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NASA's Bolden: We Could Still Go Back to the Moon

MarkWhittington (1084047) writes | more than 3 years ago

Moon 4

MarkWhittington writes "During NASA Administrator Charles Bolden's recent testimony before the House Science Committee, Bolden had an exchange with Congressman Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas, on the subject of returning to the Moon.

The exchange was very illuminating.

While the plan of the Obama Administration remains bypassing the Moon and going to an asteroid and eventually to Mars, Administrator Bolden suggested that American astronauts could be back on the Moon by 2020 if the decision was made to send them."

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Crazy! (1)

crudd (1893782) | more than 3 years ago | (#35385876)

Its gonna take us 10 years to do something that we did fifty years ago. Did it even take us 10 years to get there the first time? And then we did it a dozen times or so in a few years. But we somehow lost all that technology and we cant do it for another 10... Somethings not adding up here...

Sure USA, you can, but is the cost worth it ??? (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | more than 3 years ago | (#35386172)

The USA is on the damn sure road to bankrupcy. Not there yet, but for any truly sane, really grounded mind it looks like it isn't just on the road to bankrupcy, it looks like a runaway freight train, that will get there even if they shutdown the engines.

USA today is just like Great Britain in 1930, when it was still a dominant country, but just about to fall.
Just like Rome at 40DC.
You don't have money to waste on any useless ego trip space projects.
Any million dollar project need a tangible monetary return. You can't afford billion dollar projects.
Remember, all governments work for major corporations. The only ones to really benefit from a project back to the moon are the aerospace corporations.
Spend that money on more nuclear power plants, high speed rail, wind power, reduce your oil dependency.

Re:Sure USA, you can, but is the cost worth it ??? (1)

cycleflight (1811074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35408208)

Your alternative suggestions for use of funding are compelling, however, NASA is not a big chunk of the change that the US government is spending, it's just a very visible one that's difficult to see the direct benefits of. NASA's budget is somewhere around $1.7B, which covers robotic exploration of the solar system, science about the universe beyond the solar system, space-conducted earth science, technology development in everything from thermal systems to manufacturing, scientific, qualification, and acceptance testing, aeronautical research, and, oh yeah, manned space flight and human exploration of the solar system.

Manned space flight is certainly a large portion of that budget, however, NASA itself isn't much of the national budget at all. That is to say, it doesn't even approach 1% of a non-deficit budget. Observe a handy pie chart of FY2010 here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fy2010_spending_by_category.jpg [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Sure USA, you can, but is the cost worth it ??? (1)

macpacheco (1764378) | more than 3 years ago | (#35415698)

Interesting given that the NASA site quotes a single Space Shuttle mission costing US$ 450 million. So a single Shuttle mission costs 26% of NASAs budget.
Given that disproportionate share, I believe that $1.7B doesn't cover everything that NASA does. High cost projects are probably budgeted separately. If so, that number isn't the whole thing.
Anyhow a single man to the moon again project would be a at least a US$ 5-10 billion project. Perhaps much more.
Exactly my point. That number versus the basic NASA budget.
In no way I'm suggesting getting rid of NASA. They do a LOT of very useful work.
It's the manned missions outside of Earth orbit that are ultra expensive that don't make sense to me. Ever. They are ego trips. Still plenty of Astronauts defending them, as a must do.
Just for comparison, how many miles of high speed rail would US$ 1.7B cover ? How many houses could become self sufficient (and able to self recharge electric cars) in energy with that money ? How many billion barrels of oil would that save over 25 years. I guess that money would be enough to fund a high speed rail line from San Diego to San Francisco (with all the good stuff in between).

Obviously, the Air Force F-35 project is a much bigger chunk of change, will most likely spend over half a trillion dollars when its all said and done.
Even that project being very important, given that 10 years from now an F16 or F15 flying over hostile territory of an Iran or equivalent threat environment will be an easy target. Regardless of the fact that at least US$ 50 billion could probably have been saved if the project was properly managed.
But, again, what return will a manned flight to the moon or to Mars give back to the US, or mankind ?

I'm not even a resident of the US. However if the US goes somewhat bankrupt, things will be DEAD serious for developing countries. DEAD serious. You already have states and cities almost there.

I say to every Brazilian that is interested that the corrupt, inefficient, wasteful government we have is our fault (citizens) we elected those idiots to congress and presidency. We need to elect better people. By electing those idiots we aren't really caring about how much money they waste. We lack political activism. We don't have a New Hampshire or Iowa political culture, not at all. Our presidential candidates don't need to eat humble pie at all.

Same thing goes for the Americans. The last half efficient president you had was Clinton, Reagan as well perhaps. Half efficient.

Your two party system is as morally bankrupt as our (3-4 dozen parties) right here. Republicans waste money on defense, while Democrats waste money on new entitlements, social programs and so on. That's because their electors can't see that saving money must be the priority for the future (same here for Brazil). We always want more, without true regard for cost. That needs to change. It's amazing how much both Obama and McCain said meant spending huge money with all those idiots applauding them loudly.

Don't love the Tea Party, but they seem to know a thing or two that the average American elector doesn't. Don't love Ron Paul either, but same comment applies.

Need to focus on cost efficiency. Need to completely cut the bullshit that gets said on each and every campaign, because that's what the people want the hear. People's mind need to change. PEOPLE'S MIND. The politicians are just the end result.

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