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#1 Bill

 

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 07:58 PM

As we all know the Shuttle Fleet will be retired in May. The replacement was not set to be flying till 2014.
Now the Obama administration has seen fit to cut funding and go a differnet route.
More on that story HERE

Go Boldly wants you!

To join in and send a letter to your representatives to help restore funding to the US space program.

Stand Up and Tell Your Elected Representatives You
Want a Strong and Vibrant Space Program


The President and Congress are deciding the fate of this valuable, national program of research and exploration. Please, let them know you support NASA, your Space Agency, and all the achievements it represents.

Dear Senator or Representative,

Currently, the United States stands as the leader in human space exploration. However, the President's recently proposed NASA budget will forfeit that leadership. The proposed budget cancels the Constellation Program, the only current replacement for the Space Shuttle, in the very same year that the Space Shuttle will be retired. This cancellation effectively ends our country's human exploration program beyond Low Earth Orbit. It also places our ability to perform human spaceflight on the Russians as well as the shoulders of an immature and unproven commercial space market. The development of commercial spaceflight is good for our country, but not at the sacrifice of our human space exploration program.

At a time when job creation is highest among our nation's concerns, the President's proposed NASA budget would cut many thousands of high tech jobs across the country. Once NASA loses these highly skilled workers, their years of practical knowledge and experience will leave a gaping hole in the agency's capabilities.

NASA pushes the frontiers of exploration and discovery, boldly taking on seemingly impossible challenges. No other nation has ever placed a person on the moon. People all over the world admire NASA for its courage, innovation, and persistence: a representation of America itself. NASA's pioneering in human space exploration provides inspiration to continue to develop innovative concepts in healthcare, energy, education as well as many other fields.

It is critical to our country's success to remain the leader in human spaceflight; however, the President's proposed 2011 budget for NASA leads the United States into an uncertain future in space. Therefore, I urge you to grant NASA the charter to build on the current successes of our nation's human space program. The responsibility now lies with this Congress to provide the leadership and resources necessary to move beyond Low Earth Orbit and solidify America's leadership in space exploration.

Thank you for your consideration.

Go Boldly HEREand show your support.

In addition to sending online I would urge those of you that favor this to mail a copy as well to your Senators and Congressman. Together we do make a difference.









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#2 ensign edwards

 

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 11:14 AM

Having heard a bit more detail about this, I can't help but feel this is somewhat overblown. It's not scrapping the space program; it's just taking it in a new direction. Now, there's no guarantee it will be a better direction, but it's not the death some people have been painting it as. I've heard this new plan has the potential to get us back to the moon sooner than the other one.

#3 CessnaDriver

 

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:10 AM

It's not overblown. It's the total gutting of NASA human spaceflight for YEARS to come.
I am all for commerical endeavors, good luck to them, but this is too much to expect of them.
They have little to no experience and it wont come fast either. And there is no mention at all of leaving low earth orbit.
That means no human return to moon, and no plans for Mars later. Bad bad bad.

Astronauts and moonwalkers Gene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt, and four time shuttle astronaut Tom Jones are all against the Obama plan.
NASA scientist and author of "Rocket Boys", Homer Hickam, The film "October Skys" was based on his book, He is against it.


Star Trek's Mike Okuda, who designed so much of the shows we love is against it and fighting for Constellation.
His graphics have been used by NASA.

http://web.me.com/mi...STELLATION.html


I fought to Save Enterprise, I sure as hell will fight with all I can do to save the real thing!

Support NASA in it's time of need.

Congress will decide this, NOT the white house.

Edited by CessnaDriver, 09 February 2010 - 01:14 AM.

Letters Division Member

Kirk: I take it the odds are against us and the situation is grim.
Picard: You could say that.
Kirk: You know, if Spock were here, he'd say that I was an irrational, illogical human being by taking on a mission like that. Sounds like fun!

#4 Plazmataz

 

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 09:38 AM

I'd like to point out that the space shuttles are scientifically almost useless, as is returning to the moon (which, in case you've forgotten, we've already been to). The US government saw fit to do what should have been done long ago; stop wasting money on a 50-year-old system and actually go boldly for the first time since the space race. We're on the verge of finally, finally innovating in a field has seen so little innovation in so long, and some of you want to actually stop this and try to keep that shoddy little fleet of useless, expensive, and downright dangerous shuttles? This new program isn't about killing the space program, it's about giving it a funding boost, a long-needed structural reorganization, and a clean slate that'll allow it to start developing new technologies in tandem with commercial production entities. Someone on Capitol hill finally realized that "getting to the moon" is is more a crowd-pleaser than an actual scientific goal (also, someone also realized that we already did this... in the 60s).

For a bunch of Trekkies, we should be supporting this movement. This isn't the end of the space program, as some would tell you; this is the beginning of a new program. For those of you who, like me, always resented the old program for not going far enough and not actually seeming to care about space at all, this is a dream come true. This is the real thing!
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#5 ensign edwards

 

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:33 AM

^Yeah, what he said. This is about shifting direction, putting more effort towards innovation and new technologies.

Now, there's no guarantee that will work out. I personally feel that there's something to be said for tried and true methods. But this is certainly not killing NASA the way some would have you believe.

#6 Bill

 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 01:48 PM

Fighting from another front is Micheal Okuda. From Roddenberry.com





Okuda Joins Call For Congress to Save Constellation Program
By: Dennis Rayburn
02/11/2010


Posted ImageOn his blog site, Michael Okuda, whose graphic work has been featured, not only in the entertainment world, but also in patches that he has designed for space shuttle missions and the Ares 1-X Developmental flight, has raised his voice to join the growing chorus of individuals from the world of entertainment, scientists, space explorers, and members of Congress of both parties, who are calling for the salvation of the Constellation program from the scrap heap that President Obama seems determined to place it in.

In his post, Okuda writes, "As long-time supporters of real-life space exploration, Denise and I were disappointed to learn that the proposed NASA budget for 2011 would cancel Project Constellation and the planned return to the Moon." Okuda continues with a brief overview of the project, which started in 2004 in the wake of the tragic loss of Space Shuttle Columbia and all hands on board, and especially how it was designed on a tighter budget that the Apollo project. "Unlike Apollo, Constellation is designed to run on a comparatively constrained budget. Constellation's Ares boosters are based on Space Shuttle technology, reducing their development costs and improving safety and reliability."

Posted ImageOkuda goes on to speak about the need for a national goal for manned space flight. "Without a goal and a specific plan, we believe that NASA, however well-intentioned, will simply end up spending a lot of money without actually going anywhere. It's happened before. We don't want it to happen again. And while we believe that commercial spaceflight will be a reality in the relatively near future, the fact is that no such capability exists yet. Spaceflight is a difficult, dangerous enterprise, and it would be foolish to gamble the future of our nation's space program by abandoning systems that are already well into development. With so much progress already made, we believe that canceling Constellation would be a serious mistake."

Okuda has created a website,
SupportConstellation.com, which contains links to more information on the Constellation program ,which includes the Ares booster, the new Orion spacecraft, and the Altar moon lander, all technologies being developed for not only the Moon, but other destinations in space beyond low Earth Orbit. The site also contains tools and information on how to contact the President and members of Congress to express opinions of the new plan. To read Michael Okuda's compete blog entry, click here for his blog site.

Posted ImageOkuda, by speaking out, has joined a constantly growing chorus of individuals who are calling for the continuation of the Constellation. While some individuals of note have spoken out in favor of President Obama's proposals, most notably Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, his opinion is not shared by other members of the fraternity of men who have walked on the Moon. Among those who oppose the President's proposal are both of the last two men to ever walk on the Moon. Gene Cernan told a reporter that the President, "...is somehow unwilling to invest in the future of this country and the future of this country is important to me." Dr. Harrison Schmitt calls the decision , "a colossal mistake." Schmitt went on to say that the Moon is the logical place to prepare for any future manned mission to Mars.

The chorus of voices calling for Constellation to continue is growing rapidly, but it must be heard by those in Washington, DC who make the decisions and control the purse strings. As Okuda pointed out, the budget so far is simply a proposal. It is the Congress of the United States that will make the final decision.

My feelings on this subject has been clearly stated
in a previous column. I urge you to visit the SupportConstellation.com site and lend your voice to those who want continue space exploration. The ancient writer said that without vision, the people perish. Let's keep a vision for our future in space and a goal in that vision.

See you tomorrow!

Photos: web.me.com/michaelokuda


Author: Dennis Rayburn







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#7 Plazmataz

 

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 06:43 PM

So patch designers are authorities on these issues? It sounds to me more like a political rebuttal than a legitimately scientific one.
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#8 Bill

 

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 08:50 AM

Unfortunate reality is science will always take a backseat to politics.
Which is why you have to play politics for the sake of promoting science.

In support of the efforts here is the next part.


Matthew Schumann sent a message to the members of Support the NASA Constellation Program.

--------------------
Subject: Draft Letter


The FORM LETTER IS FINALLY DRAFTED!!!! Thanks to all on the discussion bored who contributed, especially Kelly, Ed, Holly, and all the others who have contacted me. You guys pretty much just made it patchwork!
Due to the delay in DC because of weather, it is best to fax these letters. In addition to your local Representative and Senators, the following are key people that will review NASA's budget and such:


West Virginia:
Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-1) Fax: 202-225-7564


Maryland:
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) Fax: 202-224-8858


Florida:
Sen. Bill Nelson (D) Fax: 202-228-2183


Alabama:
Sen. Richard C. Shelby ® Fax: 202-224-3416


Texas:
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison ® Fax: 202-224-0776


The letter is below. It is up to us now to make our voice known and save manned spaceflight. This letter can also be found on the discussion bored.
______________________________


Your Name
Address
City, State, Zip


Date

The Honorable Senator/Rep.
Address
City, State, Zip



Sen/Rep,

As a member of "Support the NASA Constellation Program," I send this letter to you to pledge my support for NASA's Constellation program and the continuing of U.S. manned spaceflight to the moon, Mars, and beyond with the Ares I vehicle and Ares V Heavy-lift Craft. In President Obama's budget proposal, he plans to cut Constellation out of NASA's budget. With the shuttle due to retire at year's end, this would mean the suspension of U.S. manned spaceflight as we know it. This is simply unacceptable and an outrage, even in these tough budget times.

The Ares I is a proven technology. On October 28, 2009 the Ares I-X launched for its first test flight. It performed flawlessly, even silencing many critics of the design. This proved that the Ares technology worked and earned it Time Magazine's "Best Invention of 2009." Its lightweight composites, better engines, and exponentially improved computers give this manned spacecraft more power and reliability than ever before.

This is a matter of National Security. If eliminated, the nation currently has no true plans on the drawing board for returning man to space. Our nation will become dependent on the Russians for passage to the International Space Station on their Soyuz vehicle. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently shared that the Obama Administration never consulted with him on its cancellation plans for Constellation, nor did the administration inquire about the potential impacts such plans might have on our nation's security. At a time when an alarming numbers of nations, such as China, are developing advanced rocket technology and funding their own manned spaceflight, we must move forward with our own. Whether missiles or men, our nation needs heavy-lift capabilities to move things into space.

This is a matter of logic. It would cost $2.5 billion to opt out of Constellation-related contracts. Obama claims to want to create jobs, but cancelling this program can potentially lay off thousands employees tied to it, whether directly within NASA or indirectly through suppliers like ATK. Constellation suppliers are located from all corners of the United States and this cut will affect them all.

What about Obama's promise to encourage science, math, and engineering in our youth? What better encouragement than well funded NASA exploration. Manned space flight has forced us to push the limits of our technology and create things once only dreamed about. Mr. Edward Douglas, co-founder and Director of Astro Camp Utah writes: "I have spent the last 20 years using the space program to inspire students. Many of them have gone on to become engineers, scientists, and pilots. The short sited people who made the decision to cut funding for Ares need to understand that their decision reaches far beyond a current "budget year". I wonder how much of the discussions to cut funding for the space program were done while on the golf course using Titanium drivers with graphite shafts, while on cell phones, chatting on their laptops, while a snack was in the microwave, or while jogging in their high tech running shoes?..."

President Obama speaks about private space exploration in a callous way. NASA's projects prove the feasibility of space expansion and encourage more private sector space bound endeavors. Currently, the private sector is unable to meet the needs of U.S. spaceflight. Constellation is a needed market correction tool that will lead the way to privatization in the future.

In the end, the question is simple – Does the U.S. want to lead the world? Lead in innovation, technology, and the will to push the bounds of humanity. Those who push the bounds of humanity lead in their heyday and are remembered for eternity. From the ancient Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans, these civilizations stood above and beyond their competitors. They were, are, and will be an inspiration to all. Will the U.S. join this great trio?

Support NASA's Constellation program and let's make history.








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#9 Bill

 

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 07:59 AM


"NASA and the future of space exploration...what do YOU think?


Veteran space journalist Miles O'Brien will testify on the Hill Wednesday, Feb. 24, regarding what the public thinks of President Obama's space plan and NASA in general. What do you think? We appreciate your participation in this short survey. Thank you."




SURVEY HERE

"Thank you for the feedback. Stay up to date on This Week In Space with Miles O'Brien. http://www.spaceflightnow.com/twis "








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#10 Bill

 

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:17 AM

Its a start, at least the US will have some sort of a rocket.



By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein, Ap Science Writer – Tue Apr 13, 8:23 pm ET WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is reviving the NASA crew capsule concept that he had canceled with the rest of the moon program earlier this year, in a move that will mean more jobs and less reliance on the Russians, officials said Tuesday.

The space capsule, called Orion, still won't go to the moon. It will go unmanned to the International Space Station to stand by as an emergency vehicle to return astronauts home, officials said.

Administration officials also said NASA will speed up development of a massive rocket. It would have the power to blast crew and cargo far from Earth, although no destination has been chosen yet. The rocket would be ready to launch several years earlier than under the old moon plan.

The two moves are being announced before a Thursday visit to Cape Canaveral, Fla., by Obama. They are designed to counter criticism of the Obama administration's space plans as being low on detail, physical hardware and local jobs.

The president killed President George W. Bush's moon mission, called Constellation, as being unsustainable. In a major shift, the Obama space plan relies on private companies to fly to the space station. But it also extends the space station's life by five years and puts billions into research to eventually develop new government rocketships for future missions to a nearby asteroid, the moon, Martian moons or other points in space. Those stops would be stepping stones on an eventual mission to Mars.

First man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong, veteran Apollo astronauts and former senior NASA managers have been attacking the Obama plan — before the latest revision — as the death of U.S. leadership in space. Armstrong in an e-mail to The Associated Press said he had "substantial reservations," and more than two dozen Apollo-era veterans signed a letter calling the plan a "misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future."

Even with the revival of the Orion crew capsule, the overall moon return mission initiated by Bush — which involved a base camp — remains dead. And the revived Orion, slimmed-down from earlier versions, won't be used as originally intended, to land on the moon.

The capsule will be developed and launched — unmanned — on an existing rocket to the space station, said a senior NASA official who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to detract from the presidential announcement. The Orion would remain at the space station and be used as an emergency escape ship back to Earth. That would mean NASA wouldn't have to rely on the Russian Soyuz capsule to return astronauts to Earth.

Launching Orion on unmanned existing rockets — such as Atlas or Deltas — would save money and time.

The Obama plan also will speed up development of a larger, "heavy-lift" rocket that would take cargo and crew away from Earth orbit to the moon, asteroids and other places.

Originally, Obama was proposing just spending billions of dollars on various research programs to eventually develop breakthroughs to make such trips cheaper and faster. Critics said that plan was too vague.

Now, the president is committed to choosing a single heavy-lift rocket design by 2015 and then starting its construction, officials said.

This shift by Obama means NASA would launch a heavy rocket years before it was supposed to under the old Constellation plan, the NASA official said. However, it will be different from the Apollo-like Ares V rocket that the Constellation plan would have used. Instead it will incorporate newer concepts such as refueling in orbit or using inflatable habitats, officials said.

Overall, the Obama program will mean 2,500 more Florida jobs than the old Bush program, a senior White House official said. In addition, the commercial space industry on Tuesday released a study that said the president's plan for private ships to fly astronauts to and from the space station would result in 11,800 jobs.

The changes elicited cautious early praise from officials on Capitol Hill representing states with space jobs.

"It is an encouraging development," said Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, a vulnerable freshman Democrat who represents the district including Kennedy Space Center. "I look forward to reviewing the full details of the plan to determine if it does enough to protect Space Coast jobs and maintain America's international leadership in space, science and technology."

Much of the work by Lockheed Martin on building Orion is done in Colorado, and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., praised the changes: "While NASA still faces difficult challenges ahead, this is great news for Colorado — and the nation's leadership in space."

But NASA legend Chris Kraft, who directed mission control from Mercury through Apollo, said the changes to the Obama plan didn't address his main concerns, which included retirement of the space shuttle.

"They're concentrating on the wrong thing," Kraft said Tuesday evening. "The problem is not safety on space station and escape; the problem is getting to and from the space station."

And Kraft said he sees no reason to speed up work on a new larger rocket, saying, "We need a heavy-lift vehicle like we need a hole in the head."









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#11 Bill

 

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:09 AM

Today Show Interview with Dr Michio Kaku







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