The Limits Of Blaming Bush

Veronique De Rugy:

In my article in The American, I suggest the following: Let’s assume that all the spending before this year is Bush’s fault. Then, using data in President Obama’s budget request for fiscal 2010 and data from the fiscal 2011 budget request, I made this chart that projects spending each year from fiscal 2010 until fiscal 2019. The purple bars represent the spending amounts the president requested in February 2009. The orange bars represent the growth in the projected spending request between February 2009 and February 2010.

In his latest budget request, President Obama added roughly $1.6 trillion in spending over the next ten years on top of what he requested last year. Can President Obama blame that extra $1.6 trillion on former President Bush? No.

He can’t stop, though. It’s all he has.

The New Space Race

Paul Spudis continues to mourn the Vision for Space Exploration. I don’t think it’s lost yet — what was really cancelled was ESAS and Apollo on Geritol. There is not currently a specific goal, but I think that it’s still possible to reform (in the literal sense of that word) the VSE over the coming months, refocused on the original intent of lunar utilization. With regard to the Chinese, I am completely unconcerned about whether or not they plant a flag. If they show signs of doing resource utilization, though, I’ll be more concerned, and I suspect that the political establishment will as well, kicking off a true new race. But we won’t know that for years, at their current snail’s pace.

[Update a few minutes later]

Speaking of going back to the moon, Jon Goff has more thoughts on one-way-to-stay trips, which are probably the only way we’ll get back in the next decade. I’m wondering if it’s possible to do a “stone soup” project, and get commercial entities (e.g., Caterpillar) to donate components for the mission for PR purposes.

The End Of The Apollo Cargo Cult?

I have a longish rebuttal to Tom Jones up at Popular Mechanics.

[Update a few minutes later]

In case you’re confused, there are a couple problems with the piece that I’m trying to get fixed. First of all, obviously, that was supposed to be two billion dollars per launch not two bucks per launch (if only…). And I’ve quoted Tom Jones in the first paragraph on the second page, and farther down the page, Charlie Bolden, but there are no quote marks right now, so it makes it look as though their words are mine.

[Late afternoon update]

Jeff Greason weighs in on fairing-size issues in comments, and Jon Goff has some thoughts on heavy-lift technologies.

[Update a few minutes later]

The quotes on page two have been fixed, but we still have dollar-store prices for Ares I flights.

[Early evening update]

Ken Murphy says it’s the dawn of a new space enterprise.

John Murtha


As I was taught, if you don’t have anything good to say…

[Update a few minutes later]

I assume that there will be a special election. I’ll bet that a Republican will have a good shot at taking the seat.

[Update a couple minutes l later]

Yup, a special election on primary day, May 18th, and it’s the only district in the country that voted for both John Kerry and John McCain. The only thing, really, that kept getting him reelected was the pork. Looks like a likely Republican pickup to me.

[Late afternoon update]

An obit from Rick Moran. With the good, the bad and the ugly.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!