15
   

President-Elect Obama and NASA

 
 
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 08:34 am
I'm not drawing any conclusions or saying it's really so, but the prospect of a president who doesn't "get" science and man's destiny in space is disturbing. Tell me it isn't really so, because that's what I want to believe.


Quote:

Does Obama Want to Ground NASA's Next Moon Mission?

....

NASA is right to be uneasy about just what Obama has planned for the agency since his position on space travel shifted - a lot - during the campaign. A year before the election he touted an $18 billion education program and explicitly targeted the new moon program as one he'd cut to pay for it. In January of 2008, he lined up much closer to the Bush moon plan - perhaps because Republicans were already on board and earning swing-state support as a result. Three months before the election, Obama fully endorsed the 2020 target for putting people on the moon. But that was a candidate talking and now he's president-elect, and his choice of Garver as his transition adviser may say more than his past campaign rhetoric.

What are Obama's position regarding the space program? The answer is no one knows for sure.


http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-162100
 
kickycan
 
  2  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 09:44 am
What about that article makes you think he doesn't "get science?" And if that was something you were so concerned with, why does it suddenly bother you, but for the past eight years of Bush you had no complaints?
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 09:44 am
Obama doesn't "get" science? Where were you for the last eight years?

(edit: beat by kicky -- and by less than a minute!)
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 09:48 am
the prospect of a president who doesn't "get" science

Arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf Laughing
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 09:57 am
@Brandon9000,
The Time report from the December 11 issue, quoted in above source above, says:
Quote:
Getting into a shouting match with the HR rep is not exactly the best way to land a job. But according to the Orlando Sentinel, that's just what happened last week between NASA administrator Mike Griffin and Lori Garver, a member of Barack Obama's transition team who will help decide if Griffin keeps his post once the President-elect takes office. If the contretemps did occur, it could help doom not only the NASA chief's chances, but the space agency's ambitious plans to get Americans back to the moon.


Orlando Sentinel, Editorial (December 19):
Quote:
We think: NASA's chief should welcome Obama team's scrutiny

For NASA, the transition between the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama has been a bumpy ride. The blame goes to NASA Administrator Michael Griffin.

Last week the Sentinel reported that Mr. Griffin, trying to protect the space agency's Constellation program, was obstructing information-gathering by Mr. Obama's transition team. With its goal of sending astronauts to the moon and Mars, the program is considered Mr. Griffin's signature project.

Mr. Griffin vehemently disputed the report. But a NASA spokesman confirmed to The Washington Post that the administrator had told the head of the transition team, a former associate administrator at NASA, that no one on her team had the engineering qualifications to evaluate the agency's choice of rocket for the program.

Controversy has been building for months over that rocket, known as Ares:

*The Government Accountability Office found in April that Ares (air-ease) suffered from dangerous design flaws. NASA said the flaws could be fixed.

*The Sentinel reported in June that some NASA employees and contractors had been working on their own time to develop an alternative to Ares that they said could be built cheaper and sooner. Mr. Griffin said it was time to stop studying options and get to work on Ares.

*In October, another problem with Ares -- a risk of crashing into its launch tower during liftoff -- came to light. It could take a year and tens of millions of unbudgeted dollars to fix. NASA officials downplayed the problem, but an agency engineer who quit the Ares program told the Sentinel it was "time for a rethink."
... ... ...
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 04:06 pm
@kickycan,
Could it be because Bush started the "Return to the Moon" program, and at one point, Obama proposed cancelling it? Now he says he doesn't want to cancel it anymore, and I want to believe him.
Brandon9000
 
  0  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 04:08 pm
@joefromchicago,
I'll phrase it more carefully for low IQs. Obama proposed cancelling the return to the moon program. Later, during the campaign he said that he had changed his mind and didn't want to cancel it. I want to believe him but am not certain whether I should.
Brandon9000
 
