US Presidential contender Barack Obama has outlined his views on the near-term direction to be taken by the US space programme, according to reports. The Democratic senator believes that NASA must be given extra money if it is to extend the operational life of the space shuttle. However he seems to accept that many Democrats on …
Crucial choice for the Americans
Stay in the race or drop out completely. Do or do not- there is no try. And other such sayings.
If the Americans want to maintain a presence in space they need to fund it correctly. If they lose their presence in space, they lose a load of cash, knowledge and prestige- but also "gain" a tiny proportion of their GDP to waste on other stuff.
If they fund it correctly, the Americans could- to paraphrase Battlezone's Wilheim Arkin- "watch the sunrise from the olympus mons while Putin plays with his little orbital bottle rockets".
Personally, I'd hope they keep their presence in space (or that the UK/ESA kicks its ass in the next space race- either's good).
There's enough money
If you stop invading and meddling in the business of other countries.
Exploration over War
They blow a huge sum of money every year on their fictional War on Terror, but can't dig deep enough to fund the advancement of human space exploration. Which is surly a much more worthy pursuit.
Mines the one with the 'Beam me up Scotty' device in the pocket.
why they not
just throw some more mony in the direction of richard branson and his lot they seam to be doing a better job of it.
If being in space is so important for technological research, then let the private sector fund it. Government has no business in space. There's no need to use it as propaganda against the Commies. The world went Communist anyways.
Congress approved the waiver
So hopefully that Shuttle deathtrap will rattle off into the sunset...
Saturday they had two Shuttles on the pad for the last time, so they opened the RSSes so you could see the orbiters and have a photo-op. I went over there to take pictures.
The alternative route
Or go the alternative route:
Skip the troublesome Ares solution and reuse the proven shuttle components:
This is at least what a number of NASA Ares engineers believe in and work on in their spare time.
Cheaper, Faster, Lower technical risk.
No mammoth launcher like the Saturn V
Mine is the one with a slide ruler in the pocket
For Azathoth's Sake!
This one is so easy I wonder everyone else hasn't seen it first.
All they need do is declare an IPO for NASA to make it a publicly owned company.
Next, the NASA board must authorize the buying-up of as much bad sub-prime paper as they can get their robotic manipulators on.
Finally, they must appeal for the now-standard multi-billion dollar bailout by the taxpayer.
This should generate enough funds to keep the Shuttle flying, fund Space Shuttle:TNG, and enough titanium ash-trays to go round.
Mars? Pah! There'll be enough cash to get to not-a-planet-any-more Pluto by next February.
2 for 1 option
Whilst they're sending the nukes over to strike Russia, N.Korea and/or Iran, stick a payload on to ship to the ISS or wherever.
Maybe the other side (well Russia) can do likewise to pick up cargo and return to the US. Okay the results will be incinerated on landing, but hey :-)
The first thoughts which come to mind....
1) Express all prices in kg of Gold, not in USD, just to be able to do comparisons over time.
2) Get off the high moral horse and drop the cretinous "we are better than Putin" attitude already. The USA has no moral standing left whatsoever, so no problem dealing with Russia.
3) More billions have been "lost" (in the sense of 'Where has that cash container gone?') in Iraq than will ever be "found" for NASA in the foreseeable future. When you realize the priorities, you will shit bricks.
Don't mind me.....
.....I'm just going to cover all the bases.
RE: Rob Elliott
That would be the "fictional war on terror" that included a fictional set of bombs in the London on 7th July 2005? I'm sure the fictional bereaved of all the fifty-two not-really-dead-at-all commuters (not one armed Imperialist Yankee Soldier in sight, note) would be quite happy to tell you which of your over-used orifices you can go shove your fictional intelligence up.
Nice to see Obama can't string a sentence together without his teleprompter on real matters like the economy and world affairs, but he's just fine suggesting more uncontrolled spending which will of course mean more taxes (where did you think the money will come from?). Not to worry, if Obama hasn't wasted it all on a National Community Organiser Gazebo Program (for those that don't ge the joke just check out his one lasting "accomplishment" as a CO in Chicago), I'm sure Al Gore will veto it on the grounds that if the rockets aren't wind-powered they'll be very nasty for the old environment.....
Is it me
or does the Jupiter 232 at http://www.directlauncher.com/ that Holtsmark linked to look alot like the Phoenix Warp Drive Ship that Zefram Cochrane made in StarTrek: First Contact.
If our success in the War on Drugs is any indication...
Trouble is, dear fellow American Matt, our friends tend to think that attacks like the one on 3/11/04 in Madrid and 7/7/05 in London prove that our War on an Abstract Noun is counterproductive. Far from wanting more of our "help" after they were attacked, Spain decided that being closely tied to us was dangerous and kicked out their conservative government in favor of a socialist one which campaigned primarily on getting Spain out of Iraq.
When bombs were found on a German train, the German police and intelligence service sprang to action to find the culprits. The Bundeswehr, however, did not join any of several convenient Iraq training exercises going on at US bases in here in their own country, and Germans continued to be pleased with their government for not getting involved in that particular bit of the mess. The majority would have the Bundeswehr leave Afghanistan.
I guess we dump enough money into the local economies that Germans believe the risks of keeping a bunch of US bases around are worth it. In my little backwoods corner of Bavaria, we are one of the top employers... of Germans.
My paychecks are written by the US defense industry, but I wouldn't mind seeing it downsized. Even if I then have to learn German and go find a real job...
Diverting a couple of defense budget billions into NASA wouldn't go amiss. Oddly enough, it's much the same set of contractors - just different applications.
Oh, and like most Americans who get to live with the consequences of our foreign policy on a daily basis, I'm voting for Obama, as he seems less likely to get us into an imprudent third (or fourth) war.
@ Matt Bryant
Grow a brain.
The "War on Terror" has already been lost - because we've (both the USA and the UK) given up many of the freedoms we had before the attacks.
Throughout the last several years, there have been two actual attacks on UK and US soil shown to have been perpetrated by Islamic extremists. The World Trade Centre demolition attack, and the July 7th London Bombings.
Prior to that, there were several thousand attacks on UK soil perpetrated by Irish extremists - the Real IRA, Provisional IRA, etc.
They were primarily funded by Americans... Funny that.
They killed a lot of real people too - yet there was never any 'We must invade xxx' or 'We're at war with yyy'
This so-called War on Terror is nothing of the sort - it's an excuse for governments to use when pushing through legislation to take away freedoms we previously enjoyed.
- Not to mention that the US government both claim it to be a "War", and also "Not a War!" - the people in Guantanamo Bay were described as 'detainees', not 'prisoners of war', and yet GW Bush describes it as a War.
We need to use actual intelligence, not knee-jerk actions and legislation. That way leads to a police state, if we aren't already there.
Yes, I shouldn't feed the troll. But it's worth saying anyway.
"That would be the "fictional war on terror" that included a fictional set of bombs in the London on 7th July 2005?"
You see - the bombs were not fictional but the war certainly is.
Imagine your doctor will tell you that the best way to prevent, say, syphilis would be to machine-gun every bakteria in a "war on infection"? The bacteria will be real, the bullets too but the war will of course be fictional. You may temporarily feel safer while you're saturating the surroundings with lead, but your chances of catching the desease will not become lower (and you may shoot yourself in the foot in the process).
Not that anyone's suggesting you're a syphilitic nut-job, of course.
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