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US space policy

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Post by msduncan » Mon Mar 10, 2008 2:37 pm

The Preacher wrote:
Ironrod wrote:
The Preacher wrote:
Ironrod wrote:
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., chairman of the subcommittee that oversees NASA and is elected by his NASA constituency, went further. "This is a very serious betrayal of American interests," he said later. "This will be the first time since Sputnik when the United States will not have a significant space superiority. I remain dumbfounded that we've allowed this serious threat to our national security to develop."
Indeed.
Mortoned.
Does his political base negate what he said? We are going to be hitchhiking into orbit for at least five years. If Obama sends NASA back to the drawing board and takes away their budget, increase that to 10+ years...if they can come back at all.

If informed citizens don't think that's a problem, then we are in some very deep doodoo.
When Bob Dole talked about the need for ethanol, I took it with a salt lick. Likewise, I take a measured reaction when a Florida congressman calls this a "serious threat to our national security." Because we can't reach a largely useless space station we are now in grave danger? Really? Are we now blocked out of key amoeba in space experiments? All I hear is "OMFGNASA9/11!!"

I can't believe I'm sticking up for Bill Nelson to The Preacher. What has the world come to? :P

I think his point was that the United States not being a leader in the space race is a threat to our national security, not specifically the period of years where we won't be able to get to the space station.

Not being able to reach the space station is a symptom of our current lackluster performance in the space race.
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Post by The Preacher » Mon Mar 10, 2008 3:45 pm

msduncan wrote:I can't believe I'm sticking up for Bill Nelson to The Preacher. What has the world come to? :P

I think his point was that the United States not being a leader in the space race is a threat to our national security, not specifically the period of years where we won't be able to get to the space station.

Not being able to reach the space station is a symptom of our current lackluster performance in the space race.
But why should we believe that is accurate? The USAF has its own branch dedicated to space ops and we just shot down our first satellite (Go Navy, Beat Army). Is there some particular NASA effort that is obviously critical to our defense posture? It is not as if Sputnik just launched and we have no idea what's going on "up there." I get a huge sense of chicken little from the fact that we have not maintained what is now a 35 year old "stop gap" solution. And you can certainly understand why I don't just take the Senator from Cape Canaveral's word for it.
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Post by msduncan » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:28 pm

The Preacher wrote:
msduncan wrote:I can't believe I'm sticking up for Bill Nelson to The Preacher. What has the world come to? :P

I think his point was that the United States not being a leader in the space race is a threat to our national security, not specifically the period of years where we won't be able to get to the space station.

Not being able to reach the space station is a symptom of our current lackluster performance in the space race.
But why should we believe that is accurate? The USAF has its own branch dedicated to space ops and we just shot down our first satellite (Go Navy, Beat Army). Is there some particular NASA effort that is obviously critical to our defense posture? It is not as if Sputnik just launched and we have no idea what's going on "up there." I get a huge sense of chicken little from the fact that we have not maintained what is now a 35 year old "stop gap" solution. And you can certainly understand why I don't just take the Senator from Cape Canaveral's word for it.
Well... China shot one down first.....

And if we establish permanent presence on the moon first, that's the ultimate high ground.
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Post by Kraken » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:29 pm

The Preacher wrote:
msduncan wrote:I can't believe I'm sticking up for Bill Nelson to The Preacher. What has the world come to? :P

I think his point was that the United States not being a leader in the space race is a threat to our national security, not specifically the period of years where we won't be able to get to the space station.

Not being able to reach the space station is a symptom of our current lackluster performance in the space race.
But why should we believe that is accurate? The USAF has its own branch dedicated to space ops and we just shot down our first satellite (Go Navy, Beat Army). Is there some particular NASA effort that is obviously critical to our defense posture? It is not as if Sputnik just launched and we have no idea what's going on "up there." I get a huge sense of chicken little from the fact that we have not maintained what is now a 35 year old "stop gap" solution. And you can certainly understand why I don't just take the Senator from Cape Canaveral's word for it.
That we lack crewed access to low earth orbit for five years is embarrassing, but it reflects nothing worse than shortsighted planning. We'll get through that. That we risk giving it up for much longer -- maybe even entirely -- is much worse. And that the candidate whose schtick is hope and youth and change and international leadership is the guy who wants to shut it down is the scariest thing of all.

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Post by The Preacher » Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:53 pm

msduncan wrote:
The Preacher wrote:
msduncan wrote:I can't believe I'm sticking up for Bill Nelson to The Preacher. What has the world come to? :P

I think his point was that the United States not being a leader in the space race is a threat to our national security, not specifically the period of years where we won't be able to get to the space station.

Not being able to reach the space station is a symptom of our current lackluster performance in the space race.
But why should we believe that is accurate? The USAF has its own branch dedicated to space ops and we just shot down our first satellite (Go Navy, Beat Army). Is there some particular NASA effort that is obviously critical to our defense posture? It is not as if Sputnik just launched and we have no idea what's going on "up there." I get a huge sense of chicken little from the fact that we have not maintained what is now a 35 year old "stop gap" solution. And you can certainly understand why I don't just take the Senator from Cape Canaveral's word for it.
Well... China shot one down first.....
Our capability goes back quite a few years before this one. We are technically under treaty not to launch anti-sat missiles.
And if we establish permanent presence on the moon first, that's the ultimate high ground.
So the implication is that there is a race to establish a military base on the moon and we are now in danger of losing that race? Is that what the Senator is implying?
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Post by Quaro » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:29 pm

10 years ago I wouldn't have seen myself thinking it, but now that I've seen the actual numbers, I'm not upset to see it go. The planning alone for the Moon/Mars initiative is killing vastly more interesting scientific programs that could fundamentally change our understanding of the universe. The program feels like it's just about planting the American flag there before the Chinese. Frankly, I just don't find that inspiring compared to cool science. I'd rather see money into research that might actually reduce the cost to orbit in the future, or make space a profitable endeavor. The absolute last thing I want is another money sink with extremely questionable ROI like the ISS

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Post by Sarkus » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:46 pm

There are a lot of experts who think zero-G science and production is about to take off. Having orbital or moon-based stations will have economic advantages.

That said, we've really dropped the ball in not letting interested private companies develop their own systems. It's finally starting to happen and may ultimately save us from NASA's stumbling, but the next few years are going to be shaky.

As for the military, they don't officially have the ability to send people into space. If you want to go down the path of rumor and conspiracy . . . .
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Post by Exodor » Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:54 pm

Sarkus wrote:There are a lot of experts who think zero-G science and production is about to take off. Having orbital or moon-based stations will have economic advantages.

That said, we've really dropped the ball in not letting interested private companies develop their own systems. It's finally starting to happen and may ultimately save us from NASA's stumbling, but the next few years are going to be shaky.
Was there some barrier to private investment in space exploration?




I like this thread. It's not often you see self-proclaimed small-government conservatives plead for massive government spending. :P

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Post by msduncan » Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:35 pm

Exodor wrote:
Sarkus wrote:There are a lot of experts who think zero-G science and production is about to take off. Having orbital or moon-based stations will have economic advantages.

That said, we've really dropped the ball in not letting interested private companies develop their own systems. It's finally starting to happen and may ultimately save us from NASA's stumbling, but the next few years are going to be shaky.
Was there some barrier to private investment in space exploration?




I like this thread. It's not often you see self-proclaimed small-government conservatives plead for massive government spending. :P
I know it is completely opposite of what I normally say on here, but if you could guarantee to me that every penny spent on the Iraq war would go to space exploration, both manned and unmanned, I'd march on Washington holding a 'get out now' sign.
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Post by Kraken » Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:39 pm

Exodor wrote:
Sarkus wrote:There are a lot of experts who think zero-G science and production is about to take off. Having orbital or moon-based stations will have economic advantages.

That said, we've really dropped the ball in not letting interested private companies develop their own systems. It's finally starting to happen and may ultimately save us from NASA's stumbling, but the next few years are going to be shaky.
Was there some barrier to private investment in space exploration?
The profit motive. Private enterprise might very well make a handy profit by offering economical launch services someday. Exploration will never be profitable. That is a legitimate government role.

NASA's biggest mistake after Apollo was selling the shuttle to Congress with the promise that space travel could be done on the cheap. That expectation was doomed as soon as Nixon started scaling back the program, and NASA never lived it down.

Space travel is expensive. Either pay the price or get out of the game. I never thought we'd be so small-minded that the latter would be an option. Yet...here we are.

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Post by Sarkus » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:12 am

Exodor wrote:
Sarkus wrote:There are a lot of experts who think zero-G science and production is about to take off. Having orbital or moon-based stations will have economic advantages.

