Dead Space

For Political Discussion. This is another definite "Keep it Civil" area; Respect others' perspectives if debate happens.

Postby Helios » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:56 am

We have designed our civilization based on science and technology and at the same time arranged things so that almost no one understands anything at all about science and technology. This is a clear prescription for disaster.

-Carl Sagan

Let me say up front that I would give anything not to be writing this right now.

Last night, I sat there in front of the TV. Watching as the HD image of Barack Obama, with the grinning idiot Biden and Nanny Pelosi flanking him, talked about his plans for the next year. The speech, while not as bad as I expected, had some awkward moments, like when he criticized the Supreme Court, when the Justices were sitting right in the front row, or when he talked about how he cut taxes in 2009, and all the Republicans just stared at him, prompting Obama to joke “I thought I'd get some applause from that side” while pointing at the right half of the chambers.

At some point he talked about his fiscal plans for the US of A, mainly the spending freeze in 2011, and how he would eliminate programs that were “expensive” and “unnecessary.”

As those words left his mouth and traveled over the applause, the little Space-Nut voice inside my head said “Well, there goes the Moon program.”

I spent the rest of the evening hoping I was wrong, but 24 hours later...I learned I was right. ... 0904.story

Members of the Obama Administration, speaking on anonymity, reported that in the Budget proposal that will be released Monday, the President was not giving any funding for Project Constellation.

Project Constellation was an umbrella term for NASA's Human Spaceflight goals as dictated by President George W. Bush in 2004 following the successful landings of the Mars Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which are still functioning as of this article. NASA was to finish the International Space Station by 2010, and subsequently retire the Space Shuttle, and use a new set of spacecraft and rockets to return to the Moon, and fly to Mars and beyond.

The spacecraft, known as Orion, was mostly a modern version of the Apollo spacecraft, and designed to ferry humans to the ISS, and on missions beyond Earth orbit. It was to be launched on a new series of rockets, called Ares. As of this article both are nearing completion, and in fact a test flight of Ares, called Ares 1-X, was conducted in the Fall of 2009, and it was a resounding success.

Despite this, funding for Constellation is not found anywhere in the budget proposal, and because Constellation (like pretty much any other NASA program) is over budget and behind schedule, this is nothing short of a death sentence.

No spacecraft, no rockets, no return to the Moon, no missions to Mars, no nothing.

So excuse me Mr. President, but WHAT THE HELL?!

I thought you were gonna bring “change we can believe in” and you were gonna fix the mess America is in, and this is your idea? Oh wait I forgot, this country went broke before you took office. Totally not your mess to deal with, my mistake.

First of all; today, January 28, is the anniversary of the Challenger accident which claimed the lives of 7 astronauts, so is this a little tasteless? It's not just me, right?

Secondly, I know that you blokes in DC are trying to cut back on the spending, but really? I mean, really?!

Alright I know a bunch of you are reading this and going “Helios, stop your whining. This is no big deal and the funds should be cut. No one fucking cares about walking on the Moon.”

Well I fucking do. Let me try to put this in a light that some of you can understand: to me this is equivalent of Obamacare being killed. Oh now what? Now that makes you feel good because after I campaigned about how broken Obamacare was it's good to see me get a taste of my own medicine? Well, fuck you.

But you are right though, no one really cares anymore. I mean, when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, the entire world stopped to watch. Y'know when Apollo 17, the last flight, landed, people bitched that reruns of I Love Lucy got canceled.

When Columbia launched in 1981, it was a big event. When Challenger exploded, no one saw it happen, because no one covered the launch. Sure Challenger had the Teacher in Space, but hey this was the 25th Shuttle flight, I mean they we're “routine” now. The same thing happened on Columbia's last flight in 2003. The networks broadcast the launch, sure, but when the Shuttle came apart on reentry, no one was watching.

Now I'm not saying that networks should cover spaceflight by the second, I mean that's what NASA TV is for. But this shows that as a whole, the people of this world don't really care about exploring the unknown. That just makes this all the more frustrating, I mean how is it that movies like Star Trek and Avatar can rake in billions, and the same people who watch these movies don't want us to go to the Moon? Seriously, what the hell?

Now some of you are saying that I'm only mad cause Obama is a Democrat, and if it had been John McCain in office, I would support his decision. Well I can honestly say that if McCain won, and he announced he was canceling the Moon program, then I would probably leave the Republican party right then and there. This isn't about politics, this is about science.

I'm going to prove this by giving an honest account as to why Apollo ended, and by that I mean point fingers: it's all Nixon's fault.

“Hey Nixon was a Republican, he should be your boy!” First there's Watergate (“I believe if the President does it, it's not illegal!”) and then there's what he did to Apollo. NASA had big plans for Apollo, such as a lunar base, and even a mission to Venus. Nixon however stripped funding from NASA, claiming that it was too expensive.

In reality that was only part of the reason: the rest of it was that Nixon saw NASA as the crowing achievement of JFK, his arch rival. Tricky Dick took this chance to piss on Kennedy's grave, and he wasn't stopping with Apollo. Hell he was gonna cancel the Shuttle as well, and the only reason he didn't is because an aide told him that they could use the Shuttle to capture USSR satellites.

And by the way, I hope Obama isn't taking Nixon's logic of reasoning in his axing of Constellation. I mean if he's canceling it just because it was Bush's idea (and we all know that anything Bush put in place was bad) then he's out of here for sure in 2012.

So what are Obama's plans for NASA anyway? I mean NASA dosen't get shafted completely, they get about $5.7 Billion in the budget, and they won't be affected by the 2011 freeze (although any budget increases they get will be minimal at best), but none of it is going into Constellation. So what is NASA gonna do with $5.7 Billion?

Well let's take a look. First he wants NASA to spend a lot of the money on research into Global Warming. He also wants to keep the ISS flying until 2020, and I guess I can see that, I mean ISS is a pretty cool thing, and it would be nice to have it a lil while longer. The rest is to outsource Human Spaceflight (hah, now that's ironic) by having astronauts hitch rides on foreign spacecraft (namely the Russians) or Private companies.

So that's it, the only real good thing is that we keep the ISS. The rest of the money is spent on unnecessary research into that inconvenient half-truth, and putting the lives of US astronauts in the hands of either newbie corps who put their rockets together with duct tape, or a bunch of Cold War fantasizing ass-backward retards that I wouldn't trust with a bottle rocket (no offense to any Russians here of course, I'm talking about their “space program.”)

NASA is reluctant to take the Private enterprise option for a reason: a lot of their rockets are unreliable. SpaceShipOne worked yes, and SpaceShipTwo (which could begin flights this year) looks promising, but it hasn't flown yet. Then you have companies like SpaceX who's Falcon 1 rocket has flown 5 times and only worked twice. Given odds like that, I'd actually prefer a ride from the Rooskies.

By the way, when did the Russians land on the Moon? Answer: THEY DIDN'T. Russia's Moon program died after their answer to the Saturn V, the N-1, blew up each time it was launched. Given their track record in recent years (Mir, Soyuz ballistic landings, 0-20 in Mars probes) I have to say that while the Russians are nice to have as a backup, I wouldn't trust them with our astronauts.

And by the way, I say again this is science, not politics. The real reason we haven't gone back to the Moon is because there's no political gain. Apollo wasn't about science and exploration, it was about beating the Russians. If we went back to the Moon we wouldn't gain anything politically, unless China challenged us to a race.

Hell, one Administration Official even said, in regards to the budget, “We certainly don't need to go back to the Moon.”

You're right, we don't. Want to hear something funny? There was this guy named Christopher Columbus who in 1492 sailed across the Atlantic in search of a new route to India. Well turns out he landed in America instead, or close enough anyway. You gotta wonder though, after Columbus left, why did the Pilgrims and the British come back to this place? There was nothing to gain aside from a new pot of land, and the natives weren't too friendly, at least to the ones with guns in their faces. They didn't need to come back here.

