Author Topic: LIVE: Congressional Hearings into Obama's NASA Budget FY2011 - Feb 24-25 Part 2  (Read 324923 times)

Offline jongoff

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"You don't want seventh graders thinking about Mars? I don't agree with that." Vitter.

Bolden disagrees. Cites about them not caring about the LV.

Emphasis mine. I don't know many seventh graders who build models of the ISS but I literally know hundreds who build and fly model rockets. It's the rockets that grab their attention, not the photo-ops inside a station.

Rewatching the event and Bolden made some very poor remarks at times.

This one is amazing:

"No one will know how an astronaut got to the ISS 10 years from now. No one will know what vehicle they went on. Nor will they care."

And this is the guy that wants kids to be inspired....just don't give a crap about the engineering, the processing, the launch vehicle, the launch event etc. And I suppose we can include the testing, the test flights.

Very poor remark from the head of NASA.

I disagree.  I think that trying to change the paradigm so that it isn't exploration until you're *leaving* LEO is a good move.  NASA and Russia have been putting people up into LEO for decades now, and soon commercial companies will be too.  Saying that getting astronauts to LEO is "exploration" at this point is a bit of a stretch.  I think that's what Bolden was hinting at.  When you read about pioneering the American West, most stories don't focus too hard on the trip from out East to Independence, Missouri.  It's when you've actually crossed the frontier into Indian Territory that the real adventure began. 

You see this dynamic a lot when people talk about Ares-I as a "moon rocket".  No, it's not a moon rocket.  It never leaves LEO.  It's yet another medium-lift to LEO rocket that delivers a package to a stack that leaves LEO.

I'm as huge a fan of rockets as the next guy (or I would take a safer, higher paying job), but I'd love to get to the point where people weren't focusing so much on the very tiniest fraction of the first 1% of the trip...

~Jon

Offline dbhyslop

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"You don't want seventh graders thinking about Mars? I don't agree with that." Vitter.

Bolden disagrees. Cites about them not caring about the LV.

Emphasis mine. I don't know many seventh graders who build models of the ISS but I literally know hundreds who build and fly model rockets. It's the rockets that grab their attention, not the photo-ops inside a station.

Rewatching the event and Bolden made some very poor remarks at times.

This one is amazing:

"No one will know how an astronaut got to the ISS 10 years from now. No one will know what vehicle they went on. Nor will they care."

And this is the guy that wants kids to be inspired....just don't give a crap about the engineering, the processing, the launch vehicle, the launch event etc. And I suppose we can include the testing, the test flights.

Very poor remark from the head of NASA.

Isn't that a transition that has to happen if we're really to become a "spacefaring" civilization?

All of us on this site are such space-geeks that we are completely blinded to the fact that most people don't care at all.

Chuck's right that no one cares about ISS videos.  What he's wrong about is that no one cares about the launch event, either.  The average American hasn't tuned in for a shuttle launch in twenty years, if ever.  I would wager that 99% of people who've seen a shuttle launch on TV recently saw it on a cable news channel and didn't even know it was going to happen that day.  Afterward they went back to their regularly scheduled programming and didn't think about it again.

Does anyone think the public would be more enamored by a Jupiter or Ares launch than an Atlas V launch?  If human spaceflight has a future it has to be about destinations.  Chuck's right that no one cares about ISS videos because ISS is pretty boring to most people.  I bet they will be interested if there's a video of people on an asteroid, or Phobos, flying by Venus or building that big silly telescope described in the article a while back.

Now, argue all you want about whether it's best for NASA to build the rocket or not, it's a discussion worth having.  But this site is quickly filling up with these elaborate sophistries that defy common sense.  Yeah, kids are going to stop launching model rockets if the astronauts going to the asteroid are launched on an EELV.

Offline vt_hokie

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One question I have is how long will those rockets be designed and built in the United States?  It'll be a shame if this new commercialization plan results in us outsourcing to foreign providers at the expense of engineering and manufacturing capability, expertise, and jobs at home. 

Offline Jim

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One question I have is how long will those rockets be designed and built in the United States?  It'll be a shame if this new commercialization plan results in us outsourcing to foreign providers at the expense of engineering and manufacturing capability, expertise, and jobs at home. 

Infinitely.  The US gov't has "Buy American" clauses in its contracts.  Atlas, Delta, Falcon, etc are all american.

Offline Tim S

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One question I have is how long will those rockets be designed and built in the United States?  It'll be a shame if this new commercialization plan results in us outsourcing to foreign providers at the expense of engineering and manufacturing capability, expertise, and jobs at home. 

Infinitely.  The US gov't has "Buy American" clauses in its contracts.  Atlas, Delta, Falcon, etc are all american.

Atlas wouldn't get off the ground without its RUSSIAN engines.

Offline vt_hokie

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I disagree.  I think that trying to change the paradigm so that it isn't exploration until you're *leaving* LEO is a good move.  NASA and Russia have been putting people up into LEO for decades now, and soon commercial companies will be too.  Saying that getting astronauts to LEO is "exploration" at this point is a bit of a stretch.  I think that's what Bolden was hinting at.  When you read about pioneering the American West, most stories don't focus too hard on the trip from out East to Independence, Missouri.  It's when you've actually crossed the frontier into Indian Territory that the real adventure began. 

You see this dynamic a lot when people talk about Ares-I as a "moon rocket".  No, it's not a moon rocket.  It never leaves LEO.  It's yet another medium-lift to LEO rocket that delivers a package to a stack that leaves LEO.

I'm as huge a fan of rockets as the next guy (or I would take a safer, higher paying job), but I'd love to get to the point where people weren't focusing so much on the very tiniest fraction of the first 1% of the trip...

~Jon

I think some of us who are skeptical feel that Obama isn't really interested in making sure the exploration part ever happens.  Maybe if we had a plan that gave as much commitment to beyond-LEO flights as it does to commercial LEO taxis, we'd feel differently.  The "HLV R&D" portion of the budget, with its modest funding and lack of clear goals, feels like lip service designed to cover the killing of human space exploration beyond ISS.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:04 am by vt_hokie »

Offline vt_hokie

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Infinitely.  The US gov't has "Buy American" clauses in its contracts.  Atlas, Delta, Falcon, etc are all american.

I hope you're right and that remains the case.

Offline mmeijeri

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I think some of us who are skeptical feel that Obama isn't really interested in making sure the exploration part ever happens.  Maybe if we had a plan that gave as much commitment to beyond-LEO flights as it does to commercial LEO taxis, we'd feel differently.  The "HLV R&D" portion of the budget, with its modest funding and lack of clear goals, feels like lip service designed to cover the killing of human space exploration beyond ISS.

It's not just skeptics who feel Obama isn't really interested in making sure exploration ever happens. But some of us feel what he is doing is close to optimal if you want to see both exploration and commercial development of space. He's doing things we agree with even though we may not agree with his reasons.
Pro-tip: you don't have to be a jerk if someone doesn't agree with your theories

Online clongton

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"You don't want seventh graders thinking about Mars? I don't agree with that." Vitter.

Bolden disagrees. Cites about them not caring about the LV.

Emphasis mine. I don't know many seventh graders who build models of the ISS but I literally know hundreds who build and fly model rockets. It's the rockets that grab their attention, not the photo-ops inside a station.

So, what do you think people will be flying on if we use commercial LEO taxis?  Giant balloons?  Huge rubber bands?  No it'll be rockets just the same.  Sure, DIRECT is bigger than Falcon 9 or Atlas V, but quite frankly I doubt most people outside of the hard core rocket nerds give a darn what shape the rocket is in that puts the people up.

~Jon

It's not the size of the rockets that I was addressing Jon, it's his off-the-wall view that *the kids* don't care about the rockets. That was about as unimaginative and uninformed a comment as could possibly have been made by the head of NASA. Whether it's a Jupiter, an Atlas, a Delta, a Soyuz, a Falcon, an Ariane, a Long March or an Honest John SAM, the point is that kids are fascinated by the *rockets*. They get just as big a kick out of watching an Atlas send a probe to Mars as they do watching a Saturn send astronauts to the moon. Give a kid a plastic model of Cassini and it will never get built. Give a kid a model rocket kit and he or she will be pestering you in no time to take them out to fly it.

You and I are much more focused on the missions that the rockets enable, but the kids are excited by the rockets, not the science. Most of them completely loose interest when you tell them about Cassini or Galleleo or any of the other science missions. It's the launch vehicles, not the math and science that excites the kids. It's the launch vehicles that grab and hold their attention and it's the launch vehicles that gradually, over time, turn them to math and science by the time they are in high school or college. To say on national television that kids are not excited by the launch vehicles just tells me that the man is totally out of touch with reality. This is a guy who is interested in exciting kids to pursue math and science? He doesn't want 7th graders to be thinking about Mars? What does he want them to think about instead? Calculus? Give me a break.

My observation was not about government HLV vs. Commercial CCDev. It was about the kids and his wrong-headed view of what will inspire them. Doing it his way will turn off an entire generation of kids, not inspire them.

The picture below says it all.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:34 am by clongton »
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Offline jimgagnon

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Infinitely.  The US gov't has "Buy American" clauses in its contracts.  Atlas, Delta, Falcon, etc are all american.
I hope you're right and that remains the case.

It's been true since the Buy American Act of 1933; procurements by the Federal Government must be made of 51% American parts.

Online clongton

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Chuck's right that no one cares about ISS videos.  What he's wrong about is that no one cares about the launch event, either. 

The context of the post was 7th grade school kids, not adults.
Bolden' remark was that he didn't want 7th graders thinking about Mars and that kids that age are not interested in the rockets. He's wrong! For kids that age it is literally *all about the rocket*.

It's different with adults, about whom you are speaking. If I had been speaking about adults I would agree with your observation. But I wasn't. It's all about the kids and what does and doesn't interest them.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:21 am by clongton »
Chuck - DIRECT co-founder
I started my career on the Saturn-V F-1A engine

Online rsnellenberger

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Infinitely.  The US gov't has "Buy American" clauses in its contracts.  Atlas, Delta, Falcon, etc are all american.

It's just lower-case "a" American because you're counting the engine source. 

Any truth to the rumors that they're looking to NPO Saturn to provide second-source engines for the all-American F-35 fighter so that it can be all-american, too.  :)

Offline nooneofconsequence

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If NASA is about science, then robots only offer a much better value.
Steve Squires would say you are wrong - need both.
Quote

I happen to believe NASA should be about more than science even if science is part of the mix and launchers do matter.

United States needs a prestigious launcher AND we need robust commercial as well.

It's not "either / or" rather it's "both"


Having watched Ares I suspend reality and call DIRECT violating the laws of physics ... should illustrate that govt projects don't have to "fight fair".

You may not be able to have both if one eats the other.

Because of this, one wants MULTIPLE commercial and zero govt so that its a lot harder for misuse of 'pork' to dominate ...

Never underestimate the effect of "bad habits" - the same who did Ares, if given the chance to do Jupiter ... would become the same arrogant ======, given the chance. And bring back in all the same nonsense.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:24 am by Chris Bergin »
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Online Chris Bergin

It's pretty interesting that there's a wide difference of opinion. Kinda helps the debate, and helps us lose the tag of being a site full of shuttle huggers (not that there's anything wrong with that!! *looks in the mirror* ;))
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 12:25 am by Chris Bergin »
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Offline sandrot

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Any testing I can do on a new HLV would be fantastic - Bolden.
"Paper planes do fly much better than paper spacecrafts."

Offline Longhorn John

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Isn't that a transition that has to happen if we're really to become a "spacefaring" civilization?


Because we aren't right now, and we're not about to give up the only vehicle that allows us to be, right? Wow!

Offline mmeijeri

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Because we aren't right now, and we're not about to give up the only vehicle that allows us to be, right? Wow!

Old plan: retire the shuttle and have a gap while you are building one replacement vehicle. Fill said gap with Soyuz launches.

New plan: retire the shuttle and have a gap while you are building two or more replacement vehicles. Fill said gap with Soyuz launches. Oh no, the sky is falling!
Pro-tip: you don't have to be a jerk if someone doesn't agree with your theories

Online Chris Bergin

All of us on this site are such space-geeks that we are completely blinded to the fact that most people don't care at all.



That's incorrect. Most of our new members are people drawn in by the Q&A section and most of the questions from new members relate to basic questions that have been provoked by their opening experience of seeing a shuttle launch on TV etc.

"A lot of us" would be more accurate, not "All of us".

And most people don't care about our troops overseas. Most people care about what long haired fool is getting praise from Simon Cowell on American Idol. So it's a bit of a moot point, as that's a problem with the people, not the space program.

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Offline nooneofconsequence

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The context of the post was 7th grade school kids, not adults.
Bolden' remark was that he didn't want 7th graders thinking about Mars and that kids that age are not interested in the rockets. He's wrong! For kids that age it is literally *all about the rocket*.
It may now be about rovers or scientists - given kids I speak to.

They don't bring up the Shuttle. They do ask about launch/reentry/spaceflight ...

Times change.
« Last Edit: 02/25/2010 02:31 am by nooneofconsequence »
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Offline Longhorn John

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Because we aren't right now, and we're not about to give up the only vehicle that allows us to be, right? Wow!

Old plan: retire the shuttle and have a gap while you are building one replacement vehicle. Fill said gap with Soyuz launches.

New plan: retire the shuttle and have a gap while you are building two or more replacement vehicles. Fill said gap with Soyuz launches. Oh no, the sky is falling!

Old plan: HLV by 2020.
New plan: HLV by 2030.


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