Jul 21 2011

After Half A Century, Obama Ends America’s Leadership In Space Exploration

Published by at 9:45 am under All General Discussions

Note: Many images can be clicked for larger size.

Fate or coincidence have two very disturbing headlines side-by-side this morning. Not surprisingly – unless of course your a brainwashed liberal – jobless claims are once again on the rise as the economy falters under the crushing deficit spending, mounting debt and uselessly intrusive federal government. A federal behemoth jacked up by reckless liberal actions from the recent Obama, Reid, Pelosi era of run amok government intervention and madness. (more here at Hot Air)

The other news regards this being the last flight of the Space Shuttle, after which tens of thousands of more people will now be laid off in Florida and Texas, as well as all across the country where parts and service contractors once helped lead mankind into the final frontier. The sad irony of the dueling headlines is brutally obvious.

This is the incoherency of President Obama and his total lack of practical experience. This and his obsession with trains to/from nowhere California. The sad fact is the cost of a useless high speed air mover in California alone could have funded the next generation of space vehicles and kept America’s leadership in space exploration. But no, we threw away our exploration vehicles instead.

In the early 1960’s under John F Kennedy, arguably the last great Democrat President, this nation embarked on a peaceful and historic endeavor to leave this planet and explore the heavens. And to do that this nation created engineering marvels that had been only vague concepts – vehicles which took humans safely into orbit, and later onto the moon. My father worked on the first of these wondrous missions and with their amazing machines – Gemini & Mercury.

The Mercury Missions were America’s answer to the Russians reaching orbit ahead of us. Gemini paved the way for the Apollo Missions and our exploration of another celestial body. We had embarked on the greatest exploration ever proposed.

My father worked on the communications systems, and worked to integrate the first two IBM computers into a single system. His efforts exemplify how the act of exploration pushed technology in all directions and dimensions – providing a direct benefit to the American economy and humanity itself. Computer technology leaped forward in the wake of this nation’s drive to have humans explore off-world. And from that enhanced computational capability uncountable progress was achieved in areas as diverse as medicine, food preservation, communications, etc.

President Kennedy knew that when chasing a challenge, all sorts of benefits can come rippling off the effort itself – even if the goal is not reached. But we did reach Kennedy’s goal under Apollo, and once again America had produced technology and machines that had never existed anywhere outside the imagination of science fiction writers.

In the 1970’s we decided to stop visiting space and instead work and do scientific research in space. Two ambitious programs were initiated, the first being the Space Shuttle. It’s maiden flight was in 1981, and can be seen below in a picture similar to the one I have on my office wall. This iconic image is easily distinguished from all other shuttle flights because it was the only flight where the fuel tank was painted white. All the others saved the expense and weight, since the tank burns up in the atmosphere after it is jettisoned.

After 3 decades of flights, everyone knew a next generation of manned space vehicles were needed to continue the 50 year dream initiated by President Kennedy. And so, under President Bush, the Constellation Program was initiated and it returned to our Apollo roots for it’s inspiration. Initially, as I noted here, President Obama claimed he was trying to find ways to make it work. At the time I was fooled into thinking President Obama had some clue as to the importance of our space exploration leadership:

I have to admit I have been worried Obama would delay or cancel the new exploration of space. But this move indicates bold, out-of-the-box thinking that looks at innovative ways to save money AND meet the objectives. NASA would do itself some good by being more open minded and less inclined to turf wars.

I was wrong. President Obama did in fact cancel the program. And now, for the first time since 1961, we do not have any vehicles to shuttle our astronauts into space. We cannot fly our own people to the International Space Station, the 2nd great endeavor we embarked upon in the 1970’s and 1980’s. We spent billions developing and building the Space Station and we just recently marked 10 years continuous operations there – yet we now need to pay Russia to get us to and from it. We can’t do it on our own anymore. (Technically this is a violation of law, which mandates we must be able to perform all our space missions with our own assets so no nation can hold us hostage – a minor detail this administration has clearly ignored).

Instead of leading humanity’s exploration of the Final Frontier, President Obama plans on wasting billions of dollars on a train to and from nowhere. As Michael Barone so precisely noted, Obama’s train obsession is not cutting edge anything:

Obama has called high-speed rail an “investment” in cutting-edge technology. But it’s hardly cutting-edge: Japan debuted its bullet train in 1964, and France inaugurated its TGV in 1981.

Today is one of those crystallizing days where the inanity of our leaders comes shining through. We have an incompetent and clueless administration attempting to operate way above their skill levels. We have thrown away our technological lead in space vehicle development and instead plan to waste it on a crippled train in the middle of farm fields. No wonder as to why our nation is so far off course after three years into the Obama Administration.

24 responses so far

24 Responses to “After Half A Century, Obama Ends America’s Leadership In Space Exploration”

  1. WWS says:

    Remove the words “Leadership in” from the post title and it will be even more accurate.

    This sad clown of a president wouldn’t know a “bold, out of the box” thought if it danced a jig on his desk while singing “Look at me! I am a bold thought!!!!”

    The repercussions of the collapse of the American Space Program will be slow, but they will be massive.

    sad thought for the day: If NASA had been staffed by the UAW, no expense would have been spared to have decared this a national emergency.

  2. AJStrata says:


    Sadly true about the UAW point

  3. lurker9876 says:

    wws, I agree with you about the repercussions of the collapse of the American Space Program. Not even the commercial space development will be able to stop the collapse!

    I predict that it will take five years for NASA to collapse entirely. I understand that many of the NASA engineers in Houston are moving to energy and oil industry. Once they are in those industries, they’re gone for good.

    I knew back in ’07 that Obama wanted to shut down NASA. Looks like it is going to happen and it will be part of his legacy. How much history revisionism will we see of his legacy.

  4. […] AJ Strata’s post below says it all.  We, as a country, have let ourselves down. Our benign neglect as citizens has brought us the Marxist, and the result, never more clearly seen — the destruction of the space program, marking the end of our national glory.  For now… […]

  5. Mike M. says:

    And how long until we stop paying the Russians, and abandon the Space Station to them entirely?

    I’m convinced that Obama just plain hates the United States.

    Space exploration has been one of the Great American Dreams. Has been ever since the 1920s. It’s inspired generations of young people to forsake spending their high school and college years partying and spend it studying – and studying subjects like higher math, science, and engineering. Long, hard years of work. Just to have a CHANCE at riding fire into the sky. It’s a dream that has kept this nation at the forefront of engineering for nearly a century, an engine that has driven both our national security and our prosperity.

    And Obama has killed it.

  6. oneal lane says:

    I remember my elementry school days in a small town outside of Birmingham Alabama in the 1960’s.

    Our “Weekly Readers” had those wonderful stories about American progress on the Gemini and Apollo programs. A great time to be a kid. Going home and building my own Estes and Centuri powered rocket kits make you feel like part of it all.

    This is indeed a sad turn, but I think we will be back soon with a different vehicle. What a great private sector economic stimulus, competition and contract for new vehicles. The Republican nominee, whoever that might be, should rally Ameriacan pride and business around our return with a new space system.

  7. […] should soon be ironed out.Some reading recommends before I disappear again:Not to be a downer, but: I am sad to see this day. I’ve been sad to see a lot of days, latelyI’ve been ranting for a little while that we […]

  8. AJStrata says:


    Appreciate your optimism, but there is no commercial ride on the horizon. First off, the cost to develop and test means it will be decades to recoup the investment. And all the while, cheap Russian (and soon Chinese) rides will be there reminding everyone the competition is rigged by government subsidies.

    Without government support (and indemnity for tragedies like Challenger and Columbia) it is not financially viable right now.

  9. MerlinOS2 says:

    From the local news I read here,I can watch the launches from my house as soon as the shuttle clears the tree line,it looks like the Cape is going to be handing out massive pink slips in about two weeks.

    The are now moving from a peak of near 24,000 jobs down to about 8,000 left to carry on remaining launch tasks and so forth.

    There will be a glut of housing going on the market that is already nearly dead.

  10. oneal lane says:

    Not to worry Gents. Obama has been fast at work.

    The new solar powered orbital vehicle “Sustainable 1” is scheduled to lift off TONIGHT. Built by MARX it’s ths first of it’s kind in renewable green space exploration.

    I could not resist!

  11. dbostan says:

    I am heartbroken over this.
    I very well remember when, deep behind the iron curtain, I watched in amazement the much maligned (there) Americans walking on the moon.
    Now, the Americans are maligned here at home, by the progeny of the communists I fled from.
    My hope is that after we boot this commie thug from the WH, we launch an investigation into all his crimes, including the burial of our space program.
    I would also investigate some people at NASA for their support of the “global warming” commie scam over their primary mission which should be the SPACE EXPLORATION.

    Another hope I have is that somewhere within NASA is a secretly maintained program for a deep space vehicle.
    Not all patriotic Americans disappeared after-all.

  12. MerlinOS2 says:


    Zurbin predicts great success if a large network of private space transportation is allowed to develop:

    Within a few years, we could be sending not a mere handful of people into orbit each year, but hundreds. Instead of a narrow space program with timid objectives moving forward at the snail’s pace of politically constrained bureaucracy, we could have dozens of bold endeavors of every kind, attempting to realize every vision and every dream – reaching out, taking risks and proving the impossible to be possible.

  13. ivehadit says:

    “AMERICA: NOW STUCK ON EARTH…” from Drudge.

    This will NOT stand. Get angry and get moving. We have MUCH work to do before Nov. 2012. Frankly, the chart over at The Gateway Pundit showing the deficit since 1980 from the OMB should be ALL that we need to convince anyone to vote against the current occupants of government.

    And, shame on all Americans if they buy what this group in OUR HOUSE is selling….

  14. […] More Blog News Here : The Strata-Sphere » After Half A Century, Obama Ends America's … […]

  15. sherrimae says:

    I am truly sorry about the apparent death of the space program which is being killed by Obummer even though Congress has passed laws preventing him from doing that. Our senators and representatives here in Alabama are trying to do all they can to save the space program and as many jobs connected with it as they can but Hussein Obummer is just ignoring the law.

    The death of the space program is affecting us profoundly here in north Alabama at Redstone Arsenal where much of the work was done. Over 400 people have been laid off recently and nobody knows how many more will be laid off. My son’s good friend from school said that his mother lost her job in March and she is considering flying the the D.C. area every week if she can find a job there. The boy’s dad is a vice president for future combat systems at SAIC and he has been told that he might lose his job too. My husband works for a local military contractor and he won’t have a job after September. I’m a unemployed pharmacist who was laid off twice last year – once I was the last person hired (they really shouldn’t have hired me if they were just going to turn around and lay me off) and after I worked two months at my next job the pharmacy went out of business. I know a lot of unemployed people who will be going to the polls next November to vote for anybody but Obummer. It’s really sad what is happening. My husband is an assistant scoutmaster for our son’s Boy Scout troop and every week they come home after their meetings discouraged about how many of the other boys’ fathers are losing their jobs.

  16. WWS says:

    Obama: Cut Defense spending before Food Stamps.

    Well, if that doesn’t say it all right there – now we know what happened to NASA. Who cares about space exploration, we want Food Stamps for Everyone! How about some circuses to go along with that bread???

    Add in a would-be Emperor who thinks he’s some kind of god – well, history does repeat after all. Although I do agree with the saying, first time as tragedy, second time as farce.

  17. kathie says:

    A heartbreaking day.

    I think even Carter has one up on Obama.

  18. nippellg says:

    Saw the last launch and landing . . . Passing of an era, complete with today’s headline from Russia’s space agency Roskosmos, “From today, the era of the Soyuz has started in manned space flight, the era of reliability.”

    Just curious; is there a link to your reference to the law requiring space missions to be accomplished w/US assets?

  19. dhunter says:

    Well the Lyin King OBlahBlah had to give all his grifters and slackers cell phones so when the time is right he can txt message them to the polls, or the protest march, or the picket lines at some Corporate Job Creating Americans home don’tcha know.

    And how about all that compromise goin on there in the Senate where the Dingy Harry, who has not done his dooty in over 800 days and submitted a budget, refuses to allow even so much as discussion, amendments or even a vote on Cut, Cap and Balance.

    Where are the Repugs who would call this what it is….. a Marxist, dictator-esq, refusal of the right to vote on the merits of a proposal by the peoples representatives.
    Its about time to tear their playhouse down around their ears.

    No Compromise? How about No consideration, No Vote, a veto, without discussion, by the preening Lyin King and his princes.

    The Repugs should be shouting this at every microphone, maybe the women ones will at least.

  20. dhunter says:


    The rats intend to kill cut, cap and balance in spite of the fact that 2 to 1 Americans want it.

    I had better be hearing about this from some of the spineless ones over the weekend. Even Lindsay Grahamnasty spoke against this procedural ass covering for the Lyin King.
    If the repugs don’t make hay on this I’m tempted to urge sarah or someone like her to go third party.
    the Political class is hopelss if the repugs can’t fight this battle.
    If Trump goes third Party I will vote for him if Sarah doesn’t get in, the democrats are all out Marxists and the Repugs are scared of their shadows.