Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Funding Promised for Trips to Moon, Mars

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the believe-it-when-i-see-it dept.

Moon 560

image77 writes "NASA's new administrator, Michael Griffin, and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Tuesday the space agency will have the necessary funding to send astronauts back to the moon and to Mars. Delay states "We will provide the funding necessary to get us where we want to go.""

cancel ×

560 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

who's not reading between the lines here? (5, Insightful)

professorhojo (686761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693697)

ASA's new administrator, Michael Griffin, and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Tuesday the space agency will have the necessary funding to send astronauts back to the moon and to Mars. Delay states "We will provide whatever funding is necessary to get the spotlight off my ethics investigation and possible upcoming criminal proceedings."

Way to stay on topic! (4, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693744)

As if the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives of the US Congress has no job, or indeed, any other tasks at all, other than to continually engineer ways to remove the spotlight from alleged ethics violations. Because, of course, once someone is accused of something, their job stops, and they're naturally only trying to erect artificial shields to deflect the allegations.

Failed sarcasm (0, Flamebait)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693898)

I can't tell if you're a supporter trying to be sarcastic, or a detractor trying to be sarcastic.

Try reading Johnathan Swift's A Modest Proposal [upenn.edu] .

Re:Failed sarcasm (0, Offtopic)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#12694004)

Is he just sarcastic? Or sarcasticly sarcastic? AHHHH!!!!! Sarcasim overload!!!!

Re:who's not reading between the lines here? (0, Flamebait)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693757)

I doubt he's this smart, but it might not be his idea.. either way DeLay is probably the most evil character in government today.

Re:who's not reading between the lines here? (0)

SubTexel (715118) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693788)

Nah, that title would go to the Liberal Hippies...

Wanna get high? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693886)

Hey, man! That is not cool!

You definitely need a little more green in your diet.

just like SS "reform" (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 9 years ago | (#12694016)

"We will provide the funding necessary to get us where we want to go."

And where the neocons want to go is to kill NASA. They'll distract NASA into bleeding itself to death chasing massive unfunded mandates while ignoring real science. It's starve the beast [wikipedia.org] all over again. And they're being dishonest about how they're doing it. What else are they being dishonest about?

So how many babies HAS he eaten this week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693799)

Hmm?

Come on, lets hear some more ranting and raving and frothing at the mouth about exactly how Tom DeLay warrants the label 'evil'. Should be entertaining.

WTF is wrong with you people?

Re:So how many babies HAS he eaten this week? (4, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693829)

...exactly how Tom DeLay warrants the label 'evil'...
Here you go. [mikehersh.com]

Just remember...you asked for it.

Re:So how many babies HAS he eaten this week? (0)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693853)

It being wednesday, 3 oh wait, He took off for memorial day and ate a soldier.

Re:So how many babies HAS he eaten this week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693907)

And of course, all of that has been proven before committees and/or courts of law, right?

Wait, no? The petition is a demand that those allegations [reference.com] (figured I'd help you with the big words) be investigated? Huh. Innocent until proven guilty is only for Democrats, I guess.

Go witch-hunting somewhere else.

Re:So how many babies HAS he eaten this week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693957)

All politicians are filthy disgusting creatures.

In my ideal government they would all be executed upon leaving office. These wretched beings aren't fit to live.

Re:So how many babies HAS he eaten this week? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12694022)

Sounds like you'd like to do that to Jews too.

Re:So how many babies HAS he eaten this week? (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693967)

And yet, nothing has happened to DeLay, because none of that is proven. Some of it is freakin' stupid (the "foreign sounding names" thing, for example), but not "evil".

Have you actually read that article? These are accusations, not proven facts. If people were labeled "evil" just because someone else said they did something, everyone could be labeled "evil".

By your criteria, based on what's in that article, we should get John Kerry kicked out of the Senate for calling his secret service agent an SOB when Kerry ran into him on a ski slope during the campaign.

Re: "evil" because you don't like them? (0)

deanj (519759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693856)

Why? Because partisan Democrats in Texas are accusing him of things that haven't been proven? Or that he acts as partisan as any Democrat in the Senate or House?

Labeling someone "evil" just because you disagree with their politics is childish. If DeLay's actions are "evil" so are plenty of Democrats, but I'm sure you won't say the same thing of them.

Re: "evil" because you don't like them? (1, Funny)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693981)

I think DeLay is exactly what the country really needs right now! We've been divided for so long and Tom can really bring us all together. As a registered republican, I like seeing how most of my republican and democrate friends can come togehter and agree DeLay is a disgrace. Between his actions and spewing about judges, I really feel this is a moment where we can begin the heal as a country and feel like one again over our discust with him.

It really give me hope for the future! Thanks Tom!

Re: "evil" because you don't like them? (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 9 years ago | (#12694009)

Using that logic, we should just dump everyone in the Senate and House. It's not like one side or the other has a perfect record. ....You know, that probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

Re: "evil" because you don't like them? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12694006)

He's evil due to his actions and ongoing lack of ethics, not due to his political affiliation. Yes it's true that the dems are the ones nipping at his heels. But that's only because the repubs have gone out of their way to shield him rather than open an investigation. They even went as far a modifying the house ethic rules to cover criminal behaviour. (This was later rescinded due to public outcry.) There's also the fact that all of his associates have already been indicted. All that's left is to nail the ringleader.

I might point out out the hypocrisy of repub supporters claiming this is all partison politics when they are very much guilty of the same thing in reverse. By their reasoning, Delay is republican, therefore he can do no wrong. I say bullshit. Make Delay speaker of the 'bighouse'.

**btw, I'm from Texas, and a repub. And I don't like what he's done. He needs to face up to the charges.

Re: "evil" because you don't like them? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12694008)

if you love him so much, why doncha marry him?

Re: "evil" because you don't like them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12694029)

Or that he acts as partisan as any Democrat in the Senate or House?

He's the Senate leader of a political party. He'd damn well better be partisan.

Re:who's not reading between the lines here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693761)

Delay continued, saying, "This won't cost the taxpayers anything. Since it's travel, I'm going to have my lobbyists front all of the money."

Re:who's not reading between the lines here? (2, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12694023)

Actually, in this case he's arguably doing what representatives are supposed to do. He represents the suburbs of Houston, the residents of which benefit when there's funding for new jobs in town. Sure, it's pork, but at least it doesn't involve a feeding tube or threatening judges.

Thanks, Tom! (3, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693701)


From TFA:


"We will provide the funding necessary to get us where we want to go," the House majority leader said.


Awfully nice of you to provide the funding for our space initiative, Tom...are you sure you and the other members of Congress can afford it?

Oh, wait...he's talking about our money...not his...damn.

Seriously, though, after reading through TFA, and also reading some related articles on President Bush's "Vision for Space Exploration", one finds that below the glitz and the sexiness, there's just not much content. Specifically, there's very little mention of turning space exploration into a paying venture, which will be very necessary as soon as the glamour wears off, and the taxpayers get tired of funding such a pricey program.

There's ridiculous amounts of money to be made in space...we just need to get up there...and stay up there this time.

Oh, so now it's BAD to INCREASE the NASA budget? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693779)

Wait a minute. I remember back when the NASA budget had some proposed budget cuts floated, Slashdot went apeshit.

It's like every other thing they do with the budget. People scream when they increase budgets. People scream when they reduce budgets.Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

Re:Oh, so now it's BAD to INCREASE the NASA budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693959)

Guess what! That's called discussion and usually aims to find a solution.
Ban guns, you have people screaming, allow guns, you have people screaming. Raise speed limits, you have people screaming, lower speed limits, you have people screaming.
Oversimplify enough and your comment always applies.

Re:Thanks, Tom! (1)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693810)

"We will provide the funding necessary to get us where we want to go," the House majority leader said.

To the oval office!

Re:Thanks, Tom! (1)

mas5353 (870037) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693818)

They have to distract the American public with something. Does it not seem like space venture is only good for one class of people: the filthy rich? And what do they want expansion into space for? To stake territory and get even richer perhaps?

This is not a "troll." I'm just suggesting that space expansion only benefits; at the present moment, the government; soon, the richest 0.5% people in the world; in the distant future, the riches 2% richest people in the world. Does that mean we shouldn't back it up? Not necessarily, but I think escaping the mess you've created is a worse policy than fixing it.

Re:Thanks, Tom! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693842)

Do you have *anything* substantial to back that ridiculous statement up, or are you just suffering from diarrhea of the brain and hatred of anyone with more money and/or talent than you?

Re:Thanks, Tom! (1)

mas5353 (870037) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693917)

I don't hate anybody, and certainly don't care if someone is richer than me. That should have been clear from the post.

For examples of what I'm talking about, just look at history, when colonialism/imperialism was the world standard. Who benefited then? The problem is that our tax dollars are being used by an enterprise controlled government and there isn't anything we can do about it.

Re:Thanks, Tom! (2, Insightful)

MirrororriM (801308) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693919)

Griffin said he believes a majority of people "want to make sure that as humankind expands into space the United States is there in the forefront."

"That is why this is important," he said. "It's about where human beings go and what they do when they get there and what that means to the future of the human race."

B.S. - I agree with the above poster when they say "There's ridiculous amounts of money to be made in space...we just need to get up there...and stay up there this time."

The government is not doing this for "the greater good", but rather to fill their own pockets...and the government wants to be the first to get there to claim all that they can. They'll find one way or another to tax everything in space once they can claim it is theirs.

I would think that we'll need space exploration beyond all the glitz and glamour for our own survival. I'm not a tree-hugger or anything, but I live in a town completely polluted by a large chemical company [dow.com] . You can't even swim in the surrounding rivers because of dioxin warnings [trwnews.net] . Not to mention that "coincidentally" that the soft tissue cancer rate is one of the highest in the nation and much much higher [trwnews.net] than other areas in Michigan.

So yeah, I see space exploration as a necessity (colonization or the like) and not a money-maker or politician pocket-liner. Unfortunately, it is treated more like the latter.

15 billion dollars is just chump change (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693983)

Hey, everyone knows Delay for all of his faults has a lot of pull in the US House. If Delay is on board with funding a lot of space, why not let him do it? If NASA does get us back to the moon and mars, and I think they can (they did get us to the moon before, after all), then sure, go for it.

The fifteen or sixteen billion a year that NASA needs is chump change. Toss it onto the deficit, as space is an investment that will pay for itself.

Since this is slashdot... (3, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693706)

...insert completely offtopic and irrelevant DeLay comments here, instead of acknowledging that the current House of Representatives Majority Leader, a legislator with significant power, has publicly pledged the necessary funding for NASA's Mars and Moon missions.

Note: the funding NASA has received over the last couple of decades is equivalent to the funding it received during the Apollo program in adjusted dollars, so it's not like NASA is the equivalent of the hapless panhandler many slashdotters make it out to be.

Further, for those who support NASA's fundamental mission of space exploration, we must also acknowledge the US Air Force Space Command's renewed role [cnn.com] to protect free access to space, including planning for contingencies that may require us to protect our assets in space from other nations. You had better believe, regardless of any perceived sensibilities, that other nations may lay claim to, e.g., areas of the moon, areas in close proximity to earth, etc. If anyone is forced to be a steward of free access, I'll be blunt and say I'd rather it be us.

Re:Since this is slashdot... (1)

I don't want to spen (638810) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693751)

Don't you think that's rather a change in direction for Slashdot to take? From 'News for Nerds' to 'Steward of Free Access to Space'?

Or is that not who you mean by 'us'?

Re:Since this is slashdot... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693770)

If anyone is forced to be a steward of free access, I'll be blunt and say I'd rather it be us.

Barf, you're such a tool Dave. Seriously, if anyone is going to be allowing free access it certainly is not going to be the US leading the charge.

Stop trolling you dumbass.

Re:Since this is slashdot... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693802)

Oh really?

And who's it going to be?

China?

Yeah, they're a model of freedom!

LOL!

I'm not sure DeLay comments are offtopic (1)

benhocking (724439) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693805)

I, for one, would welcome this comment from almost anyone (including Bush!) except DeLay. Considering the ethics problems he's currently facing, it seems the old adage "with friends like this, who needs enemies?" sounds fitting. Not only that, this is such an easy target for ridicule, as we will no doubt witness.

Re:I'm not sure DeLay comments are offtopic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12694019)

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/200505 31/ap_on_go_co/delay_congressional_travel_7 [yahoo.com]
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/4/13 /212319.shtml [newsmax.com]

Unfortunately, "almost anyone" has pulled the same crap that DeLay has....or worse. I don't like him, but I dislike the double standard being applied by the media even more.

Re:Since this is slashdot... (1)

gvc (167165) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693839)

Significant power, perhaps, but not in any position to guarantee continued, stable, adequate funding for such a project.

Or for the other, perhaps more worthwhile, objectives that NASA may have or have had before this neo-grand-challenge was dropped on them.

Oh, I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693862)

instead of acknowledging that the current House of Representatives Majority Leader, a legislator with significant power, has publicly pledged the necessary funding for NASA's Mars and Moon missions.

Well, that's the interesting thing though. This is terribly relevant. Because if DeLay has proven himself willing to lie to the ethics committee, this neatly demonstrates he is also willing to lie to us. Like, potentially, lie to us about things like, "I will secure funding for trips to the moon and mars".

Further, for those who support NASA's fundamental mission of space exploration, we must also acknowledge the US Air Force Space Command's renewed role to protect free access to space, ... If anyone is forced to be a steward of free access, I'll be blunt and say I'd rather it be us.

If you're expecting our fears that the space talk is a Republican political thing to be dissuaded by hyperbolic, blog-buzzword laden implications that we should start to turn our public space program over to the military... then you're horribly wrong.

Re:Since this is slashdot... (1)

Edward Ka-Spel (779129) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693876)

Is this Free as in beer or Free as in Speech. Or Free as in Freedom from terror and oppression.

Any way you look at it, it seems hypocritical to put weapons in space to support free access to space...

Re:Since this is slashdot... (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693971)

Any way you look at it, it seems hypocritical to put weapons in space to support free access to space...

Oh, really?

And when another nation, such as, say, China, begins disallowing access to certain areas of space, or the Moon, or Mars, or takes aggressive action at another nation's assets in space be they military or commercial (and yes, something like this may very well occur), then what happens?

You fundamentally have failed to understand that protection of that free access sometimes necessitates, well, actually protecting it, and planning for such a contingency in advance.

Paid for by... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693707)

the Native American Casino Operators Association.

What a stupid idea (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693709)

Just imagine the number (and size) of the public toilets you could build for all this money.

Re:What a stupid idea (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693765)

Yeah? And what are you going to do if a giant asteroid heads towards the planet? Flush yourself down the drain?

Re:What a stupid idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693932)

Yeah? And what are you going to do if a giant asteroid heads towards the planet? Flush yourself down the drain?

Ummm, what would you do in your scenario if you had a moon base, get a better view?

Remember kids, moonBase != frickenLasers

Just buy a 7up (1)

c0ldfusi0n (736058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693716)

I heard they were having a contest [7up.com] to send worthy pop-drinkers in space.

able to fund vacation on taxpayer dollars (-1, Offtopic)

ndunn (171784) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693719)

Well, he was able to fund vacations for his family on taxpayers $'s so why not NASA.

The man is the throes of a slow and painful political excecution, I'm just scared what the next incarnation of Republican leader will be.

Here come the Liberals... (-1, Redundant)

MSFanBoi (695480) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693755)

Here come all the anti-Bush, anti-Republican mud slingers...

Why? (0, Offtopic)

alewar (784204) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693759)

Is Osama hidding there??

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693791)

No. Thar's oil in them there rocks.

Microsoft Sponsorship? (0)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693775)

To get us to where we want to go

Where do you want to go today?

Re:Microsoft Sponsorship? (1)

angrist (787928) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693836)

Where do you want to go today?

Back to bed, preferably with an attractive woman.

Re:Microsoft Sponsorship? (1)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693991)

Back to bed, preferably with an attractive woman.

Take in context of the article, that's probably what DeLay means. I wonder how much he's willing to pay...

Oh, I get it... (0)

graffix_jones (444726) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693782)

They must have found oil on the moon, and the Martians must be suspected of possessing weapons of mass destruction.

After all, Marvin the Martian was determined to blow up the earth in all those old Looney Toons flix... ;)

Re:Oh, I get it... (1)

Deinhard (644412) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693874)

Bush: I must get the Eludium Q 36 Explosive Space Modulator! It is a threat to Americans everywhere!

CIA: But Mr. President, there's no concrete evidence that the Martians possess such a weapon.

Bush: Damn the evidence. I watch Looney Toons every day and that little green guys got the weapons. That's evidence enough.

CIA: Uh, sure. Whatever you say, Mr. President. We'll draw up the documents.

...get us to where we want to go? (1)

gerald626 (197224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693795)

How about back home safely once the mission's done?!?

Re:...get us to where we want to go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693840)

They just want to send all them "damn liberals" off planet. Then, when elections come around they can claim that 1) they are no longer residents or 2) they lost the absentee ballots.

This is a Good Thing... (2, Insightful)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693796)

...because it just might bring us into another golden age of American science. Think about how many young people were inspired to be engineers and scientists when they saw the Appollo missions as youngsters.

