backtop


Print 71 comment(s) - last by BoFox.. on Apr 18 at 3:05 AM

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."



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Doublespeak
By delphinus100 on 4/15/2010 4:19:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If Obama is so pro-space, then why does he want to toss 4 years and ~$8-10 billion worth of work on Constellation in the trash...


To be 'pro-space' is not to be pro everything space.

If a given project is clearly on the road to costing a great deal, to give us little more capability than we had with Apollo, and budget projections show it'll run into a financial wall in a few more years regardless, then yes, you cut your losses, stop throwing good money after bad, and look for a different approach to achieve your goals.

Nothing new here...see the same reaction whenever a military project isn't paying off, either.

...Except that when you cancel 'X' anti-aircraft gun, or 'Y' missile, no one claims you're canceling ALL United States defenses.

There IS more than one way to go to the Moon and elsewhere than Constellation.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

Related Articles













botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki