Thursday, September 29, 2005

To the Moon & Back

We were standing on the surface of the Moon and we saw the Earthrise.

The Story:

NASA's $104 billion vision: return to moon by 2018
New crew-exploration vehicle would be like 'Apollo on steroids,'
Orlando Sentinal
Tamara Lytle
Washington Bureau Chief
Posted September 20, 2005

WASHINGTON -- NASA Administrator Michael Griffin opened a new chapter in the history of spaceflight Monday by unveiling a $104 billion plan to return astronauts to the moon and, eventually, go on to Mars.The new mega-plan comes amid unprecedented pressure on the federal budget, nagging deficits and what is being heralded as the largest peacetime rebuilding plan in history after Hurricane Katrina.

But Griffin was confident that Congress would provide the money, pointing out that the space program employs many people along the Gulf Coast devastated by Katrina.Reaction on Capitol Hill ranged from staunch support to adamant opposition by those who think programs for the needy will be shortchanged.

The blueprint -- touted as the boldest vision for NASA since the moon race in the 1960s -- has been in the making since President Bush announced the idea in January 2004.

It could land four astronauts on the moon in 2018 after several robot missions.

Eventually, astronauts could inhabit the moon for up to six months at a time.The technology will be designed to support a future manned trip to Mars, where scientists have long yearned to search for evidence of extraterrestrial life."

The Response:

An other-worldly moon mission
The Virginian-Pilot
© September 26, 2005

Forgive the pun, but on what planet does the White House get its mail?

In the midst of the most calamitous natural disasters in the nation’s history, NASA announced that it wants to spend $104 billion to send astronauts back to the moon by 2018, and on to Mars.

Americans can be forgiven for jumping to their feet and cheering the news with a standing ovation. With hurricanes having made hundreds of thousands of Americans homeless along the Gulf Coast and having left a major American city and a few smaller ones to reconstruct, with an open-ended commitment to make Iraq safe for democracy and the largest-in-history tax cuts and entitlement expansion still to be swallowed, the administration adds a man on the moon program to the pile.

This is the kind of misplaced priority-setting that has convinced many Americans that the Bush White House occupies a parallel universe.

Described by NASA Administrator Michael Griffin as “Apollo on steroids,” the new space shot marries the agency’s moon and shuttle eras. The new crew vehicle will be akin to the Apollo crafts, and its solid-fuel rocket boosters are based on space shuttle technologies.

In short, we’re going to spend $100 billion for an encore performance of NASA’s greatest moments. The new capsule could carry six astronauts to the International Space Station or four people plus cargo to the moon. For lunar shots, the craft would link up with a mammoth new cargo rocket in Earth’s orbit before blasting off to the moon."

I remember when JFK said we were going to the moon.

And it was cool.

I did not find it hard to believe that we got to the moon.

I do find it hard to believe that we haven't been back since.

I think it is better idea to peacefully explore space

than it is to violently wage war on earth.

The space program unifies us.

We can look back and see the earth and see that we are one people.

We can see that there are no countries and no religions that divide us.

We can see that we are indeed members of spaceship earth.

As we begin our true battle to right the balance of the earth,

as we begin our epic struggle to replace our declining fuel base,

as we wage the peace to bring each of us to the table of wellness,

as we walk out of our archaic thoughtforms that bind us to the

prisons of our minds,

and as we protect ourselves from those pirates who would fill

their bottomless greed,

we will do well to have a lofty goal,

in a new sea.

For we are all sailors.

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there's nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool



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Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Return' them to the moon? You mean 'go there for the first time' don't you?

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall a recent New Yorker cartoon: Two astronauts are moon walking exploring the terrain and they come upon a woman's prone body. One says to the other, "My goodness, I think it's Alice Cramden."

3:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But seriously folks, GWB's grasp of economics is likely so infantile that he expects the government to just print up whatever money it needs. I think that the reality is even worse--the apparent elasticity of the ballooning deficit, deferring repayment for generations to come, is too far in the future for grown-ups now to give a damn.

3:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The moon shot is a good reminder that we are insignificant by comparison.

I continue to be amazed by the choices of this administration.

Amen to a lofty new goal.

7:26 AM  
Blogger John Hamre said...

During the years following the Reagan administration the word back then was that the deficit was so high that it would take at least 5 generations to pay it all off. But as it turned out, it was completely paid off in just over 9 years. The same will happen with the current deficit once our nation changes its policy of dependence on fossil fuels. Once we start mass development of alternative technologies, which will take us away from fossil fuel use altogether, the economic benefits of that changeover will wipe out our deficit in short order.

When the space station was to begin construction the word out there was that it would be an outstanding waste of money and resources and nothing good could come from it. Now we know that hundreds of technological advancements were received from the space station and the returns have been enormous. When we return to the moon (yes, return Inquisitor. We really were there) we will benefit greatly from the wonderful advancements in technology that will come from that awesome undertaking.

8:27 AM  
Blogger John Hamre said...

I thought you would get a kick out of this flash video:

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very nice Oz. MaS

10:03 AM  

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