Monday, August 17, 2009

Is Ares I work all for nothing?

For the first time since 1980, workers at Kennedy Space Center have finished assembling a new rocket inside the Vehicle Assembly Building.

A crane operator deftly lowered the last piece of the 327-foot-tall rocket into place Thursday, at the same location where the shuttles and legendary Saturn V moon rockets were put together.

It was easily the biggest moment yet in NASA's struggle to develop the new Ares I rocket envisioned to carry astronauts to orbit and someday on the first leg of trips to the moon.

It was the kind of moment NASA typically marks with a show-and-tell for the news media and, by extension, you the taxpayers who foot the bill for the space program.

Instead, the moment passed quietly with a few words and a dozen or so photos posted online. The modesty was uncharacteristic of NASA's vaunted press machine.

Why so bashful? Perhaps it's because the sleek white rocket might never leave the assembly building to go to the pad for its scheduled test flight on Halloween.

The evening before KSC workers finished putting the first Ares I together, a panel of President Barack Obama's space advisers all but canceled Ares I and maybe even scuttled the whole moon-Mars program.

NASA nevertheless is under orders to press ahead with Ares until the president makes a decision. That work is costing you about $300 million a month.

The Human Space Flight Plans committee finished its public deliberations Wednesday in Washington with the intent to deliver four options to Obama.

Only one option includes Ares I and the existing moon-Mars program. Committee members said the option is being given to the president as a reference point. Most of them publicly deem Ares I unrealistic -- or worse -- because of technical and funding woes.

They estimate that the Ares I rocket and Orion spacecraft could be ready to fly by 2018 at best without a big budget increase and by 2016 with a $3 billion yearly boost to the NASA budget. The problem: In order to have enough money to finish Ares I and Orion, the United States would have to toss the International Space Station into the ocean by 2016, leaving behind no place to go.

The option would delay a bigger cargo rocket and launches to the moon to somewhere between 2025 and 2028, depending on budget levels.

So, the human spaceflight gap after the shuttles' 2011 retirement would be longer and the jobs situation at KSC would be much worse than now imagined. Even if finished, the Ares I rockets and Orion spaceships would have nowhere to go for a decade and, consequently, no reason to exist. NASA would be left with an expensive ship that can go only as far into space as the shuttle goes now and one that less capable than the shuttles.

"If Santa Claus brought us this system tomorrow, fully developed, and the budget didn't change, our next action would have to be to cancel it," panelist Jeff Greason said.

The other options the panel said it would submit to the president do not include Ares I, and they call for NASA to revisit whether to modify or scuttle the Ares V cargo rocket. The committee briefed the White House science team and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Friday.

So how much money and time has been lost to a program that was underfunded from the start and then saw its budget cut further by both President George W. Bush and Obama?

Taxpayers have spent from $9 billion to $13 billion on the development of new rockets, spaceships and other stuff for the current moon-Mars program since Bush announced it in 2004 after the shuttle Columbia disaster.

The multibillion-dollar gap in cost estimates is a result of a disagreement in NASA budget documents, public statements and differing audits and analyses. Regardless, much of that money would appear to be wasted if the president abides by the committee's advice.

At a minimum, the $3.5 billion to $4 billion spent thus far on the Ares I rocket is lost forever with little foreseeable gain. Some money spent on research and development and the Orion spacecraft might yet pay off for whatever program Obama chooses.

Whatever the future holds for NASA, folks in Washington are near a consensus that the Ares I rocket has no place in it. That shiny new test model stacked and almost ready to fly at KSC might never roll to the pad. NASA and the taxpayers will again see a multibillion-dollar bid to replace the shuttles felled by the budget ax.


CharlieA said...

Looks like Barack has few choices - 'Dubya' done shot us in the foot!

Anonymous said...

The way Obama spreads around 780 billion for Shovel ready projects that never happen this rocket family could easily be done .Without Bush ,this rocket would not be sitting there ready to fly .
When are you dreamers going to realize the current president and his gang have little interest of keeping the US first in space,still using Bush who got it built folks ,thats the past .the NASA budget and the military are getting cut left and right .

Michael Spencer said...

It should be pointed out that, in the context of the American economy, the amount of money used by NASA is nearly invisible, and that a doubling of the NASA budget would also be nearly invisible.

