Monday, February 01, 2010

Back to the Moon? Not on my watch...

Rumour has it that President Obama will cancel the current plans to return to the moon. More troubling is the possibility that he will cancel the Ares I and Ares V rockets, which were to be a replacement for the Space Shuttle. The Shuttles are at the end of their lives, and the Ares replacements have already started test launches. The Ares program is almost ready to go, and canceling them means another decade without a major launch system.


Anonymous Ed said...

Obama's pending decision is based on a recommendation of a blue ribbon panel that NASA get out of the earth to orbit rocket business and let commercial industry do it. By contracting out the ground to orbit process, NASA could concentrate on constructing ships to go to Mars.

Can't understand this line of thinking as it presumes that commercial interests can do this and meet NASA's requirements yet, no commercial company has yet to put any manned vehicle into orbit. I find it hard to believe that so called experts do not grasp the fact that getting from the ground to earth orbit is not a trival exercise. It is still difficult, expensive and to a degree relatively dangerous. If they go down this route, they will be putting themselves out of the manned space business for sometime. Things will change once the Chinese land a man on the moon but they will be well behind by then.

10:06 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is troubling - and what does not set Obama apart from anyone else, I might add - is his deficit spending.

Deficit spending involves debasing the currency via the printing of money out of thin air. This functions as an insidious tax and is actually regressive, affecting the poor and those on fixed incomes much more severely than anyone else.

Proverbs 11.1: "The LORD abhors dishonest scales, but accurate weights are his delight." (NIV)

This is what should be front and center for Obama.

2:33 p.m.  
Blogger Shawn Abigail said...

Commercial interests could certainly do this, but with 2 caveats:

(1) they can't do it on the required timeline. You can argue that 7 years ago they should have been asked to come up with a Shuttle replacement. To ask them to do it now puts the U.S.A. about 7 years behind in the process of developing new launchers. The only rational decision would be to continue to develop the Ares rockets.

(2) some sort of legal protection is needed. Rockets are inherently dangerous, and private companies will not develop man rated rockets knowing they will be sued when (inevitably) one of the rockets fails.

9:08 p.m.  

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