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Neil Armstrong Criticizes Obama's Space Strategy

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the ok-you-can-cut-in-line dept.

NASA 508

An anonymous reader writes "Former astronaut Neil Armstrong has issued a strongly worded rebuke of President Barack Obama, criticizing the president for proposed revisions to the US space program. Armstrong, along with astronauts James Lovell and Eugene Cernan, called the proposal 'devastating' in a letter obtained by NBC News."

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Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845036)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (1, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845056)

We've got jobless benefits to extend!

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845082)

And millions of uninsured people we need to hurry up and cover in 4 years.

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845162)

The Shuttle basically is a jobs program (for Florida, mainly). But it's an awfully expensive one. Redirecting the funds to more efficient unmanned and private industry programs will accomplish more with the same money.

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (0)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845328)

NASA has a huge motive to do things that are unprofitable for the foreseeable future. They had the motive to figure out how to develop heat barrier material that can survive friction from atmospheric reentry, something that wasn't really useful at the time. I think Teflon was a result of a Manhattan Project commission, not NASA... but it was otherwise a useless endeavor (it's non-reactive to Uranium Hexafluoride). A lot of material science goes into researching DoD and NASA projects, as well as other shit like figuring out how to travel at warp speed or how to integrate computer systems with shit.

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (0, Troll)

aurispector (530273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845434)

Welfare programs never put a man on the moon. Pull your head out of your ass.

don't measure benefit based on mission objectives (3, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845436)

Landing on the moon did an AMAZING amount to boost the morale of the country, cause people to dream, push themselves, open their minds to possibilities, etc. If it weren't for landing on the moon, the country (and thus the world) would be decades behind where we currently are.

I'd go so far as to say if we, or hell..anyone else, for that matter...could even just land on the moon again...the same thing would happen. Did it provide immediate benefits that justified the cost? No. What it did instead was inspire not three generations of people to dream, to reach for the stars, to explore, to innovate...

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845226)

The WSJ has something to say about that very thing today:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303828304575180243952375172.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_opinion [wsj.com]

This is why I cannot get on board with the Democrats. Their "good intentions" are seriously misguided, and in fact fly in the face of all modern economic research. We now have unemployment benefits extended up to 2 years - 2 YEARS!!! Talk about an incentive to not work! Meanwhile, the Republicans are cast as heartless because they want to force Congressional Democrats to follow their own PayGo legislation! I would hardly call expecting someone to find a job doing SOMETHING in under 2 years' time "being heartless." It may not be your dream job, but if you live in America then you still won the Ovarian Lottery as Warren Buffet would say.

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (3, Insightful)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845242)

Yeah, go to hell victims of reckless real estate speculation, those aerospace contractors deserve that government cheese!

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (3, Insightful)

_14k4 (5085) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845544)

yeah, go to hell those who agreed into loans they know they couldn't afford if their "gamble" didn't pay off. /me signs for loans he knows he can afford on a "worst case" scenario. (Yes, worst case for me means working at stop and shop, walmart, and mcdonalds. I'm not mexican, just ok with working "below" where my education has taken me.)

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (4, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845410)

Actually, Armstrong is notorious for shutting up. He's a very private person and generally avoids the limelight. That's what makes his statement so surprising - he's usually gone out of his way to stay out of the political infighting.

If he's opening his mouth now, Obama's proposal must have rubbed him the wrong way in a really, really big way. When was the last time you heard a public statement from Neil Armstrong?

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (5, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845510)

Last public statement I can remember from him was... *checks watch* ... July 20th, 1969.

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (-1, Troll)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845552)

No kidding.

What I find so surprising is the fact that they're scrapping a mostly-completed shuttle replacement program for... what? Wasting money buying space on Soyuz capsules?

And the rationale? Oh yeah - "fuck the people who don't vote with us." It's no coincidence NASA is on the chopping block, Obama and his crony brigade are controlling the WH and Congress, and the district for had Tom DeLay as their congresscritter for a long time, briefly had a democrat (Nick Lampson, who's a total scumbag), and then Lampson proved to odious to hold on to the seat afterwards.

That NASA budget cuts flowed with Lampson's ouster is no surprise. It's just politics as usual.

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845424)

Like in Flordia? Oh wait, that is called NASA.

We'll get busy exploring space, just as soon as we finish properly funding efforts to fix the problems we have on the planet's surface.

(A.C.'d only because of the space geeks propensity to flip out when ever someone points out the money pit that is space exploration.)

Re:Shut Up, Former Astronaut! (1)

VennData (1217856) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845556)

So where are all those "less government" types today? Just cut taxes. That'll pay for it.

Who has more clout these days? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845060)

It's an interesting cultural litmus test - who is the bigger man?

Re:Who has more clout these days? (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845144)

> who is the bigger man?

Well, if one looks at the picture in the linked in TFA, it should be easy to answer... ;-))

Re:Who has more clout these days? (5, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845194)

I'm not sure why clout should matter. Evaluate the arguments on their merits where possible. I am a fairly strong Obama supporter on most issues (I wish he'd be a bit more assertive on gay rights and financial regulation, but given I'm straight and work for a hedge fund, the feeling doesn't have the weight of self interest behind it), but the sole point of complete disagreement is his vision, or lack thereof, for NASA. I've heard the arguments that the "new" NASA will somehow develop all the necessary interplanetary exploration technologies instead of wasting money returning to the moon, but I'm skeptical that we'll develop useful technology without a direct mission requirement that it satisfies. It just seems like yet another step in the long, slow decline of our space program since the Challenger accident.

Re:Who has more clout these days? (3, Insightful)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845278)

For the record, I don't think Constellation was such a great idea either, but at least it provided a goal. I just wish a president would have the courage to call for enough of a NASA budget to not only go to another planet/moon for visit, but to set up a permanent presence. It's not even the whole extinction worry some people seem to have, I just feel that our pioneering drive was responsible for some of the greatest advances, both cultural and economic, in our history (also some of the greatest atrocities, but we'll have to hope there aren't any natives this time around).

Re:Who has more clout these days? (1)

CheshireFerk-o (412142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845296)

wow man do you really not live in the 80's? Obama's next agenda is finical reform.... and as for NASA, damned right let the private sector fund and R&D the tech, then the gov't takes/improves it with cash. I do say we need a manned 'shuttle' for routine in-orbit missions, but a craft of better design an saftey so a launch will not be a big deal, as if it were already, and we can fix the hubble and go to the ISS. and as for you sir, politics is politics, and we dont talk politics or religion here.....

Re:Who has more clout these days? (4, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845234)

Hopefully, that litmus test won't be applied. While I do have the utmost respect for Armstrong, Lovell and Cernan as people with brass balls the size of a Volkswagen bus, they are not accountants or business people. The number one financial rule in any project is: don't throw good money after bad money. It's gone. Don't make it worse. And from what I understand from the Constellation project, it was just not going to fly - not without pouring enough money and time into it to start from scratch. As a result, it makes sense to scratch it, even if this means short-term pain. What I'm hoping for is that the knowledge that we don't have a complete system for putting people and cargo into orbit spurs people into creating that system.

I really hope that the scratching of the Constellation project frees up the resources to create a real lifting program - or at least frees up resources to provide technical assistance to commercial ventures trying to do the same.

Re:Who has more clout these days? (4, Informative)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845546)

Armstrong is also an engineer and served on the Challenger shuttle accident investigation board. Up till now he has stayed clear of politics and has been on the board of directors of many companies so yes he is also a business person.

Jim Lovell has fromal education includes
University of Wisconsin–Madison
United States Naval Academy (BS, 1952)
United States Naval Test Pilot School, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland (1958)
Aviation Safety School, University of Southern California (1961)
Advanced Management Program, Harvard Business School (1978)
I think that last one means that he has a firm grasp of business as well as engineering.

Cernan only has two degrees in engineering so he may be the least qualified of the group but then President Obama has zero education or experence in business, engineering, or accounting. His degree is in law.

Frankly these man have nothing to gain at this time. They have all done what a very select few people have done. They are all pretty much set for the rest of their lives so they don't need any more money. To dismiss them I think is the height of arrogance.

And to make matter worse President Obama isn't saving money by killing the Ares he is changing it from a program with at some goals to a welfare program! We are going to keep spending money on developing the Orion but instead of using it for maned flights we are going to use it as the worlds most expensive life boat for the space station.
We are still going to depend on Russia for manned access to space.
We are going to spend money on developing a HLLV with no goal or mission for it!
Yea this is A FREAKING NIGHTMARE OF A PLAN!
What this will let President Obama do is kill them off piece by piece but only after dropping many billions of dollars on them.
Frankly this plan seems to be to be the WORST POSSIBLE plan. Frankly it sounds like something Col Hogan would talk Col Clink into doing!
So to all those that willing to dismiss these three well educated, extremely brillant, and wise men I just want you to think about it long and hard.
This is a freaking disaster.

I guess it depend on your priorites. (1)

memnock (466995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845084)

While making some of the work put into past efforts a waste, I don't think that, given all the other issues facing the country, putting together a space station or another manned mission are really priorities.

Re:I guess it depend on your priorites. (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845166)

I don't think that, given all the other issues facing the country, putting together a space station or another manned mission are really priorities.

When will it be a priority? When China lands on Mars? When the EU, China or Russia colonize the Moon? When we detect an incoming asteroid?

This is shortsighted policy at it's finest. How much additional funding did NASA require to make Constellation viable? As I recall it was only a few billion. We spend hundreds of billions to force people into a broken health insurance market, hundreds of billions bailing out companies that deserved to fail and hundreds of billions invading countries that never attacked us. We can't find a few billion to keep a manned space program? Pathetic.

The dinosaurs died out because they didn't have a space program.....

Re:I guess it depend on your priorites. (5, Insightful)

scamper_22 (1073470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845356)

It's not just that. It's also a question of getting something for your money.

Government all around the world give unemployment or 'make work' projects. The one good thing about Asia is their make work projects tend to be productive. Japan creates lots of jobs as it builds infrastructure like rail and roads and bridges... Maybe it's a waste of money. But hey, at least when they're done creating jobs, they have something to show for it. Not just the physical results, but also the retained skill sets.

Contrast that to just spending money on employment insurance, or making more BS government jobs with bureaucrats and lawyers and tax people.

So yes, maybe the space program is a waste of money. But I'd rather have my tax money go to people working at NASA pushing the envelope of space and engineering, than have people paid to do nothing productive (unemployed, bureaucracy, lawyers...).

Re:I guess it depend on your priorites. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845388)

Well said!

Re:I guess it depend on your priorites. (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845492)

We still got 80% of un-colonized earth in form of deserts and oceans. Why the hell do we need to space travel before we even come close to use our Earth first?

