Science and sci-fi geeks come out of the government closet!
President Obama’s Vision for the Space Program
April 17, 2010 at 12:42 am #98013
President Obama laid out an ambitious vision for American space exploration that included missions to an asteroid and to Mars while opening up routine launches to low-Earth orbit by private
industries. It is a great vision and I especially like the mission to an asteroid because of the vast mineral wealth from Near-Earth Objects and to develop an ability to protect against asteroid impacting
on Earth. It also appears that the plan has widespread support in the space community.
I do disagree with leaving out a mission to the Moon. The Moon is a great base for launching missions to the asteroids and to Mars. We know we can reach it within a few days, it has mineral resources, water, and an energy source for fusion. The Moon’s gravity well is much smaller than the Earth’s gravity well and thus it easier to build bigger craft and launch them with less fuel. Building a base on the Moon allows us to test out technologies and methods that can help us explore Mars.
This is not an argument for reestablishing the Constellation program. Canceling Constellation was the right call as is the push to leave Low-Earth Orbit. But skipping past such an obvious asset in our
mission to Mars just doesn’t make sense.
[Crossposted on my blog at Neurogovernment]
April 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm #98024
I am pro-constellation program. I feel we need to crawl and walk before we go jump to Mars. It is the same reason the US needs Hawaii and Guam as stepping stones. The moon would make for a great stepping stone, and yes it would be a great place to perform test, and basically get people ready for deep space missions. My heart broke a little when I heard the Constellation program had been cancelled.
I am just wondering if all of the parts will be cancelled. Will we lose the building of Aries I and V boosters, and the Orion crew capsule, the Earth Departure Stage and the Altair lunar lander?
This just makes me really not like the people involved in bringing our economy down even more. I would love to see us go deeper in space in my lifetime.
April 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm #98021
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I want this as a patch or on a T-Shirt …. right now it is going to be my desktop background.
April 19, 2010 at 12:22 am #98019
Thank you for replying. I totally agree with your statement that “we need to crawl and walk before we go jump to Mars” and I understand why you are upset that Constellation was canceled. As I understand Obama’s message, Orion will still be funded but he is directing that NASA find heavy lift launchers for deep space exploration. The Aries I and V boosters were falling behind schedule and were way over budget by the time of cancellation.
There is also a movement within NASA to use Shuttle hardware to create the heavy lift launchers. It is called DIRECT and you might be interested in their website – http://www.directlauncher.com/. Personally, I don’t care what program we use to get out of low Earth orbit as long as we go back to the Moon, to an asteroid, and on to Mars.
April 19, 2010 at 10:59 am #98017
Yep, I am with you on that! Let’s go! I can’t wait to see and explore what is out there. Since I will probably never go, I sure hope someone does!
April 19, 2010 at 2:17 pm #98015
I am intrigued by a couple statements in Obama’s announcement. I agree with the Cancellation of the Constellation, though I realize that it, like all programs at NASA are deeply embedded in the very fibers of the teams working on them. You can see this first hand when Charlie sheds tears at each mention of the retirement of the shuttle. It is woven that deeply into each project/program member.
While I know it will be a sad and uncertain time for many at NASA, I hope that we can all look forward to the future of space travel and exploration. I know I am anxious about Obama’s promise to send more astronauts into space than previously planned. I am excited to see if the accelerated time line can be achieved. Part of me (a big part) is anticipating an announcement of a Starfleet Academy in my lifetime.
I agree that canceling a return to the moon may have been misguided. Considering that exiting low Earth orbit (LEO) is one of the main challenges to our exploration capabilities, to me it makes sense that we would establish a colony and construction facility on the Moon, where the Earth’s gravitational pull is depreciated significantly. I am also fishing for excuses to send project managers into space, as my educational background currently does not comply with the Astronaut selection panel’s requirements.
I am excited to see more research and utilization of legrange points as well as new propulsion technology. I can’t wait to see footage of a plasma-ion drive in action! With this new vision, which reaffirms our desire as a species to survive, I feel a sense of inspiration and hope for a brighter tomorrow!
“This president gets it.” – Charlie Bolden
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