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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: the letters
By paulpod on 4/14/2010 6:14:54 PM , Rating: 0
Sorry to see that Neil Armstrong is getting senile in his old age.

This country has done nothing but cut taxes since the seventies and has cut taxes most on the ultra-rich. In the Apollo era the rich paid federal tax at a rate comensurate with their "having more money than they know what to do with".

In 2007, the top 400 earners in the country paid Federal tax at a rate of under 17%. Way less than the typical working professional. On the other end, a family of 4 earning less than $60K pays NO TAX on a properly filed return.

When a country decides to grossly undertax people who get rich off the American system and decide not to tax at all a large group likely to use government services, the decision whether to have a space program has been made.

Besides, a manned lunar or Mars mission would require far more than the current NASA budget in its latter stages and Obama knows that will never happen.

RE: the letters
By Nfarce on 4/14/2010 10:28:49 PM , Rating: 5
This country has done nothing but cut taxes since the seventies and has cut taxes most on the ultra-rich.

If that were really true, then maybe you can 'splain to the rest of us how since the 1980s the share of personal income taxes paid by US households/filers in the top 10% of income earning slot has increased to over 70% (up from 48% since 1980). And people say that category (the evil rich) don't pay enough?

Dunno about everyone else, but I'm all ears for a response on this one.

RE: the letters
By bigdawg1988 on 4/15/2010 9:04:55 AM , Rating: 1
Maybe you ought to check the links below. The top 10% may pay more taxes than in 1980, but they also earn a lot more than in 1980 (68% now vs 32% 1980), that's why they pay more. But the actual tax rate has declined. Nice of the Heritage foundation (bunch of rich-loving folk) to skip that part.
Heck, when dudes like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett say the tax rate for the wealthy should be increased that says a lot.

RE: the letters
By Nfarce on 4/15/2010 10:33:25 AM , Rating: 3
Yeah - you whine about a Heritage link and then give me a liberal New York Slimes link. Funny.

1) I don't care what Buffet and Gates think. I care what I PAY .

2) The income gap between the rich and the poor as a percentage is a red herring argument. The productive PRODUCE and the non-productive DO NOT PRODUCE. It's that simple. If you go back and look again, you can see that EVERY income earner's tax percentages paid as a whole have gone up - except those at the bottom 50%.

3) I'll ask you since nobody else seems to want to answer: exactly HOW MUCH is enough to pay in income taxes as a percentage of a group? Say top 10%, top 25%, and bottom 50% for starters. And you also have to remember those upper tiers have investments and other sources of income as well, not just payroll.

Here's another link:

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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