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April 17, 2010

Rand's collection of Republican cluelessness

I was not the only one who noticed the absurdity of supposed Republicans attacking the private enterprise while defending the failed government plan. Rand Simberg was collecting the most idiotic knee-jerk, oppose Obama no matter what, reactions to the new NASA policy.

Exhibit 1: American Thinker:

The symbolism is breathtaking. From now on, whenever we remember with pride the courage and sacrifice of the Mercury astronauts, or Neil Armstrong taking “One small step for a man, one giant step for mankind,” or Jim Lovell and the crew of Apollo 13 calmly tinkering with duct tape to repair their capsule, we’ll quickly deflate with the afterthought: “Oh yeah. Now the Russians do that. We don’t.” There will always be a punchline, an asterisk, an anti-climactic stain at the end of the story.

Rand says: "Hey, lady? News flash. That was the Bush administration policy."

Exhibit 2: Fox News:

Until American companies come to market with commercial rockets and launch vehicles to replace the shuttle, the only nation ever to put a man on the Moon won't even be able to put a man into orbit. And that, experts tell FoxNews.com, has the potential to be a "tragic mistake," one that could hold America's astronauts in orbit hostage to the whims of the Kremlin.

Which is of course would be the result if Obama did not cancel Constellation. As it is, the gap is going to be reduced, when Griffin's program resulted in the gap growing.

Fox also sees fit to give a hearing to people like congressional pokemeisters and heavy-lift fetishists:

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and others have proposed extending the shuttle's life beyond the last three flights scheduled this year. Hutchison wants the shuttle extended two years while NASA develops a new heavy-lift rocket replacement.

And they saved plain bullshitters for the last paragraph:

Lord Monckton believes the Obama plan will be harmful to U.S. defense interests as well, since the U.S. launch capability is now quite limited. "The administration's change of policy in space was calculated to do maximal damage to the defense interests of the U.S., and without even yielding a financial saving," Monckton told FoxNews.com.

Just how gullible does he think we are? Neither Shuttle nor Ares were going to launch any national security payloads. In fact, forcing NASA to use EELVs would make EELVs cheaper due to better flight rate; perhaps removing the mulled downselect to one, which would actually make U.S. launch capability more limited.

Un-freaking-believeable. But, back to Republicans...

Exhibit 3: Investors Business Daily:

Let's forget that the next men, or women, to walk on the moon will likely be Chinese.

It would be very scary if not for one fact: the old program that Obama cancelled was not going to get us to the Moon. Materials of the Augustine commission made it very plain. Everyone is pretending as if Constellation workded and only needed a little more money. It was not working and was not going to work without an injection of another 80 BILLIONS. And maybe not even then.

By moving commericial, Obama makes manned lunar exploration more likely to happen, not less.

Speaking of jobs, the cancellation of Constellation could lead to thousands of layoffs at some of America's biggest aerospace contractors, including Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Are we supposed to cry about that? I mean, seriously... If these people are worth anything, they'll find jobs with Orbital and SpaceX. If not, well, let them work on something useful for a change.

Honestly, I expected more from IBD. But in the end they were no better than Fox. Good to know. Although, they did not bash the enterpreneurial space companies at least, so maybe they are fractionally better.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at 01:45 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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