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Does Obama Have a Problem At NASA?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the hey-what's-a-few-trillion-in-deficit? dept.

NASA 479

MarkWhittington writes "Has NASA become a problem for the Obama transition? If one believes a recent story in the Orlando Sentinel, the transition team at NASA, led by former NASA Associate Administrator Lori Garver, is running into some bureaucratic obstruction." Specifically, according to this article NASA Administrator Michael Griffin made calls to aerospace industry executives asking them to stonewall if asked about benefits to be gained by canceling the current US efforts to revisit the moon; we mentioned last month that cutting Aries and Orion is apparently an idea under strong consideration by the Obama transition team.

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479 comments

I hate to be an ass... (5, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089313)

... but if I were Obama, Michael Griffin would be so fricken canned.

Re:I hate to be an ass... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089493)

[citation needed]

Re:I hate to be an ass... (3, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089593)

Are you kidding? The guy KNOWS he's cannned. Hell, the transition team's first stop was probably taking pictures of his office and measuring the drapes. He's toast and he knows it. And so he's just trying to make as big an ass of himself as he can right now to try and claim later that he was only fired because Obama didn't like his "honesty," not because he's a GLARINGLY bad manager who's been more interested in towing the Bush line and diverting big bucks to Bush-friendly contractors than to actually delivering any value to the American people.

Re:I hate to be an ass... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26090017)

Posting as AC for reasons. Ditto. No one likes him.

Re:I hate to be an ass... (5, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090039)

He can't do that. Peter Griffin has rockets that could be converted into makeshift missiles and used to bombard Washington.

Then Griffin would declare the US disbanded, replaced by a Galactic Empire with Griffin as Emperor.

I say give him the cash to keep him quiet. Better that than we all end up slaving in the Uranium mines on Pluto.

Re:I hate to be an ass... (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090235)

No worries, mate. If Griffin launched the attack they would have to cut the number of missiles back because they went over budget, the missiles would arrive so late that the cities would have plenty of time to evacuate, and the vast majority of them would either completely miss their target or malfunction before they even left the pad.

Re:I hate to be an ass... (5, Informative)

roccomaglio (520780) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090083)

From the article: Michael Griffin, noting that no one on Lori Garver's team has any engineering expertise, suggested that Garver was "not qualified" to judge the Constellation program. Garver will not comment about the conversation, but has hinted that there will be a new administrator chosen at NASA shortly and that there will be change to NASA policy."

Re:I hate to be an ass... (0, Troll)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090099)

Michael Griffin is the best thing to happen to NASA since the Apollo program. If Obama cans his ass, he will have lied about everything he said about maintaining the space program.

Griffin is 1000% correct here. Ares and Orion are the correct solutions to a NASA that has been traveling down the wrong technological path for nearly 30 years. Any interference should not be tolerated by NASA short of disbanding the space program all together. And any attempt to disband the space program would leave America at a severe technological and infrastructural disadvantage. (Many area of scientific tracking and computation have been consolidated under NASA over the years. Killing off the space program would have a cascade effect into these programs. Many of which rely on NASA's space access.)

I would hope it would also be a public relations nightmare as well.

So in short: Go Griffin!

Gossip (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089325)

Sounds like a lot of backbiting rumors spread by someone with a bone to pick.

It's pretty easy to tell how much money would be saved by cancelling Aries and Orion outright. Just look at how much money they have outlined in budget projections.

The harder question is whether there is some cheaper alternative, and how much it would cost. But that's not something that can be answered accurately in response to a snap question. And saying so is not stonewalling.

Re:Gossip (1)

Neotrantor (597070) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089369)

thats the point, there were conflicting ideas in nasa but griffin's baby is orion/aries and he's gonna have a temper tantrum if their cancelled

Re:Gossip (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090139)

It's pretty easy to tell how much money would be saved by cancelling Aries and Orion outright. Just look at how much money they have outlined in budget projections.

Then multiply that number by two. For the inevitable cost overruns ...

Who would have thought? (3, Interesting)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089327)

It's hard to believe that NASA would be against their program being cut. While I like the space program,if it's going to be cut spending on nothing or cut spending on the space program I would pick the former. While I'd prefer to cut other things, NASA spending is probably one of the easier things to cut, from a political standpoint.

Re:Who would have thought? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089499)

It always amazes me the mistakes people make because they don't study history, or blatantly choose to ignore it.

The USA defeated the communist Soviet Union by outspending them in the specific industry of aerospace technology. It makes absolutely no sense to kill NASA spending. If anything, kill the "Big 3" auto makers since it's apparent that Japan and Germany have the world beat in the automobile manufacturing industry.

I can't stress enough how much the USA stands to lose by cutting NASA funding. Considering that the rest of the world has made it abundantly clear that they hate us, and would like to see an Earth without the USA or "Fat Lazy Americans," I was really hoping that NASA would be the USA's gateway to leaving the Earth behind. It's obvious that citizens of the USA will fight everyone who wishes us ill will to the death, and it's obvious that the rest of the world is trying to push us that far.

I say increase NASA spending, and get us that moon-base/bio-dome we've been dreaming about since the 1960's so we can start lunar immigration ASAP. Space technology is the way of the future, and it's the one thing that the USA has out-achieved every other country in the world.

-Your pro-NASA AC friend.

Re:Who would have thought? (5, Insightful)

Kentaree (1078787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089589)

The USA defeated the communist Soviet Union by outspending them in the specific industry of aerospace technology.

Wait, what? Did I miss a piece of history somewhere along the way where the Soviet Union was "beaten", rather than fizzled out?

Re:Who would have thought? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089789)

Did I miss a piece of history somewhere along the way where the Soviet Union was "beaten", rather than fizzled out?

Remember when Jimmy Carter grabbed his ankles and told every tin pot despot and the USSR to please be gentle? That was the "intellectual" solution to communism. By comparison Ronald Reagan beat the Soviet Union like it owed him money.

Re:Who would have thought? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089867)

Bob Levy, is that you ?

Re:Who would have thought? (2, Insightful)

thebheffect (1409105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090063)

Perhaps 'beaten' is an inappropriate choice of words for the situation, but in essence it is correct. The US Democracy/capitalism ideology was pitted against the Soviet communistic ideology in multiple ways, indirect military action and direct economic competition. The ability of the US financial system to borrow/lend tremendous amounts of liquid capital to invest in military and civilian infrastructure was the main reason the Soviet Union collapsed in economic ruin. 'Defeat' is a strong word, but that is just what the US economic system accomplished against the Soviet Union.

Re:Who would have thought? (2, Insightful)

Weh (219305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089625)

so your argument for nasa spending is basically that you think that the usa defeated communist russia through it? and you think that the usa would lose a lot by cutting nasa spending _because_ the world hates the usa?

interesting logic.

Re:Who would have thought? (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089765)

The U.S. didn't "defeat" the Soviet Union. It was just an unsustainable system from the get-go. If the U.S. had never developed any sort of space program beyond launching satellites and ICBM technology; the Soviets would have beat their chests, bragged about their great victories in manned flight, rubbed it in with a few more advancements, then eventually realized that it was a waste of money with little potential and abandoned it. It didn't make any real difference in the end. It was all Korolev could do to get funding for the program in the first place, and he would have lost it quickly if the Americans had simply refused to play ball.

Re:Who would have thought? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26090051)

"My dear brothers, never forget, when you hear the progress of enlightenment vaunted, that the devil's best trick is to persuade you that he doesn't exist!"

Re:Who would have thought? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26090119)

Neither you or I can even in hindsight say for sure what effect the psychology of the moon race had on everything. It's certainly possible that efforts such as these bolstered US nationalism and hurt Russian nationalism, and contributed in the net to a shortening of the time it took for the soviet union to collapse.

Re:Who would have thought? (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089881)

Considering that the rest of the world has made it abundantly clear that they hate us

No, only some of you.

Re:Who would have thought? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089745)

Of course we should cut spending on NASA. Spending 2/3 of our budget handing free money out to people who don't work isn't enough. We need to increase that to 3/4 at least.
Screw space exploration. It's done by people with jobs who work for a living.

Gay Nigger Public License (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089337)

GNPL!

Obstruction == Fired (5, Insightful)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089353)

What is with the entitlement mentality within government? I am sure the article blows what actually happened way out of proportion, but if there *was* any sort of conversation asking industry partners to stonewall, resist, camoflage or otherwise derail the effort to understand the risk/reward of future space efforts, everyone involved within the government should be canned. If I did anything of the sort at my place of work, I'd be out on my ass so quickly!

Re:Obstruction == Fired (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089479)

Massive inefficiency is just how the government works.

That's why so many people are/were strongly against all of Obama's plans to have the government further invade our lives. Even if he honestly wants to help out, the people actually implementing his plans won't care about helping out - they just want a job.

Re:Obstruction == Fired (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089519)

Massive inefficiency is just how the government works.

This (or a perception of it) is a phenomenon specific to the US (and, apparently, a few other countries such as UK). Governments seems to work quite efficiently in a lot of other countries around the world. Maybe you should fix whatever is wrong with yours, instead of whining about how it's too inefficient to trust it with anything (why even bother having it at all, if it's always counterproductive?).

Re:Obstruction == Fired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089629)

This (or a perception of it) is a phenomenon specific to the US (and, apparently, a few other countries such as UK). Governments seems to work quite efficiently in a lot of other countries around the world.

TRANSLATION: I only read English.

Re:Obstruction == Fired (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089795)

Actually, I'm Russian, so don't tell me about your "bad" and "inefficient" government. I know what a truly bad and corrupt government is from first-hand experience.

I also have enough European friends to know what a government can be, and I've seen it for myself as well when I studied in NZ for two years.

Other questions?

Re:Obstruction == Fired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089941)

in soviet russia, anonymous coward . .

JUST GOT PWND!!1!

Re:Obstruction == Fired (4, Insightful)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089895)

Governments seems to work quite efficiently in a lot of other countries around the world.

A not uncommon illusion created by distance. The further away from a government you are, the better it seems to work.

Re:Obstruction == Fired (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090011)

Governments seems to work quite efficiently in a lot of other countries around the world.

Name ONE.

Re:Obstruction == Fired (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090085)

Half of the countries in Europe, pretty much. Ireland, Finland... actually, while we're at it, Germany as well.

Also, before we go down that path, note that the original question was to pick "efficient" countries, not those that don't tend to go after citizens, introduce censorship, etc. This is a different problem that is orthogonal to the one of efficiency, and can (and should) be resolved separately.

I smiled (1)

tomzyk (158497) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090199)

why even bother having it at all, if it's always counterproductive

heh, that reminds me of the old joke:
If "pro" is the opposite of "con", what's the opposite of "congress"?

Re:Obstruction == Fired (1)

thebheffect (1409105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090251)

Specific to the US? Ridiculous! It's not a new idea that big government creates bigger inefficiency. The US happens to have the largest, most complex government in existence, and of course it is easy to point and criticize the problems that go along with that and call it 'typical American stupidity'. No other world governments have the problems/responsibilities that go along with being the only remaining superpower in the world. Most other countries don't have the massive numbers of different ethnic, religious, and social groups that call the US their home. And if they do, it is not on the scale that the US has it. 'Just fix it' is not very good advice. There are very smart and altruistic people who have no idea how to do that. Show me an efficient government and I'll show you a mono-ethnic, mono/non-religious country with a small population.

Re:Obstruction == Fired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26090271)

Yeah! Places like Africa and countries like China have awesome governments compared to the US and UK!
 
(Please! Please let me go! I made the post, I swear!)

Re:Obstruction == Fired (3, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089633)

Massive inefficiency is just how the government works.

Massive inefficiency is how the government works when put in the hands of government-hating people who want to prove just how inefficient government can be. It doesn't have to be that inefficient.

Re:Obstruction == Fired (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089757)

I remember reading efficiency reviews conducted under the Clinton administration by private consulting firms, and the Government was always highly efficient.

Administrative costs are always a fraction of their private sector counterparts. The largest problem we had was private sector contractors playing games to try to guarantee future projects (sabotaging diagrams, withholding information, etc).

The role of Government is simply different than the private sector. The private sector is agile and takes risks, while the public sector is efficient, reliable, and does the general research / infrastructure spending.

Re:Obstruction == Fired (2, Insightful)

BusinessHut (1143993) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090093)

Absolutely! NASA is playing with OUR money here. With the .000000000001% of the say that I get with my tax dollars, I vote fire anyone at NASA doing anything so childish. Grow up and do what's best for your organization, and your Country! Stop thinking only about yourself!

Tight financial times = time for cuts... (-1, Troll)

Shoeler (180797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089361)

Here's the thing. The economy ain't so hot (I gno, rite!) so how does it make sense to employ a relatively small number of people at a relatively high salary when that money (one BILLION dollars!) could go to some other project that could influence thousands more workers?

Especially in tight financial times, I can't see the relevance of a moon mission, and I'm a huge space supporter. (I like my space, mmmkay???)

Wait for the economy to turn around, then talk about this. Oh - and un-retire the shuttle.

Re:Tight financial times = time for cuts... (2)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089421)

The "moon mission" thing is a red herring. Think instead "rebuilding the void in our launch capabilities left by the shuttle".

Re:Tight financial times = time for cuts... (4, Informative)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089469)

We can't just "un-retire the shuttle," mainly because it is a bloated, out-of-date, foam-shedding death trap. Besides, with everyone talking about creating jobs, how does it make sense to cut NASA hard and put tons of people who are working on Ares out of work?

Re:Tight financial times = time for cuts... (2, Insightful)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089501)

Using that logic would clearly negate a bailout of GM, Chrysler and possibly Ford. Ford Execs have willingly taken huge (comparatively) pay cuts. But GM is the worst for fat cats that line their own pockets while taking public assistance. Why should the people give money to an industry that has failed... failed itself, it's employees, it's investors. The only people making money off of cars are the guys at the top.

Sucking off the Federal teat and pulling on people's heart strings does not work for a guy in the street with a sign and it sure as hell should not work for a man wearing a $1k suite and having parties in his Michigan ranch for $1million (Yes GM, YOU).

But in 10 years the Auto industry will be dead. Harvesting the moon and moving into the solar system will happen. The US can either be part of the party or ask for public assistance later on from the colonies on the moon.

Re:Tight financial times = time for cuts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089833)

The only people making money off of cars are the guys at the top.

Uh, sorry, I don't buy it. That guy in Ohio making 6 figures to drive a forklift in an auto plant is "making money off of cars." Lots more than I'm making of off computer software.

Re:Tight financial times = time for cuts... (2, Insightful)

fprintf (82740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089573)

But any investment is a matter of directness of money getting to people. In the case of investment in high engineering salaries at NASA, all that money gets used somehow. It eventually goes to teacher salaries, firemen, roadwork, groceries etc. Because they are engineers, and I will stereotype for a bit, you might also say that some portion of the money you spend goes to fund other high tech development first, from computers to games to fast cars. Eventually the $1 you spend at NASA likely gets spent on the same things that a $1 invested in Detroit does. However the money you spend at NASA moves us further along our technological timeline, whereas any money spent in Detroit keeps us in the automobile age.

Re:Tight financial times = time for cuts... (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089637)

when that money (one BILLION dollars!) could go to some other project that could influence thousands more voters ?

fixed that for you

Re:Tight financial times = time for cuts... (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089847)

so how does it make sense to employ a relatively small number of people at a relatively high salary

Besides, I hear North Korea and Iran are looking for well trained rocket scientists.

You know... for their... SPACE... programs.

Re:Tight financial times = time for cuts... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26090229)

Here's the thing. The economy ain't so hot (I gno, rite!) so how does it make sense to employ a relatively small number of people at a relatively high salary when that money (one BILLION dollars!) could go to some other project that could influence thousands more workers?

Yes, in these difficult economic times, the only way for us to lead this great nation into a 21st century economy is to fire all of our highly skilled science and engineering jobs, and instead funnel that money into low-paying government work resurfacing roads and changing light bulbs. Yes we can!

And, oh yeah, we also need to send some more billions of dollars to support the fatcat CEOs in Detroit. I have heard they've cut back so much that they don't even serve champagne on their corporate jets anyone! Que horrible!!!

maybe. but not for long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089371)

If he has a problem at NASA right now, I suspect he won't have one there after January 20.

We NEED to cut our spending. (3, Insightful)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089385)

That means we need to axe a lot of programs, or (a) face potential bankruptcy of the whole country or (b) face the reality that we have to cut Medicare and SS benefits to a needs-based program rather than an entitlement. We have a huge amount of Baby Boomers about to retire, and don't have the money to support them all unless we start saving immediately.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (1)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089481)

As I understand it, a country cannot "save" for the future like an individual can. People have to be supported when they retire with work from other people--money doesn't do it, it will just devalue.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (2, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089643)

Social Security buys Billions and Billions in Treasury bonds every year for this exact reason. Currently, more money is coming in, then going out, and they hold it in trust. However, congress likes to "borrow" against that money, and give an IOU, so thats going to bite us in the ass too.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (3, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089975)

Social Security buys Billions and Billions in Treasury bonds every year for this exact reason. Currently, more money is coming in, then going out, and they hold it in trust. However, congress likes to "borrow" against that money, and give an IOU, so thats going to bite us in the ass too.

Umm, no.

What happens is that the SS revenue is spent on Social Security every year. Then the leftover funds are transferred to the General Fund, in exchange for NO INTEREST T-Bills. Then the money is spent.

When SS needs more money than is coming in every year, they will NOT be able to miraculously redeem those NO INTEREST T-bills. What will happen is that the Government will issue more interest bearing T-Bills to pay the difference. Sort of exactly like the deficit spending they're doing now that people hate so much.

This will continue until and unless the government raises SS taxes on the working people to cover the difference. Which will, of course, happen right away - the government doesn't really want to admit that the "Social Security Trust Fund" is a meaningless example of flim-flammery.

Net effect: we pay taxes, government spends the revenue gained any way it damn well pleases. SS Trust Fund NEVER gets used (because if it were used, we'd realize it's non-existant), and that wall-safe full of NO INTEREST T-Bills just keeps getting fuller till the end of time.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (1, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089687)

People have to be supported when they retire with work from other people

If you believe that, then you should donate your money to relevant charities for supporting the elderly. What you should not do is force everyone to pay for your opinion through government mandate. A more reasonable solution is for everyone to support their own parents with the increased money they'll have from not dumping their money into the social security black hole.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (1)

theaveng (1243528) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089755)

Perhaps the nation can not "save" like an individual, but they can certainly start by paying off the multi-trillion-dollar debt so the U.S. will be in a better position when ~40 million people start demanding SS and Medicare payments.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090023)

Perhaps the nation can not "save" like an individual, but they can certainly start by paying off the multi-trillion-dollar debt so the U.S. will be in a better position when ~40 million people start demanding SS and Medicare payments.

Good plan, that. So, since we have about 10 years left till we reach that point, we need to increase taxes across the board by about 50% to pay the debt down (the real debt, not the intra-governmental lending that accounts for some of the debt, but which is nothing more than moving money from your left hip-pocket to your right hip-pocket and claiming you now have twice as much money).

Good luck on getting that passed, and better luck on getting re-elected after you do it.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089517)

We NEED to cut our spending. (Score:2, Flamebait)

Thought Crime Alert!! *WHOOP! WHOOP!"

Yeah, I aggressively counteract negative modding by setting their scores to +2.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (2, Informative)

Longwalker-MGO (816354) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089749)

(b) face the reality that we have to cut Medicare and SS benefits to a needs-based program rather than an entitlement.

When I am forced to take money out of my paycheck and "give" it to the government for my future medical needs and retirement because the government demands it, damn straight its an entitlement. I am *entitled* to get my money back.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (2, Informative)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089905)

Everything you put into SS is payed back to you (on average) within 2 to 3 years. Researchers interviewed retirees and asked them how long they thought it took to get everything back that they had put in, most said 20-30! years.

They were all pretty shocked when they were told the reality of the system.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (1)

virtual_mps (62997) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090117)

That's just not how government works. You give a lot of money to the government, and you're not entitled to an itemized list showing that you get a particular service for each dollar paid. There are of intangibles like "functioning society" which the majority of people think are worth the money, and you don't get to opt out.

There is an unfortunate truth in that some people have sold the social security system as some sort of "trust fund" where you'll get back the money you put in, but that was never actually true. You can dislike that, you can curse the people who sold it that way, you can hold your breath until you turn blue, but you can't change the fact that the system can't continue to pretend that future retirees have a guaranteed income based on their contributions as opposed to what the country can afford to pay.

Re:We NEED to cut our spending. (3, Insightful)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089843)

face the reality that we have to cut Medicare and SS benefits to a needs-based program rather than an entitlement.

That's how they started. SS was never intended to be an entitlement program when it was created in the 1930s.

The original articles (5, Informative)

Angostura (703910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089387)

For some reason the submission goes to a site that mentions the original articles appeared at the Orlando sentinel, but doesn't link to the articles. So here they are:

December 11: NASA chief Griffin bucks Obama's transition team [orlandosentinel.com]

and

December 12: NASA chief insists he's cooperating with Obama's team [orlandosentinel.com]

Re:The original articles (1, Informative)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089851)

"If anyone knows why my comments recently started appearing with score 1, despite "Excellent" karma, I'd love to hear."

Mine changed from 2 to 1 like that for a while, then after several months it changed back. I have no idea why.

Lets get it straight here (5, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089403)

Obama has nothing against NASA. He has EVERYTHING against Mike (global warming is a myth) Griffin, a known Bush lackey and a incompetent manager. Ask anyone in the know about Orion and Ares and they will tell you while it WILL work, it is horribly designed and way over budget for what it is and its DIRECTLY contributed to Griffin, unlike other unmanned programs that where running before he took over and lost funding due to him and Bush's "lets get a American on Mars without spending any more money" ploy.

Griffins job is canned, he's just drawing out the hanging right now and trying to wrap it in a Obama hates NASA spin, not a Obama hates incompetent Bush republican flunkies spin.

Re:Lets get it straight here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26090015)

Griffins job is canned, he's just drawing out the hanging right now and trying to wrap it in a Obama hates NASA spin, not a Obama hates incompetent Bush republican flunkies spin.

Since you want to talk about incompetent flunkies, perhaps you could explain why Obama's team, chosen to decide the fate of Ares/Orion and other programs, is entirely composed of bureaucrats and politicians, and does not include one single person with ANY actual science or engineering experience?

Frankly (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26090045)

Griffin's comment on Global Warming was excellent and probably the only thing about him to like. He simply expressed the biggest issue standing, we don't know what the optimal climate is. If anything the comments of the those who didn't like his remark were more akin to the right wing religious nuts. It is a religion now and will always be one because anything which is brought up to disprove it is immediately derided regardless of merit. If anything the whole GW document is nothing more than a new age Bible

Oh, as to his remark in 2007

"I have no doubt that global -- that a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with. To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change.

        First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown, and second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings - where and when - are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take."

Re:Lets get it straight here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26090219)

If you're talking about the infamous radio interview on NPR, you should listen to it. Mike (love him or hate him) never said global warming was a myth, he just said that he didn't know whether it was, and it wasn't his job do decide whether it was, it was his job to collect data.

I really kinda agreed with him.

No Money? No Problem! (5, Insightful)

zentec (204030) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089411)

It is unfortunate that we've come to this point in American history, but the truth is probably that we can't afford a grandiose space program right now.

NASA will still exist, but the bureaucrats running it need to go.  NASA will have a chance at manned space flight, but they need to figure out a way to do it cheaper.  The rest of the nation has tightened its belt, the rest of the nation is concerned about the ballooning debt, NASA isn't exempt from the changes.

If I had my choice, I'd much rather see the billions spent on a shuttle launch go toward turning children into future aerospace engineers.

Re:No Money? No Problem! (3, Interesting)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089441)

Sorry, but I have taught kids and the best way to turn children into future aerospace engineers is to launch some new rockets. I have shown 3rd graders poorly drawn CGI of a Ares 1 launch and it was enough to garner "oohs," "aahs," and "I want to do thats,"

Re:No Money? No Problem! (5, Insightful)

Octorian (14086) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089545)

And the problem is that NASA/etc. focuses so much on inspiring the 3rd graders, yet don't seem to care so much once those kids get to high school and can actually develop that interest into something useful towards their future.

Re:No Money? No Problem! (4, Insightful)

Pumpkin Tuna (1033058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089719)

I also taught high school, and you are right that high school kids get left out. But I think it's less the fault of NASA and more the fault of high schools. High school is so rigid and change-adverse that any attempts by an outside agency to come in is usually shot down. This is even more evident with the focus on high stakes testing.

Re:No Money? No Problem! (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090123)

Sorry, but I have taught kids and the best way to turn children into future aerospace engineers is to launch some new rockets. I have shown 3rd graders poorly drawn CGI of a Ares 1 launch and it was enough to garner "oohs," "aahs," and "I want to do thats,"

What about if we cut Nasa's rocket design and manufacturing but keep the department that produces poorly drawn CGI?

Just throwing out ideas here.

Re:No Money? No Problem! (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089771)

I think someone really needs to sit down and say "the unfunded mandate has to go". With the current timeline, manned space flight will account for more or less NASA's entire budget within about ten years, and there are projects being slashed left and right already. A NASA which forgets about landing humans on the moon and Mars for a decade or two would be a cheaper NASA with a much wider variety of science missions. (IMO, of course, and I'm welcome to any new information on their funding situation and where the budget's going).

Re:No Money? No Problem! (5, Insightful)

kid_oliva (899189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089823)

If you spend billions on a shuttle launch you ensure jobs for people who want to go into aerospace. Take the money away from that so you do not have any shuttle launchings and you have pretty much removed it from most people's minds. I remember growing up in the 80's and the shuttle launches were a big thing. Now it hardly receives any coverage. It would be great to have a president with a mind for the future like JFK. Granted he wasn't perfect but it is better than a rehash of FDR ideas that have put us in the place we are in. That's my $.02. Go ahead and mod me down now.

Re:No Money? No Problem! (2, Insightful)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089933)

If I had my choice, I'd much rather see the billions spent on a shuttle launch go toward turning children into future aerospace engineers.

Why would you want to do that?
When they graduate how are they going to find a job?

Re:No Money? No Problem! (1)

saider (177166) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089969)

NASA's budget is a tiny fraction of the federal budget. There are many more projects that would have a much greater impact on the bottom line than NASA.

But I agree with your sentiment that the Space Shuttle is a boondoggle. Hopefully SpaceX and other companies can provide a cost effective and safe alternative soon.

why can't he fund it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089425)

what about the billions that will come back to us when we magically pull our troops on 01/21/2009? oh, that's right...

What is gained by stonewalling? (1)

Ohiosan (918854) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089447)

What exactly is to be gained by stonewalling? Obama is not the president yet, but in 40+ days, the stonewalling will be a moot point. Griffin could be out on his ear and replaced. And from the industry's point of view.... You stonewall (at the behest of Griffin) for the next few weeks. Then when the new person comes in you say what?! Sorry. Yes, we would still like to be considered for future rocket contracts.

good test (2, Insightful)

token_username (1415329) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089647)

If Obama really intends to go through the federal budget line by line as he claimed during the campaign, this will be a good test to see whether he has the balls or not. This is a variation of what's going to happen with everything he tries to cut.

