So, over at Red State, we have an editorial from a congressman trying to preserve the pork for his district, and falsely equating Constellation with American human spaceflight. The comments are almost universally equally ignorant. I searched them in vain for anyone who understands what’s actually going on.
You want to gather them all in a room and ask them some questions:
Do you know that NASA had nothing to do with GPS?
Do you know that NASA is getting an increase in its budget (and no, it’s not all going to global warming research and Muslim countries).
Do you know that the new plan will have people getting up to the station without the Russians much sooner, and for much less cost than the old one did?
Do you know that NASA has technology development plans that will make it much more affordable to send astronauts beyond low earth orbit? Plans that were going unfunded under the old program?
Do you know that the only parts of Constellation being worked on did nothing except get NASA astronauts to low earth orbit with a redundant rocket, at a cost of more than a billion dollars a flight? That the hardware needed to get beyond earth orbit wasn’t planned to be developed for years, and wasn’t even well defined?
Do you know that a commercial rocket will fly in the next few weeks with a commercial capsule that could deliver crew to orbit in the next three years or so. And that the rocket and capsule, and its manufacturing facilities were developed, and its launch pads modified for less than the cost of the Ares I-X flight test?
[Update a few minutes later]
OK, I kept plowing, and I finally found a couple commenters who get it:
No thanks to Constellation
utahtim Tuesday, June 29th at 7:12PM EDT (link)
Constellation is bad rubbish and good riddance. You may be correct that Mr. Obama’s space policies will reduce the number of government jobs in Alabama and elsewhere, but claiming NASA is good at “human exploratory space flight” anymore is just plain wrong. NASA hasn’t put a man beyond low earth orbit (unless you count fixing Hubbell) since the 1970s, and when it has put people in low earth orbit, it’s only been a few government employees at a cost of roughly $1B a flight, and not very often at that. NASA doesn’t even have a good safety record. I favor the idea of human space exploration, but there are far better ways to go about it than with the expensive, bloated, dated, and constantly slipping government project that is Constellation. No thanks.
Not the NASA of Apollo
freeus Tuesday, June 29th at 8:04PM EDT (link)
I have worked at KSC for almost 20 years and this is NOT the NASA that launched the Apollo missions. It has become no different than any other Government agency bogged down with endless rules, regulations, inefficiencies, and bloated beaurocracy. It took 25 years – YEARS! – to build the ISS and Constellation had spent nearly 10 billion over the past 5 years with little to show. I’m certainly not an Obama supporter, but cancelling Constellation (and Shuttle – another incredibly inefficient program) is the right thing to do. The way NASA has been operating for decades has got to stop.
Unfortunately they’re pretty scarce.