Friday, December 5, 2008

Rocky Mountain Right may be Wrong about Obama's Space Program

Rocky Mountain Right, a member of the Rocky Mountain Alliance of Bloggers, announced yesterday "So Much For Hope for the Future" in regards to a report that Obama's transition team has requested information from NASA as to the cost of closing out some portions of the new Constellation Program, which consists of Ares I, Ares V, and Orion (two launch vehicles and a crew capsule).

As an insider into the Human Space Flight world (as an employee for Project Orion), I would cheer the cancellation of Ares I, which is what Obama is contemplating doing. Ares I is overweight, underpowered, and poor engineering design. A better alternative would be the Direct 2.0 (Jupiter) launch vehicle, which is an Ares V lite... or perhaps continuing the EELV program, though that would still be more engineering and longer lead time on a launcher...

Currently there has been a schedule slip due to the inability to perfect the Ares I launcher... based on these slips, the first manned launch of the Constellation program is potentially slipping from 2015 to 2017 - that is for the first manned TEST flight... that is 7 years of lag time between the shuttle and this program... Under Direct 2.0, first flights could be as early as 2011 - 2012... as well, it keeps the shuttle infrastructure in place, so we could extend the shuttle a few more flights - and thus there would be no gap in the US' ability for Human Space Flight.

NASA, under Bush, is currently mismanaged. I don't think that Obama can hurt - in fact, at this point, some slight change in direction may actually help expedite the manned space flight program, and eventually Human Mars Missions.


  1. Steven, my larger problem with Obama's plan is that he seems to be sliding back towards a plan he had earlier in the campaign and had claimed to have backed away from. That initial plan called to "delay" the entire Constellation project for five years while the funding is re-directed to pet projects intended to keep the NEA happy.

    I am very wary of any moves Obama makes in relation to the manned space program's funding since it appears it is at the top of the chopping block to fund social programs.

  2. RMR - understood... but Obama took a pretty big step back under severe backlash on his plan to "delay" Constellation... I am working some side issues lobbying him for a faster paced program, cutting fat, like Ares, which adds no viable deep space technology... the use of Direct 2.0 would be more likely to progress manned space flight (assuming the use of current technology - not ion type thrusters being developed by ESA)

    I am warry - but if he cuts Ares, it would be a positive move... as long as he enacts a directive to move forward with Direct 2.0 or early development of Ares V, which is Direct 2.0 with an upper stage.

    Obama doesnt actually dare eliminate Human Space Flight - it would be too un-JFK!


  3. as well - I reported how wrong Obama was about cutting constellation back in '07:
    Obama Space Cadet on Space Issues

  4. Wuddn't be th' first time ol' Tony Surace has been wrong. He's still got my IP address banned at his blog, simply cuz I posted somethin' negative once 'bout Juan Mequeno.

    Thin thar was-att George Lilly thang.

    Seems ol' Tony got a problem in the "judgment" department.

    Course, he's jus' a young feller. Better judgment will come with age, I suspect.


  5. Actually, you were banned for posting a link to some nonsense about John McCain not being a conservative because he had hispanic supporters.

    If you want to bash McCain's immigration bill, go for it and I'll even join in. If you want to bash a candidate based purely on the race of some of his supporters then you're not going to be welcome on my site.

  6. Uh, I don't believe that was the case, Mr. Surace. I don't exactly remember the item about McCain I linked to, but my argument with McCain has *never* been that his conservative credentials were dubious because he had Hispanic supporters. I'm a Ron Paul guy, and Paul has supporters of every hue. My issue with McCain, generally speaking, was that he isn't a conservative. As for specifics, his support for amnesty was one of several things that drew my criticism and caused me to vote 3rd party.

    So, one of two things is going on here: either you radically misinterpreted me, or you're libeling me. I really hope it isn't the latter, as that would seem to indicate something of a pattern of behavior with you.

    However, it is good of you, after all this time, to finally explain yourself. May I suggest you that you produce the link I posted to see if there's any merit in your implicit claim that I'm a racist?

  7. Here's the link:

    No mention of policies in that posting or in your comment at RMR. Though there are a bunch of comments on the site with such gems such as "the negro and white man cannot live under the same government."

    Unless you were trying to be misinterpreted, you might have tried explaining your problems with McCain on immigration instead of dropping a post that consists entirely of a link to a post saying little more than "Oh no, Hispanics!"

  8. As I suspected, you totally misinterpreted my intent in linking that Rebellion blog entry.

    First of all, the text of the Rebellion post:

    "Why does a Latino rapper support McCain for president? As, um, "Daddy Yankee" says, "He's a fighter for the Hispanic community." The young Latinas squeal, McCain grins, and the rest of us groan."

    Mr. Tuggle is primarily demonstrating the inanity of the McCain here, inasmuch as he stooped to this stunt involving a foul-mouthed rapper of all people. And, as the linked article about "Daddy Yankee" indicated, "Though McCain has sometimes shown surprising familiarity with rap stars and pop culture references because of the musical tastes of his daughters, it is unlikely that the conservative Republican would have made a point of mentioning the song had he known that (Daddy Yankee's) 'Gasolina' lyrics are loaded with sexual references. Although there’s some debate about what the word 'gasolina' means in this context, one thing is certain: It’s not a petroleum product.

    Asked whether McCain knew about the sexual allusions, a campaign spokesman said he had no comment."

    Ergo: Mr. Tuggle's point in posting the Rebellion blog entry, and my point in linking to it on your blog, was to show McCain supporters like you that their faith in McCain as a conservative candidate was misplaced. There was no suggestion whatsoever by Mr. Tuggle or by me that McCain's conservatism was doubtful because he had Hispanic supporters. Rather, his conservatives credentials were dubious because, among many other things, he used this guy at a campain appearance in a lame attempt to get votes. He pandered to one of the worst elements of popular culture (rap musicians) when, if he were a real conservative, he'd be a champion of the culture wars.

    Secondly, regarding the "negro and white man" comment you reference. I guess it escaped your notice that those words were penned by a troll posting in the comments box. Inasmuch as the League of the South is oftentimes called a "racist" organization by the politically correct loons on the liberal-left, its official blog Rebellion gets a lot of these kinds of comments from people seeking to discredit the organization. I urge you this time to take a *careful* look at the discussion in the comments box there (where I chime in once, BTW)), and you will see clearly that certain commenters are identified as trolls there, including the one who penned the words you reference.

    So how about it, Anthony: ready to unban me now? Hopefully you won't be one of those individuals duped by the scurrilous writings of the Southern Poverty Law Center about such secessionist organizations as the League of the South. Only the PC loons of the liberal-left believe what Dees and Co. have to say.

  9. That should be "inanity of the McCain campaign" and "conservative credentials". Sorry for these and the other typos in the post above.

  10. A correction and an apology:

    I urged you, Mr. Surace, to read that comments box carefully, but upon my own further careful reading I now see that Scott Goldsmith, the author of the "negro and white man comment" you referenced, is not a "troll" but a bona fide Southern nationalist. My apologies, therefore, for urging you to do what I did not. Nonetheless, this does not vitiate my point that trolls (such as "Beauregard P. Lee, VIII") do cause much trouble there in the Rebellion comments boxes.

    Moreover, Scott's comments are incidental to Tuggle's post about McCain. There was nothing in Tuggle's blog entry that even remotely touched on the issue of whether "the negro and white man" could live under the same government. The blog entry was about one thing and one thing only: McCain's incompetence. My own comment there is illustrative of this.

    One last point: Mr. Scott's sentiments aren't representative of all League members, as amply demonstrated by this article:

    Goldsmith's sentiments most certainly are not mine, as I think Mr. Nielson will attest based on our discussions of our respective Cherokee ancestries. As Mac Aston asks, if the League is a "racist" organization, should we be burning crosses on our own lawns?

    However, Goldsmith's sentiments were most certainly shared by our national demigod and GOP hero "Honest Abe" Lincoln. In fact, Lincoln's views against blacks and whites living together post-emancipation were so strong that he favored black repatriation to Africa. Would GOP icon Lincoln be welcome at your blog, I wonder?

    Regardless of your answer here, I hope I've adequately explained why I should be welcome there.

  11. (I see he's busy posting on his blog today. Wonder if that means he's not going to answer me.)