Shocker: Obama May Cut NASA Shuttle Replacement

By  |  Monday, December 22, 2008 at 9:48 am

nasalogoI know this is a bit outside of Technologizer’s typical coverage area but it is interesting nonetheless. There has been some reports of bad feelings between the President-Elect and NASA, and we may be finding out why. Obama may be considering ending the Ares rocket program, intended to be the replacement for the space shuttle.

According to UK daily The Telegraph, Obama’s transition team has hammered the space agency on its budget issues. Over half of the 74 queries sent to NASA dealt with this topic, sources indicate.

This could mean potentially for the first time in over 40 years the agency may have no method to send astronauts into space. At the same time, the Ares program has been plagued by mismanagement and budget overruns, and in this time of cutbacks everywhere that certainly is not a good thing.

Obama has sent mixed messages on manned spaceflight. His earlier campaign comments seemed to suggest he was in favor of some type of delay in the program altogether, however this softened considerably as Florida became an important state.

NASA has  said that it wants to put humans back on the moon by 2020, which is preparation for a permanent lunar base and manned mission to Mars a decade or so later. However if Ares is scrapped, that could put that timeline in jeopardy.

In any case, it will not be more of the same at the agency. “There will be changes,” Obama NASA liason and former adminstrator Lori Garver has said.

 
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7 Comments For This Post

  1. Andy Says:

    We made a huge mistake in November.

  2. Meno Says:

    This is what you get when a man tries to console with his opponents. While the other was still worse, it’s all for naught if they simply convert him. Worst news I’ve heard for a while…

  3. NanoGeek Says:

    @ Meno

    Actually, President Bush was completely for the shuttle redesign and Moon base.

  4. Gator Says:

    Everything has been on track with NASA which is operating at a VERY small percentage of the overall national budget, for Obama to go in and stop the Orian or any part of the Constellation program but be a tremendous step backwards for a nation that far to long has allowed ourselves to all but stop that which begun with the Apollo program of the 60′s and 70′s which has also given this country so many technological returns for medicine, computing, and far to many to name. If anything, the program should be ramped up and move forward full speed.

  5. Rick Says:

    If Obama does this, he’s an idiot. But that wouldn’t surprise me anyway, because half of the people who voted him in were idiots for doing so in the first place.

    NASA should be given MORE money so we can get into space quicker. NASA is one of the most important programs we have, if we lose it, in favor of education funds he won’t ever use properly, the human race can consider itself royally screwed.

    My hope is that independent space flight companies come through and do what NASA could do.

  6. Mary Says:

    I don’t understand why NASA is important. Maybe you can explain it to me.

    Why is it important to set up a base on the moon?

    I say scrap the whole thing altogher. Private space flight companies are already in existence. Let them spend the money to explore space, set up bases. The governemrnt can set up regulations…and that’s it.

    How does NASA help me? Or every other citizen that pays taxes?

  7. Greg Says:

    I’d like to comment on what Mary has said:

    “I don’t understand why NASA is important. Maybe you can explain it to me.”

    The NASA program, originally created for spacecraft design, has been employed in a broad array of non-aerospace applications, such as the automobile industry, manufacture of machine tools, and hardware designs.

    Another thing is a microalgae-based, vegetable-like oil called Formulaid developed from NASA-sponsored research on long duration space travel, contains two essential fatty acids found in human milk but not in most baby formulas, believed to be important for infants’ mental and visual development.

    I give more examples if need be. Suffice to say cutting the NASA program would be a step in the wrong direction, and would only serve to perpetuate ignorance.