmart.

    Anyway enjoy voting for a guy who lies all the time. Now I know who you are RGO

  • William Mellberg

    Robert G. Oler wrote:

    “Anyway enjoy voting for a guy who lies all the time.”

    For once, Rand Simberg and I are in agreement. As he already replied to one of your previous comments about Romney lying “all the time” …

    “Barack Obama never does that.”

    Of course, Mr. Simberg’s comment was facetious. But he made his point.

    I am not a spokesman for the Romney campaign or the Republican Party. And at this stage of the game (just two weeks until Election Day), I am not going to get into a pissing contest with anyone about who said what, when and where. I’ve said my piece. And I don’t think many minds are going to be changed at this point anyhow (certainly not in this forum). But I do subscribe to what Evelyn Beatrice Hall so famously wrote in her biography of Voltaire:

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Democracy is messy. That’s a given. As long as people have the right to disagree and to express themselves freely, there is going to be heated rhetoric coming from all sides. Charges and counter-charges are par for the course in a free society (as we’ll see again in tonight’s presidential debate).

    But that is the wonderful thing about democracy. “We the People” get to say what we think. We get to choose our leaders, too. And we’ll have that opportunity once again on November 6th.

    I urge every American to cast his or her votes on Election Day.

  • Robert G. Oler

    William Mellberg wrote @ October 22nd, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Robert G. Oler wrote:

    “Anyway enjoy voting for a guy who lies all the time.”

    For once, Rand Simberg and I are in agreement. As he already replied to one of your previous comments about Romney lying “all the time” …

    “Barack Obama never does that.”

    >>>>

    and Simberg is equating apples to beans.

    ALL Politicans lie….in the Scripture there is a great line from “Pilate” during the trial of Jesus when he ask “what is truth?” Taken in context that was an excellent statement by Pilate because as I noted all politicans lie.

    What they do is exaggerate the good things and play down the bad ones…but what Romney does is “really lie”

    and so do his aides

    Scott pace and EA have written a piece in Space News supporting a Romney candidacy…but the words that they are using ARE IN DIRECT contradiction to statements that they made about the same policies less then 2 years ago.

    Lying in politics is when a candidate will tell you things completely different then what he/she was saying “just not that long ago” and not explain why what they said some time ago has changed. they just hope the people who believe the new position dont recall the old.

    I have no doubt Obama has told exaggerations and said things which he wishes were better then they are…but his moments of saying one thing and six months later saying something completely contradicting that are few and far between. With ROmney they are at a moments notice.

    I urge every American to cast their vote on Election Day RGO

  • Tom D

    There seems to be a LOT of Democrat hysteria being echoed around here. I do not believe that Romney is a monster. Everything I have learned of him suggests that he is an intelligent, thoughtful, and experienced leader. I think he will be a much better president than Obama. I will vote for Romney and urge everyone else to do the same.

    I don’t think that this election has much direct bearing on the expansion of humanity into the cosmos. NASA’s budget is just a fraction of the interest paid on the national debt every year. No matter what happens in this election it looks like human spaceflight will be less and less of a function of government in the future. We just won’t be able to afford that much. Hopefully, there will be some “fat cats” out there who can afford more.

  • common sense

    “There seems to be a LOT of Democrat hysteria being echoed around here.”

    Oh yeah most posters are democrats here unlike on Fox News blogs.

    “Everything I have learned of him suggests that he is an intelligent, thoughtful, and experienced leader.”

    Oh sure, a real sweet, nice guy. Maybe you should marry him?

    Whatever.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi AW –

    “Undecided voters are breaking for Romney as the election reaches its most critical phase.”

    Not after they find out about his Swiss bank account. If he was a Democrat who won with that, Rush would be howling for his impeachment.

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi Tom D –

    “Everything I have learned of him suggests that he is an intelligent, thoughtful, and experienced leader”

    It is clear that you haven’t looked at his Swiss bank account yet, I see.

    Hi RGO –

    Mountbatten broke with Churchill on that.

  • Robert G. Oler

    After tonight I am every more impressed with Romney’s supporters…they can apparantly stay in love with a Mitt Romney who is a new person with new policies in almost every public appearance.

    RGO

  • Robert G. Oler

    E.P. Grondine wrote @ October 22nd, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Mountbatten broke with Churchill on that.”

    Yeah…a noted historian once said (to paraphrase) that “once history starts moving the best that can be done is to nudge it here and there a bit”…(Alistair Cook)

    the trick for politicans who are leaders is to recognize “when history starts moving”…you can see that in the space political forum. By hook, crook, good fortune whatever Obama has seen that the change in US space efforts is unfolding and he is nudging and tucking it a bit…the GOP space hangers on have no clue here…and thats about right because now most of their party is engaged in hanging on to the past.

    Winnie had grown old after being beaten at the end of the war…he couldnt see the sands shifting both at home and abroad. His stupidity played, in my view a large role in the “hurry get it done” effort that gave us a Pakistan; which probably is an ungovernable state…instead of a unified India.

    Oh well. RGO

  • It’s sad, and I hope I am wrong, but I think it’s a safe bet that many or most commercial space advocates will vote against their own best interests. Mrr. Obama space team has consistently supported everything new space has fought for, and despite the opposition of powerful Republican Senators who should know better, managed to continue or implement a lot of it. Yet I predict most new space advocates will vote for a candidate who is likely to send NASA right back to the bad old days of “Socialist” government contracting. It’s a secret vote, so we’ll never know, but these days, ideology seems to trump reality every time. Again, I hope I am proven wrong.

    – Donald

  • E.P. Grondine

    Hi RGO –

    “Yeah…a noted historian once said (to paraphrase) that “once history starts moving the best that can be done is to nudge it here and there a bit”…(Alistair Cook)”

    Thanks.
    So that’s why I’ve been researching “recent” impacts for the last 15 years.
    And here I always thought I was just throwing pebbles into the stream of consciousness

  • Robert G. Oler

    E.P. Grondine wrote @ October 23rd, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    I have added

    99942 Apophis to my tracking program RGO

  • October 30, 2012
    Jeff Foust
    Houston Chronicle Newspaper
    DEAR MR.FOUST,
    We are the Space Propulsion Synergy Team formed in 1991, established by NASA, and this is a team of National Propulsion Multidiscipline experts (Research and Technologist, Concept and Design Development, Testing and Operations, and Program Management) with extensive experienced Contractor, Government and Academic experience assembled to ‘bridge the communication gap’ between technology developers and users.
    Our purpose for transmitting this white paper to you today is because of our concern for the direction our U. S. space program is taking today. This white paper is not intended to dictate policy or take any political position, but only to raise awareness to what we believe are the needs and short comings of today’s space program along with suggestions for consideration. We believe the points of view that we are expressing are for the benefit of our country in maintaining our leadership position in the world.
    Thank you for considering these thoughts in arriving at improved directions for this country’s space program. We also thank you for communicating and soliciting the country’s support and acceptance of a new proposed long rang strategy with far reaching goals and objectives.

    Russel E. Rhodes
    A Charter Member of the
    Space Propulsion Synergy Team

    The SPST Whitepaper on Space Development

    THE JUSTIFICATION FOR HUMAN SPACE DEVELOPMENT AND HABITATION BEYOND LOW EARTH ORBIT

    INTRODUCTION

    The space program lacks a long range focus and isn’t on a structured course to provide its affordable achievement. We are rapidly destroying our space infrastructure, which took more than a half century to develop and will require an enormous cost and time to recover the lost capabilities and skills. Mankind is losing valuable time in planning for the habitation of space beyond Earth orbit as the Earth becomes less capable of supporting human population growth. Society may already be in trouble for lack of vision of this need. In a civil society, the country does not simply decide to develop a new system or start a journey without a solid justification. Why are we about to develop something new or about to take a journey without a purpose and a well-defined destination? It is not fiscally responsible to undertake a new venture without first determining if it is affordable and sustainable to complete. If the new venture entails developing many new elements and establishing several milestones over many years, there is a need for a roadmap to provide a structured process including a strategy for accomplishment. Therefore, let us start by answering the big question, “Why are we about to enter into a new venture in space?” The present country’s leadership has not adequately provided a compelling long-term objective with a workable, affordable roadmap, one that is needed to enlist the American people’s support.

    This whitepaper will increase public awareness of the importance of the exploration of space. It will also provide long term compelling objectives and rationale for travel beyond low Earth orbit and to gain the peoples’ support.

    REASONS FOR DEVELOPMENT OF SPACE BEYOND LOW EARTH ORBIT

    1. SURVIVAL OF THE SPECIES

    Space exploration is critical and necessary for the survivability of the human species and should be a global undertaking. The Earth has limited resources required to support life as we know it. This along with the ever increasing internal and external threats could make this Earth uninhabitable in the foreseeable future. Therefore human space development and habitation beyond low Earth orbit is urgently needed to extend life beyond the bonds of Earth. A few compelling issues are: 1) the need to cooperate globally is essential for exploration; 2) by cooperating we will learn to work together in peace for mankind; and, 3) by opening the space frontier and its vast resources to sustain us, we will avoid diminishing resources on the Earth, reducing world conflicts and possibly wars.

    It’s the SPST’s position that mankind should develop a habitat beyond the Earth to allow man’s survival in the event of a catastrophe of the earth. An example of this happening in the past is when the dinosaurs became extinct on the earth or the ice age. This could be caused by an asteroid impact or a runaway greenhouse effect of our atmosphere. It is also projected that limits of growth for the earth are occurring and will become quite acute in approximately 30-40 years. As resources are consumed the cost of replacements becomes much higher and in many cases beyond the reach of the average person. A strong infrastructure involving a robust affordable space transportation system, manned habitats in space, establishing a colony on the moon and even terraforming planets will be required. The future of our species rests in the hands of the global population to recognize how important and urgent the exploration of space is to our survival.

    2. NATIONAL SECURITY AND PRESTIGE

    National security is always of concern and it has been established that the one who
    occupies the “High Ground” has a great advantage. Modern technology (GPS, imaging, etc.) in Earth orbit has provided a significant capability for conducting wars and observing operations around the world. To perform a new venture in space with International co-operation, our country must maintain a prestigious leadership position in space achievements and be active in the governing body that establishes international law and controls global space exploration.

    3. STIMULATION OF INTEREST IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, AND MATHEMATICS (STEM)

    The country must provide a climate of interest and opportunity for our young people to pursue math, physics, and science in their education. Scientific and engineering college graduates are required to fill the needs generated when our experienced persons retire and pass on. Stimulation of STEM, college graduates in all disciplines are required to fill the evolving objective(s), needs, and implementing efforts of this proposal. Engineers, scientists, mathematicians, etc., must have a working familiarity of the principles/considerations of all involved disciplines and sub disciplines. This journey into space should provide a stable and sustainable climate to fill this need. Many of our present scientist and engineers were stimulated or encouraged to enter the scientific field from the Saturn/Apollo experience where man walked on the moon.

    4. MAINTENANCE OF CRITICAL SKILLS

    We are presently in a transition period in this country where the skills required to accomplish this advanced scientific and engineering work are rapidly decreasing and being lost for lack of near-term opportunity, as well as premature termination of important National capabilities. Due to the poor economic climate in the country and the termination of many programs, many highly skilled and educated personnel are being terminated from employment in space activities. They are being asked to retrain for another field/opportunity if they can locate one that can utilize their skills.

    5. ECONOMIC GROWTH

    Past technology advanced programs have demonstrated that advanced technology development generates great economic growth and considerable opportunity for its citizens. It is said that war generated considerable advancement in technology and the Saturn/Apollo program focused on the peaceful development of much technology including the computer and advanced microelectronics. The entire world has experienced great economic growth from this technology. The world is still experiencing many new products, i.e., cell phones/I Pads, live communication from satellite, etc., being marketed every day from this growth. Economic growth offers a form and motivation of competitiveness necessary for all species to evolve/migrate/adapt/evolve/migrate/adapt ad infinitum. Also, the fruits of basic research and then applied research that generates “considerable employment for the country’s increase in population” is yet another facilitator in the critical aspect of migration by a culture, society, and civilization for species/genome/genetic coding-sequencing, etc., survival purposes.

    6. SPACE INDUSTRIALIZATION

    Private investors are considering the capture of an asteroid and moving it into orbit around the moon to allow the harvesting of precious metals for use on the earth. The profit motive drives investment growth in this country. New products and industries can and will be developed using the environment of space and brought back to earth. These examples will enable space migration, settlement of space and species survival while improving life on earth.

    CONCLUSIONS AND SUMMARY

    Human space development and habitation beyond low Earth orbit is urgently needed to extend life beyond the bonds of Earth and the survivability of the human race. Economic growth resulting from developing space transportation systems and exploiting resources in space needed for exploration and habitation of space will commercialize space and provide countless jobs.

    The above rationale certainly justifies support for advancing space. The next step is to convince rational representatives of all involved disciplines/sub-disciplines and the general global populace, that survival of modern humans and their descendants through space migration is not debatable and its success or failure is relatively pressing in terms of potential and looming natural and human generated catastrophes.

    RECOMMENDATIONS

    This whitepaper is only the first step and the SPST recommends it provide a much more detailed follow-up with a few suggested options for a long range roadmap for human space development and habitation beyond low Earth orbit. Increase communications to the importance and urgency of space development and habitation in all disciplines (legal, medical, education, food production, engineering, etc.) that are subject to the impact are essential.

    Suggested recommended steps are as follows:

    1. Escalate the need for an integrated U.S. National Exploration Plan including the role of Industry, Universities and all branches of the Government and U. S. Military; and, the role and involvement of International partners.
    2. Elaborate on our abbreviated list of reasons for the development of space beyond low earth orbit to provide the need and specifics required to develop a comprehensive roadmap.
    3. Establish a roadmap to provide a structured process including a strategy for achieving a permanent HABITATION BEYOND LOW EARTH ORBIT, and, the definition of the ground and space infrastructure including many new elements and overall plan with several milestones over many years.
    4. Develop a Space Habitation Architecture to support the thoroughly defined need including implementation strategy and requirements.

    For questions or additional information, please contact: John Robinson, SPST Chairman, at jwelshr@gmail.com or call 714-625-2107

  • vulture4

    The Chronicle endorsement is bizarre. Obviously the Bush administration caused the spaceflight gap and the Obama administration has been trying to close it with Commercial Crew, which the GOP has been fighting.

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