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920 comments

frost piss (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920194)

yes!

Sad news (3, Insightful)

zwede (1478355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920208)

Space is the future. If you don't go out there we will stagnate and disappear.

Re:Sad news (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920258)

We went out there, in the past We stagnated. Our population doubled.

Re:Sad news (3, Insightful)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920272)

If we don't solve the terrestrial problems, we will suffocate, "...and disappear". Unless someone can make an as-yet unknown value proposition for going back to the moon, it's a waste of resources.

Re:Sad news (4, Funny)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920490)

The moon is a backup.

Re:Sad news (3, Insightful)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920576)

Earth is merely our nest, which is at the bottom of a gravity well.
The Moon is practice for Mars.
Mars is the gateway to the riches of the asteroid belt.

Re:Sad news (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920594)

Unless someone can make an as-yet unknown value proposition for going back to the moon, it's a waste of resources.

Well, what was the reason for doing it in the first place? Why not do it because we can?

Re:Sad news (4, Insightful)

click2005 (921437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920690)

I agree. Why not show that every now and then we can rise above petty insignificant squabbles over religion, resources and power and as a
species we can reach higher and achieve almost anything.

Re:Sad news (4, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920678)

Unless someone can make an as-yet unknown value proposition for going back to the moon, it's a waste of resources.

Had we planned on staying this time... building a small base or research station to leave men on the moon for extended periods of time... then it would have been worth it. But it was clear that we weren't going to do that. We were basically just going back to relive old glories, when it gets right down to it.

Re:Sad news (4, Interesting)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920340)

yup. wow. last line in the article:

One administration official said the budget will send a message that it's time members of Congress recognize that NASA can't design space programs to create jobs in their districts. "That's the view of the president," the official said.

That....is disturbing, if that is their view. Maybe next they need to have a war on science again?

Re:Sad news (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920472)

yup. wow. last line in the article:

One administration official said the budget will send a message that it's time members of Congress recognize that NASA can't design space programs to create jobs in their districts. "That's the view of the president," the official said.

That....is disturbing, if that is their view. Maybe next they need to have a war on science again?

Sounds like he's getting revenge for that Alabama Rep who switched from Democrat to Republican.

I should note, for reference, that if we were to double NASA's budget, we'd increase the current deficit by just over 1%.

Re:Sad news (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920386)

Debt is the present. If we don't take care of that, we will stagnate and disappear much more quickly. This is good, pay down debt first then invest.

Though, for all the talk of fiscal responsibility I don't see anyone mentioning that the US's military budget is about the same as the rest of the worlds military budgets combined. And 9 times that of China's. It would make sense to cut that first.

Re:Sad news (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920442)

And 9 times that of China's.

That's debatable, since China isn't being very transparent with their military programs or intentions.

It would make sense to cut that first.

Because the last time the US withdrew from the World it worked out so well for mankind.....

Re:Sad news (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920482)

How is cutting the defense budget down to the levels other first world nations invest in their militaries "withdrawing from the world"?

Re:Sad news (1)

synoniem (512936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920582)

The US presence in Iraq and Afghanistan did not work out very well too. So maybe investing in development is a better way, it worked with the Marshall plan after WOII.

Re:Sad news (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920684)

Debt is the present. If we don't take care of that, we will stagnate and disappear much more quickly. This is good, pay down debt first then invest.

If we were to zero NASA's budget, it would reduce the current deficit by a bit more than 1%.

This isn't going to "pay down debt", it's going to "slow the rate of increase of debt by a miniscule amount".

Though, for all the talk of fiscal responsibility I don't see anyone mentioning that the US's military budget is about the same as the rest of the worlds military budgets combined. And 9 times that of China's. It would make sense to cut that first.

If we were to zero the military budget, we'd reduce the deficit to about $700 billion. Note, for reference, that $700 billion deficit is larger than any deficit we've ever had, other than the 2008, 2009, 2010 (and all future deficits).

At this point in time, like it or not, the only way we can get our deficit under control is to raise taxes. A lot. Double them across the board, for a start. If we're actually serious about the deficit, we need to go back to a tax structure like we had immediately post-WW2.

