Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Moon NASA Space Science

NASA May Drop Ares I-Y Test Flight 203

Posted by timothy
from the other-people's-money dept.
Matt_dk writes "Just one week after the first test launch of the Ares I-X rocket, NASA says it may decide to cancel a follow-up launch called Ares 1-Y, which wasn't scheduled until 2014. Reportedly, program managers recommended dropping the flight because, currently, there isn't funding to get an upper stage engine ready in time. Depending on whether the Obama administration decides to continue the Ares I program, this decision may be moot. Earlier this week Sen. Bill Nelson said Obama may make a decision on NASA's future path, based on the report by the Augustine Commission, by the end of November."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NASA May Drop Ares I-Y Test Flight

Comments Filter:
  • Internal Interest (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Microlith (54737) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:05PM (#29998796)

    I wonder if NASA is going to be able to keep up internal interest on these projects with the way their budget keeps getting cleaved. Hell, I wonder how they managed to keep people onboard, what with a 5 year delay between test flights.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:08PM (#29998840)

    Too bad we spend a trillion dollars invading the wrong country based on obvious lies and fabrications. I think we would have been better off spending that money on cool space toys or at least getting Afghanistan right the first time.

    We will be paying for the George W Bush's disastrous presidency for a very long time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:10PM (#29998874)

    And you'll be paying for the errors of your bank managers for even longer.

  • Re:More proof... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:15PM (#29998952)

    ...that Obama is really a conservative, not a liberal.

    I hope you're joking...

    I suppose in some very liberal circles, Obama is conservative ... if you use "conservative" as a "relative" term. But you usually don't use it in a relative term without stating what it is relative to. A conservative democrat? A conservative republican? Conservative conservative?

    Anyway, Obama seems to be more "populist" than anything. He won based on his popularity and charisma, not so much his liberal or conservative policies. From my viewpoint, Obama is very liberal. But then, I'm very conservative. So there you have it.

  • by KingSkippus (799657) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:20PM (#29999046) Homepage Journal

    I really wish we would someday get a leader who is interested in science and the future of our species.

    Have you seen his energy initiatives? You can pursue science and "the future of our species" without spending billions on pie-in-the-sky space projects.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a space junkie. I like Battlestar Galactica just like any other red-blooded American geek. And if we were overflowing in riches right now, I'd say let's go for it.

    But the practical fact of the situation is that space exploration is only one miniscule part of science, and it is very, very expensive. Yes, you make engineering discoveries, and some of it is really glamorous on the 6:00 news. But if you're looking for bang for your buck, let's be honest. You can pursue science that is much cheaper and which has much more immediate gains by investing in stuff like developing alternative energy, beefing up our computing infrastructure, etc.

    Just because money isn't spent on the stuff that you personally think is neat doesn't mean that it's not being well-spent or being put to productive use.

  • Re:5 years? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln (21727) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:22PM (#29999074) Homepage
    Back then they were able to link landing on the moon with beating the Russians, which at the time virtually guaranteed as much money as you could possibly want to accomplish the goal. Having the goal set by a president who was later assassinated, and carried on by his VP who basically set himself up to be the guy who would carry on JFK's legacy, didn't hurt either. Of course, after that goal was reached, NASA's funding was slashed, and they've been unable to accomplish much in the way of manned exploration since then.

    Now, if you could somehow link landing on Mars to beating the terrorists, we could get all the money we need to get this thing done quickly. Until then, though, they can only do things as fast as their ever-shrinking budget will let them.
  • Re:More proof... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:22PM (#29999078)

    Manned space flight != science.

    Not that it isn't worthwhile as a human endeavour.

    Sure, let's spend money on science, but let's not delude ourselves into thinking that manned space flight is an efficient way to do space science.

  • For example... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:33PM (#29999232) Homepage Journal

    I'm going to break Slashdot etiquette by replying to my own reply, but this is the kind of thing I'm talking about.

    If you were president, and you had the choice to, say, send a manned mission to Mars to collect some dirt and maybe begin the steps it would take to, if we're lucky and very, very good, colonize the planet a century or two from now, or roll out a national energy infrastructure that will get us off of fossil fuels today, thus keeping our own planet from boiling away (and most likely discovering a lot of very useful stuff that would make such a manned Mars mission much cheaper, safer, and more practical when we DO do it), which would you choose?

    Some people are still under the misguided notion that we don't have to make such choices, that we can just do both. That's one of our problems with science initiatives today. We're trying to do everything, and we end up half-assing it all and nothing gets done.

    Personally, I'd rather just not have a space program (well, nothing much more than putting satellites in orbit now and then) than spending billions on the white elephant of one that we have today.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:33PM (#29999234)

    The design is inherently unsafe, segmented SRB's. Cost per manned launches estimated to be about $1 billion, the test launch cost $500 million. That's about the same as a shuttle launch, epic fail on controlling cost, Falcon X claims to be able to do that for 1/10 the cost. Just another example of government waste. Oh yeah the SRB's are extremely harmful to the environment when compared with liquid fueled rockets. The private sector can and will do this better for less money and much greater safety.

  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:33PM (#29999236) Journal

    or why not just get the hell out of deciding whats good for other cultures and peoples ?

    Too be fair that particular criticism applies to a lot more than just one country. The list of nations that are not guilty of that now or in the recent past is quite small.

  • Re:For example... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:37PM (#29999296) Journal

    We're going to get the worst of both worlds: no manned space exploration program and a white elephant "green" energy infrastructure that won't be good for much except making the investors who started the Chicago Climate Exchange richer.

  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:41PM (#29999340)

    thankfully, the grownups have taken over running this country

    Ah yes. Reid and Pelosi, Axelrod, Gibbs, and even Obama at times, definitely act like grownups. Especially when they cry about Republicans not being bipartisan and then - for the first time in the history of the rule, I believe - push a bill out of committee without the quorum of two minority group members.

    Actually, IMO, it seems most Senators - on both sides - act more like three year olds than what "grownups" are supposed to act like.

    I guess the 70s was the conservatives' fault and the 80s and 90s were the liberals' fault? Meaning the unemployment and inflation in the 70s, and the rather good and rising economy of the 80s and 90s.

  • Re:More proof... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:43PM (#29999374)

    Bah, his reasoning is wrong anyway. A conservative, as defined in this era, would happily spend money on the project because they would see a potential military/commercial gain from the results. A liberal, as defined in this era, would not want to spend the money because it doesn't do anything to further their socialist agenda and spread the wealth.

  • Re:More proof... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:48PM (#29999454)

    It's been a long time since a Republican could describe (much less act like) a conservative, either.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @04:54PM (#29999538) Homepage

    We just spent almost a trillion in one year as a "stimulus" that has apparently helped nothing... and if it has, very little and it's really hard to tell and it appears that a lot of it is being wasted.

    So, wait, let me get this straight... it's "really hard to tell" if the stimulus has done anything. But, despite that admission, in the very same sentence, you claim it has "apparently helped nothing... and if it has, very little".

    Uhuh.

    Yup, definitely a clear, unbiased, level-headed analysis, there...

  • Re:For example... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by morgauxo (974071) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:04PM (#29999678)
    As the price of fossil fuels rise the market will fund alternative energy sources. For the market to fund the steps towards colonizing the solar system the price of space travel must fall. The first will happen in spite of what anyone does. The second requires someone who can spend money without expecting a profit to do the initial work, ie taxpayer dollars ie government.
  • Re:For example... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by morgauxo (974071) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:14PM (#29999820)
    Our population rises exponentially. No matter how green our technology gets we ultimately have 3 choices.
    Extinction.
    Kill our excess children.
    Expand out into the rest of the solar system and beyond

    The only thing really up for argument is how long we have until we have to make the choice. The thing about that third choice however is that if we don't start it soon enough there won't be time before we have to choose between the other two.

    That being said.. Let the market push green technology. Have you been watching the price of oil? There are fortunes to be made! There are many fortunes to be lost before we colonize space. There is too much technology to be developed yet so the market isn't going to do it. We need a money source which isn't required to justify itself by earning a profit to develop space travel technology. We need it to be cheap enough that corporations start shipping people off world to look for resources they can turn into money. The only source I know of is tax dollars.
  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:16PM (#29999844) Homepage Journal
    I'm am going to play the false dichotomy [wikipedia.org] debuff card on your fallacy and add an alternative perspective to the game. From the way you presented your comment it sounded as if you were saying that we have the choice to either invest in useful cheaper science here on the ground, or invest in expensive fluff science up in space. I would assert that we can, and should do both. The federal government annual budget is not a simple pie that is divided into a few equally sized proportions. It is made up of thousands of expenditures on everything from federal employee wages to excessively expensive arms contracts to student grants for college assistance. If we cut spending on some of our more absurd money sinks that are not as valuable to science as say, alternative energy and space exploration, we could easily afford to fund useful science like alternative energy and space exploration simultaneously.

    If you take an hour out of your day (really, you have plenty of time left in your life, you can survive 1 hour) to do some poking around over at USASpending.gov [usaspending.gov] you will see figures pop up like the fact that the top five federal contractors this year were:

    1 LOCKHEED MARTIN CORPORATION ... $29.748500571 Billion
    2 THE BOEING COMPANY ... $18.231538802 Billion
    3 GENERAL DYNAMICS CORPORATION ... $12.318737574 Billion
    4 NORTHROP GRUMMAN CORPORATION ... $11.900713440 Billion
    5 RAYTHEON COMPANY ... $11.156782353 Billion

    Now you may already know this, but if not, another hour of research won't kill you, but each of those companies is very diversified in the types of products the provide to their customers. They work on everything from appliances, to housing, to spacecraft. However, a little more research and a little intuition will show you that these companies are, above all else, arms developers. And the majority of their contracts coming from the federal government are those dedicated to developing the new, powerful, absurdly capable weapons that would have been useful in the Cold War, which ended ~20 years ago. If you add up the total monetary value of the contracts provided to these five companies for FY 2009, you see that, together, $88.356272740 Billion (with a B) was awarded to companies that are essentially developing technology to fight a war that fizzled out 20 years ago. Now of course, neither economics or politics are as simple as I am making this out to be, but it does illustrate a point. While these companies probably are also getting plenty of money for advancing science and engineering in general, the mass majority of the spending by the federal government is spent ramping up what is already the most powerful and capable military in the world right now.

    Suppose, for a second, that the war-machine lobby groups could be quelled long enough that the exorbitant level of funds being diverted to arms development and obscure wars on ideas (terrorism, drugs, etc.) could, instead, be cut significantly and diverted instead to, as you put it, meaningful science pursuits. We could, quite easily, save money on a federal level AND fund space exploration (manned and unmanned) AND fund alternative energy AND fund stem cell research AND fund computer infrastructure development etc. Instead, however, we have allowed our federal government to be infiltrated and overtaken by corrupt, greedy, selfish corporate interests. Thus, rather than funding valuable, civil science and tech, we have a government whose spending levels are out of control. A good amount of that spending goes towards funding wars that are sketchy at best, and a dormant lion of a military that needs nothing more than a twitchy trigger finger on its leash to free an unholy uproar of annihilation and chaos.

    In short, our current priorities are the only thing that keep our country from properly funding the sciences that both you, and I, find valuable simultaneously

  • by JWW (79176) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:16PM (#29999848)

    Well NASA sure as heck isn't raking in the funding under Obama either. And don't go saying he'll be giving more funding to have NASA do Earth Science either because of his stance on Global Warming, because he isn't doing that either.

    All I see right now is liberal special interest groups getting waaaayyyy more money than NASA is even asking for showered on them and NASA continuing to get the shaft from this administration just like they did from the last one.

    I am sick of hearing how science can now breathe a sigh of relief because Obama's in the White House. They won't be doing anything at all unless they get some real funding pretty soon.

  • Re:For example... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JWW (79176) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:21PM (#29999924)

    Um, if _I_ were President, I would immediately put a stop to the Treasury handing out any more TARP money and fully fund NASA's budget.

    There that wasn't so hard.

    And yes, it is what I would really do if I were President. I believe completely that the TARP program was one of the worst things my Government has ever done.

