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We've entered the era of nothing

I would suggest strongly that the reference goes well beyond NASA:

At the end of this year a new era will dawn at NASA. It will mark a first-ever period for our civil space program - the era of nothing. Since its inception, even if it has only been through fantastical imagery, NASA always had, 'the next thing.' In the beginning there was the X-15, then Mercury, Gemini and Apollo Programs. Near the end of the Apollo Program it was announced that the shuttle program had been approved and would be moving forward.

With the loss of space shuttle Columbia in 2003 it was decided that the next thing would be a return to the old thing - manned space exploration. This was supposed to come in the form of the Constellation Program, a byproduct of the 'Vision for Space Exploration' with its moon, Mars and beyond philosophy. Then President Barack Obama came into office and changed all that.

...

So President Obama can talk vaguely of going on to Mars and the asteroids all he likes, his plan in its current state, leaves America with neither the hardware to do it nor, (after they are laid off) the workforce to build it. Even some of the most despised presidents in American history, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush left us with manned space programs, (the shuttle and Constellation Programs respectively). Obama, just a little over a year in office has not only given us nothing, he has taken away the little we had.

And he's not finished yet... that's the scary part.

Crossposted at Brutally Honest.


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Comments (9)

But NASA does have a new "m... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

But NASA does have a new "mission". Global Warming. Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

I wish ole' jug ears would ... (Below threshold)
914:

I wish ole' jug ears would go to Mars.. We could all use a permanent break from assinity!

I'm all for manned space ex... (Below threshold)
Captain Ned Author Profile Page:

I'm all for manned space exploration. However, everything NASA has proposed to that end over the past 2 decades has had very little to do with exploration and everything to do with keeping the tens of thousands of workers in the Shuttle program employed.

Manned space will continue. NASA will have a part of it only if it has the will to shed the thousands of people whose jobs should end with the retirement of the Shuttle. Furthermore, the private entreprenurial space companies are actually rolling out space-ready hardware and have successfully launched to orbit (SpaceX) using a fraction of the people NASA needs to accomplish the same.

NASA needs to return to the organization it was back when it was called NACA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. It was a pure research operation whose results were freely available for use by the private sector. Revert NASA to that role and let them use the infrastructure they've built over the decades to do the basic pure research stuff so that private companies can take off-the-shelf results and build whatever they want.

NASA worked NACA did not. ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

NASA worked NACA did not. Why return to a failed structure. We need to build and send things into orbit and most of it need to be kept under government control. There somethings the government needs todo and space exploration and what it does for national defense is one of them.
NASA benefit is that we have particle engineers engaged in working on real problems. When they solve issues some of they can have immense military benefits and they need to exploited and protected.

NASA, NACA, whatever. The ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

NASA, NACA, whatever. The U.S.A. is broke. Financially Kaput. Holding No Dinero. How does anyone propose to pay for space program, real or imaginary, when we are broke?

Matt, Keep NASA, c... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

Matt,

Keep NASA, cut repeal Healthcare, end Stimulus, Wind down Medicare and Social Security, Enforce border, Kill FM/FM.

Eliminate the Department of... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Eliminate the Department of Education, which educates ZERO students and cannot account for much of the billions it spends. Then we can fund NASA and reduce the deficit at the same time.

When Obama first announced his so-called "plan," three men wrote an open letter on the subject. They were Neil Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon, Eugene Cernan, last man to walk on the moon, and Jim Lovell, Apollo 13 commander who oversaw possibly the greatest seat-of-the-pants engineering miracle in the history of mankind.

They pointed out that Obama's talk about missions to asteroids and Mars was nothing but empty rhetoric. There is no space vehicle - rocket or capsule - existing or in development capable of doing either, and no plan to develop one. There is no training program for astronauts to accomplish these missions, and no plan to develop one. All of Obama's boldly offered future goals have no budget, no timetable (except "after he will be long gone"), no articulate plan, and no plan to develop one.

Now, I do agree the Shuttle program hogged resources which would have been better spent on forward-looking projects instead of '70s technology. Part of the rationale for keeping it going was to help the international effort with ISS, for the benefit of world peace and cooperation blah blah blah, but that became an anachronism on its own, consuming resources without doing much new (at least not in the sense of the dramatic scientific advances our space program had delivered before the Shuttle) for decades. But you don't correct that mistake by essentially quitting.

On the plus side, though, i... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

On the plus side, though, it should be noted that leaving space effectively open to private exploitation only, Obama is setting the stage for some pretty cool James Bond movie plots in the future.

"We've entered the era of n... (Below threshold)
kevino:

"We've entered the era of nothing"

led by a President who's an empty suit.




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