Author Topic: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration  (Read 17876 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 »

Offline 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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"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

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.

Offline 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 »

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #20 on: 01/15/2015 10:05 pm »
I'd like to see him cancel SLS and put those funds to better use on a BLEO exploration plan that uses commercial acquisition similar to COTS/CRS/commercial crew, rather than having the government make the design decisions.

Offline Proponent

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #21 on: 01/15/2015 10:38 pm »
I'd like to see him cancel SLS and put those funds to better use on a BLEO exploration plan that uses commercial acquisition similar to COTS/CRS/commercial crew, rather than having the government make the design decisions.

Ditto me.  I have absolutely no expectation that this will happen, however.

Offline Prober

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #22 on: 01/15/2015 10:43 pm »
I am starting this thread because 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.  We do not need another thread locked and tucked away.

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

Respectfully,
Andrew Gasser

Just want to post this thought....love or hate the man. He is going to shape NASA for a few years ahead.

Following that.....If he does run for higher office, and prevail.....think of it.   The first President of the US with his unique insight into NASA, and interest.

It could be the best of times  8)

maybe someone in article land can run with that ;)
« Last Edit: 01/15/2015 10:45 pm by Prober »
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Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #23 on: 01/15/2015 10:47 pm »
I'd like to see him cancel SLS and put those funds to better use on a BLEO exploration plan that uses commercial acquisition similar to COTS/CRS/commercial crew, rather than having the government make the design decisions.

Ditto me.  I have absolutely no expectation that this will happen, however.

Yeah, I agree, it's very unlikely it will happen.  But the question was about a "wish list".  We can dream. :-)

Offline rsnellenberger

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #24 on: 01/15/2015 11:01 pm »
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.

It is most certainly Obama's "fault" (I prefer to say responsibility) that we have relied solely on the Russians for ferrying crew to ISS.  The Bush administration plan to retire the shuttle fleet was still in its early stages, and in January 2009 we still had three flying orbiters and the production facilities for tanks and boosters were still there -- there are articles here from February and March 2009 that discussed shuttle extension options.  We had all sensed by that time that Constellation was in serious trouble, and that was subsequently confirmed in the Augustine report later that year.  The President had an opportunity at that point to extend the shuttle program even further (beyond even STS-135), admittedly with some effort and at some cost. 

With all of that as background, President Obama decided to press forward with shuttle retirement.

This isn't a judgement on whether or not it was a good, correct, or even a well-reasoned decision.  But to suggest that he was just a spectator to some inexorable process isn't at all accurate.

Offline ChrisWilson68

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #25 on: 01/15/2015 11:04 pm »
Apparently, I'm not allowed to post the whole truth

Whether something is true or not is irrelevant.  It's whether it's on topic for this forum.

What is on topic here is what he has said specifically about his stance on NASA.

Sure, you could try to deduce what he might say or do in the future with respect to NASA indirectly based on his views on other issues.  And other people could draw other conclusions.  And the whole debate would get far off-topic, because those inferences are largely based on your opinion about those other issues.

I'd wager most people here are more interested in spaceflight.  That's why they're here instead of on some unmoderated forum.

Offline mike robel

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #26 on: 01/15/2015 11:48 pm »
I would like to see him advocate sufficient funding for both SLS/Orion and commercial crew for full funding and a view to bringing IOC for all to the left.  Figure out a rational program for Orion - perhaps starting with a lunar program to confirm lunar water and establish an ISRU plant that could support a reusable lander plus a surface shelter.

Purpose of the ISRU is to produce fuel, O2, and water for the lander.

A reasonable Mars precursor mission...I think.

Offline arachnitect

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #27 on: 01/16/2015 12:05 am »
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



Okay then.

Take long term data collection seriously. Spend money and make decisions now so you're not doing it when your only sensor on orbit is a decade past its planned retirement. For example, Landsat is fine right now, but putting off planning the next one is only setting the stage for future grief. Another example is the NOAA climate sensors that got kicked over to NASA in an effort to keep JPSS on track. Fine (maybe even smart?) but just because they're NASA's problem now doesn't mean they're unnecessary (TSIS, CERES/RBI, OMPS-Limb). Trying to be creative with these programs usually just ends up being a longer more expensive way of getting to the same place (look at what happened to Landsat, JWSS NPOESS).

ESD (with NOAA and USGS) gathers data that people really rely on. A lot of the stuff that NASA does is sort of a National luxury, but this stuff is different.

If you want a government that spends the citizens' money responsibly, start by making sure the essential services we take for granted are taken care of before you go off gallivanting about the solar system.
« Last Edit: 01/16/2015 05:46 pm by arachnitect »

Offline Proponent

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #28 on: 01/16/2015 12:17 am »
He is going to shape NASA for a few years ahead.

Really?  I think it's already already a stretch when people dream about a president remaking NASA, let alone one of 100 senators.  I'm expecting more or less the status quo.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #29 on: 01/16/2015 12:34 am »
I would expect him to try to divert NASA and NOAA Earth science funding to things that would fund JSC and other Texas based parts of NASA.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #30 on: 01/16/2015 02:35 am »
Personally, I would like to see more commercial initiatives: commercial habitats and commercial crew and cargo for BLEO missions should be the next initiatives in my opinion. Perhaps Cruz could help in starting these initiatives. 
« Last Edit: 01/16/2015 02:38 am by yg1968 »

Offline SWGlassPit

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #31 on: 01/16/2015 02:45 pm »
1) I would like to see some structure created for HSF direction, as well as NASA funding as a whole, that would insulate it from the whiplash it suffers every time a new congress or president comes to Washington.  To some extent, planetary science has this with the decadal survey, which would be a good model to help shape the direction of human spaceflight.  To be sure, oversight is necessary, and programs that go massively over budget and schedule deserve close scrutiny, but when a meaningful development program takes at least five years, that's three different congresses, who could have three different ideas what direction NASA should take -- a recipe for a massive portfolio of abandoned, half-finished projects.  It's akin to a grocery stocker getting a new manager every half hour, who then clears the shelves and tells the stocker they should be organizing the products a different way.

2) A large reason for the crewed launch gap is the fact that NASA never had enough funding to support both development and operations.  This would probably require a substantial increase to the top-line budget, but ensuring the funds are there so NASA (and those who fund it) don't have to wholly abandon the status quo to invest in the next great thing.  There's no good reason not to do both.

Offline vulture4

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #32 on: 01/16/2015 05:35 pm »
It is most certainly Obama's "fault" (I prefer to say responsibility) that we have relied solely on the Russians for ferrying crew to ISS.  The Bush administration plan to retire the shuttle fleet was still in its early stages, and in January 2009 we still had three flying orbiters and the production facilities for tanks and boosters were still there -- there are articles here from February and March 2009 that discussed shuttle extension options.This isn't a judgement on whether or not it was a good, correct, or even a well-reasoned decision.  But to suggest that he was just a spectator to some inexorable process isn't at all accurate.

I hope you will consider reading Wayne Hale's blog. He was the program manager, after all. He made it clear in 2008 that Shuttle production could not be restarted.  Literally hundreds of contracts with small companies producing critical parts had been cancelled, and simply qualifying new suppliers would have taken years. Obama added two flights, scraping the bottom of the barrel for parts but getting the Alpha Mass Spectrometer on board.

Bush had made it clear that America's participation in ISS would end with the last Shuttle flight, so the Orbital Space Plane was cancelled. Obama had to fight to extend ISS, and then to get new US manned spacecraft flying. Had commercial crew been fully funded, they would be flying this year.

At this point we need to focus on the future. The difficulty with Senator Cruz is that he is committed to cutting the overall budget and quite possibly the NASA budget as well. If this money comes out of Commercial Crew, it will further delay US human launch capability. Moreover we do indeed have three portfolios, Science, SLS/Orion, and Commercial Crew/ISS.
« Last Edit: 01/16/2015 05:38 pm by vulture4 »

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #33 on: 01/18/2015 07:05 pm »
It is most certainly Obama's "fault" (I prefer to say responsibility) that we have relied solely on the Russians for ferrying crew to ISS...  The President had an opportunity at that point to extend the shuttle program even further (beyond even STS-135), admittedly with some effort and at some cost.

Since the constant occupation of the ISS began in 2000 we have relied on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to KEEP U.S. crew members at the ISS.  While our crew is there the Soyuz acts as a lifeboat in case the crew needs to abandon the ISS for any reason, at any moment.  Waiting around for a Shuttle to launch to evacuate the ISS is not an option.

The Shuttle has never been able to keep crew at the ISS for longer than 2 weeks, so it's function relating to crew has only been to ROTATE crew, not KEEP crew at the ISS.

Eliminating the Shuttle early, or even keeping the Shuttle flying later, would not have changed the situation we are in with our reliance on the Soyuz.  We need one or more spacecraft that can stay in space docked at the ISS for as long as the crew stays (6 months or more), which ain't the Shuttle.

Those that sit on congressional committees that oversee NASA should know this (as should everyone), but apparently Senator Cruz has not been concerned enough about this situation in the past to suggest any workable solutions - like funding Commercial Crew to the levels NASA has requested every year since the start of the program (2010).

Maybe that will change, and fully funding the Commercial Crew program from here out would be my wish to be communicated to Senator Cruz.
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 Coastal Ron

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #34 on: 01/18/2015 07:24 pm »
See the entire form of government in the US is established to prevent ONE person from deciding what all should do.  We decided not to have Kings and Queens rule over us.  Unfortunately this does nothing for those who want to demonstrate "leadership". 

KBH (Kay Bailey Hutchison) was very eloquent and had a leadership characteristics.  But ultimately, she was not able to set a 'vision' for NASA.  I think only the president can do this.  So (to me) she was only able to push for different allocations of a set budget.  Which unfortunately is more micromanagement.

Hutchison, Nelson and Shelby were able to thwart part of Obama's space plans when they didn't allow the Orion and Ares V HLV to be cancelled, so you can't say a small number of people in Congress don't wield significant power in setting the direction of our efforts in space.

Whereas Obama had planned to fund technology development, those three in the Senate (the House went along with what they wrote) decided that NASA needed an HLV and short-range spacecraft instead of developing technologies that NASA still needs even with the SLS and Orion.

This is not to say that Cruz will use his powers to do anything.  He may not.  But Congress is an equal branch to the executive branch, and the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Space, and Competitiveness does influence what NASA does.

Quote
I really think he is only able to help manage the budget up a little and have a nice conversation with the administrators and other invited speakers to do this. 

Money is apportioned by the Senate Appropriations Committee, so Cruz would still have to do some negotiations for any changes he wants to make, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Quote
Otherwise Obama has to define the budget and goals and have responsibility to see the stuff happens.

The President does that every year, but as is customary in Congress (regardless which party is in charge), Congress pretty much ignores what any President asks for.  And at this point in his term, I don't expect anything new out of Obama for NASA related stuff other than continuing to fight for full funding of Commercial Crew and the continued funding of the ISS.  Those are both keystone programs, and would be good legacies for any President.
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 RonM

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #35 on: 01/21/2015 03:07 am »
President Obama actually mentioned the space program in the State of the Union speech.

Quote
I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs -- converting sunlight into liquid fuel; creating revolutionary prosthetics, so that a veteran who gave his arms for his country can play catch with his kid; pushing out into the Solar System not just to visit, but to stay. Last month, we launched a new spacecraft as part of a re-energized space program that will send American astronauts to Mars. In two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space. Good luck, Captain -- and make sure to Instagram it.

Scott Kelly got a round of applause for his upcoming year long mission.

Spacecraft are almost never mentioned in the State of the Union. Maybe we'll see Senator Cruz, the Committee, and the President work together on manned spaceflight.


Offline mike robel

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #36 on: 01/21/2015 12:44 pm »
One has to remember that the President said during the campaign that he wanted to defund NASA in part, so he could increase funding to the Department of Education.

Offline AncientU

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #37 on: 01/21/2015 12:48 pm »
My greatest hope would be to grade NASA plans/spending against four criteria:
1) Is the development effort advancing the state of the art in spaceflight?
2) Does the effort establish (space) infrastructure useable on subsequent trips/missions?
3) Can private sector competition lower the cost or introduce creative new approaches toward solving the challenge?
4) Is the projected cost to finish the project consistent with the advertised budget when the project was authorized?
If even a constant funding level is maintained, this approach should help move us forward.  Grading today's NASA projects/expenditures against these criteria would not produce passing scores.
« Last Edit: 01/21/2015 12:51 pm by AncientU »
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Offline RonM

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #38 on: 01/21/2015 05:55 pm »
One has to remember that the President said during the campaign that he wanted to defund NASA in part, so he could increase funding to the Department of Education.

Way back in 2007-2008. Obama has had many chances to do so and has not, so it's pretty lame for you to bring that up.

Cruz says he wants to cut the budget, but supports SLS and Orion, which would be great big ticket items to cut. Politicians say many things and then do something different.

