The Space Task Group is convinced that a decision to phase out manned space flight operations, although painful, is the only way to achieve significant reductions in NASA budgets over the long term. At any level of mission activity, a continuing program of manned space flight, following use of launch vehicles and spacecraft purchased as part of Apollo, would require continued production of hardware, continued operation of extensive test, launch support and mission control facilities, and the maintenance of highly skilled teams of engineers, technicians, managers, and support personnel. Stretch-out of mission or production schedules, which can initially reduce total annual costs, would result in higher unit costs. More importantly, very low-level operations are highly wasteful of the skilled manpower required to carry out these operations and would risk deterioration of safety and reliability throughout the manned program. At some low level of activity, the viability at [sic] the program is in question. It is our belief that the interests of this Nation would not be served by a manned space flight program conducted at such levels.
The biggest problem with Mojave is its life style, which makes it tough to both hire and keep good employees. Spaceport America isn’t going to be much of an improvement in that regard, though it’s a little closer to an interesting town, Las Cruces. Good luck to Ben at Armadillo.
…all this may have a strangely liberating effect on Israel. We know now that whatever it does, the world, or at least its prominent political and media figures, is going to damn it. Its longtime patron, the United States, now sees not much difference between Israel ’s democratic achievement and the autocracies around it, which we are now either subsidizing or courting. As a result, the global censors have lost leverage with Israel, since they have proven to be such laughable adjudicators of right and wrong when Israel is involved.
Israelis should assume by now that whether they act tentatively or strongly, the negative reaction will be the same. Therefore why not project the image of a strong, unapologetic country to a world that has completely lost its moral bearings, and is more likely to respect Israel’s strength than its past concern for meeting an impossible global standard?
I don’t think that she and the other Jew haters realize how much they’ve actually helped their despised Zionist entity.
The entire premise of his question is absurd. The budget for FY2010 exceeds $3.8 trillion, which means that we don’t have to eliminate “half the ledger sheet” in order to close a $1.3 trillion deficit. We only need to eliminate a third of the ledger sheet. That $3.8 trillion, by the way, is $1.1 trillion more than the last budget from a Republican Congress, FY2007. If we returned to the FY2007 budget, we’d be almost all of the way there just by eliminating all of the spending increases inserted after Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid took charge of the budgeting process.
Oh, but that would be the end of the world as we know it.
Thoughts from Lileks on the KeisterKicker-in-Chief:
“He didn’t mean donkey,” she said, this being the only possible explanation. I shook my head. It will now be difficult to tell her not to use that word; it will now be a matter of time before my wife says, “Well, your daughter was sounding presidential today,” and it won’t be a reference to mankind’s universal aspirations. Unless you include the desire to kick BP’s tuckus, which seems fairly widespread.
I don’t know if I’ve written this, but I’ve certainly thought it. When I heard the president, my first response was, “Who is he kidding?” My second one was, “Gee, and here I thought that the purpose of getting people together to assay the facts was to determine what effective action to take. How Chicago of him to think that the only effective action is to take one’s boot off the throat of the country long enough to bury it in the appropriate fundament.”
And I, for one, haven’t been complaining about the president not emoting enough. I’ve never been interested in a president that “felt my pain.” All I’ve ever wanted is one that isn’t the cause of it.
No, my complaint is that he’s incompetent. So the all the talk about the asskickery isn’t very impressive to me. Usually, I’m glad that he’s incompetent, because most of the things he wants to do are awful, and I want them to fail at them, but this is a case where I wish that he could actually get it right.
“He’s so dorky, when he gets angry he convenes a panel of experts to tell him whose ass to kick.”
And speaking of The Tonight Show, let me reassure both editors and readers of family newspapers everywhere about my use of the word “ass.” Historian Steven Hayward reminds me that in 1979, Jimmy Carter responded to Ted Kennedy’s primary challenge by declaring he would “whip his ass.” It was one of those moments of presidential lameness that conjures the same bile of pity, schadenfreude, and heebie-jeebies one feels upon seeing a middle-aged balding dude with a long gray ponytail dancing at a rave.
As John Stewart said, the president is going to have to kick himself. In fact, if he had sufficient self awareness, he’d know that there are many reasons to do so.
I…know a Gentile lady who wishes to go to Israel if things “completely go to hell there,” just because she thinks if bombs fall on them, they should fall on her, too. She thinks if humanity lets the Jews go down, humanity is lost.
She is more motivated and braver, and firmer in her convictions than I, but I completely understand the impulse. And I am ashamed of many American Jews who, once again, as in the thirties, don’t see it coming, and continue to support those who not will only allow it to happen, but encourage it.
We stopped clicking for a few minutes and found a show that looked interesting, and watched it for a few minutes. Then we discovered it was about vampires.
What is it with modern culture (or even popular culture going back decades, or centuries) that is so fascinated by immortal blood suckers? I know there are lots of pseudopsychological explanations for it, but they just leave me cold. I have zero interest.
Kind of like Barack Obama, now that I think about it. And I wouldn’t deny a relationship.
In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Andy Pasztor reported that SpaceX’s CEO, Elon Musk, has claimed that it will cost a billion dollars to develop the launch escape system for the Dragon capsule needed to allow it to carry crew. This would be twice the amount that it has cost to develop both the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets, and the Dragon itself, from scratch, and seemed quite improbable to many who have read it.
Mr. Musk notes in an email:
“I definitely didn’t tell Pasztor that our LES would cost $1B. He is off by a factor of ten! All I told him is that there is no way it would cost us more than $1B to demonstrate crew transport. That includes development, testing and certification to the most stringent NASA standards of everything needed for a seven-crew vehicle. I’ve also said that our price per person would be $20M, assuming the seven-person configuration and minimum of four flights per year. This compares to $30B for Ares I/Orion and a per person cost of ~$250M.”
In a follow up, he noted that the billion (if it goes that high) will include two abort flight tests (one on the pad, one high altitude) and a demonstration flight to and from ISS. Sounds like a bargain to me.