Author Topic: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration  (Read 17872 times)

Offline yg1968

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Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« on: 01/14/2015 05:28 pm »
The last Cruz thread has been deleted. But I think that if we avoid debates about GW this thread may have a chance.

Here is a good interview with Cruz in which he explain his own views about NASA and space exploration:
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Cruz-on-NASA-s-new-rocket-and-spacecraft-6015056.php?t=3683bd50e6057dc840&cmpid=twitter-premium#/0

See also this link for another article:
http://thehill.com/policy/technology/229476-cruz-us-must-go-deeper-into-space

Here is a statement from Senator Cruz:
http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2077
« Last Edit: 01/14/2015 05:43 pm by yg1968 »

Online RonM

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #1 on: 01/14/2015 06:09 pm »
That's encouraging. I was worried that Senator Cruz would want to cut everything. Of course, he is a senator from Texas, so I should have know better.

Let's send him some nice emails and bring up the issue of a lack of payloads for SLS and problems with planetary exploration funding.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #2 on: 01/14/2015 06:27 pm »
One thing I'd hope we could get from someone like Cruz running the authorization committee over NASA is more realistic authorization bills. I know people here like to say "the authorization committee should cover what NASA should be doing with proper funding", but in effect what we always get is "if we get magic amounts of extra money, everyone can have a pony!"  I hope a fiscal conservative like him can do the hard work to say "with a realistic budget, here's what our priorities are. If we get extra, here's what our next priorities ought to be".

I'm just sick of claiming you have a bipartisan compromise, when really you only have agreement if NASA gets a massive budget increase that it isn't going to get. I'm sure others will disagree, but that's my hope. Tough choices will have to be made, but that's what we have Committees like this for, at least in theory. I could make a magic unicorns budget that pleases everyone and only requires $5B extra per year.

~Jon

Offline jongoff

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #3 on: 01/14/2015 06:28 pm »
I am curious though what specific programs he thinks are just political distractions. Because he didn't dismiss ARM out of hand, and while I'm sure we could guess at some areas he'd like to move off of NASA's budget, it would be nice if he could be more explicit.

~Jon

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #4 on: 01/14/2015 06:50 pm »
Would be nice for NASA to have defined roadmap of destinations/ goals that build on each other. Ideally these can be followed up by commercial space companies. e.g establish a partly manned EML1 gateway that is supplied commercially (COTS) and can also be used for commercial ventures eg lunar flybys for tourists.
NASA can then create a set of missions that use this gateway.

Offline jongoff

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #5 on: 01/14/2015 07:06 pm »
More than a series of destinations/goals, having some sort of coherent, agreed-upon, overarching objectives/strategy might be nice.

~Jon

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #6 on: 01/14/2015 07:29 pm »
As is his nature, Senator Cruz is more interested in blaming (or creating blame) the current Administration.

Take his comments on Commercial Crew for instance, he stated in the Houston Chronicle article:

"We are entirely dependent upon the Russian Soyuz system. It is unacceptable from the perspective of space interest and also from national security interests. I have repeatedly inquired of this administration about its contingency plans if the Russians shut off the Soyuz."

It's good he's concerned, but where was he when Obama was asking for full funding of the Commercial Crew program so that we wouldn't be in this situation as long as we're going to be now?  Fully funding the program could have cut 2 years off of the development schedule, meaning we could have had independent access to the ISS by 2015/6 instead of 2017/8.

The solution he has been asking for is what he professes he supports - the private sector.  Unfortunately he doesn't seem to recognize that, he seems to assume that there is some sort of NASA solution - which is scary in itself if you consider he is not aware of the schedule for Orion.

Also, I bet he is not aware that the U.S. has actually been reliant on Russia for use of the ISS since the beginning of the ISS program.  Apparently The Hill is not, because they incorrectly stated:

"NASA has been reliant on Russia to ferry Americans back and forth to space since the space shuttle program ended in 2011."

The Shuttle was never able to KEEP our astronauts at the ISS, since it could only stay in space for 2 weeks and couldn't act as a lifeboat for emergencies.  The Shuttle could only exchange crew members.  This is a pretty common misperception, but having the person in charge of NASA in the Senate not aware of this is pretty bad.

As to whether he will lead NASA to the benefit of the nation or his state, this quote from the Houston Chronicle might foretell that:

"Texas and the Houston area in particular has been a tremendous beneficiary of that private sector activity."

Now granted he was talking to a Texas paper, but he seems to be signaling that the gravy train will continue.

