Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has unveiled his position on space issues and laid out his roadmap for NASA and the strengthening of America's role in space. His stance on American space policy probably won't surprise you. At the very top of Romney's list of American space science priorities is: Hasn't Obama done a horrible job with the space program?
In a white paper released this week titled titled "Securing U.S. Leadership in Space," Romney does make some strong points about NASA and the American space program, though they are probably things we all agree upon. "Space is vital to our national interests" (agreed), Obama's space policy is disjointed and unclear (okay, we'll concede the point for now), and NASA needs a set of coherent, practical goals and that are clearly prioritized (also agreed).
What this policy paper fails to do is provide a coherent list of practical goals, or to list any tangible priorities. "President Obama has failed to deliver a coherent policy for human space exploration and space security" the paper reads, just three paragraphs in. The paper pledges that Romney will reverse this course and "set a clear roadmap for space exploration," though it seems he plans to figure out what this roadmap will look like sometime after the election.
For it's lack of a clear path for the next four years, however, it is not short of criticism of the past four years of space policy leadership. Far longer than the section titled "The Future of the U.S. Space Program" is the section immediately following, titled "President Obama's Failure," in which the Romney team even quotes a certain consumer science publication (somewhat out of context) to argue that on Obama's watch the federal government has lacked vision and leadership, broken promises to the state of Florida, and otherwise ruined space forever with the cancellation of the Constellation program.
So what would a Romney presidency bring to the table instead? Again, assurances are vague. Romney supports commercial space (so does Obama, so that's a wash). And a Republican White House would push hard for international collaboration in achieving America's space goals (which will be named later). In fact, the paper really only makes a couple of things absolutely clear: First, NASA doesn't need more money to be more effective, and it won't get any from Romney-Ryan. And secondly, what NASA really needs is Mitt Romney. Or at least not Obama.
Pop-sci I love you but common, lets stop playing. Just endorse Obama and get it over with. Or you could just let go of the slanted political analysis and focus on science instead. You're much better at science than you are politics. :)
Pop-sci <3's 0bama
Get a freakin' room!
Well . . . for those of you who claim to be a-political when it comes to science . . .
Let me first post this questions on another hot button topic . . . Politics and religion do mix. Should Politics and religion not mix? . . .
Therefore, does the fact that it was the direct policy of the previous administration to essentially ban the testing and usage of embryonic stem cells for medical purposes, which was mainly based on religious beliefs, not direct evidence that politics, religion and science - like everything else - are inevitably intertwined?
So, I ask you again . . . Should politics and science not mix?
This is NOT a slanted political view.
If Romney's paper on the space program talks about all the stuff the current administration hasn't done right, but offers no recourse, and this article reports on this: How is this a slanted view?
Not convinced, read the paper. I read the paper and found no value in what was being said, as well as it contradicted itself.
“They also have left American astronauts to hitch rides into space on Russian spacecraft. America’s capabilities are eroding, and with each passing year will become more difficult to rebuild.“
“We will have a space program worthy of a great nation — one that strengthens our national security, builds peaceful engagements with other space-faring nations...“
---So...... lets strengthen our relationships with other space faring nations, but there is no way Russia should launch American astronauts into space. Give me a break.
The paper complains of Obama putting on hold a program to put Americans back on the moon by 2020 to fund education. ---sorry, but with major material science breakthroughs right around the corner, the smart thing realistically would be to hold off on such projects. (Why build a moon base with rockets and people when it could be done at a fraction of the cost with robots and new technologies).
This concludes my rant ;)
Yes it should! Absolutely science and politics should mix. (But hey, I think religion and politics as well as religion and science should mix! And please note, I'm not referring to a particular religion.)
But this is much like when Fox-New's claims to be "balanced" when they clearly aren't. Pop-sci has no official political position listed. They are about the science. As such, I take no qualms with informing the public about sci/poli news.
What I take qualms with is unsolicited editorializing outside of the site's realm of expertise. This page is not listed as an opinion piece and clearly it is. Just like the article earlier this morning about NASA's budget clearly dismissed the proposal to restructure NASA. In that case wouldn't it have been better to have real pro/con discussion of removing the authoritative power over NASA from the president (all of them, not just this one mind you!) and the various possible results thereof?
To site a classic meme: http://blog2.tshirt-doctor.com/images19/obama-pepsi.jpg
BBC is respected because it clearly delivers news and clearly indicates at which point editorializing begins. As of now, Pop-sci does not.
My previous post was directed towards menoc. Derlang, you are correct. Nothing is factually wrong here but my point stands that pop-sci has often been much more critical of the republican stance in much the same way that fox-news is much more critical of the democratic position. And there can be no arguing that this article takes extra time to criticize Romney while the article only ever so briefly mentions the current presidents "disjointed and unclear" goals himself.
This is not simply a problem with Romney. This is a problem with how science is viewed politically as a whole. And until we can stop bickering and look at the WHOLE issue from both sides, this will not get better.
Republican scientific platform = 6,000 year old universe
Shinkaze, as a republican and a science teacher at a Catholic school who proudly teaches Evolution and s multi-billion year old universe, I find your comment to be deeply offensive. Some ignorant individuals may believe that science and religion do not mix and some of them may even be republican but this broad category that you have laid out is patently false.
Make sure the astronauts can open the windows.
Romney and Politian’s in generally speak in the same way a fortune teller speaks, when wanting to tell you what you want to hear in vague terms.
Now these educated lawyers would never be allowed in a court of law to speak so vaguely, why does it become a career choice of ‘speak’, once becoming a Politian.
Oh never mind, they are lawyers seeking to win for their own personal goal and there is no judge banging a gavel forcing them to correct themselves.
All I like to hear, from now on, from both candidates, is their clear plan for the future in a manner we can all understand factually in positive terms or factual realities.
Cut the B.S.
It would be difficult for candidates to have a plan for everything. Obama and Romney don't have plans for NASA, largely because it's pretty low priority, and not many voters care, even though WE care.
The delightfully ironic twist on the article title, "Figure Out Some Better Goals Than Obama's", is that Obama's plan for addressing the looming fiscal disaster is exactly that: the not-Romney-or-Ryan plan. In fact his Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner said so in a hearing on the federal budget earlier this year:
"You are right to say we’re (the White House) not coming before you today to say 'we have a definitive solution to that long term problem.' What we do know is, we don’t like yours."
As far as plans in general, Romney has posted details on how to allow the economy to grow, clean up the tax code, and cut government spending in his "Believing in America" document on his website. His running mate, Paul Ryan, of course has worked for years on the details of his budget plan to reign in the spending deficit, which the House passed 2 years in a row on a bipartisan vote, but the Senate killed in committee; Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid refusing to bring it up for consideration or a vote.
Obama's plan? A really catchy slogan: "Forward".
Well, lets look at Obama's plan
First, the 'goals' that Romney wants to change.
Obama's 3 directives to NASA upon taking office:
“One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he (Obama) wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science … and math and engineering.” -Director Bolden
So Obama's goal is: Use NASA for Muslim PR (oh hey, how has that worked out recently?). And apart from that, act to "inspire young kids."
And I'm pretty sure anyone reading this site has to agree, we are not 'inspired' by big cool NASA guys coming to talk to us, or run commercials saying space is 'cool'. We are inspired by NASA ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING. Focus less on saying "space is awesome." and focus more on actually doing Awesome things. THAT'S how you inspire a generation of engineers.
So, those are Obama's goals for NASA. I'd have to agree they need a change. As to specifics, Romney isn't privy to NASA's inner workings, so for him to give definitive numbers and goals right now would be jumping the gun (he could give more, but anyone in his position has to be somewhat vague). I also imagine that he hasn't focused on it much because if the government goes bankrupt, NASA's goals won't overly matter.
Now lets look at what Obama has done for NASA:
-Publicly associating himself with Curiosity; oddly enough, one of the few things that really is Bush's fault, he decides to take credit for.
Cancel Ares rocket (over-budget, yes, but what isn't? It was making progress, and its lack of availability does in fact mean we now get rides from Russians.) The only shot Americans have at getting into space is through some private company that decided to go to space by their own volition - namely Space X (and no, Obama didn't build that. Elon did.)
Promise going to Mars in 30's. NASA is so ineffective partially because constant changes in administration and budget hamstring any long-term planning. Anyone that promises anything more than 10 years out with NASA is lying to you; they're making promises they can't deliver.
So Obama has charged NASA with being the poster-brand of great feats, rather than actually doing them. He's tried to make himself as closely associated as possible with one of the few Great NASA projects left, and he has removed American independence in space, and threw our space access into the abyss hoping Space X could catch him. Thankfully they did. (Wooo Space X!)
So yeah, saying "Obama's goals are wrong, I'd like to refocus NASA" is a short, vague stance that I can get behind.
BTW Popsci, still loving the political-hack-ness of your Journalism. If you wanted to run this story, maybe you should have spent the time saying: "Romney has not outlined these goals. Lets look at what Obama's history is. Lets look at what top people at NASA are suggesting, and lets look at some other proposals."
Instead we just get 5 useless paragraphs of Romney-bashing. Pathetic.
If you believe for a second that any other administration would have been able to "INCREASE NASA'S BUDGET IN THE MIDDLE OF A DEEP RECESSION" . . . then you might as well believe the earth was created in seven days.
NASA is in the position it is in because:
1. since the 80's (let's count the decades - 80's, 90's, 2000's) has wasted billions upon billions on cancelled projects. (under Republicans and Democrats)
2. NASA's Space shuttle cost to space is in the billions. Private companies can do it in the merely tens of millions. It just makes sense - no ned for NASA to be in the space launch business.
3. NASA IS THE GREATEST PORK BARREL THE GOV. EVER CREATED. There are a lot of billionaires and millionaires in florida because of NASA's waste. And what do we to show for all those billions over 3 decades? . . . We're not on Mars, We're not on the MOON, We still use chemical rockets to go to space, and if we discovered a city-sized space rock heading straight to earth to hit us with a year's time . . . WE WOULD ALL DIE! THERE WOULD BE NOTHING WE COULD DO BECAUSE ALL THE BILLIONS POURED INTO NASA OVER 3 DECADES ARE NOW IN THE POCKETS OF POLITICIANS AND CONTRACTORS.
4. A 9-YEAR OLD BOY WOULD RATHER BE ON AMERICAN IDOL THAN BE AN ASTRONAUT.
. . . and that is why NASA is sinking very slowly, but surely. Nothing to do with politics. But the president has done the right thing - hand the baton to private industry.
You may be a republican who believes in science. However, the current republican party does not. That is a fact. Just look at what the Bush administration did and check out the republican party platform. @menoc...you got it right until #3. You really hate NASA to make up that lie. The biggest pork barrel is the DOD by far. 1st place, Dept.of Defense at 24% of budget, 10th place, Transportation at 1%, NASA somewhere below that at .5%. It is a discrace how little we give to NASA. It's entire budget is far less than what the defense dept. alone wastes. Get your head out of you know where and back in reality, negative cheers.
One big thing hurting the space industry is this thing called ITAR, which was designed to stop weapons technology from spreading. All it really does is make int very difficult to conduct space related business. Who knew discussing the dimensions of a pipe on a space toilet could be used as a weapon?
I enjoy politics, but not on popsci. Barack Obama has done a lot for science, like working with the FAA to allow UAVs over our airspace, nixing the F-22 in order to pump more funding into UAV tech, funding new battery research, and adding rebates to clean energy.
What Obama hasn't done is pass a budget in his term, he hasn't cut the deficit, and he has increased the debt by about 70 percent. He also recently got the term "deficit" and "debt" mixed up in a piece that he wrote. In other words, he has disappointed me by not doing his job. He has failed because he has no prior leadership experience.
At least with Romney, private space contracts would most likely thrive. Think beyond NASA people. The future lies with private contractors like Space X. Plus, private enterprise doesn't squander money like the government does...
@pandemoniumwise...And why do you think SpaceX is thriving? NASA (AKA the gov't, AKA Obama) has held their hand the entire way. Not only with millions of dollars but expertise as well. NASA knows the future of space is governments pushing the frontiers of space until private enterprise can come later and do what is profitable. You need a little dose of reality too. Oh, almost forgot, Romney is way too stupid to be president. Anyone who can't see through his elitist lies deserves him. Damn, I got trolled right into politics. Negative cheers to me.
NASA achieved a lot in the 60s ... first satellite in 1958 to the manned moon mission in 1969. During that time NASA's military spending was 4.4%GDP.... very close to the 4.7GDP military budget of today (according to Wikipedia lol)
Current spending is 0.5%GDP.
Makes you wonder where we could be at....
Yes, we as a country could be doing a GREAT more things, had we not be spending\wasting so much money on 'interest' on the national debt.
Read this link and then as you become informed, wonder to yourself how better all this money could have been spent.
I have a gut feeling the USA is bankrupt and they are just playing slide of hand\mirror games, by pour of money into the system. They do own the printing press for the money.
Europe is up in the ears with the same problem and
as my spouse return to brazil, all the banks and many of the other business and government instintutions are on strike.
It maybe a good time to stock food in your home and maybe have a hand pump water well installed on your property.
A lot of good books tell how to eat natural food off the land, other than crops for survival.
I love, especially on here, when you guys complain about DOD sspending or "waste" in your case but then expound upon your love for the big dog, flying humvees and new medical tech. Where do you think the funding for this comes from? Could defense spending be trimmed back? Sure! but what you guys make it sound like is that we should cut it back in double digit percentages. I gaurentee if you look back over the past 150 years, more tech has been developed because of defense studies and needs than pure science studies. I also believe that Nasa or pure grant studies like, "hey industry the first person to make a viable fusion reactor with net energy gains gets 50 billion dollars", or "hey whoever can demonstrate commercialy possible nano/nanobot technology will get 10 billion dollars". but that won't happen unfortunately. Also don't forget that the defense industry employs hundreds of thousands of people. cut large portions of defense spending and no one can pay the taxes to fund your space projects....
@pandemoniumwise very well said! The truth is we are spending money we do not have. I would rather have Romney focus on getting Government out of the economy and letting it grow, than him focus on what to do with NASA.
Someone said: "Pop-sci I love you but common, lets stop playing. Just endorse Obama and get it over with. Or you could just let go of the slanted political analysis and focus on science instead. You're much better at science than you are politics. :)"
Well said. What past president laid out in full their space plan? Or any plans? This is par for the course... completely normal campaigning.
Please popsci, drop the political commentary.
I know it's call the "liberal press" but I expect scientific journalism to aspire to a higher master - SCIENCE.
If I want half truths, slanted reporting, and in short the liberal press, I have the other %99 of the media to indulge me.
PLEASE STOP WITH THIS POPSCI.
I understand Popsci's interest in politics when it comes to NASA. If you can't make that connection then maybe you're not as bright a nerd as you think you are.
On a different note, if elected, will Romney put more funding towards space telescopes and radio telescopes so we can finally communicate with God on the planet Kolob?
These guys will say whatever and do whatever to get elected. They don't care about people only corporations.
Besides the Federal Reserve(private banks with no government control) is what runs the country.
Gary Johnson for president.
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours"
- Stephen Roberts
Mitt Romney is like a very expensive Sail Boat . . . .
-Only the rich can afford it
-It prefers to ride wind . . . Wherever the wind blows, that's where the boat will go.
-Romney wants to re-instate the Constellation program and yet he supports private industry. Another pork barrel for the companies that support him. Re-instating constellation would be a huge mistake considering private companies, like spaceX, will have that capability within 10 years or sooner. Therefore, that tells me that Romney is more interested in feeding money to his supporters than actually advancing space science. Do one or the other, anything else would be a waste of time and taxpayer money.
-I do not hate NASA. But you have to admit that NASA lost it's way after the Apollo program ended. I am ashamed to say that the cold war was the best thing that ever happened to NASA. You would think that during times of peace and prosperity, space and science would flourish, but in fact it has been the complete opposite. Innovation in space propulsion technologies has been stagnant for the better part of 3 decades. If it had not been for the last space shuttle disaster, we would still be riding the space shuttle to "NO WHERE" and there would be no renaissance of private space enterprises as it is today.
. . ."namely Space X (and no, Obama didn't build that. Elon did.)"
But without the president's support they would have never gotten where they are today as fast as they have . . . Here's a reminder:
(1) We have all complained about what the current administration has done to NASA. He was not the first or the only, but the most recent and harshest cutter of NASA.
Therefore, while I cannot fault PS for giving Mr. Obama props back when he was filling his cabnet with scientists, there is no reason to waffle when it comes to NASA and Mr. Obama - the president is a fan of the idea of space, but he perfers people to be dreaming about the future than doing the less glamorous work to get there.
(2) There was a republican with a grand vision for space that we could all get behind. Newt Gingrich. The popular media, however, roasted him on his bold scientific goals (things we often clamor for here).
If you think Romney is going to paint a bold vision for the future after than debacle, then you are a fool. If he holds great dreams, he feels he must keep them silent.
(3) The economy and space exploration are currently at odds. It seems unlikely that either candidate is going to be able to do much (other than cut further). Since Romney is running as a cutter and Obama has a history cutting NASA, a reversal of cuts is less likely than more cuts from either candidate.
Mr Dillow is fine, objective writer. I don't read his article as to be endorsing anyone. He simply quoting the press releases. You take what it from what you read. If you think he is supporting Obama, as I've seen in a few of these post, then probably you are too. Also, Mr Dillow can you do an atricle on homo sapiens descending from water dwelling apes or do I have to go to the anthropology guy for that? I would like to know more.
Ya know, Romney is about 5 minutes from death. I mean that guy is really old.
Yea, sure, be great to make plans with this guy.....not.
@menoc...stop inventing history, NASA was investing in SpaceX and other private space companies while the shuttle was still flying, the ending of the shuttle program did not spur anything other than saving money as it was not needed after the completion of the ISS, SpaceX and the other private companies would not be around without NASA's help as they were not profitable early on in their life and most still are not and welcome NASA's money to stay afloat...@lanredneck, any science that came out of the DOD is still science, it is good wherever it comes from and your guess at the last 150 years is just that, a guess, masquerading as self indulgence; I mentioned the waste at DOD being more than the entire NASA budget, we need a strong DOD but the waste is hurting national security; the payroll taxes of all the defence industry workers only adds up to a fraction of the DOD budget, but then again NASA's budget is 1/48th of the DOD so maybe that could cover part of NASA...@DanK66, go hide under your faux news rock, negative cheers