NEWS & SPACE BLOG
In the face of Russia-US tensions what could we do if the Russia denied US astronauts rides to the ISS? As usual NASA administrator Bolden has the answer: “We would make an orderly evacuation.” This was during a US House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. It’s another dim moment from the long-time administrator’s lack-lustre stint. Bolden is out of his depth – as he has been for his entire 2000+ days in charge of NASA.
Put simply NASA has no contingency plan.
Remember when Bolden was asked about what could be done if an asteroid was headed toward New York? His reply: “pray”. Great, that’s what you’re employed for Charles, coming up with good ideas from your team of some of the smartest people on the planet.
Just after Bolden became administrator in 2009 he was asked what NASA’s priorities were. His answer: Muslim outreach. The kindest thing you could say about that was that Bolden was inept, and tried too hard to pander to his audience.
Bolden has presided over the end the Constellation program, the retirement of the space shuttles, the inability of the US to send a human into space, the weird priority of sending a crewed mission to an asteroid, and derided the possibility of returning to the Moon. Faced with the increasing popularity of the idea of a mission to Mars (Buzz Aldrin urges Mars colony), he’s reluctantly – finally – agreed Mars is the goal, but has only an unfunded and ridiculous mission plan set sometime in the never-never for which he’ll not need to accept any responsibility.
What a misery guts I am, but I just have to point out that Leonard Nimoy’s tribute from the ISS was not a Vulcan sign. The Vulcan “Live Long and Prosper” sign is always given with the thumb apart from the hand. It’s a small point but it’s significant. It’s like spelling someone’s name incorrectly, or giving a talk in a city which you then mispronounce. No one will probably say anything, but knowing looks are swapped. It was a nice gesture, but it wasn’t correct. Not on the scale of Neil Armstrong’s much-discussed omission of the word “a” (pressure? what pressure?), but still needs to be noted.
Here we have the real thing in Star Trek original and Veteran Nimoy flavors:
Great trailer for this space advocacy documentary ‘Fight for Space‘:
They’re seeking another $100K for post-production on Kickstarter. See here
Their Kickstarter page notes that:
Our film asks, why in over 40 years haven’t we returned to the Moon, or sent humans onto Mars? We explore issues and we bring problems to light that always are not the most positive things to talk about. But it’s important to remember that NASA has been the only organization to send humans to the Moon, or a rover to Mars, or do many of the exciting things that make up our space program today. We love NASA, what it stands for, and all that it has done.
The ESA has done some interesting missions, but are also masters of slowly, slowly bureaucracy.
Here’s a list of planned Lunar missions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_proposed_missions_to_the_Moon
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