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01101001
2009-May-18, 02:54 PM
BA Blog: My NASA OpEd in the New York Post (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/05/18/my-nasa-oped-in-the-new-york-post/)


I have an opinion piece in the New York Post yesterday (http://www.nypost.com/seven/05172009/postopinion/opedcolumnists/we_need_a_modern_apollo_program_169723.htm) about the future of NASA. Itís hard to imagine that while at this very moment we have astronauts working so hard to upgrade Hubble and doing such a fantastic job, NASA is itself somewhat rudderless.

From the opinion:


NASA needs a modern Apollo. As a nation, we need it. In the late 1960s, our culture and our global reputation were crumbling. But for a few shining years we were the envy of the planet. And rightly so. We went to the Moon. NASA's manned and unmanned programs have done incredible things since then, extending our knowledge of the solar system and the Universe to places we couldn't fathom just decades ago. But can we take that next giant leap?
[...]
In a real sense NASA costs us very little, but it has the potential to give us the stars. We just need the will to reach out for them.

Gillianren
2009-May-18, 05:11 PM
You know, a good friend of mine messaged me the other day to tell me about this awesome science blog he'd just discovered. Did I know about it? This Phil Plait guy?

Phil, I think you're absolutely right, and let's keep our fingers crossed that People in High Places (and not just the ISS) pay attention.

publiusr
2009-May-18, 06:13 PM
I think we have to keep the message simple, for leaders to remember it (they don't know much about science after all).

Here is the message.

Bring Back Mike Griffin. You might not like his plan--but he HAS a plan. For too long shuttle replacement (and in-house engineering) has been stymied by Goldin era stagnation.

OSP was killed--New Horizons launched.
X-33 killed (rightfully)--Webb is built
NASP, X-34, X-38 all hatcheted, but we have Spirit and Opp.

We need pro-engineer types to push simpler rugged LV development the way Brunel did with shipbuilding.

sohh_fly
2009-May-18, 07:28 PM
we need to explore and have more adventures to keep chasing the dream.

DREAMS CAN COME TRUE

if we have the nuts .....as a good friend use to say...your just a squirrel in my world looking for a nut.

now that's pure xtasy

KaiYeves
2009-May-18, 10:03 PM
Hear, hear!

slang
2009-May-19, 08:36 AM
Here is the message.

Bring Back Mike Griffin.

:clap: If it's so difficult to find someone to replace him... don't!

Gillianren
2009-May-19, 04:38 PM
Bring Back Mike Griffin. You might not like his plan--but he HAS a plan.

Well, yes, but if I don't like it, what do I care? (I'm not saying I don't, mind; I don't know enough one way or the other to say. I'm just pointing out the logical error.) Isn't it better to sit still than go in the wrong direction? Wouldn't that take more work--and more money and so forth?

publiusr
2009-May-19, 08:11 PM
No--sitting still doesn't solve anything. Griffin actually restored science funding--and 'countermanded' O'Grief's 'no-Hubble-repair' mandate.

And that is why our friend Hubble is fixed now. Now according to some--such a risky repair was a 'wrong decision.'

But we have a great observatory ready to do good science once again because we did not sit still, like a blade of grass....waiting to be CUT.

KaiYeves
2009-May-19, 11:48 PM
I personally think he did a very good job, but there's one guy on SpaceVidcast who absolutely HATES Dr. Griffin. If they brought him back, I'm worried that guy's head might explode.

Gillianren
2009-May-20, 12:42 AM
No--sitting still doesn't solve anything. Griffin actually restored science funding--and 'countermanded' O'Grief's 'no-Hubble-repair' mandate.

But what if--and this is not, if you think about it, unlikely--you think the money will be spent in the wrong way, a way that does not advance space science? What if you think he's going about it the wrong way? What are the odds that they'll do things the way you want any time soon if they've invested a lot of infrastructure in the other way?

I'm all for advancing science, and I have no horse in this race. I'm just saying that "even if you don't like him, he's better than person-to-be-named" is faulty logic.

Warren Platts
2009-May-21, 11:44 PM
What I don't get is that we are spending billions and billions and billions on bailing out banks, car companies, etc. that screwed up, but they want to short NASA by 3 billion. I doesn't make any sense.

slang
2009-May-22, 08:21 AM
I doesn't make any sense.

Been tellin' yah :) But yes, it does seem strange. Politics.. :silenced:

publiusr
2009-May-22, 04:10 PM
Here's my op-ed:

From the original Augustine report:

"The Committee, chaired by Martin Marietta chief Norman Augustine, also called for development of a new heavy lift vehicle and a phasing out of the Space Shuttle..."

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-9227968.html http://www.safesimplesoon.com/heavylift.htm

Gee now that sounds familiar--rather like Ares V and Constellation doesn't it? http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/ares/aresV/index.html

Norm--I expect you to stick with your original statment--and not sell out to the EELV lobby that even Elon Musk questions with regard to astronaut safety: http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/85707-depressed-trajectory.html#post1478409

Mr. President, you already have your Augustine report. Mike Griffin's VSE as advocated by Norm himself the better part of two decades ago.

If you try to put a fix in this latest iteration--we will all see it for what it is--a way to pay for your bank bailouts at the expense of NASA. Ares V is going to keep high paying NASA jobs in Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana (Michould), where taxpayers will remember who cut them. Also, the bluest counties in Florida are on/in the Space Coast:

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/2008/

--remember that come your re-election bid, Mr President. We are watching.


************************************************** ***********
Let Norm and others know what you think.

www.whitehouse.gov


http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2009/05/dear_mr_augusti.html

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=deb0b2ed020ca771a56a6899d48ef6 27&topic=16905.msg399675#msg399675

sarongsong
2009-May-22, 09:57 PM
What I don't get is that we are spending billions and billions and billions on bailing out banks, car companies, etc. that screwed up, but they want to short NASA by 3 billion. I doesn't make any sense.The best-of-both nominee; Mr. Bailout, Neel Kashkari (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neel_Kashkari)! http://www.bautforum.com/images/icons/icon10.gif
...His performance at the helm of the Treasury's financial rescue operations won praise from Congressional Democrats as well as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner...Kashkari worked as a design engineer in the Mechanical Engineering Department at TRW...His last technical assignment was to develop precision latching technology for the Space Interferometer Mission (SIM) and the Next Generation Space Telescope (now JWST). Kashkari designed the latches and test setup, integrated the laser distance measuring interferometers, and demonstrated that the latches could retain their precision to the nano-meter level with appropriate pre-load. This result is now being employed in the JWST wing latches, which must ensure that this contributor to primary mirror wavefront remain stable within a few nano-meters of its allocated error budget...his wife Minal...is employed as an engineer at Lockheed Martin Corporation.
- wiki
ETA:
May 23, 2009
Obama to Tap Bolden as NASA Administrator (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/23/obama-tap-bolden-nasa-administrator/)

John Jaksich
2009-May-24, 08:33 PM
I don't want to tread too lightly but what I get is that: (through my observation of history)-- ever since we discovered and started to exploit the "black gold" of Titusville PA -- the country and world as a whole is more driven in the direction of a self-absorbance and personal acquisition, and subsequently greed that-- in the end everyone "has a proverbial dime dropped upon them"

I, 100% --- agree with Dr Plait's stance-- we do need to step out of our little (soon to be ever more polluted, and climate-challenged) blue dot. Although only select few have ever gone into orbit or gone to the Moon---the wisdom gleaned from their experiences should be heeded---

Gillianren
2009-May-25, 01:10 AM
I don't want to tread too lightly but what I get is that: (through my observation of history)-- ever since we discovered and started to exploit the "black gold" of Titusville PA -- the country and world as a whole is more driven in the direction of a self-absorbance and personal acquisition, and subsequently greed that-- in the end everyone "has a proverbial dime dropped upon them"

I advise looking at the history of the colonization of the Americas.

John Jaksich
2009-May-25, 02:43 AM
Hi Gillianren,

I get the point...but

I firmly believe that this generation of individuals is not unlike the so-called greatest generation...we have ourselves to rely upon our scientific know-how to build upon.

society has made some strides in compensating for past transgression upon the land and some of its citizens...I am a firm believer in non-aggression when ever possible....I can only hope that I am not alone...


Putting melodrama aside, take a deep look at the social milieu of the past 130 - odd years...isolationism of individual has come from the Great advances of Technology...not the other way around.

we speak w/o speaking directly to one-another (eye-contact)...

publiusr
2009-Jun-04, 08:48 PM
Humanity always seems to find a way to do the exact opposite of what it needs to do. In the past when folks needed to be nice to their neighbors, they weren't. Now that there is nothing but rock and ore (worth trillions) and there is nobody to displace--NOW people contemplate their navel under the "expansion-is-bad" dogma.

Scratch that--reverse it.

Sadly, I think that a lot of obstructions come from within the space advocacy community

Recently I attended one of the few Hard Science talks given at a recent Sci-fi (more like Fantasy) convention.

The Paranormal tracks naturally got more interest than the hard science events (distressingly).

One of the hard science guests was a Mr. McClintock, who even has a geographic feature named after him. He wrote about the building evidence for Global Change.

Notes:
http://www.bamanews.com/archives/2009_01_01_archive.html
http://www.uab.edu/uabbio/s022/
http://imagicon.org/gatekeeper/?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=37&Itemid=108&fontstyle=f-larger

After explaining how we really do need to change at least our focus as a species, the discussion from the audience turned to NASA.

Sadly, he fell into the same old Penn and Teller "NASA can't do it--it'll be private..."

--and I sighed.

He was doing so well.

For him to successfully question the role of 'rational self interest' with regard to the environment--only to fall into the same trap from the same types of arguements leads me to the conclusion that even the brightest people need to be educated about space.

I may seem monomaniacal at times in my support for certain LVs, and it is my own fault for not framing the arguements in ways that would appeal to men of reason.

Consider the following comparison:

a.)Evolution

b.)Global Change (AGW)

c.)VSE/Constellation-Ares


All three propositions have a great deal of evidence in their support:

Prothro's book, Origin of Species, Why Evolution is true. Science finds over many decades.

As far as AGW is concerned there have been excellent support on this very board.

Last and not least, is the ESAS report, and the many questions answered by Dr. Stanley at nasaspaceflight.com and elsewhere. Posts here on Depressed trajectory with links explaining its import--the fact that Mike Griffin is a legit engineer--advocacy from Porco, the original Augustine report calling for increased capability to avoid the stagnation due to such warnings having been ignored, etc.


Now let us examine the critics of all three topics, and their arguements.

"All that evidence for evolution is just a bunch of satanists and atheists blowing smoke--and the world looks flat to me!"---(It might look it but it isn't)

"Aw, we already have EELVs, they're all we need right? Its just a plot to spend money. Why we don't need NASA anymore, we have spaceship one--that's the same as the shuttle--it has wings" (I won't even bother)

"Its just a bunch of Marxists trying to wreck the economy. With Communism dead, they have to fudge and come up with other enviro-hype.----(Some of that yes, but even libertarian Shermer had conceeded the field leaving Penn and Teller out in the cold) AGW looks to be indeed real. Evidence does in fact mount. We don't have to live in a 'green hell' but we can't just "drill baby drill" either. Or fight stupid oil wars.

In all three examples, the status quo (warts and all)--the NASA CARD requirements/ESAS findings, AGW evidence, and Evolutionary finds--holds up rather well thank you. A reasonably bright person should be able to see that some of the arguements against the mainstream suffer from the same problems, in that such arguements boil down to nitpicking over the mainstream evidence with no serious attempt to have a cogent response.

Creationists try to nitpick, then refuse to acknowledge the fact that their own competing arguements have problems. They predict nothing.

AGW deniers (who have a better track record with the unabomber 'artifice is bad' types having their own warts) are to a man folks who want unbridled, unthinking expansion done not responsibly (asteroid mining--no waste)--but recklessly due to unthinking greed.

Lastly, folks who love to strain at gnats with Orion routinely ignore any questions on EELV safety or cost, resorting to the old "ATK conspiracy" crap--when in fact it has been Boeing employees (Druyen-Tanker, pre-ULA EELV-info theft from LockMart via Satchell, Alexio, etc) who have a proven history of dirty play.


So to believe the ATMs on these three subjects, you have to belive in something even more outlandish---

"Small changes over time--nah!...Q-continuum power entities--a given!"

"All those hippies must be faking all those data points" Out of their caves, sir? Mmmmm

"Why an HLLV. Thats too big an unwieldy. Now lets build 20-60,000 mile tall space elevators, micro-payload assemble..."

Enough.

Listen to yourselves.


I am coming at this from a certain place, doing my best as a private taxpayer (it is our NASA, after all) to light this candle--in the darkness--and hold it up for all to see.

Passion has its place. I don't dispute that. John Brown was more useful to history than H. L. Mencken. A do-er is more use than a wiseacre.

Still, it is Reason that must guide us. Many think that I abandon reason as a blind advocate to a certain LV, or idea (Mulberries and Container ships work however, so the comparison works).

My point is that it is the enemies of VSE Constellation and Ares who limit both our reach--and our grasp--of the Cosmos.

And there is nothing reasonable about that.


I therefore find that I must remind you of what the BA said in his original op-ed

"I’m very concerned about the future of NASA and of space exploration itself, and I honestly don’t know what needs to be done."

Well, that is what experts are for, BA. I humbly ask that you use reason in spaceflight advocacy even as Shermer has in fighting his own libertarian bias against AGW evidence.

Norm Augustine called for STS to be retired and Heavy Lift pursued. He was ignored. Ares V funding has been axed by the sitting President, and now folks want to fly shuttle longer. That Norm has been ignored for 20 years--that is the source of your concern--not Griffins pro-engineering legacy. Face it, the know-how behind the Ares V of the past--the Beagle--is why we have the proper theory of origin. As a five year old, I could see human and ape skeletons and see the similarity. Now telling the dif' between a granny knot and a square knot? That's hard. No topologist am I!

But this is why we have engineers, and experts. Mike Griffin was both. He was ignored. So was Norm, who called for similar infrastructure. So was Bill Eoff, who called for the (DIRECT-class) Magnum. So was Zubrin and his Ares. So is Porco's call for large Ares V borne missions--and Porco is a reasonable woman and humanist extraordinare! That should be enough convincing.

Can evidence be faked? Yes. Piltdown man for instance. And if the current commision contradicts what Norm himself called for years ago--with precious little having been changed--I will call foul. But evidence is what we have--coming from Engineers who are hardly popular these days.

You are right to be concerned BA.

There are lots of political websites. Advocacy in politics is hard--faceless business. But there are only a few good science/astronomy websites out there, BA--and yours is one of the best--a forum where a future Korolov might be heard. His bullying power was in the Kremlin. You have similar reach here on the web.

You said you didn't know what to do. Here is a humble suggestion. Use every inflection, every witticism--every ounce of your intellect in joining us in advocating for VSE in general and Ares in particular. The arguements have been made and findings reached. I call upon you and all others here to UNITE behind real progress in space.

--or we will have to ride Progress--and Soyuz ('UNION') for the forseeable future.

Tuckerfan
2009-Jun-04, 11:00 PM
Here is something to consider:

1.) The US economy (and the global economy as well) is presently in the toilet because the "engine" which drives the US economy (housing and the financial markets) has collapsed.

2.) "Monoculture" farming (i.e. growing one type of crop) is generally recognized as a Really Bad IdeaTM because if anything happens to the crop (And monoculture crops are exceedingly vulnerable to disease. Ask the Irish or banana farmers.), then your entire economy will implode.

3.) The efforts at restoring the US economy are primarily focused on "correcting" the problems with the system and not ensuring that other industries play an equal role in driving the US economy. (We'll prop GM up, but we're not looking at putting other industries in Detroit, even though many of the jobs that have been lost at GM will not be replaced once GM is out of government control.

4.) Putting boatloads of money into the space program helps create a diverse economy and can put many of the unemployed autoworkers back to work (the machinist who made car parts can make parts for a spaceship just as easily).

5.) The spin offs from the space program have lead to things like improved fire retardant gear, medical devices, and the like. The spin offs from the financial sector lead to Collaterialized Debt Obligations, ARMs, and the like.

6.) Having a large high tech industry attracts highly educated people to the US (who tend to make a lot of money), which adds to the economy and the tax base. Many highly educated folks are leaving the US to go to work in India and China, because the opportunities are greater there, even if the money isn't. If we put more into the space program than anyone else, a lot of those people will be inclined to stay in the US (since they're not likely to work on a manned mission to the Moon/Mars in India).

KaiYeves
2009-Jun-04, 11:31 PM
I agree with what both of you are saying.

John Jaksich
2009-Jun-04, 11:45 PM
Dear publiusr and Tuckerfan,

Your arguments are to the point and I do agree with you...despite past differences in semantics...we are (I hope)-- on the same page.

RAF_Blackace
2009-Jun-07, 02:11 AM
Ah so the binary man is Phil, I had no idea. I came here because I saw you on British TV and was very interested to hear more, the main site said it was closed, I ended up finding my way to Discover Magazine and then to here. Thank you for welcoming me to the forums in the new arrivals section.

I must admit the binary sequence has me stumped, If it is Hex it is 69, or FI, is it a random sequence or is there a reason for it ?

If you don't tell me I can drive 2 miles down the road to Bletchley and get them to decode it, after all, they were quite good at decoding the enigma machine messages.

Respect.

Sorry, off topic.

01101001
2009-Jun-07, 03:37 AM
Ah so the binary man is Phil, I had no idea.

I had no idea as well. The Bad Astronomer (http://www.bautforum.com/members/the-bad-astronomer.html) is Phil. I'm just me. I was only quoting him from his blog.

The 01101001 is many things, depending on the decoding. It's just a pattern of ones and zeroes in the end. Among my favorites are ASCII "i", and the first 8 numbers in the Thue-Morse Sequence (http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Thue-MorseSequence.html), featured in my signature. Slightly more at article in topic Explain your name (http://www.bautforum.com/off-topic-babbling/12167-explain-your-name-5.html#post246849), and beyond.

Valkyrie801
2009-Jun-07, 02:59 PM
a teenager with the astronauts.

I liked john Glenn, but Allen B. Shepard is my true hero. Freedom 7.


instead they sent him straight up into the heavens at first alone.

Strapped into a capsule at the end of an intercontinental ballistic missile...

then with Edgar Mitchell and command module pilot Stuart Roosa for Apollo 14 he made it to the moon.

At least I have heroes.

I do not know what you youngsters have any more.

TV?

Reality TV?

Valkyrie801
2009-Jun-07, 03:04 PM
are explained in the first season of "Star-Trek The Next generation" when the galaxy-class Enterprise puts in for maintenance by a planet inhabited by a culture called the "Binars".

It is simple;

00 means no.
01 means yes.

With a brain one may work it from there.

Sticks
2009-Jun-07, 03:47 PM
Valkyrie801 any more incivility or Ad Hominems and you face being suspended.

HenrikOlsen
2009-Jun-07, 03:55 PM
then with Edgar Mitchell and command module pilot Stuart Roosa for Apollo 14 he made it to the moon.

At least I have heroes.

We did not devise a three stage rocket that had fuel that got so hot it threatened to explode the engines.

We did not devise a way for using one of the components of the volatile fuel to bathe the fuel tanks and engines with freezing liquid oxygen so they would not explode...

naw, it never happened.
So which is it?
Happened or not?

R.A.F.
2009-Jun-07, 04:46 PM
Allen B. Shepard is my true hero.

Your "true hero's" name is Alan.

Tucson_Tim
2009-Jun-07, 05:07 PM
It is simple;

00 means no.
01 means yes.

With a brain one may work it from there.

Oh, thank you, thank you for teaching me this elementary binary stuff. I don't know how I can be doing my job at work without this knowledge. I see the light now.

But, since you've used enough digits to convey four meanings, what does 10 and 11 mean?

Sticks
2009-Jun-07, 06:31 PM
Oh, thank you, thank you for teaching me this elementary binary stuff. I don't know how I can be doing my job at work without this knowledge. I see the light now.

But, since you've used enough digits to convey four meanings, what does 10 and 11 mean?

Please refrain from using sarcasm here and retaliating. This just escalates things, results in posters being banned and threads locked

KaiYeves
2009-Jun-07, 09:50 PM
I do not know what you youngsters have any more.

TV?

Reality TV?
The same people you did, the people on the ISS, various activists and environmentalists...

publiusr
2009-Jun-19, 03:44 PM
I just hope the BA tries to get an audience with somebody in the Obama admin--oh, I forgot about the visitor list as described by Keith O.

Why we must support Ares
http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/89541-aviation-week-article-nasa-study-finds-human-rated-delta-iv-cheaper.html#post1512472

Actually I take issue with that quote and debunk it. Please click on the link to learn why.