Space

Space Waste

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Department of lunar lunacy, Congressional spending edition:

Congress has again failed to rid a temporary spending bill of language forcing NASA to waste $1.4 million a day on its defunct Constellation moon program.

Though Congress passed a new stopgap spending bill last week, the measure retained a leftover provision from the 2010 budget that bars the agency from shutting down Constellation, which Congress and the White House agreed to cancel last October.

This so-called "Shelby provision" — named for U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, who inserted it into the 2010 budget — is expected to cost NASA roughly $29 million during the three-week budget extension through April 8. It has already cost the agency nearly $250 million since Oct. 1.

Equally galling to budget hawks is that Congress has known about the mistake for months and has done nothing to correct it.

Yet another reason why you should always be wary when Congress asks for more money. It can't manage even the most minor details of the spending and programs it already oversees. 

Much more from Reason on space travel—and better ways to finance it—here.

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  1. They were clones.

    Ha ha!

    1. Don’t spoil the ending, I was planning on sleeping through it again!

      1. I liked the film.

        1. Best Sci-fi flick in the last 5 years IMO. Great usage of Industrial Light and Magic guys for the moonscape stuff.

          Rockwell was brilliant.

          1. Zod knows science fiction filmmaking needs to change things up now and again.

          2. Did anyone see Sunshine?

            I liked it.

        2. It was alright, but I liked it better when it was Outland.

          1. I don’t recall any clones in Outland. Which, incidentally, was a pretty danged good movie. High Noon in space!

        3. I was hoping it was Rouge Moon.

          I liked it enough, I guess. Saw the twist from 3 million miles away.

          1. no you didnt…you saw it from 237,674.481 miles away (on average).

          2. Me, too. Didn’t ruin the film for me, though.

      2. Kevin Spacey voicing the robot nearly killed it for me. I can’t stands him.

    2. Asshole.

      1. They were ALL clones!

        Ha ha ha!!!

  2. Congress has again failed to rid a temporary spending bill of language forcing NASA to waste $1.4 million a day on its defunct Constellation moon program.

    Jeez, for $1.4M simoleons per DAY, I can drive myself to the moon… and back!

    I just need some 2LT diet coke… and some menthos…

  3. This so-called “Shelby provision” ? named for U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, who inserted it into the 2010 budget

    Well, it’s not a total waste. Mr. Shelby’s re-election chances are significantly improved, so that’s one job saved or created!

  4. “”which Congress and the White House agreed to cancel last October.””

    Actually if its in the budget then Congress has not agreed to cancel it, it’s the law and until they change the law the mouthing of certain Congressmen or even the President is meaningless.

  5. Pork has ruined any chance of a real manned space program coming out of government. Time to step aside and let the private sector get to work.

    1. You know that that would lead to depravity, starvation and genocide, right? I mean, Tony said so not mokre than 4 posts ago…

      1. Exactly. We transfer the space program over to the private sector and before you know it, we’re just like Somalia.

        1. Somalia. . .in. . .Space!

          1. I would buy that for a $1.

    2. I know a friend starting at SpaceX this summer. He’ll be getting a call from me in a couple of years…

      1. So. Fucking. Jealous.

      2. The awesome of that gig is overwhelming.

        1. Yeah, I really wish I could have made some headway there but everyone wants to work there, so you have to know someone. That’s why it’s so good for me that this guy got a job there. Now I just need to find something semi-relevant to get a couple of years experience in the meantime.

          1. Good luck – I’m finally getting my bachelor’s this May in Earth and Space Exploration (geology, astrophysics and engineering all rolled into one), then I’ll be looking for work while I search for a good graduate program. Yikes!

            1. In my experience getting into a graduate program was much, much easier than finding work. Grad schools mostly just focus on your academic background and abilities, so you don’t need to know anyone, nail an interview, or have previous work experience.

              The previous work experience Catch-22 is super annoying though. While talking with SpaceX they said they wished I had had more hands on testing experience, for instance from an internship with them. The problem is, I tried to get an internship with them in previous years and they wanted an intern with previous experience.

