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. AJStrata says:


    I would have to look it up, I just know it by heart because it has been used to avoid using EU capabilities to meet NASA mission needs.

  2. lurker9876 says:

    CCDev and CCDev2 are doomed to fail. AJ understands the implications and issues of full commercial space development. And it will not be cheaper than the shuttle, when compared “equally”. There’s nothing planned to replace the shuttle as is.

  3. ivehadit says:

    Imho, all future wars will be fought with the use of outer space in some form or fashion…and now we are out of the game.

    **If everyone cannot see how this administration is INTENT upon NEUTERING this country, then they are absolutely dumb as dirt or in a psychotic state of denial.**

  4. […] other day, AJ Strata said it best. “…Today is one of those crystallizing days where the inanity of our leaders comes shining through. We have an incompetent […]