Obama reverses views: Backs “speeding up” of Constellation program

Barack Obama made a rousing speech in Titusville Florida in which he reveresed his earlier comments about the Constellation program. Here is an excerpt from his speech

From the official Obama blog:

And we have to do more than provide short-term relief. We have to secure our long-term prosperity and strengthen America’s competitiveness in the 21st century. One of the areas where we are in danger of losing our competitive edge is our space program. When I was growing up, NASA inspired the world with achievements we are still proud of. Today, we have an administration that has set ambitious goals for NASA without giving NASA the support it needs to reach them. As a result, they’ve had to cut back on research, and trim their programs, which means that after the Space Shuttle shuts down in 2010, we’re going to have to rely on Russian spacecraft to keep us in orbit.

We cannot cede our leadership in space. That’s why I will help close the gap and ensure that our space program doesn’t suffer when the Shuttle goes out of service by working with Senator Bill Nelson to add at least one additional Space Shuttle flight beyond 2010; by supporting continued funding for NASA; by speeding the development of the Shuttle’s successor; and by making sure that all those who work in the space industry in Florida do not lose their jobs when the Shuttle is retired – because we cannot afford to lose their expertise.

More broadly, we need a real vision for space exploration. To help formulate this vision, I’ll reestablish the National Aeronautics and Space Council so that we can develop a plan to explore the solar system – a plan that involves both human and robotic missions, and enlists both international partners and the private sector. And as America leads the world to long-term exploration of the moon, Mars, and beyond, let’s also tap NASA’s ingenuity to build the airplanes of tomorrow and to study our own planet so we can combat global climate change. Under my watch, NASA will inspire the world, make America stronger, and help grow the economy here in Florida.

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14 Responses to Obama reverses views: Backs “speeding up” of Constellation program

  1. R2K says:

    Shame that he had to flip flop depending on what the crowd wanted to hear (I would think he is above that), but it is pretty clear:

    Democrats should support the space industry because, unlike tax cuts, it really helps create jobs.

  2. rocketry says:

    Democrats have historically been the biggest supporters of NASA. I believe that Obama has changed his opinion after becoming better informed. This is a good thing and I hope he keeps this direction. America is quickly losing it’s lead and expertise in the aerospace industry. The field is experiencing a huge shortage of engineers. Education should be the first route in approaching this problem.

  3. R2K says:

    I dont know why he was against space exploration in the first place. Al Gore would never have turned against us like that🙂

  4. Please says:

    Yeah, the Messiah is now “down” with space – gee, that’s great. I suppose it hasn’t occurred to any of the O supporters that this is YET ANOTHER attempt to give a speech that evokes memories of – and therefore (subconscious) associations with – John F. Kennedy?

    I’m sure his extensive experience as a community organizer — whatever the that is — also makes him an expert on how to manage a space program.

    You want a good idea of what the U.S. space program will look like under an Obama administration? Take a look at the Soviet’s space program (and the junk they had out in space) during the Cold War — ’cause if O gets in, that’s exactly what U.S. program will look like. How could it NOT, given the same STUPID approach that Obama has promised he’ll take?

  5. R2K says:

    The soviet space program was actually pretty good. Yes there were funding issues, and a strong political desire to do spectacular things rather than aim for pure science… But they made great rockets and sent some great space probes out, along with the space station work that is still ahead of ours.

    All the president does, when it comes to NASA, is the big things like funding and perhaps long term goals (mars etc.) For the most part, the key progress made by nasa since the 1970s has been unmanned, and that is generally below the purview of the president.

    I love the work coming out of NASA of late, and am really impressed by it. If the shuttle and ISS distractions were not there, we would have done far more.

    Since funding is so bad, and will remain bad for decades to come, I put lots of my faith in the commercial space industry. Sad to say… I guess we couldn’t really do exploration for the sake of exploration. We will have to do it for money. But at least we will still do it.

    Can I ask: are you a rocketry person, or just an anti-obama person?

  6. Marcel F. Williams says:

    Great speech by Obama. Bush was notorious for telling NASA what they wanted to hear but never really putting up the money to do it. It all went to Iraq.

    But even more import is the fact that Obama wants to revise the National Aeronautics and Space Council. Hopefully, this time around that space colonization and not space exploration should be NASA’s primary goal. A permanent and continuously growing presence on the Moon, Mars, and aboard rotating simulated gravity space stations should be NASA’s priority, IMO. And NASA needs to build the mostly reusable space transportation infrastructure needed to– routinely– travel to these worlds.

    But we need to know if humans can truly survive in extraterrestrial environments solely on the natural resources that exist there. They need to be able to manufacturing their own air and water and grow their own food with little or know resources from the Earth. Once we can do this, then space commercialization and space industrialization will quickly follow– and a new age of human expansion into the solar system will have finally begun!

  7. Please says:

    I am a big rocketry person.

    I am NOT an “anti-Obama person.” No, I do not support his bid to become president — but that’s because of his POLICIES, and sometimes lack thereof, not because of him (the person). I don’t know the man – he may be real nice. I know lots of nice people who also aren’t qualified to be president. Senator Obama’s policies are based almost exclusively on liberal fascism, and I don’t want any part of that. Further, ANY (even remotely) objective analysis of his experience would acknowledge that he has none — certainly none that is relevant. Yet, the media has nonetheless lofted him onto their pedestal as per usual.

    I must agree with you that the future of the space program/ space exploration / space travel rests with the commercialization of it. This is almost always the case — remove government and its inherent inefficiencies, and watch the market forces produce a winner(s). Unfortunately, Senator Obama and the rest of the liberal Democrats seek (by definition) to expand government and government regulation (you know, because that’s always worked SO WELL: Postal service, Division of Motor Vehicles, oh and let’s not forget BATFE!!!) As rocketeers, we should all be painfully aware of the effects of government that has grown way beyond its Constitutional boundaries. Unfortunately, not only will Senator Obama NOT reverse this trend away from limited government, he will take it to a whole new level.

  8. R2K says:

    “liberal fascism”

    What the heck is that? 🙂

    “But we need to know if humans can truly survive in extraterrestrial environments solely on the natural resources that exist there.”

    I dont think we need to do that before going to mars. We have everything we need to do that but the money and the order to do so. Indeed we were ready in the 1970s… just decided that the space shuttle and ISS were more important.

  9. rocketry says:

    “Liberal Fascism” made me laugh. In the political spectrum fascism is closest to conservatism and communism to liberalism. It funny to hear such a contradictory concept.
    Viewing this from the historic context does show that NASA grows and flourishes under a democratic president and slows under a republican. This is not just because of Kennedy.
    Obama’s speech and vision for NASA shows an new insight and promise.

  10. R2K says:

    Damn you commie nazis!

    I fear some conservatives just have a hatred (fear) of science because of the prominent role religion plays in their life. Now science is great for warfare, or if it can improve profits, but that Carl Sagan type of exploration science?

    Kinda fruity… Maybe we should change the names.

    I mean french fries become freedom fries… maybe space exploration should become space eagle march freedom operation crusader.

  11. Please says:

    Kind of a typical — yes, FASCIST ;>) — tactic to delete my response to the illogical and factless postings of R2K, Williams, et al don’t you think? There was nothing offensive, foul or even off-color in the response, of course — just facts. Like I said, truth scares you libs. Fear NOT — as I said, I’ve archived the whole thread and will be sure to revisit it again in the future.

    Alas, I see no one has come up with an answer to my question: What has government EVER (not just space-related) produced by itself (other than more government)? The answer is, nothing! No amount of legislation will ever create a rocket, a space station, nothing… This is the same reason the Democrat-“led” Congress has failed yet again to increase our energy supply by even a single drop of oil (in fact, they’ve stymied all attempts by commerce to get it done, as well). Even without the psycho environmentalist whacko lobbyists (to whom the Libs are beholden) getting in the way, libs like Obama have no idea how — and certainly no plan to — increase our energy supply.

  12. Please says:

    By the way, note that Obama had to REVERSE his views (again).

  13. rocketry says:

    delete?? Not sure what you are talking about
    but

    I stand by my post about the political spectrum and have come to the conclusion you don’t really know what fascism is – or socialism or communism.
    To quote from wikipedia and cross reference in Ency. Britannica.
    “Fascism has been seen by some as a reactionary force against the rising power of liberalism.”
    I’m pretty certain you have not taken any Political Science classes otherwise your right wing conservative Christian view points would show a speck of political insight.
    So far I hear the usual aggressive clueless babble about fear of truth and excessive government without the tiniest snippet of a rational policy or plan. Sure you are quick enough to destroy the precious environment to get the evil oil and to be so ignorant as to ignore the signs of a global catastrophe through global warming. Yes – legislation does create rockets. NASA has done many magnificent things with the alloted sums from legislation. Yes they have used private industry and they should continue, but private industry alone would have never landed a man on the moon. Only government could have done that.

    .and speaking of Fascism …there was a government that created rockets at Peenemunde

  14. R2K says:

    “Alas, I see no one has come up with an answer to my question: What has government EVER (not just space-related) produced by itself (other than more government)?”

    What has “the greatest invention of the 20th century” the integrated circuit, ever produced?

    NOTHING! It just moves electrons around, therefore it must be worthless.

    No actually things that organize and regulate other things are actually quite important. They dont make things, but the allow something to be made.

    Another down to earth (rocketry pun) example:

    My brain never made anything, so it is pointless. My hands do all the work. So all we need are a bunch of hands and we can make skyscrapers and rockets and sports cars and art.

    Again, damn you Commi Nazis!

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