Space and the Lack of American Vision


“…“My Republican competitors instinctively decide we couldn’t go into space because they’re cheap and they have no idea how technology works … they think in narrow little boxes like government,”…” Newt Gingrich

A few weeks ago David Gregory’s show, Newt said something that interested The Pink Flamingo.  When Gregory was mocking him about his commitment to such a wacky idea, Newt mentioned that Greta told him JFK was not mocked when he said we were going to the moon, and we did not even have the technology then.

What the heck has happened to this country?  Mitt Romney made fun of Newt for his vision.  Santorum has rejected it outright.  Once, we were a nation of dreamers, with ideas that were larger than life.  Now we are a nation of “it can’t be done” because it costs too much.  That is papa cow excreta.  We throw money away right and left on stuff like light rails, counting snails, and completely unimportant things.  When it comes to a vision for space, it is a laugh riot.

“…While Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri held Republican primaries or caucuses on Tuesday, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was not in any of those three states. Instead, he was on the campaign trail in Ohio, looking ahead to that state’s primary on Super Tuesday next month. In an appearance in Dayton yesterday, he mentioned space, sticking to his plans he laid out in a speech in Florida two weeks ago. “Immediately two of my opponents rushed into to say that’s really stupid,” the Wall Street Journal reported Gingrich as saying, referring to fellow candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. He defended his support for space exploration, according to POLITICO, citing the potential for job creation and technological spinoffs. “When we talk about job creation, just remember the iPhone you’re using, the iPad you’re using, the BlackBerry you’re using, the home computer you’re using, all those have components that were developed from the space program,” he said.

This is not the first time in recent days that the campaign has pushed back against criticism of his space policy from fellow candidates. “I am deeply concerned that Senator Santorum so easily relinquishes space development to the Chinese and Russians,” Gingrich national security advisor Stephen Yates said in a statement released by the campaign on Saturday. He was apparently referring to a radio ad released by the Santorum campaign Friday which dismissed Gingrich’s lunar base plans as “fiscal insanity”. “American success in space is not only about being the first to develop a station on the moon,” Yates said, citing an “explosion of math, science, engineering and national security technology” that would benefit the nation….”

It’s a lack of vision thing.  It is a failure to believe in the Manifest Destiny of this nation.  It is a quality even conservatives have managed to throw away, thumbing their nose at it.  It is a quality we have lost because of liberal intervention that requires everyone be the same, and conservatives buying the libertarian hard line.  Liberals thought Manifest Destiny was too racist.  Libertarians don’t approve of anything that is noble or might benefit someone other than themselves.

John Gast "Spirit of the Frontier"

It is about vision, expansion, spreading freedom and democracy.  It was a “can-do” attitude that basically stated if we don’t have what we need we will somehow come up with a way to do it.  We’ll just invent it, explore it, expand it, or exploit it.

“…Today, in standard scholarly usage, Manifest Destiny describes a past era in American history, particularly the 1840s. However, the term is sometimes used by the political left and by critics of U.S. foreign policy to characterize interventions in the Middle East and elsewhere. In this usage, Manifest Destiny is interpreted as the underlying cause of what is perceived by some as “American imperialism.”…”

Is it possible that  libertarians don’t want a strong national space effort, even though they are promoting commercial because they truly don’t believe in anything good or noble.  If they can’t exploit it, then forget it.  Hard line deficit wonks only see a bottom line.  Mitt Romney is being a total jerk about it because Newt Gingrich is promoting the idea.

FL Space rePort News

I am beginning to believe that one reason liberals like Obama don’t want to expand and enrich space travel is because they don’t believe in the future of this nation.  All the while, constantly slashing budgets, and ruining our future, when damaging our national security.

Space Flight Now

Four years ago The Pink Flamingo told you the Obama Administration would do everything possible to destroy our future in space.  There are times when I do not like being right.  This is one of them.  On top of everything else, he’s now going to destroy the planetary and science end of things.

“…“You don’t cut spending for critical scientific research endeavors that have immeasurable benefit to the nation and inspire the human spirit of exploration we all have,” Rep. John Abney Culberson (R-Tex.) said.

Last fall, NASA handed out $46 million to contractors to begin building instruments for the 2016 mission.

But earlier this week, Alvaro Gimenez, top scientist at the European agency, told the BBC that NASA’s continued participation in the partnership was “highly unlikely.”

“The impact of the cuts . . . will be to immediately terminate the Mars deal with the Europeans,” said G. Scott Hubbard, a Stanford University and former NASA planetary scientist who revived the agency’s Mars exploration program after the 1999 failures. “It’s a scientific tragedy and a national embarrassment.”

The 2016 mission, called the Trace Gas Orbiter, was to sniff the Martian atmosphere for methane, which could signal the existence of microbes on the surface. The 2018 mission was to land a rover to gather rocks and soil for eventual return to Earth.

An official familiar with deliberations at NASA said the agency is still hoping to launch a robotic Mars mission in 2018, although the goals and hardware would probably differ from those of the joint European project.

With austere budgets expected across the federal government, NASA is finding itself squeezed. Last year, Congress ordered the agency to build a giant new rocket and a deep-space crew capsule. Congress also told the agency to finish the overbudgeted James Webb Space Telescope, now expected to launch no earlier than 2018.

The executive branch’s budget request, unveiled every February, is used by federal agencies to set spending priorities. Details are often decided by officials in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

On Wednesday, planetary scientists accused the OMB of ignoring advice given to NASA by its scientific advisers. In May, planetary scientists told the agency they favored two big projects: the Mars missions, or, if those proved too expensive, a probe to explore Europa, an intriguing moon of Jupiter with an ice-covered ocean and, within it, conditions possibly favorable for life.

“They don’t seem to be interested in finding life in the universe or letting the experts manage their own program,” Hubbard said of the OMB. “Low-level workers have substituted their judgment for 1,700 scientists and the National Academy of Sciences.”…”

NASA Watch

“…The moon’s far side is a unique and mostly unexplored resource. Because of gravitational tides, one side of the moon always faces Earth and the other is not visible except via satellites. As a result, the lunar far side is uniquely quiet at radio frequencies, giving us an unobscured view of the first billion years of the universe. Astronomers are designing new radio telescopes that operate at low frequencies below the FM band, both in lunar orbit and on the far side surface, which will reveal how the first stars, galaxies and quasars formed.

The South Pole Aitken Basin on the far side is the oldest impact crater in the inner solar system, and will help geologists uncover billions of years of evolution of the Earth-moon system. We are working with collaborators at Lockheed-Martin to design an early mission with astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft to remotely operate unmanned rovers on the lunar far side, deploy our telescopes, and gather samples of the primordial lunar soil.

A lunar base, possibly at the moon’s south pole, is a more costly and complex undertaking. We must first demonstrate tele-operation of robotic vehicles by astronauts aboard Orion to usher in a new era of combined human-machine exploration and resource extraction on the surface of the moon, and then asteroids and Mars.

The moon continues to surprise and enthrall us with possibilities for scientific breakthroughs, resource utilization, and human exploration. We only scratched the surface of the moon’s potential during the Apollo program, covering an area smaller than Coors Field during Apollo 11. It’s time to go back to the moon — and, this time, to stay….”

PJ Media