  0  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 04:10 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

the prospect of a president who doesn't "get" science

Arf arf arf arf arf arf arf arf Laughing

Having no sympathy for the space program would be a fair indication. Just in case you want to do something wild and actually talk about the thread topic, I was speculating about whether his change of heart during the campaign was sincere or just campaign rhetoric.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 25 Dec, 2008 04:11 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Walter Hinteler wrote:

The Time report from the December 11 issue, quoted in above source above, says:
Quote:
Getting into a shouting match with the HR rep is not exactly the best way to land a job. But according to the Orlando Sentinel, that's just what happened last week between NASA administrator Mike Griffin and Lori Garver, a member of Barack Obama's transition team who will help decide if Griffin keeps his post once the President-elect takes office. If the contretemps did occur, it could help doom not only the NASA chief's chances, but the space agency's ambitious plans to get Americans back to the moon.


Orlando Sentinel, Editorial (December 19):
Quote:
We think: NASA's chief should welcome Obama team's scrutiny

For NASA, the transition between the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama has been a bumpy ride. The blame goes to NASA Administrator Michael Griffin.

Last week the Sentinel reported that Mr. Griffin, trying to protect the space agency's Constellation program, was obstructing information-gathering by Mr. Obama's transition team. With its goal of sending astronauts to the moon and Mars, the program is considered Mr. Griffin's signature project.

Mr. Griffin vehemently disputed the report. But a NASA spokesman confirmed to The Washington Post that the administrator had told the head of the transition team, a former associate administrator at NASA, that no one on her team had the engineering qualifications to evaluate the agency's choice of rocket for the program.

Controversy has been building for months over that rocket, known as Ares:

*The Government Accountability Office found in April that Ares (air-ease) suffered from dangerous design flaws. NASA said the flaws could be fixed.

*The Sentinel reported in June that some NASA employees and contractors had been working on their own time to develop an alternative to Ares that they said could be built cheaper and sooner. Mr. Griffin said it was time to stop studying options and get to work on Ares.

*In October, another problem with Ares -- a risk of crashing into its launch tower during liftoff -- came to light. It could take a year and tens of millions of unbudgeted dollars to fix. NASA officials downplayed the problem, but an agency engineer who quit the Ares program told the Sentinel it was "time for a rethink."
... ... ...


Scrutiny is great. Cancelling the moon program wouldn't be so great.
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 12:39 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

Could it be because Bush started the "Return to the Moon" program, and at one point, Obama proposed cancelling it? Now he says he doesn't want to cancel it anymore, and I want to believe him.


Ah, so that is your criterion for "getting science." Sounds pretty unscientific to me. But I will back off and let your discussion go as it will without any more interruption.

Enjoy the holidays.
Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 01:51 pm
I gather we are getting virtually no benefits from manned space projects. I keep hearing about the great serendipity benefits that are forthcoming. But keep in mind that research on earth (energy, autos, medicine, etc.) will also yield such benefits, and not be a total waste of money similar to that expended on manned space projects.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 11:10 pm
@kickycan,
kickycan wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:

Could it be because Bush started the "Return to the Moon" program, and at one point, Obama proposed cancelling it? Now he says he doesn't want to cancel it anymore, and I want to believe him.


Ah, so that is your criterion for "getting science." Sounds pretty unscientific to me. But I will back off and let your discussion go as it will without any more interruption.

Enjoy the holidays.

Thanks. I hope you do too.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Dec, 2008 11:14 pm
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

I gather we are getting virtually no benefits from manned space projects. I keep hearing about the great serendipity benefits that are forthcoming. But keep in mind that research on earth (energy, autos, medicine, etc.) will also yield such benefits, and not be a total waste of money similar to that expended on manned space projects.

