More on the Shuttle Program

I admitted in an earlier post that I knew very little about the shuttle program and hence, could not speak with any real authority. However, since hearing George Cernan take shots at Obama and placing absolute blame for the canceling of the program, I elected to read more. Since then, I have learned a great deal. It was Bush that cancelled the program in 2005. Obama was simple carrying out what his predecessor put in place.

George W. Bush stated,

“We cannot find any justification to continue the deficit funding of a program that has no application other that proving that with enough money America can do anything,” said Bush.


5 thoughts on “More on the Shuttle Program

  1. That’s simply not true. I just blame Bush for everything, and I figure it’s accurate some of the time. 😉

  2. You’re right, and it’s a fact: Bush cancelled shuttle; Obama actually extended the program by 3 missions. Bush called for the Constellation program which would include new rockets and a capsule, and a return to the moon. The program was a dud because Congress under-funded and NASA/contractors overspent and failed to deliver on time (though which caused which is a matter of legitimate dispute). The unhappiness is directed towards Obama, but the failure to develop a replacement vehicle system before the end of Shuttle happened on Bush’s watch. Obama cancelled Constellation because the Augustine Commission decided it would be too costly to operate, and commercial space has the potential to provide access to the ISS at lower cost – although this has yet to be demonstrated. I think the astros – who I have great respect for and will not say anything negative about, ever – are just tied into the old ways of thinking, but it is true that we are embarking on a wholly different kind of space program, which is risky, and there is no real Plan B. There is also now a big debate on whether to fund a heavy launch vehicle along with the Constellation capsule (which Obama continued, under Congressional pressure). For background on commercial space, see: http://enterspace.typepad.​com/blog/2011/06/nbc-night​ly-news-story-on-commercia​l-space.html

  3. Bush’s comment is further proof why America has fallen heavily both as a world power and as a space leader. The point of space exploration isn’t to prove we can, but to EXPLORE. The reason why Apollo failed was because other than to beat the Soviets there was no point to it. It was a flags and glory mission. If America or the world really wants to do space travel, then it needs to realize that it is a considerable investment in time and resources to make it worthwhile.

  4. James, Apollo succeeded wildly. If you’re saying that there was a failure to build on and extend that success because of budgeting and lack of political support, then I agree with that.

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