That said, we've really dropped the ball in not letting interested private companies develop their own systems. It's finally starting to happen and may ultimately save us from NASA's stumbling, but the next few years are going to be shaky.
Was there some barrier to private investment in space exploration?
Prior to a change in the law in 1984, commercial satellites in the US were always launched by NASA rockets. That legal requirement kept commercial space flight pretty much off the table, since satellite launching was the obvious early way to make money.
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Post by The Preacher » Tue Mar 11, 2008 9:36 am

Exodor wrote:I like this thread. It's not often you see self-proclaimed small-government conservatives plead for massive government spending. :P
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Post by Eightball » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:16 am

JohnnyFive wrote:Perhaps it's a generational thing -- I'm apparently much younger than you are, but while space may have been a major motivator for you, I have not really seen it as a giant motivator for me and most of the people that I know -- and I have science degrees, am working in a science field, etc. I fail to see how an investment in space will generate better returns than investment in other scientific disciplines. This is not clear to me, please clarify.
I'm with you on that JohnnyFive. To think that we fund NASA half as well as the NIH in general is shocking to me. NASA receives 3 billion a year more in funding than cancer research, overall (including NCI, private industry) receives.

I mean it's great and all we can put some astronauts in space for a week every year (when they don't blow up), but that's pretty much all that NASA means to me.
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Post by Kurth » Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:17 am

msduncan wrote:
Exodor wrote:
Sarkus wrote:There are a lot of experts who think zero-G science and production is about to take off. Having orbital or moon-based stations will have economic advantages.

That said, we've really dropped the ball in not letting interested private companies develop their own systems. It's finally starting to happen and may ultimately save us from NASA's stumbling, but the next few years are going to be shaky.
Was there some barrier to private investment in space exploration?




I like this thread. It's not often you see self-proclaimed small-government conservatives plead for massive government spending. :P
I know it is completely opposite of what I normally say on here, but if you could guarantee to me that every penny spent on the Iraq war would go to space exploration, both manned and unmanned, I'd march on Washington holding a 'get out now' sign.
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Post by Kraken » Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:57 pm

Who else on this forum thinks "Space Telescope" when you hear "Spitzer"?

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Post by The Meal » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:46 am

Ironrod wrote:Who else on this forum thinks "Space Telescope" when you hear "Spitzer"?
/raises hand very high

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Post by msduncan » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:08 pm

Ironrod wrote:Who else on this forum thinks "Space Telescope" when you hear "Spitzer"?
Spitzer has been looking at heavenly bodies for years.

:)
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Post by Defiant » Sat Mar 15, 2008 2:02 am

Sarkus wrote: The headline detail: Between 2010 and at least 2015 the US will have no capacity to send anyone to the ISS, even though we paid for most of it. We will rely on the Russians, assuming our relations with them don't screw that up.
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Post by pengo » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:24 am

So will there be people stuck up their for 5years? What if someonething goes wrong and they need to comeback to earth?

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Post by Kraken » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:02 pm

pengo wrote:So will there be people stuck up their for 5years? What if someonething goes wrong and they need to comeback to earth?
No. Despite the booster failure in the story that Nade linked (which is interesting, btw; I didn't realize American firms are still buying Russian launch services), the Russian Soyuz craft have provided very reliable and economical transportation to low earth orbit for many years. We plan to hitch rides from them for at least five years. The Europeans have developed a big new cargo container that could be pressurized to transport humans. Even China's space capsule could theoretically dock with the ISS.

We have a long record of cooperation with the Russians since the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project signaled the end of the moon race. We kept their program alive during the breakup of the USSR...and they did all the ferrying while our shuttle was grounded after the Columbia disaster. But politics can be fickle.

The ISS has a lifeboat (Soyuz capsule) that can be used for an emergency landing.

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Re: US space policy

Post by The Meal » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:00 pm

The two candidates have recently spoken about their Space Policy.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badas ... ploration/" target="_blank
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Re: US space policy

Post by Kraken » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:27 pm

Interesting, thanks for the update. Both-Ways Barack has completely changed his tune since this thread started. I still don't trust his about-face -- there seem to be an awful lot of them lately -- but neither do I think that McCain will be much friendlier to NASA. Obama at least seems to have a better grasp of US space policy, whether he really supports it or not.