Re:This is a Good Thing... (1)

syntap (242090) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693867)

Think about how many young people were inspired to be engineers and scientists when they saw the Appollo missions as youngsters...

only as adults to have their positions farmed out to nations that didn't fund any Apollo missions... thanks for the dreams!

Re:This is a Good Thing... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693947)

Think about how many young people were inspired to be engineers and scientists when they saw the Appollo missions as youngsters.

Ah, how apropos to my comments in an earlier thread. I was inspired by Freedom 7.

Difference is that Apollo wasn't financed by destroying my children's future by borrowing the money from China, whose children have just been inspired by watching their first man go into space.

Call me a naysayer, but the future does not appear to lie in America.

"In German, und English, I know how to count down. . . und I'm learning Chineeese," says Werner von Braun. -- Tom Lehrer

KFG

Considering Bush's hatred and fear of science... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693798)

We know this will never happen. He's cut NASA's budget by over 90%, and federal education spending by almost 80%. He and his fellow repukian drones hate science and education. We are the people they hate. They want a worlrd without people like us. They've proven they'll kill to get rid of people they don't like. Technical people might be next. Bush hates us. Never forget that.

Skinner

PS: What's going down with the crazy, wacky image wid da letters.

But Where Is The Money... (3, Insightful)

Deinhard (644412) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693800)

...for science and math education?

We have suffered significant brain drain over the last two decades and I'm not convinced that the future crop of "rocket scientists" will be able to launch an Estes rocket much less get us to the Moon (let alone Mars).

Maybe I'm showing my age bias here, but I just don't see the fire and drive in Middle and High School students to do anything of this magnitude. Most of the students I know would rather visit Mars by playing Doom than actually going there.

Re:But Where Is The Money... (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693931)

Brain drain or not, I imagine the US space programme will continue with the same policy that saw it be so successful in the 50s and 60.

Hire Germans.

As an added bonus, this time round they won't be Nazis.

Re:But Where Is The Money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693966)

Most of the students I know would rather visit Mars by playing Doom than actually going there.

Speak for yourself. It is not any worse to play Doom than to read slashdot.

Uh huh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693804)

And what about the funding for telescopes, or for keeping irreplaceable projects like Voyager going?

I seem to remember the last time the republicans proposed a Mars plan (one which they seem to have forgotten about as soon as the election came) the Mars plan was mostly funded by diverting funding away from NASA's science initiatives.

We need space robots! (2, Insightful)

Paul the Bold (264588) | more than 9 years ago | (#12694025)

I agree with you. Why is there debate about Hubble Space Telescope maintenance? Even crippled and gimpy, the HST is providing useful data to scientists. Why is funding being cut to the Voyager program just when it is approaching the heliopause, the boundary to our solar system? It's the farthest reaching manmade object in the universe, and we are still getting data. It costs $4 million per year, but it is being cut to make room for a manned mission to the moon or Mars.

Why do we need manned anything? What can we learn with people that we cannot learn with remote controlled robots? The Mars Rover project has outperformed the designers' wildest dreams. It is the scientific equivalent of a bargain. If that were a manned mission, we would have spent all of the budget trying to keep the people alive. When the Mars Rovers finally stop returning data, we will just turn them off and leave them. That is not a convenience we would have with a manned mission.

Manned space filght is a novelty, not a scientific research subject. How many scientific papers have come out of the International Space Station? When was the last time actual scientific research was carried out on the space shuttle? When was the last time a manned space mission provided a new answer to a scientific question? Go to the library. Do a web search.

There is a guy who likes to rant about this sort of thing. Go here [bobpark.com] and click on the "What's New" link. Search for things like "manned space flight" or "space station" or "missile defense sheild". It's some good reading.

Just Set Up The Apollo Prize (4, Interesting)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693808)

Just set up a big prize for the first team to land a man on the moon and safely return him to the earth.

Cut out all this funding-cycle political crap for crissakes. Yes, yes, I know there are lots of people employed by NASA and its contractors who want the return of the glory days.

Go get a real job and stop destroying the US's pioneering heritage, and don't you dare lobby my Congressman with your time and travel paid for by my taxes.

Re:Just Set Up The Apollo Prize (4, Informative)

robindmorris (682328) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693954)

Just set up a big prize for the first team to land a man on the moon and safely return him to the earth.

And how big would this prize have to be in order to make someone interested in competing for it? Remember that they have to factor in the chance that they might fail, or that someone else might do it first. Remember that Burt Rutan said that going in to orbit (which is still a long way from the moon) is at least an order of magnitude more difficult than what space ship one did. Looks to me like the prize you would have to offer is on the order of what NASA would spend to do the job themselves.

Remeber also, that with current costs for access to space, any ideas of commercializing space (other than communications satellites/remote sensing satellites) are non-starters. The cost to get into space, to keep workers alive out there, and to bring back whatever it is you have mined, mean that the economics are just not there.

The only way this will change is if someone comes up with a whole new way of getting mass into orbit. If they can do that, they won't need any incentive in terms of a prize, because their development expenditure will pay for itself very quickly.

Face facts. Putting people in space is expensive. It's also a one-off proposition; there will never be lots of companies competing on price to take people into space. Free market economics don't apply here. It's just as economical for the government to do it itself (via NASA) than for a company to do it, and send the bill to the government.

Go get a real job and stop destroying the US's pioneering heritage, and don't you dare lobby my Congressman with your time and travel paid for by my taxes

For your information, NASA employees are forbidden by law from lobbying congress, so that's one use of your taxes that you don't have to worry about.

(Disclaimer: I work for a NASA contractor on-site at a NASA location.)

Re:Just Set Up The Apollo Prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693994)

Go get a real job and stop destroying the US's pioneering heritage, and don't you dare lobby my Congressman with your time and travel paid for by my taxes.


Don't worry about it.. things could be worse. I work for a Department of Defense contractor and I ALWAYS lobby congress critters for my livelihood whilst on your dime.

yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693813)

cause such projects can never happen without federal funding! like the wright brothers for example, without that huge government grant they never would have succeeded.

or that guy that singlehandedly built the rocket and went to the moon, what was his name... Apollo Creed?

Funding by Threat of Violence (0, Flamebait)

Le Marteau (206396) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693814)

We will provide the funding necessary to get us where we want to go. ... by forcing other people to give us money on the threat of sending armed men to take them to jail them if they don't 'pay their tax' to fund our fun.

And they call ours a civilized country.

Lower Labor Costs (0)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693821)

What are they going to, hire Ralph Kramden?

Re:Lower Labor Costs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693877)

Homer Simpson

Re:Lower Labor Costs (1)

sprag (38460) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693924)

# Leela: Wow, I didn't realize the first astronauts were so fat."
# Fry: "He's not an astronaut. He was just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife."

The plan is? (1)

timtwobuck (833954) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693822)

Does anyone know if the mission plan is similar to this....

Build a spaceship and accessories that will get us to Mars safely and quickly, but then to test it on trips to and from the moon?

It seems that developing hardware and software for a Moon trip. Then developing more hardware and software for a Mars trip might be a little cumbersome and expensive.

IMHO, it would be more beneficial for us to build the Mars equipment, and fly it around space for a few months (simulate a trip to Mars in time duration), but always be within a (relatively) short & safe distance from Earth.

Please... (2)

sinfree (859988) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693830)

can we not have any comments from republicans raving over it just because he is republican, or democrats hatin' on it just because he is a republican. Just for once can we look at an idea and judge it on it's own merit? Having said all of that, this is probably a big waste of money :-).

Re:Please... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693986)

No, on the surface this is a big waste of money. In black and white, this will not come to pass. We, as a country, don't have the risk tolerance to go to Mars. There may be funding but it wont be enough and the schedule will slip until they mothball it. We already have $7T in debt and are running a deficit each year which seems to be growing without bound. Nobody is going to find an extra $200B per year for the next decade to properly fund this kind of endeavor. Not even the leader of the majority party. Heck, even W has started to realize that he can't just spend at will.

Quite honestly, I wish we had a kick-ass space program, a better funded national park system, a more proactive (non-petrolium based) energy policy, and a much more isolationist military philosophy. But I'd still rather have a balanced 3-year budget process and a National Debt that is a fraction of the annual budget.

How is this possibly REALLY a priority these days? (0)

dgrgich (179442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693833)

I am truly glad that we went to the moon. I believe that the space race of the 1960's brought numerous advantages to our society and helped on the propaganda front of the Cold War. I will be the first to admit that this was the right course of action for our country at the time.
However, we are not racing with anyone right now. The billion$ that this will cost could be much better used in other things such as developing alternative energy sources & their required infrastructures, helping to fix Social Security, developing alternative energy sources & their required infrastructures, funding better education efforts, developing alternative energy sources & their required infrastructures, and so forth. I just can't see why it would be better to go to Mars and pick up certain ancillary benefits when we could use the money to help produce major benefits.

Re:How is this possibly REALLY a priority these da (1)

databyss (586137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693939)

Maybe the terrorists are planning to put anthrax in the polar ice caps on mars...

We must beat them there!

Re:How is this possibly REALLY a priority these da (1)

MrTester (860336) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693962)

This is a tired argument that is always used but means nothing. "Im all for X, but now is not a good time" When is a good time? When have things ever been so good that we can spend money on Big Ideas(tm) without taking that money away from Important Things(tm). If we actually lived by this concept nobody would have invented the wheel, because it took time away from clubbing small animals on the head with big sticks.

Re:How is this possibly REALLY a priority these da (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693997)

The space program and its various branches have made enourmous contributions and benefits to our society, and to the entire world, and has continued to do so.

We don't need to be in a race to continue reaping those benefits.

It would be better to be led from space (4, Funny)

SimianOverlord (727643) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693843)

I fully appreciate Tom DeLays comments, space exploitation has been on the back burner for too long. In these uncertain times, we would sleep a lot better in our beds if we knew there was a second chance out there somewhere, a genuine, self supporting colony that could reseed the earth in case of unavoidable disaster.

Who better to found this colony than our own elected leaders? As events on september the eleventh showed, no-one is immune to terrorism on our domestic soil, and it would be far better to place our venerated leaders beyond the range of any conventional retaliation. We could always then be sure of leadership from orbit, no matter what happens. By protecting them, we protect ourselves.

And should, despite their best efforts, some cataclysm overtake us all down below, what gentle knights are better suited to repopulate our world than our saintly leaders? Congress, the judiciary, the President are all exceptional individuals who have risen to the top to command a nation of untold millions through sheer talent and moral determination. Repopulation by such giants could only in fact improve the lot of humanities descendents.

Yes, invest in NASA. Yes, load them all on a rocket. Yes, by all means let them lead from above, unseen and unvisited. Let noone say we were too afraid to take the sensible step.

We shall miss them, our leaders, available as they currently are to any stranger in need of a chat or shoulder to cry on, discussion of current policy or challenger of their POV. All that will be lost. No more will I saunter into Cheney's office, will he welcome me with a smile, and gladly spend hours discussing Middle Eastern politics. By this sacrifice, we insure our future.

I look forward with tears in my eyes to the day when they leave this planet. The correct funding of NASA will bring this day closer yet than we can dream.

Not so fast... (2, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693963)

Remember the Golgafrinchams C Ark... If we don't have our politicians to protect us, we may all be buried alive in a massive landslide of unspent lobbying money and political slushfunds.

Re:It would be better to be led from space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693970)

You act like these leaders are GOD are something. If they die, someone else will take their place. Why is their life more important than anyone else's? It is because of assholes and dickheads and dumb people like you, that the world was ruled by elitist regimes.
You dumb shit.

But for how long? (4, Informative)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693849)

"We will provide the funding necessary to get us where we want to go."

At least for the next 3 years. Reagan said back in '84 that the ISS would be a reality in 10 years. 20 years later it's only partially completed.

Another Space Race (2, Insightful)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693858)

President Bush is not really interested in putting people on the moon or Mars, But recently 3 other countries have announced thier intentions of landing there: China, Russia and India. Well you can be darn sure that president Bush is not going to let another country go to the Moon without the USA going first.

It's another Space Race to the moon
but the USA is the Rabbit waiting for
one of the turtles to get started

wag the dog... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693865)

If Clinton did this, there would be howls of 'wag the dog'.

Too bad it looks like 'ol Tom isn't going to be around long enough to keep his promise. His criminal behaviour is catching up with him fast.

As a (now former) republican, let me say that Tom Delay and most of Dumbya's cronies need to be put in a space capsule at shot into the sun. They have destroyed every shred of integrity in politics... not that there was a lot there to begin with.

The geek block of votes (2, Insightful)

afstanton (822402) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693872)

is now apparently large enough that they want to buy it with promises of space travel. At last, all the geeks ignored in highschool now have a little influence. How sad they'll be when that money gets shifted to space based military programs, after they've voted. Yeah, they'll put people on the moon and Mars. Soldiers.

Does this moderation scheme make sense? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693873)

I'm just glad that as soon as we read an article with the words "Tom Delay" that instead of actually talking about the article, the first post (with a rating of 5, no less) goes on and on with a bunch of political horseshit that has nothing to do with the topic.