Re:I guess it depend on your priorites. (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845570)

the real science is in robotic missions. on the bang for the buck scale, there's no comparison. let china, russia starve their populations in order to put a man on mars, while we benefit from the real science being done through robotic missions.

that being said, no one is even close to making this happen. putting a man on mars is orders of magnitude harder than putting a man on the moon. i'd suggest you let someone else get even close to putting a man on the moon, then start worrying.

Re:I guess it depend on your priorites. (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845168)

While making some of the work put into past efforts a waste, I don't think that, given all the other issues facing the country, putting together a space station or another manned mission are really priorities.

I think your point is absolutely true, I can think of a lot of things that we could better spend our tax dollars on than simply running an LEO taxi service. However, I expect that there are some wonderful but intangible benefits to retaining our status as a world leader in spaceflight and related technologies. Its just hard to put a dollar value on that image, so it is difficult to justify the cost.

Re:I guess it depend on your priorites. (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845274)

There will always be 'other issues.'

At what point do we resume space travel, not puddlejump to the edge of atmo?

They're entitled to their opinions... (-1, Troll)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845102)

...but manned space flight really hasn't done much for us. Better to continue gathering knowledge and refining launch vehicles until there is some pressing need to shoot people into space.

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845180)

...but manned space flight really hasn't done much for us.

You realize the computer you typed that message on was built using parts originally designed for the manned space program, right?

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845246)

You realize the rockets used were based on Nazi technology to deliver payloads? You realize the computer used for the manned space program was based on the cryptographic requirements to decode the Enigma machines in WWII? Therefore, to enhance technology we can conclude the world needs to be perpetually at war. Isn't this exactly what's already happening?

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845340)

Watch out for the black helicopters soon to be circling around you...

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (2, Interesting)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845362)

War provided the necessary impetus to develop the technologies. The fact that we invest more in research during war doesn't make investing in research bad. Investing in pure research is hard to sell though, so we hide it behind something more impressive. Personally, I'd rather we hid it behind a peaceful space program, rather than hiding it behind bombing people in the stone age back to the pre-Cambrian, but that's me.

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845288)

You realize the computer you typed that message on was built using parts originally designed for the manned space program, right?

You may be overreaching. Dan thinks that manned space flight does not demand cutting edge hardware.

http://www.dansdata.com/spacecomp.htm [dansdata.com]

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (1, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845344)

No, I don't realize that. I don't think computers would be recognizably different without the manned space program. In fact, I think most of the computers on the ISS are Thinkpads developed with little or no consideration for space exploration. But if I'm wrong, tell me which part of the computer you are referring to.

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845478)

yes..however NASA spent a shit ton load of money on companies tasked with developing systems for the Apollo.
The manufacturing techniques, systems design, and fab development we now use was all created to meet NASA's needs.
Think about that. Because of a large push from NASA, the computer industry was born. N private industry was seriously persuing making smaller faster computers. The few in the industry where still thinking large lumbering machines that would be usde by a few of the largest companies.

The computer industry is just one industry that got serious legs under it because of NASA.

Now think how much tax revenues is generated from just the computer industry. It that light the Apollo missions where some of the best investments ever made.

Ironically, that development is what made sending robots to other planets possible.

Frankly, I hate the Robots V. man debate. It should be Manned and robotic.

We need to be doing work that sets the foundation for interstellar missions.

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845370)

...but manned space flight really hasn't done much for us.

You realize the computer you typed that message on was built using parts originally designed for the manned space program, right?

That doesn't mean WE have to be the ones footing the bill, though. Countries without space programs have computers. It seems silly to think we wouldn't benefit from some other country's space program, so why not let them foot the research bill while we work on coming up with a sensible financial strategy (not that we'll actually do that, but still).

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845554)

It seems silly to think we wouldn't benefit from some other country's space program

So, their space program is going to employ American citizens, whom spend their wages in American communities and generate tax revenue for American Government? They will let their space program benefit our military, in the form of communications and recon capabilities? They will share all technologies developed for their space program without charging us for them?

so why not let them foot the research bill while we work on coming up with a sensible financial strategy

The 2009 Federal Budget [wikipedia.org] included $3,100,000,000,000 of spending. NASA's 2009 fiscal year budget [nasa.gov] was $17,614,200,000. That amounts to 0.5682% of Federal spending. In reality it's considerably less than that, when you account for appropriations that weren't part of the budget (war spending, bailouts, stimulus, etc.)

I repeat my statement from another thread: Gutting the manned space program to save money is shortsighted and idiotic policy. NASA is not the reason that Federal red ink is spiraling out of control.

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845374)

You realize that isn't really true, right? The semiconductor industry was booming just fine without NASA.

Sent from my Apollo Guidance Computer [wikipedia.org] .

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845514)

What has the manned space program done for us recently? You cannot live forever on past achievements, especially when your life support costs other people billions of dollars a year.

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845326)

How can we 'refine' what we no longer have?

The Saturn V's gone. The shuttle is in it's waning years. Constellation is cancelled. We have no launch vehicle anymore.

But it's ok, if we need someone shot into space, we'll just ask the Russians or Chinese. The Indians are getting close too. Apparently THEY still see reasons to maintain and develop space programs. What's our ruddy excuse?

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845380)

...but manned space flight really hasn't done much for us. Better to continue gathering knowledge and refining launch vehicles until there is some pressing need to shoot people into space.

Well if you look at it as a pure investment we have paid for a good portion of the ISS. Man flights are needed to continue to maintain the space station. We will save 250 a launch by using russia until they see that they can charge us what ever they want the flights only used to be 20mil per passenger. There is no liable business plan it is use like the health care bill and the housing. A plan to be there with clear goals and objectives a lunar colony can acomplish this because an observatory on the dark side of the moon can yield very accurate measurements to the rest of the galaxy. Space flight gave IBM and MIT the first grant for controller development out of that we gt computers and microcontroller the controllers that make your care more efficient inderectly cam from space development. Human flight may not be yielding great discoveries but maybe here is the fault there could be techniques developed treat deseases such as bone loss and musle loss, radiation exposure, and the sort. Last I think we shoul dhave people and life in another planet just as a fail safe. Incase there is anything that occurs here we can have our cousins in another planet that would continue life, life may be such a fenomenon that is not abundant throught the empty rocks of the universe and why not have colonies that could be a testing platorm for all kinds of idiological governments and the sort. Why not have a colony that is self sufficient and helps us grow as a species, I am quite sure the budget of nasa is hardly anything compaired to medicaid walfare or social security, it is about 18billion less than what gm got for their bail out. Nasa patents should be used to generate revenue and be self sustaining like the US post office. Anytime budget cuts ocur they want to cut nasa and nsf, who needs science anyway, its not like our society has benefited from such in the last 100 years. I think there should be think tanks that the government keeps up that produce reat inovative products and are proprly fnded with no red tape, with out such we will end up with a bunch of derivative financial products that use an inflated money supply. Nasa is was a symbol of technical superiority, but it is degrading the next launch vehicle is not designed correctly very unstable great for being an ISB since you can make it turn on a dime, not sure if that is good for peope ridding somthing that depends so much on computer controls, a simple software glich and you got a toyota iin your hands.

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845382)

What? The Apollo mission has returned more money in Taxes then it costs because of the industries it created. Smoke detectors, plastics, computers, project management. and about 200 others.

Re:They're entitled to their opinions... (2, Interesting)

Minwee (522556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845402)

Better to continue gathering knowledge and refining launch vehicles until there is some pressing need to shoot people into space.

...like sending them up to the Indian space station, or visiting the Chinese moon base.

If you take the long view, Obama's plan to slow down the US space program may be the best thing for it. The most progress NASA ever made was while trying to catch up with the Russians, so trying to recreate the same circumstances might...

Nah, I've tried, but I can't really defend this move. I understand the reasoning behind it, but it looks like it's going to cause more harm than good.

What the hell does a bicyclist know? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845106)

What a moran. just because he one the Tour de France, doesn't mean he's qualified to comment on our president's policies!

Re:What the hell does a bicyclist know? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845198)

Well, he is doing a lot for cancer! I have one of those Neil Armstrong Yellow bracelets.

Re:What the hell does a bicyclist know? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845506)

I hope you're joking on all counts.
If your opinion matters, learn to spell & who Armstrong actually is.

Re:What the hell does a bicyclist know? (0, Redundant)

irreverant (1544263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845542)

Um....Neil Armstrong is not a cyclist, but the man that went to the moon. careful who you call a moron. And it's spelled with two O's, not an A, ya moron.

So? Manned spaceflight is a now waste of lives... (-1, Troll)

nweaver (113078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845112)

Back in Armstrong's day, we did not have the computers and the robots we do today.

But now, our automation is so much better.

Lets take as an example the last flight of the Columbia. Seven men and women lost their lives for a purely "scientific" mission, when all the science could have either

a) Been done in a completely automated experimental payload for a fraction of the cost and risk

or

b) Based on the assumption that, near term, humans will continue to spend a lot of time in space.

So the space program not only killed seven people, but needlessly killed seven people.

Or lets take the Hubble repair missions. A repair mission on the Hubble costs a billion dollars plus. It would be cheaper just to strap a new telescope on a rocket and just launch a replacement instead!

For the next 10-20 years, leave manned space flight to private suckers willing to spend the money.

Re:So? Manned spaceflight is a now waste of lives. (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845200)

So the space program not only killed seven people, but needlessly killed seven people.

If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires, both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid.

Re:So? Manned spaceflight is a now waste of lives. (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845280)

One of the rare cases where Trek's "philosophy" is actually correct.

Re:So? Manned spaceflight is a now waste of lives. (1)

ThreeE (786934) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845354)

The problem is that you want me to pay for your wondrous little field trip.

Re:So? Manned spaceflight is a now waste of lives. (-1, Troll)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845302)

So the space program not only killed seven people, but needlessly killed seven people.

Yep, needlessly sure is right. That is the price we pay for letting environmental concerns trump safety.

Re:So? Manned spaceflight is a now waste of lives. (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845430)

The US space program has killed 14 people within spacecraft, 3 more in a test craft.

Countless test pilots have been killed in experimental aircraft.

These people know the situations they're put in, and to die on the job like they did, and to call it needless, grossly insults their memory. These people put their lives on the line for the betterment of science and humanity and I highly doubt any of them would want it any other way.

Re:So? Manned spaceflight is a now waste of lives. (1)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845482)

In fact many of these people chose their job _because_ it is dangerous. There are always people who want to push the limits.

Re:So? Manned spaceflight is a now waste of lives. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845508)

No the did not needlessly kill 7 people, don't be a dolt.

The point he is making is that Space Flight needs a face in order for people to stay interested. If people aren't interested, then it gets cut.

From that point of view, he is correct.