Keep in mind that doubling taxes would cause a serious plunge in our living standard for at least a few decades. I don't spend all my paycheck, but entirely too many people do, and everyone's paycheck would be smaller by a considerable amount. And it's not like we have the bonus of providing the industry for the rest of the world that we had in the late 40's and 50's. This time we'd have to sink or swim on our own....

Re:Sad news (2, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920538)

Space is the future, but the future is not "now". Face it, space travel right now with modern technologies is a joke. We can brute force it and throw a few tin cans with people in them around the place, but we've got a few hundred years (if not a few thousands) before we can "go out there" and expect to stay for very long. All sorts of new materials-science efforts between now and then will make it easier. Stronger, lighter materials.... more efficient lighting (OLEDs! yay)... bio-engineered plants for food and air/water purification systems... robots which can effectively set up bases in hostile airless environment before people arrive... more effective batteries.... heck, fusion power sources and superconductors if you wait long enough...

We can wait another couple hundred years, we'll be developing towards most of these technologies on our own anyway - quite frankly, I suspect that trying to divert a massive portion of our output towards colonizing space right now will only slow us down in the long term.

Re:Sad news (4, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920662)

In a 'couple of hundred years' we won't have the material resources left for mass migration. Our technology is easily up to the task right now; we are simply too fixated on the bottom line to invest in our own future.

Re:Sad news (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920574)

Space is the future. If you don't go out there we will stagnate and disappear.

Or, the more realistic view: Space in an uninhabitable wasteland, enormously expensive to get to, and impossible to survive in for long periods without costly, regular support deliveries from Earth.

Let's face it, without some amazing and so-far-unforeseen advances in technology, any off-Earth colonies would die out within a few years of losing support with Earth. Given that, the presence or absence of those colonies isn't really relevant to the survival of mankind, which is 100% tied to the viability of Earth.

Spending freeze (0)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920210)

Killing arabs: We got money for that. Everything else: not important.

Someone explain to me again how he's a socialist?

Re:Spending freeze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920346)

Someone explain to me again how he's a socialist?

Things like ethnic cleansing aren't limited to a certain political system. Every regime can benefit from conjuring a common enemy to rally its people.

Re:Spending freeze (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920406)

Yeah. Mention going into invade a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 and then even changing the story of why we're going there: disobeying 'no-fly' zones, WMDs, etc... the American public at least 50% of them we're all for "Kick'in their asses!" to "Fight for Freedom!" because we need to feel all "big" and "tough" and whatever.

Now,as far as science and exploration is concerned, that's for "elitists" , eggheads, and other sissy type of stuff. If weren't in Iraq, we'd have plenty of money for the Moon mission.

Then again, there's the Health care issue. Yeah, that's a problem in this country. Right now the folks without health insurance are using emergency rooms as their health care - which we are paying for that through subsidies via increased hospital bills. But does the government just say we'll just expand Medicare? Nope. Gotta add on a whole new bill and government bureaucracy for it and in the meantime, scaring the shit out of the old people (who have a HUGE political influence in DC) which just adds more to the whole mess.

Anyway, that's my take on it and explaining my view with oversimplified American media standards.

To really explain it, I'd have to write a book; which unfortunately, most Americans would never read and therefore ....ah fuck it. Americans are ignorant dumb-asses and proud of it.

One small step for man (5, Insightful)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920216)

In the wrong direction. We should have spent the 60's on healthcare reform, increasing national spending, polarizing our government between the political parties, and copyright enforcement. Yes, that would have given the 70's a golden age such as the one we enjoy now, except without microprocessors -- which we don't need.

Re:One small step for man (2, Insightful)

sys.stdout.write (1551563) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920344)

Yeah, Obama totally screwed up by not spending on healthcare reform in the 1960s.

The deficit is getting out of control. While everyone here of course favors cutting things like defense spending over science funding, at least you have to acknowledge that if you're going to cut some science funding, going to the moon is a pretty decent place to start.

Re:One small step for man (5, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920674)

He's not cancelling 'the return to the moon,' he's cancelling Project Constellation. No return to the moon is just one side effect... Constellation was everything. With the Space Shuttles on the verge of retirement, Constellation was NASA's future manned space flight program. This isn't just the moon. And don't think this will be a small delay either. If this goes ahead, and the knowledge and experience is lost, it will take years to recover from. So unless Congress steps in (which isn't unlikely), Obama will be the President that ended America as a space-faring nation.

Ironic, given how much commentators liked to compare him to JFK back in the campaign. Kennedy had foresight.

Re:One small step for man (3, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920696)

at least you have to acknowledge that if you're going to cut some science funding, going to the moon is a pretty decent place to start

I wouldn't argue that. In fact, even in these times I'd argue against any cuts for NASA. Using a nickle to pay off a $10 debt doesn't work. The only time I'd argue cuts for NASA is if, somehow, they managed to scrape up $9.95. The BIG problems, all those entitlement and defense programs, the ones that would make the bulk of that $9.95, are political poison pills to mention even offhandedly.

Re:One small step for man (4, Insightful)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920528)

In the wrong direction. We should have spent the 60's on healthcare reform, increasing national spending, polarizing our government between the political parties, and copyright enforcement.

Guess what? All these things did happen in the 60's. Including healthcare reform (Medicare and Medicaid were created in 1965 under LBJ).

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (4, Insightful)

Calydor (739835) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920232)

Which part of that has anything to do with global warming?

Why is it suddenly NASA's job to monitor global warming? Why not create an agency with that job, instead of re-allocating something that has for many decades been all about space exploration?

Re:National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920330)

We should also create an agency to monitor ManBearPig. I'm serial about this.

Re:National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1, Troll)

snmpkid (93151) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920360)

Because the Director of the Goddard SPACE flight center is the lightning rod character that in the 70's cried foul about the ozone layer depletion that was going to freeze the earth, then he reversed himself with no supporting data to cry foul about global warming in the late 90's and AlGore then saw his opportunity.

Now the Earth Observation Systems at Goddard get funded for whatever they want and they want to study earth more for the lemmings that follow along.

Re:National Aeronautics and Space Administration (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920362)

Why not create an agency with that job

I'll ask 'eem, but I don' think he'll be very keen... we've already got one, [noaa.gov] you see!

Re:National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1)

kellin (28417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920374)

That's all we need. More governmental bureaucracy. Another agency, more waste of money.

As much as NASA shouldn't really be involved in monitoring global warming, someone needs to just to put this entirely stupid argument to rest. The self-centered arrogant right doesn't believe it exists, the bleeding heart left is screaming the end of the world.. its clearly somewhere between, but nobody really knows for sure unless we actually pay attention.

Re:National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920432)

Such an agency already exists. We call it the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Re:National Aeronautics and Space Administration (1)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920694)

I agree Calydor... What, THE FUCK, does NASA have to do with "global warming"?! I don't care if you think that 'science' is valid or not, there is no goddamn reason NASA should be involved in that. That's why we have NOAA. NASA should be spending money on sending people IN TO SPACE, fucking novel idea, I know. Fuck King Obama...

National Atmospheric and Science Administration (2, Informative)

TopSpin (753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920698)

The National Atmospheric and Science Administration has been a clearing house for all things 'science' since the 70's. Being related to space or aeronautics is not a prerequisite. If you want funding and it can be made to sound vaguely sciency, head to NASA!! Climate 'research', or something, is just the latest piglet with a tit.

Killing manned space flight has been a part of Obama's platform [slashdot.org] since he entered the national scene, regardless of subsequent back-peddling. Grownups know this, which is why those Congressmen with a direct stake in this are actively opposing [slashdot.org] this guy.

What might have been a credible future for space exploration is going to the NEA [nea.org] , and what is left of NASA will belong to Hanson. [columbia.edu]

Enjoy.

Mars? (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920240)

Does killing Moon rockets also kill any Mars programs too?

Re:Mars? (5, Informative)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920304)

Yes. Constellation wasn't just the moon. It was the next generation of NASA rockets for human spaceflight. If Constellation is cancelled, this isn't just the end of the moon. It's the end of Mars too. Hell, it's the end of America's manned spaceflight program in general.

Re:Mars? (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920716)

But hey, its the private sector the rescue! If you put your national space program in the hands of Elon Musk, you won't get any explosions or slipped schedules!

We choose (5, Insightful)

Jhon (241832) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920252)

'not to go to the moon in this decade and not do the other things, not because they are hard, but because not doing so is easy'

Or something like that.

Re:We choose (3, Funny)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920478)

I always loved the pause in JFK's original speech:

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon.. <pause while JFK thinks>
and do the other things.. (?)

Re:We choose (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920714)

Yeah...worst part of the 'From the Earth to the Moon' miniseries...getting hit with that bizzare line every intro.

Re:We choose (3, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920748)

He didn't forget what he was going to say (it was impossible to get elected as President if you couldn't complete sentences, at least before 2000), it was an oratorical pause.

Re:We choose (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920664)

'not to go to the moon in this decade and not do the other things, not because they are hard, but because not doing so is much cheaper and we have no money.'

Fixed that for you.

Re:We choose (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920734)

While I'm disappointed at this announcement, I see that there are higher, more immediate priorities. Considering the environment, terrorism, the economy, it's far easier and practical to scale back space ambitions.

Re:We choose (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920752)

The original draft of the JFK speech read "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because it is difficult...and also because the commies just showed us up and we need to save face by finally being first at something."

Leeme Get This Straight: So, Under Obama... (4, Insightful)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920264)

...the Space Administration will be focused on terrestrial science?

Man, some days the jokes just write themselves.

Re:Leeme Get This Straight: So, Under Obama... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920298)

He is an alien :)

In the US anyway

Re:Leeme Get This Straight: So, Under Obama... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920392)

Why not? James Hansen, the biggest global warming loudmouth of all, works out of NASA.

Gotta convince people all that carbon taxation is necessary after all..

Re:Leeme Get This Straight: So, Under Obama... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920604)

National AERONAUTICS and Space Administration. How does the atmosphere not fall into that?

Re:Leeme Get This Straight: So, Under Obama... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920738)

"AERONAUTICS" Get a dictionary you moron. That has to do with FLIGHT, not whether or not the world is warming, cooling, or in danger of ManBearPig...

Re:Leeme Get This Straight: So, Under Obama... (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920618)

That's my biggest problem with this. I have no problem cutting Constellation or the Moon shot. It was clear we weren't going to build a base there or spend any extended time there. That made the new Moon program just an expensive nostalgia trip, a way to relive old glories with little new actual science being done. But NASA is about "out there", not looking "down here". If you want to do climate studies, that should be NOAA's job, and to a lesser extent, perhaps the U.S. Geologic Survey. NASA should be about space exploration and aeronautics research, period.

I'm completely onboard with the Administration's idea of exploring (and maybe sending a man to ) near-Earth asteroids. That's technically feasible, and unlike a new moon shot, would be real space exploration. I also like the emphasis on the push for private space launch contractors, which NASA's old guard will no doubt fight tooth and nail. But it's time for NASA's monopoly on sending men into orbit to end.

Re:Leeme Get This Straight: So, Under Obama... (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920620)

Yes, it will be renamed National Aerothings and Stuff Administration

Re:Leeme Get This Straight: So, Under Obama... (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920622)

The National Air and Space Administration does plenty of work a) without humans and b) at or below Low Earth Orbit.

Space Garage (2, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920266)

A pity, the Moon would be the perfect way to get to the rest of the solar system. compared to almost every other body in the solar system, the Moon is right next door. It has water that can be broken down for air and fuel, it's got raw materials that can be used for construction without dragging asteroids into orbit, and hauling something out of the moon's gravitational well and off between planets takes a fraction of the energy needed to do the same from Earth.
Any trip to Mars that would be worthwhile (i.e. more than a quick stroll on the surface before making the second leg of a multi-month round trip) would have to start from the Moon.

Unsurprising (5, Informative)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920276)

Nobody should act surprised. He said he was going to kill Constellation during his original campaign.

Re:Unsurprising (1)

Mursk (928595) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920486)

Wait, a politician follows through on a campaign promise, and we're NOT supposed to be surprised?

In this case, I'm more disappointed than surprised, though.

Re:Unsurprising (5, Funny)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920500)

Actually, very suprising. He's actually following through on something he promised during his campaign. This is new territory, hang on to your butts.

Re:Unsurprising (1)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920548)

Nobody should act surprised. He said he was going to kill Constellation during his original campaign.

Congratulations Obama for finally keeping a promise you made during the campaign.

Democratic infighting (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920310)

We're used to seeing the arguments in partisan terms, but Obama has struggled as much with his own party as with Republicans.

In a sense, this should be giving Republicans what they want: less money spent by government. Assuming, of course, that this ends up as at least a small reduction in the overall NASA budget, and is not merely money being relocated.

I'd actually support that relocation; I think that going to the moon is little more than trying to win a pissing contest. Yeah, Tang, velcro, space pens, whatever. Money for science is money for science and I don't see why manned missions are somehow better than unmanned ones for fostering innovation, dollar for dollar.

Still, Obama is going to get a lot of pushback from his own party. (And one big loser: Parker Griffith, an Alabama representative, who became a Republican and now loses a bunch of money to his district.)

Democrats will fight to get that money put back, and we'll see if Obama gets any credit for actually trying to save money. Unfortunately, while talk of deficit reduction is always popular, actual spending cuts are always portrayed as apocalyptic by those affected.

Priorities (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920514)

Democrats will fight to get that money put back, and we'll see if Obama gets any credit for actually trying to save money. Unfortunately, while talk of deficit reduction is always popular, actual spending cuts are always portrayed as apocalyptic by those affected.

It's hard to take that point seriously less than 12 months after a trillion dollar 'stimulus.'

It's a big floating rock in the sky (1)

justicenfa (724341) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920314)

Why would we need to go there! Why would we want to build anything there! Seems pointless to me! They should try and colonize the moon! A big las vegas in the sky! What happens on the moon, stays on the moon.

Reality! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920326)

Very well said!

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.”
~O2BNTEXAS

good (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920328)

I'll probably attract a zillion flames for saying this, but I think this is great. NASA does a great job on uncrewed probes, and that's a mission that can't be carried out by private enterprise. The shuttle and the ISS, however, are pure pork and nationalism; now that the cold war is over, the politicians cover the crewed space program with a thin veneer of scientific research, but the amount of good science that comes out of *crewed* spaceflight is not in reasonable proportion to the cost. We need to get NASA out of the business of doing things that the private sector can do, because otherwise the private sector will never get off the ground in those areas. Suborbital and LEO space tourism are the killer apps for private-sector crewed spaceflight. Let's unleash their energy and creativity to get that going, rather than spending public money on poorly engineered concepts for going back to to the moon.

Re:good (1)

Evtim (1022085) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920700)

Now, I would not mod you as troll, but I want to ask something - by the "creativity" of the private sector you actually mean cost effective, bean counters in space who WILL decide to cut corners and soon space stations will start raining from the sky? Before you ask I do work for a high-tech company and am very familiar with the process of "good enough for enough money". It would not do for space. Never.

However meager the NASA's actual profit for humanity is, they are strict scientists and engineers, no bloody managers. Quality first , money second. Otherwise in 50 years no one will be able to lift off because of the debris in orbit. I know it is already dirty but imagine the situations when we unleash the managers...

Re:good (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920758)

Just like airplanes are always falling from the sky because they are owned by private, cost sensitive companies...

Just because its private sector doesn't mean it won't be safer than the atrociously bad safety record of NASA-run manned space flight (which is about a one-in-fifty chance of killing everyone onboard).

Other priorities (2, Insightful)

l2718 (514756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920376)

It's important to remember that bailing out banks, bailing out people with mortgages, spreading "stimulus" money around, subsidizing healthcare, increasing the education budget and fighting two wars are all expensive endeavours. With the deficit soaring, I'm not surprised NASA isn't getting the money to develop new launch vehicles. At some point Scudder and his followers will be out and humanity will go to the stars again.

obviously (-1, Troll)

The_church_of_funzie (940003) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920400)

The only reason Obama ran as Democrat is the Republican party is too racist to accept black people into positions of real power. Instead this scumbag misrepresented and out right lied about his political views. And now we get intellectually incurious, voodoo ecomics conservatard in office again.
Obviously there is no reason to go to the moon, it's not like we need Hellium-3 from there for fusion reasearch. By the time all the math and prototypes of rockets for returning to the moon would be completed, first fusion reactor prototypes would be finished.

Don't worry (5, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920402)

We are just a few decades from Zefram Cochrane's first warp flight amidst the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic USA. Conventional rockets are a waste anyway.

Terrestrial science? (1)

fenring (1582541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920436)

"Terrestrial science" and "global warming" sound to me like "not giving any money to NASA". I'm not a US citizen and I don't live there so I don't really know the economic situation, but it sure is sad to hear this news because I know that if anybody was to land on the Moon (again) it would have been NASA. On the other hand, I'm sure it's a temporary decision until the economy is booming again so it just is a delay of a couple of years.

And so dies humanity. (2)

KDEnut (1673932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920446)

Honestly. If we want to have any chance as a race we've GOT to get off this rock before we kill ourselves off. The longer we say bound up, the more chance some nutjob with a nuke and an axe to grind does something stupid.

Interestingly enough Niven & Pournelle had a fun little book on just what could happen if a sentient race had population control problems and limited space. "The Gripping Hand". Trash Sci-Fi but it a good thought-puzzle.

FiRst (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920452)

be fun. It use3 The project as a Their 4and...she

Sad, but... (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920456)

It is very sad that we won't go back to the moon, but why send humans there when robots can do a job as great as Opportunity, Spirit, MGS and all that?

It is less expensive and less risky, although not as fun, to send robots. We don't need to bring them back either.

Re:Sad, but... (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920530)

Damn! I posted first, but since my Internet dish is pointed to MGS, my comment got there minutes later... So I'm far behind :-(

Re:Sad, but... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920554)

It is very sad that we won't go back to the moon, but why send humans there when robots can do a job as great as Opportunity, Spirit, MGS and all that?

That depends what you want to do in space. For example, my goal is human colonization of space. That can't be done with robots alone. I don't see that my goal has to be funded with US government money. But if they're going to spend almost 20 billion USD a year on space activities, it might as well be something useful to me. Expensive, one use space probes (what I've called "rock star" missions in these very forums) aren't going to significantly further anything I'd be interested in. Sure they're better than nothing.

Why? Because it's next ... (5, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920458)

Sam Seaborn: There are a lot of hungry people in the world, Mal, and none of them are hungry 'cause we went to the moon. None of them are colder and certainly none of them are dumber 'cause we went to the moon.
Mallory O'Brian: And we went to the moon. Do we really have to go to Mars?
Sam Seaborn: Yes.
Mallory O'Brian: Why?
Sam Seaborn: 'Cause it's next. 'Cause we came out of the cave, and we looked over the hill and we saw fire; and we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west, and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration and this is what's next.

- West Wing

we've been to the moon . . . (5, Funny)

rev_sanchez (691443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920496)

The next space race should be about who can take the largest, most unweildly animal to the moon, let it run around, and bring it back safely. I say we try to a gorilla or a buffalo or a bear in a space suit that fits them and let them run around the moon a little bit and then the animal returns a hero. If that works we start with marine life. Let's put an enclosed dolphin tank on the moon and do a little show and then bring it all back home.

If we're doing this for science we can send probes cheaper and safer. If we're doing this for glory then send a giraffe or hippo.

Noooo!!! (1, Flamebait)

elstonj (892737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920520)

Are you kidding? Manned spaceflight is one of the most interesting things we do, Earth observing, while necessary, is boring. I'm glad China or India is going to beat us back to the moon because we're more interested in providing healthcare to lazy people.

Plenty of Change, Not So Much Hope. (5, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920522)

With the Shuttle put to bed, and now Constellation, NASA is done. Yeah, maybe a few robot probes will go out, but that's not what people get excited about (and are thus willing to fund). If it's not welfare or war, it's up for cancellation with this government. The global warming crowd will still get some funding since that's still seen as a viable power grab (not enough people can add, apparently) but that can't last. It seems the commercial launchers will handle what the Air Force can't for government satellite needs.

So, does an aspiring American rocket scientist try to find work in China or hope to get one of the few jobs with Space X, Scaled Composites, or Virgin Galactic?

Amazing - the one government program even Penn & Teller can't bring themselves to hate is the first to fall. Ah, well, competitive forces at play.

Well... (1)

bbroerman (715822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920534)

The "space race" in the 60's and 70's were for national prestige. We couldn't let the Soviets beat "us"... and everyone was afraid of having Soviet dominating Space... imagine having Soviet missile platforms overhead and us not able to do anything about it... So, now, lets let China take over space... After all, they're the West's best friends and would never take undue advantage of their leadership position. They are currently on track for dominating science and engineering completely as well... Maybe they'll ferry our secret spy satellites and our military hardware for us? We can have them send our astronauts up as well. After all, the name of the game in this country is outsource everything! We don't need no stinking jobs or industry!

Fuck those people (1)

Wee (17189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920560)

We'll just call our friends the Chinese or the Russians if we need anything in space.

Pandering assholes...

-B

It's those damn aliens (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920568)

It's those damn aliens.. Obama has been shown the "non-disclore" files on NASA's moonlanding and their warning not to fuck around on the moon. That must be it, the new president is a pantsy...

Or he might's seen the movie "Moon" and (SPOILER ALERT) doesn't know what to do with all these clones.

Obama the Luddite (0, Flamebait)

inthealpine (1337881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920584)

Other than the little perks of a blackberry and using the internet to vamp up election day turnout, Obama is just short of a luddite. We spent(and will spend) almost 1T on a worthless stimulus package last year(and this year). We get nothing for this. Social spending, social spending, social spending. No moon, mars..etc.

Fail (1)

christurkel (520220) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920630)

We certainly don't need to go back to the moon.
FAIL
Yes we do because it's there, it can provide useful science and insights about the cosmos. It's just like the space station only with gravity and built in supplies of water (ice) and doesn't need to be built by multiple runs of spacecraft or boosted into a higher orbit by same said spacecraft. Oh and it has a lot more room, too!

New Heavy Lift Rocket? (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920658)

In their place, according to White House insiders, agency officials, industry executives and congressional sources familiar with Obama's long-awaited plans for the space agency, NASA will look at developing a new "heavy-lift" rocket that one day will take humans and robots to explore beyond low Earth orbit.

I don't get it, wasn't one of the main goals of the project the development of a new heavy lift rocket? Are they saying they will cancel this program and then start over on the heavy lift rocket from scratch? That doesn't make any sense to me.

Maybe they should just end NASA entirely.

Just Junk It (2, Insightful)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920706)

NASA should be defunded completely, the launch pads closed, and the whole shebang turned into museums. That would at least bring in a little coin. Our country is broke, getting moreso, with no hope of actually ever balancing the budget while having all our other jobs outsourced, industries leaving, illegal aliens dragging down the charitable services, etc. etc.

Unless we can get our factories coming back, stop the outsourcing, etc., there's NASA and a whole whale of a lot of other things that gov't does that needs to be stopped. You can't tax people that have lost a good-paying tool-and-diemaking job, and are working some crappy-paying retail job, to do things like go to the moon or mars.

Get our industries back. Period. Otherwise, the military can do GPS, the commercial interests can keep launching comm satellites by paying the French to do it, and the military again needs weather info and so can do those satellites too. Everything else is just too expensive for the USA to be doing until we're back working again with GOOD PAYING jobs, not the near-poverty stuff we've been gravitating toward for the last 5 decades.

Helium 3 (4, Interesting)

Nzimmer911 (1553899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920712)

Why isn't the abundance of Helium-3 more of a selling point for the return to the moon? Especially with the recently /.'d mention of the impending shortage earth-side.

We certainly don't need to go back to the moon (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920720)

Right, because, you know, there aren't any resources up there or low gravity that could make it an interesting launch site for larger/long term space exploration vehicles.

Of course I've heard people talk about getting the same possibilities out of asteroid mining so maybe we'll head that route instead?

Another 2 decades wasted (1)

Xinvoker (1660417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30920724)

If Ares V gets canceled, that's another 2 decades wasted in Low Earth Orbit. So much for inspiration and opening new frontiers.

Humanity is still going to the moon and mars. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920740)

The astronauts will just be speaking Chinese.

Looking a manned spaceflight purely as a scientific research endeavor is severly short-sighting the full extent of the efffects.

Creating a more fuel effecient car... making a better containment unit for fission reactions... hell even curing cancer, none of these have the sheer wonder and awe of "hey, we've got humans on another planet. See that red speck in the sky, we've got people THERE. Humans, us, as a species, we're expanding our horizons."

When was the last time we as humans did something "scientific" that changed the humanity thought about themselves and their place in the universe. I'd say it was 1969.

Well that's too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30920742)

but perhaps something better will come out of it. Like when I was a kid and I really wanted something and I didn't get it I'd sometimes have the phenomenon that I didn't really want it all that bad after all and found something better. Two steps forward one step back.

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