[FPSPACE] Neil Armstrong in Congressional Testimony: US Space Program in "Embarrassing State"
dsfportree at hotmail.com
Mon Sep 26 10:21:18 EDT 2011
I don't see it as embarrassing. If we have a partnership, then we can rely on each other. We have done so before, in the aftermath of Columbia. Besides, even when they jack up their prices, access via the Russians is much cheaper than access via Shuttle. The embarrassing thing is that some people in NASA haven't worked out that the world changed 20 years ago.
That said, I wish Bush II had not killed Shuttle. A flight a year would have been useful, and would have kept us with an independent resupply/crew exchange capability until we had a replacement in place. During the period when many bought the Bush II plan to replace Shuttle with a moon program (which was actually Griffin's plan, not Bush's, but Bush didn't care, so didn't rein him in - read the January 2004 Vision paper), folks were falling all over themselves to kill Shuttle. Even while Bush II consistently underfunded its replacement. Now that those actions have come home to roost, we need to take stock of where we are and what we have, and acknowledge that we've lived in a fantasy world since 2004.
David S. F. Portree
dsfportree at hotmail.com
dportree at usgs.gov
> Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2011 14:26:26 +0200
> From: dokter.nuyens at telenet.be
> To: fpspace at friends-partners.org
> Subject: [FPSPACE] Neil Armstrong in Congressional Testimony: US Space Program in "Embarrassing State"
> Amen to that.
> The simple and embarrasing bottomline is that the US payed for most of
> the ISS and now they can't get there by themselves. US politicians (Dems
> and Reps alike) should do some soul-searching and get their act together
> instead of trying to get the most out of it for their own states. The
> sad thing is though that without that interest they are just not
> interested in space at all.
> I think it was Phillip Clark who (a quote I think) said politicians
> should have their brains surgically removed, I think it wouldn't make
> one tiny bit of difference at all.
> Zeger Nuyens
> > The hearing was (yet more) GOP posturing. They've trotted out Armstrong and Cernan before, and they said the same things.
> > Bush shut down the Shuttle, then underfunded its replacement - if that was such a bad thing, why didn't these people speak out before? Like, maybe in 2005 or 2006?
> > Besides, we're still building the Shuttle replacement - despite the severe damage done to the economy on Bush's watch, which could be (and has been) used to justify killing discretionary programs (like human spaceflight). So, what do these people have to complain about anyway? Bunch of babies.
> > And, as I indicated, reliance on the Russians is not a new thing, nor especially bad. We wouldn't even have a space station if we hadn't let them into the program. We weren't grounded after Columbia because we had access to Russian spacecraft, and Progress vehicles kept ISS from reentering. How we do human spaceflight changed almost 20 years ago. Time these guys worked that out.
> > Griffin had a chance to get the Chinese into the program, but he blew it. His great strategy - use them like the Soviets in the 1960s. The trouble is - no one really cares.
> > My sense is that heroes like Armstrong and Cernan show their frailties when they let themselves be used in this way. The GOP's use of them tarnishes them, as the GOP has tarnished so much about our country since 2000. It's sad and embarrassing.
> > David S. F. Portree
> FPSPACE mailing list
> FPSPACE at www.friends-partners.org
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