I don't know.  I am not fan of Senator Cruz, but mainly because he seems to cause more harm than good.  I hope he becomes a quick study of the issues surrounding and involving NASA, and that his committee can somehow create non-partisan guidance for NASA that makes sense.  Call me a dreamer...
« Last Edit: 01/14/2015 10:18 pm by Coastal Ron »
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline yg1968

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #7 on: 01/14/2015 08:16 pm »
As is his nature, Senator Cruz is more interested in blaming (or creating blame) the current Administration.

Take his comments on Commercial Crew for instance, he stated in the Houston Chronicle article:

"We are entirely dependent upon the Russian Soyuz system. It is unacceptable from the perspective of space interest and also from national security interests. I have repeatedly inquired of this administration about its contingency plans if the Russians shut off the Soyuz."

It's good he's concerned, but where was he when Obama was asking for full funding of the Commercial Crew program so that we wouldn't be in this situation as long as we're going to be now?  Fully funding the program could have cut 2 years off of the development schedule, meaning we could have had independent access to the ISS by 2015/6 instead of 2017/8.

The solution he has been asking for is what he professes he supports - the private sector.  Unfortunately he doesn't seem to recognize that, he seems to assume that there is some sort of NASA solution - which is scary in itself if you consider he is not aware of the schedule for Orion.

Also, I bet he is not aware that the U.S. has actually been reliant on Russia for use of the ISS since the beginning of the Soyuz program.  Apparently The Hill is not, because they incorrectly stated:

"NASA has been reliant on Russia to ferry Americans back and forth to space since the space shuttle program ended in 2011."

The Shuttle was never able to KEEP our astronauts at the ISS, since it could only stay in space for 2 weeks and couldn't act as a lifeboat for emergencies.  The Shuttle could only exchange crew members.  This is a pretty common misperception, but having the person in charge of NASA in the Senate not aware of this is pretty bad.

As to whether he will lead NASA to the benefit of the nation or his state, this quote from the Houston Chronicle might foretell that:

"Texas and the Houston area in particular has been a tremendous beneficiary of that private sector activity."

Now granted he was talking to a Texas paper, but he seems to be signaling that the gravy train will continue.

I don't know.  I am not fan of Senator Cruz, but mainly because he seems to cause more harm than good.  I hope he becomes a quick study of the issues surrounding and involving NASA, and that his committee can somehow create non-partisan guidance for NASA that makes sense.  Call me a dreamer...

Cruz has only been involved with NASA during the last couple of years. Commercial crew has been adequately funded for the last couple of years (close to $700M). He replaced Senator Hutchison on that subcommittee. Cruz meant that we shouldn't have to rely solely on the Russians for ferrying crew to the ISS and that's a fair point. It's not Obama's fault but he isn't going to admit it.  He has to sound like he disagrees with Obama even though it doesn't seem that he intends to change anything substantive about his policies. He is a presidential candidate for 2016. He is not going to praise Obama. He has to sound like he would have done a better job had he been President. That's just the way politics works.
« Last Edit: 01/14/2015 08:18 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #8 on: 01/14/2015 10:28 pm »
Cruz has only been involved with NASA during the last couple of years.

How many years should it take to come up to speed on what the issues are that NASA faces?  I'd say it shouldn't take more than a year, should it?

Quote
Commercial crew has been adequately funded for the last couple of years (close to $700M).

It has never been funded to the levels that NASA has requested, so no, it has not been adequately funded.  Not if the goal is to stop using Soyuz as soon as possible, which has always been the goal - even before Putin started being noticeably bad.

Quote
Cruz meant that we shouldn't have to rely solely on the Russians for ferrying crew to the ISS and that's a fair point.

Like preaching to the choir.  He's not stating anything that everyone doesn't already know.

Quote
It's not Obama's fault but he isn't going to admit it.  He has to sound like he disagrees with Obama even though it doesn't seem that he intends to change anything substantive about his policies. He is a presidential candidate for 2016. He is not going to praise Obama. He has to sound like he would have done a better job had he been President. That's just the way politics works.

Yes, and the politics surrounding NASA.  Which is too bad.  It would be nice to have the politicians in charge of NASA being concerned about NASA from a national standpoint, not just their careers or the state they represent.

But I think I'm just preaching to the choir...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline yg1968

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #9 on: 01/14/2015 11:42 pm »
Cruz has only been involved with NASA during the last couple of years.

How many years should it take to come up to speed on what the issues are that NASA faces?  I'd say it shouldn't take more than a year, should it?

Quote
Commercial crew has been adequately funded for the last couple of years (close to $700M).

It has never been funded to the levels that NASA has requested, so no, it has not been adequately funded.  Not if the goal is to stop using Soyuz as soon as possible, which has always been the goal - even before Putin started being noticeably bad.

I meant that commercial crew has been adequately funded while Cruz has been involved with NASA (in the last 2 years). But I sort of wonder if NASA would have chosen Boeing had it received less funding for commercial crew. In any event, if NASA can afford to pay $4.2B for the CST-100, commercial crew isn't being underfunded.

Offline Tea Party Space Czar

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #10 on: 01/15/2015 03:42 am »
How many people here have even bothered to email Cruz, let alone call his office, or dare visit?

I am not sure why the last thread was sent to Siberia but I do trust the moderators here.  I never did see what happened but I hope we get it cleaned up and merged with this.

Ted Cruz will shock a lot of people.  He is very knowledgeable and really does love NASA.  He is not anti-science like some want you to believe.  He does not believe in redundancy. 

To Jim's point - Earth Science is in the original NASA Authorization Act.  Senator Cruz knows this.  The globul warming crowd wants to make you believe Senator Cruz wants to shut down NASA science.  This is inherently false.

I think there are a lot of people who are going to be embarrassed by trying to paint Senator Cruz into an anti-science box.  In fact I know it.

Being a tea party guy I hope this thread is not derailed.   I do hope the moderators crackdown on any OT posts or ad hominem attacks. 

I think this is going to be a very good two years for those who support Commercial Crew, Science, and yes SLS.

People will be surprised. 

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser

Offline Lar

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #11 on: 01/15/2015 04:31 am »
Please stay focused.

Posts about whether Cruz is anti science or on climate change or whatever... deletion fodder. Enough of those? Thread deletion. I deleted a post just now but there are some others that are close to the edge too that didn't go.

Edit: more trimming.. posts about whether people are machinating to get the thread deleted? Also deletion bait because we don't cast aspersions on other posters here.  While I was at it, some chitchatty posts got the ax too because I'm now grumpy.
« Last Edit: 01/15/2015 05:12 am by Lar »
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #12 on: 01/15/2015 04:51 am »
The biggest disappointment to me is Cruz saying he's a supporter of SLS.  Not surprising, but still disappointing.  It means more business as usual, and a lost chance to make NASA's human spaceflight program much more effective.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #13 on: 01/15/2015 04:54 am »
That's encouraging. I was worried that Senator Cruz would want to cut everything. Of course, he is a senator from Texas, so I should have know better.

Let's send him some nice emails and bring up the issue of a lack of payloads for SLS and problems with planetary exploration funding.

He says he's an SLS supporter, so he'll probably avoid focusing attention on the lack of SLS payloads.  It undermines the whole rationale for the billions being funneled to it to point out we have nothing of substance for it to do.

Online RonM

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #14 on: 01/15/2015 11:02 am »
That's encouraging. I was worried that Senator Cruz would want to cut everything. Of course, he is a senator from Texas, so I should have know better.

Let's send him some nice emails and bring up the issue of a lack of payloads for SLS and problems with planetary exploration funding.

He says he's an SLS supporter, so he'll probably avoid focusing attention on the lack of SLS payloads.  It undermines the whole rationale for the billions being funneled to it to point out we have nothing of substance for it to do.

Senator Cruz is in his mid forties, that's a young man by Senate standards. Unless he becomes President, Mr. Cruz will be around for a long time. I doubt he wants to see SLS crash and burn on his watch. Best way to prevent that is to have some payloads and missions.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #15 on: 01/15/2015 11:13 am »
Apparently, I'm not allowed to post the whole truth, so I'll just say two things:

1)  Cruz is anti-science in at least two of his stances on long-settled scientific issues.
2)  I have my doubts as to whether or not he understands where NASA came from and why it was created.  Based on his comments, I'd be surprised if he ever read this:

Quote from the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 as to the DECLARATION OF POLICY AND PURPOSE for NASA:

(1) The expansion of human knowledge of phenomena in the atmosphere and space;
(2) The improvement of the usefulness, performance, speed, safety, and efficiency of aeronautical and space vehicles;
(3) The development and operation of vehicles capable of carrying instruments, equipment, supplies and living organisms through space;
(4) The establishment of long-range studies of the potential benefits to be gained from, the opportunities for, and the problems involved in the utilization of aeronautical and space activities for peaceful and scientific purposes.
(5) The preservation of the role of the United States as a leader in aeronautical and space science and technology and in the application thereof to the conduct of peaceful activities within and outside the atmosphere.
(6) The making available to agencies directly concerned with national defenses of discoveries that have military value or significance, and the furnishing by such agencies, to the civilian agency established to direct and control nonmilitary aeronautical and space activities, of information as to discoveries which have value or significance to that agency;
(7) Cooperation by the United States with other nations and groups of nations in work done pursuant to this Act and in the peaceful application of the results, thereof; and
(8) The most effective utilization of the scientific and engineering resources of the United States, with close cooperation among all interested agencies of the United States in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, facilities, and equipment.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #16 on: 01/15/2015 02:48 pm »
If you have watch Cruz during NASA hearings in the last couple of years. He asked very good questions, listened to responses given to him and didn't make any controversial statements. He got along well with Senator Nelson. He is often in the news for controversial positions but his stance on space exploration is fairly neutral. When Obama was elected, funding for earth science increased and funding for planetary science decreased. I expect that Cruz and other Republicans might re-balance that somewhat but it wouldn't be a huge shift. Earth science will continue being funded.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #17 on: 01/15/2015 03:07 pm »
Sometimes becoming more efficient means spending money instead of cutting it, thatís what they call an investment. Increasing spending for the right program at the right time.... I hope Cruz understands this or those advising him... BTW this is advice I would give to anyone from both sides of the aisle... ;)
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Offline Proponent

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #18 on: 01/15/2015 03:11 pm »
How many people here have even bothered to email Cruz, let alone call his office, or dare visit?

I am not sure why the last thread was sent to Siberia but I do trust the moderators here.  I never did see what happened but I hope we get it cleaned up and merged with this.

Ted Cruz will shock a lot of people.  He is very knowledgeable and really does love NASA.  He is not anti-science like some want you to believe.  He does not believe in redundancy. 

To Jim's point - Earth Science is in the original NASA Authorization Act.  Senator Cruz knows this.  The globul warming crowd wants to make you believe Senator Cruz wants to shut down NASA science.  This is inherently false.

I think there are a lot of people who are going to be embarrassed by trying to paint Senator Cruz into an anti-science box.  In fact I know it.

Being a tea party guy I hope this thread is not derailed.   I do hope the moderators crackdown on any OT posts or ad hominem attacks. 

I think this is going to be a very good two years for those who support Commercial Crew, Science, and yes SLS.

People will be surprised.

I don't understand what it is you're happy about with Sen. Cruz.  In the Houston Chronicle interview, which I believe we can take as an accurate portrayal now that the Senator has posted it on his own website, he expresses full-throated support for Orion and SLS.  Granted, he also says good things about commercial crew and SpaceX.  For one thing, though, by that standard I have to wonder why you're not giving Obama rave reviews, since he tried to stop Orion and prevent SLS and has been supportive of commercial crew and SpaceX (in fact on SpaceX, there has been sniping about Obama's support being a case of crony capitalism).

To take it one step further, can you point to any elected Tea Party politician who is opposed to SLS?  For that matter, can you point to even one elected Tea Party politician who is active in space policy and not strongly in favor of SLS?  As far as I can tell,  Sen. Cruz and Reps. Palazzo, Lamar Smith and Culberson -- undeniably SLS boosters -- are all Tea Party supporters as well*.

While I generally like your take on space policy, I'm having a hard time seeing it reflected in the Tea Party as a whole.



* In the recently-removed thread about Sen. Cruz, you indicated that Rep. Palazzo is not part of the Tea Party and suggested, if I recall correctly, that I refer to the Wikipedia entry on the Tea Party Caucus.  I did so, but it seems to indicate that as of the start of the 213th Congress, Palazzo, Smith and Culberson were all members of the Caucus (see this Wikipedia entry as well).  In addition, an older list by CNN associates not only those three representatives with the Tea Party but also another SLS supporter, namely former Rep. Sandy Adams.
« Last Edit: 01/15/2015 09:29 pm by Proponent »

Offline Tea Party Space Czar

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #19 on: 01/15/2015 09:44 pm »
I would like to hear what people hope to see from Ted Cruz as the chair.  What would YOU like to see him take up when the gavel drops?  Include topics and verbiage.  Please be specific as possible but realize essays will end up not doing you any good.

Please do not post any of the typical stuff either for or against the senator. 

I would ask that any post that strays from the idea of the thread would be banished to Tunguska. 

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser

« Last Edit: 01/15/2015 10:52 pm by Chris Bergin »

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