Tuesday, January 22, 2008

T Minus 7 Days in Florida

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giulani has landed in Florida and established a continuing presence. Friday he pledged unequivocal support for sending humans to the Moon and Mars. He has said that a five-year "gap" in human spaceflight is unacceptable, and vowed to close the gap. The Space program is very popular with Florida voters. Rudy's presidential strategy needs a win here one week from today, January 29. Americans saw in 2000 that a few votes in Florida can make a big difference.

Orion is facing rumours of 9-12 month delays, which would make the gap even longer. Closing the gap could mean increasing NASA's budget so that Orion takes flight sooner. If COTS can be made ready by 2011, as Elon Musk is planning to do, that would help close the gap and encourage private industry too. A system like Musk's Dragon would shuttle crews and cargo to ISS until Orion is ready. NASA is presently selecting other competitors for COTS.

AVIATION WEEK recently described a human mission to an asteroid as an "alternate vision" for the next president. Asked about the article, Michael Griffin replied, "As I have often stated, human missions to NEO's have no stronger advocate than I." All he needs is the authorisation. Though Space is not normally a big issue, in the 2008 election it could make a difference.


Blogger John Benac said...

Now is the golden opportunity to squeeze the candidates: After Giulini's statement and before the Florida voters make their decision. Thats why I'm pushing so hard at www.actionforspace.com for all Americans to push McCain and Huckabee (who are the only others campaigning in Florida) to support space exploration.

5:53 AM  
Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Akas the investment costs for space exploration/travel are so high, much cheaper to invade a country or two.

Mind you if there were any Oil on the Moon we's doon be there too.

9:29 AM  
Blogger John Benac said...

How totally opposite of the truth!

The Iraq war has cost $488 Billion so far!

That is enough to fund NASA for 40 years at current levels! That is enough to build 4 space stations, or multiple missions to mars from scratch! And that 488 billion has all come out of our nations budget since 2003.

I don't mean to be harsh, but this comment, (and perception in the public,) is what actionforspace.com readers need to fight and correct to other members of the public and to their politicians.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Oh, gee.
I hesitate to get into the middle of this particular hornets nest, but for John and all the other actionforspacers, it's just not an either/or situation. It never is.

And lest you think it is, consider that once you accept the idea that "That is enough to fun NASA for 40 years at current levels", then you've allowed everyone interested in, let's say, cancer research to say "It's also enough to save 137 million people a year from Cancer". Or Aids. Or starvation. Or the dreaded ju-ju-bee fever. You lose.

Each cause does not compete with the others for funds because it's not a zero sum game, and because that's not the way decisions are made.

1:32 AM  
Blogger John Benac said...

Hey, I don't think that we should build 4 space stations. I'm just saying that equating the costs of a space program with invading a country are an assault on logic.

Space exploration is not a zero sum thing, it is a complimentary thing. NASA gets 16 billion a year. 20 Billion would make a big difference.

3:07 AM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

Welcome to the discussion, actionforspace. YOur opinions make a lot of sense.

Nice to hear from you Q9. I will shortly be mentioning something that will cost the UK 5 times NASA's yearly budget.

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Completely off topic, but I saw this news article and when I saw the picture of Olga Kurylenko, I thought it was you Louise.

1:28 PM  
Blogger CarlBrannen said...

Louise, another planet formation anomaly for you.

7:14 PM  
Blogger L. Riofrio said...

(Giggle) Sam, one of my many identities!

8:45 PM  
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