Lacking focus

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right or below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

A new National Research Council report released yesterday says that NASA lacks focus nor can it complete the missions it has with the resources available.

There’s also this:

In preparing their report, committee members visited NASA’s 10 field centers around the country, including the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge, which is managed by Caltech. They also ran an online survey that drew nearly 800 responses. What they found was little interest in a manned asteroid mission, either inside or outside the agency, Carnesale said. And in spite of President Obama’s call for a manned mission to Mars in the next 20 to 30 years, there’s more of an international appetite for revisiting the moon, Pace said. [emphasis mine]

One of the reasons no one is interested in the asteroid mission is that no one believes it will happen.

First, everyone knows that Obama doesn’t give a damn about it and only proposed it to score temporary political points. He’d rather spend the money elsewhere.

Second, everyone knows that even if Obama was gung ho about sending humans to an asteroid, the mission won’t survive the end of his administration. Like all other presidential commitments since Kennedy, they die when the next president takes power.

Third, everyone knows that there simply isn’t any money to fund it. Even if the Obama was gung ho and the next five presidents were willing to continue his commitment, the federal government, and the United States, is broke, and will sooner achieve bankruptcy than send humans to another world.

Before you can do grand things, you have to make sure your house is in order. Our house is definitely not in order. Not only are our politicians blind to the serious financial problems being caused by the federal government, the public appears to like it that way.



  • wodun

    If they make the Moon the next big destination, Constellation is officially back. Obama could have just cancelled Ares without gutting the rest of the program.

  • Patrick Ritchie

    Before you can do grand things, you have to make sure your house is in order

    If it was a true national priority it would get done, the fact it is not is as much an indication of the lack of importance attributed to space than it is a reflection of the economy.

  • Kelly Starks

    >..Constellation is officially back..

    Constellation never left. They just renamed it – droped the doppy and redundant Ares-I, and stall the LEM.

  • Another waste of money on a useless study. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (pun intended) to reach this conclusion in about 15 seconds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *