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Obama Moves To Link Pentagon With NASA

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the thought-they-wanted-to-save-money dept.

NASA 491

Amiga Trombone sends this quote from the beginning of a story at Bloomberg: "President-elect Barack Obama will probably tear down long-standing barriers between the US's civilian and military space programs to speed up a mission to the moon amid the prospect of a new space race with China. Obama's transition team is considering a collaboration between the Defense Department and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration because military rockets may be cheaper and ready sooner than the space agency's planned launch vehicle, which isn't slated to fly until 2015, according to people who've discussed the idea with the Obama team."

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Buy Orbital Sciences stock (2, Interesting)

That_Dan_Guy (589967) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319833)

That's what they do. If this story is true, it is likely they have his ear.

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (0, Flamebait)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319861)

With the equity markets down over 32% last year and the economy still deeply intrenched in a deflationary correction, buying any "stock" right now without a large and reliable dividend is not wise. Meaning, the old days of buying something simply on rumors is long over...

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319915)

With the equity markets down over 32% last year and the economy still deeply intrenched in a deflationary correction, buying any "stock" right now without a large and reliable dividend is not wise

Well, I'm a big fan of buying dividend stocks, so I won't argue with you on that one, but I think your wrong about it being unwise to buy non-dividend stocks. You want to buy stocks when the prices are low. I'm actually loving this period -- I'm not gonna retire for 30+ years and this is a great time to be buying shares at dirt cheap prices.

Sucks for the people who were going to retire soon but if they were going to retire next year why the hell did they have so many investments in equities? If I was close to retirement I'd have most of my nest egg invested in cash......

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (4, Informative)

durdur (252098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320829)

Sucks for the people who were going to retire soon but if they were going to retire next year why the hell did they have so many investments in equities?

That's a good question. The general answer is that most retired investors need their portfolio to generate a return at least equal to inflation, over time. Historically cash has a negative return after inflation and bonds are maybe break-even at best. But last year all that went out the window. Stocks have had a 1-year negative return that's almost unprecedented and even high-grade bonds have taken a hit. Plus markets over the world are down, not just the U.S. So, while generally cash is a bad place to be, long-term, last year nothing else was any good. That still doesn't mean, though, that you should keep your nest egg under the mattress: over the long term you'll see no net growth and your retirement income will shrink, net inflation.

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (1)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320873)

You want to buy stocks when the prices are low.

Funny, that's what everyone said back in august...

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26319921)

The old days of massive overfunding of pie-in-the-sky space missions are over too. Look, the whole fed is going to have to tighten its belt considerably at this point, and a *repeat* of the lunar landings of the 1960s can't really be considered a high priority at this point given the current economic meltdown.

If we're looking for pure science funding in an Obama administration, rather than waste it on going to a place we've already visited why don't we advocate for research on improved propulsion techniques so that when we do go back to the Moon we don't have to do it in a flying can of LOx?

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (1, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319969)

Yeah....but, moving NASA over with the DoD to improve things schedule and monetarily-wise??

I mean...we all KNOW that the DoD is the bastion of frugality, efficiency, and foresight!!

I mean, they do get the job done when it comes to blowing people up, but, their record for budgets and timeliness isn't the best. You get some generals or admirals or whatever with egos in there....and well, I can't think it would be all that good, nor have the most scientific reasoning for decision making for NASA.

I"m not against the military...they do some fantastic work...but, I don't think they are the best agency for oversight of the space program...especially when it concerns missions that aren't of military importance.

Hopefully it's reuse of existing military tech (5, Interesting)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320031)

My interpretation of the article is not that Obama will want DoD staff to help manage NASA projects, but rather he wants NASA to be able to use already developed DoD rocket technology (which is now too classified for NASA to use). Since it's already developed, the over-budget and over-time has already been paid for....

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320003)

Buy low?

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (1)

Chih (1284150) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320951)

It'll go lower. We're still in bubble mode, lol

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (5, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320065)

With the equity markets down over 32% last year and the economy still deeply intrenched in a deflationary correction, buying any "stock" right now without a large and reliable dividend is not wise.

What, you'd prefer to buy when stocks are up? While it is true that a lot of investors do buy high and sell low, it's really not the best way to make money.

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320781)

This is all off topic. Take it to Money.com forums or something.

I know, let's talk about retirement investing in a space race thread!

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320127)

I agree with 98% of what you say except for buying on rumors. The stock market is nothing but rumors and speculation. The reason Gas prices went to four dollars? wasn't because production was hit, or refineries went down, but because of rumors and speculation.

It will do so again and again. At the moment not so much when things are going good again rumors will be the only thing of true value in the stock market. Without buying on Rumor there is no stock market. people don't invest in companies and leaders like you think they invest in rumors that they will make money for doing nothing.

Re:Buy Orbital Sciences stock (3, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320543)

The day-traders do. The ones who buy stocks and hold onto it for decades (ie, the smart folks) don't have so much of an impact on the day-to-day price swings, and are far more likely to profit in spite of times like this.

Another way to look at it: buy as much as you can. Either this cycle will will end and you'll come out a wealthy person in a few decades - or the economy will completely collapse, and we're all screwed anyway.

I can hear it now.. (4, Funny)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319841)

"Houston, we have a problem.."

"Roger that, missiles launched"

Time for something new, /me starts wrap... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26319855)

_start_rap_beat_
yo obama, converting military into civilary ain't a drivel...

now it's your turn to continue with it.. here's an invaluable resource http://www.rhymezone.com

Forge a Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard party! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26319863)

For international socialist revolution to sweep away imperialist barbarism! Break with the democrats and all the capitalist parties! Forge a revolutionary workers party!

Re:Forge a Leninist-Trotskyist vanguard party! (4, Funny)

Jeoh (1393645) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320315)

Step one of agitation: Know your audience.

hallelujah ! (4, Funny)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319883)

finally... a good idea from the Obama camp, I was praying for at least one - now they will be able to use the cover of black military programs to protect their funding streams. Time to to get back in the space business

Re:hallelujah ! (2, Insightful)

ImOnlySleeping (1135393) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319951)

It might be beneficial in this regard, but there is a reason the civilian is separated from the military.

Re:hallelujah ! (0, Offtopic)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320775)

Why though? In Star Trek there is only one Federation. All the ships are military, at least they all carry weapons.

They may come in peace but that is only Plan A.

Re:hallelujah ! (4, Insightful)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320051)

finally... a good idea from the Obama camp [...] Time to to get back in the space business

Imagine the amounts of mouth-foam, if Bush administration did this... Both internally (with corruption charges like yours) and abroad — viz. militarization of space.

Re:hallelujah ! (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320165)


Well that's the point of the factionalisation and faux-rivalry of US politics, isn't it? To get people so divided into their allegiance to a party name that you can then pull the same shit with either party and only 50% of the people will complain whilst the rest are obliged to rationalise it somehow.

Re:hallelujah ! (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320891)

Giving NASA a closer relationship with the military is not the "same shit." If it is, then please cite when it was done before.

Re:hallelujah ! (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320205)

you do realize the majority of NASA commanders and pilots are military personnel right?

While Nasa is civilian missions have to be approved and cleared by the airforce before launch. NASA is a way for the airforce to get even more money for R&D out of the government while making it look good.

Re:hallelujah ! (-1, Offtopic)

MacDork (560499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320275)

militarization of space.

You think that's scary, consider the militarization of the Cult of Climate Change. Cult leader Dr. James "Fake Data" Hansen [telegraph.co.uk] with access to military command? That's much more frightening. There are factions of this cult that honestly believe, "We need to radically and intelligently reduce human populations to fewer than one billion" [seashepherd.org] to stop global warming.

Re:hallelujah ! (0, Flamebait)

Mipsalawishus (674206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320521)

These aren't factions of some cult. This is an agenda by the globalists who put Obama in office. They are hell bent on reigning in their New World Order. Obama will bring nothing new to the table because he and McCain are two sides of the same coin. It has been this way for several decades. The American Sheeple honestly believe they had a choice to make a change with their "choice" of candidates. We are slowly being brainwashed to be led to the slaughter. BTW, why fewer than one billion?? Read the new "Ten Commandments" of the globalists:

MAINTAIN HUMANITY UNDER 500,000,000 IN PERPETUAL BALANCE WITH NATURE

GUIDE REPRODUCTION WISELY - IMPROVING FITNESS AND DIVERSITY

UNITE HUMANITY WITH A LIVING NEW LANGUAGE

RULE PASSION - FAITH - TRADITION AND ALL THINGS WITH TEMPERED REASON

PROTECT PEOPLE AND NATIONS WITH FAIR LAWS AND JUST COURTS

LET ALL NATIONS RULE INTERNALLY RESOLVING EXTERNAL DISPUTES IN A WORLD COURT

AVOID PETTY LAWS AND USELESS OFFICIALS

BALANCE PERSONAL RIGHTS WITH SOCIAL DUTIES.

PRIZE TRUTH - BEAUTY - LOVE - SEEKING HARMONY WITH THE INFINITE

BE NOT A CANCER ON THE EARTH - LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE - LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE

These are the on the Georgia Guidestones. Call me crazy but do the research objectively, not with a biased slant. It's damn scary when you connect the dots and follow the breadcrumbs.

Re:hallelujah ! (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320919)

Hay guys! Let's change this space race discussion into a global warming flamewar! (crickets)

Re:hallelujah ! (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320483)

Imagine the amounts of mouth-foam, if Bush administration did this...

Yeah, and imagine the mouth foam that would have been generated if that lefty Jimmy Carter that gone to commie China instead of Nixon.

So what?

Re:hallelujah ! (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320881)

Put your partisan politics aside and ask yourself: Is this a good idea or a bad idea? If you think it's a good idea, then kindly stop the partisan whining. If you think it's a bad idea, then say why.

Re:hallelujah ! (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320955)

I was about to get upset over this but then I realized that the space program has been militarized for decades. This just would reduce the overhead.

Re:hallelujah ! (4, Informative)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320605)

What I found odd in this story is that the DoD's space budget is $22B. NASA requested a $17.6B budget for FY2009 [nasa.gov] . WTF? Does the DoD even do anything past LEO/polar orbits?

Re:hallelujah ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320845)

I'm not so sure about that. It sounds like the Chrysler-Daimler Benz merger. They were hoping that "synergy" and "economy of scale" would let them build Mercedes-quality vehicles at Dodge prices. It seemed to work the other way around. Compounding NASA management practices with military cost controls seems like a match made in hell!

Re:hallelujah ! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320907)

We prefer "African-American military programs", thankyouverymuch.

Imagine the BDS had Bush done this.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26319895)

Isn't it funny how "tolerant progressives" get all whacked and spew real hate when discussing "HalliBusHitler"???

Kinda like that "tolerant" neighborhood near San Francisco that's all up in arms because the "Negroes" are moving in....

Re:Imagine the BDS had Bush done this.... (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319923)

Kinda like that "tolerant" neighborhood near San Francisco

If you think San Franciscans are tolerant try applying for a carry permit within the city......

New name (5, Funny)

SpectreBlofeld (886224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319927)

NASA will become a fourth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, known as 'Starfleet'.

Re:New name (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319943)

NASA will become a fourth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, known as 'Starfleet'.

Will the uniforms ride up every single time you sit down? ;)

Re:New name (2, Funny)

skeeto (1138903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320917)

Will the uniforms ride up every single time you sit down?

Yes, but I hear they are developing a manoeuvre to fix it.

Re:New name (1)

KyleTheDarkOne (1034046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319955)

I would so sign up for that.

Fourth Branch? (1)

JshWright (931399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320017)

1) Army
2) Navy
3) Air Force
4) Marines
5) Coast Guard

Re:Fourth Branch? (2, Informative)

Timosch (1212482) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320053)

6) NOAA Corps
7) PHSCC

Uniformed services of the United States [wikipedia.org]

Re:Fourth Branch? (1)

Maxwell'sSilverLART (596756) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320133)

While your point stands, the Marines are a department of the Navy, not an independent branch.

Re:Fourth Branch? (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320329)

No, they are a separate branch (ie the USMC was authorised by congress, not just a creation of the USN), they are administratively overseen by the Department of the Navy (which isn't the same as the US Navy).

Re:Fourth Branch? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320979)

they are administratively overseen by the Department of the Navy (which isn't the same as the US Navy).

but is also known as Old Navy

Did you say... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320513)

Spacefeet?

Re:New name (1)

Wiseleo (15092) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320571)

No. SGC.

Most of those who would really care about NASA have been already conditioned that Airforce == space exploration and technology assimilation.

It's called "The Navy".... (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320723)

You know... The guys WITH SHIPS and things?

Nothing new here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26319981)

Once Obama's people get their security clearances they'll learn that the "barriers" aren't what they think. Much of what goes on in NASA is done for the military already. Does anyone wonder why the space shuttle's cargo bay was a perfect fit for both the Hubble telescope and the KH-11 satellites?

yay.... (-1, Troll)

jt418-93 (450715) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319983)

now we can OFFICIALLY weaponize space. because we do such a good job keeping that stuff under control when we can physically lay hands on it...
obama is becoming more and more of a moron..

Re:yay.... (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320021)

The design of the space shuttle was influenced enormously by the military, just FYI.

He's not a moron and this is not unprecedented.

Re:yay.... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320555)

The design of the space shuttle was influenced enormously by the military, just FYI.

Truth.

He's not a moron

This, only time will tell.

Re:yay.... (5, Informative)

thermopile (571680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320631)

To add to that "influenced enormously" comment...

The whole reason the Space Transportation System (STS, or just "space shuttle") looks the way it does is entirely due to now-defunct military requirements. When they were designing the shuttle, the DoD had a requirement to be able to place a payload in polar orbit and return to Earth in one orbit, in order to "secretly" deploy spy satellites. This is hard. No, really, this is very hard. The earth is spinning "sideways" and it takes a tremendous amount of impulse (read: fuel) to change your orbit from sideways to vertical. Then you have to land again.

