Oh, ESA, You’re Such A Card

Gosh, we’re really on a space policy binge here tonight. The space station partners in Japan and Europe are whinging about proposed cutbacks in capabilities due to NASA overruns.

Far from becoming a first-class platform for research and a symbol of world unity, the station could become an orbiting white elephant, manned by a reduced crew and visited only by millionaire space tourists, they fear.

“…a first-class platform for research and a symbol of world unity…”?

Excuse me.

(Laughing uproariously, falling out of computer chair, holding sides, tears streaming out of eyes, urine streaming out of…never mind).

Ahhhh…oh, my……OK….sorry.


“We are all reminding the United States that they have to fulfil their obligations with the partnership,” Joerg Feustel-Buechel, ESA’s director of manned space flight, told AFP Tuesday. The outcome of the worst planned spending cut would be “completely unacceptable” to ESA, he said.

Oh. Really? And what just what does that mean? What are you going to do about it, Herr Feustel-Buechel? What does “not accepting it” mean? The same thing you did the last time we screwed you over on a space program, namely, Spacelab? Or the Halley mission? Enter into yet another dumbass agreement with an unreliable space partner (namely, the US and NASA)?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, I must be the idiot European Space Agency and NASDA and Canadian Space Agency.

Screw me again, I love it, as long as the money gets distributed proportionately amongst the ESA members as welfare for our aerospace engineers. Please, just use the vaseline this time…

At least the Russians are no fools–they know how to come out ahead in the deal–be a partner in name only, cut a deal with Gore to become a de facto subcontractor, and then siphon off the money to dachas and yachts and BMWs and Cayman bank accounts while extorting even more money to actually deliver the promised hardware. Unfortunately for them, now that Clinton/Gore are out and Bush is in, that little game won’t work any more…

Are we really supposed to take any of this seriously? Are we really supposed to think that the “International Space Station” has anything to do with science, or even space, or ever did?