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Armstrong, Cernan Testify Against Obama Space Plan 411

MarkWhittington submitted a story about the first man to walk on the moon testifying yesterday that President Barack Obama's plans to revamp the human space program would cede America's longtime leadership in space to other nations.
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Armstrong, Cernan Testify Against Obama Space Plan

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  • and? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:41PM (#32196148)

    dont we have bigger issues than who has the biggest space penis??

    • Re:and? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MadCat221 ( 572505 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:46PM (#32196242)
      There will always be issues that people think are more important than space exploration, things that they think must be taken care of before it. If we wait until they're all taken care of, then we'll never get around to it.
      • Re:and? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:57PM (#32196456)

        Indeed. People seem to be of this braindead mindset that governments must solve problems in a serial fashion. The most important one goes to the top and everything else must wait it's turn.

        Newsflash - if the system worked like that as soon as "world hunger" or "world peace" floated it's way up there nothing else would EVER see the light of day.

        The reality is that if you want to get anything done, you have to work on problems in tandem. Yes, we have a deficit, yes, there are starving children in the world, but those problems will actually get WORSE if you focus exclusively on them at the expense of everything else.

    • Re:and? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:48PM (#32196256)

      Better yet, why spend money to send people when we can send machines and do science?

      There is zero _urgency_ to send humans, we need robots on earth and in space much more than we need humans in space, and robots don't (unlike humans) impose a prohibitively costly burden. Let other countries eat the R&D, then do what China does to us and enjoy the fruits of other peoples research.

    • I hate this argument. Firstly, while it sounds logical, it really isn't. There are always other things to spend money on. 59% of the US budget goes to social programs, 21.5% goes to defense, 8.5% goes to pay interest on the debt. NASA gets .58%, and of that manned space is a fraction. Do you really think that taking a fraction of .58% and putting it somewhere else, line the Doe wil materially help? Keep in mind that the DoE gets .82% of the budget.

      it's not a dick measuring contest. It's about explori

    • by BuR4N ( 512430 )
      China ramping up its space presences , US is winding down its program. What message does that send to the rest of the world do you think ? NASA have been one of the most effective PR machines selling the US brand to the rest of the world for more then 40 years now.
  • Buzz Aldrin (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Buzz Aldrin disagrees.

    • Buzz Aldrin disagrees.

      Mod AC parent up! The media is acting like all of the former astronauts are against Obama's plans to scuttle the back-to-the-moon plan. But others disagree with Armstrong. Aldrin, for example, thinks we should just go on to Mars.

  • by dpilot ( 134227 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:45PM (#32196212) Homepage Journal

    ...which has been overambitious and underfunded.

    We haven't had a decent space plan since getting to the moon. We have had some lofty goals, but never proper commitment or funding. We've also had changing directions every administration or so.

    Perhaps the worst thing about Obama's plan is that it is a little more in line with reality instead of wishes?

    • by mrchaotica ( 681592 ) * on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:49PM (#32196276)

      We haven't had a decent manned space plan. Galileo, Cassini, Spirit & Opportunity, and plenty others worked out very well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Angst Badger ( 8636 )

        We haven't had a decent manned space plan. Galileo, Cassini, Spirit & Opportunity, and plenty others worked out very well.

        This is really the crucial point. We have done some first rate science without having any meat on board, and in most cases, we couldn't have done it with meat on board because meat is just not tough enough to do the job, and launching the necessary equipment to keep meat alive in space for years at a time is prohibitively expensive, and meat wouldn't serve any actual practical purpose in most cases.

        Mind you, I am an enthusiastic supporter of manned spaceflight, but let's be reasonable and make sure we're pu

  • ASTRONAUT FIGHT! (Score:5, Informative)

    by buback ( 144189 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @01:53PM (#32196348)

    Buzz Aldrin disagrees

    Neil Armstrong Vs. Buzz Aldrin Over Obama's Space Plans
    CBSNews URL: []

    Who do you think would win in a fight, Buzz Ald(I won't even finish the question)

  • NASA needs to go (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:00PM (#32196522)

    Like any bureaucracy, NASA existed only as long as it pleased its political leaders. The result is a space agency that's known for stunts.

    Put a man in orbit. First! {Grab genitalia and grunt here).

    Put a man on the moon. First! (Grunt repeatedly here).

    Seriously, if NASA's main missions now were spaced based power, Zero G industries, low-grav hospitals, a satellite based internet, a space based mirror climate control system, or any of *thousands* of practical, profitable, useful projects, would we even be having this discussion?

    Instead, NASA is all about Texas and Florida political pork, controlled by politicians and shaped to *their* ends. Market based solutions, as bad as they are, would still be better than techno-military welfare that we can't afford.

  • The only reason for manned flight is to get to a place worth colonizing. The only place worth colonizing is Mars. All other missions can be done better, cheaper, faster, with robotic craft. So Obama has it exactly right. There is no reason to go back to the moon (Bush just wanted to use it as a military base and didn't even make progress with that). Armstrong is an old guy who was trained as an engineer and made one flight that put him in the history books. That doesn't mean that he knows much about t
  • One lone protester (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CompressedAir ( 682597 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:02PM (#32196576)

    As I came back from lunch today, I saw a single retiree-looking gentleman standing on the corner of Saturn and NASA Rd. 1 with a sign protesting the Obama plan. That's here at JSC, home of the astronauts.

    I dunno, maybe more people will join him once work lets out. As someone who works in this industry, I still remain on the record saying that the current plan is the best one NASA has had since the Shuttle was a dream given form*.

    * Not quite the form it should have been, though.

  • it makes no sense to send people into space... until we know of someplace we can permanently stay.

    robots are faster, more accurate, more durable, can stay out there virtually indefinitely, and are 3-20 orders of magnitude cheaper.

    from a scientific perspective, low-earth-orbit (the only place we're sending people) just isn't that interesting. virtually all space-related scientific data comes from unmanned probes and robots.

    until we're talking about settling another planet/moon, people in space are just tourists. so why is the government funding it?

  • Look guys, do you know that the Government will spend $1.60 per dollar it takes in in revenue this year? That works out on a $4 Trillion-some budget to be ~$1.4 Trillion dollars of additional debt.

    The future?
    $1 Trillion each year in the red. Nevermind the unfunded liabilities of medicare and medicaid.

    That means:
    You have to CUT! lots of spending has to be cut! If you want those programs to go ahead regardless, then send in a cheque and help them fund it! Just my opinion, Regards
  • Did anyone think to ask him under oath if he actually walked on the moon? Just sayin ...
  • What do I get? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GlobalEcho ( 26240 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:19PM (#32196914)

    Armstrong and the other astronauts got to walk on the moon. What do I get for billions of dollars thrown at more human spacetravel? Nothing.

    I'll take the robots and the science instead, please.

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @02:46PM (#32197470)

    Mars ain't the kind of place to raise a kid

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel