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NASA's Bolden Speaks On Future Mars Mission, Chinese Moon Landing

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the lets-work-together dept.

Mars 154

MarkWhittington writes "During an interview with USA Today on the eve of the arrival of the Mars Rover Curiosity, NASA administrator Charles Bolden had some interesting thoughts on why a humans-to-Mars mission should be international and not American-led, how the world should react positively to the Chinese beating America back to the moon, and what he would do (or rather not do) if NASA were to have an 'unlimited' budget."

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LOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40860971)

Suck on my gold-plated Jew cock you fucking goyims!

Re:LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861495)

a gold foreskin costs a couple hundred bucks but a flesh foreskin is priceless, have fun with your genital mutilations.

China and its genetic manipulation (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863589)

That 16-year old girl from China already demonstrated to us what China can do with its genetic manipulation - at least according to the executive director of the American Swim Coaches Association, Mr. John Leonard.
 
I shudder to imagine what China could do with their new generation, bug-free versions of genetically manipulated super-Chinese into the space !!
 

I want to go to there (3, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#40860993)

Space
I want to go to there
But I lack the funds to go to there
When will I go to there?

Re:I want to go to there (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861107)

Grow up.

Re:I want to go to there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861155)

Worst haiku ever.

Re:I want to go to there (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#40861367)

When you've cried
About the space
You've been denied
Don't fret, Chet
Burma-Shave

Re:I want to go to there (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 2 years ago | (#40861399)

No, Haiku is 5-7-5. Like this.

Want to go to Mars
But no cash to spend on gas
Want road head China?

Re:I want to go to there (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40863497)

Urge to see red Mars.
Eastern way only, so I
eat noodles in space

Re:I want to go to there (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863629)

The last line should include an reference to the season.

Get your ass to Mars!
No cash for a rocket ship?
China is in bloom...

Re:I want to go to there (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40863821)

Traditional haiku are complex, but I've never heard any definition that requires you to reference the season in the last line. Generally haiku are about nature or possibly a change of season.

Martian regolith
under my feet or is it
Chinese soil? Lost race.

Re:I want to go to there (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863575)

When you become rich. :P I'd like to go to space too. "I don't want to be on this planet anymore."

On the eve...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861017)

From the article: In an interview conducted by USA Today on the eve of what is hopefully the successful soft landing of the Mars Rover Curiosity...

Did the meaning of the word eve change or is Curiosity no longer landing on the 6th?

Re:On the eve...? (3, Informative)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#40861241)

It's fluffy language where "eve" has been stretched a bit to indicate that the landing is imminent, not that it is tomorrow.

it really is a great operating system (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861049)

i am just so impressed with how responsive and fast windows 8 truly is. and i am so glad they got rid of that pesky start menu, i mean i have never clicked on it once and all it did was sit down there in the corner of my screen staring at me. the new metro ui is the best thing ever invented for the pc! who wants to click tiny little icons? i sure dont!

Living up to NASA's primary mission... (-1, Flamebait)

CajunArson (465943) | about 2 years ago | (#40861057)

Which is not space travel or space science, but making Muslims feel better about themselves (I'm not joking he said it).

With "leadership" like that is it any wonder that China is going to kick our asses?

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (3, Informative)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#40861111)

unfortunately, you're right..
http://www.space.com/8725-nasa-chief-bolden-muslim-remark-al-jazeera-stir.html [space.com]

stuff like this is where the right wing gets the whole 'democrats hate america' thing from. this guy should be working towards america becoming 'the' space authority in the world, not by force, necessarily, but by technology and drive.

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861195)

If they were so concerned about "getting us [to space] and keeping us there" why do they keep slashing NASA's budget?

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (0, Troll)

epyT-R (613989) | about 2 years ago | (#40861227)

if we gave them the budgets they want, would they keep us there or spend it on muslim relations? see how stupid politics are?

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (3, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#40862311)

Perhaps more to the point, the Obama administration immediately corrected Bolden and a NASA spokesman confirmed that Bolden had misspoke:

"NASA's core mission remains one of space exploration, science and aeronautics," Michael Cabbage told SPACE.com. "Administrator Bolden regrets that a statement he made during a recent interview mischaracterized that core mission."

Anybody who still recites this incident as actual policy rather than a gaffe induced by peer pressure, which was immediately retracted, is just trolling. Furthermore I defy you to identify any actual funds that Nasa has spent on Muslim outreach instead of space exploration in the two years since Bolden said that.

PS I am really looking forward to the most ambitious Mars landing yet, this Sunday [space.com] .

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863761)

I agree with this. There's no sign that Muslim outreach is sucking money from space-related endeavors. All Bolden did was give a spokesperson a little work to do.

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (1)

epyT-R (613989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864469)

well it's obvious bolden wants to mix politics with space exploration.. I'd rather have someone more results oriented.

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (1)

spauldo (118058) | about 2 years ago | (#40862767)

stuff like this is where the right wing gets the whole 'democrats hate america' thing from

No, they get that from their campaign advisors, right-wing "entertainment" media, and carvings in bathroom stalls.

It's a gaff. Both sides have them.

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (1, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863647)

Holy shit, I didn't even realize how bad that was, and apparently this came straight from Obama himself. No wonder the right-wingers say Obama is a "closet Muslim"; with directives like this ("reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering") that's all the ammo they need. And what historic contribution anyway? Sure, the people living in those countries 1000 years ago did some pretty neat stuff with mathematics and astronomy, but that was a long time ago; 1000-1500 years before that, the ancient Romans and Greeks were doing some pretty neat stuff with mathematics and engineering too, but I don't see anyone saying we need to reach out to Italy and Greece to make them feel good about their historic contributions (and Italy is still making contributions to engineering, just look at Ferraris). Meanwhile, the Muslim world embraced fundamentalist around 500 years ago and it's been all down the shitter since then; this should serve as an important lesson for other countries, namely the USA.

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861199)

When I became the NASA administrator, (President Obama) charged me with three things," Bolden said in the interview which aired last week. "One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering."

---

Notice that there is no emphasis on actual science. None. Inspiring children to get into science is nice, but doing actual science should be thr primary goal. I can even see the international thing. But seriously, this is embarrassing.

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861429)

Bolden. Jaczko. Holder.

The hits keep on coming.

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863805)

Bolden doesn't belong on that list. From what I've read, he seems to be trying to get NASA doing something productive, not Muslim outreach.

And frankly, Holder shouldn't either. There's a good chance he is guilty of a couple hundred counts of accessory to murder in Mexico and the US, including a shooting of a federal law enforcement officer. That puts him in some scarce company, at least in the US.

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861449)

With feigned outraged criticism like yours, is it any wonder that countries that didn't chase after manufactured outrage are going to get ahead?

Learn to recognize when an administrator and bureaucrat is repeating platitudes and maybe you won't have to go into histrionics so often.

Anybody with half a brain recognized that it was just puffery during an interview, the only problem is the conservative movement is so dedicated to repeating their lies that some people still think that Al Gore claimed to invent the Internet. And now it's the thing about not building that. You'd think he was promising to kill all humans or something.

Whereas their own statements they contort and deny their intent. No, no, I wasn't commenting on Palestinian culture said Mitt Romney. No, no, I'm not saying I know Obama is a Muslim, it's just that I don't have proof that he isn't. No, I didn't mean to say Obama isn't an American, he just doesn't seem to be like an American.

Way to change the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861903)

Bolden said it, and he claimed it was Obama's primary wish.

You're simply changing the subject now because it reflects so poorly on our government.

Re:Way to change the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40862211)

No, that's what you distorted his words into meaning.

For him as an administrator, a public face, that was part of his mission in terms of outreach. Is that so upsetting to you that you can't conceive of any diplomatic utility to NASA?

Right-wing pundits confused it, willfully, for changing the entire scientific mission of NASA.

While completely ignoring how many times the previous administrations had made such claims which they never got upset about. Or even the rest of the interview where he talked about other things NASA was doing.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/2010/07/201071122234471970.html

Go watch it, transcribe the whole thing. See how overwrought your histrionics really are.

I am sorry that apparently Charles Bolden is not a perfect speaker and could be misinterpreted, but that doesn't excuse how you are engaging in splicing bits of his words into a caricature of the truth and manufacturing a mountain out of a molehill. That it's part of a larger overall pattern though, shows that it's more than just an errant stroke but a deliberate and intentional course of duplicity that is only used to stir up outrage instead of engage in productive discussion.

On the other hand, you can't show such a pattern from Charles Bolden, can you? He's not going around saying the same thing every day. No, he's just sorry he said something that could be mischaracterized and corrected it. In contrast, say Mitt Romney, denies saying any such thing at all, even as he repeats what he just said about it.

Re:Way to change the subject (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863021)

I have no doubt that Charles Bolden was taken into the White House and that Barack Obama very likely said those things to him. For Bolden's tenure as NASA Administrator, those may even been seen as admirable things for him to accomplish while in that position.

I do think this is way overblown though. I'll also say that on the whole Bolden seems to be a very competent administrator over the agency in spite of the fact that he gets almost no support from the White House in terms of his agency's direction nor any sort of funding or support from the Democrats in terms of even funding the agency.

Space policy is dead last in terms of things that the Obama administration is concerned about, where the only thing that the White House is trying to make sure is that they don't lose votes in Florida or make it a clearly partisan issue over space policy. Bolden has been mostly successful in doing that too. About the only thing that the Republicans are doing for that matter is to make sure that Alabama and Utah get to keep their part of the NASA budget (thanks Shelby and Hatch!) I don't see a Romney administration making much of a difference in space policy either, unless he appoints Newt Gingrich as NASA administrator (which would make this gaffe by Bolden seem extremely trivial by comparison to almost anything which would leave Gingrich's mouth).

Perhaps some day there will be some serious space policy. I expect to wait a decade or more for that to happen though.

Re:Way to change the subject (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863695)

I have no doubt that Charles Bolden was taken into the White House and that Barack Obama very likely said those things to him.

Exactly; what failed was that Bolden wasn't as politically savvy as the Obama Administration would have liked, and he basically repeated verbatim what he was told, and that didn't suit Obama at all, so they had to issue a "clarification". He's lucky they didn't remove him from his post, or worse have him disappeared.

Space policy is dead last in terms of things that the Obama administration is concerned about

Exactly. Obama doesn't give two shits about space. And neither does Romney.

Perhaps some day there will be some serious space policy. I expect to wait a decade or more for that to happen though.

I don't think so, I think it's all downhill from here, unless the country breaks apart and some section or sections decide to make space an important part of their own new national policy. This country is going the way of the Roman Empire and the Soviet Union. You can't maintain an economy on military adventurism indefinitely.

Re:Way to change the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40864443)

He's lucky they didn't remove him from his post, or worse have him disappeared.

Welcome to the conspiracy side.

Why would they even bother with that kind of egregious stupidity?

You'd be better off sticking with him getting reamed for putting his foot in his mouth, then you'd look a little less tin-foil hattish.

Re:Living up to NASA's primary mission... (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863607)

Which is not space travel or space science, but making Muslims feel better about themselves (I'm not joking he said it).

With "leadership" like that is it any wonder that China is going to kick our asses?

 
This you do not understand
 
With Muslims feeling better about themselves they won't come and blow up any NASA rocket, so we don't need to grief over another 9/11 episode of our Mars mission

React positively? (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40861077)

In the even that China reaches a point that we achieved 40 years ago... and that we haven't been able to do again since? No, I will be disappointed in my government insisting we spend more putting bullets in the heads of children, bombs in jungles and scrub hillsides and bailing out incompetent, greedy industries. All the while idiot Republicans scream constantly that we need to cut even more government spending on irrelevant things while not raising taxes to pay for the debts accrued due to shitty spending policies over the last 30 years.

We could be going "Welcome to Armstrong Base!" to the Chinese taikonauts landing on the moon, and for a fraction of what we've spent slaughtering people and covering for the incompetent. Instead we've squandered what we had with only a death toll and debt to show for it.

Re:React positively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861125)

thanks for totally harshing my melow...

Re:React positively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861275)

"Mellow" contains 2 L's junkie!

Re:React positively? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861395)

i can only afford the 1 L after obama care took effect

Re:React positively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861251)

"Welcome to Armstrong Base!"

Well we could, yeah... but what for? Other than bragging rights and planting the flag?

I'd much rather see us spend the same money on robotic probes. You get much more science for the same dollar. We could be driving rovers around on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. We could be saturating Mars with them, so that we could drop some in high-risk high-reward areas even if we lose a few in the process.

Otherwise, yea agreed we spend massive money on useless things - pork, corruption, etc. - that we could be spending on science that would pay rewards in the long run. Not just space science, but everything.

Re:React positively? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40861649)

Other than bragging rights and planting the flag?

Surface-based radiotelescope on the far side of the moon, in the giant EM shadow the moon makes of our emissions?

I'd much rather see us spend the same money on robotic probes.

For what we've burned a moonbase and even more probes wouldn't be out of the cards. We've chosen not to do one and spend as little as possible on the other.

Re:React positively? (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863807)

radiotelescope on the far side of the moon, in the giant EM shadow the moon makes of our emissions?

The first few millimetres are enough to shield a radio telescope, the remaining 3400+km are redundant.

But it would have been nice to see a copy of MSL sent to the moon a few years ago. (While they were waiting for the next Mars launch window.) The skycrane rig should have enough delta-v & more than enough thrust to land on the moon. The RTG should have been able to keep the rover warm during nightfall. And since most of the design work was already done, and I bet dollars to donuts they made multiple copies of every part, so it'd be a bargain mission. (Only the RTG would be difficult, plutonium being in short supply.) Near real-time remote control, hi-res cams, nuclear power. What a waste. They do this every time. Build it, throw away the hardware, throw away the development, disband the team, start again from scratch a year or two later. Literally reinventing the wheel.

Re:React positively? (1)

capnchicken (664317) | about 2 years ago | (#40861691)

Well we could, yeah... but what for? Other than bragging rights and planting the flag?

Mining for Helium-3 for the also underfunded, and therefor non-existent, fusion projects.

A smaller gravity well launchpad for said robotic probes.

The technological breakthroughs that would come with trying to sustain life long term in a harsh unforgiving environment.

Re:React positively? (1)

Ruie (30480) | about 2 years ago | (#40861839)

Well we could, yeah... but what for? Other than bragging rights and planting the flag?

Mining for Helium-3 for the also underfunded, and therefor non-existent, fusion projects.

A smaller gravity well launchpad for said robotic probes.

The technological breakthroughs that would come with trying to sustain life long term in a harsh unforgiving environment.

I recently heard a very interesting presentation by a scientist working on fusion where he had shown the historical investment in fusion research and made a very good point that instead of saying "fusion is 25 years away" one should really be saying "fusion is $80 billion away".

Apparently this number has consistently come up in reviews of fusion programs, but the funding was being whittled away year after year.

Re:React positively? (3, Insightful)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863909)

Mining for Helium-3

He-3 fusion is harder than D-D fusion. Meaning that we'll have D-D fusion decades before we have He-3 fusion. And "harder" means higher temperature, greater pressure, which means if we can develop He-3 fusion, the same technology will make D-D fusion plants smaller and more efficient, which will increase the number of applications (such as ships' powerplants.)

And one of the waste products from D-D fusion? Helium 3. It will be a century or so after we crack practical fusion before we need outside sources of He-3.

And even then, given the low density of He-3 in the regolith (it's a trace element), the amount of mining means you'd need a substantial presence on the moon. A full blown mining colony. And guess what their ships and vehicles and bases will use for power? D-D fusion plants. Coz the small amount of waste produced by neutronic fusion is just not an issue in space. And one of the waste products from D-D fusion... oh yeah.

Calling for mining He-3 fusion today is like calling for airport noise regulations in the middle ages. It just makes you (and space advocacy in general) look stupid.

Re:React positively? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863725)

You don't get as much science, as fast, with robotic probes as you do with people walking around. You also don't develop technology nearly as quickly; the Apollo program contributed tons of things to our technology, and we're not seeing those contributions with robotic probes. They're nice for exploring far-off things where you're not in as much of a hurry or they're just too far away to feasibly reach with humans with present technology, and for doing so on a small budget, but that's it. If you want to actually develop technology and capabilities that will improve the economy, such as asteroid/moon mining or space-based solar power generation, you have to send humans up there to get it done any time soon. Then, you'll get a bunch of positive side-effects with technological developments, plus you can make money on space tourism.

Re:React positively? (3, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864927)

I like Steven Ruff's take [journalofcosmology.com] :

Spirit outlived even the wildest speculations about its lifespan, making possible the remarkable discoveries about the igneous, aqueous, and aeolian processes that shaped the landscape that it and we roamed. But despite these successes, I became painfully aware of the shortcomings of robotic exploration of Mars. In a word, it is cumbersome. It took years of painstaking effort to explore just those few square kilometers of Gusev crater. Many tens of humans had to participate to guide the rover along a path that was carefully chosen to maximize both safety and science potential. Although Spirit proved to be much more robust and capable than anyone imagined, its speed and mobility were limiting factors. And despite a science payload exquisitely adapted to the tasks it was designed for, surely we failed to recognize and understand important clues to the geologic history we came to investigate. The experience of exploring a planet with a rover is both incredibly exciting and rewarding and incredibly frustrating. It is science by committee modulated by engineering constraints.

Many on the science team echoed the sentiment that a human geologist could have performed the years of exploration done by Spirit in just a few weeks or perhaps days. It's true that Spirit's amazing toolkit is still unavailable to a terrestrial field geologist. But simple tools combined with the eyes, hands, boots, and brain of a human far outstrip the capabilities of a rover, even those of the next generation Mars Science Laboratory. Given the impossibility of real- time interaction between a human and a robotic surrogate across the millions of kilometers separating Earth from Mars, robotic exploration will never replace what is achievable by humans. Here I am focused on the scientific achievements. The ones that arise from humanity expanding into the solar system, by definition, require humans. Robots should never be viewed as a substitute for humans directly experiencing another world.

If you are interested in spending dollars well, then the current approach isn't a good one. Above we see a two order magnitude improvement between an instance of unmanned space exploration and the manned equivalent of a single geologist. But the manned mission wouldn't cost two orders of magnitude more (for example, Zubrin's "Direct Mars" approach is thought to cost a few tens of billions, assuming no major innovation in launch vehicle costs) and it'd put down a team for at least a couple of years.

Not everything experiences this sort of improvement (eg, orbital imaging, communcation), but it doesn't make sense to claim that unmanned is strictly better when it's not.

Similar arguments hold for more mundane improvements such as manufacturing batches of probes rather than one-off designs. For example, for the cost of the Mars Science Laboratory which will attempt to land in a few days, one could have built and launched several (I think up to six) more Mars Exploration Rovers. Further all of these rovers could have been operating on Mars for years now. MSL is somewhat more capable, but there was a dear cost, a slowing down of research on Mars.

Re:React positively? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864971)

"Welcome to Armstrong Base!"

Well we could, yeah... but what for? Other than bragging rights and planting the flag?

Also an alternate platform for putting things in Earth orbit. Currently, it costs around $5-20k per kg to put anything in orbit. Even with vast improvements in cost for launch infrastructure, you're limited by propellant cost. I assume a factor of three over the cost of propellant, which yields $100 to $300 per kg. Economically, anything that you can use now on the Moon is free. So, for example, if you can get some sort of self-replicating factory to the Moon, you can build launch infrastructure and propellant harvesting for the cost of your initial input, management overhead on Earth, and the time-value of however long it takes you to put that all together. You might require people on site or might not which would be another possible cost. But what you wouldn't have is a high marginal cost to orbit.

Re:React positively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861409)

Well put my friend. Been saying this forever. Its a damn shame where the goverments priorities lay.

Re:React positively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861571)

The Republicans are right. We should stop spending on irrelevant things. We shouldn't raise taxes, either. Hell, if we do the former the latter won't matter. Of course, my list of irrelevant things is much, much longer than the Republicans' list.

What the hell is raising taxes going to solve? Less money (i.e. power) for you and me funneled straight to those whose policies you don't agree with... Yay! They'll spend more and our deficit will only get slightly less bigger than it would have otherwise!

Re:React positively? (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40861623)

We should stop spending on irrelevant things

Like the NOAA? The USGS? Federal funding for NPR/Planned Parenthood? The reason those are targeted, despite being a pittance compared to other things, is purely political. Cutting them will kill extremely useful services while saving precisely shit.

We shouldn't raise taxes, either.

Well that's genius. Even if we had a balanced budget we'd need to raise taxes.

What the hell is raising taxes going to solve?

Paying down the massive debt we've accrued?

They'll spend more and our deficit will only get slightly less bigger than it would have otherwise!

So instead you insist we not raise taxes and... do what, exactly? Nothing? Got it.

Re:React positively? (2)

JWW (79176) | about 2 years ago | (#40861995)

We should stop spending on irrelevant things

No, not like NOAA, the USGS, etc.

but rather

Things like the insanely large defense budget, and handing the younger generations money to the richest segment of the population (everyone wants Warran Buffet to pay more in taxes, NO ONE is asking what the hell we're doing giving him a social security check every month or paying for all his medical bills).

You could eliminate the non-defense discretionary budget 100% (elimiate every non-defense segment of the government) and we'd still be running a deficit.

Social Security and Medicare must be massively reformed to be means based and not handouts to everyone over 65 (who are far far richer as a group than everyone under 30). In addition to this the defense budget needs to be cut by at least 1/3.

Cutting any other parts of government, while mildly helpful to deficit spending, is smoke and mirrors.

The sacred cows must be offered up by both parties or we're going to be screwed. The math to fixing the nation's budget problems doesn't work any other way.

Re:React positively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40862259)

The math to fixing the nation's budget problems doesn't work any other way.

Dynamic scoring works just fine. With it, I can reduce the tax rate to -1% and thanks to the magic of the Laffler Curve, suddenly the government has infinite amounts of tax dollars.

Re:React positively? (4, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 years ago | (#40862383)

You could eliminate the non-defense discretionary budget 100% (elimiate every non-defense segment of the government) and we'd still be running a deficit.

And if you eliminated the defense budget 100%, we'd still be running a deficit.

In fact, our deficit would still be in the top five of all time....

Re:React positively? (2)

spauldo (118058) | more than 2 years ago | (#40862967)

Social Security and Medicare must be massively reformed to be means based and not handouts to everyone over 65 (who are far far richer as a group than everyone under 30).

Medicare, maybe. I'm a single payer advocate, so there's no point in arguing that - we won't agree.

Social Security? It doesn't work that way. Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit or government spending - it's a seperate, self-supporting insurance system. It's not currently running a deficit and won't for a few years at least. It costs the government $0 - in fact, the surpluses have been poured into the federal budget (which is why people scream that the feds are raiding it).

Anyone who tells you Social Security needs to be cut to reduce the budget is trying to pull one over on you.

Onto making it means based: You seem to have the misconception that Social Security is a type of welfare. It's not. it's federally mandated insurance. The wealthy payed into it - in fact, they payed more into it than poor people. If you pay $20/month for life insurance to Fred's Assurance Co., and some rich guy pays $200/mo for life insurance at the same company, then why would it be right for you to get a larger payout than him?

Re:React positively? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864833)

Social Security? It doesn't work that way. Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit or government spending - it's a seperate, self-supporting insurance system. It's not currently running a deficit and won't for a few years at least. It costs the government $0 - in fact, the surpluses have been poured into the federal budget (which is why people scream that the feds are raiding it).

Anyone who tells you Social Security needs to be cut to reduce the budget is trying to pull one over on you.

Social Security doesn't work that way. It's just another 15% tax on income in addition to the normal income tax. Coupled with that is a pretty retarded pyramid scheme for paying a little bit for everyone's retirement. It's also not break even, even if you pretend to respect the founding myths like the "lockbox". It has been in the red in that sense since 2010.

My opinion is drop the pension part altogether except for some needs based thing to keep Grannie from eating catfood. And either drop the 15% tax or just add it to the regular income tax.

You seem to have the misconception that Social Security is a type of welfare.

Yes, I do. I wouldn't call it a misconception though.

If you pay $20/month for life insurance to Fred's Assurance Co., and some rich guy pays $200/mo for life insurance at the same company, then why would it be right for you to get a larger payout than him?

Frankly, it wouldn't be right for either of you to get a payout since the insurer spent the insurance proceeds instead of investing them and is paying (for the moment) insurance payouts with other peoples' payments, milking the con for a little while longer so that they can get as much money out of you as they can.

Re:React positively? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863781)

Social Security and Medicare must be massively reformed to be means based and not handouts to everyone over 65

Social Security is a government-run insurance program. The people getting those benefits (at least, the retirement benefits, I'm not addressing the other things SSI has gotten into) get them based on how much they paid into the system during their (or their spouse's) working years. Pay more in, get more out. It's no different than any private life insurance / retirement program, except the returns aren't as good (but they're guaranteed, and therefore much less risky). If you take that away, you're essentially stealing from those people, because when they paid that extra 15% into FICA, they were promised Medicare and SS benefits when they retired in exchange.

Are you going to take away peoples' private retirement pensions too, if you think they already have too much money? That sounds rather socialistic of you.

Re:React positively? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863753)

The Dems and Reps are both right about certain things; those are their talking points that they use to get votes. The problem is that they're both completely wrong about many more things.

Yes, we should stop spending on irrelevant things. But space isn't irrelevant; the computer you're using uses electronics technology developed in the Apollo program. However, all this military activity IS irrelevant, and should be cut. Giveaways to corrupt, mismanaged industries is a waste too, and should be cut. Tax breaks to corn and oil companies is a waste, and should be stopped.

You're right though: raising taxes won't help, because it will only go to wasteful things like wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, to bailouts so companies can socialize their losses while privatizing their profits, and so Obama can shut down airspace in major cities constantly as he flies around for no good reason.

