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NASA’s moon program gets a boost from Congress

WASHINGTON — Two Republican lawmakers today moved to block White House efforts to kill NASA’s Constellation program, adding an amendment to a broad budget bill that prohibits NASA from taking steps to terminate efforts to return astronauts to the moon.

The provision, inserted in an emergency spending bill aimed at funding military operations in Afghanistan, is the latest salvo in a months-long battle between Congress and the White House on what to do with NASA after the agency retires the space shuttle fleet at the end of the year.

The measure by Republican Sens. Richard Shelby of Alabama and Bob Bennett of Utah would force NASA to keep spending money on the Constellation moon program in 2010, even though President Barack Obama wants to cancel a key component: the Ares rockets that would boost an Apollo-like capsule into orbit (pictured at left). More...
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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I am glad that at least two US Senators have not lost all of their marbles.

To bad the Chimp and the rest of Congress can not see how utterly stupid it is do cut space exploration while spending trillions on bank bailouts, nationalization of major car companies, funding for liberal social programs, and the utter destruction of the greatest health care system in the world.

Arguing about funding priorities is normal in the US. But the liberals running the WH and Congress are dumber than a wet rope.
 

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Looks like rain to me.
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That's one sector where we need to be #1. Space. I think shutting down the Shuttle program prior to having a replacement in place is stupid. We can't rely on China and Russia to give us a ride. Too much technology has to be compromised to them.

I think the R&D needs to be continued. Knock off the bailouts and free giveaways to contributors first.
 

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Wit is educated insolence
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I've always been against anything other than near earth orbit mechanicals---
NASA is a giant money drain which as far as I can tell has provided tang and velcro as by products for society in general and now space tourism for the ultra rich.

Make Nasa maintain the required sat systems and save all the rest of the expense.

regards
Froley
 

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RESET CONGRESS!!
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We need to invest in a productive capacity in this country, not bailout banks or send people into space to collect rocks. From where I stand, NASA has not done a productive thing yet, other than further the spy program. Am I wrong?
I've always been a NASA fan. I think it has been money well spent overall.
Lots of gains in technology can be attributed to NASA. Materials, processes, computer science, manufacturing, medicine, military tech,.. lots of stuff...
including (my favorite)..lots of jobs! Good paying jobs.
Scientists , math gurus ( used to work with one,..a genuine rocket scientist. LOL His main claim to fame was the 'math' behind space navigation. A really interesting guy.) But I digress.. jobs. Contractors, sub-contractors, engineers, technicians, materials need to be procured, assemblies are contracted out, hoards of support people,.. quite a huge industry if you follow the zillions of parts a shuttle or a satellite from concept to source.
I have never considered NASA funding to be $$$ tossed down a rat hole.
The money eventually finds it's way to 1000's of paychecks. ...probably 10's of thousands, that money will end up in the cash registers of many many small businesses. ....then there are jobs due to spinoffs from new products & technologies. A big list.
 

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... --- ...
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Though we need to maintain our satellite system, I've often felt that space "exploration" was something that should take a back seat to many other more pressing issues.
These words from an old Skynyrd song have long summed up my view.......:D:

"Too many lives they've spent across the ocean.
Too much money been spent upon the moon.
Well, until they make it right
I hope they never sleep at night
They better make some changes
And do it soon." ;)
 

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Spunky Curmudgeon
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Wow, all you NASA haters would have told Queen Isabella to buy some more jewelry instead, I guess.

NASA has nothing to do with space tourism, btw. That is private industry. Virgin and Rutan
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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Recent report said that NASA is looking into a 3 year mission to land a man on Elana Kagan.
WANTED: Woman with legal background to fill a position on a diverse team whose decisions help shape society. Must have offended most of the reasonable people in the country. Must have disregard for the US constitution. Judicial activism a plus. Being butt-ugly a prerequisite.
 

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I am for spending for NASA because 1) the money is spent in the USA and 2) the spin off technologies are a huge boon downstream creating products and jobs worth far more than the initial investment.
That is a psuedo "build billion dollar pyramids in the middle of nowhere" argument in my opinion. If the goal is to fund enterprise, then just fund it. Nothing the government does is anywhere close to as efficient as the private sector, so in essence, the government would be literally better of just signing over that money to the private sector, and letting them handle space and all the ancillary businesses that come from it. Private industry is a much better allocator of capital than the government will ever be. I am all for creating jobs in the USA and creating great jobs at that, but there is a better way to do it than shoot people up into the sky to bring back rocks and dust, oh, and of course spy on the globe.
 

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That is a psuedo "build billion dollar pyramids in the middle of nowhere" argument in my opinion. If the goal is to fund enterprise, then just fund it. Nothing the government does is anywhere close to as efficient as the private sector, so in essence, the government would be literally better of just signing over that money to the private sector, and letting them handle space and all the ancillary businesses that come from it. Private industry is a much better allocator of capital than the government will ever be. I am all for creating jobs in the USA and creating great jobs at that, but there is a better way to do it than shoot people up into the sky to bring back rocks and dust, oh, and of course spy on the globe.
No disagreement that the private sector creates jobs and products. That said space "exploration" has created a multitude of technologies that the private sector would not have created because the private sector needs an application before it can see profit and become involved. Solving problems that the private sector doesn't encounter creates technologies that have benefits.

