Sunday, May 23, 2010

John Holdren on the new manned missions

Skipping the Moon is exactly the right call here, and on this I can't agree more. The Moon is a luxury that we cannot now afford, and with triage comes hard choices. But there is one major flaw with this plan; where are the rockets? Seriously, what rocket do we use to send our men into deep space? At least the capsule is still being developed, that is something. The Ares 1 should also be continued, at a minimum. And then there is the need for a heavy lift rocket to replace the shuttle (really to replace the Saturn V where the shuttle failed to do so.) No matter how much the "skip the Moon" concept agrees with me, I cannot get past the feeling that Obama basically prevented me from ever seeing real developments in manned space exploration before I turn 50, at which point the Moon landings will be about 60 years in the rear view mirror.


Bill said...

Not just Obama. Every administration back to Johnson's made the decision that there were other priorities rather than space travel. Most of which, in hindsight, have proven not to just be wasteful, but ludicrously, abhorrently wasteful, especially when you think about what else we could have spent the 12 trillion that we're now in the hole on.

Now we're left without money. They may finish Orion. They will not finish Ares I or V. We will leave space exploration to other nations that didn't waste all their money on stupidity, not because we want to, but because we're not going to have any choice.

I was three when we landed on the moon. It is incredibly disheartening to realize that the moon landing was the high-water mark of our nation's technical prowess.

R2K said...

Well said Bill.