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Obama Backs New Launcher and Bigger NASA Budget

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the most-systems-go dept.

Government 391

The AAAS's ScienceInsider confidently reports that NASA is in line to receive $1 billion more next year. Reader coop0030 sends this quote: "President Barack Obama will ask Congress next year to fund a new heavy-lift launcher to take humans to the Moon, asteroids, and the moons of Mars... The president chose the new direction for the US human space flight program Wednesday at a White House meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, according to officials familiar with the discussion. NASA would receive an additional $1 billion in 2011 both to get the new launcher on track and to bolster the agency's fleet of robotic Earth-monitoring spacecraft."

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Hopefully (0, Flamebait)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487486)

the first payload to the moon in the new launcher will be the entire Congress. One way.

Re:Hopefully (2, Informative)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487534)

Should be plenty of room to fit 'em all. You don't need a lot of payload, they'll provide their own forced-hot-air heating system until the oxygen runs out, and you want to make that mercifully (*) quick.

(*) for us, not them.

Re:Hopefully (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487820)

Better yet, take congress to Phobos. At least that way the little imps [wikia.com] will be with friends.

Re:Hopefully (1, Offtopic)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487632)

the first payload to the moon in the new launcher will be the entire Congress. One way
 
Let's make it a little more instructive: The congresscritters who submitted the top 50% of earmark spending amendments. Repeat annually until none are selected.

Re:Hopefully (2, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487756)

What about the president who promised no earmarks in the stimulus bill, then ensured all the health-care companies and insurers got their pre-socialism hush-money?

Should he also be reserved a seat?

Re:Hopefully (1, Troll)

moogied (1175879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488048)

Ah yes, the infamous 'vague political statement that has no sources.'

Re:Hopefully (3, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488172)

Maybe you can elaborate. Was this the bill in which Republicans called funding for the 2010 Census, airport security, public transportation and new fire stations "earmarks"? Sounds to me like exactly the kind of spending you want a stimulus bill to do. There were also $237 billion in tax cuts to individuals and $51 billion in tax cuts to companies, so I can't think of a legitimate reason why Republicans would be opposed to this, except that they're attempting to build party unity by being contrarian. Sadly, it works with people, but talk about sour grapes, man.

Re:Hopefully (0, Flamebait)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487726)

No, how about giving them front row seats in the flame diverter trench instead. At least they would have NO CHANCE of coming back.

Re:Hopefully (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488106)

"Jaws, Mr. Bond must be cold after his swim. Place him where he can be assured of warmth."

Re:Hopefully (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487824)

Throw in the POTUS and the SCOTUS (just 10 more people) and you've got a deal.

Scalia's corpse would burn for days... (0, Flamebait)

FatSean (18753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488024)

The flame would be visible from space, much like the Luxor's light.

NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487538)

For Science !

Cool. (-1, Redundant)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487542)

Cool.

MORE FUNDS?! (-1, Flamebait)

spiffydudex (1458363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487564)

All this funding is going to come from where?! More and more printing of money is just going to create a massive hole that will utterly ruin and destroy the US Dollar. I for one did not vote for this President his "Change" was never specified in his campaign. Well, here it is. McCain may have not been my ideal choice, but at least I knew exactly what he was going to do before he got into office. Hell, just 2 days ago Obama signed $1.1 trillion more in spending, on a whim. WTF?

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487636)

McCain may have not been my ideal choice, but at least I knew exactly what he was going to do before he got into office.

Yeah, a heart attack and President Palin ;)

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488142)

Yeah, a heart attack and President Palin ;)

The guy's younger than either of my parents, and my mom (81) plays golf and my dad (78) square dances. Wikipedia says [wikipedia.org]

McCain has addressed concerns about his age and past health concerns, stating in 2005 that his health was "excellent".[217] He has been treated for a type of skin cancer called melanoma, and an operation in 2000 for that condition left a noticeable mark on the left side of his face.[218] McCain's prognosis appears favorable, according to independent experts, especially because he has already survived without a recurrence for more than seven years.[218] In May 2008, McCain's campaign briefly let the press review his medical records, and he was described as appearing cancer-free, having a strong heart and in general good health.[219]

To misquote McCoy, "He ain't dead yet, Jim."

Your humorous comment ;) was badly mismodded, but I'm glad they gave you a karma boost (even though I know you don't need it).

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488214)

As you correctly deduced I was being a wiseass, but there is some truth to what I said. The thought of Palin as President turned a lot of people off. I think it's legitimate to worry about the VP nominee even if the guy at the top of the ticket is as healthy as an ox. POTUS is the most stressful job on the planet (is it just me or does Obama already have some gray that wasn't there before?) and will take a toll even on healthy and fit individuals.

Plus there's always the danger of some nutjob seeking a lead based solution to his political discontent....

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (4, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487644)

Hey man, how ya been? I haven't seen you since we were standing together at the rally protesting the huge deficit spending of the Bush administration.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487694)

All this funding is going to come from where?!

I don't know, they could stop the Iraq war for a day and a half. [washingtonpost.com] Get your priorities straight. If you're worried about the Federal budget, don't get in the way of progress and science, just stop the senseless war.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487788)

If we put the Iraq war on 4-10's and rotated mandatory furloughs (each unit skips one combat patrol a year), that could help.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (-1, Flamebait)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487906)

The "Iraq war" has been about 1/15th of the Federal budget since the war began. What about the other 14/15ths of the budget?

You obviously don't care about the budget at all and are just repeating anti-war talking-points. You are also off topic.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488000)

The topic is Obama asking for more money for space exploration, and the GGP asked where the money could come from. I suggest the military; compared to what we're spending on war, what we spend on science is chump change.

If you're a cokehead and about to go bankrupt, you don't fix your budget by skipping that $1 McDonald's biscuit and gravy once a week, you stop snorting coke.

As I said, priorities. You need to eat, you don't need to snort coke. We need research, we don't need the Iraq war. Research is cheap, war is expensive.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488124)

If you're a cokehead and about to go bankrupt, you don't fix your budget by skipping that $1 McDonald's biscuit and gravy once a week, you stop snorting coke.

Mcgrew, that is just fucking awesome. I think I'm going to print that out and tape it in my office window.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (4, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488204)

The Iraq war is only 1/15th as expensive as everything else the government does. Someone who only spends 1/15th of their budget on an activity has a hobby, not an addiction.

It's not the cause of the bankruptcy.

Anyway, you can relax. We won the war and the combat troops are coming home. We may keep a (relatively inexpensive) forward force there like we have in Korea and Germany, but the combat is essentially over.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488104)

The actual cost is significantly more than the "1/15th" of the Federal budget you mention. That amount only includes direct expenditure on the war in Iraq.

It doesn't include the healthcare needed for the tens of thousands of soldiers who are coming back injured, nor does it include the losses in taxes due to many of these people never being able to work again, or even just those uninjured citizens who no longer work at their regular jobs because they've being sent on their fifth or six deployment to Iraq.

Don't forget that there's another, soon to be bigger, war going on in Afghanistan. That alone will likely be another 1/15th, if it escalates, of the budget consumed.

As for the other 14/15ths, a significant amount of that budget goes towards programs that support America's warmaking. Think war technology research, the NSA/CIA/FBI/etc., and so forth.

Much of the rest of the budget has been similarly squandered. Instead of going towards socially-useful purposes like education and healthcare, it goes towards bailing out billionaires and corporations.

And really, he's not off-topic at all. America dedicates far too many of its resources towards destroying tents and mud brick huts in third-world countries. Even a small fraction of the money spent there each year could immensely help American society in a great many ways. Space research (which often has many spin-off technologies) is one of the best ways.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488168)

Wait a minute! 1/15th of TRILLIONS of dollars is A LOT of money! Gotta start somewhere, right? Also, that 1/15th is currently a COMPLETE WASTE and TOTALLY UNNECESSARY and will result in even more money needed for the after affects such as PTSD and other medical necessities that our troops deserve for their sacrifices. (yes, run-on sentence but you get the point)

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (2, Insightful)

glop (181086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488226)

I believe he was on topic as he was explaining that it's a matter of priorities to find 1 billion dollars in the federal budget for NASA.
His priorities obviously differ from yours but he clearly identified a big source of spending (6%) and noted that the amount considered was small compared to that big source of spending.

Really, it's like profiling code, if nobody has ever profiled some code you are going to see big misuses of resource (like 70% of time spent recomputing the same value etc.). But after some people have looked at profiles, you get down to a point where a 6% figure is a big target. I am pretty sure you are not the first one to look at the federal budget so it's likely that 6% is a big juicy target when trying to optimize the federal budget.

So your rhetoric does not really help as the other 14/15ths are composed of hundreds of items that are probably just as hard to assess, prioritize and possibly remove from the budget. the Parent was really just putting the 1 billion in perspective.

Personally I think that spending a billion on NASA is a rather good use of the money as they spend the money on cool stuff (electronics, getting bright people to work together, Linux etc.) and produce cool images, discoveries, stories that really make my days brighter.

 

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488340)

After the first sentence, I thought you were agreeing with him. 1/15th is not at all insignificant, it's over 6%. When you're talking about the entire federal budget, having any one thing take up a full 15th of the resources is pretty serious.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (2, Funny)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487758)

Are you kidding? They have more change in the couch cushions over at the Pentagon.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (4, Informative)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487818)

It was not 1.1 trillion more in spending. It was several annual spending bills. It increased spending by about 9-10% over last year. An increase yes, a 1.1 trillion dollar increase, no.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (1)

spiffydudex (1458363) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488090)

Thanks for the clarification. Many of the news companies were not exactly forthcoming with what the 1.1trillion was for.

LIKE WE DID ANY BETTER. (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488194)

Dude, in case you hadn't have noticed, more than 1/2 of the current national debt was from our President Bush and our Republican Party. That any Republican or so-called conservative can complain about a Democratic deficit with a straight face is beyond me, when our party has not produced a single balanced budget in 40 years and ushered in the mega-deficits under Reagan.

Republicans fail when it comes to budget cutting. Here's a hint. If you want to jack up federal spending to support two wars and doubling the defense budget, then taxes have to go up to pay for it. Choke on that with our 500B annual interest payment current administrations have to pay now.

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (0, Offtopic)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488270)

Hell, just 2 days ago Obama signed $1.1 trillion more in spending, on a whim. WTF?

I love the scene produced by this evocative statement. Obama's playing Tetris on his cell phone and an aide approaches with a silver platter covered in spending bills. "Sir, congress has prepared for you a selection of the finest budgets." Obama glances quickly away from his screen with a scowl. "Bring them back later. I can't figure out how to pause this thing." "Very good, sir." The aide bows and begins backing away. "Damn it," Obama shouts in dismay. "You made me miss with my T. Whatever, give me a pen." He grabs a bill at random. "I'm only signing this one. Throw out the rest. Tell them that next time they either need to combine all the bills or include a grant to fund research into pausing Tetris."

Re:MORE FUNDS?! (3, Insightful)

rwv (1636355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488310)

McCain may have not been my ideal choice, but at least I knew exactly what he was going to do before he got into office.

Bush signed off on the initial Constellation Plan. Bush made space exploration a pro-Republican issue. I don't know McCain's specific position, but the Republican Party line would have been in favor of the $3 Billion plan that the Augustine Commission recommended would be necessary to push human exploration of space ahead at the levels Bush was targeting.

Remember, just because you are arguing your own fiscal conservatism doesn't mean you can pigeon-hole political parties who have historically been associated with that trait.

If anything, Obama is cutting back on the plans presented by the last president. The Democrat is tightening the government purse strings.

Politics (-1, Troll)

Phroggy (441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487566)

President Obama asked Congress to fix our health care system, too. Look how well that's working out.

Re:Politics (-1, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487696)

No, he asked 60% of Congress to fix it. The other 40% doesn't get any input. That must be the "new kind" of politics he talked about. Partisanship in the opposition direction. Hooray for change!

Re:Politics (5, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487768)

You mean the 40% that has vowed to oppose anything Democrat? Why should they bother trying to work with people who won't work with them?

Re:Politics (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487894)

Why shouldn't they oppose it? The Democrats aren't interested in meeting in the middle. They are interested in pushing their own agenda. The fact that they can't even convince the moderates in their own party to go along with some of the stuff they've tried to pass ought to tell you something. Mind you, this is exactly how the GOP operated when they had control, but the silence coming from the man who promised us a new kind of politics is deafening, isn't it?

I had a phone call from a Democratic fundraiser a few days ago asking me if I would contribute money to help them fight the "Republican obstruction". I asked him why they are blaming the Republicans for their difficulties when they have 60 votes in the Senate and a large majority in the House. He didn't have an answer. Then I told him I would be voting GOP in 2010 just to put a check on Obama's power at which point he proceeded to lecture me on how evil the GOP is until I hung up. Wonder if they'll be calling me again anytime soon?

Re:Politics (4, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487956)

"They are interested in pushing their own agenda." - if you think that somehow Republicans aren't guilty of that as well, you are very, very deluded.

Re:Politics (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488004)

Of course they are. But the Republicans didn't run on a centrist bipartisan platform, did they?

And the Dems wonder why Independents are abandoning them in droves.

Re:Politics (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488046)

Mod parent up to recover his unfair flamebait score, he's not attacking either party, he's attacking both--and he's right. It's true that the Democrats aren't meetinging in the middle, and it's also true that the Republicans aren't either.

'course when they do meet up in the middle good things don't happen there, either...

Re:Politics (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488118)

'course when they do meet up in the middle good things don't happen there, either...

Yeah, those balanced budgets and surpluses in the 90s really sucked......

WHAT FUCKING MIDDLE? (1, Insightful)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488020)

JUST WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK IS THE MIDDLE? I'm so sick and tired of hearing this. You are full of shit. All you fucking republicans should be lined up against a wall and shot.

Re:WHAT FUCKING MIDDLE? (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488138)

I'm not a Republican, but since you are trolling allow me to respond in kind:

Good luck with that, you guys don't believe in gun ownership ;)

Re:Politics (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488120)

Why shouldn't they oppose it?

Oh, I dunno, maybe because this is AN ENTIRE COUNTRY and not some playground fight. They are charged with being reasonable and running this country properly, but instead BOTH SIDES squabble and stick to their own party like it's some kind of moral offense not to.

Re:Politics (1, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488428)

The Democrats aren't interested in meeting in the middle

Why should they be? They have a majority in the House and Senate, and are in the White House. Clearly, the American voters have spoken. We went so far to the right in the last administration that leaning to the left IS leaning to the middle.

Re:Politics (0, Troll)

FatSean (18753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487942)

Indeed. After McCain's douchey 'concession speech' in which he practically demanded that Obama act in a bipartisan manner, Obama tried too hard at bipartisanship. He should have known that the Republicans would never meet him half way. After several months of Democrats giving concessions to Republicans re: health care, and several months of the Republicans not giving concessions, it's about time the Democrats played politics the way the Republican-majority Congress did in the 90's and most of the 00's. No need to turn into total douches, but the Dems really need to stand up to the idiocy coming from the angry (fr)right(end) wing. What are these people so scared of anyway? :P

Re:Politics (4, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487784)

The other 40% doesn't have any interest in fixing it. If they show any interest they will be shouted down by the likes of Limbaugh and Palin and lynched as heretics.

Re:Politics (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487940)

No, they just don't have any interest in "fixing" it by turning the entire system over to Uncle Sam. Bit of a difference there. If the Democrats want to allow a vote on tort reform (just to pick one issue) I suspect you'd see some Republicans come to the table. No less a right-wing neo-con than Howard Dean has suggested that this is a necessary reform -- funny how we can't get an up or down vote on it, isn't it?

Then there's the cute little stunt the Dems have pulled with drug re-importation. Tell me, where did candidate Obama stand on that issue? Where's the outrage when President Obama cuts agreements behind the scenes with industry groups? If Bush had done that we'd see progressives foaming at the mouth. Why is Obama getting a pass?

Socialist Military is working great! (2, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488042)

Drug re-importation? Why not have the stones to force the corps to sell us the drugs at a fair price in the first place? You only like socialism once removed?

Re:Socialist Military is working great! (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488256)

I honestly don't know how I feel about the re-importation issue. It just pisses me off to no end that Obama is getting a free pass from the same crowd that would have liked to lynch Bush for his behind-the-scenes deals with industry. The fact that Candidate Obama was for it and President Obama is against it is just icing on the cake.

As far as I'm concerned Obama is just another lying scumbag politician willing to say anything to get elected when he actually knew what he was going to do all along.

Re:Politics (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488068)

The other 40% doesn't have any interest in fixing it

None of them do. Neither side of the Ruling Party has even suggested cutting back the amount of interference by federal and state governments in the medical care and insurance industries. The AMA and the insurance companies have regulations that they've bought and paid for that exclude competition, drive consolidation into larger and larger corporations, prohibit re-importation of their own products from other countries at lower prices, and even prohibit inter-state competition for insurance coverage (which is exactly what the commerce clause was supposed to prevent.)

-jcr

Re:Politics (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487854)

You mean the other 40% who are deliberately excluding themselves by vowing to vote it down regardless of the contents?

Those 40%?

The 40% that just so happen to coincidentally be Republicans. Funny that.

Joe Liberman may be a festering, infected boil on Satan's cock, in the vice-like-employment of the insurance industry, but at least he is coming to the table to discuss how to destroy the bill. The Repubs aren't even doing that.

Re:Politics (1)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487888)

So why hasn't 60% of the Senate fixed the health care system? Last I checked, 60 senators couldn't be found to support the bill.

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487900)

Technically, the other 40% do get input. It's just that the only input they have to offer is either shitting on other reps' desks or dangling their nuts in America's face (teabaggers FTL).

Re:Politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487990)

No, we had it during your favorite Bush years. Instead there you were unAmerican if you didn't vote with the president (terrorists and gays are scary). Now, we have Republicans who refuse to collaborate at all. Obama has tried to get them involved and they won't. Republicans wouldn't even halt their agenda when it violated Americans rights, but I'm sure you support warrantless wiretapping.

Republican definition of bipartisianship: You do what we say or we don't do anything at all. Except whine.

Re:Politics (5, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488040)

I didn't vote for for Obama but your statement is complete bullshit. Period.

That 40% you're talking about has refused to participate leaving Obama no choice but to carry on with the 60% that's interested in doing their job. The 40% you're standing behind has decided they don't want any solution that doesn't allow for massive fraud of the system and forcing people to pay at least 2x-4x as much as they should be paying for a healthy insurance system. And we know for this for a fact because these systems are already working around the world; contrary to the lies by the 40% you're working so hard to defend.

There is absolutely no shortage of things you can bash Obama on but bashing him for Republicans standing in line to abuse and defraud the American people isn't one of them.

Can't stop spending! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487584)

Can't these d-bags stop even for one year? Jesus Christ, we're spending money we just don't have. Apparently Mr. Obama is not interested in a 2nd term.

This isn't about science. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487618)

“The decision is not going to make anyone gasp,” said one source in the White House, which hopes to ease congressional concerns about the impact of the new plan on existing aerospace jobs.

This is about jobs; not science. Which means, science will take a back seat - shit will be built for the sake of creating the most jobs regardless of the scientific merits and it means that if a scientifically justified project creates less jobs or no jobs, it will be placed behind a project that creates more jobs.

Folks, this is how Government distorts markets and science. Then when either doesn't live up to its promises, Government passes the buck.

Re:This isn't about science. (1, Redundant)

Zarf (5735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487790)

“The decision is not going to make anyone gasp,” said one source in the White House, which hopes to ease congressional concerns about the impact of the new plan on existing aerospace jobs.

This is about jobs; not science. Which means, science will take a back seat - shit will be built for the sake of creating the most jobs regardless of the scientific merits and it means that if a scientifically justified project creates less jobs or no jobs, it will be placed behind a project that creates more jobs.

As long as this involves building a moonbase and getting some sharks with friggin' lasers on their friggin' heads... you won't hear me complain.

Re:This isn't about science. (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487828)

Exactly. And that is what the first space race tot he moon was about. Science was incidental otherwise WE'D STILL BE THERE!

Re:This isn't about science. (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487928)

However IF the Jobs program does actually create a new Heavy Lift Vehicle, launch costs should go down.

This stretches your Science dollars further on all future space efforts, manned, unmanned, commercial sattellites, etc.

if only (1)

Vorpix (60341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487624)

while i realize that there are some positives that can be garnered by war spending, can you imagine where we might be if the past 7-8 years of military budget were instead spent on scientific endeavors such as the space program? if those billions were instead going into cancer and aids research?

regardless, i am glad that even in a time of belt tightening, we still have people aiming for the stars (and not just at other people).

New Heavy Lift Vehicle - From TFA (4, Insightful)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487634)

"According to knowledgeable sources, the White House is convinced that scarce NASA funds would be better spent on a simpler heavy-lift vehicle that could be ready to fly as early as 2018."

Nothing in the article says what that HLV would be, or who would build it. The article also talks about the fight in Congress over Constellation districts losing aerospace jobs.

The only thing I am aware of is Elon Musk saying NASA has an option for SpaceX to develop an HLV, and I'm not talking about Falcon 9 or Falcon 9 Heavy. Anything else would be the usual suspects dusting off old blueprints and submitting proposals, or something I'm not aware of, which would be fine too.

Re:New Heavy Lift Vehicle - From TFA (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487808)

If they're really watching the budget, then "who would build it" would be "China". It's not always about the bottom line.

Re:New Heavy Lift Vehicle - From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488006)

No, it's not about the bottom line. If China built it, they'd use lead paint on it and supplies made with dried milk products would be loaded with antifreeze. We'd be lucky if the folks that went up in it came back.

Re:New Heavy Lift Vehicle - From TFA (2, Interesting)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488222)

You read this http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hla2i5PLLHuXp5CanUH6ygR6M5zA [google.com] right?

"NASA is ready to cooperate with China in space exploration, the head of the US agency said on Tuesday, as Beijing aims to send a manned mission to the moon by around 2020."

Re:New Heavy Lift Vehicle - From TFA (2, Interesting)

rwv (1636355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487868)

Ares V [wikipedia.org]

I doubt the government would give a billion dollars to Elon Musk to fund his private space company. If Musk wants to compete with the public sector, let him use his only money.

The article did open the door wide open for ISS space tourism because it says, and I quote, "And commercial companies would take over the job of getting supplies to the international space station."

Re:New Heavy Lift Vehicle - From TFA (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488154)

If Musk wants to compete with the public sector, let him use his only money.

I disagree. The public sector isn't competing with its own money, so why should Musk? In case there are any misinterpretations, yes, I do mean that anyone who has to compete (or even just puts up the illusion of competition in order to get some public funds for free) with a public service should get public funds using the same sloppy rationalizations that the public service uses. It's only fair.

Re:New Heavy Lift Vehicle - From TFA (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488170)

Well SpaceX already has NASA contracts worth up to $1 Billion so your 'doubt' doesn't really matter. They also have contracts with the Air force for more governmnet money.

If Obama were shifting Constellation's focus from Area I to Ares V I don't think there weould be quite so much fighting in Congress, but again any HLV is a win.

As far as commercial companies taking over ISS resupply, that's old news from SpaceX wiki page;
"On Friday 18 August 2006, NASA announced that the company was one of two selected to provide crew and cargo resupply demonstration contracts to the International Space Station (ISS) under the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program."

How that specifically equates to space tourism, well the Dragon module (from SpaceX) when complete and man-rated will carry 7 people to the ISS.

Re:New Heavy Lift Vehicle - From TFA (2)

Waste55 (1003084) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488162)

My guess is inline shuttle derived (Direct, Ares V classic, Ares IV\Ares V lite) or (hopefully not) shuttle side mount.

FTA:

The new program would jettison Ares 1. To appease congressional critics like Shelby, the Administration hopes to ensure that research and development work on the new rocket would proceed without significant job losses at NASA centers like Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama."

Doesn't sound like SpaceX to me.

J2-X? (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488272)

Is this new one going to use the same J2-X engine? [wikipedia.org] Only two years ago NASA awarded a $1.2 billion contract to P&W to develop this engine. It performed fine in all tests so far, and was scheduled for another test in 2010...

China Conquers the Solar System (-1, Flamebait)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487640)

So now China buys SpaceX, turns on its rice-in-manufactured-stuff-out formula to mass produce the Falcon 9 Heavy [spacex.com] and conquers the solar system while Obama hands out funny money to his buddies' buddies' buddies'.

Saturn V (0)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487660)

Dig out the blueprints, put them into a CAD/CAM program, and modernize it, and they could have a RELIABLE heavy launch vehicle soon. NASA really screwed itself when they dropped the SATURN launch vehicle, in favor of the wasteful shuttle. Now, most all of the smart guys that developed the SATURN V, are gone, but the plans remain somewhere. They could tweak the F-1 rocket engine and have a heavy launch vehicle quickly.

Re:Saturn V (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487882)

Instead of dropping everything and retooling all the production facilities, the Ares V uses shuttle-derived first stage, instead of the F-1 engine. The second stage uses another shuttle-derived engine, the RS-68. The third stage of the Ares V uses J-2 x, a modernized version of the engine used in the Saturn V second and third stage. The use of shuttle parts and shuttle-derived parts is for two purposes: decrease downtime from retooling, and increase congressional support through increased jobs/job retention. I am not speculating on whether or not this is good.

Re:Saturn V (3, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488010)

A lot of the blue prints no longer exist. Most of the original engineers have died off. There were a lot of issues that arose during design and construction that were largely undocumented. My stepfathers father as one of the designers of the saturn V's first stage.

Re:Saturn V (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488128)

Dig out the blueprints, put them into a CAD/CAM program, and modernize it, and they could have a RELIABLE heavy launch vehicle soon.

It's not that simple. Flying a Saturn rocket today would be much harder than building a new vehicle from scratch. Imagine trying to build the Cutty Sark today: we just don't have the people with those skills anymore.

-jcr

I've seen too many web ads (0, Flamebait)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487680)

I've clearly seen too many web ads. When I saw the article title "Obama Backs New Launcher and Bigger NASA Budget", I immediately conjured up other gems such as "Obama tells moms to go back to school", "Obama backs auto insurance reform, find cheaper rates", and "Obama will destroy us all". (Oh, nvm, that last one was from my daughter's Teabagger boyfriend, sry.)

Re:I've seen too many web ads (2, Funny)

skine (1524819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487836)

that last one was from my daughter's Teabagger boyfriend, sry.

Looks like you and your daughter are very open about her sex life.

Re:I've seen too many web ads (0, Offtopic)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488126)

Which is worse being a TeaBagger or a Fister?

Fister being an Obama bot, google: Ken Jennings if you have no idea what I am talkin' about.

Re:I've seen too many web ads (0, Troll)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487948)

Welcome to the government by cult of personality. Like Kim Jung Ill, Stalin, Castro, and Mao you can't go anywhere in your country without your "benevolent dictator" looking down on his loving children.

Those "Teabaggers" have it right.

Obama Backs New Launcher
Get your bigger budget now!

Dumbass! (1)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488066)

Subject says it all.

Smaller budgets (2)

furball (2853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487704)

Has Obama supported anything with a smaller budget?

Re:Smaller budgets (5, Funny)

Thoreauly Nuts (1701246) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487810)

Has Obama supported anything with a smaller budget?

Yeah. Your budget. It's now smaller.

Re:Smaller budgets (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487992)

That's probably going to be the funniest thing I've read all week.

Re:Smaller budgets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488298)

Agreed.

Re:Smaller budgets (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488210)

Loose change you can count on! No matter which party is in the White House...

Sure. (0, Offtopic)

FatSean (18753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487862)

The brain damaged failures known as 'federal funding for faith-based medicine' and 'abstinence only sex educaitons' my trollrific friend :)

He's also saving us money by telling the AG to not prosecute pot users in states that make such use legal. I do wish he'd pull every US soldier and asset out of the ME immediately, but military people who know better than I say that would be a bad idea.

Re:Smaller budgets (3, Interesting)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487908)

Well, I think he can have this one, since the entire budget is 1 day's worth of combat in Iraq.

If he tells the US military to go on holiday for a week in Iraq he can fund this 7 times over.

Is this not Bush's plan? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30487760)

I believe O is taking credit for Bush's plan.

Re:Is this not Bush's plan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30488174)

I believe O is taking credit for Bush's plan.

Why not? He's getting blame for Bush's economy.

Public Option? (5, Funny)

neurogeneticist (1631367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487850)

I can only hope that this heavy-lift launch system will support a public option with early buy-in and that none of this NASA budget will be appropriated to state-supported abortions. Otherwise, it will apparently have a hard time getting through the senate.

NASA should consider Outsourcing and Offshoring (1)

Zarf (5735) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487926)

We could probably get these items built much more inexpensively in China. In fact we should probably just outsource our science, engineering, and manufacturing of space exploration to China. We might use our own people for Astronauts though. It's all about making sure we're focused on the "true value add" that we have for Space Exploration as a marketplace. We can leverage the synergies of other nations to help us keep our energies focused on our "Core Business Objectives." Our core business in exploring space should be the exploring part. The whole "science" and "engineering" and all that useless "knowledge" stuff is best done by the people who are deeply specialized in those things... and they ain't us. /suit-speak

Article makes no sense (3, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30487972)

So are they saying a new heavy lift vehicle is replacing the Ares I? My understanding is Ares I is the simple, cheap, manned crew vehicle stack and the Ares V is the bigger, heavier, not man-rated launcher meant for heavy lifting. They were supposed to reuse shuttle parts and know-how to make things work better. So far it isn't. I have a feeling that shuttle reuse was a political decision to make this sound more economical rather than a proposal from the engineers guaranteeing it would be frugal.

Re:Article makes no sense (1)

gedrin (1423917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488074)

Much of the Ares system, that big orage part, isn't a reusable shuttle part. It's recylced tech, but the tanks are one use only, Shuttle or Ares. Eventually, they'll probably want to stop building "spare shuttle parts" for a seperate launch system.
Of course, that's assuming that Ares doesn't do what they want reliably and affordably, and that the purpose of these programs is to produce cheap, easy, and reliable access to space.

Re:Article makes no sense (1)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488398)

Don't discount the fact thsat the SRBs were Man Rated, you need a lot of sucessful launches to man-rate an engine or a rocket stack. By reusing the SRBs from the shuttle they were supposed to be able to rely on the safety record of the SRBs and get a new vehicle put into production far faster than a built from scratch new vehicle.

Now include the fact that all Constellation design, testing and building has to go on simultaneously with an operational shuttle program. There was hope to have some overlap, or at least a very small window of time when we didn't have a shuttle or a rocket that could reach the ISS.

Unfortunately over time that window grew larger and larger. People start talking about extending the life of the shuttle program, but that delays the rocket program further.

A lot of times on slashdot we see folks say why can't you do both, pay for science AND education, or any set of programs you wish. In this case two large programs one operational and one development are too much to hope for with the resources they've been given.

This is why I am hopeful for an outsider, an increase in funding can work, because there isn't any resource contention for people or their focus.

DIRECT (4, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488114)

I am glad they are ditching ARES-I. The thing could barely lift the Orion module into orbit, and that's after lopping off all sorts of features (land landing, six person crew, toilet, etc). Then there were the thrust oscillation issues. A solid rocket does not produce a steady thrust. As it burns, chunks of the fuel can come loose and alter the burn characteristics of the engine as a whole. On the Shuttle, there was a flexible beam running through the external tank. The solids were attached to both ends of the flexible beam, and the orbiter was attached to the middle. They had to develop some sort of spring system for ARES-I, which didn't help its already weak lift capabilities.

This [directlauncher.com] makes a lot more sense. Take the basic shuttle launch system, remove the orbiter, stick the engines on the bottom, put the Orion module on the top. There would be no costly engine development, as the rocket uses the same proven engine that has been launching the shuttle into orbit for the past thirty years. The J-130 (as its called) can lift the Orion module into orbit with ease. In fact, it could lift two - and not the stripped down versions, but the full featured Orions. Imagine being able to park one permanently at the ISS, as a lifeboat. The J-130, through the use of a module that mimics the mount points of the shuttle's cargo bay, could lift any payload that the shuttle could lift - including the Canadarm and an airlock for EVAs, something the ARES-I cannot do.

Because it shares so much of the shuttle heritage, the Jupiter system can keep the bulk of the current shuttle workers employed, especially if the current shuttle mission manifest is stretched out, or perhaps a flight or two added. The ARES system would leave a decade-long gap in some areas. Far to long to keep people around "polishing tools".

Phobos and Deimos (1)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488132)

Are we sure we want to go there? Last thing I need is some demons showing up on my doorstep.

Smart move (3, Insightful)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488148)

Probably the only smart decision this man has made. I offer into evidence a line from "From the Earth to the Moon" series. "Pumping that much cash into the private sector could be very popular"...of course, ironically, that's tempered by that douchebag Al Franken who is supposed to be the science adviser but who has less than zero ability to dream.

BOOOOO!!!!!! (1)

Necron69 (35644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30488234)

D*mn it. The government needs to stop competing with the private space industry and get the hell out of the way. We don't even NEED another HLV. This is nothing but a government jobs program for the big NASA districts.

Necron69

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