Buzz Aldrin has a tragic commentary about the Democrats destruction of our space program and the hope for our future.
“...Our space partners and competitors are also designing capsules for their astronauts-because, for them, capsules are a step up. No other nation has ever had the logistics capability resident in a winged or lifting body vehicle-except us. And seems to be ready, in a penny-wise and pound foolish way-to abandon our own leadership in space transportation. By landing on a runway, gliding back from space, these unique re entry machines have many opportunities on each orbit of the Earth to find a landing site — an airport or military airfield, say. Those capsules, since they don’t glide anywhere, must line up more or less at their intended landing site. Bad weather? Oh, gotta stay up another day. Experiments? Gotta wait!
And we are compounding that felony by retiring the Shuttles before even the limited Orion capsules are ready to fly.
But I’ve got a better idea. Why not stretch out the remaining Shuttle flights for five years-flying once a year or so. Open up a commercial competition for a logistics vehicle to the station that includes a vehicle that can land on a runway, using the heritage learned from the 30+ years of the Shuttles. Any breakthroughs reached in the labs aboard the International Space Station can’t wait for days while the navy hauls Orion out of the ocean and returned to port. A runway-capable vehicle can do that-and that is what we should build to follow our Space Shuttles. If NASA can’t do it, let the private space entrepreneurs do it. Build and fly a logistics spaceship worthy of the name-and worthy of the historic heritage of America’s Space Shuttle experience. And how to launch these capable craft? I propose an intermediate booster, one that would come between the underpowered Ares 1 and the incapable Ares V. I call it the Ares III, and such a booster could be used in many different ways, both as a carrier for astronauts as well as cargoes and powerful upper stages. Such a booster would make maximum use of Shuttle-era components, including the existing launching facilities at the Kennedy Space Center. All of these ideas are part of what I have been calling my Unified Space Vision. That’s my comprehensive plan for America’s future in space. I’ll be talking about different parts of my vision in future blogs.
But, for now, think of spacecraft worthy of following our Shuttles. We don’t need any stinkin’ capsules!…”