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Orion may live on in simpler design

America 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."



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RE: Good move, if he follows through
By cmdrdredd on 4/14/2010 5:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm sorry, but if you look seriously at Constellation it was a problematic rocket that was going to get someone killed. Lets do what we Americans do best, come up with new and creative ways to do what others can't. A heavy lifter is it.


Are you an engineer? Then explain the detailed capabilities projected for the Constellation program. Please...we're waiting... no? Ok then lets get down to business. We spent $10,000,000,000 that's TEN BILLION dollars on this program already and he killed it like it's nothing. That's wasted money. Second, you seem to think nobody is working on anything...HA!! China AND India both have announced plans to put people in space and I guarantee you they are working on more than just people movers. Even Japan is moving in to this sector. You talk about 3rd world country? We will be 4th world! We will be begging China to let us have some of their fuel that they're currently mining from off world. This seems to be what the administration wants. I have no doubt in my mind that this president wants to destroy this country from the inside.

The simple fact is this, we the United States of America should be chartering flights to other nations not the other way around. These bozos in Washington wouldn't know a heavy lift rocket from a pinto. They take control of sectors that they should leave alone. Taking NASA out of the manned space program will put our lead down to zero. It will devastate our economy through massive job loss. NASA, either through direct hiring or contract companies, employs thousands of people from every state in the country. This administration has exhibited a hatred for America, what it stands for, and for American Business.


By delphinus100 on 4/15/2010 11:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
Are you familiar with a concept called 'sunk cost fallacy?' That's what you're advocating.

How about 'cutting your losses' and 'throwing good money after bad?' That's the antidote to it.

Spending money on something that isn't working out, and affordable in the long run isn't fixed by throwing more money at it anyway. Happens in military projects all the time.

Oh, and China already does put people into LEO (thought it isn't even up to one mission per yer, yet). India doesn't expect to do their first one before 2017.

quote:
The simple fact is this, we the United States of America should be chartering flights to other nations not the other way around.


I'd like that, too. Just how would Constellation have given us that? And should that not be a private industry concern? I'm sure Elon Musk would love to have that market.

quote:
Taking NASA out of the manned space program will put our lead down to zero.


It would. Fortunately, no one is advocating that.

Constellation does not equal NASA manned space flight (nor does it even equal the best [or even fastest] way to get to the Moon)....


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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