No, no, no, Mr. President.
And here is one issue on which I shall disagree strongly with President Obama: cancellation of the Constellation program and the return to the Moon.
Now, buried therein are a couple actually good ideas. For one, I like the idea that a return to the moon should be a collaborative effort. There’s no reason not to have ESA and RKA involved, and it spreads the cost around. Other plans involve spurring private initiatives and opening up space for actual commercial ventures. So far, outside of Burt Rutan at any rate, it’s been the domain of state-sponsored programs.
But it’s not going to happen by cancelling the Ares launcher and Constellation program. NASA will be reduced to buying tickets on RKA Soyuz shots to get our people into space, pending the development of private launch capabilities. And so far, all they’re capable of are suborbital shots. No orbit, no ISS rendezvous. It’s effectively taking us out of the manned spaceflight game.
For what gain? Is that all that’s going to be left of our program, putting satellites up so that another hundred channels of unwatchable shit can be broadcast coast to coast?
If nothing else, I wish he’d think of it as a jobs program, and that he didn’t win Florida by a wide enough margin that he can afford to piss the state off.
He’s only two, three years older than me. Did he not watch the same moon landings I did?
Mark it down in your calendars — this is to date the one and only time that I will say that Dubya had the right idea. He had the wrong approach in not having the new launch system ready before mothballing the old, but at least he supported going.
This is going to be awful. This is going to be like the 70s, after Skylab and Apollo/Soyuz and before the Shuttle, except that back then, we at least had the Shuttle to look forward to and knew it was in the offing.
This plan asks us to look forward to… nothing. Instead of “Yes We Can”, this is “No We Can’t”.
No, I’m not going to change my party registration over this — a bad decision about space is preferable to several metric assloads of lies about a war we had no business starting — but damn it anyways!