NASA, dutiful organization that it was, came up with the idea of "tacking" the orbiter on the side. And they gave it wings. This was the only way they could get the crew-carrying module to safely glide back to its original destination.

About 5 years into the design, the DoD said, "No, thanks, we don't want that system anymore," and left NASA holding the bag. So, we're stuck with this design where the re-entry surface is exposed to the outside during launch (nobody else does that). The engines on the orbiter remain the highest energy-dense engines ever developed.

For more trivia, see here [wikipedia.org] .

Re:yay.... (1)

Faulkner39 (955290) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320751)

By these standard, G.W. Bush is a genius.

Science v. Defense (4, Insightful)

txoof (553270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319989)

The military and Nasa have always had a relationships; choosing astronauts from the ranks of the Air Force, for one. Obviously, the technology developed through the space program has military applications such as spy satellites and obviously a rocket that can put a man in orbit can just as easily deliver a multi-ton warhead to the other side of the planet. What worries me in this plan is shifting the focus from science to defense objectives.

While NASA has a long relationship with the military and shares plenty of technology, they are a civilian organization. I know that up until recently, NASA's mission was, "To understand and protect our home planet...", but the main focus has been to send interplanetary probes [nasa.gov] into the solar system, bust up comets [nasa.gov] and generally produce outstanding backgrounds for our desktops [nasaimages.org] . Would this shift in leadership take more energy away from studying the nature of the universe, lofting the next generation of space telescopes and studying our planet from above? Under the military it seems more likely that NASA's goals would shift away from "understanding" and more to "protecting". I imagine this wold involve developing the next generation of anti-satellite and anti-anti-satellite weapons (despite the fact that earth orbit is supposed to be a weapons free zone [wikipedia.org] ).

What insight does the slashdot community have on this? Will shifting NASA to military control result in a more nimble and focused organization able to achieve the goal of putting a man on mars in the next 20 years, or will military research take precedence over science?

Re:Science v. Defense (0)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320113)

NASA and the DoD probably already contract the same companies to build a lot of their stuff, so what's the difference?

Re:Science v. Defense (1)

txoof (553270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320703)

The difference is what it is used for. A satellite built by Lockeed Martin that observes gamma ray bursts is definitely scientific; a satellite that watches the comings and goings of North Korea is different kind of "science." I'd rather have the DoD/military/whoever worry about spying and NASA focus on science.

Re:Science v. Defense (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320147)

What worries me in this plan is shifting the focus from science to defense objectives.

yes "defense"

Re:Science v. Defense (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320377)


Well it certainly sends a strong message to the rest of the International Community. US space programme to be done under the auspices of their military - nice and unambiguous.

Re:Science v. Defense (1)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320461)

You want the military to go to Mars? Watch this:

Mars has oil!!

Oh wait, that's the bait for republicans... Oh well, in 8 years it'll work.

Story Inaccuracies (5, Informative)

olafva (188481) | more than 5 years ago | (#26319991)

Check NASAWatch [nasawatch.com] to see some inacuracies in this Bloomberg story.

First steps towards the Militarization of NASA (1, Interesting)

flajann (658201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320015)

I voted for Obama because I was hoping he was pro-peace.

It seems that not only was I wrong, I was very naive.

I was already concerned about his wanting to send more troupes to Afghanistan, but now this????

  1. Once again, the push to go to space is for all the wrong reasons. I don't want to see space militarized, and yet that's exactly what we're seeing.
  2. The government always needs a boogeyman to keep us off-balance. The cold war with Russia carried it for a while. Then when the walls came down and the USSR went bust, various domestic issues became the bogeyman, including a way over-inflated "danger" of child kidnapping and all the "dangers" of the Internet. Let alone the so-called "drug war", etc. Then it was "terrorist threat", ushered in by the events of 9/11. And now that that issue has fallen out of vogue, China is now going to be the next boogeyman.
  3. There will be a major culture clash between NASA and the Pentagon whilst they become "linked". The openness of NASA is at direct odds with the secrecy of the Pentagon, just for starters.
  4. Eventually, the Pentagon will push for more and more control and influence over NASA, and "reasons" will be created to "justify" the further militarization of NASA.
  5. China is a wildcard in all this, but this demonization will only hurt relations, and lead China to escalate its efforts. Also, keep in mind that China already has the US by its financial balls in a very assymetrical fashion, and I'm not sure what that would portend. But it does give China a lot of leverage over the US.

Many years ago when everyone was so busy with 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the like -- and even before 9/11, I had always told everyone to keep eyes on China, for they would become the next rival of the US in the 21st century. And it would seem I was correct in that assessment.

I also say something else: keep an eye on the relationship between Russia and China, as I suspect they will become strong allies in the years and decades to come, as a counter to the US and the EU.

My 2 cents' worth of analysis of the geopolitical situation. Take it for what it's worth. Oh, and stay tuned.

Re:First steps towards the Militarization of NASA (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320153)

I was already concerned about his wanting to send more troupes to Afghanistan, but now this????

Umm, Afghanistan != Iraq. You do remember why we are over there, right?

The government always needs a boogeyman to keep us off-balance. The cold war with Russia carried it for a while.

I don't think the populations of the countries that were effectively annexed by the Soviet Union thought of them as a mere bogeyman. The Cold War came about when the Soviet Union refused to honor her wartime agreements and decided to annex Eastern Europe. It didn't come about because our Government needed a bogeyman to distract the population.

but this demonization will only hurt relations

So we should turn the other check when they oppress human rights and just keep doing business with them as usual?

Also, keep in mind that China already has the US by its financial balls in a very assymetrical fashion, and I'm not sure what that would portend. But it does give China a lot of leverage over the US.

How do they have us by the 'financial balls'? They could dump their holdings of US Treasuries and pull the rug out from under that market -- but that would hurt them (and the rest of the World for that matter) at least as badly as it would hurt us. They have 400,000,000 people they need to pull out of poverty. That isn't gonna happen if they undermine their biggest trading relationship.

I had always told everyone to keep eyes on China, for they would become the next rival of the US in the 21st century

They may well become our rival. We'll see. We aren't without our own strengths and they aren't without weakness though. We might see a different World in the 21st century but we'll still be around.

keep an eye on the relationship between Russia and China, as I suspect they will become strong allies in the years and decades to come

It's just as likely they'll become rivals as it is they will become allies. Either way, it's part of the geopolitical game. We're laying the foundation for a future relationship with India. Think India might be a useful counterweight to China?

Re:First steps towards the Militarization of NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320419)

You do remember why we are over there, right?

Our intentions were good, but it took 6 fucking years to get Afghanis to publicly condemn the murder of schoolchildren by muslim lunatics. At this rate, we might actually stabilize the region in a few more centuries, by then the almost-millenia-old islamic schism might even be healed.

tl;dr: the road to hell...

Re:First steps towards the Militarization of NASA (2, Informative)

qbast (1265706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320629)

The government always needs a boogeyman to keep us off-balance. The cold war with Russia carried it for a while.

I don't think the populations of the countries that were effectively annexed by the Soviet Union thought of them as a mere bogeyman. The Cold War came about when the Soviet Union refused to honor her wartime agreements and decided to annex Eastern Europe.

Funny, but it is not how it is remembered in those countries. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Betrayal [wikipedia.org] . It was Roosvelt and Churchill who sold whole Central and Eastern Europe to Stalin in Yalta. 'Refusal to honor wartime agreements' is just an attempt to rewrite history.

Re:First steps towards the Militarization of NASA (-1, Troll)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320161)

I voted for Obama because I was hoping he was pro-peace.

It seems that not only was I wrong, I was very naive.

There's your "change we can believe in". He has changed his holy robe for an empty suit.

Re:First steps towards the Militarization of NASA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320199)

It seems that not only was I wrong, I was very naive.

Get ready to be wrong about a lot of things concerning The One.

If only you had turned your razor sharp analytical skills on Obama. But, no, you swallowed his song and dance whole.

Yeah, I expect to see a lot of posts like this from you and the Obamanuts

Re:First steps towards the Militarization of NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320351)

As long as resources are limited, there will never be peace. That's human nature. Get over it.

1. Maybe you didn't know this, but space is already "militarized".
2. Searching for friends and enemies is also human nature. There is no need for some kind of conspiracy theory. Politicians just say what the people electing them want to hear.
3. You mean I can get all the blue prints about the space shuttle? Cool!
4. Probably, but the pentagon is not the government.
5. Yes, China has the US by the balls, but the funny thing is China's economy need the US market and would crumble at exactly the same speed as the one of the US if they decide to bite.

As for your insight about China becoming the next US rival... That's what everyone is saying for the past 20 years. What next? You will predict that if we continue to emit CO2, methane or some other gas then maybe this will make an effect you will name "global warming"?

Oh, and you really suspect Russia and China might become allies? What makes you think that? Is it because it was the news a few years ago when they did their first joint military exercises?

Re:First steps towards the Militarization of NASA (1)

philwx (789834) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320975)

China is effectively waging a one sided cold war against us. Bush wasn't paying attention, and he was distracted by conflicts with petty dictators. I voted for Obama primarily due to him not being oblivious to *China's* challenge.

About that whole Government spending issue... (0)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320035)

So, let me get this straight. Obamas camp tends to disagree with the War we are currently engaged in for reasons to include the ongoing cost, so we're going to ramp up NASA spending instead?

Don't get me wrong, I think keeping NASA alive is important, but trading spending with bullets for rocket boosters is the chapter I must have missed in "Obamanomics". Is this economy ready for this right now?

RTFA. (3, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320429)

trading spending with bullets for rocket boosters is the chapter I must have missed in "Obamanomics"

from TFA: "Obamas transition team is considering a collaboration between the Defense Department and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration because military rockets may be cheaper and ready sooner than the space agencys planned launch vehicle,"

The idea is to SAVE MONEY. Whether that works out or not, we'll see. And as for "trading bullets for rockets", first that seems an excellent idea to me, but also Iraq is costing upwards of 300 billion last I heard; whatever NASA gets is pocket change compared to that.

dysfunction starts at the top (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320039)

conversely, it can also be undone from that spot. disconnected 3&4 letter agencies, can be trained to work together towards common, positive goals, as well as our demise. better days ahead.

Undertones of another Cold War (4, Insightful)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320061)

Altruistic as the space race may seem, China will soon be a much larger influence in the world than today. Currently, their middle class is larger than the entire population of the USA, and the rest of the population is catching up fast.

If they have a well developed space program, it's all the more leverage if they start to flex their muscles. You can bet their bureaucracy knows of the military benefits of space. Everyone and their mother already has surveillance satellites up. The US government wants a powerful presence up there as well.

The race for power is underpinning this race for space, just as it did in the time of Sputnik. Only this time, bankrupting China (like the US bankrupt the USSR) doesn't seem to be an option.

It's about time... (1, Insightful)

TrueJim (107565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320073)

I've been thinking for years that NASA should be "dismantled"...reduce its mission scope to military-related matters and take all the civilian stuff that NASA does now and take that commercial instead.

If the government bought its civilian space needs exclusively from commercial suppliers "off the shelf" that would be a huge boost for commercial space industry and would accelerate development of low-cost-to-orbit technologies.

It's not that a governmental entity like NASA *couldn't* accomplish the same thing, but they've spent the last 35 years proving that they *won't*. It's almost impossible to change the DNA of a government agency. The only alternative is to scale them back so far that they essentially have to re-invent themselves, and use the funds saved to nurture industry alternatives.

Eliminate redundancy?... (4, Insightful)

Numen (244707) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320081)

I'm pretty ignorant on this subject, and not a US national, but wouldn't this be a rather good way to eliminate redundancy in similar projects across both agencies at a time when the US needs to rationalise expenditure?

If G.W. Bush had Done this (0, Redundant)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320107)

There would be riots in Berkley.

All the democrats in Congress would be "Outraged", whatever the hell that's supposed to mean.

Kieth Olberman and Mathews would have a stroke while on the air.

The late night comics would have entire routines built around it.

Re:If G.W. Bush had Done this (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320561)

You're leaving out the middle step - Duh Media's reportage.

"George Bush plans to cancel NASA...."

"George Bush plans to cancel NASA over Global Warming scientist...."

"George Bush plans to cancel NASA and Sesame Street over Global Warming scientist"

They have their templates, after all.

Get with the program! (0, Troll)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320733)

Bush = Bad! Obama = Good!

Want to go back to the Moon? Build Saturn Vs! (4, Informative)

Mordant (138460) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320109)

What's maddening is that nobody involved in this debate seems to realize that:

1. We solved resonance and pogoing issues in the 1960s vis-a-vis the Saturn V stack.

2. We can simply dust off the Apollo 18-20 J-series mission plans and the Apollo X/ALSS/AES/LESA studies, and execute them.

3. All we need to actually get back to the Moon is a Saturn V stack updated with newer materials and automation technologies.

4. SRBs are insanely dangerous due to their non-throttalability, and should not be man-rated beyond the poorly-designed Shuttle stack.

We knew all this *more than 40 years ago* (we ignored the SRB issue back then, which led directly to Challenger); how can these people be so ignorant?!

Here's a link [si.edu] to just a few of the studies which were done of follow-on missions. Here are links to Apollo X [astronautix.com] , ALSS [astronautix.com] , AES [astronautix.com] , and LESA [astronautix.com] .

Stephen Baxter's Voyage [amazon.com] is an interesting alternate history based upon some of these mission plans (although he's way too hard on the Germans, IMHO).

The bottom line - if NASA want to go back to the Moon (far better to offer a $20B X-Prize for the first organization to put 30 men on the Moon for a year and a day, and return them safely to Earth), all they have to do is to start building modernized Saturn Vs, Apollo CMs, SMs, & LMs.

Re:Want to go back to the Moon? Build Saturn Vs! (1)

Karel Jansens (1063154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320169)

To re-start the Saturn V program, you're going to need to rebuild all the factories and facilities to actually build Saturn Vs, not to mention redo a lot of development work that has been lost over the years. Also, Lunar Rendez-vous is an okay scenario if you really want to be first to the Moon; it's not exactly fit for a sustained presence though. And from a safety perspective Earth rendez-vous is vastly superior (Apollo 13 escaped by a very narrow margin and if the incident had occurred on the return voyage, American space casualties would have started much earlier). OTOH, I do like the X-Prize idea. A lot. Which means there's no chance in hell it'll ever materialize, not with socialists in power in the States.

Re:Want to go back to the Moon? Build Saturn Vs! (2, Interesting)

Mordant (138460) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320217)

Yes, but the thing is, *we know how to do all that*, we've done it before. Far better and easier and cheaper, IMHO, than this Ares nonsense with SRBs ready to kill the crew during launch.

Hell, we could take the Saturn Vs lying on the ground (3-4) of them, the unflown CMs and LMs lying around, and refurbish them, for starters!

Re:Want to go back to the Moon? Build Saturn Vs! (1)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320343)

No, we don't.

The people who did know are retired or dead, and plenty of critical data to recreate Saturn V is lost. Considering how the related technologies have advanced since then, it just doesn't make sense.

Re:Want to go back to the Moon? Build Saturn Vs! (1)

Karel Jansens (1063154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320867)

What he said. I'd also like to add that SRBs aren't inherently more dangerous than liquid fuel boosters. What did Challenger in, were highly unrealistic specs (the "need" for reusable boosters). And Ares is basically Apollo upgraded to the "new millennium", it's supposed to be easier, cheaper and better than Apollo.

Finally, the idea that the leftover hardware from the Apollo era is fit for anything but museum display duty, is -- to put it mildly -- highly optimistic (and if I hadn't promised myself to be nicer on the intertubes in the new year, I'd have written "bloody ignorant").

Re:Want to go back to the Moon? Build Saturn Vs! (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320187)

Those stacks would be even more useful for unmanned payloads, and unlike NASA the military is getting very good at understanding machines should go on dangerous places instead of people.

We only need to send people to the moon to explore and exploit it. We can explore and exploit it remotely and get more missions up. Getting meat in space isn't urgently required to learn what is out there.
The longevity of the Mars Rovers is yet more proof of this.

Re:Want to go back to the Moon? Build Saturn Vs! (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320225)

Loserboy nerd, you know nothing about space technology. The specialized tooling for the manufacturing of Saturns and Apollo spacecraft has long since been destroyed. The engineers who possessed the know-how to operate and integrate their systems are either retired or dead. Materials have changed, technology has changed. We would have to relearn to build them from scratch AND relearn to operate them. Moreover, Apollo is OK to take a stroll around the Moon and not much more. LOR is a highly inefficient way to operate a Moon mission. You have no idea what you're talking about.

Having the USAF cooperate more with NASA is only a good thing. Obama is demonstrating himself to be an uber-jock, he's beating you nerds up and shitting on your faces and you're demanding more beatings and more shittings.

Re: Loserboy nerd (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320365)

He should combine the CIA and SETI into the Search for Intelligent Americans ; ).

Re:Want to go back to the Moon? Build Saturn Vs! (1, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320451)

While I agree with your conclusions, we can't just dust off the Saturn designs and reimplement them. For one, we don't have all the details. Some of them have been lost. For another, you'd have to redo a lot of things anyway -- do you really want to be using Apollo-era electronics? If you did, where would you get them? It would make sense to update the alloys used, at which point you have to recheck all the design parameters.

Of course, I'm all in favor of building an all-liquid rocket that focuses on reliability over performance by doing things like modest chamber pressures and gas generator cycles, and eschews the minimal gains and large headaches of hydrogen in favor of kerosene. Huh, where have heard that before [spacex.com] ? Building to similar specs as the Saturn V makes a lot of sense as well; it's an appropriate size for such a vehicle. But any idea that we can just dust off the old designs is as much a fantasy as the idea that the new Orion SRBs are just retouched Shuttle ones.

Too Much is being read into this (4, Insightful)

Davemania (580154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320129)

I don't see what the big deal is. NASA and DoD have worked togeather before (Shuttle program but DoD dropped out for non-manned launches). This is not about militarization of NASA (DoD's space budget is significantly more than NASA), if it's cheaper for NASA to adopt or modify one of the heavy launchers used by the DoD, than why not ? What raised my eye brow was Griffin's response about NASA's inability to evaluate rocket options ....

What are the odds... (1)

madstork2000 (143169) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320185)

I've always suspected that the military has an active and advanced manned space program. I'm not a conspiracy nut, but I do have a soft spot for dreaming about all the cool stuff the military could create in 40 years with trillions of dollars and little oversight.

Why would we spend so much money in the 50's, 60's and 70's then essentially abandon space for short trips orbiting the planet, and relatively cheap robotic missions elsewhere. At the same time having military spend 100 times as much as NASA on totally secret "black" projects for national security. I personally think the shuttle has always been a distraction, something to keep the people pre-occupied while working on establishing a preemptive advantage in space.