Such short-sighted planning is appalling.

Anonymous said...

Obama is willing to spend hundreds of billions of dollars for a "stimulus", much of it going to "shovel ready" projects that employ unskilled workers, yet is too cheap to spend a couple more on our space program, one that employs tens of thousands of skilled workers? What a waste.

Anonymous said...

"the United States would have to toss the International Space Station into the ocean by 2016"

Er, since it's an international station, wouldn't the US' international partners have a say in the matter?

Anonymous said...

"the amount of money used by NASA is nearly invisible" I am so sick of hearing people make this argument. The fact is that the budget for NASA is multi billions of dollars and while I am a lover of space exploration is seems rediculous to me that we continue to pour this kind of money into "human space exploration" with amout of Real, in "this" world problems we are facing these days.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to Michael Griffin for arrogantly pushing ahead with the money trap that is known as Ares. He had to have his big shiny new toys, despite what was best for the nation's space program..

Anonymous said...

Charly A blames George W.....the dems will still be blaming W for their failures 3 years from now. How pathetic.

Anonymous said...

They just handed the "Leader In Space" Baton over to the Communist Chinese and the (STILL COMMUNIST) Russians.

Disgraceful. Absolutely, totally disgraceful.

But Ain't That America...these days anyway.

If you live in Brevard, you can expect your house to drop ANOTHER 50% on Wednesday.

Wet bar of soap anyone?

Anonymous said...

The Democrat War on Science continues!

Anonymous said...

Yeah International Space Station...Right? It's always been a US enterprise and if it weren't for the Shuttle there wouldn't be an ISS.
As I have always said since this president spoke in T-ville last year, there goes the space program down the drain. Obama never cared about NASA or the program.
He only cares about reparations, wealth redistribution and the enabling of domestic programs that benefit the very few.
Time to get off the Obama band wagon and onto the Consititutional ship that will raise all boats not just the select few.

Anonymous said...

It was incredibly short-sighted of the Augustine panel to not even consider Ares 1 as an option to launch the Orion capsule. Sadly there exists NO political will in the USA to send humans beyond Low Earth Orbit. At the very least Orion should be used to ferry astronauts to and from the ISS before 2020. Can this now be achieved without Ares 1? And if not, what will become of the ISS?

Anonymous said...

cancel this Republican jobs program, let them go suckle somewhere else

Anonymous said...

The ISS should be pushed into the ocean today, but there is no technology or money to do so, even in 2016. But I suspect that the ISS will instead be pushed beyond its 2016 expiration date, to the point where somebody gets hurt on it. It hasn't contributed anything to helping us get to Mars, or even the moon, except learning how to cooperate with international partners.

Obama is all about how he can garner more votes for 2012 in Florida. His decision has nothing to do with space exploration or America's leadership.

Killing Ares I will throw the entire space program into despondency and despair, and we will be the laughingstock of our international partners. But Obama can just blame Bush.

Pushing the shuttle further will only endanger more astronauts; it should be cancelled now, too.

Anonymous said...

Done blame this on Obama, the real blame falls on the people who continued to develop a rocket that was sure to fail. Early computer testing showed this setup would never work, yet the "brains" continue to produce a useless vehicle. Why dont they just name it "yugo".

Anonymous said...

Whether You like it or not iss IS international enterprise. It exist only because Russia, USA and Europe joined efforts to build it as You see it now (well, almost). Stop acting like You own the place - You're just making Yourself look stupid.

Shuttles helped building it, but there are way to do it without them - and more beneficial ones.

Ares I limits Orion too much, so saying NO is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who want to kill NASA, consider this: Turning NASA's $16 billion annual budget into handouts for poor people would result in a one-time gift of $432 for each person under the poverty line in the US. Big deal; they can spend it on cigarettes and booze, in exchange for US world leadership in space exploration.

I'm tired of the argument that we should 'help people' instead of 'wasting money' on NASA. While I don't believe NASA exists as a jobs program, diverting NASA's money to the poor would throw thousands of people out of work. What a great idea.

Anonymous said...

Isn't there a saturn V hanging over at KSC. Wait the whole show is stored over there, capsule, lander. This stuff worked 40 years ago(reliably!). Retro the vehicles and let's go... Unless the gear never made it there in the first place..

Anonymous said...

Assuming that there are 100 million taxpayers in the U.S., a $20 billion NASA budget costs each taxpayer $16.67 per month. Contrast this with the $655.83 per month that the stimulus costs, and NASA's budget is "invisible". We gave more money to bail out AIG alone then Obama is willing to spend on manned space flight over the next 10 years. I think we would get a much better return on our investment from NASA than AIG any day. And, speaking of "shovel-ready", how many Ares-related projects are ongoing right now that could use "stimulus" funding and create jobs right now? Obama has no interest other than to destroy this nation in every way he can.

Anonymous said...

The Democrats will continue to defend this guy beyond any sense whatsoever no matter obizarre the things are he does to the USA.The NASA "Committee " report will allow them to escape the blame .

Lets fly the ARES and see just how good or bad it is ,you have do actually do things like that now and then for progress .Space is and will always be the High ground .

Do you want the Chinese up there with impunity ,some here seem to.

McCain as goofy as he is ,I really believe would have funded the NASA future ,now hold your breath because this does not look good .
What now,fly Shuttles until we have one problem ,what then ?

Anonymous said... there ANY subject some people won't blame on their opposition political party.

Anonymous said...

Bring back a revamped Saturn V program. It worked 40 years ago, it should still work today.

Anonymous said...

Slap the Orion capsule on a Delta IV and be done with it.. Give that program 1 billion and you'll be launching in a couple of years... Geeez,, wise up Obama.... NASA always wants their own toys to play with.. They don't want to "hitch a ride" on an Air Force rocket... Money is tight,, do it right... The rocket is proven and with some upgrades, it would be man-rated and ready to shuttle folks/equipment where they needed to go..

lady_mountaineer said...

"the dems will still be blaming W for their failures 3 years from now. How pathetic."

Why not? The GOP has blamed Bill Clinton for everything but 9/11 for the past 8 years.

"Do you want the Chinese up there with impunity ,some here seem to."

No, but the new American spirit seems to be "Waaaah! It's too hard!" We should be thinking very hard about what it means to abandon space exploration to the Chinese and Russians. Russia has announced that they plan to have a base on the moon in the next 20 years or so. Both they and the Chinese are planning on establishing mining operations. It's really sad to think that we're willing to throw away our technological edge because something is difficult.

"While I don't believe NASA exists as a jobs program, diverting NASA's money to the poor would throw thousands of people out of work."

Hey, as long as it doesn't affect me, right? Except it will. Ask anyone who grew up in the Ohio Valley during the 70s and 80s what happened to their communities when the steel industry died. Ask anyone who was around at the end of the Apollo missions what happened here. We're basically a one-industry county. If NASA has to lay off thousands, EVERYONE in Brevard will be affected. If you think the housing market is bad now, wait until thousands of families are leaving the area to find jobs.

lady_mountaineer said...

"the amount of money used by NASA is nearly invisible" I am so sick of hearing people make this argument. The fact is that the budget for NASA is multi billions of dollars"

NASA's $17.6 billion budget for FY 2009 is less than 1% of the total national budget. That's not even a drop in the bucket.

Anonymous said...

For years I have watched rocket ranch workers go on strike for higher wages and benefits while the community hurts.
Not in years have I heard we have another dream, another plan. All I have heard is I get paid X amount of dollars to do little work.
We blue collar workers are hurting here on the space coast. I have no sympathy for the workers who might be losing their jobs.
How many of those people bought several homes with the tax dollar paychecks then walked away from them when the market turned sour? Which created more of a problem here.
And why is the job service only interviewing space center employees for openings in other areas? I thought we lived in free market place society.
If NASA is to survive....we must get out of this "good ole boy" mentality and open the job market on the Space Center to anyone who wants to apply, anyone qualified!
Hell, while we are at it, lets get rid of the unions. We could save millions.
While many of the citizens suffer from this recession on the space NASA , its business as usual.
I hate to say it but its about time the workers at the "rocket ranch" begin to live in the real world like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:34 Anonymous,

I can't speak for the blue collar workers, but the white collar professional environment is really no different than any other white collar professional office environment. I've worked both there and in private industry offices, with little noticeable difference.

Also, I didn't have anybody pulling for me to get into the space center. I did not have any good 'ole boy network. In fact, I came here from another state. Chasing after my passion for spaceflight is largely what lead me down a path to getting here. It's not just a paycheck to me. If I got laid off tomorrow, my life would still revolve around space. It's my calling. Some people obsess about American Idol and sports, I obsess about rocket ISPs, propellants, control systems, etc.

I find your comment about suffering citizens to be revealing of a pessimistic personality. Rather than arguing that jobs should be created, and people should be paid better, you seem to prefer that everybody be miserable and hurting since you are. That's a very pessimistic view of life, and it is also a very child-like way of thinking.

My outlook on life is more accurately described by the John Mayer song, "No Such Thing".

Anonymous said...

@ 1:57pm Anonymous,

Resurrecting the Saturn V would be just as expensive as building a whole new rocket from scratch. The engineering, supply chain, infrastructure, etc, are all gone. It's not as simple as you think.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:46 Anonymous,

The Augustine options are not as simple as which launch vehicle is the best to use. They're looking more at architectures, rather than individual launch vehicle/spacecraft combination. The overall theme that I got out of their options is that they heavily support commercial access to LEO, including both launch vehicle and spacecraft, and let NASA focus on beyond LEO exploration. However, the catch comes in the development times required for developing systems to support exploration beyond LEO. If one were to go to commercial access for ISS, it would still not be until the late 20's that we have sufficient explorations systems online. This would be after ISS decommissioning So, even if Orion is ready in the early 20s or earlier, where is it going to go? If it has no destination due to the other required systems not being ready due to budget constraints, why does it exist?

Anonymous said...

President Bush had the Vision for Space Exploration in 2004 yet never fully funded the NASA venture well. Then again NASA's top honchos pushed for a project without truly fleshing out the other options such as DIRECT with proper thorough investigations. The ISS/Shuttle dilemma stems from the 1990's and the Clinton era. NASA in the end has been to subject to political whims. Yes, presidents have their science advisors and appoint NASA administrators, but NASA as a while has not been steadfast. I do not mean the various research and launch facilities, but the DC circuit of NASA. Bolden is a good man for the job based on his work and resume, but he has a sorry NASA administration to work with. ISS launches should be done by the COTS program. With Space X's Falcon 9 and the Dragon manned vehicle. This would lower some costs of LEO launches. ISS use needs to be open to our partners and open to industrial/corporate missions. This fall of NASA has been comign for at least 14 years. The working body of NASA will pay for leadership that lacked balls and stood up for the programs. Moon and Mars can be reached if our NASA admin fights for it and does not just give in to pet projects, lobbyists, and ignore industry criticism.

Anonymous said...

It will probably be the only Ares rocket built in USA history and probably will never fly. This of course is due to our Dear Leader and his minions in Washington. Seems they can give more than NASA's entire yearly budget to GM for it to survive for 3 months before it was taken over by the government, but cannot increase NASA's budget which by the way is only 1/6th of 1 taxpayer cent (before the Dear Leader increased the budget to a gazillion dollars. It's probably now only 1/600th of 1 taxpayer cent).

But don't worry! The Dear Leader will come up with the biggest, baddest, and most impressive manned space program you will ever see....on paper and PowerPoint that is. And, it will be cheaper! Just watch the media praise it and tell us all just how great and wonderful it is because the Dear Leader said so. Just don't expect them to actually build a rocket and fly it to space with a crew. That would actually take hardware, employees, and a decent budget. After all, we can't have real rocket science getting in the way of that "Hope and Change" now can we?

Anonymous said...

Charly A blames George W.....the dems will still be blaming W for their failures 3 years from now. How pathetic.

Yes, just like the repubs blamed Clinton for everything W did!

Anonymous said...

What's amazing to me is how short memory can be. There's all this talk about if Ares/Orion aren't ready by 2020, and ISS is decomissioned, Ares/Orion will not have anywhere to go, so why bother? They would have no reason for being. That's horse-hockey. The Ares/Orion architecture was put together to go back to the moon, go anywhere on the lunar surface, and have the capability to leave anytime -- say, like, in an emergency. And the whole architecture was built with a mind toward forging ahead ultimately with human expeditions to Mars. The Ares/Orion architecture was NEVER about going to the ISS. In fact NASA only added an ISS capability to appease Congress. So the argument that Ares/Orion have nowhere to go without ISS is a false one. It's hogwash.

Anonymous said...

John, I'm sure I speak for many when I express my exasperation for your constant negativity.

"That work is costing you about $300 million a month."
"Regardless, much of that money would appear to be wasted if the president abides by the committee's advice."
"At a minimum, the $3.5 billion to $4 billion spent thus far on the Ares I rocket is lost forever with little foreseeable gain."

Lost forever?? How classically ignorant. Do we pile gold bullion onto a rocket and launch it into space, never to be recovered? No. We pay technicians, inspectors, engineers, scientists, and more. Those employees then, in turn, infuse their local economy.

Already burned into everyone's mind (again, thanks your frequent doom & gloom columns) is the ominous prediction that Brevard County will crumble without the support of KSC employees. Hasn't money earned from Ares I-X workers helped delay the onset of this supposed destiny?

Previous comments have already suggested other sickening no-brainers -- the staggering amounts of money spent on bailing out undeserving banks, ridiculous foreign war campaigns, and other wasteful causes. At least money spent toward new rockets -- successfully launched or not -- can be used to learn new processes, new designs, new methods, new hardware, new tooling, new technology.

I wonder about those "highlight" reels we frequently see, showing rockets exploding on the pad, or in flight. Were NASA & its contractors crucified -- like they are today -- for every little failure? I can’t say with certainty, but I doubt it. Because then, NASA was learning how rockets worked. NASA was learning new techniques. Why can’t anyone believe NASA’s learning anything NOW?

Even if Ares gets the axe, I believe I-X should be launched anyway. It’s built, stacked, ready. NASA can obtain ACTUAL data about flight of this type of vehicle. Even if the flight proves an Ares rocket can’t fly … it's only a failure if we’ve learned nothing along the way and learn nothing from the flight data.

Frank said...

It seems the best of times are behind us....
Can I please get a Timemachine to carry me back to the 60s...

Anonymous said...

@ 8:53a Anonymous,

You are right, Orion was always intended for lunar missions. However, without the required infrastructure to get there (an Earth Departure Stage, Lander, Ares V), Orion really does not have anywhere to go besides ISS, and if ISS has been deorbited, it REALLY has nowhere to go. Within the current budget, Orion cannot reach IOC for LEO until after ISS, and the systems required for missions beyond LEO will not be ready until well after that time.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a major misconception that the Ares I-X rocket current stacked in the VAB is a major technical milestone for the Ares I program, and that it is an Ares-I prototype.

Let me clear that up:

Ares I-X is not an Ares-I prototype. The two vehicles share almost nothing in common except superficial appearance. Ares I-X uses a 4 segment solid motor, Ares I uses a 5 segment solid motor. Ares I-X has a dummy mass simulator for an upper stage with no engine. Ares I has a cryogenic LOX/LH2 upper stage with a J-2 engine. Ares I-X uses avionics from Atlas V and roll control from Peacekeeper. Ares I will have it's own newly developed avionics and roll control. The shape between these vehicles even differs. Ares I-X's Orion has a conformal boost protective cover, while Ares I's Orion will have an aerodynamic fairing. Ares I-X's Orion has exposed reaction control thrusters, Ares-I's Orion does not. Ares I-X and Ares-I also significantly differ in height.

These are two completely different vehicles. Ares I-X provides little valuable technical data for the Ares program to make it worth the cost. It is really more of a PR stunt than anything.

Your Mama. said...

If John Kelly thinks he can build a better rocket please do. Research is never a waste. You also forgot the other options like Juniper that can go to the moon. Maybe you want to give all your tax money to a socialist health care?? Have more low income people stay home to make more babies to collect another check from Uncle Sam or Uncle Obama? That's smart! A REAL WASTE OF WORKING CLASS TAXS PAYERS MONEY!!!!!!!!

Uncle Obama said...

I rather cancel the program and give it all to a wellfare health care. We can hire the Chineese, Russians, and lay off Americian workers to do our job. We all rather sit at home and watch Americian Idle as we all get fat. Boy, health care is going to cost alot! I better increase taxes to pay for it!!!Good luck all...Obama.

Brevard said...

I am already feeling the pain. More workers are being laid off very soon. All the good jobs and skilled labor are leaving me. How will I run county programs without collecting taxes? My value is going down. I am going to be so thin and empty. Remember me, Brevard "the space coast"

Anonymous said...

"It is really more of a PR stunt than anything."
Right - and Gemini was just a PR stunt for Apollo.

I, for one, am thrilled that NASA chose this approach. Given the novelty of the design, this early test of the Ares-I configuration will certainly lead to a design that is far more robust and reliable. The failure-is-the-only-option crowd are loud and shrill but they are few. For the rest of you with an open mind, listen to a reasoned and thoughtful discussion of the Ares-1-X, at or

CharlieA said...

Actually folks, I diss just about anyone, since Lyndon went back to the Ranch. I WAS there, when they shut Apollo down,and my war cry in the '70s "This ain't economy, it's castration!", still holds. So little has changed.
I'll be watching Ares 1-X on Halloween, and wondering if it's going to shake itself apart.

Anonymous said...

If we dont get it together, than we will be the last in the space race. Just like Kennedy said, "We do these things, not because there easy, but because there hard". We are the United States of America and are country, people and technology far out due any other country in military and space. Once the Russians,Chinese are what ever else country beats us in space, we done. But then again, when you have someone like Obama defeat is almost certain.

Anonymous said...

There is no "rocket ready to fly". Ares-I-X is a mock up. Not even the 1st stage is real real.

Cancel Ares/Orion TODAY and put 10.000.000 $ per DAY into an X-prize purse.
That simply CANNOT be any less successful than NASA itself.

Anonymous said...

9/11 WAS clintons' fault. Ask any of us, we will tell you.

Anonymous said...

@10:03 Anonymous:

I can't believe you are comparing Gemini to Ares I-X. It's a complete apples to oranges comparison. Gemini was intended to help us demonstrate and refine the operations and technologies necessary to enable Apollo. It was appropriate for its time because its whole purpose was to do things we had never done, prove assumptions were correct or wrong, and even fly some Apollo technologies.

Ares I-X is not pushing any new boundaries and exploring new operational frontiers like Gemini did. It serves little practical engineering purpose for Ares I development to be worth the cost.

And I agree that failure should be allowable in development programs where appropriate.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:03 PM

The link you posted was to an ATK employee talking about the Ares Program. Gee what a shock... an ATK employee is speaking highly of Ares I?!! No way!!

Cough! Biased! Cough!

Also, the ATK guy didn't provide any good technical rationale for Ares I-X's existence and seemed to ignore the huge differences between the two vehicles that makes this such a low-fidelity test that it is just not worth the cost.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 7:17 p.m.:

Dude, just let them go fly their rocket. I mean, even a naysayer like you ought to be interested in lighting the candle to see if it flies. Oh, no. Wait a minute. That's the last thing you and your Ares-bashers want -- a real test that might show the first stage flight control systems in fact works, and the stage separation system in fact works, and the parachute recovery system in fact works. That would be ultra-bad for your relentless effort to bury Ares and get your rocket reconsidered. I mean, there are billions and billions of dollars at stake, and you certainly don't want to see a test that might actually prove the single stick might actually fly straight. Nope, you guys are hell bent to kill Ares before any proof-of-concept test can be conducted. Understand. Copy. Roger. But I don't concur.

Anonymous said...

The US gave $20 Million to Pakistan last year. How many millions did we give to failing US automakers? Yet we can not give a $3 billion more per year to NASA? NASA is appropriated less than 1% of the national budget. Seems like a small price to pay. Read for yourself what NASA has given back

CharlieA said...

Agreed, Ares 1-X is a prototype, a testbed. I'm not arguing against launching it AS Pure R&D - and I WILL be watching.
I must have missed that irrelevant Gemini comment - no way to compare Gemini to what Ares 1-X is about.

Anonymous said...

The current administration is ready to let our edge in space flight go over seas, just like our manufacturing jobs. What's left; a bunch of worthless real estate with no tenants? There are just so many jobs for cellular phones, dry cleaners, gas stations, and failing restaurants. Brevard County is going to look like parts of Michigan in 12 months or so. Thanks for all your support. Hope a hurricane comes to your home soon! America is dieing and this is one big shot gun blast to her chest. Thanks alot!

Phil said...

American Pride has always been the driving factor behind our accomplishments in space, like JFK said "We choose to do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard" the challenge to accomplish the things that others do not or can not do has always been one of the main reasons that Americans have led the way into exploration in so many of the greatest accomplishments of modern mankind, hopefully the present administration will accept the challenge of our great legasy and continue to support our efforts with full and increased support of Americas efforts in Space Exploration. NASA's funding should be increased to encompass not just our goals for the present but also our Hopes and Dreams for the generations that will rely on what we set in motion now.

Anonymous said...

Put Ares out at the Visitors Center along with the rest of the old rockets that were never flown.

Anonymous said...

Is the Ares required for the US to be competitive in space, yes or no? Is the Ares required to protect the US from other countries, yes or no?

If it is a good investment and helps the US protect itself then it should be funded. If Saturn or Delta rockets can do an equivalent job for less money and achieve the same result then the decision should be obvious.

Graham said...

I will say this to Mr obama. If you don't carry this through it will haunt you for the rest of your political career. To just hold up yer hands and quit like this !!. The chinese are wetting themselves laughing.!

When i was a six year old boy i saw the vision of a great democrat president come to it's fruition between 69 and 72.

Another president comissioned the project yes,but the work has progressed too far now to stop . Fly the Ares1X and pess on to the moon, and in time mars MAKE THE WORLD PROUD OF YOUR NATION ONCE MORE . To stop in space is to surrender (Gene Krantz)

From a UK space fan .

Anonymous said...

To the individual who wrote " Put Ares out at the Visitors Center along with the rest of the old rockets that were never flown " Well you sure have shown your lack of knowledge of the space program. All of the rockets at the Visitors Center are Mock UP'S with only a few exceptions. Please allow me to inform many of you.REDSTONE Redstone rocket (Redstone missile) was a direct descendant of the German V-2. Redstone was used for the first live nuclear missile tests by the United States. It was also referred to as the Redstone MRBM (medium range ballistic missile), Launch of Scott Carpenter Sub Orbital Flight( DELTA II a Thor IRBM (Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile) with solid rocket boosters attached. Atlas V a Atlas ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile)(ATLAS Used to launch John Glenn in the Mercury Program) DELTA IV same as DELTA II just on steroids (liquid fueled Hypergolic boosters). TITIAN (ICBM)(Used in launch of GEMINI program)TITIAN II, III, 3/4,IV (modified versions of TITIAN with solid rocket boosters. GEMINI program used to practice rendevous and docking skills needed for meeting up with other vehicles in space. SATURN 1&1B was a test bed used to test basic systems of the APOLLO program. Used later in the APOLLO-SOYUZ program. SATURN V Took us to the MOON!!! Please note that many of these vehicles are from Department of Defense systems. Even the Saturn 1,1B and V all were derived from weapons systems. These systems all came about by people with a vison. To quote our own rocket expert of his day! "It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow." ROBERT GODDARD!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Obama is a Mondale version 2.0. He has no vision. This is what you get when you put a community organizer in charge of the space program. China: congratulations! At least you have a vision.

Graham said...

You know i find it a great pity that vision in high office seems to be lacking now. I know i live in the UK,but it'll make me sad and very annoyed,if the Constellation Program isn't fully funded and carried through.

I really want America to grab this and run with it.Whats spent on this will be a tiny proportion of your national wealth over time,and the benefits would be massive. Make Goddard and JFK spin in their graves,and land on the moon again develope a base there.And when you've learned enough, attempt a long duration mission to Mars . China will if you don't,you really don't want that to happen do you ?! Oh and don't overlook the UK when assigning the crew.

Get out of low earth obit 40 years is far far too long !!.

Graham said...

I would just like to make the point to some on here who think Ares 1X is just a dummy rocket. It's a test vehicle pure and simple,it's basic shape is roughly the same as the Ares 1 will be.It will fly it has a four segment solid rocket motor derived from the shuttle hardware.

The upper stage is a mockup of the Shape and weight the Ares 1 will take(but can be modified later),the rocket is filled with flight dynamics sensors to collect data which is essential for the developement of the Final Ares 1.

It's a real rocket it will fly(soon if obama lets it ), up to 400,000 ft sub orbital and drop back into the atlantic and be recovered .

Graham said...

Sorry folks i have to correct myself a little. Ares 1X will fly to a maximum of 150,000 ft. Should have looked into it a bit deeper . Oopps .!