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Thread: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Armstrong is right. America surrendered the totem in particle physics research when the SSC was cancelled. This is yet another disappointing step backwards.

    Thank God we can still designate $3 towards the Presidential Election Fund.

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    To be clear, NASA's problems have been present for decades. They've been talked about and alluded to on and off in the newspapers. They started appearing after the moon landing and became especially acute as the Cold War dwindled to a close. Internal power struggles among the bureaucracy and external interference from Congresses-Presidencies with conflicting interests have impeded engineering and technological development. Those power struggles and interference were facilitated by the fact there is no real urgency to do anything other than piddle-paddle around since we beat the Russians to the moon; the United States space program is fantastic relative to other nations, but that is the problem.

    I'm not going to say NASA hasn't accomplished anything (although all their significant post-moon achievements have been in concert with the space programs of other nations), but the lack of improvements for this new shuttle fleet is a pretty devestating blow, although not an unexpected one. Observors kept hoping NASA would turn out a miracle advancement before the end, but here we are and we're looking at a massive, taxpayer financed project of shuttle clones. Seperately, the Constellation project hasn't made any progress, so unless we are expecting a miracle advancement that didn't happen with the shuttle clones, that's a dead end too.

    Armstrong is right. America surrendered the totem in particle physics research when the SSC was cancelled. This is yet another disappointing step backwards.

    Thank God we can still designate $3 towards the Presidential Election Fund.
    America has problems, no doubt, but can we fix NASA so NASA can fix them?

    I think that it was a good call. The United States can continue to explore space at our current level of success through the private sector. Intensively involving the private sector in a program formerly under the absolute control of the government might be a good call, it could lead to advancements and successes we have not seen since the moon landing.

    Buzz Aldrin says so.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 04-14-10 at 04:02 PM.
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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    We wouldn't be broke if we fixed entitlements! Dammit, you're hard of hearing.
    i might be deaf, but i do understand what "entitlement" means
    you need to learn, too (courtesy of dictionary.com):
    en·ti·tle·ment ...
    1.the act of entitling.
    2.the state of being entitled.
    3.the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as Social Security or unemployment compensation.
    notice that an obligation exists. a guaranty
    now, begin a thread where you posit your ideas for meeting those obligations in a more economical way and i will join your discussion
    but i will not further participate in derailing this thread
    Last edited by justabubba; 04-14-10 at 04:27 PM.
    we are negotiating about dividing a pizza and in the meantime israel is eating it
    once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    "sigh"

    That isn't how it is.
    sorry, but POLITICALLY, it's EXACTLY how it is

    obama and his entire administration do NOT believe in american exceptionalism

    instead, they do exactly as his sci-guy WROTE

    they DE-DEVELOP

    and they BOW

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    sorry, but POLITICALLY, it's EXACTLY how it is

    obama and his entire administration do NOT believe in american exceptionalism

    instead, they do exactly as his sci-guy WROTE

    they DE-DEVELOP

    and they BOW
    Do you believe in grammar?
    "You're the only person that decides how far you'll go and what you're capable of." - Ben Saunders (Explorer and Endurance Athlete)

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    sorry, but POLITICALLY, it's EXACTLY how it is

    obama and his entire administration do NOT believe in american exceptionalism

    instead, they do exactly as his sci-guy WROTE

    they DE-DEVELOP

    and they BOW
    You believe the government can develop shuttles better than the private sector?

    Listen, drop your paritsanship for just one second, and listen to how it is.

    In Kennedy's time, NASA was new and full of people eager to make use of new advances in applied physics and engineering and who had an enemy in the Russians. Office politics within NASA were minimal and nobody on Congress would have dared gotten in the way of Kennedy's vision, because that meant they were communists, communists who wanted the Russians to win the space race and drop nukes on the United States from orbit. Democrat or Republican, anybody who got in the way of Kennedy's statement, "We choose to go to the moon," was perceived by the parties and by the general public as personally responsible for allowing the Russians to get into space and have access to all its theoretical military applications. Hence, when Kennedy unveiled his vision, there was no effective opposition to developing the tech that would get us to the moon as fast as possible.

    So we got to the moon, and the Russians, both their space program and their society, were beginning to feel the strain of prolonged mis-management. The mad rush was over and NASA became relaxed, but the space program remained fundamentally important enough to America's identity and self-esteem to keep funneling massive amounts of money into it. NASA didn't have the same drive, anymore, however, and the focus and determination that got us to the moon was replaced by office politics.

    If somebody hadn't gotten the credit they felt they deserved or the promotion or salary raise in pre-Moon landing times, then they swallowed it because they had a military mentality; success against the Soviet Union was more important than personal career advancement, because they perceived the fate of American society depended on it. After the moon landing and the floundering of Russia, the pay checks became more important than the technological progress. There were no more threats to national security -- nothing that could imperil the families, friends, and communities of the people who worked at NASA - so duty to the country was forgotten.