Gattaca what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089733)

Someones gonna get brained with a keyboard

Let's just get rid of NASA all together... (1)

divisionbyzero (300681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089801)

I suppose we can keep the bits that do the rovers, satellites, etc, but we really need to kill the manned space exploration bits. It's a colossal waste of money. Don't even start with the "They developed x, y, z technology while trying to go to space." Who cares? Do you seriously believe they wouldn't have been developed more efficiently and cheaper in the private sector?

Hurry Up and Blame It On Bu$hitler! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26089861)

Because you don't have much time, left do you?

BTW - how's the impeachment coming along?

Ha ha ha!

Bigger problems (2, Funny)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089883)

Forget Griffin. The real decision Obama is going to have to make with NASA is whether or not to tell people the big secret: that the chimps they sent into space came back super-intelligent.

Cutting programs does not mean cutting funding (2, Insightful)

lalena (1221394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089901)

It was only a couple weeks ago that Slashdot referenced an article about aging weather satellites. We will soon lose coverage that will determine when we should evacuate for hurricanes. Sometimes, NASA tasks are not glamorous. Is it worth going to Mars or the moon again instead of:
  • Keeping our satellites in orbit.
  • Replacing broken satellites.
  • Keeping the Hubble telescope working.
  • Keeping or replacing the shuttle fleet.

Funding is limited. We have to choose one or the other.
Here another article I found on the weather topic. http://www.usatoday.com/weather/hurricane/2007-06-12-quickscat-satellite_N.htm [usatoday.com]

Sadly (3, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089961)

...sadly, I think many slashdotters are going to be disappointed as NASA funding under Obama takes a backseat to a number of other programs that are targeted at much larger domestic constituencies.

Obama Also Asked to Accelerate Those Programmes (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26089991)

Obama's transition team isn't asking NASA programmes only about cutting their budgets to zero. The review is also asking them about accelerating those programmes, increasing their budgets so their benefits are delivered sooner.

Griffin, the Star Wars scientist / CIA "entrepreneur" [wikipedia.org], is stonewalling any change by the new Chief Executive (Obama). Which is of course threatening those projects even worse, because there's going to be less time to evaluate and save the worthwhile ones, as the economic meltdown accelerates and Obama's busy leading the nation fulltime. And of course the stonewalling shows an agency that will need an even more radical makeover by the new administration.

But why should NASA be any different from the rest of the government Bush built? Hey, over in Congress, a minority of the minority Republicans in the Senate (next month their numbers shrink to a nearly insignificant count) are stonewalling even a bridge loan from money already allocated to Detroit. They destroyed New Orleans and New York. Maybe if a Christmas Earthquake hits California they can have laid waste on every coast except Alaska's - which they maybe managed with drilling in ANWR.

Cut the program (1)

Mr. Underhill (119443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090179)

There are a couple of fundamental problems.
1. Chemical rockets are expensive and have low energy density.
2. Humans in space require ridiculous levels of life-support that steal much of what precious little energy we are able to cram into a chemical rocket.

Lets not have a repeat of the automobile engine. Lets move on to a new engine. The vast amounts of money being used to prevent astronauts from dieing in space could fund a whole lot of propulsion R&D that might well result in a drive system that would be safer and actually make human space flight practical from a both an economic and a safety perspective.

In the meantime, robots in space are cheaper and can go further than any human. No human could take the radiation exposure implied by a trip to Europa or Enceladus for example.

Nasa is chump change. (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26090215)

If i was an American i would be much more concerned with military spending than with NASA. The various spy organizations and domestic surveillance programs alone makes the NASA budget look like weekly allowence. Add the military spending and NASAs budget is just silly in comparison.

If there is one area where money is spent for nothing its in the military.

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