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Re: US space policy

Post by msduncan » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:37 am

Ironrod wrote:Interesting, thanks for the update. Both-Ways Barack has completely changed his tune since this thread started. I still don't trust his about-face -- there seem to be an awful lot of them lately -- but neither do I think that McCain will be much friendlier to NASA. Obama at least seems to have a better grasp of US space policy, whether he really supports it or not.
I'm thinking (hoping) that with the all out race to the moon and beyond by China, Europe and India -- whoever it is that gets elected will have to join in the race or get left behind.

I'm really rooting for a Russia-US style space race to develop here.
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Post by ChrisGwinn » Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:59 am

msduncan wrote:
Ironrod wrote:Who else on this forum thinks "Space Telescope" when you hear "Spitzer"?
Spitzer has been looking at heavenly bodies for years.

:)
Nice.

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Re: US space policy

Post by Dogstar » Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:57 am

msduncan wrote:
Ironrod wrote:Interesting, thanks for the update. Both-Ways Barack has completely changed his tune since this thread started. I still don't trust his about-face -- there seem to be an awful lot of them lately -- but neither do I think that McCain will be much friendlier to NASA. Obama at least seems to have a better grasp of US space policy, whether he really supports it or not.
I'm thinking (hoping) that with the all out race to the moon and beyond by China, Europe and India -- whoever it is that gets elected will have to join in the race or get left behind.

I'm really rooting for a Russia-US style space race to develop here.
I have to agree with msduncan. Some competition is going to be about the only thing that forces us to resume real space exploration, colonization, and exploitation. I find that rather sad though. It would be nice if we'd occasionally do things without being inspired by a competitive force, simply because it was in our own best interests.

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Re: US space policy

Post by msduncan » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:11 am

Dogstar wrote:
msduncan wrote:
Ironrod wrote:Interesting, thanks for the update. Both-Ways Barack has completely changed his tune since this thread started. I still don't trust his about-face -- there seem to be an awful lot of them lately -- but neither do I think that McCain will be much friendlier to NASA. Obama at least seems to have a better grasp of US space policy, whether he really supports it or not.
I'm thinking (hoping) that with the all out race to the moon and beyond by China, Europe and India -- whoever it is that gets elected will have to join in the race or get left behind.

I'm really rooting for a Russia-US style space race to develop here.
I have to agree with msduncan. Some competition is going to be about the only thing that forces us to resume real space exploration, colonization, and exploitation. I find that rather sad though. It would be nice if we'd occasionally do things without being inspired by a competitive force, simply because it was in our own best interests.
I think the greatest natural force in the human world is competition. If you could inject more competition into the Green technologies, we'd have solutions in half the time that it's taking us.
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Re: US space policy

Post by Gebeker » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:22 am

I strongly support manned space exploration -- particularly a mission to Mars. I think that there are several benefits to this that make it a really good idea. First, successfully landing a human on another planet would have a psychological effect that I don't believe should be underestimated. For those that are old enough, think back to the time of the Apollo moon missions. It's not an accident that, to this day, people still say "If they can land a man on the moon, why can't they....". Putting a human on another planet would be a powerful statement about what can be accomplished through human intelligence and the simple desire to explore. In these dark times of war, oil crises, global warming debates, AIDS, etc, etc, etc, I think our society needs something to give us hope that we can find solutions.

Secondly, I am a firm believer in the idea that scientific exploration tends to bring benefits that no one can possibly foresee in advance. Who knows what a planet like Mars might have that could benefit us? While much of the exploration can (and should) be done by unmanned probes, there is no getting around the fact that, at some point, people are going to have to actually GO THERE. We could wait another 50 or 100 years or more but I don't see the point. Yes it's dangerous and yes it's hard, but the bold explorations our species has undertaken in the past were never easy or safe.

Third, I think that knowledge is, itself, a valid goal. Even if no other benefits existed, I think it would be worth it to go to Mars because there will always be some things that just take a pair of human eyes to do. Robot explorers are fantastic but it will be a long time before they can do as much as a person can.
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Re: US space policy

Post by $iljanus » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:56 pm

In the current context of the Russia-Georgia conflict, it would really suck if our astronauts on the ISS had to walk home...

NASA's ability to send its astronauts to the $100 billion international space station is in danger of becoming a costly casualty of the Russia-Georgia war.

Because the American fleet of space shuttles will be retired in 2010 and the United States won't have a replacement ready until at least 2015, NASA wants to negotiate a contract this year to have Russia's Soyuz spacecraft transport all astronauts traveling to and from the station during the gap.

But first, Congress has to pass a waiver to a 2000 law forbidding government contracts with nations that help Iran and North Korea with their nuclear programs, as Russia has done. Even before the Georgia incursion, the bill faced strong opposition, and key members said this week that the chances of granting a waiver now are slim.
WaPo story
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Re: US space policy

Post by Kraken » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:23 pm

Fabulous. I wonder if we have any alternatives. It is not too late -- yet -- to delay the shuttle fleet's retirement date.

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Re: US space policy

Post by Creepy_Smell » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:26 pm

In 2010, couldn't they just come back on the Leonov by using the Discovery as a booster rocket?

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Re: US space policy

Post by msduncan » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:30 pm

Ironrod wrote:Fabulous. I wonder if we have any alternatives. It is not too late -- yet -- to delay the shuttle fleet's retirement date.
I think this should kick us in the rear end to get a solution in place ASAP. The program is under funded. We need to fund it.
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Re: US space policy

Post by $iljanus » Fri Aug 15, 2008 2:34 pm

msduncan wrote:
Ironrod wrote:Fabulous. I wonder if we have any alternatives. It is not too late -- yet -- to delay the shuttle fleet's retirement date.
I think this should kick us in the rear end to get a solution in place ASAP. The program is under funded. We need to fund it.
From the article, parts aren't being ordered and folks are being laid off so if we need to extend shuttle usage we better make sure the factories making parts aren't shutting down.
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Re: US space policy

Post by Kraken » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:57 pm

msduncan wrote:
Ironrod wrote:Fabulous. I wonder if we have any alternatives. It is not too late -- yet -- to delay the shuttle fleet's retirement date.
I think this should kick us in the rear end to get a solution in place ASAP. The program is under funded. We need to fund it.
The problem is that the replacement system's funding comes from the shuttle's retirement. Last I heard, each shuttle flight cost something like $1.5 B. That's a huge price just to ferry astronauts, if they aren't using that big cargo bay. The price tag to commute in space shuttles is just too steep to make sense.

We need the Russians. I hope this gets the public's attention. The Chinese will start mounting space spectaculars just about the time our access to orbit goes away. I hope that Americans won't just turn our backs instead. Nobody seems to think this is important...our presidential candidates least of all.

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Re: US space policy

Post by msduncan » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:36 pm

I'm beginning to suspect that we won't be sharing any Russian spacecraft for a long time to come. I'm convinced this new Cold War has been kicked off officially.
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It's 34 bowl victories.
It's 24 Southeastern Conference Championships.
It's 15 National Championships.

At some places they play football. At Alabama we live it.

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Kraken
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Re: US space policy

Post by Kraken » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:01 pm

Ironrod wrote:
RunningMn9 wrote:Ironrod, I just sat down to read through Obama's position statements, and noticed what seems to be a message for you, right there at the top:
Obama wrote:But I also hope that this booklet sparks a dialogue and that after you’ve finished reading it, you get in touch with our campaign and give us your thoughts on the policies you find here. It’s time to put government back in your hands, where it belongs. If we want to have policies that are good for the American people, then we need the American people to help shape those policies.
See? He's open to talking about it. I would get in touch with his campaign, and provide your thoughts. It can't hurt. It might help.
So "put up or shut up", eh? Maybe I will. I've never written to a politician in my life, although I did send a scathing letter to NBC when they canceled Star Trek. I'm very skeptical that a letter unaccompanied by a check would get any attention.
Yesterday Obama finally answered the email that I sent him six months ago. He says:
Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting us during the primary season. Since Senator Obama announced his candidacy last February, we’ve gotten hundreds of thousands of messages from across the country, including yours. We’ve received emails expressing support and voicing criticism, and posing many interesting questions and offering good ideas.

We have worked to read and respond to as many as possible, but the outpouring of messages after our victory in the Iowa caucuses greatly exceeded even our most optimistic estimates and outstripped our ability to respond individually. We appreciate you taking the time to write to Senator Obama earlier this year and hope you will continue to be an active participant in America’s civic and political life.

Please find below a number of links to resources on our website. You will find the answers to many questions through these links. If you have additional comments, please contact us again through the web form linked at the bottom of this email. Barack is running the most open, transparent campaign in history, and we want to hear from you.

Our movement is built on grassroots support, energy and ideas, and the conviction that, working together, we can meet the great challenges our nation faces. Together, we can revive our economy and our middle class, achieve energy independence, provide health care for all Americans and education for our children and for those who need new skills for new jobs. And we can rebuild our standing in the world to address global concerns like climate change and secure our nation from the pressing threats of the 21st century.

With the continued input of millions of Americans, we will achieve these goals. Thank you again for contacting us, and for your understanding as we prepare our campaign for the final stretch.
Did you notice he called me "Friend"? Clearly, I made a difference. :hawk:

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LordMortis
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Re: US space policy

Post by LordMortis » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:25 pm

Obama wrote:But I also hope that this booklet sparks a dialogue and that after you’ve finished reading it, you get in touch with our campaign and give us your thoughts on the policies you find here. It’s time to put government back in your hands, where it belongs. If we want to have policies that are good for the American people, then we need the American people to help shape those policies.
...
Please find below a number of links to resources on our website. You will find the answers to many questions through these links. If you have additional comments, please contact us again through the web form linked at the bottom of this email.
Awesome

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Re: US space policy

Post by Kraken » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:35 pm

Would Joe Biden be Obama's space czar? And what would that mean? Despite all his years in the Senate, it's hard to say.

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Re: US space policy

Post by Kraken » Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:24 pm

Ironrod wrote: The Chinese will start mounting space spectaculars just about the time our access to orbit goes away. I hope that Americans won't just turn our backs instead. Nobody seems to think this is important...our presidential candidates least of all.
Quoting myself. Oh, for shame. Just as the federal budget goes kerblooey in a most dramatic way, this news report appears:

China's Third Manned Mission to Include Spacewalk
BEIJING - China this week launches its most ambitious space mission yet, a sign of rising confidence as Beijing cements its status as a space power and potential future competitor to the United States.

The Shenzhou 7 mission, to launch as early as Thursday, will be the first to carry a full complement of three astronauts, one of whom will perform China's first space walk, or EVA for "extra-vehicular activity." It is China's third manned mission.

The maneuver will help China master docking techniques needed for the construction of a space station, likely to be achieved initially by joining one Shenzhou orbiter to another.

The mission launches from the Jiuquan launch site in northwestern China. The lead astronaut, Zhai Zhigang, is expected to carry out the 40-minute spacewalk, which China will broadcast live.

"Shenzhou 7 is an incremental but important step forward," said Joan Johnson-Freese, an expert on the Chinese space program at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island.

Riding a wave of pride and patriotism after hosting the Olympics, China's communist leaders face few of the public doubts or budgetary pressures constraining such programs elsewhere. That has allowed them to fuse political will and scientific gusto in a step-by-step process that could one day see Chinese astronauts landing on the moon.

Chinese space programs are methodically moving forward in a "very deliberate, graduated" manner, said Charles Vick, a space analyst for the Washington think tank GlobalSecurity.org. Beijing is accumulating the building blocks of a comprehensive program, demonstrating "caution but confidence" as it gains on the U.S. and other space powers, he said.

Future goals are believed to include an unmanned moon landing around 2012, a mission to return samples in 2015, and possibly a manned lunar mission by 2017 - three years ahead of the U.S. target date for returning to the moon.

A manned lunar program, although yet to be formally approved, is "certainly the ultimate goal," Johnson-Freese said.
The fact that they are covering this live is interesting. It indicates both strong confidence in success, and pride in their growing capability. If we lived in more forward-looking times ourselves, our candidates might make something of this challenge. McCain's policy statement at least acknowledges it. But I fear that we live in a time of retreat and retrenchment, and we will tell ourselves that it doesn't matter.

Worse: We will believe it.

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Re: US space policy

Post by msduncan » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:19 pm

And Japan is building a space elevator.
It's 109 first team All-Americans.
It's a college football record 61 bowl appearances.
It's 34 bowl victories.
It's 24 Southeastern Conference Championships.
It's 15 National Championships.

At some places they play football. At Alabama we live it.

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Re: US space policy

Post by Kraken » Tue Sep 23, 2008 12:39 am

msduncan wrote:And Japan is building a space elevator.
Huh? Link?

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