has been the leading spacefaring nations on the planet since the
early days of space travel. The U.S. put the first man on the moon
and continued to lead the world in exploration and space travel.
President Obama unveiled a new budget for NASA in February that dealt
many of its space flight programs a serious blow including ambitious
plans for putting
American's back on the moon.Obama has already cut funding
for the Constellation program along with the funding that would allow
for the completion of the Orion crew capsule that would take
astronauts to the ISS after the space shuttle fleet is retired. Many
in Washington and at NASA have been calling for Obama to clarify his
plans for NASA.Obama is going to talk
at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida about his plans for
NASA and human spaceflight. The New
York Times quotes
an unnamed Obama administration official saying, "[The president
will describe a plan] that unlocks our ambitions and expands our
frontiers in space, ultimately meaning the challenge of sending
humans to Mars."Obama is reportedly going to propose a
simpler version of the Orion capsule to be used as a lifeboat for the
ISS. Obama is also expected to announce a commitment to choosing a
design for a heavy-lift rocket by 2015. The official added, "This
means major work on the heavy-lift rocket at least two years earlier
than Constellation."One of the big concerns is that the
budget cuts will mean thousands of people working in the space
industry in Florida and other states are facing layoffs. The Wall
Street Journal reports
that 7,000 workers at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida are
facing layoff with the new budget. Concessions made to allow
for a simpler version of Orion will allow 2,000 of those jobs to be
saved.NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver said, "He's
[Obama is] putting a lot of political capital into it. Human
spaceflight is a huge priority of this president."
quote: Obama's proposal isn't a plan at all - it's just a statement of principal: "private industry should lead human space exploration."
quote: Space exploration is a minuscule market in comparison to banking, automotive and health care. 'Take over the big stuff first. Worry about the peons later....' That kind of attitude.
quote: And Obama has *NOT* cut funding to NASA, he actually added a couple of Billion to their budget - he gutted Human Spaceflight in favor of robotic exploration.