Aug 30 2011

Short Sighted Fools In DC

Published by at 6:14 am under All General Discussions

There is a rule on NASA missions that we can never design or implement a mission which relies on foreign resources to succeed or be safe. It has been a major barrier to international joint efforts forever because just about everything in a space mission is critical to its success. You can’t have a successful Hubble, for example, if you can’t get it into orbit, can’t communicate with it on a daily basis, can’t respond quickly to anomalies. We really don’t waste money on the systems (in most cases) at NASA over frivolous items. We do have serious problems with process and paperwork – which consumes over half the resources committed to a mission. We also have waste, abuse and fraud in isolated cases. But we make sure the core infrastructure is American and incapable of being compromised by other nations.

The norm is for a  mission to be self sufficient in terms of US resources to operate within all expected and emergency scenarios. Until Obama, Pelosi and Reid took charge that is.

Now the International Space Station is incapable of being supported by American technology and resources. Not since the Democrat fools in the last Congress and this White House retired the space shuttle fleet AND ALSO cancelled the program to replace that fleet with another (cheaper) mode of transportation (i.e., the Orion program):

The Obama Administration’s proposed cancellation of the Constellation program in February 2010 and was signed into law October 11, [2010]

This job killing myopic act illustrates the clumsy, unthinking rashness of this White House and the last Congress. Apparently the President wanted Americans with shovels working, not exploring space and holding onto our technical edge in that final frontier of humanity. This White House is the first since Kennedy to halt America’s leadership in having people in space.

Now we see that we finished decades of investment and dangerous space walking work on the International Space Station just in time for Obama to force us to abandon it because of his short sightedness and – let’s be honest here – incompetence:

Astronauts may need to take the unprecedented step of temporarily abandoning the International Space Station if last week’s Russian launch accident prevents new crews from flying there this fall.

Until officials figure out what went wrong with Russia’s essential Soyuz rockets, there will be no way to launch any more astronauts before the current residents have to leave in mid-November.

As I said previously (see here, here and here), this has got to be the biggest screw up of all time. Last November humanity had just celebrated a continuous decade in space. Think about that – humanity’s first ever,¬† continuous and long term presence off planet. And less than a year later – because the Democrats are a bunch of clueless, pretend know-it-alls – we have to abandon this outpost in space. Decades of work, billions of dollars spent, the sacrifice of lives and untold careers – and Obama throws it un-curiously away.

And this is helping our nation’s critical jobs and economic situation how again?

24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Short Sighted Fools In DC”

  1. AJStrata says:

    Layman,

    I actually suspected you worked the project – my guess JSC.

    But you’re still missing the point. Bush’s budgets never allowed JSC to slip. They simply held the program to it’s commitments until they were forced to admit they screwed up. As Noted, the shuttle could and would have been extended – and JSC heads would have properly rolled. But there would still be Orion – right?

    Stop trying to blame Bush because he held JSC to their budget and commitments. Obama cancelled the follow on outright.

  2. lurker9876 says:

    Obama should never have been elected but then neither should John McCain. The real problem back in ’08 was that there was never a really good or great candidate to vote for.

    But McCain would never have cancelled Constellation but then he wouldn’t have known to steer NASA (JSC) towards a better or right design for Constellation.

    AJStrata is correct in his last post. The sad part is that Obama thought Constellation was way too expensive to continue; yet, he spent 4 trillion in less than 3 years. So how come he thought Constellation and shuttle were just simply too expensive but thought his vacations and spending were not expensive enough to get us out of the recession?

    And it was only recently that he wanted to educate certain people in math and science for certain fields but not NASA?

    He does not care about NASA and he does not want NASA to exist.

  3. Layman says:

    Hey Lurker, like you I worked for a private company doing work for NASA. That’s changed thanks to budget cuts and now my focus is on commercial aerospace.

    I think if anyone goes back and looks at the budgets from 2004 -2008 they’ll see that there never was enough money for the Shuttle and/or Constellation. The decision to cancel Shuttle was to divert the money to Constellation and get a 2014 ILC instead of a 2016 ILC. No one wanted to spend the extra dollars needed to have Orion/Ares I ready before 2014 and keep Shuttle flying.

    That is why I lay the problem on the entire political class – Bush, the Republican congress, Obama, and the Democrat congress.

    As to your final point, you’re right. For 5% of his stimulus bill he could have funded the F-22, missile defense, Shuttle, and Constellation. We’d have useful physical items in hand and a lot of people at work, in good paying jobs, paying taxes and contributing. But that didn’t fit in with Obama’s redistributionist mentality.

  4. AJStrata says:

    Layman,

    I am glad to see you agree there were plenty of paths to make Orion work and not leave us without transportation (i.e., hold a shuttle or two ready while we used Progress).

    JSC had issues, you have to agree with that. They over promised, under delivered and avoided some simple and necessary systems engineering process (like doing requirements traceability so they knew when they had or created holes in their technical approach).

    I have 25 years in this business, and I also have a insider’s view of DC. JSC was not going to get relief until they stopped blowing sunshine everywhere.

    With that said, there were plenty of options to keep us in space – all of which would have avoided this current mess.