Space cuts short-sighted

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  • T Bowcutt
    Feb. 26, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    Did we miss a very important part of this article? Ok, let the space travel go to the private sector, but what about our National Defense: "A report to Congress last year pointed out that delays in the NASA Ares program could have "significant negative impact" on the industrial base for missile production. If delays are "significant" an outright cancellation would be overwhelming. We will lose not just our capabilities for space exploration, but our capability to protect our homeland. Our nation will be less secure.

    Maintaining leadership in space and creating jobs is important, but fulfilling our constitutional duty to provide for the common defense is an absolute must."

    Everyone is missing the BIG picture!!!!!!!!

  • ATK deserves to loose $$$
    Feb. 25, 2010 12:34 p.m.

    And in 1962 John Glenn went into orbit aboard an ATLAS rocket.

    Since then (48 years later), the Atlas has been commericalized and sent over 300+ payloads safely and realiably into orbit and beyond -- for just pennies on the dollar to the government.

    Cellphones, TV, GPS -- all thanks to Boeing commerical and the mighty ATLAS....NOT BIG Government.


    Boeing will have the ATLAS V and the Delta IV ready in less than 36 months.

    BTW,
    Boeing has been running the International Space Station and all opertions for the last 15 years for NASA.
    Cheaper than Government work too.

  • Right Wing Hypocrites
    Feb. 25, 2010 11:58 a.m.

    The mantra of the Republicans and Right Wingers is Government is evil, the private sector is always better and competition is good. Obama gave you all three in his space decision. This does not kill the US space effort, it simply takes the Government (NASA) out of competition with hardware manufacturers. Go on the web and look up SpaceX, Orbital Sciences, Virgin Galactic and others. There are literally dozens of private sector companies clamoring for NASA business. If you want free enterprise, you got it. I understand that Bishop has to support ATK in this, but for America in general, he is wrong

  • Stefan
    Feb. 25, 2010 8:44 a.m.

    Okay, one last comment.

    There are many detractors of the commercial option of sending people to space who say that the private sector doesn't have the experience or capability of building safe rockets to launch people into space.

    Who do you think has actually built the rockets that NASA has been using all of these years? The original rockets were built by private sector contractors to NASA. This includes the space shuttle. This includes companies like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, ATK, Aerojet, and so on.

    One of the rockets that would be used to send people into space is the Atlas 5. This rocket already has 19 successful flights! All it needs is more sensors and other relatively minor modifications and a launch escape system to make it "man rated."

    The SpaceX rocket is being built by a new company, but they employed some of the top people from the existing aerospace companies, so they actually have a pool of deep experience. The Falcon 9 rocket was built from day one to be man rated.

    I have every confidence that the private sector can build safe, affordable access to space.

  • Stefan
    Feb. 25, 2010 8:32 a.m.

    Defenders of Constellation keep missing the main point. The program was unaffordable and unsustainable. The Augustine commission said that even if Ares 1 was given to us free by Santa Claus, we couldn't afford to fly it because its cost per flight was so expensive. Unfortunately, the development cost of Ares 1 was huge too. $9 billion dollars has already been spent on it, and we still don't have a working rocket and capsule.

    Switching to commercial providers of launch should have been done in the beginning. $9 billion dollars would have paid for 2 or 3 launch vehicles and capsules instead of partway into building one. Then we wouldn't be at risk of a single point of failure if there is a problem with Ares 1, like what happened when the shuttle was grounded twice.

  • Dave
    Feb. 25, 2010 8:25 a.m.

    The space program must not have a union.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 25, 2010 8:05 a.m.

    Whoa, a lot of misleading stuff here...
    1) Obama wants to cancel Constellation, not the replacement for the space shuttle. Private companies will offer services to NASA to deliver astronauts.
    2) End our efforts going to the Moon: Augustine Commission says NASA has never been given enough money to achieve the goal of landing before 2020.
    3) Cripple our capabilities in space? Military stopped relying on the shuttle to deliver its hardware ever since Challenger in '86. After Columbia in '03, NASA should have been doing the same.
    4) Going from 40 or so per year to 4 or 5 was Bush's plan, when he implemented the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE). Relying on the Russians for several years was going to happen with or without Constellation.
    5) Careful wording regarding funding to companies with no "tested or proven alternative." True, but Spacex has man-rated Falcon 9 on the launch pas right now, scheduled to launch in the next month or so. Where's Ares? The Ares 1-X doesn't count; it's not the same as Ares 1.
    There's more, but... Be careful what you read....

  • Hypocrisy
    Feb. 25, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    Cutting a 500 billion dollar inefficient and bloated space program in a recession is not only the right thing to do, but also seeing the big picture. I just wish that critics of this move could see the big picture as well. Instead of just trying to regain power in 2012.

  • wallofvoodoo
    Feb. 25, 2010 7:54 a.m.

    A public run space program is standing in the way of private business progress.

  • Daron
    Feb. 25, 2010 7:34 a.m.

    Very good article. Utah cannot afford to lose another 2,000 skilled workers and the nation cannot afford to lose upwards of 30,000 of these jobs!!!

  • Kevin
    Feb. 25, 2010 7:34 a.m.

    Nope. NASA's best science is unmanned. If you want show, you'll think manned space flight is where it's at. If you want good science, you'll think otherwise.

    Obama just pushed the rocket building to the private sector. Bishop thinks everything else should be run by the private sector (maybe not a bad idea). Let the private sector take on that risk, not the taxpayer.

    So-called "Star Wars" missile defense is still a feckless idea. I assume that's what he was referring to when he mentioned defense.

    Yes, Mr. Bishop, just like every representative in this country, will do what it takes to keep jobs in his district. I don't blame him. But I'm glad to see manned space flight canned.

  • liberal Larry
    Feb. 25, 2010 7:32 a.m.

    Wow, doesn't, Rob, realize that the most striking thing about the space program is the sense of wonder, and excitement it engenders? He has reduced the beauty of the Hubble photos, and the pride we all felt for Neil Armstong, to a dry argument about jobs, and national defense.

  • Anonymous
    Feb. 25, 2010 6:42 a.m.

    Great article. I don't know whose controling Obama or if this is just another wacky idea from an inept president. Mr. O just doesn't care about American exceptionalism. What else can one expect from a radical who was raised in a radical background? I just hope he had his crew don't destroy America to the point it can't be fixed.

  • Brandon K.
    Feb. 25, 2010 2:49 a.m.

    I think that it is profoundly depressing that a presidency founded on the foundation, or perhaps more accurately "illusion," of hope, decided to stab out the heart of America's greatest symbol of hope. But perhaps that is the real message here, we have left the age of great hopes and the betterment of us all in favor of vision-less hopes of simply living without purpose in living - a life without real hopes, aspirations, or dreams.