    This lead to rivalries and amnosities comparable to the chaos at Disney before and after the Golden Age of Animation. Together with the general lack of motivation, technological progress has been slow; present, but slow. Hence, in thirty years, we haven't gone back to the moon, and the moons of Mars remain a pipe dream. Nobody in Congress or the executive branch really got on NASA's ass on this because nobody cared about Kenndy-esque visions of space travel as such (they'd already served their purpose -- the Soviet Union was broken spiritually and materially), they just didn't want to be accused of not caring about space travel by not funding NASA.

    Bush tried to fix this problem by instituting important new programs; aka, a Kennedy-esque vision of returning to the Moon, then Mars. The hope was new ambitious projects would rally NASA.

    Five years and ten billions dollars later and there have been no advancements. The second moon landing date already had to be pushed forward by several years, a blow, and technological improvements that were supposed to be incorporated in our next generation shuttle fleet aren't finished. We're no closer to getting to the moon or Mars than we were when Bush announced his plan.

    Since NASA seems chronically unable to deliver, Obama has decided two things.

    The first is that various private companies will be the ones to make our next shuttle fleet. These will mostly be government subsidized, although entrepenuers and philanthropists will play some role, but more importantly, they will have to compete for the government subsidies; NASA only competes against itself, which means it is always tanking or undermining its own projects whenever an administrator unfavorable to those projects gets his position, which is alot and tends to revolve more around personal interest than actual appreciation or understanding of the projects. This means when one company is developing a shuttle, the other company will be trying to make a better shuttle; maybe one with vastly improved fuel efficiency. Since we need a new shuttle fleet anyway, we might as well outsource it to the private sector. It's not like they can do a worse job than NASA, and there is a greater probability curve they can do better.

    The second is that, as far as developing new space technology goes, NASA will focus on individual parts and pieces. Rather than create a shuttle that can go to Mars, NASA will create a propulsion system that can go to Mars. THEN we can see about putting together a structure that can be propelled to Mars.

    This is called the "flexible strategy."

    People have two criticisms of Obama's plan:

    One, people say Obama is falsely assuming the commercial sector can even create shuttles. They say the commercial sector can't create shuttles. I say, given the availability of technology, there is no reason they can't do at least as good a job as NASA as long as they get the money, which they will receive. And they will appreciate it more than NASA, which has an inflated sense of entitlement and importance from its decades-spanning monopoly on space tech development. Bottomline, a subsidized commercial sector can create shuttles.

    Two, people say Obama's plan lacks a Kennedy-esque vision. I kind of feel this one in my heart, but my logic says that Obama's choice is right because we don't have an institution capable of executing a Kennedy-esque vision anymore. There are no laws we can make that will make NASA more efficient; penalizing them for slow development just make them panic and do worse, like workers with no job security.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 04-14-10 at 05:16 PM.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

    St. Benedict

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    good, thanks

    but politics is played in sound bites

    unfortunately, mom doesn't have time for your explanations

    they won't fit into a headline

    sadly, the BOWS and the ABNEGATIONS do

    almost daily

    sorry

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    You believe the government can develop shuttles better than the private sector?

    ...I say, given the availability of technology, there is no reason they can't do at least as good a job as NASA as long as they get the money, which they will receive. And they will appreciate it more than NASA, which has an inflated sense of entitlement and importance from its decades-spanning monopoly on space tech development. Bottomline, a subsidized commercial sector can create shuttles.
    IMO, the outcome of such an alternative approach is ambiguous. It might work better, but it just as easily might not. The experience with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program provides a cautionary note with respect to such an approach whereby the government establishes performance requirements, funds the project as per the bids made by the private sector, and then leaves the development/production to the private sector.

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    IMO, the outcome of such an alternative approach is ambiguous. It might work better, but it just as easily might not. The experience with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program provides a cautionary note with respect to such an approach whereby the government establishes performance requirements, funds the project as per the bids made by the private sector, and then leaves the development/production to the private sector.
    Its not a silver bullet. But it can't be any worse than NASA.
    If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

    St. Benedict

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    Re: Neil Armstrong, other astronauts call Obama's NASA plans 'devastating'

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    good, thanks

    but politics is played in sound bites

    unfortunately, mom doesn't have time for your explanations

    they won't fit into a headline

    sadly, the BOWS and the ABNEGATIONS do

    almost daily

    sorry
    Morality Games gave an extremely intelligent and well-thought out post and this is what you can come up with? It's obvious that you have no background on the subject and are trying to cover that up with partisan one liners.

    I doubt you care, but I'm embarrassed for you.
    be humble for you are made of earth; be noble for you are made of stars

    Serbian proverb

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