Ah, someone who doesn't get it. The purpose of putting people into space is to get good at it so we can put more people into space later. This is based on the idea that colonization of space by humanity is desirable. It's based on the idea that Man shouldn't stay on the rock he was born on forever, but take a look at the billions of other worlds out there. Your position is like advocating that a baby should spend his whole life in the cradle. You've neatly demonstrated precisely the position that I'm hoping president-elect Obama doesn't have, but which there's some evidence he may have.
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 11:06 am
@Advocate,
Actually, there have been many benefits from the manned space program.

Some of them include, but arent limited to, teflon, microcircuits, improved turnout gear for firefighters (fire suits),improved air scrubbing systems for the military and hospitals, and other things.

The US remains the world's only superpower. Let's choose not to measure that solely in tanks, planes and nukes. A great superpower should be based on the triad of power, compassion, and a commitment to explore the unknown. For a lousy 0.2% of the budget we can let our imaginations run wild, dream big dreams, and make some of them come true.

Advocate
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 11:31 am
@mysteryman,
I think the claimed NASA spinoff benefits are wildly exagerated, and are from earlier unmanned projects. (The manned projects, I think, are mostly for publicity.) Moreover, there are spinoff benefits to virtually any research. Another thing to consider, in my opinion, is the immense air pollution produced by the blastoffs. Further, it is fanciful to a fault to think that we will someday inhabit other planets.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 12:17 pm
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

I think the claimed NASA spinoff benefits are wildly exagerated, and are from earlier unmanned projects. (The manned projects, I think, are mostly for publicity.) Moreover, there are spinoff benefits to virtually any research. Another thing to consider, in my opinion, is the immense air pollution produced by the blastoffs. Further, it is fanciful to a fault to think that we will someday inhabit other planets.


No, it is not fanciful. How short-sighted can you be? It is a virtual certainty that we will do so, if we do not first self-immolate as a species.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 12:43 pm
@Advocate,
Advocate wrote:

I think the claimed NASA spinoff benefits are wildly exagerated, and are from earlier unmanned projects. (The manned projects, I think, are mostly for publicity.) Moreover, there are spinoff benefits to virtually any research. Another thing to consider, in my opinion, is the immense air pollution produced by the blastoffs. Further, it is fanciful to a fault to think that we will someday inhabit other planets.

Sure, and if Man was meant to fly, he would have wings.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 12:56 pm
Actually, Brandon, I generally agree with your desire for a manned program. In the light of economic dire straights, Obama may see cause to slow the program. I don't know that he has said that. So far, I don't see that he has a plan to alter the program as it is. I find it disturbing that dissention within NASA, over the rocket to be used has not been settled.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 01:17 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Actually, Brandon, I generally agree with your desire for a manned program. In the light of economic dire straights, Obama may see cause to slow the program. I don't know that he has said that. So far, I don't see that he has a plan to alter the program as it is. I find it disturbing that dissention within NASA, over the rocket to be used has not been settled.

During the Apollo program, I imagined that by now we'd have bases on the moon and perhaps Mars. The glacially slow progress in the space program since Apollo is very disappointing. I can only hope that we have government office holders who at least agree in principle that putting Man in space is good.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Dec, 2008 04:49 pm
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

edgarblythe wrote:

Actually, Brandon, I generally agree with your desire for a manned program. In the light of economic dire straights, Obama may see cause to slow the program. I don't know that he has said that. So far, I don't see that he has a plan to alter the program as it is. I find it disturbing that dissention within NASA, over the rocket to be used has not been settled.

During the Apollo program, I imagined that by now we'd have bases on the moon and perhaps Mars. The glacially slow progress in the space program since Apollo is very disappointing. I can only hope that we have government office holders who at least agree in principle that putting Man in space is good.


It's a combination of lack of vision amongst out elected leaders - for whom the benefits of a long-term space program are practically non-existent, at least to them personally - and crappy marketing by NASA. What should be seen and marketed as the next 'great frontier' and play into the sense of Manifest Destiny that made America great, is instead... not marketed hardly at all.

Cycloptichorn
 

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