Space news

Blogs are great for personal opinions on news events. As a lifelong “space buff” I have taken interest in the 2011 NASA budget, which has finally passed through both houses of Congress and awaits the President’s signature. Although I do not like the direction that we are going now, at least there is some direction in which to go.
The previous administration directed NASA to go back to the Moon and them Mars, but never gave them the adequate money to do it.
Now the Project Constellation is canceled, after billions of taxpayers money has been spent on it. An entire Mobile Launch Platform was recently finished for the now canceled Ares-1 launcher, which is now defunct and abandoned.

It will be interesting to see if the new direction will be fully implemented, or if the next administration will again change the program again, after billions of more dollars are spent.

NASA has lacked a clear long term commitment for its programs in recent years. Only during the Apollo days did NASA get the congressional and executive support it needed to complete a ten year project. Now everything goes in four or one year cycles, far too short for technologically challenging projects.

This has caused a loss of optimism on my part for the future of NASA and government run space programs. I am more impressed with commercial space activities, specifically Ellon Musk and his SpaceX company. His recent success with his Falcon 9 launcher is paving the way for cheap access to orbit. I will be watching his company closely as their Dragon spacecraft approaches its first flight later this year.

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~ by matthewota on October 4, 2010.

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