NASA: an Obsolete Agency
Below are my comments on the White House AP article by Mr. Lindlaw, such found at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/ap/20040109/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush_space
White House - AP
Bush to Announce Missions to Mars, Moon Fri Jan 9, 2004, 5:46 AM ET Add White House - AP to My Yahoo! By SCOTT LINDLAW, Associated Press Writer
>WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) will announce plans next week to send Americans to Mars and establish a permanent human presence on the moon, senior administration officials said Thursday night.
Good. The mission to Mars is valid; the permanent human presence on the Moon is probably a waste of money, as has been the NASA space agency and the Space Shuttle for the most part the past 30 years.
>Bush won't propose sending Americans to Mars anytime soon; rather, he envisions preparing for the mission more than a decade from now, one official said.
This is a stupid idea. Hey I propose we send astronauts to Alpha Centauri but I envision preparing for the mission more than a century from now. What's he saying other than NOTHING here?! We need to commit to going to Mars NOW with a human team and we need to put Robert Zubrin's MARS DIRECT plan into action right now. I challenge anyone reading this to present to me a better, more cost-effective plan than Robert spells out in his book, CASE FOR MARS. See http://www.marssociety.org to see what they are doing in spite of NASA.
>In addition to proposing the first trip to the moon since December 1972, the president wants to build a permanent space station there.
Maybe a permanent science station, but this smells fishy to me. If they are going to retire the shuttle program, which they should have retired a long time ago, it seems like this so-called Moon plan is but another excuse to keep 50,000 government NASA employees "working" doing basically NOTHING -- as has been the case the past three decades. Not only has the U.S. government wasted billions on NASA, but it has allowed NASA to get away with a totally in appropriately designed space craft but they have inhibited private industry from entering space at almost every turn. Whereas there was once a time when it was appropriate for the government to be involved in the development of space, this time has now passed. It is time for more efficient, more creative private industry to take up the challenge. NASA's days are numbered, and they know it, thus all the "sudden" PR on Mars and Moon missions ad nausium. See my article on the MIND-X about why the shuttle was literally built "upside down."
>Three senior officials said Bush wants to aggressively reinvigorate the space program, which has been demoralized by a series of setbacks, including the space shuttle disaster last February that killed seven astronauts.
We can thank criminal RICHARD NIXON for the decrepit state of affairs the space program is in today. Nixon's largest crime against humanity is that he has kept us all locked up on this inadequate planet for far longer than we have had to be -- thus tens or hundreds of millions will eventually die over the next century due to the cumulative effects of global stagnation, a condition human civilization is currently undergoing. For this I nominate NIXON to the ranks of HITLER.
>The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Bush's announcement would come in the middle of next week.
Well Bush better read both CASE FOR MARS, and ENTERING SPACE as soon as possible -- and so should all his anonymous officials.
>Bush has been expected to propose a bold new space mission in an effort to rally Americans around a unifying theme as he campaigns for re-election.
Well then set a deadline like Kennedy did, like: We will send a crew of 4 to Mars and return them to safely to Earth by the end of this decade. Hey, Mr. Bush, hire me to be your speechwriter if you can't figure out the words.
>Many insiders had speculated he might set forth goals at the 100th anniversary of the Wright brothers' famed flight last month in North Carolina. Instead, he said only that America would continue to lead the world in aviation.
A luke-warm prez. Why does America have no inspiring leaders any longer? Answer: because America's leaders are NOT elected by the people any longer but by faceless, bland corporations that only care about the shallow goal of MAKING MONEY. In other words, the MONEY MENTALIY runs the U.S. government. We need to take the cake-eating money mentality and put their heads in the guillotine ASAP.
>Earlier, White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters traveling with Bush in Florida that the president would make an announcement about space next week, but he declined to give details.
Because he doesn't have the details, because he hasn't read Robert's book.
>It was the Columbia tragedy that helped force a discussion of where NASA (news - web sites) should venture beyond the space shuttle and international space station. The panel that investigated the Columbia accident called for a clearly defined long-term mission - a national vision for space that has gone missing for three decades.
No kidding Cosmo. NASA and the gov are only NOW trying to get on the stick because, again, they know their days are numbered. The future of space exploration is in the hands of private interests now. F--- the government's involvement any longer. The gov and NASSA are just suppressing humanity's ability to get into space at this point. REVOLT TECHIES!!!
>House Science Committee spokeswoman Heidi Tringe said lawmakers on the panel "haven't been briefed on the specifics" of the plan but expected an announcement.
Seems like NOBODY knows NUTTING around the Bush Regime.
>Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, a member of the House Science Committee, said he welcomed the move because he has tried to get the president more interested in space exploration.
>"I had the feeling the last 2 1/2 years people would rather make a trip to the grocery store than a trip to the moon because of the economy," Hall said. "As things are turning around, we need to stay in touch with space" and the science spinoffs it provides.
We need to do more than that Ralph: the entire future of the human race depends on what we do here and now with space exploration and colonization. Had the Europeans sat around on their fat asses 500 years ago and lamented about how expensive expeditions to the NEW WORLD would be they would never have created the United States and all the new technology that the U.S. has given back to, not only Europe, but the entire world -- little things like aviation, alternating current, radio, TV, computers, nuclear energy. Same with the birth of civilization in Eastern Africa. Had small bands of these people not ventured north (from places like Iraq) into Europe many years before the New World was "discovered," we would never have all the stuff European created for humanity, such as the stuff of the first industrial revolution. Those that stay behind always stagnate relative to those that explore. Witness Europe compared to America and the Middle East/Iraq compared to Europe. It's that simple: exploration causes a more robust civilization because the civilization that explores and advances into hostile/remote locations, like Mars today, will FORCE those that do so to invent technology never DREAMED of. In other words:
1. If humanity survives this current dark age we are in, it WILL colonize Mars eventually.
2. If Mars is colonized, the civilization that learns to live on Mars will be MUCH tougher and more able than the civilization that remains back on Earth.
3. Thus the Earth may someday be ruled by people that live on Mars just as Europe is ruled by people that live in America.
>Engineers would have to build new spacecraft for the trips to and from the moon and Mars. If the Apollo-style mission design was adopted, there would also be the need for landing craft that would undock from the mother ship and touch down to the moon or Mars.
All a bunch of horseshit. Those of us that have actually studied the science and technology of what's needed and what's available laugh at this Hollywood-infantile stuff. You don't NEED mother-ships unless you want to create mother-loads of PORK projects. And that is, of course, the only goal of the politician-morons that infest our government today.
>Mission plans, crew size and other factors would have to be considered in the design of such craft.
>No firm cost estimates have been developed, but informal discussions have put the cost of a Mars expedition at nearly a trillion dollars,
Ridiculous. Zubrin shows how the first sequence of manned missions to Mars can be done with a) as little as $20 billion, b) getting started by the end of this decade and c) with a significant amount of virtually off-the-shelf-equipment we developed during the Apollo program.
>depending on how ambitious the project was. The cost of a moon colony would depend on what NASA wants to do on the lunar surface.
The ONLY use of the Moon at this time is:
A. Observing the solar system/universe from the dark side to cut down on electromagnetic radiation;
B. Mining Helium-3 for use in fusion reactors and rocket engines;
C. Entertaining VERY rich tourists and artists who can then communicate back to the rest of the depraved ground-dwellers on Earth the essence and wonder of exploration and colonization.
The Moon is not, and may never be a "base" for launches to Mars, at least not until we have high-power nuclear engines. Reason? Because IT TAKES MORE FUEL TO GO TO THE MOON THAN IT DOES TO GO TO MARS. Why? Because there is NO atmosphere on the Moon. There IS a thin atmosphere on Mars, thus a rocket landing on Mars can use the atmosphere (hence NO fuel) to aero-break. A rocket landing on the Moon has NO atmosphere to do this in, thus it must use its thrusters (hence PLENTY OF fuel) to slow its descent. The interim flight through space to either the Moon or Mars uses little or no fuel because it costs nothing to glide through the vacuum of space once the original DELTA V (KM/Sec) has been established.
>On Saturday, NASA landed a six-wheeled robot on Mars to study the planet.
Great, a first little wasted step.
>However, the Spirit rover is stuck because the air bags that cushioned its landing are obstructing its movement. If a man was there s/he could have probably fixed it on the spot and found out where the water is by now.
>A second rover named Opportunity was sent in its wake and should land on Jan. 24.
Great, a second little wasted step. The ONLY purpose for these little robotic landers should be PHOTOGRAPHY and CINEMATOGRAPHY. The general public -- as witness the billions of people that have tried to access the Web for the preliminary Mars pictures - does not really give a flying f-k about the science. THEY just want to see cool, compelling pictures -- something the photography-challenged moron-techies at NASA have NEVER been able to do. Doesn't NASA realize that in order for the PUBLIC to anti up serious bucks they have to be CAPTIVATED by the dream/goal of going into space? NO cool pictures = NO money. Therefore you don't send an endless vomit of boring, art-challenged TECHNICIANS up to these celestial bodies: you send ARTISTS up there as well. Again, rank and file humans don't understand or give a sh-- about the chemical make up of the ground or atmosphere of celestial bodies. They don't understand or care about the endless statistics and formulas and scientific minutia that pours out of the NASA missions. They just want to see COOL pictures and MOVIES of these ALIEN WORLDS. Whether NASA likes it or not, they are in competition with Hollywood. Hollywood puts out all sorts of cool images. NASA puts out boring, fuzzy improperly framed crap. Is NASA saying that the ACTUAL UNIVERSE is uglier than a HOLLYWOOD MOVIE? This is the message that they are knowingly or unknowingly giving. I maintain that REALITY is orders of magnitude more mind-boggling than silver halide images on acetate. NASA and those who venture into space need to show this if they want to properly promote the exploration of outer space and captivate the public purse. We want to know WHAT IT'S PHYSICALLY LIKE TO WALK OR BE ON ANOTHER WORLD. We don't just want a list of stats. Such a transcendent EXPERIENCE can't be relayed by a TECHNICIAN'S stats or a SCIENTIST'S clumsy pros. It takes a POET. A WRITER. A PHOTOGRAPHER. A MUSCIAN. A FILMMAKER to lay it out - to give us the FEELING of what it means to BE in OUTER SPACE or on some other ALIEN WORLD. NOT A MORON THAT ONLY KNOWS E=MC^2 or F = MA.(1) To date there has not been one (1) such artist sent on any of the MORON-NASA missions. For this reason alone, NASA deserves to shut down permanently.
I as a person on the planet Earth have been waiting since the early 60s to hear a really detailed account of what it is like to walk or be on another world. I have never heard such a description from all the science minds that have gone to these places. They try to relate the beauty of the Moon as best they can, but the words that come out of their mouths LACK the description, the feeling, the transcendent essence of WHAT IT WAS LIKE. ONLY an ARTISTS can relate these types of things. This oversight on the part of NASA pisses me off so much I feel like going out and tearing a urinal off the wall in a public bathroom.
We collectively as Americans have given the space program hundreds of billions of our personal money and they have not once sent anyone up there that can really describe what it was like or even show us what it was like photographically. I STILL don't know what it looks like looking up at the Earth from the Moon. Can you see the stars or is the sky just black? If you can see the stars, how many of them can you see? What does it look like? Even these simple questions have not been answered by any photographs I have ever seen.
>Asked Wednesday whether the success of the Mars rovers could lead to a human mission to Mars, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said, "The rovers are a precursor mission - kind of an advance team - to figuring out what the conditions are on the planet, and once we figure out how to deal with the human effects, we can then send humans to explore in real time."
Only humans that explore in real time will "figure out how to deal with the human effects."
>While answering questions on the White House Web site, O'Keefe said interplanetary exploration depends on "what we learn and whether we can develop the power and ... propulsion capabilities necessary to get there faster and stay longer and potentially support humans in doing so."
As I have posted over and over, the only way we can get to interplanetary places is by using fusion rocket engines. This is WHY we must mine Helium-3 starting from the Moon and then from Jupiter.
>In 1989 on the 20th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, his father, the first President Bush, called for lunar colonies and a Mars expedition: "I'm not proposing a 10-year plan like Apollo; I'm proposing a long-range, continuing commitment. ...
He has no idea what he's talking about.
>For the new century: Back to the moon; back to the future. And this time, back to stay. And then a journey into tomorrow, a journey to another planet: a manned mission to Mars."
Sure, some token trips back to the Moon would be fine. Maybe it will get everyone's juices stirred up again.
>The prohibitively expensive plan went nowhere.
Hey, what other place is money better-spent? We will ALWAYS have problems on Earth and "other" places to spend money so no time is more advantageous to start than right now. How often do you hear these idiots on FOX NEWS, CNN and in other mindless-media outlets that say: "The Moon! Mars! How can we afford to go to the Moon or Mars when we can't even afford health care for our citizens?!" Or such idiots say "we can't afford a trip to Mars, we have to spend hundreds of billions on another war". All I have to say to people who have this attitude is this: Your attitude sounds good on paper but it is an unrealistic and irresponsible attitude. It is unrealistic because HISTORY SHOWS THAT NO TIME HAS BEEN WITHOUT ITS PRESSING PROBLEMS OR CRISES. If humanity were to do what you advocate and wait until a time when we had fewer or no "pressing problems" or we had "more money" or "fewer crises" - humanity would wait forever and thus space exploration and colonization would NEVER occur - at least for the human species. Such lack of expansion in the long-term would thus lead humanity to its eventual stagnation and demise. Thus what you advocate is not only irresponsible - it is idiotic and that is why I refer to you as an "idiot."
>No one, least of all members of Congress, knows how NASA would pay for lunar camps or Mars expeditions. When the first President Bush proposed such a project, the estimated price tag was $400 billion to $500 billion.
Yes, and according to Zubrin -- who backs up his work with airtight logic -- the Mars direct strategy will only cost $20 billion per year. These people who propose price tags of $400 - $500 billion simply haven't taken a serious look at the Mars-direct strategy. And by continuing to imply that the price tag would have to be this much, that we need to create some kind of BATTLESTAR GLACTICA first, such are displaying their ignorance for the science.
>The moon is just three days away while Mars is at least six months away, and the lunar surface therefore could be a safe place to shake out Martian equipment.
Hey, the Lunar surface is NOTHING like the Martian surface. There are places ON EARTH that more closely resemble the MARTIAN surface than does the LUNAR surface. In fact, the idiots and morons in our government, and the same moron that wrote this very article, one Scott Lindlaw of the Associated Press, are not even aware that Zubrin has BEEN shaking out his equipment in the Arctic off Devon Island for some time now, years. Wake up Scott, smell the coffee, not the pork. And see http://www.marssociety.org/arctic/index.asp while you're at it.
>Observatories also could be built on the moon, and mining camps could be set up to gather helium-3 for conversion into fuel for use back on Earth.
. . . Just about the only sentence in Scott's entire article that makes any sense. This is the Helium-3 I have been talking about in my MIND-X posts entitled "Earth's Energy Problem." There is NO Helium-3 on Earth. We think there MAY be some HE-3 still left on the Moon at the polar caps in deep craters. The amount is enough to give us 10,000 terawatt years of burn-time in Deterium/He-3 fusion generators, yet to be built because our current gov is pissing away all its development money on wars and other nonsense.
>House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, among others, has called for an expansion of the U.S. space program, including a return to the moon. The United States put 12 men on the moon between July 1969 and December 1972.
Whoopee. Had Nixon and his cronies (such as Walt Whitman Rostow, Henry Owen and Ed Welsh) not given the ax to the space program with the passage of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, we would be a multi-planetary society at this time. (See my write-up on the Outer Space Treaty of 1967)
>An interagency task force led by Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) has been considering options for a space mission since summer.
Well Dick, you better review the damage done by the Nixon Regime first.
>Former Ohio Sen. John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, has said that before deciding to race off to the moon or Mars, the nation needs to complete the international space station and provide the taxi service to accommodate a full crew of six or seven. The station currently houses two.
This is a pork project. It's DESPICABLE that someone like John Glenn - - after given the honor to fly in space and the potential to lead the nation into a greater future of exploration - - has seen fit to hole himself up in congress and suck on the public tit for 3 decades while the noble work done on the Apollo missions continues to crumble into a pile of debris we today barely recognize as NASA. Rot in hell Mr. Glenn. And while you are there rotting, read Robert Zubrin's book, ENTERING SPACE, so you fully know WHY you DESERVE to ROT.
>At the same time, Glenn has said, NASA could be laying out a long-term plan, setting a loose timetable and investing in the engineering challenges of sending people to Mars. The only sensible reason for going to the moon first, he says, would be to test the technology for a Mars trip.
Horseshit Mr. Glenn. Take a trip to Devon Island and lend a hand to the real pioneers of the world instead of associating with political scum in Washington DC that have no inkling about the course of stagnation you, and they, have allowed America to be on this past 30 years.
(1) Techies, don't be insulted by what I say here as you know from the hundreds of words of praise I have given you and scientists over the years that I love and respect you. It's just that, one of the REASONS I love and respect you is because you're NOT poets. My feeling is TECHIES should do techy work and POETS should do poet work - and let the two valuable disciplines work together as they should and can - especially in describing and promoting other worlds.
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