NASA Moon Program Ends

On the eve of the fullest moon of the year, NASA scientists were told they won’t be able to visit any longer. In his new budget, President Obama plans to eliminate the space program’s manned moon missions.

When the president releases his budget on Monday, a White House official confirmed on Thursday, there will be a big hole where funding for NASA’s Constellation program used to be. Constellation is the umbrella program that includes the Ares rocket – the replacement for the aging space shuttles.

NASA will receive an additional $5.9 billion over five years, some of which will be used to extend the life of the International Space Station to 2020. The official said it also will be used to entice companies to build private spacecraft to ferry astronauts to the space station after the space shuttle retires.

foxnews.com/scitech/2010/01/27/obama-budget-drop-nasa-constellation-program/?test=faces

This is very, very sad to me and a case of being penny wise and pound foolish. I grew up with JFK’s vision of space exploration and watched every single launch in the Mercury and Apollo programs live on TV in the classroom. NASA was in the process of developing the new Ares rocket which would have powered the next generation of space vehicles. The distinct possibility of water on the moon has just been demonstrated and we are going to outsource our space programs to private industry (OK) and to the Russians (not OK). We won the space race and now we are going to take our marbles and go home.

This at a time when other nations are developing their space programs…All the technological innovations derived from the space program for the benefit of all mankind…
I am gravely disappointed.

Ever since Nixon’s time, the space program has been downgraded. and for the same petty reasons that motivated Nixon: It is not my baby; I can’t use it to make political hay.

I'm also somewhat disappointed. In the end, it may be the Chinese who colonize the moon. All that good near-earth real estate.

We should continue to charge other countries for launching their communication satellites. It appears that the moon program has not been funded.

The moon's not going anywhere -- we can visit later.

Yes, we can wrap it up and pass it on to our children along with our debts we incurred this generation (or at least this four years). In this administration, the buck stops with the kids.

It's not the governments business to be doing this. Let the private sector handle it.

[quote="garysibio, post:6, topic:184919"]
It's not the governments business to be doing this. Let the private sector handle it.

[/quote]

Isn't that exactly what our free enterprise conservatives want? Less government interference with commerce, opportunities to take over what was a government monopoly? Let the private sector carry on the exploration of Space and the planets.

That could work if there is some profit in it. And eventually there will be. But the international lawyers are going to have a field day when the Chinese get there first and declare the entire place a Chinese province. OK, another war could stimulate the space industry as well, I suppose.

[quote="Rich_Olszewski, post:7, topic:184919"]
Isn't that exactly what our free enterprise conservatives want? Less government interference with commerce, opportunities to take over what was a government monopoly? Let the private sector carry on the exploration of Space and the planets.

[/quote]

What's wrong with that? Do you have a problem with capitalism?

honestly, i think that NASA has been given way too much money to begin with. i am not saying that their work has been useless. however, i think there is as much waste at NASA as there is at any other government run operation.

the man who owns Virgen records, owns his own airline and just built an undersea plane has accomplished so much on his own. i don’t remember his name - richard branson?
he is very innovative.

there is a lot of money in the private sector to do something if the right people put their heads together.

i understand our need to explore space and learn more about our universe, but we need to cut corners somewhere.

our own little world right now is such a mess, and even though we need to think of the future, i am not sure we can afford the moon program right now.

With Capitalism, yes. With the American free enterprise system, no. There’s a difference.

It’s a good opportunity for the government to get out of the space exploration business.

[quote="Rich_Olszewski, post:11, topic:184919"]

It's a good opportunity for the government to get out of the space exploration business.

[/quote]

...and into the health insurance busines!:rotfl:

[quote="pnewton, post:12, topic:184919"]
...and into the health insurance busines!:rotfl:

[/quote]

Why do we want the government to stand between a woman and her doctor (heard that phrase before?) when we have the insurance companies doing that already?

The Last Humans on the Moon. Leaving for good?

As we saw 500 years ago, the Spanish and the Portuguese did not throw up their hands and give up on the New World. JimG makes a very good point. We did not carve out a section of the Moon for us (We come in peace for all mankind) but is that gonna stop the Chinese or Japanese - particularly if water is found on the moon?

What about Mars? The space program has fueled an awful lot of technology for the civilian sector to the benefit of us all.

[quote="brotherhrolf, post:15, topic:184919"]
As we saw 500 years ago, the Spanish and the Portuguese did not throw up their hands and give up on the New World. JimG makes a very good point. We did not carve out a section of the Moon for us (We come in peace for all mankind) but is that gonna stop the Chinese or Japanese - particularly if water is found on the moon?

What about Mars? The space program has fueled an awful lot of technology for the civilian sector to the benefit of us all.

[/quote]

Yes, the civilian sector has profited a lot from the space program, including, for example, using the GPS satellite signals for their GPS devices.

But even disregarding the moon or Mars, since we have no follow-on vehicle to the space shuttle, the U.S. will have no means of placing humans in near earth orbit. If we wish to put someone in the international space station, we will be at the mercy of China or Russia to provide the ride. We have begun the trajectory to becoming a second class space power, which is like becoming a second class sea power in the 16th century.

Once we fall behind, there will probably be no catching up.

Space exploration doesn't serve to expand government power like taking over industries and pushing trillions of dollars in deficit spending do, so the Big Government liberals are not interested in it.

Thank you Obama, for hamstringing our space program and confirming that America has lost her passion and her vision.

[quote="JimG, post:14, topic:184919"]
The Last Humans on the Moon. Leaving for good?

[/quote]

Americans may be leaving, but there will be others that will take over the position of world leaders in taking Man into space. This is just one more example of America becoming a waning power in the world today, especially in the last year. It is no surprise that those who do not like America's position applauded Obama's election.

Seems ironic.
The manned moon missions have been aborted.
Meanwhile, more taxpayers` money is being spent on abortion.

[quote="JimG, post:8, topic:184919"]
That could work if there is some profit in it...

[/quote]

This is exactly right. Who in the private sector will make the enormous investment in a new moon rocket if the return isn't there? The profit, if any, is in launching commercial and government satellites. Global competition is fierce in the commercial satellite launch business. Launching government satellite, especially military, is shielded from global competition since governments don't trust launching national security assets on foreign launchers. Even launching non-military government satellites (NASA science) is shielded by political pressure to use home-grown launchers. Things that hurt profitability are the limited number of government satellites and the cost of maintaining highly-trained suppliers and staff. And the government tends to distort this extremely difficult environment by providing seed money and substantial investments for new launch providers to promote competition and make it even less profitable.

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