  • Re:For example... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Again (1351325) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:30PM (#30000042)

    Our population rises exponentially. No matter how green our technology gets we ultimately have 3 choices. Extinction. Kill our excess children. Expand out into the rest of the solar system and beyond

    Well that's a false trichotomy if I've ever heard one.

    We can also slow our population growth to 0 by using birth control.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:32PM (#30000078) Homepage

    Ah yes. Reid and Pelosi, Axelrod, Gibbs, and even Obama at times, definitely act like grownups. Especially when they cry about Republicans not being bipartisan and then - for the first time in the history of the rule, I believe - push a bill out of committee without the quorum of two minority group members.

    Just on this topic, ignoring the bailouts and all that, the Republicans have taken on a very simple strategy in the last six months or so: Block *all* proposals coming from Democrats. Period. How the hell can you possibly expect the Democrats to fulfill their promises of bipartisanship if the Republicans do everything they possibly can to hijack the democratic process?

  • Re:More proof... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lennier (44736) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:41PM (#30000202) Homepage

    Yes, since when did 'conservative' start to mean 'dedicated to spending as much as possible on massive military buildup and wars of world domination', anyway?

    And when did 'spreading the wealth' become un-democratic?

  • by Apocryphos (1222870) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:42PM (#30000212)
    The fact that there is this kind of money to be spent is rather dependent on the overwhelming power of the US military at this point.

    As long as the US is The Superpower, their money will hold value no matter how much debt they go into.

    Divert the funds into what you describe sure, but if it doesn't yield marketable results quickly, the US would end up in trouble.
  • by CannonballHead (842625) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:46PM (#30000272)

    How the hell can you possibly expect the Democrats to fulfill their promises of bipartisanship if the Republicans do everything they possibly can to hijack the democratic process?

    But the Democrats won't listen to or accept a single change to bills from Republicans, apparently, unless it is one that the Democrats all approve of in the first place.

    In other words, the bipartisan effort in the Obama administration/current Senate goes something like this: Hey, why don't you just agree with us and be bipartisan?.

    And if they don't agree, they are being "partisan." Or racist, for that matter.

  • Re:More proof... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by radtea (464814) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:47PM (#30000278)

    A liberal, as defined in this era, would not want to spend the money because it doesn't do anything to further their socialist agenda and spread the wealth.

    The problem is that "liberal" and "conservative" as defined in the US have no substantive policy differences, just different talking points that the American media sells to American consumers as profound and fundamental differences in policy, to the extent that when members of your two nominally different poltical parties do exactly the same thing those actions are universally believed to have different meanings.

    When a "conservative" runs up a massive budget deficit it's to keep America safe. When a "liberal" does exactly the same thing it's because they're growing government power to promote their socialist agenda.

    When a "conservative" bails out a business it is "saving the American free enterprise system" (still don't understand that, but that's what "conservatives" say.) When a "liberal" bails out a business it's to reward their friends in Big Labour and promote their socialist agenda.

    When a "liberal" says we must "spread the wealth" it's furthering thier socialist agenda, but when Sarah Palin said it--which she did!--it's "conservative" government support of the common man, or Real Americans, or something.

    I've put the above examples in conservative-interpretive terms because conservatives are the dominant political and cultural force in America today, as suggested by Obama's continuance of almost all substantive Bush-era policies on killing people around the world and looting the national treasury in favour of Big Business. But one could just as easily put a liberal-interpetive spin on them: "conservative" spending is "supporting the military-industrial complex" while "liberal" spending is "providing jobs for our hard-working men and women" (in the military-industrial complex.) And so on.

    No actual policy ever changes as presidents and congreses come and go: the single-party oligarchs and keptocrats change the window-dressing and continue to amass power and loot, and the nattering idiots that populate American political discourse continue to steadfastly quibble with each other as if the two wings of the Party were the least bit different from each other in any substantive sense.

    For your own sake: wake up, people. Please.

  • Better (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @05:52PM (#30000338) Homepage Journal

    What better than a daring scientific project of national proportions to catalyze the United States, to unite the minds and the hearts of all the people, to inspire them, to give them hope and a vision?

    How about a project of national proportions to get us off of fossil fuels, or at least completely energy-independent, today, and for a fraction of the cost of whatever you have in mind?

    How about a project of national proportions to beef up our computing and telecommunications infrastructure so that every American has pretty much instant, real-time access to, well, pretty much everything?

    Or for that matter, how about a massive funding effort of national in medical research, with the end goal of something like a cancer vaccine, maybe even a cure, or other goals such as extending the quality and quantity of life in general? That would certainly captivate me.

    I love sci-fi, I love sci-reality, I've been a space junkie since I was a kid, and if I had the chance to go to Mars, I'd sign up tomorrow. But I'm also practical, and I realize that there are a lot better things that we could spend a lot of money on than the space program.

    Maybe "change I can believe in" means "we're going to stop spending billions of dollars on white elephants and put that money to more practical use." If so, consider me on board. I don't want the space program to die any more than anyone else, but I do think that as a country, we have much higher priorities that we should concentrate on.

  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @06:24PM (#30000760) Homepage

    As an aside, I happen to think this whole idea of bipartisanship is, at this point, completely absurd. Since the last election, the Republicans have clearly chosen to swing even further to the right (one need only see the NY-23 election to see that), latching on to the extreme right-wingers like Sarah Palin. As such, I simply don't think there *can* be any kind of bipartisan effort between the Democrats and the Republicans, simply because they're so distant ideologically. Meanwhile, the Republicans are really interested in one thing at this stage: tearing the Democrats from power. And if that means blocking any and all attempts and meaningful reform, then so be it.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say they've concluded that it's in the Republicans' best interests to ensure that *nothing* the Democrats want gets passed, as if the Dems can show any success on the issues that people actually care about (healthcare, the economy, etc), it'll only solidify their hold on the political ground they've gained during the last 4 years. Much like our good friend Rush Limbaugh, I really believe the Republicans hope Obama and the Democrats fail and fail miserably, regardless of the consequences it may have for America.

  • by Mo Bedda (888796) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @06:56PM (#30001162)
    The unfunded liabilities of universal health care will make Medicare part D look like pocket change.

    Well, lucky for us there aren't any unfunded universal health care bills on the table. Perhaps you should inform yourself on what health care bills are currently under consideration.
  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @07:05PM (#30001264)

    How the hell can you possibly expect the Democrats to fulfill their promises of bipartisanship if the Republicans do everything they possibly can to hijack the democratic process?

    I personally don't care. The junk coming from the Democrats is extremely harmful to the future of the US and unworthy of bipartisan compromise. The Democrats have majorities in both branches of Congress. If they can't get their own members to vote for these bills, then why should they expect Republicans to vote for them?

  • by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @07:50PM (#30001640)

    We do want to control malpractice insurance costs. I agree with you there! The system is just far too litigation happy and we have lawyers who make a living off frivoulous lawsuits. But Part of the problem though is insurance companies with have 30% overhead compared to 4% for medicare. If we got rid of the insurance companies and replace it with medicare for all, we would save enough money to cover everyone in the country. Just by getting rid of private insurance and their $120 million dollar salary executives! The insurance companies have so corrupted government, especially repubs. but also the democrats, like Max "Insurance company lapdog" Baucus, that we will never see a real universal single payer system that works best for americans rather than insurance companies. The public option was the middle ground between the conservatives want, the current corrupt, fatten up the wealthy on the pain and suffering from out of control costs on average americans, private health care systems, and the ideal and best option single payer. Single payer would actually give you the most choice, under progressive proposals, to choose any doctor, adn there would be no bureaucracy, doctors and patients would make the decisions about what treatment is best. it would be the opposite of death panels because you would not have private insurance denying life saving treatments so the CEO can get another yacht, and millions of uninsured and dying off. The Republicans are such an immoral and scandalous, outright liars to propogate this totally false lie that there would be death panels in the bill, when the private insurance system they protect IS a death panel and the Republicans are responsible for 40,000 children dying every year due to lack of healthcare so some sleazy CEO can get rich!

  • Re:For example... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @08:21PM (#30001850) Homepage

    As the price of fossil fuels rise the market will fund alternative energy sources. [Moving to non-fossil energy sources] will happen in spite of what anyone does.

    Of course they will, but the question is will this funding be soon enough and large enough to sufficiently replace fossil fuels at a pace that matches the rise in oil prices?

    Our entire economy is dependent on fossil fuels. If the price goes up, and there isn't enough alternative sources available so that we need to continue paying this increasing cost, it will put a severe drag on our economy. If the price of oil rises to quickly, and the alternative energy sources are not ready, it could drive us into a depression far worse than the mere recession we're still struggling with now. Where, then, will the money come from to continue developing alternative energy? And what good will it do when it takes years and years to build up?

    We are facing a severe problem with fossil fuels if we don't do something about it well in advance. If "the market" is going to wait until the price of oil is prohibitively expensive, then it's going to be too late.

    Funding alternative energy means getting the free market to do something it normally doesn't very well, which is respond to obvious problems before they materially hurt the market's bottom line.

    Personally I think we can fund NASA too, but that's me.

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @08:30PM (#30001926) Journal
    The man has been in there for 10 months, has been dealing with the 2 wars, the worse economy since 1935, massive corruption in the previous admin, taking American rights, quite possibly war crimes by the previous admin, and you think that NASA's underfunding by the neo-cons for 7 long years is his top priority? Really?

    So far, Obama has nearly DOUBLED the amount of money being spent on Science that W/Neo-cons did, and I HOPE that Obama will br brighter than them.
  • Re:For example... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by camperdave (969942) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @08:35PM (#30001960) Journal
    Our population rises exponentially. No matter how green our technology gets we ultimately have 3 choices. Extinction.
    Kill our excess children.,br> Expand out into the rest of the solar system and beyond


    Expanding into Space doesn't help. Imagine a sphere centered on Earth, and expanding outwards over time. That sphere will grow geometrically, eg t^3. As you've posited, our population rises exponentially n^t. Eventually, we will overpopulate space. Expansion is not an option.
  • Re:More proof... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by guppysap13 (1225926) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @09:17PM (#30002176)
    I think you mean Republican and Democrat. Neither party seems to fit the old distinctions of conservative and liberal. Instead, they have just been used by the media to polarize the country, while in the end they aim for the same things.
  • by demachina (71715) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @09:23PM (#30002206)

    If you are just running a jobs program its actually better to do as little as possible. Hardware and launches cost money reducing funds available for salaries. As long as Congress and the President let's them get away with it, and keeps sending them a few billion each year, it would be ideal to schedule the next launch in the 2040 time frame, which is practically what they are already doing.

    If you've watched NASA over the years, especially when they are doing new launch vehicles they ALWAYS produce awesome computer animations of what it would look like if they actually built it, and then they never do. I'm assuming Congress, being not very bright, are fooled by the animation and think they are getting actual space vehicles and launches for the billions.

    They also run an awesome 24/7 TV channel to show all the awesome computer animations they do. I think they should start running reality TV shows and an American idol spinoff on it, sell commercials and they could fund their hardware, if they actually wanted to build spacecraft anymore which I don't think they really do.

    The other dynamic going on here is I think NASA would actually like to continue the status quo and just spend all the money on a few shuttle launches a year, watch the ISS spin around the earth and do research no one understands or values. This is really the safest and easiest job program. Developing and testing new launch vehicles is really hard. They have the 100 meter high pile of paper necessary to do a shuttle launch nailed.

  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @11:23PM (#30002814)
    Something I've noticed is that the Democrats have a majority in both branches of Congress. If they can't pass their agenda over the objection of the Republicans, then something is wrong on the Democrat side.
  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Friday November 06, 2009 @07:21AM (#30004344) Journal

    The only people that will lose if health care is cleaned up are the insurance companies and the most dishonest drug companies

    That is a true statement. Now how likely do you think that what the government is trying to do will in any way "clean up" the health care system? The plan most likely to pass forces the entire population to buy the insurance companies' product! Compared with plans that actually attempt to solve the problem [denninger.net] it is clear that the only thing that congress will pass is corporate welfare for insurance companies and unions.

One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. -- Robert Heinlein

Working...