My name is Patrick M McCormick and I have created this blog as a platform for my political views as well as those of select contributors.

I believe that American Politicians have lost sight of their goal: To uphold the Constitution and protect the rights of the people of the United States. They argue and bicker on the floor of their respective houses, positioning themselves for the next election, while they accomplish very little business for the citizens of this country.

Meanwhile our economy is sliding downward. Millions of our precious jobs have have been exported overseas. Our social safety net and other public services are being cut. Our middle class is rapidly disappearing and the numbers of citizens existing below the poverty line is increasing dramatically.

I plan to examine the causes of these terrible changes to our American way of life. Your comments will help us all arrive at some important conclusions.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

NASA Space Program; Two Steps Forward, One Step Back .

Commentary by
Patrick McCormick

Is the United States willingly taking a “Second Seat” in space exploration? We had a good thing going with our Space Shuttle. It was far ahead of anything else the other nations had to offer. There was a time we could have done anything we wanted out there.

Think of the technological advancements in medicine, astronomy, computer technology and metallurgy, to name a few, the Space Program brought to US. Think about Japan, China and India providing them for US now. We gave the world the fruit of our technological advancements. Does anyone believe the world will be as generous to US?

We did not fund the Space Program for national pride alone. It was big business. It gave US a big business advantage over the rest of the world. Financially, is it a good idea to abandon our lead now? How much would it really cost US to refurbish a pair of our old shuttles?

A couple of adventurous wars in the Middle East and a severe recession and we no longer have the financial means to carry the torch. Is it wise to "Throw in the towel" and let the Russian, Diving Bell shaped, Space Taxi” ferry us to the space station at 35 million per seat. That antique still lands with a parachute.

The Boeing CST-100, Follow Link, is another “Diving Bell”. The glory days of our magnificent Space Shuttles are gone. I would like to see the Boeing device carry a replacement for the Hubble telescope or use its hydraulic arm to swing a new segment for the International Space Station into place; it does not have one.

The thoughts of all of the brave men and women that led US into space, and the risks they willingly shouldered for our nation, brings a tear to my eye. I feel anger building when I dwell on the political follies of the past ten years and some of the things we have lost because of them. The Space Program was not a waste of money; we flew with it into this technological age.

Read the following article in shame.

Spacecraft Could Carry Seven People and Fly in Low-Earth Orbit

XCOR Aerospace joins the space tourism game with competitive pricing.

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Boeing Co plans to offer passengers the chance to fly into space on a craft it is developing for travel in low-Earth orbit, the aerospace company said on Wednesday.

Boeing said it reached an agreement with Virginia-based Space Adventures to market passenger seats on commercial flights aboard Boeing's CST-100 space vehicle being developed for NASA.

The spacecraft could carry seven people and fly in low-Earth orbit as soon as 2015, Boeing said. The company added that potential customers could include private individuals, companies, nongovernmental organizations and U.S. federal agencies.

Space Adventures said it had arranged for seven spaceflight participants to fly on eight missions to the International Space Station being built in space by the United States and Russia.

The companies said during a conference call that pricing for the planned space flights had not been set but were expected to be competitive.

Guy Laliberte, founder of Canada's Cirque du Soleil, paid more than $35 million to travel into space last year on a Russian spaceship from Kazakhstan.

The U.S. space shuttle program, which carries astronauts and supplies to the International Space Space, is being shut down next year. President Barack Obama's administration has launched an initiative to replace NASA-owned and operated launch services with commercial space taxis.

Until a replacement vehicle is ready, the United States will be solely dependent on Russia to fly crews to the International Space Station, a $100 billion project involving 16 nations, which has been under construction 220 miles above Earth since 1998.

Russia currently charges NASA about $51 million per seat for a ride on its Soyuz spacecraft. The price goes up to $56 million in 2013.
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs; Editing by Peter Cooney and Bill Trott)

1 comment:

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