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Highlighted
Senior Contributor

NASA cuts

60 Minutes had a segment on last night about the cuts in NASA spending and the decision to end the shuttle program early.  It was reported the decision was made in order to save $3 billion a year in federal spending.

 

They reported that these cuts ended up costing 7000 NASA workers their jobs which then trigger an estimated 7000 more people loosing their jobs in the local community after the local economy tanked from the result of loosing 7000 good paying NASA jobs. 

 

They interviewed ex-NASA workers who were still unemployed and some were bitter with Obama.  They showed a clip of the Obama at NASA speaking with workers and promising them that they would not loose their jobs and they would find other jobs for them at NASA which turned out to not be the case.

 

I realize we need to cut spending but have to wonder if the harsh NASA cuts were wise.  Yes we saved $3 billion but what do we now pay Russia to send our astronauts into space?  

 

What is the cost of loosing 14,000 jobs of which many were good paying jobs?  What is the cost of some day having to re-train new engineers and workers?

 

Our government both state and federal spend all kinds of money to try and create jobs.   I'm curious how the cost of those programs compares on a dollar cost per job basis compared to what it would have cost to keep those 14,000 people working in Florida and NASA at the forefront of space exploration? 

 

I also strongly believe that our space program has paid great dividends over the years via a trickle down effect of new discoveries and products.  Will we now see a lessening of these benefits from NASA?

 

I've always believed being one of the leaders in space exploration has always been one of the good qualities of our country and made many folks around the world admire us for it. 

70 Replies
Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: NASA cuts

You might laud and applaud all the many innovations delivered by Nasa research. Corning ware and tang! But please consider all the other innovations that were delivered by other research. I suspect the non Nasa research would greatly exceed the production of  nasa research.

 

The point being the producing nose cone material for space flight could well be created for other applications and even more essential products for human health and existance. Nasa is a high flying hobby that we cannot afford nor can we justify it.

 

In my most humble opinion.

Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: NASA cuts

  I though that the right-wing mantra was that government was totally useless and never creates anything, and all it(or anyone employed by any gov't entity) did was suck money and resources from taxpayers and the private sector? Unless of course a democrat privatized something.

  BTW, Bush and the right did away with the shuttle program and Obama privatized it, and isn't the right wing for everything privatized instead of government run and financed?

 

  There's enough satellites up there now, and with drones becoming a bigger spending item weekly, NASA has become obsolete.

 

  On another point though, one of the men that was interviewed was talking about having no health insurance coverage, and how he now takes only 1 medication out of the 3 before. Were the other 2 really needed or was it because he had a gold level gov't insurance plan?

Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: NASA cuts

Sorry Tom I don't buy into all the right-wing mantra nor do I think all government spending bad.

 

The shuttle program had always planned on being retired in 2010 but had to be pushed back till 2011 when it's final two missions were delayed.

 

According to 60 Minutes Bush had signed on to the next NASA space flight program, Project Constellation which was designed to take over after the shuttle was retired.  It was in Feb. of 2010 that Obama proposed canceling the program.  Obama later signed the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 in Oct. 2010.

 

I'm not trying to blame Obama or Dems for the NASA cuts as many Repubs also voted for.  I see the House vote was 304 to 118 in favor of the act.  One of the biggest opponents that spoke out against it at the time was Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who's husband was an astronaut.

 

 

Highlighted
Senior Advisor

Re: NASA cuts

Dag, everything has to be cut. Run away government spending is the biggest threat to the country at this time in history.

Highlighted
Advisor

Re: NASA cuts

I'm a bit surprised that there isn't a bunch of chatter rattling around about what a great opportunity this would be to privatize something.  Sorta like the Indiana Turnpike. 

 

Not sure how they would handle the offering or the sale, but the whole sh#teree has to be worth many, many billions. 

 

Or mabye not...probably the buyer would just want the good pieces and then scrap the rest.  If that's the case they've got their man in Mitt Romney who hopefully will be looking for meangful work come next winter. 

 

Now, of course, if the GOP were to take over the Senate it would most likely get sold out the back door for 10-15 cents on the dollar in classic crony capitalist fashion. The public won't know a thing about it until the horse is down the road and into the next county.  He!!,  some of those workers who were laid off could possibly be offered 35 hrs a week as non-employee contract workers.

Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: NASA cuts

When I was in school, our Science teacher had commented that NASA was the one agency that was the closest to paying its own way, by doing research, and putting sattelites in orbit for customers.  However, when it turned out the Shuttle was actually a far more expensive way to do it, than just a big rocket, instead of going that route, they stubbornly clung to the Shuttle.  I believe the alternate sattelite launcher was nicknamed the 'big dumb one', as all it was, was a big rocket to shoot a sattelite into orbit, and not much else. 
I guess at the time, they didn't forsee the competition from Russia, in the sattelite launch business.

Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: NASA cuts


@bruce MN wrote:

I'm a bit surprised that there isn't a bunch of chatter rattling around about what a great opportunity this would be to privatize something.  Sorta like the Indiana Turnpike. 

 

Not sure how they would handle the offering or the sale, but the whole sh#teree has to be worth many, many billions. 

 

Or mabye not...probably the buyer would just want the good pieces and then scrap the rest.  If that's the case they've got their man in Mitt Romney who hopefully will be looking for meangful work come next winter. 

 

Now, of course, if the GOP were to take over the Senate it would most likely get sold out the back door for 10-15 cents on the dollar in classic crony capitalist fashion. The public won't know a thing about it until the horse is down the road and into the next county.  He!!,  some of those workers who were laid off could possibly be offered 35 hrs a week as non-employee contract workers.

 

That already happened, with the stuff from Solyndra, so it is not limited to a GOP thing.


 

Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: NASA cuts

If the goal of Constellation was to return to the moon, I have to ask WHY?  What's the purpose of going to the moon other than to leave behind several million dollars worth of equipment up there?  Deep space is where mankind might benefit from discoveries but not on the moon.  My step-son is a rocket scientist in Houston.  When the shuttle ended his new job became part of the space station people so he remained employed.  I believe that is where the future of space travel is.  I feel like they will/can use it to launch manned exploration of deep space eventually.

Highlighted
Veteran Advisor

Re: NASA cuts

Deep space Cap'n?

But if we push her too hard, the dilithium crystals just won't be able to take it!!!

 

(Sorry, I just couldn't resist).

 

I wonder if a 'moon base' would be a better, or worse idea, than an orbiting space station.  I can see the merits of both, but really don't know enough to say which might be better.