              1. Tell them you were abducted by aliens and forced to work on their propulsion system for two years.

              2. And that you voted for Kodos.

              3. The “yikes” was more in response for looking for work, actually, sorry for the confusion. I know I can get into grad school (at least, pretty sure). Just not sure if I’m looking aerospace or planetary science, with a focus on instrumentation. I’m mostly interested in planetary and stellar magnetic fields (magnetospheres) and I like building things and designing mission plans.

    3. Sorry but what is this “private sector” you speak of? Right now it’s basically NASA giving money to one contractor (United Space Alliance) now and breaking up into small contracts – Space X, Orbital, Kessel, oops can’t forget Russia.

      1. Just wait. The government isn’t the only party that wants to shoot stuff into space.

        1. Unfortunately, the government has put up huge and expensive barriers to keep their monopoly on ways out of the gravity well.

      2. Nobody in the private space industry is going to make a profit until they stop neglecting the possibilities of space porn.

        1. What do you think Bigelow is doing?

    4. Thanks for the $1.3 billion, NASA!
      Taxes we can believe in!?

      http://www.switched.com/2010/1…..ce-flight/

  6. This so-called “Shelby provision” ? named for U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, who inserted it into the 2010 budget ? is expected to cost NASA roughly $29 million during the three-week budget extension through April 8. It has already cost the agency nearly $250 million since Oct. 1.

    Without this money, the residents of Huntsville will be little more than feral savages, hunting one another for food, you heartless libertarian stooge!

    1. Nah, Huntsville has diversified. Not that Shelby knows that.

      1. So you think they would also gather edible plants?

        1. Maybe even plant some!

  7. None of these guys, even RP, has a tickler file they can insert a note in to “drop Constellation spending in next spending bill?”

    1. Shelby is the ultimate whiny bitch of a senator. Last of the old-boy Southerners.

      1. Last of the old-boy Southerners

        We can only hope.

      2. Shelby was better than all the others on TARP.

  8. I just got done commenting in another thread about how we need more alt text…

    1. “That’s not a moon…”

      Too easy?

      1. Too soon. Never forget Alderaan.

      2. Decent. Not the best ever, but acceptable.

      3. you have to get it right though…”That’s no moon.”

    1. Reminds me of a joke.

      A redneck enters a bar and starts ranting:
      “My name is Brown, Bee Ow Double-U Enn! I’m white, from the top of my head, to the bottom of my feet, and I hate all goddamned nigg…!”
      Some black guys were shocked to hear this but they held their anger.
      Then the redneck starts again:
      “My name is Brown, Bee Ow Double-U Enn! I’m white, from the top of my head, to the bottom of my feet, and I hate all goddamned Mexicans!”
      People were shocked, again… The owner was about to intervene.
      The guy goes again:
      “My name is Brown, Bee Ow Double-U Enn! I’m white, from the top of my head, to the bottom of my feet, and I hate all goddamned Chicanos!”
      Suddenly, a Chicano rises from his chair and says:
      “My name is Perez, Pee Eee Arr Eee Zee! And my ass is brown, Bee Ow Double-U Enn!!”

      1. Need a proofreader. It’s “Bee Arr Ow Double-U Enn!”

        1. I spent the whole joke thinking the punchline was gonna be that he couldn’t spell.

  9. I still resent the geophysical nessesity of basing our entire space program in the south…

    1. Just wait until aliens come and bestow all their goodness on us, assuming that the only intelligence in the U.S. is near our space program locations.

    2. I’ve always believed that our primary launch facility should be in the southernmost state. There’s plenty of room on the Big Island.

      1. Puerto Rico?

  10. I’ll tell you one thing, if I were currently an astronaut I’d be so pissed.

    Think about it. You wanted to go in space as a kid (like most kids). You looked up how to do it. How hard it is. And you played by the rules, for years and years. Got eighteen degrees, bided your time, kissed all these higher-up asses. All this while you coulda taken all your degrees and resumes and translated that into $cash$ and a cool job in the private sector. Anyone ever been to JSC recently? Its like a Soviet apartment block or something. All architecture outdated visions of the future, kinda run-down looking. Sad.

    And proverbial spacemen were lied to, bribed into continuing all that stupid sacrifice, the whole way. About going to the Moon, going to Mars; on whiz-bang X-wing spaceships that never even flew off the paper (or hard-drive) they were cooked up on.

    And for what it in the end? For (maybe) a ride on a Soyuz capsule? Log some months of ‘science’ being plugged into a bureaucrat’s computer as a lab-rat, trapped in a single-wide trailer doing geo-laps we call the ‘Space Station?’ All while some creepy Russian on the other side of the trailer gives you dirty looks and grunts?

    One question though. Who wuz the first pair to get it on in space? No way that hasn’t happened. For that little honor alone, all above would be worth it. Even if you could never tell the world for it meant also telling your spouse.

    Har.

    1. Pretty sure the Russians did some experiments they’ll admit to. NASA claims their astronauts to be pure as the driven snow.

    2. I imagine sex in space would be fairly difficult. Gravity generally plays an important role in maintaining contact when getting it on. But I agree, someone must have tried it by now.

      1. Ah, but think of the possibilities (cue Edwin to put hands over eyes)!

        Like, say, take the dog for a walk. But she’s pushing back using hands off a wall and dude’s back is up against another wall? What strange gyrations such would produce. It would be relatively easy doing the stand-and-hold too. I mean, you don’t have to lift her, right? Just hold her, and she has her legs and arms wrapped around you, like holding on? Aside from random pushing-off to avoid hitting a wall and such as you floated around copulating as one, well, you could just float around like that getting it on! Sweet.

        Plus you add in the cerebellum learning curve of getting around in zero-g after a month on the trailer, and such things would be almost second-nature by then perhaps. This vexing question of the 21st Century will probably be tackled on next season’s Manswers or some shit.

        Either way, fun to think about. Especially with mild detail of making the ‘her’ Candice Swanepoel, trapped with nothing but skimpy tin-foil astro-suit on the space trailer with you, just as anxious to experiment out of boredom…with you.

        I love slow days at work, ’cause now I can think and talk about Serious issues of the day on Reason. Awesome!

        1. I’m not certain I like the possibility that all the man’s semen won’t enter the woman, and will instead wind up floating around the space capsule.

          (I’d figure that if they’re going to have sex in space, they’d do it in one of the bed-equivalents.)

        2. Isn’t Velcro one of the things trumpeted as a spin-off from the space program? Just sayin’… Probably would help to do it next to the toilet. I understand there’s a portable vacuum of sorts that would come in handy.

          And I totally agree that it’s been done before. Haven’t there been a husband/wife team up there? (Not that marriage is a prerequisite or anything.) For one thing, I’ve read that people are much more attractive in zero gee; something about fluid not pooling in the feet, and thus helping plump out wrinkles, that sort of thing.

          1. No sagging boobs.

      2. Not exactly the same, but certainly close enough, is fucking underwater. And no it isn’t easy.

        1. You’re absolutely right. Its a total bitch (my personal experience resulted from drunkenly engaging in breath-holding contest that took a cool turn). And ironically, that subject was covered in Manswers.

      3. Re: Zeb,

        Gravity generally plays an important role in maintaining contact when getting it on.

        Missionary style would be a problem, but not doggie style. I thought about the problem, so I know what I am talking about.

    3. My house at JSC is more of a hut than a Soviet appartment (especially after Ike a few years ago).

      But much right at the moment.

  11. It is foolish to ask what the money is being spent on if the program is defunct? Because I would like to know.

    1. Us!

  12. hey selected to send back a layout to your unique and also edgy designs, though with a lot much better

  13. Space Waste Transporter: Going Where No Garbage Man has Gone Before
    OCTOBER 21, 2011
    With the growing number of incidents of falling space debris in the news, there is a pressing need to find an alternative solution. John D. Arwood, a Native American and owner of Arwood Waste (www.arwoodwaste.com 1-800-477-0854), proposes a possible solution to our space waste problem. Arwood Waste has proposed a Space Waste Contract to Together Waste (www.togetherwaste.com) for the collection and disposal of space junk. This innovative concept outlines an orbital junk removal program that Arwood is calling, the Space Waste Transporter.
    The Space Waste Transporter is essentially a rocket-propelled garbage truck designed to launch into orbit and immediately go to work cleaning up the ever-growing cloud of decommissioned satellites, shuttle debris, garbage and fragments.
    NASA’s recently decommissioned Space Shuttles, with their large cargo bays and proven track record, would be ideal vehicles to accomplish this pressing task. They’d become a type of “space waste collection vehicle.” After the Transporter collects debris, it will return it safely back to earth where its cargo can be properly disposed of or recycled.
    Although most of the falling trash is burned up upon reentry, often charred remains of the junk too large to burn are sent spraying down to the ground, endangering areas as large as a 500-mile region. As more and more satellites expire, experts say it is only a matter of time before these unpredictable and out of control chunks of trash will fall on populated areas and cause serious damage. Additionally, scientists do not know the long-term effect of re-entering space debris to our atmosphere. “Could these man-made machines, continually burning through our stratosphere, slowly change the climate of our skies?” Arwood raises the concern.
    The need to safely clean up our littered atmosphere is now greater than ever. As with the energy crisis and global climate change, leaving the issue of falling space junk unaddressed will only compound the problem for future generations.
    This reality brings John D. Arwood to explore new and creative solutions. As an entrepreneur, Arwood got his start collecting and recycling used metal from factories. He now is the president of Arwood Waste and has been recycling debris since 1984. “Collecting waste in outer space should be the next step for this industry,” says Arwood.
    Reusing the space shuttles, and dubbing them “Space Waste Transporters,” is a real and creative option to solving this problem. The technology is already built, already tested and already available. He has opened the discussion for a Space Waste Transporter program to collect decommissioned satellites and bring them safely back to earth where they can be reused, recycled, or preserved.
    “This space junk is just another example of misguided disposal of trash. We sent it up there. We need to bring it down,” said Arwood. He is taking the old adage, ‘what goes up must come down’ in a very real sense. “Recycling has always been my passion. Let’s work together to clear up our skies.”
    With the growing number of incidents of falling space debris in the news, there is a pressing need to find an alternative solution. John D. Arwood, a Native American and owner of Arwood Waste (www.arwoodwaste.com 1-800-477-0854), proposes a possible solution to our space waste problem. Arwood Waste has proposed a Space Waste Contract to Together Waste (www.togetherwaste.com) for the collection and disposal of space junk. This innovative concept outlines an orbital junk removal program that Arwood is calling, the Space Waste Transporter.
    The Space Waste Transporter is essentially a rocket-propelled garbage truck designed to launch into orbit and immediately go to work cleaning up the ever-growing cloud of decommissioned satellites, shuttle debris, garbage and fragments.
    NASA’s recently decommissioned Space Shuttles, with their large cargo bays and proven track record, would be ideal vehicles to accomplish this pressing task. They’d become a type of “space waste collection vehicle.” After the Transporter collects debris, it will return it safely back to earth where its cargo can be properly disposed of or recycled.
    Although most of the falling trash is burned up upon reentry, often charred remains of the junk too large to burn are sent spraying down to the ground, endangering areas as large as a 500-mile region. As more and more satellites expire, experts say it is only a matter of time before these unpredictable and out of control chunks of trash will fall on populated areas and cause serious damage. Additionally, scientists do not know the long-term effect of re-entering space debris to our atmosphere. “Could these man-made machines, continually burning through our stratosphere, slowly change the climate of our skies?” Arwood raises the concern.
    The need to safely clean up our littered atmosphere is now greater than ever. As with the energy crisis and global climate change, leaving the issue of falling space junk unaddressed will only compound the problem for future generations.
    This reality brings John D. Arwood to explore new and creative solutions. As an entrepreneur, Arwood got his start collecting and recycling used metal from factories. He now is the president of Arwood Waste and has been recycling debris since 1984. “Collecting waste in outer space should be the next step for this industry,” says Arwood.
    Reusing the space shuttles, and dubbing them “Space Waste Transporters,” is a real and creative option to solving this problem. The technology is already built, already tested and already available. He has opened the discussion for a Space Waste Transporter program to collect decommissioned satellites and bring them safely back to earth where they can be reused, recycled, or preserved.
    “This space junk is just another example of misguided disposal of trash. We sent it up there. We need to bring it down,” said Arwood. He is taking the old adage, ‘what goes up must come down’ in a very real sense. “Recycling has always been my passion. Let’s work together to clear up our skies.”

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