13 thoughts on “Senator Ballast”

  1. Nice to see a thoughtful space policy piece at a thoughtful conservative outlet. It doesn’t happen that often.

  2. Yes I think he will drag NASA down. But he will only be speeding up an already-existing path of irrelevancy for NASA.

  3. “The people responsible for sacking the people that fixed the link have now been sacked.”

    The main link is good, but you have the “W” marked as a hyperlink as well, and it’s not remotely valid.

  4. I remind myself that, back in the beginning, when STS was supposed to fly by 1976, there was a proposal to offer Nixon a ride as a farewell gift. History turned out differently, of course, but the principle remained. Garn got a ride too, and Aldridge was lined up for one, but Challenger happened instead. Hey, maybe Kamala can make an ISS inspection tour…

    1. I’d support giving Kamala Harris a trip to ISS, if the mission was sufficiently diverse. And by diverse, I mean in regard to spacecraft. So, I’d only support giving her the trip if her journey to ISS was on either Dragon or Starliner, and her return journey was on Cygnus (a very different type of US spacecraft that goes to ISS).

  5. “Barfin’ Jake” and “Ballast”. What a pair. The ignominious history of politicians in space.

    When the grossly mismanaged British airship R-101 crashed and burned on its maiden flight, at least the Air Minister, Lord Thomson, who had been responsible for much of the mismanagement, had buffaloed his way onto the trip, and was killed. There was a certain amount of poetic justice in that, although it was unfortunate that the other 47 victims, who were blameless, had to perish as well. Barfin’ Jake and Ballast managed to avoid being on the wrong flights.

  6. The article has a magnificent piece of understatement;
    “For a time, U.S. astronauts had to hitch rides to the ISS on Russian Soyuz rockets, an expensive and humiliating last resort.”

    For a time?!!?! Well, technically correct, but that “time” was the entire span from the last Shuttle flight to ISS, also the last Shuttle flight, in July of 2011. The next US launch astronauts was SpaceX DM2, in May 2020. So, almost 9 years. A very long time.

    Other than that quibble, I loved the article. My take (even before reading that) is that Nelson is the worst of a bad breed, and about the worst choice I can think of for NASA administrator.

  7. Is this like the question I ask someone who works at the “U”?

    “The cost of a trip to Mars will be about 5 million dollars. This trip will be one-way, of course, with the idea that if you take this trip, you will settle permanently on Mars and spend the rest of your life there.

    My question to you is, if you could somehow come up with the 5 million dollars, through your investments, by an inheritance or a Go Fund Me, which one of the people you work with would you send?”

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