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Government NASA Space Science

NASA's Space Plans Take Another Hit 12

Posted by Soulskill
from the shields-weakening dept.
coondoggie writes "The folks at the Government Accountability Office have not been all that kind to NASA in recent years, and today they issued another damning report on the future of the manned space flight program. NASA is still struggling to develop a solid business case — including firm requirements, mature technologies, a knowledge-based acquisition strategy, a realistic cost estimate, and sufficient funding and time — needed to justify moving the Constellation program, which includes the two main spaceflight components, the Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, forward into the implementation phase, the GAO stated."
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NASA's Space Plans Take Another Hit

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  • by dgatwood (11270) on Saturday September 26, 2009 @07:42PM (#29551639) Journal

    Did anybody read that as the Onion Crew Exploration Vehicle? Did anybody think this article reads like something the Onion would post? Except with a better headline, e.g. "Bean Counters Say Putting People in Space Is Hard"....

    This reads like the sort of thing I see from mid to upper level corporate managers who often can't tell the difference between minor, trivially solvable problems and major, fundamental problems, and have no idea how to describe things to their managers except to portray everything generically as a "risk".

    Ooh. They fixed posting for this story.

    • by MrKaos (858439)

      Did anybody read that as the Onion Crew Exploration Vehicle?

      No, but I read "NASA's Space Planes take a hit" - It should have read "slashdot's comment system took a hit"

      • by dgatwood (11270)

        A hit of what though?

        Apparently, they decided to free slashdot from the story boundaries. The CA traffic light story is or was cross-linked to the comments for some Microsoft developer technology.

        • by MrKaos (858439)

          The CA traffic light story is or was cross-linked to the comments for some Microsoft developer technology.

          Looks like Microsoft can crash anything these days.

  • Why, why, why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tetrahedrassface (675645) on Saturday September 26, 2009 @08:00PM (#29551765) Journal
    Why does space exploration have to take a hit when we can spend trillions on everything else? Here is my idea, let GM and Chrysler build the vehicles... After all we own GM and Chrysler.
  • by JLF65 (888379) on Saturday September 26, 2009 @10:10PM (#29552623)

    - at this point NASA does not know how much Ares I and Orion will ultimately cost, and will not know until technical and design challenges have been addressed, the GAO concluded.

    Isn't that NASA's function? To figure out how to overcome those "technical and design challenges"? How are they supposed to do the job when they'd denied the money needed on the basis that what they're MANDATED to do can't easily be estimated? That's why NASA is doing this instead of a company - because the government can more easily shoulder the unknown cost than any one company.

  • In the 60's the Saturn V launchers were a radical step. Now can anyone honestly say that solving the same engineering problems for Constellation that the Saturn launchers suffered is a radical step. It's little wonder that Joe Public isn't engaged by the space program because it's already been done.

    Something radical is holding a competition to make long strand Carbon Nano Tubes to build a space elevator - why not CNT's are the last major technological hurdle to a permanent presence in space. Costs for Con

  • Sounds to me like NASA needs a good spokesperson to help get their ideas approved. Maybe Tim Allen wearing a Buzz Lightyear costume would suffice? To infinity and beyond NASA haters...
  • It doesn't surprise me. In the last couple of decades, democrats have typically been harder on NASA's budgets then any other political group.

    In 1995 with a democrat congress and administration, NASA's budget was cut by $553.8 million. The NASA budget cuts from after the 1995 cut until 2004 totaled $410.3 million and was spread over 5 more cuts with 3 of the 5 occurring during the Clinton administration (with a republican controlled congress). All be told, since 1995 and until 2004 (that's when my data point

    • by bhiestand (157373)

      I'm not arguing your data since I haven't looked it up, but wasn't a significant portion of NASA funding directed to the moon/mars missions by Bush? If you consider that money down the drain, that should be a pretty big cut as well...

      • by sumdumass (711423)

        I got my data from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] which cited a February 4 2007 report from Florida Today [wikipedia.org] as it's source.

        As for the moon and mars, NASA's budget for 1992 [wikipedia.org] when Clinton took office was $13.961 billion dollars. When Clinton left office and Bush took over, NASA's budget was $13.428 billion. That's an overall decrease of 533 million in eight years. In 2005 when Bush proposed the moon-mars mission, NASA's budget was $15.602 billion or $1.641 billion more then when Clinton took office and $2.174 billion more from when

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