Wednesday 28 July 2010

How Not To Do It

I've blogged about the decidedly flawed Ares program, and how it needed mending with a new one.

This though is not how to do it. From a friend of mine, who's just completed the last course for her second masters degree, and is going into aerospace medicine. Perhaps.

22 July
Holy sh*t!! I just got my final exam grade back... 99%!!!! Missed one question on the whole exam. Honestly I didn't think I did anywhere near that well. So thats an A+ in Spaceflight Physiology and Medicine! Now I can be a flight surgeon! Woot! Oh, and this is the last class for my 2nd Masters Degree!! I AM DONE!!!

28 July
Today is filled with tears at work. 1400 layoff notices went out today. I made it through but some of my closest friends and colleagues did not. The true death of our space program will be October 1st when they all leave us.

It may be a pardonable exaggeration to say that the US space program has ended. It has not, not by a long way.

But.. the fact remains... that after this year, there are no firm plans for NASA to put any more Americans in space, except for a short time, and except using Russian boosters.

It was 38 years ago that Americans last landed on the Moon. I don't see them coming back any time soon. My attitude though is that as long as someone does, who, while important, is less important.

As for the USA? Obama wants the US to do space stuff... in the future sometime. He has a grand vision about that, and has committed future presidents to it. Not him though. As for Congress, Rand Simberg says it best:
NASA is being asked to do too much with too little by Congress, and, once again, America's space agency is set up for failure. If this plan goes forward, it will preserve jobs in Utah, Alabama, Texas and Florida, but contribute little to actually accomplishing things in space. And we can expect to have to assemble another panel of experts a couple of years from now to tell us once again what we already know, and what Congress will continue to ignore, because pork will always reign over progress.
It won't even preserve most jobs now, it's too late for that.


Anonymous said...

I think part of the problem is that people have forgotten that space exploration is the raison d'etre for NASA's existence, originally. Not stuff like remote sensing, which while all worthwhile and all, really belongs to other agencies, like NOAA.

And the American Left cheers the privatization of space onwards, the irony of it all.


Anonymous said...

Future jobs will all be servant jobs as they can get cheaper brains in China. Welcome to the new Global order.


SarasNavel said...

Perhaps, just maybe, this explains why none of the shuttle or replacement programs seem viable and why there was such a rush to complete the ISS; the whole thing was going to be turned over to private interests anyway. Amazing how Boing could be ready in just 4-1/2 short years: