Almost Five Years Since Barack Obama Killed The Space Program

It has been nearly five years since President Obama killed the space program. so that the formerly great agency could focus on junk science and CO2 based superstition.

January 27, 2010

NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way.

the White House will direct NASA to concentrate on Earth-science projects — principally, researching and monitoring climate change

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29 Responses to Almost Five Years Since Barack Obama Killed The Space Program

  1. KTM says:

    Yes, he did. With a stroke of his pen, Obama flushed the $10+ billion that taxpayers had invested in Constellation to that point. His alternative plan was to let startup space tech companies start over from scratch and propose a better rocket. My father in law was an executive at an aerospace manufacturer at the time, and I asked what he thought about it. He explained that all the other designs that were kicking around had already been evaluated and Constellation was the best around. There was absolutely no rational excuse for flushing that investment.

    My father in law said that they see this occasionally during a change of administration. The new guy doesn’t want to carry through the old guy’s project and give him the “credit”, so they flush the old projects and start something the new guy can claim credit for. Obama showed this behavior quite clearly when he announced his “Brain Map” project (with ZERO new revenue earmarked to pay for it).

    This kind of egotistical behavior is very harmful to science. Even if the Brain Map is a good idea, Obama doesn’t deserve credit for it. And stamping Obama’s name onto the project then not bringing any new money to the table only ensures that other deserving science goes unfunded.

    Obama has been the most anti-science president in US history.

  2. V. Uil says:

    You forget Obama also urged NASA to focus on Muslim outreach.

  3. gregole says:

    This is sick. Humanity is on the verge of a great breakthrough. We can colonize Mars if we wish.

    More conservatively, we can have a permanent moon base populated by rotating crews. Why? Why not.

    A series of space stations; not just one toy space station (still pretty cool though…

    Instead, people have written reasonably well received books on how Phoenix, Arizona is uninhabitable: (

    If we don’t even have the will to build and populate a city in a terrestrial desert, how can we dream of the stars? And, pathetically, all we lack is the will to dream.

    Of mankind a philosopher once said: “We have free will, just not the will to use it.”

    Another: “No guts; no glory.”

    Welcome to the 21st century. We once had so much promise.

  4. Mat Helm says:

    As sure as I was back in the 70’s that I would have been to space by now, I think killing NASA’s monopoly on space cash has turned out to be a good thing. Now we’re over paying private company’s for space transport. Which is still less than half the cost of the government employees at NASA. Plus they won’t mind a little cost saving capitalism “corrupting” their holy calling via advertising and such….

    • nielszoo says:

      … and you forget that we are paying massive amounts of borrowed money to Russia to taxi our astronauts to the ISS, another endeavor whose costs were born disproportionally by the US taxpayer as well.

      NASA has huge problems, but solvable ones. The first thing the next administration needs to do is to ax 90 percent of the non-space programs and go back to being a space agency with the stated goal of keeping our foot firmly on the “high ground” and insuring the military advantages that come with that. That can be dual mission in peacetime, but ceding control of space to Russia and China is a remarkably stupid thing to do… oh yea, I forgot, that’s Obama’s plan to kick America back down to the third world.

      • Mat Helm says:

        Yes but it’s a relative steal even at triple their original price of $20 million a seat (now $71 mill). Much much cheaper than NASA.. The shuttle program spent $209 billion for 134 flights ($1.6 per). And that’s a NASA estimate…

    • KTM says:

      What most probably don’t realize is that NASA and the established aerospace manufacturers could produce rockets at less than 1/3 the final cost. The extra bloat was a result of NASA becoming increasingly involved in every aspect of the production process, following high profile disasters like Challenger.

      Over time NASA grew to permeate every facet of the production process, adding an immense amount of red tape and bureaucracy and sending costs through the roof. NASA turned all the contractors into inefficient, bloated monstrosities, then “reformers” came in and blamed the contractors for being inefficient.

      The only reason that new space tech companies are less expensive is because they haven’t been subjected to bureaucratic bloat for decades. If they had the same NASA integration into their production process, they too would be bloated and inefficient.

      It’s easier for a politician to come in and blame contractors than it is to look in the mirror. We were the world leader in space tech before Obama, his decision to flush Constellation and allow the Space Shuttle program to end threw over 40,000 highly skilled aerospace engineers and support staff out of their jobs, without acknowledging that government bloat was the actual problem.

      • Mat Helm says:

        Which is to say “government run”, as in spending other peoples money….

        • Mat Helm says:

          Rich T.
          I imagine you would apply the same formula as you do to the little quarter inch screw. First one is $10k, buy two, $5,000.001 ea.. and so on.. And if you’re only talking fuel cost for the launching part, I would think liquid hydrogen and solid rocket fuel to be relatively cheap…

          So equipment I think is where the cost is at….

      • I apologize in advance for a certain degree of ignorance on this subject, but, how does the cost of launching the rocket compare to the cost of its production?


      • gregole says:

        Unfortunately, I have to agree with just about everything you have said – and I used to work in the launch industry. Any kind of NASA mission was simply dreaded by everybody because of the red-tape, and the psychotic, idiotic focus on minutiae that just didn’t matter; often ignoring real concerns.

        Don’t get me wrong, I met a lot of super talented, disciplined people at NASA but the culture and just their heavy-handedness was a real innovation killer; at least for me in my limited exposure.

        We (USA) still do pretty cool space related stuff though. Just IMHO we don’t even scratch the surface of what we could do, and it’s really a shame. The last generation was so much more awesome; we really have let them down.

        Somebody somewhere is going to pick up the thread someday. We got pretty close.

    • emsnews says:

      Our real space program is spy satellites, nuclear warhead missiles, etc. Preparations for WWIII.

  5. Ivan says:

    He’s smart enough to realise that it would be all wasted on a people dumb enough to vote him into office. You gotta give him that much!

  6. Obama figures there are no evil carbon spewing corporations to tax on the Moon.

  7. philjourdan says:

    And China and india have plans to go back there.

  8. $1.065 trillion for a ding dang plane that doesn’t work. $347 billion for new nuclear submarines, that will probably go over 1/2 T. That might have something to do with it. We gotta whip up on any attempts to replace the world’s reserve currency. Space can wait.

    It’s actually worse than that. This dysfunctional plane is projected to cost 1.065 T over 55 years. It will probably be closer to 1 1/2 trillion dollars.
    $1.065 trillion / 610,042 homeless = $1,666,278.71

    Every homeless person could be a millionaire on just the F-35 money.

  9. emsnews says:

    Our civilian space program is on its deathbed and has been since Reagan killed it, yes, REAGAN.

    I grew up inside NASA and watched this happen. What killed it?

    THE MILITARY which wanted to use the skies and space for warfare. This is why we have all those stupid, useless drones that irritate Muslims no end and does nothing to control events on the ground and why our nuclear arsenal is being updated with better missiles, etc.

    NOT to mention the spy satellites, too.

    No more civilian space programs. They talk about science and space telescopes, etc. but all of this is mainly stuff in the pipelines that haven’t been terminated yet.

    • tom0mason says:

      These two sites say the rot started in the 1970s with budget cut causing changes in the shuttle design. Did this also ensure that the military became involved? Who knows.

      Would one of the original designs been safer? The early ideas were for a similar take-off design but a much slower (and cooler) return.

    • I assure you that neither Reagan nor the military wanted an end to U.S. manned-space initiatives. This was an integral element of the Cold War. (A war which, I cannot omit mentioning, never went away, but which no longer has the support of the U.S. gov’t.) To an extent, a main reason for decline in U.S. manned-space spending (esp. in the beginning) was that a Soviet conspiracy had taken over the government by that time, and in fact came one inch from killing Reagan in 1981. You think that had no effect on his policies? I assure you it did!

      But as time has passed, I think the main reason that has emerged for the end of all plans for further U.S. manned space travel is quite simply that it became apparent that the permanent colonization of space would be far more expensive and dangerous than anyone imagined back in the 1970s. If we’re being honest, manned space travel by Russia and China is, today, quite modest as well. This has nothing to do with militarization of space, which whether one agrees with it or not, is not really at odds with a colonization program.


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