Re:React positively? (0)

briancox2 (2417470) | about 2 years ago | (#40861599)

The best shot one has at getting a Score of 5 Insightful on Slashdot, is to make a far left-leaning anti-Republican rant. Relevance to the actual post is options. Thank you for demonstrating this Microlith.

Re:React positively? (1)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#40861637)

a far left-leaning anti-Republican rant

I thought my point was quite salient. How is that not what has happened during and after the Apollo program, and particularly in the last decade?

Am I supposed to have sympathy or respect for the modern Republican party? Why?

Re:React positively? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 2 years ago | (#40861747)

That's because reality has a well-known liberal bias. Apparently, a far left-leaning liberal bias, to boot. And before you complain about how tired the meme is, I wish it wasn't so damn accurate.

There is nothing in your parent's post that was false. The only inflammatory part was the "idiot Republicans" part: there are too many idiot Democrats to have that moniker be specific to Republicans.

Your complaint about the moderation system is nothing but a deflective whine about bias that says more about your lack of substantive objections than about the actual state of Slashdot's moderation system.

Re:React positively? (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#40861851)

Maybe it was worded a little "far-left", but the position is hardly far left. Our military is unnecessarily large and expensive.

Re:React positively? (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#40862231)

You are dumb. You don't even know what far-Left is.

Re:React positively? (1)

ThermalRunaway (1766412) | about 2 years ago | (#40862869)

Really? Idiot Republicans? Both parties voted for bailouts of TooBigToFail XYZ. Reps tend to want lower gov spending except on military. Dems tend to want lower spending except on social entitlements of their liking.

I for one would rather see us spend money on another moon mission than trying to convince Afghans about the glories of representative government, or for DHS to research why kids get fat when they eat too much bacon.

Lets not forget about the dramatic shift in social standing of tech/engineers since the 60s. Nowdays people are more about what some dumbass girl from Jersey is doing on sat night in bar than what NASA is doing with JWST or Kepler. People with nothing to their credit other than being famous for being famous for a sex tape or stupid antics are way more popular in mainstream culture than astronauts or engineers. Its quite sad.

Re:React positively? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863799)

Reps tend to want lower gov spending except on military. Dems tend to want lower spending except on social entitlements of their liking.

No, they don't. They each talk that way, but when Reps are in office, government spending goes up. And when Dems are in office, government spending goes up (with the possible exception of Clinton, but he also had a giant revenue surplus to work with).

The Reps were all too happy to bail out the banksters, so any claims about them wanting lower spending are bullshit.

The Dems have been all too happy to continue to fund the mideast wars as well as the bailouts, and even step up the war in Afghanistan, so any claims about them wanting lower spending are also bullshit.

Re:React positively? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40862945)

In the even that China reaches a point that we achieved 40 years ago... and that we haven't been able to do again since?

The correct expression is "haven't been willing to do again since" not that we haven't been able to do so. We've never tried. Not even made a serious attempt.

Re:React positively? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863705)

This post reminds me why I like reddit's moderation system better; I'd give you an up-mod if I could, because you're exactly correct.

Re:React positively? (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864589)

Maybe the reason the US hasn't gone back to the moon is because they already went several times, had a look around, bounced around, collected some rocks, planted a flag, shot some film, and decided there wasn't really much else you could do on a barren landscape with vacuum for an atmosphere. If China eventually gets to the moon that will guarantee an increase in the NASA budget to go back and make sure China or anyone else doesn't occupy the proverbial high ground. A scenerio like that would turn the project from a scientific venture to a national security matter and funding would come from the blank check military budget. After all the first NASA trips to the moon were driven by the cold war competition between the US and USSR. What we really need to build is an orbital shipyard and docking platform for manned ships. Getting to orbit and de-orbiting are the most expensive, dangerous, and time consuming tasks if you want to expand manned space exploration missions. Until that is done we can continue to use unmanned space exploration probes to collect data about the solar system.

now free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861091)

now free market that son-of-a-bitch and pay US those loans back YOU GREEDY FUCKS!

if NASA had an unlimited budget? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861101)

I'd send all of Congress on a space mission. To land on the Sun. I'll tell them they'll go at night and land on the dark side.

Re:if NASA had an unlimited budget? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861581)

And they'd laugh their asses off because they are highly intelligent psychopaths who know exactly what they are doing (accumulating wealth and power).

You think you're smarter than them? You're a damned insect to them. It's why YOU are under THEIR heel. You geeks think you're so above everyone, but you just another pack of deluded dumbasses to those in power.

Re:if NASA had an unlimited budget? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861807)

And now they know you're onto them.

Better watch the skies for black helicopters.

Re:if NASA had an unlimited budget? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40863519)

They don't need black helicopters. They can shut him down remotely.

Re:if NASA had an unlimited budget? (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864359)

Yes, the 'B' Ark.

The Great Game, now with new levels! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861151)

Bolden speaks as though humanity will march toward the stars arm in arm, full of brotherly love. Like Kipling said though "When everyone is dead, the Great Game is finished. Not before." Putting concerns about international cooperation ahead of long term US interests is going to hurt in the future, especially since China and Russia will put their own interests first.

When it becomes feasible to extract resources from space, the space race will never end.

But competition is good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861175)

I think nationalism is one of the stupider elements of human culture, but separate competing organizations would be more a benefit than hindrance.There needs to be different teams, with different methods, and different failures and successes. Without that, people would never learn, and nothing would ever move forward.

That was one small step! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#40861209)

> How the world should react positively to China beating America back to the moon.

Yes, "We, for one, welcome our new Chinese overlords..."

And this is why America is failing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861373)

>>The U.S. cannot always be the leader, but we can be the inspirational leader through international cooperation" in space exploration.

And this is why America is failing... We are too worried as a country about Chick-fi-a and Kim Kardashian.

This guy need to be replaced with somebody with a vision of the future.

Re:And this is why America is failing... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863815)

This guy need to be replaced with somebody with a vision of the future.

To do that, you need to first elect some people with a good vision of the future to run the country. We have consistently shown that we are not interested in such a person.

Encouraging noises from NASA (5, Informative)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | about 2 years ago | (#40861387)

Its nice to see NASA talking about international cooperation. Perhaps this will make ESA, and certain ESA member states who are notoriously tight fisted with contributions and refuse to participate in any manned flight *coughUKcough*, start to think seriously about how Europe can be involved. I know people who work for ESA and for EADS, and there is no shortage of will in the industry to start pushing out properly.

As far as I'm concerned, any non-international deep space exploration runs the risk of leading to conflict between nations in space, and that is a really dumb idea. We've seen, from ASAT tests and accidental collisions, what even a handful of destroyed satellites can do to the space debris situation. A full-on space war means we lose access to LEO entirely, for a very long time.

Re:Encouraging noises from NASA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861617)

Right now NASA is regarded as an unreliable partner; they fucked over IXO, LISA, Laplace and Exomars in short order and were doing the hokey-cokey with Euclid.

Their passive-aggressive bullshit is beyond annoying.

Re:Encouraging noises from NASA (1)

EdgePenguin (2646733) | about 2 years ago | (#40861689)

This is all true - but it is still the case that ESA will not move on manned spaceflight without a nudge from NASA. The only indigenous European manned space hardware is the ATV - which only exists so that we can have a stake in the ISS.

Its not like there is a shortage of technical ideas; EADS were quite willing to turn ATV into a proper manned spacecraft, and Ariane 5 shouldn't have been too hard to man rate, seeing as it was designed to be man rated in the first place for the abandoned Hermes shuttle. The problem has always been political will. You need to get the UK, France, Germany and probably Italy and a few others to approve a manned program and stick with it. The UK, I'm ashamed to say, has often been the major stumbling block for this.

Despite current differences with NASA, most of ESAs best stuff has been done as part of international collaboration - ATV, Columbus module, Huygens - so I can see an international manned exploration project being the only way, realistically, that European citizens are ever going to have a decent, native, manned space program.

Re:Encouraging noises from NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40862407)

Don't forget that NASA came very close to losing funding for the James Webb telescope too, a project which ESA was a large partner in, having already made significant financial commitments.

I gave you the benefit of the doubt, Yahoo News (2)

uhwuggawuh (2693143) | about 2 years ago | (#40861401)

...and this is how you repay me:

China is considered a repressive, totalitarian regime and an opponent of the United States on Earth.

Original interview link (5, Informative)

FleaPlus (6935) | about 2 years ago | (#40861433)

For anybody who wants to read the actual interview article with Bolden instead of just relying on MarkWhittington's distorted Yahoo summary, you can find the interview here:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/space/story/2012-08-01/NASA-mars-rover/56656270/1 [usatoday.com]

Re:Original interview link (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#40862241)

I apologize for not having the time to watch the video, but I have a question for whoever does: did Bolden really say the US wouldn't lead a mission to mars? That sounds fishy. Or did he instead say we wouldn't "go it alone" to Mars, and then separately say that the US won't be the leader on every single space initiative (which is very reasonable - perhaps obvious)?

To me this summary and most of the slashdot responses so far sound either biased or trolling, but I'll admit if I'm wrong.

Of course... (0, Redundant)

argStyopa (232550) | about 2 years ago | (#40861457)

OF COURSE a Mars mission shouldn't be American led, regardless of who's funding it, who's launching it, and whose technology is making it happen. Making it American-led might make someone else feel less important.

After all (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/07/charles-bolden-nasas-fore_n_637854.html) NASAs foremost mission "...Is To Improve Relations With Muslim World..."

I hope the engineers know.. (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#40861607)

That you moved up the landing schedule form Monday morning (EDT) to Friday.
It is not the eve of the landing.
I am not playing grammar Nazi. There are likely grammatical errors in my post.
But as a news outlet, can we get facts right?????

By the way, the landing will be shown live on a jumbo-tron in Times Square!
http://www.space.com/16863-mars-rover-landing-nasa-events.html [space.com]

Re:I hope the engineers know.. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863875)

First of all, it's not grammar; it's semantics, so you're safe.

Secondly, "on the eve of" can have both a literal and an idiomatic or "poetic" meaning, as in the song "Eve of Destruction". It means "about to happen"

What a boring little man... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861681)

Reading the article leads me to the conclusion that Mr. Bolden pretty much represents everything I consider wrong with NASA. Instead of bold or inspiring visions, he appears to be thinking small and doing small, which is pretty much the opposite of what I would expect from a NASA administrator. Yes, sure, resources are always a constraint and not everything that would be cool can be done but he actively avoids even contemplating going beyond his quite limited horizon.

For starters, regarding Mars he says that it should be an international mission, which is not a bad choice per se, however, international projects are very difficult to pull off effectively. There will inevitably be bickering who pays how much, which country gets how many jobs and whose astronauts will be going. It's basically the issue of senators bringing in the pork via NASA but on a bigger (international) scale. Just negotiating the terms of such cooperation can take as long as the project itself and can easily exceed a decade (for comparison, see ITER which has been on the drawing board well over a decade before the international consortium green-lit it).

So, international projects make things more complicated and they take longer. Sure, you get all the feel-good humanity thing and the cost is born by a larger base but the frictional costs are much higher. Nevertheless, I would've given him a pass on it if he hadn't said that the "U.S. cannot always be the leader". I'm sorry, but why not? I'm not even an American but if I were and the resources could be mustered, why not go ahead, saving the decade-long negotiation cycle? To me, this sounded like an excuse not to do it at all by postponing it indefinitely ("We're working on it, look, we're already negotiating the terms for 5 years straight now!")

However, what really shocked me was his answer what he would do given an unlimited budget. That question was a softball to float some bold ideas to the public about what could be done. He could have suggested space habitats, moon/asteroid bases, thousands of robotic missions to map out the solar system, even more modest goals like developing new rockets and other lift capabilities. Instead what we get is literally "nothing". He would "complete Obama's plan" and "not use the extra money". In essence, he has no ideas at all and is only capable to follow instructions handed to him. I'm rather sure even NASA's janitorial staff has more creativity than that.

Re:What a boring little man... (1)

geegel (1587009) | about 2 years ago | (#40862257)

+1 Painful truth

"Back"? (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | about 2 years ago | (#40861855)

The Chinese are not beating the USA "back to the moon". They are going for the first time. The USA has already beaten them by more than forty years.

Re:"Back"? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40862691)

Seriously ... who the F cares if you guys went to the moon 40 years ago??? you cant even go back anymore !! These guys will !! ... And thats what you should worry about !! Stop sitting on your ass America... this is exactly why other countries have stopped looking at you for inspiration... i admire the Chinese and sometimes i wonder if my country would be better off bordering them instead of the once Might US of A ...

Sure you guys USED to be tough and strong... now you're just a bunch of fat-asses with useless trophy's on their shelves... i wouldnt be proud of that !

Re:"Back"? (2)

Kozz (7764) | more than 2 years ago | (#40863889)

Seriously ... who the F cares if you guys went to the moon 40 years ago??? you cant even go back anymore !! These guys will !! ... And thats what you should worry about !! Stop sitting on your ass America... this is exactly why other countries have stopped looking at you for inspiration... i admire the Chinese and sometimes i wonder if my country would be better off bordering them instead of the once Might US of A ...

Sure you guys USED to be tough and strong... now you're just a bunch of fat-asses with useless trophy's on their shelves... i wouldnt be proud of that !

What are you on about with the "you guys" perspective? I don't know who you think you're fooling. It only takes one read of your post and one can deduce from the assortment of grammar and punctuation errors that you're surely a product of the American educational system.

United States is on Earth. ok. good boy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40861861)

"China is considered a repressive, totalitarian regime and an opponent of the United States on Earth."

but not on the moon? sad little reporter should take off that tin foil hat and get out of the house(on Earth) more... lol.

The United States on the Moon resent this statement, and we will forward this article to the People's Republic of China office on Ganymede.

Well derr (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40862043)

America leads international ventures!!! Look at war! Look at banking! ! No shit some guy that works in America would say that.

I say anarchy in space!

SpaceX (1)

dammy (131759) | about 2 years ago | (#40862153)

More then likely, SpaceX will beat them to Mars.

Re:SpaceX (1, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#40864575)

And the moon unless the neo-cons continue to try to kill off private space. Even now, the republicans have cut a deal with NASA to fund 2.5 bids. However, the neo-cons are now attempting to tell NASA WHO will win those: ATK's Liberty will get 1, Boeing will get 1, and L-Mart will get .5. IOW, the neo-cons are attempting to cut out ALL of the new space, including SpaceX.

Unlimited budget (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#40862927)

Given an unlimited budget, he'd just do what he was told, go to Mars, and not do anything else. No matter what else he's done, that makes it sound like NASA needs a leader with some vision, not an administrator who simply carries out political commands.

again for the first time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40863777)

wait - china is beating us "back" to the moon? when did they get there the first time?

Bolden Needs A Reminder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40864231)

Mr Charles Bolden, Administrator of NASA, is one of the ranks of the UnElected Government of the United States of America.

Mr Barak Obama, President of the United States of American has through Secret Executive order claimed the right to kill any human being who displeasures him. As a member of the UnElected Mr Bolden is in need of remembrance that his words can end his life and the lives of those around him on order of the President of the United States of America.

What Police Officer what Rent-A-Cop would turn down a request by the President of the United States of America to kill another American?

And be richly rewarded for the great service.

Mr Bolden reconsider your words.

Retract your words before 6:00 AM EST.

If you do, the President of the United States of America will, refrain, form issuing a kill order on you life and those around you ... for that day.

Time ... is not on Your side.

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