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Re: [LX200GPS] OT: NASA Constellation Mission threatened

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  • Joe Bauman
    Pls see the blog that I just filed. I feel it s vital that Americans get behind the human exploration program and do our best to save it.
    Message 1 of 31 , Jan 31, 2010
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      Pls see the blog that I just filed. I feel it's vital that Americans get behind the human exploration program and do our best to save it.

      http://www.deseretnews.com/blog/47/10008199/Nightly-News-Astronomy-blog-Keep-America-in-Space.html

      Thanks, Joe



      ________________________________
      From: John Mahony <jmmahony@...>
      To: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sun, January 31, 2010 8:47:55 PM
      Subject: Re: [LX200GPS] OT: NASA Constellation Mission threatened


      I would, if I thought there was any hope of this getting funded at levels that made sense.

      The Ares I is supposed to be the first step towards an eventual manned mission to Mars. 20 years ago, George Bush Sr ("41") proposed going to Mars, but then when various space experts started estimating the cost ($400 billion, by one estimate), he quietly let the subject drop. But a few years ago when his son ("doofus") proposed the same idea, he had the idea that it could somehow be funded by adding only a few $billion per year to NASA's budget, since the shuttle program would be ended soon when the ISS was finished, and ISS funding would also be cut shortly after that.

      There are several big problems with that. First, the actual increased funding was not as much as originally proposed. Second, after the shuttle program ended (now scheduled for the end of this year), and until the Ares was ready (about 5 years later), we would have no way of getting to the ISS except to pay the Russians to ride in their Soyuz craft. Third, why quit funding the ISS so soon after it's finished? That would be like a corporation paying huge amounts of money to build a new headquarters office building, but then not moving in. And finally, it was likely that many other NASA programs would see their budgets squeezed or ended to free up funds for the Mars mission (especially given the ways NASA's proposed budget increases didn't pan out).

      I'd love to see a human on Mars, but only when we're ready to pay for it. In the mean time, this is all "lots of talk, little funding" to make us feel good. But it's having serious budgetary effects on the rest of NASA's activities. The total budget for NASA's two current Mars rovers is literally only about 1/1000 of the cost of a manned mission, and they've now lasted over 24X longer than originally planned. So until the US public is ready to get serious about paying for what a manned mission to Mars would really cost, I'd rather not be encouraging congress to talk about these nickle-and-dime efforts that will only hurt us in the long run. Unmanned robotic missions are now enormously successful at very low cost, since much of the technology is now "off-the-shelf" and cheap, while manned missions are still tremendously expensive. To end with a cliche, if anything is worth doing, it's worth doing right...

      BTW the current plan is not to just cut Ares, but to shift development of a manned vehicle to private enterprise. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but anyone who's upset about my description of "W" should be happy about that.

      -John

      ----- Original Message ----
      > From: Mike <mike@starhoo. com>
      >
      > The Obama administration is planning to cut funding for NASA's Constellation
      > program (Ares 1 rocket, moon landing by 2020). Congress still has to
      > approve the funding cut etc., so it's not too late for people to write their
      > congress-person and ask them to support the program. I did.
      >
      >
      >
      > Here's the article
      >
      >
      >
      > http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/31/AR2010013101
      > 058.html
      >
      >
      >
      > - Mike Renzi
      >
      >
      >
      > Starhoo Observatory
      >
      > Lakeville, MA
      >
      > http://www.starhoo com
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------ --------- --------- ------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >







      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dan Griffing
      Thanks, Joe. I was 18 then , but your actions at the time imply the same feelings and inspiration that anyone felt who was educated enough to know what
      Message 31 of 31 , Feb 4, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        Thanks, Joe. I was 18 then , but your actions at the time
        imply the same feelings and inspiration that anyone felt who was
        educated enough to know what "Landing a Man on the Moon"
        meant in terms of the history of exploration, discovery and
        science.

        Dan
        -----Original Message-----
        From: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com [mailto:LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Joe Bauman
        Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 7:35 PM
        To: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [LX200GPS] Re: OT: NASA Constellation Mission threatened



        Well, since you asked ...

        http://www.deseretnews.com/blog/47/10005924/Nightly-News-Astronomy-blog-The-Most-Amazing-TV-Broadcast-Ever.html

        ________________________________
        From: Dan Griffing <dgriffing@...>
        To: LX200GPS@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wed, February 3, 2010 3:19:08 PM
        Subject: RE: [LX200GPS] Re: OT: NASA Constellation Mission threatened

        I too remember that great July day in 1969. My guess is that nearly
        every TV on the planet was tuned-in to hear Armstrong's immortal
        words. I had just graduated from high school and then went on to
        become a chemical engineer. That was a great day for mankind
        and a great day to show the triumph of science. I can honestly
        say that a considerable part of my love for science and astronomy
        started with the space program.

        Decades later my wife and I had friends who had been in the Peace
        Corps in some third world country in 1969. They reported that people
        in every village that had a TV were glued to the screen to see that
        first step. It would be interesting to know if other's in the LX200GPS
        had or heard of similar experiences.

        But I politely disagree with Luke's dismal assessment of free trade
        allowing people from poor countries to compete in producing less
        expensive goods than people in well-to-do countries. The great
        French classical economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) said "if
        goods don't cross borders, armies will". The truth of the matter is
        that competing with their lower cost labor is the only way people
        from poor countries can advance above poverty and starvation.
        When prevented from doing this, they often allow governments to
        power who try other measures like war. The history of the two
        world wars should teach us this.

        However I strongly resonate with Luke's feeling of inspiration at
        Man's landing on the moon. Of all the government social spending
        programs of that era only this continues to inspire.

        Dan Griffing
        Belgrade, MT

        -----Original Message-----
        From: LX200GPS@yahoogroup s.com [mailto:LX200GPS@yahoogroup s.com]On Behalf
        Of Luke Bellani
        Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 9:20 PM
        To: LX200GPS@yahoogroup s.com
        Subject: Re: [LX200GPS] Re: OT: NASA Constellation Mission threatened

        Hello,
        I have been following this thread with great interest for a few days now
        and have restrained myself from getting involved up to now because I'm
        not from the USA but an Australian.

        I grew up in the 60's and can remember clearly July 1969 when we all
        stopped to see Niel Armstrong take mans first steps on the moon.
        Although not an American, I was so full of pride that my heart was
        bursting in my chest. I was hiding my face so no one could see the tears
        running down my face.

        I was only 18 then and that one moment did something that no one else
        could have done at the time. Not even my parents. It enspired me to
        return to my studies and I graduated as an Electrical Engineer some 6
        years later.

        I have always been a dedicated follower of the American space program
        and was always so disappointed that we didn't have any similar program
        of our own.

        It was later that I learned that in the 50's, Australia and Great Britan
        led the world in rocket technology, but the short sighted leaders of the
        time decided to get out of space research and development and to leave
        it to the USA instead. They couldn't see any imediate benefite in it and
        had we "other more pressing" issues to deal with.

        In the late 70's I was working as a young engineer designing color
        television recievers when the head of marketing called a general meeting.
        He had a very nice portable color television set on the desk in front of
        him and he proceeded to tell us that we wouldn't be making our own sets
        from now on as he could purchase completed sets from Japan for less than
        we the cost of the components in our locally made stes.
        I lost my job later that year due to company restructuring.

        I watched as in the rest of the 70's and 80's ALL of our Australian
        electronics component manufacturers closed shop. After all, why bother
        manufacturing electronic components when others can do it for you?

        Since then, we have become a country that is almost totally dependant on
        it mineral wealth for it economic survival.
        We are the worlds largest exporter of coal and this will continue to be
        our major source if income until the world decided it doesn't need it
        anymore because so and so in such and such country has now developed a
        viable fusion reactor.

        What a pity we didn't see fit to develop some other source of income to
        replae coal when we had te chance.
        Maybe space technolgy would have been a good idea?

        It's now 2040 and I'm almost 90 years old.
        I got an email from my grandson. He said that he is having a wonderful
        time at Lunar Base Long March. Hey grandad, they make great hamburgers
        here. Just like the ones McDonalds used to make before the Chinese took
        them over.
        We're going on a tour of the old International Space Station tomorrow.
        Just as well the Chinese took that over as well in 2018 and put it into
        orbit around the moon.
        Next year, I'm going to visit the Baijing Mars colony. Isn't it amazing
        how cheap it is to travel in space these days.
        The Chinese are so inspirational.

        Sorry for the ravings of a very disappointed mind.
        I hope I haven't offended any one.

        Best regards,
        Luke

        Dan Griffing wrote:
        >
        >
        > Arguing politics is a more little off-topic for this board. But now that
        > this kind of discussion is going on, I think responses are warranted. As
        a
        > scientist and engineer who's also an advocate of liberty and limited
        > government (and as a consequence by-and-large free market economics),
        > I see
        > completely the opposite taking place with runaway spending and
        > deficits and
        > counter-productive regulations. If, as a result of this self-induced
        > bankruptcy, we are seeing the sunset on America as a great country,
        > spending
        > some of America's dwindling wealth on science and space exploration at
        > least
        > contributes to the same kind of inspiration that landing on the moon
        > did for
        > generations of scientists. I think that is far more beneficial than
        > dumping
        > the wealth of American citizens down all of the other rat holes where
        its
        > now going. Unfortunately many of the opponents of this administration
        are
        > religious fundamentalists who are anti-science and are only opposed to
        > government power because they aren't in control. Were I religious, I'd
        say
        > "May God help us".
        >
        > Dan Griffing
        > Belgrade, MT
        >
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: LX200GPS@yahoogroup s.com <mailto:LX200GPS% 40yahoogroups. com>
        > [mailto:LX200GPS@yahoogroup s.com
        > <mailto:LX200GPS% 40yahoogroups. com>]On Behalf
        > Of John
        > Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 6:32 AM
        > To: LX200GPS@yahoogroup s.com <mailto:LX200GPS% 40yahoogroups. com>
        > Subject: [LX200GPS] Re: OT: NASA Constellation Mission threatened
        >
        > Nothing has been more amusing in this debate than watching conservatives
        > twist themselves into a pretzel trying to defend Big Government Spending
        > (via NASA) over the privatization that Obama has proposed, just because
        it
        > was proposed by a (horrors!) Democratic president.
        >
        > Really, guys, facts and logical consistency do count for something, even
        > if you take Fox News seriously. Your endless, bellyaching, "just say no"
        > negative attitude is getting laughable.
        >
        > The Apollo program cost $25 billion in 1960s dollars (until Nixon
        canceled
        > it), which would be about $200 billion today. A (realistic) Mars mission
        > will be considerably more expensive. In the current political
        environment,
        > no Republican in congress would touch that with a 10 million lightyear
        > pole
        > if Obama suggested it. So he had to find another way, and still you
        > complain.
        >
        > -John
        >
        > --- In LX200GPS@yahoogroup s.com <mailto:LX200GPS% 40yahoogroups. com>,
        > "Tim C" <asttro1@... > wrote:
        > >
        > > So John, how's that hope and change doing for NASA. Yake heart NASA
        > always discovers something to get their budget, perhaps they may find
        > water
        > on the sun or life on Pluto.
        > >
        > > --- In LX200GPS@yahoogroup s.com <mailto:LX200GPS% 40yahoogroups. com>,
        > John Mahony <jmmahony@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > I would, if I thought there was any hope of this getting funded at
        > levels that made sense.
        > > >
        > > > The Ares I is supposed to be the first step towards an eventual
        manned
        > mission to Mars. 20 years ago, George Bush Sr ("41") proposed going to
        > Mars,
        > but then when various space experts started estimating the cost ($400
        > billion, by one estimate), he quietly let the subject drop. But a few
        > years
        > ago when his son ("doofus") proposed the same idea, he had the idea
        > that it
        > could somehow be funded by adding only a few $billion per year to NASA's
        > budget, since the shuttle program would be ended soon when the ISS was
        > finished, and ISS funding would also be cut shortly after that.
        > > >
        > > > There are several big problems with that. First, the actual
        increased
        > funding was not as much as originally proposed. Second, after the
        shuttle
        > program ended (now scheduled for the end of this year), and until the
        Ares
        > was ready (about 5 years later), we would have no way of getting to
        > the ISS
        > except to pay the Russians to ride in their Soyuz craft. Third, why quit
        > funding the ISS so soon after it's finished? That would be like a
        > corporation paying huge amounts of money to build a new headquarters
        > office
        > building, but then not moving in. And finally, it was likely that many
        > other
        > NASA programs would see their budgets squeezed or ended to free up
        > funds for
        > the Mars mission (especially given the ways NASA's proposed budget
        > increases
        > didn't pan out).
        > > >
        > > > I'd love to see a human on Mars, but only when we're ready to pay
        for
        > it. In the mean time, this is all "lots of talk, little funding" to
        > make us
        > feel good. But it's having serious budgetary effects on the rest of
        NASA's
        > activities. The total budget for NASA's two current Mars rovers is
        > literally
        > only about 1/1000 of the cost of a manned mission, and they've now
        lasted
        > over 24X longer than originally planned. So until the US public is
        > ready to
        > get serious about paying for what a manned mission to Mars would really
        > cost, I'd rather not be encouraging congress to talk about these
        > nickle-and-dime efforts that will only hurt us in the long run. Unmanned
        > robotic missions are now enormously successful at very low cost, since
        > much
        > of the technology is now "off-the-shelf" and cheap, while manned
        missions
        > are still tremendously expensive. To end with a cliche, if anything is
        > worth
        > doing, it's worth doing right...
        > > >
        > > > BTW the current plan is not to just cut Ares, but to shift
        development
        > of a manned vehicle to private enterprise. I'm not sure how I feel about
        > that, but anyone who's upset about my description of "W" should be happy
        > about that.
        > > >
        > > > -John
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > ----- Original Message ----
        > > > > From: Mike <mike@>
        > > > >
        > > > > The Obama administration is planning to cut funding for NASA's
        > Constellation
        > > > > program (Ares 1 rocket, moon landing by 2020). Congress still has
        to
        > > > > approve the funding cut etc., so it's not too late for people to
        > write their
        > > > > congress-person and ask them to support the program. I did.
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Here's the article
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        >
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/31/AR2010013101
        >
        <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/31/AR201001310
        1>
        > > > > 058.html
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > - Mike Renzi
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > Starhoo Observatory
        > > > >
        > > > > Lakeville, MA
        > > > >
        > > > > http://www.starhoo com <http://www.starhoo com>
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > > ------------ --------- --------- ------
        > > > >
        > > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        > ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
        >
        >
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