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Obama Intends To End NASA Moon Mission

From Florida’s Orlando Sentinel:

Obama aims to ax moon mission

By Robert Block and Mark K. Matthews, Orlando Sentinel

January 27, 2010

NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way.

When the White House releases his budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program that was supposed to return humans to the moon by 2020. The troubled and expensive Ares I rocket that was to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space will be gone, along with money for its bigger brother, the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies needed to take humans back to the moon.

There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases, no Constellation program at all.

In their place, according to White House insiders, agency officials, industry executives and congressional sources familiar with Obama’s long-awaited plans for the space agency, NASA will look at developing a new "heavy-lift" rocket that one day will take humans and robots to explore beyond low Earth orbit. But that day will be years — possibly even a decade or more — away.

In the meantime, the White House will direct NASA to concentrate on Earth-science projects — principally, researching and monitoring climate change — and on a new technology research and development program that will one day make human exploration of asteroids and the inner solar system possible…

The White House budget request, which is certain to meet fierce resistance in Congress, scraps the Bush administration’s Vision for Space Exploration and signals a major reorientation of NASA, especially in the area of human spaceflight.

"We certainly don’t need to go back to the moon," said one administration official.

Everyone interviewed for this article spoke on condition of anonymity, either because they are not authorized to talk for the White House or because they fear for their jobs. All are familiar with the broad sweep of Obama’s budget proposal, but none would talk about specific numbers because these are being tightly held by the White House until the release of the budget

Last year, lawmakers prohibited NASA from canceling any Constellation programs and starting new ones in their place unless the cuts were approved by Congress. The provision sends a "direct message that the Congress believes Constellation is, and should remain, the future of America’s human space flight program," wrote U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., last month.

Nevertheless, NASA contractors have been quietly planning on the end of Ares I, which is years behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget. NASA has already spent more than $3 billion on Ares I and more than $5 billion on the rest of Constellation

Few doubt that a fight is looming. In order to finance new science and technology programs and find money for commercial rockets, Obama will be killing off programs that have created jobs in some powerful constituencies, including the Marshall Space Flight Center in Shelby’s Alabama. But the White House is said to be ready for a fight.

The end of the shuttle program this year is already going to slash 7,000 jobs at Kennedy Space Center.

One administration official said the budget will send a message that it’s time members of Congress recognize that NASA can’t design space programs to create jobs in their districts. "That’s the view of the president," the official said.

Isn’t space exploration almost the epitome of the kind of jobs that Mr. Obama has been promising?

It encourages education, especially science and math.

It’s one of the very rare government jobs that actually may create true wealth, in that it creates new technologies that find their way into unforeseen uses.

But unless NASA is advancing one of Mr. Obama’s redistribution of wealth schemes, like ‘climate change,’ they can whistle Dixie.

And never mind his specific campaign promises to fund the Constellation project during the campaign.

Those were ‘just words.’

Besides, he needed to win Florida.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 27th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

8 Responses to “Obama Intends To End NASA Moon Mission”

  1. NoNeoCommies says:

    I’m sure the ChiComs will leave some of the less desirable real estate available for us to land on after they claim the moon for themselves.
    After all, we abandoned the property in the 1970’s and haven’t paid our back taxes.

    Don’t worry about the situation though.
    I’m sure it would never occur to them that anyone based on the moon only has to throw rocks at us to obtain nuke-like damage.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    He wants to ax the program because he’s afraid that we’ll send him to the moon and leave him there.

  3. tranquil.night says:

    Screw NASA. Brilliant people floundering again under the weight of bureaucracy and politics; it was organized in 1958 in response to a percieved threat to National Security. They work best in that capacity (NOT pseudo-natsec threats like Climate Change).

    I say open up space and high-yield energy research to the free markets with grants and tax incentives, and watch us sporting a moon base and working theory on how to reach light-speed within 20 years. If Conservatives can really translate this movement into sound governing policy, then after the Obama Effect has worn off then our advancements into robotics, AI, and networking are going to carry us into a new and completely vast age in terms of opportunities for the individual to reach their potential.

    Bottom-up economic organizing (as opposed to top-down government managment) really has a chance to flourish again in the post-2008 meltdown environment. We’re still smack in the middle of a globalized technological space-age. It can move further IF America retakes the lead in Liberty, and even further if the citizens of other nations follow suit. I think it’s possible. Watch Europe, watch Russia, all the way down to Iran and Venezuela. People are fed up with tyranny world-wide, probably because American ideas are reaching them via our rapid media networks.

  4. BillK says:

    Yet another agency gets retasked to study “Global Warming” and reinforce the perception that it’s actually occurring.

    Which of course it has to be, or their budget will be zeroed out.

    Funny how those go hand-in-hand.

  5. David says:

    This will have far reaching effect because NASA funnels funds to academic and industrial research as well. Currently the funding objective is focused on aspect with integrated vehicle health management. (Mostly artificial intelligence related). Instead of developing technologies that will revolutionize transportation and machine maintenance money will go to see if sea gull poop provides evidence of climate change. This type of work is already funded by numerous government and private grant programs (NSF, WWF)

  6. JohnMG says:

    …..”It’s one of the very rare government jobs that actually may create true wealth, in that it creates new technologies that find their way into unforeseen uses……”

    Who knows? Maybe they could even devise a screen door to put on the hole in the ozone layer instead of the patch that has closed it over. Then we could really regulate ‘climate change’.

  7. Liberals Demise says:

    Obama axed the moon mission because he found it was easier to dig more money out of Uranus.

    Thaaaaaats’s right!

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      ROFLMAO ..

      S’pose old Rahm baby was in on that decision? Bawney Fwank had to have helped, too.

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