While you assume correctly that the private sector is vigorous it follows limited paths to profit. A not-for-profit goal --land a man on the moon for example -- can and has produce technologies and products that the private sector would not even encounter or create.

Said another way, the government or a business can lock a bunch of bright people in a room as tell them to solve a thechnical/scientific problem. Each can create great applications. To dismiss one because it is under government auspices is to ignore that it can and has worked well, particuarly in the space industry.

Let me give you a non-space example. There is no profit in curing a disease. There is only profit in treating a disease. The private sector will not try to cure disease X because as capable as they are there is no profit in said. Governments pay to cure or stop the spread of diseases, polio and smallpox for example. What is learned in doing that is good and would not have been known if it had been left to the private sector.

While the government screws up a lot it does do some things right sometimes for the right reasons and does them better than the private sector because it has a higher motivation.
 

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I've worked with a couple ex-NASA guys. But wait. NASA is just a shell of its Apollo days, mainly a thin veneer over Raytheon, Lockheed and other contractors. I remember touring a NASA facility in Ohio a few years ago and even the security at the campus wasn't US military or LEO. Cheap private security.

Great civilizations have always maintained THE leadership position in exploration. Our gutting of manned space missions suggests that American civilization is in a period of decline. The only manned space-faring nations left are Russia and China. We explore not mainly for the financial reasons, but for the glory and edification of our position as top of the food chain. Although not any more. The question is how far we'll be sinking. Pre space-race, post-industrial. One wonders if we'll be dropping back to the steam engine days at this rate.

I side with Buzz Aldrin on this issue. If I were POTUS, he'd have been director of NASA. Ex-military, PhD in Astronautics from MIT. Both practical and academic. Like Von Braun, he's aiming at Mars. We could show the world we're still #1. And not number 3, 4, or 10.
 

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No disagreement that the private sector creates jobs and products. That said space "exploration" has created a multitude of technologies that the private sector would not have created because the private sector needs an application before it can see profit and become involved. Solving problems that the private sector doesn't encounter creates technologies that have benefits.

While you assume correctly that the private sector is vigorous it follows limited paths to profit. A not-for-profit goal --land a man on the moon for example -- can and has produce technologies and products that the private sector would not even encounter or create.

Said another way, the government or a business can lock a bunch of bright people in a room as tell them to solve a thechnical/scientific problem. Each can create great applications. To dismiss one because it is under government auspices is to ignore that it can and has worked well, particuarly in the space industry.

Let me give you a non-space example. There is no profit in curing a disease. There is only profit in treating a disease. The private sector will not try to cure disease X because as capable as they are there is no profit in said. Governments pay to cure or stop the spread of diseases, polio and smallpox for example. What is learned in doing that is good and would not have been known if it had been left to the private sector.

While the government screws up a lot it does do some things right sometimes for the right reasons and does them better than the private sector because it has a higher motivation.
Yeah, I'm on board, my stance about handing over the program has more to do with "now" that it is established. But I go back to why the private sector would want to go collect moon dust if I head down that path.
 

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I've worked with a couple ex-NASA guys. But wait. NASA is just a shell of its Apollo days, mainly a thin veneer over Raytheon, Lockheed and other contractors. I remember touring a NASA facility in Ohio a few years ago and even the security at the campus wasn't US military or LEO. Cheap private security.

Great civilizations have always maintained THE leadership position in exploration. Our gutting of manned space missions suggests that American civilization is in a period of decline. The only manned space-faring nations left are Russia and China. We explore not mainly for the financial reasons, but for the glory and edification of our position as top of the food chain. Although not any more. The question is how far we'll be sinking. Pre space-race, post-industrial. One wonders if we'll be dropping back to the steam engine days at this rate.

I side with Buzz Aldrin on this issue. If I were POTUS, he'd have been director of NASA. Ex-military, PhD in Astronautics from MIT. Both practical and academic. Like Von Braun, he's aiming at Mars. We could show the world we're still #1. And not number 3, 4, or 10.
I guess I just fail to recognize what space exploration has to do with being "#1" or some kind of advanced culture. We cannot even put a dent in the problems we have down here, but we need to shoot men into orbit costing billions of $$$ and allocating tremendous resources? What does it show the world that we are allocating so many resources to that field with no real return to show for it? How do we defend allocating that many resources to space in front of allocating those resources to solving a water crisis, or energy crisis, or the food crisis (I know, many are man made, but you get the point)....
 

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We need to invest in a productive capacity in this country, not bailout banks or send people into space to collect rocks. From where I stand, NASA has not done a productive thing yet, other than further the spy program. Am I wrong?
No, other than a really weird way to go to the bathroom!

To be realistic, with current technologies there is little benifit from space exploration. Don't get me wrong I do believe there is a future, but due to the fact our nation is busted and wayyyy beyond bankrupt (as you know) we can't afford the cotton candy at this circus.
 
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