Monday, February 8, 2010

Guest post by Spaceman

This is a guest post by someone I will call Spaceman.  Here Spaceman writes about an issue relating to the new space shuttle that Obama just axed.  Thanks, Spaceman!

On February 1st, 2010, the Obama administration released its proposed federal budget for 2011. In this budget, the NASA program Constellation, is canceled. This program Constellation also contains the "Crew Exploration Vehicle" - Orion, which has been our nation's planned replacement for the Space Shuttle, to deliver US astronauts to the Space Station. The Orion spacecraft is also designed to go beyond low earth orbit; to be able to not only take astronauts back to the moon, but also further beyond, to asteroids, Mars, or the moons of Mars. For the first time in the history of US spaceflight, a truly interplanetary spacecraft, is being designed, which would help to ensure US leadership in space and technology.

Under the Obama administration's current proposed budget, Orion will be canceled, with no clearly defined plan for spacecraft beyond low earth orbit. The proposed plan will rely on unproven, yet to be demonstrated small commercial, low earth orbit, spacecraft. These small commercial, low earth orbit, spacecraft, could take 5-10 years to be proven safe enough, or capable enough, before the lives of US astronauts could be entrusted. In the mean time, the Obama administration's plan is to purchase rides for US astronauts on Russian spacevehicles- an export of US tax payer dollars to Russia, to provide US access to space.

In a recent press release, it is understood that if the Orion portion of the Constellation program remains funded, the US can be ready for crewed spaceflight using the Orion spacecraft by 2013.
So what could you do to help? You can go to to write your congressmen or congresswomen. A pre-drafted letter, based on your state and zip code, will automatically write your congressional representatives to inform them of your disagreement of the currently proposed budget and plan to cancel the Constellation program and the Orion spacecraft.

One more fun fact, for those of you who reside in Colorado - Did you know that Colorado is the 3rd largest "Space State" in the nation (after Florid and Texas).
"Live long and prosper" - Spock

No comments: