NASA stalls, Texas lawmakers fume

Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space cover

After being in print for twenty years, the Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space, covering everything that was learned on every single space mission in the 20th century, has finally gone out of print.

I presently have my last four hardback copies available for sale. The book sold new for about $90. To get your own autographed copy of this now rare collector's item, please send a $120 check (which includes shipping) payable to Robert Zimmerman to

Behind The Black, c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

"Useful to space buffs and generalists, comprehensive but readable, Bob Zimmerman's Encyclopedia belongs front and center on everyone's bookshelf." -- Mike Collins, Apollo 11 astronaut


"The Chronological Encylopedia of Discoveries in Space is no passionless compendium of information. Robert Zimmerman's fact-filled reports, which cover virtually every spacecraft or probe to have ventured into the heavens, relate the scientific and technical adventure of space exploration enthusiastically and with authority." -- American Scientist

The law is such an inconvenient thing: In a bipartisan effort, Texas lawmakers roast NASA administrator Charles Bolden for not meeting mandated Congressional deadlines for Congress’s personally designed rocket, the program-formerly-called-Constellation.

The heavy-lift rocket and capsule that Congress insists NASA build is a complete waste of money and nothing more than pork. It will never get built, mainly because Congress has given NASA less money and less time to build it than they did for Constellation under the Bush administration. Unfortunately, the reason they continue to require NASA to build it is to provide pork to their districts.

In a perfect world this funding would be cut now, especially considering the state of the federal debt.

Nonetheless, Congress has still mandated the rocket’s construction, and as far as I know, we still live under the rule of law. As stupid as the program-formerly-called-Constellation is, the Obama administration has no legal right to stall the program or try to kill it. If the funds are appropriated by Congress for this rocket, than the administration must spend those funds. That the Obama administration continues to defy Congress on this matter is just another worrisome example of their willingness to ignore the law.

That our society seems increasingly willing to look the other way in this matter is even more worrisome. If we don’t start demanding that our politicians from both parties obey the law, it won’t be long before they abandon it altogether, for their own power-hungry purposes.




    Watch as a congressional representative learns to use logic before your very eyes!

  • Joe2

    Point of Agreement: The Obama Administration should be following the law on this and is not. Wonder how long they are going to be able to get away with it?

    Point of Disagreement: The Congressmen who expressed displeasure with the situation came from states other than Texas as well. In fact Congressional displeasure with the situation seems to not be limited by geography or even party.

    Just a Point: I think everybody who reads your postings knows what a big waste you think SLS/MPCV (or anything other than ‘New Space’) is. Why waste the band width restating your same position over and over again in such strident terms?

  • Charles Alvarez

    I give up. Just give me my bag of Cheetos, diet Coke, government check and I’ll be happy.

  • Joe2

    Charles Alvarez says: Posted July 16, 2011 at 4:44 PM
    “I give up. Just give me my bag of Cheetos, diet Coke, government check and I’ll be happy”

    Understand the feeling. Unfortunately that is probably the exact reaction the current administration wants.

  • Joe2

    You might want to take a look at this:

    The Administration is also slowing MPCV development (supposedly to bring it into line with the slower version of SLS development they are forcing). I would also be interesting to know where that MPCV money is being spent.


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