"Or lets take the Hubble repair missions. A repair mission on the Hubble costs a billion dollars plus. It would be cheaper just to strap a new telescope on a rocket and just launch a replacement instead!"

Now you are being stupid. It would not be cheaper, PLUS it would take 5-8 years to get one up. PLus, how does that fit in with Hubbles mission? do you even know what it's mission was?

Intelligence (-1, Troll)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845114)

Sometimes it's just more intelligent to do the less macho thing. In this case I think that Obama is right even though in these people's eyes it'll make the US look like a second or third rate power. Human space flight is really expensive and accomplishes much less than robotic missions can, and the power of robots is going to increase fairly rapidly. Why not for the time being accomplish more science/space exploration with robots? It'll save money and human lives and get more shit done. Seems sensible to me.

Re:Intelligence (2, Interesting)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845312)

Robots can't do everything repairs to equipment for one are tough to do because of the delay and not seeing the full picture. Manned endeavors are ways to get the general public interested in science again to do this requires great feats which have been canceled by Obama so we don't intimidate countries that hate us. Furthermore I think it is Obama's goal to make the US weak because nobody hates a loser, but nobody respects one either.

Re:Intelligence (1, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845394)

I was KIND OF with you until you said this:

Furthermore I think it is Obama's goal to make the US weak because nobody hates a loser, but nobody respects one either.

You honestly believe that Obama is actively working towards making the United States weaker? Put down the Tea Party(TM) brand leaves, and try to have a single rational thought.

Seriously.

Re:Intelligence (0, Troll)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845484)

You honestly believe that Obama is actively working towards making the United States weaker? Put down the Tea Party(TM) brand leaves, and try to have a single rational thought.

Seriously.

Let's see... He's so far not met a dictator he won't bow to, he's not met an ally of ours that he won't diss, he'll have his picture taken with anyone except the Dali Lama or the PM of Israel, and is being called a wuss by... the President of France?!! He has caused damage to our relationships with allies like the UK and Israel that may NEVER be healed.

Oh, and he just agreed to a treaty that FORBIDS us to modernize our weapons technology, and has canceled the missile shield for Eastern Europe.

In short, Obama has thus far been a menace to our allies, and has given aid and comfort to states that could be considered our enemies.

Unless someone FORCED him to do all that, I'd call that weakening America on purpose, because it sure isn't making us any stronger.

Why is it that Obama can find hundreds of billions of dollars to spend on a health care boondogle, to buy General Motors, Chrysler, and bail out banks, but won't spend 20 billion on NASA? NASA, unlike any appendage of the government other than the military, actually gives a RETURN on investment.

Strong countries have space programs. As of later this year or early next year, the US will have less of one than some third world countries. Is that strength? Let that sink in.

Re:Intelligence (3, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845384)

You're right about cost but I think you're wrong about capabilities. We know more about the moon as a result of the Apollo program than we do as a result of all the unmanned missions combined. A few guys on Mars could do what the rovers have done in a couple of months. Human beings are much more adaptable than any robot that will could conceivably be made within the next 20 years, probably more like 50 years.

What holds space flight back is the cost. Its simply too hard to get anything into orbit right now, let alone the extra weight of life support and supplies that human beings need. Not to mention that if we're ever going to have long range space flight we're going to need to start building ships big enough that they can be spun for gravity. The cost of launching that much material right now makes it impossible but there are, as I see it, two ways around the problem.

One: New launch technologies. There have been technologies on the drawing board that would revolutionize space travel for decades, but nothing has gone anywhere because the funds for R&D have always been spent on current missions and incremental improvements to existing designs. Nuclear rockets have been possible for at least 30 years, but public fears have made them impossible. Non-rocket launch technologies aren't really feasible yet, maybe in 20 or 30 years but current materials are either inadequate or too close to trust in such an expensive and high profile endeavor.

Two: Pull us up by our bootstraps. Launching a manned interplanetary ship from earth is too hard? Build it in orbit then. Mine the materials from NEO's, set up foundries and chemical refineries in orbit, process water and out of asteroids, and build orbital refueling stations. By the time the orbital infrastructure is set up, the materials for a space elevator will be there and it can be manufactured in orbit, eliminating the cost of launching the cable and allowing it to be manufactured as it is being deployed, saving time and money.

Re:Intelligence (2, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845426)

Because it's far more expensive. Robots can't be programmed to react to strange things. So 1 in 5 shuttles blows up and kills 2 people; versus 5 in 5 shuttles blowing up and costing a trillion and a half dollars each. The research grinds to a halt, and because we fail on a technological level at something, some threat later becomes insurmountable, and hundreds of millions of people die. Oops.

Re:Intelligence (3, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845438)

Lets see how much cheaper his plan is once Russia jacks up their prices for getting into LEO and the US has no alternative. Once you disband these programs you can't decide later on to just start them back up. If Obama's plans fail then the US will have to invest huge sums of money to get back to where NASA currently is.

Re:Intelligence (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845480)

Robots can't make snap decisions and are somewhere between 'not mobile' to 'barely mobile.'

What are the odds a robot would've found the Genesis Rock during Apollo 15? And return it?

Out of date (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845116)

I don't know how long ago this letter was drafted, but in response Obama has already changed some of his plans for NASA: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/13/AR2010041304043.html [washingtonpost.com]

How about a slashdot story about that rather than old news?

and Obama said.... (0, Troll)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845118)

we'll just fake future moon landings like we did in the past!

BAZINGA!

Another Former Astronaut (5, Informative)

ral (93840) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845124)

Buzz Aldrin (the second human to walk on the moon) has a different take [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:Another Former Astronaut (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845294)

We also need to study other planets and their atmospheres and their geology to help understand ours. With global climate change, any and all data we can get will help. After all, some of the other planets show the extremes of where a planet can go.

Building spaceships and sending folks around the solar system is a nice engineering goal, but it's not the right time or for the right reasons. Proving one's prowess as a country to send folks to other planets just for the sake of sending people to other planets isn't a worthy goal. And if we really need to bring back samples, robots are the way to go.

Re:Another Former Astronaut (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845310)

That's because all the moon viruses were not yet accustomed to human biology when Neil stepped on the surface, however, by the time Buzz was on the surface, the viruses infected him and COMPROMISED his thinking. so naturally, Buzz wants us to go back into space...so that more humans will get infected with moon viruses and mars bacteria. It's a plot, I tell ya, a plot!

Re:Another Former Astronaut (1)

Stradenko (160417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845342)

Forget Buzz. Give me an astronaut I can relate to and admire...

http://twitter.com/RichardGarriott/status/12163859542 [twitter.com]

Re:Another Former Astronaut (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845564)

I think the correct term is "payload", not "astronaut".

Re:Another Former Astronaut (5, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845560)

Buzz Aldrin had the best take on the goal to return to the moon. He said it was "more like reaching for past glory than striving for new triumphs." It's hard to ignore him. Aldrin was universally acknowledged by the Apollo astronauts as being the smartest. He was known as Dr. Rendezvous because all he focused on was orbital mechanics of spacecraft and getting them to line up. He graduated from West Point and then MIT. As he's a tough SOB. Some moon hoaxer who called Aldrin a liar and a thief got socked in the face. [youtube.com]

Anyway, Aldrin is a Republican who took Communion on the moon. It's not as if he's a Democrat trying to get behind his President.

My opinion is that Obama is the best (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845132)

He is great and if you think he isn't you are probably a Communist goat turd. Also, Microsoft and Bill Gates are your heterosexual lover-men.

"space program designed by political committees" (5, Insightful)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845208)

So the new compromise is "half a spaceship"- one that can land, but not launch. Only a politician could invent that one. NASA programs have horizons of 10 -2 5 years, but politicians respond to two year election cycles. Bush cancels shuttle. Obama cancels is successor. Obama need better science advice.

Politics, Rockets, and Rock and Roll (4, Interesting)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845222)

Government funding of space travel? I dunno, sounds mighty socialist to me. If we didn't cut funding I bet Obama would launch a statue of Lenin into orbit to gaze down disapprovingly at our capitalist paradise!

In all seriousness, without a good heavy launcher we'll be at a strategic disadvantage, and the constant scuppering of next-generation space vehicle development is starting to look really stupid. Between VentureStar and Constellation, exactly how many tax dollars have been wasted because some penny-pinching bureaucrat decided it would be "cheaper in the long run?"

Modular - Legos In Space (2, Informative)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845476)

It seems more logical to use a modular approach rather than One Big Custom Package approach. The large portions of a ship can be carried up using rockets that don't have to be man-rated, reducing their cost. Smaller, safer lifters can then take the personnel into LEO to meet up with the rest of the ship, dock, and then fly off together to study asteroids or whatnot. This appears to be what Obama is leaning toward.

The Moon is Cold and Dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845236)

Why go back? There isn't much more to gain outside of planting another US flag.

Which would you rather have, a moonwalk for TV or a bunch of interplanetary probes? Another landing on Venus would be nice, lots to learn there. Some sort of Jupiter, Io, asteroid belt mission would add much more to science than the moon will.

Armstrong - take a peak at what Airforce is doing! (2, Interesting)

irreverant (1544263) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845272)

It's interesting to note that the Air Force is taking over low-high orbit exploration. I recently read an article that if not mirrors slightly what Armstrong is talking about; it certainly elaborates on what proposition America has for it's space exploration future. The Air Force is proposing a new reusable platform aircraft for exploration; following in the long line of advanced craft with the same naming convention such as the Bell X-1 (which broke the sonic barrier) http://www.dailytech.com/US+Air+Force+X37B+Reusable+Spacecraft+to+Launch+Into+Orbit+Later+This+Month/article18077.htm [dailytech.com] , You'll also note that Nasa has recently started arming unmanned craft with scientific equipment; http://www.dailytech.com/NASA+Global+Hawk+Completes+First+Science+Flight/article18096.htm [dailytech.com] I certainly think were in a transition right now with our space program, With the Air Force reusable platform; It's a scary thought should they decide to make it a weapons platform. I think we should see what's going to happen to our space program; also speak out if we don't agree as americans with what is happening to our space program. It was an awesome step that kennedy took in '61 and what we accomplished on July 20, 1969. It's unfortunate we haven't been back in 40 years. Lets see what we can do now with current technology.

some additional coverage (3, Interesting)

astar (203020) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845286)

Apollo Astronauts: Obama Space Plan Will Put the U.S. "on a long downhill slide to mediocrity"

April 14, 2010 (LPAC)—In an open letter, obtained by long-time space reporter Jay Barbree, and first reported on the NBC Nightly News Tuesday evening, three of the Apollo astronauts who embody the dedication, no-nonesense attitude, and commitment that brought this nation to the Moon, attacked President Obama's proposal to kill NASA's Constellation program. Neil Armstrong, Commander of Apollo 11, which landed the first astronauts on the Moon; James Lovell, the Commander of the near-fatal Apollo 13 mission (NASA's "finest hour"); and Gene Cernan, Commander of Apollo 17, and the last man to set foot upon the Moon, described the cancellation as "devastating."

Reprising the history of the American space program, the three former astronauts state: "World leadership in space was not achieved easily. In the first half-century of the space age, our country made a significant financial investment, thousands of Americans dedicated themselves to the effort, and some gave their lives to achieve the dream of a nation." No program in modern history, they state, "has been so effective in motivating the young to do 'what has never been done before.'"

Nor was the development and design of the Constellation program haphazard or ill-conceived, they state. "The Ares rocket family was patterned after the [Wernher] von Braun Modular concept so essential to the success of the Saturn 1B and the Saturn V" rockets, which took them to the Moon. Although we will have "wasted our current $10-plus billion investment in Constellation," equally important, "we will have lost the many years required to recreate the equivalent of what we will have destroyed." This, for a second time, following the cancellation of the follow-on missions to Apollo, to live on the Moon.

The timing of this letter is no accident. On Thursday, President Obama makes a whirlwind stop in Florida, at the Kennedy Space Center, to try to sell this destruction of manned space flight. Three days ago, more than 4,000 people rallied nearby in protest, to tell the President what they think of his plan. There has been virtually NO support anywhere for this "outsourcing" of NASA. Out of 435 Representatives and 100 Senators, ONE has backed the President. And he will see, again, the outrage of the American people.

They're right (4, Interesting)

Mayhem178 (920970) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845304)

Manned space flight isn't about being "cost effective", "high priority", or "a good return on investment" (yes, I've heard all of these terms used in regards to spaceflight). It's about exploration, curiosity, and wonder. I challenge you to tell someone who was around on July 20, 1969 that manned spaceflight is pointless.

It's about doing something simply to show that it can be done, like the explorers of centuries past. I suppose some people find that concept unimportant or even boring.

I would say that those people are unimportant and boring.

My Unpopular Opinion (2, Insightful)

assertation (1255714) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845320)

My opinion will probably get modded down, simply because someone on slashdot disagrees with it.

I think giving up on manned space flight is a mistake. I think MORE money put into it will eventually bring new technologies and new technologies bring economic success as American CEOs love outsourcing the economic benefits of existing technology.

That said, I really think people have lost a sense of gravity for where the country is right now.

A year ago the world and the US was on the edge of falling into an economic depression. Unemployment is almost 10%, the worst it has been since the Regan years in 1981. There is no money, anywhere. Turn on the news any given day of the week and you will hear that.

Now is not the time for more government spending.

It would be like a person deciding to buy a new car (without a need) after getting fired and after having their savings account depleted by a health care expense.

It's about damned time... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845330)

...that some of those living astronauts who are NOT political cronies of Obamarama looking for the next state funded handout finally made a statement, and a well "voiced" one at that.

@peter303
Bush may have cancelled the Space Shuttle, but at that time there was Constellation on track for the mid 2010s possibly earlier for some usable portions of it. Obamarama just has too many backroom deals and handouts to payoff his "supporters" with to be able to do anything meaningful.

Anyways, there still might be a chance that the Air Force would fund something, as they still will need that LEO and more capability to fulfill there space defense function that they were alotted.

Armstrong is right, but this is what Obama wants (-1, Troll)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845332)

This will diminish America's technological superiority and our lead in spaceflight. However, I believe that in the case of Obama, that he WANTS to diminish our leadership. He has shown nothing but contempt for our allies since getting into office and constantly bows (literally) to our enemies. I honestly believe that we have a President who does not like this country.

Given that almost everything in the technology industry came directly or indirectly as a result of NASA and the space program, it's value is obvious. Most of us who read Slashdot owe the effort that went into the Apollo program for our jobs. The microprocessor, for example, was invented by Intel FOR the space program.

A full blown effort to return to the moon, to stay there permanently, and to push on to Mars would greatly benefit not only the United States but the world, not necessarily for the achievement, but because of the gigantic leap in technological advancement that would be necessitated by the effort. Deciding not to do this, especially after years wasted on starting it, is one of the worst decisions the President could make.

Kind of ironic, given how this Presidency has been going, that by the end of his first (and hopefully only) term America will lack any operating means to put a man into space on it's own, just like the Carter years. But it will be even worse than it was in the late `70's, while Apollo was retired for good in 1976, at least the Shuttle was in the process of being built and implemented. With the cancellation of Constellation, we will be retiring the shuttle by next year, WITHOUT A REPLACEMENT EVEN ON THE DRAWING BOARD!

And to those who say "cancel the space program, we have hungry people here on Earth". Want to feed those people? Develop and advance our technology. Technological advancement will solve ALL problems, from hunger, to pollution, to poverty. But it needs a focus, technology that will aid in all those problems WILL be developed along the way as an ancillary to the space program. Technology that would allow food to be raised on the Moon or Mars, for example, could be applied to growing food in arid or desert regions, just to cite one example. Not to mention all the increased job opportunities that will come from the inventions that will arise. A job is the best anti-hunger program ever invented.

Re:Armstrong is right, but this is what Obama want (2, Informative)

BodhiCat (925309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845404)

Plus the space program is a way to put money into the struggling economy that will have benefits for US and mankind down the road.

NASA FUD (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845442)

Given that almost everything in the technology industry came directly or indirectly as a result of NASA and the space program, it's value is obvious. Most of us who read Slashdot owe the effort that went into the Apollo program for our jobs. The microprocessor, for example, was invented by Intel FOR the space program.

That's NASA FUD. Microprocessors were not invented for the space program. Apollo and the Shuttle both predate Intel, and both had non-integrated CPUs. Microprocessors were invented to make it cheaper to build desktop calculators. [wikipedia.org] The USAF had a major role in developing lightweight and reliable electronics, computers and missile guidance, but that's not NASA.

The space program did not create Teflon. Or Velcro. Or even Tang.

NASA's biggest contribution to commercial technology was probably NASTRAN, the finite element analysis program.

Re:Armstrong is right, but this is what Obama want (1, Flamebait)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845504)

I agree. I think Obama is on a quest to quell national pride in this country and change the view the world has towards the U.S. (in his mind). This explains comments he makes alluding to the U.S. being no better than any other country. It also explains his nuke policy. So it's no surprise he wants to see us ratchet back our space program. I wouldn't doubt it's designed to give other country's a chance to move forward with their own and not feel as if they're in competition with us.

Scale Down Constellation for LEO (2, Interesting)

BodhiCat (925309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845390)

Maybe they could scale Constellation down to reach LEO (low earth orbit). Forget the moon, that is just going into another gravity well. it is not a "stepping stone" to mars, the asteroids, or the other planets.

The Soyuz spacecraft is based on a diving bell and was outdated almost as soon as it was built. It would be a shame if that will be the only way to get humans into space.

You chose poorly... (4, Insightful)

BearRanger (945122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845400)

War in Iraq or return to the moon? You had the choice and you chose poorly. Don't pretend that this is just the new guy's problem or that spending money on health care is the issue. If America is broke (and it is, as well as being broken) you have to be more circumspect about where you spend your limited funds. Constellation failed on the last guy's watch because the vision for creating it and the funds for building it were limited from the outset. See here: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09844.pdf [gao.gov]

Re:You chose poorly... (4, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845530)

It would be far better spent on NASA than on bailing out banks and GM. Now we have no more jobs than before AND we're in deeper debt than ever in our history. I'm well aware this started under Bush, BTW. The bailout was essentially his idea. Obama took it to a new level, both were wrong. You can't justify Obama based on Bush. Wrong is wrong inherently and it's consequences could give a rat's about who you voted for.

Spend the money wisely. (0)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845406)

I'm a fan of manned space travel, but going to Mars or the Moon in today's economic climate is pure folly.

I don't know if a trip to Mars is worth the human risk anyway. We'll need to go someday, but our fatality rate for earth-orbit activities has been too high for the past 20 years. Let's get our batting average up before we venture off to Mars.

And get our economy up...

Re:Spend the money wisely. (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845550)

Too high? We're going to friggin' space...SPACE...friggin' SPACE! The thought you can strap someone's ass to a huge rocket and send them into SPACE and not have some catastrophic problems is stupid. The men and women of the space program accept that risk because they feel the reward is worth it. They could just as easily work at Subway. Ask test pilots if what they do is worth the risk. Better to die doing what you love than to choke on a Hotpocket sitting at a desk criticizing those who do.

Not after eight years of Bush (1, Insightful)

Ace23 (798035) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845440)

This country is, after the "Republican Revolution" has had its time to work its devastation, in a severe economic depression. The USA had its chance forty years ago, and decided it preferred to get sneakers with lights on them. The US culture has spent decades painting intelligent people as "nerds" while extolling the virtues of being a dumb jock or bubbleheaded bimbo. Meanwhile, other countries have valued education and have left the USA in the dust. The USA is now a third world country, except for the military. What does it make anymore? Bombs. The country doesn't DESERVE to go into space. It probably won't even survive the next five years.

the times, they are a'changin' (1)

virchull (963203) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845490)

We have at least 2 US companies building space launch capability, and several other international "space launch for hire" organizations are operating. NASA's Ares rocket development was a waste of money, and Obama was right to stop it. Let the commercial space trucking business competition get started, and lets try to get new US companies to be the winners in this business. Neil Armstrong is stuck in 1969, but meanwhile, "the times, they are a'changin'".

Anonymous Coward (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31845534)

Well, according to the current public policy, that would make Neil a racist.

Hate to break it to you, Neil (1, Interesting)

gillbates (106458) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845562)

Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operation provides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downhill slide to mediocrity.

Hate to break it to you, Neil, but we've been on the long downhill slide to mediocrity in the USA for quite some time now. It's nothing short of a miracle that NASA has resisted this for so long.

In almost every major technical and intellectual endeavor, we're worse now (relative to other developed nations) than we were 20 years ago:

  1. The first to go was our education system.
  2. Followed, consequently by our legal system. Never before had legal reasoning rested on "penumbras of rights" but it would soon become the norm that the strict constructionist view of the Constitution only applied to the laws which prohibited evil acts. Those which diminished our freedoms of speech, of movement, of privacy were all considered well founded, while those which restricted the power of Government or Corporations suspect.
  3. And not soon afterward would we lose our industrial leadership to the Chinese.
  4. And then we lost our technological dominance to India.
  5. And now we are losing our space leadership to the Russians.

And Obama is doing his part to encourage this long, downhill slide into mediocrity.

So when it's something an old astronaut wants... (2, Insightful)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31845580)

"the private sector" isn't good enough. Only lavishly expensive government programs are good enough. Fucking hypocrites.
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