Count on Congress to Be A Day Late (& More Than A Few Dollars Short)

After I wrote an article concerning the last Shuttle mission, and my regret about there being no solid plans in place for continued manned exploration of space, a notice that a few people in Congress felt the same way.

Thanks so much guys.

The lead time on missions for NASA is such that, if the go ahead was given today, it would probably be at least five years before any fruit would come from the planted tree. This is much like the cache in a Pentium 4 — you have to keep things moving, or it stalls.

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from slashdot

“Members of a key Congressional committee on Tuesday voiced support for NASA’s Constellation program, designed to get astronauts back to the moon. The comments came a week after an expert panel said NASA’s plans were not possible, given its current budget. The occasion was an appearance by Norman Augustine, head of a committee formed to consider the future of human space exploration. The Augustine committee sent a summary report to the White House last week saying NASA needs at least an extra $3 billion a year to implement the Constellation moon program. The report also included several alternatives to that program. At a feisty session on Tuesday, Congress was having none of those alternatives, starting just minutes into the two-hour hearing.”

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Let’s hope the folks at NASA get the dollars, because only the totally uninformed think that exploration of space is not one of the great bargains we have as a country. The number of innovations brought by the space program is so long that it would take days to recite.

As someone who had hoped to get to the moon in my lifetime, I can only hope now that it will happen in my children’s. Perhaps the return to the moon will bring a way for people to live there, if they wish, and a beginning of our star trek as a species.

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EARTHRISE

Don’t YOU want to be able to have this view?

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