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #39 on: 01/22/2015 01:31 am »
Way back in 2007-2008. Obama has had many chances to do so and has not, so it's pretty lame for you to bring that up.

Well, it's still the case that the administration sees spaceflight as an adjunct to STEM education. It's not about actually doing anything in space, it's about inspiring the kiddies.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline JBF

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #40 on: 01/22/2015 01:57 am »
Way back in 2007-2008. Obama has had many chances to do so and has not, so it's pretty lame for you to bring that up.

Well, it's still the case that the administration sees spaceflight as an adjunct to STEM education. It's not about actually doing anything in space, it's about inspiring the kiddies.

I disagree; this administration wanted to move NASA more toward technology development. Congress disagreed and they didn't see it as worthwhile to fight for the change they wanted.
"In principle, rocket engines are simple, but thatís the last place rocket engines are ever simple." Jeff Bezos

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #41 on: 01/22/2015 03:26 am »
I disagree; this administration wanted to move NASA more toward technology development. Congress disagreed and they didn't see it as worthwhile to fight for the change they wanted.

That's true, I totally forgot about the attempt to turn NASA into a "clean energy" development center.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline JBF

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #42 on: 01/22/2015 10:55 am »
I disagree; this administration wanted to move NASA more toward technology development. Congress disagreed and they didn't see it as worthwhile to fight for the change they wanted.

That's true, I totally forgot about the attempt to turn NASA into a "clean energy" development center.

That's also false; they wanted NASA to concentrate on the next generation of technologies needed for interplanetary flight rather than a huge rocket.
« Last Edit: 01/22/2015 10:58 am by JBF »
"In principle, rocket engines are simple, but thatís the last place rocket engines are ever simple." Jeff Bezos

Offline QuantumG

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #43 on: 01/22/2015 11:20 am »
That's also false; they wanted NASA to concentrate on the next generation of technologies needed for interplanetary flight rather than a huge rocket.

Who did? Bobby Braun quit because all the pressure was to direct NASA technology development away from spaceflight.

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline yg1968

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #44 on: 01/22/2015 01:55 pm »
That's also false; they wanted NASA to concentrate on the next generation of technologies needed for interplanetary flight rather than a huge rocket.

Who did? Bobby Braun quit because all the pressure was to direct NASA technology development away from spaceflight.

That's the first time that I have heard that. Do you have a source for that?

Offline yg1968

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #45 on: 01/22/2015 02:00 pm »

Offline RonM

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #46 on: 01/22/2015 02:48 pm »
That's also false; they wanted NASA to concentrate on the next generation of technologies needed for interplanetary flight rather than a huge rocket.

Who did? Bobby Braun quit because all the pressure was to direct NASA technology development away from spaceflight.

That's the first time that I have heard that. Do you have a source for that?

It was because of a lack of funding, but QG's point maybe the reason for the lack of funding.

http://nasawatch.com/archives/2011/09/nasa-cto-bobby.html

Offline vulture4

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #47 on: 01/22/2015 03:54 pm »
I disagree; this administration wanted to move NASA more toward technology development. Congress disagreed and they didn't see it as worthwhile to fight for the change they wanted.

That's true, I totally forgot about the attempt to turn NASA into a "clean energy" development center.

That's also false; they wanted NASA to concentrate on the next generation of technologies needed for interplanetary flight rather than a huge rocket.

One of the major projects funded by President Obama under the Space Technology Program was an orbital flight demonstration of a cryogenic propellant depot which is vital for practical BEO flight. It was defunded and downgraded to some ground tests because Congress transferred the money to SLS.

Also, Mr. Obama did not propose defunding NASA to fund education. He proposed a five year delay in the Constellation program. There was no proposal to delay commercial crew or technology development.
« Last Edit: 01/22/2015 04:27 pm by vulture4 »

Offline yg1968

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Offline QuantumG

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #49 on: 01/23/2015 12:05 am »
.. and Mike Gazarik, the current Chief Technology Officer at NASA, just left too.

http://www.ballaerospace.com/page.jsp?page=30&id=619

Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: Interview with Senator Cruz on Space Exploration
« Reply #50 on: 01/23/2015 01:25 am »
Here is another article on Mars by the Hill:
http://thehill.com/policy/230365-mission-to-mars-moving-at-the-speed-of-congress
Well now it's time to walk the talk and fully fund the technology we need to get to Mars, Habs landers etc... I'll be watching the GOP...
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob: Physics instructor, Aviator, Vintage auto racer

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