Skip to comments.A cloudy vision of U.S. spaceflight (Lost in Space .. The Obama Years)
Posted on 07/19/2011 3:52:31 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
When the orbiter Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, ending the 30-year-old space shuttle program, NASA will have its sights set on the next big exploration mission: sending astronauts to an asteroid in about 15 years.
But the path to that goal remains poorly defined, jeopardized by a bleak budget outlook and a weak political consensus. It has left a deep angst that U.S. leadership in space flight is in rapid decline and the very ability to fly humans off the Earth is at risk.
"I'm very disappointed about where we are today," said Robert L. Crippen, who flew on the first space shuttle mission and went on to senior leadership jobs in both NASA and the aerospace industry. "NASA's future is very fuzzy right now."
NASA has a complicated plan that would include operating the International Space Station, tapping a private launch service to ferry astronauts to orbit, and building a new launch system to send humans on deep space missions, including an asteroid by the mid-2020s.
So far, NASA has not described in detail the architecture of the launch system for deep-space missions, the cost of the program or even which asteroid it would visit.
At the same time, it is overseeing a massive retrenchment of the space shuttle workforce, laying off thousands of workers in Florida, Texas and California. ..
Even NASA's staunchest supporters in Congress, within industry and among the astronaut community are growing impatient or frustrated.
"It is important we define what is next and move on it soon," said John Elbon, a Boeing Co. vice president. "We have been meandering for the last few years."
NASA officials have worked since the launch of Atlantis on July 8 to assure the public that it still has an ambitious agenda.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
At Lockheed, engineers have been at work on the Orion spacecraft, but first NASA must figure out a system for launching it, which is at the mercy of the federal budget. (Patrick H. Corkery, Lockheed Martin / July 19, 2011)
Let’s not blame the space program’s woes on Obama. We’re outta money, folks.
I think the implied negativity of this article is a little out of line. After all NASA is now Diverse and is eagerly reaching out to Muslims. NASA provides employment and pensions. Lastly, NASA provides prestige for people who otherwise would never obtain it. Space travel and exploration are not necessarily the most important missions for NASA.
He has presided over the largest cutback that I can remember.
and he has proven to not have much vision that bodes well, either for the economy or space exploration.
Jobs like these, once gone , are not too likely to return.. and we are supposedly encouraging kids to get techy.. does not compute.
besides, He seems like a good target.. like he cares ;-)
Constellation was going to be ready by 2015. Obama killed it. And he would have killed it even with a 1998 economy because he hates American exceptionalism.
Only a fool would shift the blame away from Obama.
We need a Mars colony and we need it now! The Earth has a fever, yaknow. (It's frying liebrals brains!)
Nasa can study global warming , who needs to go in space anyway 8-?
Yeah it’s hot here in Indiana and surrounding.
But if I don’t have to shovel it, scrape it, or chip it, I’m not gonna complain about the weather.
I guess space exploration is for an advanced, educated and intelligent society. That USA no longer exists. We are now a tribal nation hellbent on third world status. NASA is just a microcosm of the USA in the last 30years.
But what do the Muslims think of this? Shouldn’t their contributions be included in our future efforts?
Now you bring him back in my head and that hurts, since I found out Andy was really Lonesome Rhodes not Andy Griffith.
Good series but Andy Griffith isn’t.
“BS. $19 billion a year is a drop in the bucket.”
The solution to our excessive spending is thousands of “drop in the bucket” funding reductions. I know that won’t happen.
The space program has a history of poor decisions. For one thing they should have had a successor to shuttle ready by now. On the other hand, having private companies provide our earth-to-orbit lifting might be a good idea.
“The solution to our excessive spending is thousands of drop in the bucket funding reductions.”
Death by a thousand cuts...
Go where the money is: DHHS with it’s nearly $900 billion budget.
or actually cut something, not just cut the spending rate.