Government Spending

Less Space Pork, More Space Porking?



Two pieces of good news on the final frontier.

1) It looks like the bad House bill for NASA Reauthorization is dead, or very nearly so. The House will instead take up the Senate version before they head off for some vacay. The Senate version is much closer to President Obama's original proposal, which ends several expensive, useless legacy programs and hands off some of the freed up cash to private space companies.

House Science and Technology Committee chairman Bart Gordon issued a statement Monday afternoon saying that he anticipated the full House to take up the Senate bill on Wednesday. "It has become clear that there is not time remaining to pass a Compromise bill through the House and the Senate," he says in the statement.

And better still:

Gordon…made it clear he wasn't happy with elements of the Senate version, including an "unfunded mandate" for an additional shuttle mission, its "overly prescriptive" language for a heavy-lift vehicle, and the lack of a timetable for development a government backup capability to commercial providers for ISS access. He also suggested that he's not done fighting about those issues, either: "I will continue to advocate to the Appropriators for the provisions in the Compromise language."

2) Even better still, this news from the private space industry:

"We just finished building SpaceShipTwo. We are 18 months away from taking people into space," [Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic head Richard] Branson told a business conference in Kuala Lumpur, adding that the fare will start at 200,000 dollars….

Branson also has visions of establishing hotels in space, which well-heeled tourists can use as a base for shuttle flights over the moon.

"We are looking at hotels in space. We love the moon," the tycoon said, adding that he was also interested in launching "small satellites into space" for the benefit of schools and universities.

A future of possible space porking on vacation semi-triumphs over congressional space pork. For now, anyway.

Via space cadets Rand Simberg and Glenn Reynolds.

NEXT: Timothy Sandefur on The Right to Earn a Living

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  1. I’m waiting for Radley to post this nut punch of an article. Short version: DEA agent beats the hell out of a motorist who wouldn’t let him pass on the right, everyone on the KC force up to the top helps cover it up, the one honest detective who testified for the defense at the trial was fired and lost out on fully vesting in his pension, while the dishonest rats moved on to greater success and roles on the city council, police chief in Topeka, etc.

    1. Likelihood that anything will come of it — 0%. Note that it started with a DEA agent. WoD is the primary driver on turning us into a police state.

    2. Wow, straight out of a movie script like Copland. Scumbags.

  2. Space Porking

    Life imitates pornography.

    1. In space no one can hear you cum.

    2. Space Porking

      Isn’t that a song by deep purple?

  3. Sex in zero G likely will prove even more challenging than the Earth-bound variety. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. You’ll need some tethers, I think.

    1. You’ll need some tethers, I think.

      Or some japanese silk rope.

      1. For most of the people who post on H&R, sex in space will be no more difficult than it is here on mother earth: It will remain nearly impossible.

    2. You’ll need some tethers, I think.

      Oh, you mean in space, too. Gotcha.

    3. I’m far more concerned with (bodily) fluids not finding their own level in microgravity.

    4. You’ll need some tethers, I think.

      Many of us are already using tethers.

    5. Scientists have been developing this thing over the last decade or so they call the ‘love tunnel’. It’s basically a large, extendable cylinder with soft material within that acts like a mattress.

      Basically, you’ll be able to stay within a soft, safe space for fucking instead of basically flopping and bouncing all over the place.

    6. It’d probably be better to put a slight rotation to your spacecraft, thus creating the illusion of light gravity. Keep it really slow and everything is very light and easily moved, but fluids still go to the floor and no one gets stuck in the air. Not sure what level of g would be ideal though.

  4. I’m just a Bigelow. . . .

    1. Good one, ProL! Everyone else invited to click on my name if they don’t get the ref.

  5. Why does Richard Branson look just like the Zaphod Beeblebrox character in the movie version of Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy?

    1. He is rumored to have a second head.

      1. We are 18 months away from taking people into space,” [Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic head Richard] Branson


        1. Apparently his second one is a Virgin Galatic head.

          Interesting name he’s given it. I used to call mine Mr. Bill. Ohhhh nooooo!!

  6. SpaceShipOne, and SpaceShipTwo are not really space travel. They are high altitude ballistic flight. They do not make orbit, or come anywhere near it.

    SpaceX, on the other hand, is the interesting private launch company to watch.

    1. Don’t be such a Dragon.

      1. Is this a Neal Asher joke?

        1. It’s an Elon Musk joke.

          1. I would have preferred the Neal Asher joke.

            1. Get used to disappointment.

              1. I’m very disappointed in you, ProL.

                1. As I am disappointed in you. I had such high hopes when you were born, too.

                  1. Can’t you two just admit that you’re in love?

                    1. Sorry, that’s Episiarch and Warty. Or Episiarch and SugarFree. I can’t remember which.

                    2. The three of them are a couple.

                    3. What’s wrong with alternative lifestyles, hater?

                    4. Actually that’s pretty mainstream where you’re from, amirite?

                    5. Hate troll is hating.

      2. I never get his jokes either.

    2. You’re right, of course, Hazel, but those with the pocket change to buy the ride aren’t going to be too picky about the details. Plus, those rides will be funding the R&D on future craft which will hopefully be able reach orbit.

    3. bet you can have sex on SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo, though. that zaphod guy thought of everything!

    4. If they break the 62 mile limit they absolutely are traveling in space.

  7. 18 months, huh? Why, that’s just enough time for Congress to find some way to put a stop to private space travel. It’s too dangerous, you know. Only NASA can be trusted to safely put humans in space and bring them back.

    1. I don’t see that happening, Slut. Remember that the Dems hate NASA since “we should be spending the money here at home…” and those with USD 200K spare change are not members of the victim-classes.

    2. It could get bumpy up there afterall… Kessler Syndrome, anyone? Thanks, China!

  8. Katherine, you so missed the opportunity for a Pigs in Space picture.

    1. You’d think after the 5th post on “space pork”….

  9. President Obama’s original proposal, which ends several expensive, useless legacy programs and hands off some of the freed up cash to private space companies.

    Corporate welfare checks? Yay?

    1. Concern troll is concerned.

      1. Shit-head favors corporate welfare. Noted.

        1. Passive aggressive troll is passive aggressive.

          1. Our trolls get more and more boring. Bring back Lonewacko.

            1. It is a bit much that our best and most entertaining trolls have been banned. And Passive Aggressive Troll is a lot heavier on the passive and not enough on the aggressive.

            2. H&R’s worst trolls call others “trolls.” Comical, and yet, so sad.

              1. Desperate troll is desperate.

              2. Hey dude, that really makes a lot of sense when you think about it!


            3. I never understood why Lonewacko was banned. I always thought he was entertaining. It has been over a year now. How long can Reason hold a grudge?

              1. I forget why…didn’t he threaten someone or release personal info on someone?

                Let’s start a petition: bring back-o the wacko! Chant it!

                1. If you go over to Megan McArdle or Ann Althouse, you will see a wide variety of liberal trolls there. And you really are not missing much. None of them make honest arguments. It is just the usual “why don’t you move to Somalia if you don’t want to pay taxes” invective, appeals to authority “Little Pauli Kruginuts says that demand for bonds will never go down”, and smug disdain “I don’t know why I have to waste my time responding to you” that you would expect.

              2. The operating theory is that he threatened to sue them over Warty revealing the LW was a pedophile. (Which is probably on the public record anyway.) The annoyance/entertainment ratio got off enough to banniate.

                Or… LW wasn’t banned at all and hides from our collective wrath like that midget sissy joe.

                1. No, LW is too OCD to stay away voluntarily. He needs to express his love for Natalie Merchant to everyone he can.

                  1. a wise poster once said, “why don’t you move to Salmonella, it’s a librarian pair of dice.”

              3. Seriously? It’s been that long?

    2. And nobody here applauded that. KM-W’s tone was very neutral, and nobody here is a fan of corporate welfare. Sorry to spoil your little “gotcha” moment.

      1. KMW wrote that “hand[ing] off some of the freed up cash to private space companies” was “good news.” That’s “neutral” in your world? (Sorry to bother you with that inconvenient fact.)

    3. I understand the concern, but the government isn’t going to cease being a consumer of launch vehicles or satellites anytime soon.

      Why does this need to be any different than buying paperclips for congressmen?

      It’s more corporate welfary if they are deliberately buying extra launches in order to prop up the industry, or favoring a specific company.

      But, one hopes most of SpaceX’s business will be with commercial satellites.

      I see no reason to FORBID them from servicing the government as well.

      1. That’s what government should be doing: Buying tickets. I’ll concede a possible need for military spacecraft, but NASA has no business being involved with that.

        1. There is no need to militarize space unless we have to deal with that terrible planet of the apes.

          1. We do.

            1. Damn you to hell!

              1. No, no, no, not until the maniacs blow it up.

      2. We pretty much built the commercial aircraft industry with military contracts. Without the military there would not have been a Douglas DC 3, or Boeing 707 or any number of other planes.

        The whole model for space travel makes no sense. Imagine if in 1916 or so the War Department had formed “The National Aviation Company” and prohibited anyone else from making an airplane. It would have been a disaster. Yet, that is what we did in space. And we wonder why things haven’t worked out so well.

        1. Indeed. There are all sorts of laws and regulations that have made the development of private space enterprise next to impossible.

          Fucking export control, for starters.

          You can’t export anything that might be used for military purposes. Like, ya know, aluminum tubes. (They could be used for nuclear centrifuges!)

  10. Come on!!!
    Come on!!!
    Come on!!!
    Let’s go
    Space Porkin’!!!

    Come on!!!

  11. Hmmm. $200,000 is only twice the cost of a BA in Women’s Studies. Prices tend to go down over time. Once the cost of a trip to space drops to $100,000, it will be competitive with other completely useless status symbols.

    1. Prices tend to go down over time.

      Not for high tech carnival rides. Been to Disney World lately?

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