Come on, guys. I expect better of you than this. Sure your college professor says all republicans are evil corporate monsters. Now can we talk about the space program?

The devil is in the details (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693883)

Come on, paranoidos slashdotos, cant you see how they plan to fool us?

Heeellooooo!

Tom DeLay

"Cede the Moon"? (2, Interesting)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693897)

"If you ask anyone in this country, 'Do you believe that the United States should cede the moon to say the Chinese, Europeans, Russians, whoever?' I bet you the answer would be, 'No,'" he said.
Interesting choice of words. It sounds like the speaker is implying that the United States owns the Moon because we got there first.

Slightly worried... (3, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693902)

Spending other people's money is a significant issue, not be lightly undertaken.

Space exploration and colonization is absolutely vital and must be undertaken.

However, there are many ways to achieve this.

It concerns me that there seems to be such gung-ho enthusisam for pushing what will be vast amounts of tax-raised money into NASA. NASA I'm sure has an unlimited capacity to absorb funds; but I'm not sure it has an equal capacity to produce results in equal measure.

Why not just use the same money to place contracts with the major private space companies? why have a State run organisation at all?

--
Toby

Re:Slightly worried... (1)

robindmorris (682328) | more than 9 years ago | (#12694018)

Why not just use the same money to place contracts with the major private space companies? why have a State run organisation at all?

Because a state-run organization is cheaper? Lockheed/Boeing/etc are out to make a profit. That means that they won't accept a fixed-price contract to do this work (too high risk). Instead, they'll insist on the usual cost-plus contract. Which means that now tax money is used to both pay for the space exploration, and also to pay a dividend to the companies' shareholders. Doing it in-house (NASA) means that it's done at cost (not cost-plus).

(Disclaimer: I work for a non-profit NASA contractor)

In other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693909)

...the invasion of Mars has been delayed.

Deficit spending is fun!!!! (1)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693928)

"We will provide the funding necessary to get us where we want to go."

This is about turf (1)

maynard (3337) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693949)

"If you ask anyone in this country, 'Do you believe that the United States should cede the moon to say the Chinese, Europeans, Russians, whoever?' I bet you the answer would be, 'No,'" [NASA Administrator Griffin] said.
This is not about space science or free market economics in space, this is about the United States maintaining hegemony in space. Ultimately, when a nation talks about turf it is talking about military control, whether for tactical or resource reasons. It's interesting that the next quoted statement by Griffin downplays the international power struggle angle by bringing in humanistic rhetoric:
"If you ask anyone in this country, 'Do you believe that the United States should cede the moon to say the Chinese, Europeans, Russians, whoever?' I bet you the answer would be, 'No,'" [NASA Administrator Griffin] said.
IMO this is simply smoke for the real military purpose behind the new space initiative. Now the question to ask is: what do we want there? Is this a resource or land grab or are we after a new tactical position? The moon seems like a poor hilltop to take in comparison to lagrange orbits. And Mars? What tactical advantage does Mars offer - other than maybe as a publicity stunt??? --M

Haters: It takes a Bush to get us back into space! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12693978)

I'm not a very big fan of GWB, and I voted for the other guy last election, but Bush's push for human exploration and colonization of the Moon and Mars seriously made me think twice.

A manmade bioweapon -- like a plague specifically designed to target human beings -- could wipe out all human life on this planet nearly any time. We're all very lucky the Unabomber was a math genius and not a disaffected biotech researcher with a loathing for humanity. But who knows? That disaffected biotech researcher could be out there right now, doing his work. As could any number of bad people.

The point is, until we create a sustainable existence off this planet, the long term survival of our species is highly volatile. And Bush seems to be the only one in power actively promoting a future in which we actually do begin moving into space.

Will the resurgence of interest in private space flight save us? It's possible, but I wouldn't bet the future of our species on it.

2006 (0)

mushupork (819735) | more than 9 years ago | (#12693984)

We'll he's got my vote.

Not.

This is cool, whether you like it or not (1)

PenguinBoyDave (806137) | more than 9 years ago | (#12694021)

When I was reading to my son last night (about Space) I was amazed when he ran over to the window and looked up trying to see the stars. I like the idea of space exploration, but I think doing it with robots is the preferred method for a while. I hope that one day my 4 year old will have the option to go into space. Maybe, just maybe, this move by Bush will begin a renewed interest in younger generations.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>