Considering Hollywood has been predicting a Chinese dominance in space for decades, it seems reasonable that the Military foresaw that possibility much earlier and took steps to prevent it from happening.

Anyway, the bottom line though is that cooperation between the two, can only lead to the tax payers actually getting some value out of that tremendous investment we paid for but know nothing about.

Re:What are the odds... (1)

vbraga (228124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320271)

It probably just means using the same launch compatibilities. The US Military relies heavily on ULA [wikipedia.org] , an umbrella company for Boeing and Lockheed Martin, for doing it's launches. The Delta IV [wikipedia.org] could probably fill this role if rated for manned launches - which should be expensive by itself, I presume.

Discuss/Consider = Action? (1)

RootWind (993172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320213)

I'm not entirely sure whether Obama will actually pursue this, but I notice a trend going on. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like every time any idea is discussed, the press seems to make the assumption that the Obama administration is actually going to pursue it (and unmodified). Are they just not use to the idea of actual discussion about choices?

Inexpilicably mandatory subject here. (1)

danwesnor (896499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320237)

The military doesn't have, nor have any interest in, rockets that can reach the moon. And NASA has little interest in sub-orbital rockets.

See ya later Vader (1)

Faulkner39 (955290) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320301)

They obviously want to dig into the moon so they can build a giant laser on the surface capable of destroying planets. In the process, they can mine the moon for cheese and repackage it as a U.S. export. That way, we can raise taxes on rising GDP which we can use to bail out mortgage-backed securities owned by the government so people who don't want to work can buy houses. See, war profiteering is your friend!

Yes, and we know for a fact... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26320421)

...that the military hasn't been running a black budget man in space program right along all this time. Their budget is huge compared to nasa, and right in the article, they have heavy lift rockets perfectly good for the task. And who's to say they don't have a two stage to orbit rocket plane or hybrid scramjet/rocket whatever dropped from a mothership already? Like they are going to brag about this, or we take it as gospel that they just stopped developing black budget advanced flying craft 40-50 years ago? The last one they finally fessed up to is the B2, we are now being made to believe they just gave that sort of research and deployment up? Really? They just stopped? And look at the near hysterical fit they went into when that dude in england hacked into some servers and he claims he found evidence of *just that*, a running black budget military manned space program. They want that guy shut up, locked away for the rest of his life in the US. Why? He didn't do anything but look, no damages, seems like a two year sentence or something like that is his native country would be sufficient, but nope, they went into serious overdrive to get him extradited.

Don't dismiss the thought out of hand. My guess is, because I have yet to see any evidence that they have given up black budget advanced aeronautical research, is that we had the technology for man in space a long time ago now, and the military just kept doing it, with the nasa efforts beng the public misdirection effort to keep focus elsewhere for deniability purposes, They just got better at burying stuff inside the black budgets.

  Space is the high ground, no way in hell would they NOT want that advantage, including having humans up there and a way to quickly get them up and back. There's another guy out there who has been imaging rather large and pretty secret orbital craft, I don't have the url handy but I have seen his pics, those are some really large spacecraft, some of they completely large enough to hold a small crew.

Re:Yes, and we know for a fact... (2, Interesting)

lee1026 (876806) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320957)

It is entirely possible that they have given this stuff up. Keep in mind that the B2 was fairly close to being done by the time that Clinton came in. Clinton cut the military's budget by a fair amount, and black budget stuff is the easiest to cut (by definition, not very many people needs to know about it)It is somewhat doubtful that Bush can afford to keep funding these things, considering the wars that he is fighting, and the high tech planes he is funding. In any case, the military is hardly in desperate need of better stuff, and that the air force would probably much rather spend any of this money on F-22s anyhow.

The space program should be shut down (1, Funny)

sonciwind (970454) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320481)

This is like putting a plasma TV on your credit card while you're undergoing foreclosure.

Just asking here (1)

pandronic (1275276) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320617)

I don't get all this hype about Ares and SpaceX's Falcon. To me they look the same conceptually as the rockets form the sixties. Shouldn't we go in the direction of the shuttle, by building one that doesn't suck and doesn't cost billions per launch? I mean, how are the modern rockets superior to the old ones? I feel like we are just standing still and reinventing the wheel ... Could anyone please explain?

And you wanted change? (1)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320635)

You got it! The Imperial Space Marines are going to kick your mutant asses!

Bad idea (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26320959)

I can see why it is tempting to try and save some money - although when has the military ever had savings and synergy in their target? But it is always a very bad idea to mix military and civilian institutions. The military WILL try to take over, claiming that it is now all state secrets, and that will not benefit the people, or space science - proper science can't be conducted in secret, there must be free exchange of theory, regardless of national interests.

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