In the 1970's, NASA sent the Viking probes to Mars to search for intelligent lift, or at least evidence of it. Well tough luck, they didn't find anything, and as it turned out Mars was dead. So why did NASA start sending probes back in the 1990's? I mean, there's nothing to gain aside from a big red ball of dust, why go back?

The answer: because it's THERE.

Why go back to America? Because it's there.

Why climb the highest mountain? Because it's there.

Why sail to the South Pole? Because it's there.

Why go to the Moon? Because it's there.

Look, you shouldn't need a political or motivational reason to explore space. You do it because it's the right thing to do. Man is not a species who is complacent to sit around on his ass, afraid to explore. If he was, then we all certainly wouldn't be here today. Man will certainly visit other worlds, and outlive the Earth, but only if he chooses to do so.

Just putting it off is not helping either. We landed on the Moon in 1969, and we haven't gone back in over 30 years. With that big of a gap, no wonder people think we faked it. We've shown that we can land on another world, we have the technology to do so. When I look at 2001: A Space Odyssey, I know that that's how the world should be right now. Star Trek and Avatar are not fantasies if we commit to this goal.

By canceling the Constellation Program, Obama is sending the wrong message. He's saying that exploring new frontiers and uniting and bettering Man isn't as important as making sure that people have jobs (by the way, wouldn't a revitalized space program create jobs?). And it's attitudes like this that will ensure that every living creature on this Earth will probably be dead in 100 years or less.

Is it gonna cost a pretty penny? Sure, but how much does any dream cost? The economy might not be best suited for it, I understand that, but the ends will certainly justify the means! Constellation can help rebuild our economy by putting people to work across the nation to help build equipment for the exploration of space, and if this program is successful, it will be a great source of national pride. You saw how good everyone felt after the success of Ares 1-X, imagine that tenfold. This dream cannot die for the petty reason to save money. If Constellation goes through and takes us higher and farther than ever before, it will be a milestone in history, and it's certainly within our ability to make it happen! What's the words I'm looking for here...oh yeah:


Unfortunately I feel this will all fall on deaf ears. The most likely outcome is that the budget will pass, and Constellation will join the other great NASA ideas that never were. I guess all I'm trying to say here is that it's too bad that the the people of the US of A don't see the exploration of space as a great triumph for not only this country, but the whole world.

It's a cold night tonight, but the sky is clear and the Moon is in full view. Yesterday I read that tomorrow will not only be a full Moon, but the Moon will be at Perigee, the closest point in it's orbit to Earth. So tomorrow's full Moon will be the closest one we have all year.

I imagine that 40 years ago, that's how it always seemed. But after tonight, the Moon seems farther away than ever before.

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too...Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, "Because it is there." Well, space is there, and we're going to climb it, and the Moon and the planets are there, and new hopes for knowledge and peace are there. And, therefore, as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked. “

-John F. Kennedy

Postscript: Proving Bipartisanship exists, Repubs and Dems are trying to keep Constellation alive.

There's still hope
I do not pray for an easy life. I pray to be a stronger bird.
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Postby FerretParade » Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:44 pm

Guess what Helios..this will probably RAGE you more!!! Guess what NASA just came out and said not to long ago! Deemed by Obama, it's now their mission to teach the Muslim community about their part in history in science and technology. I guess those poor, poor, Muslims need Americans to teach them about their history and make them feel special about their contributions to science and space. Fucking dumbest use of our scientists I have ever seen a president do.

I mean if they actually contributed to space and science they'd realize that fucking rock they worship is a meteor that they won't let any scientist actually study to tell them so. No its a rock from god =0 Just fucking sad something that used to make America stand in glory is nothing but a useless library for teaching Muslims their own history. Like we really know it better than themselves!
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