I was thinking of one time about running for president just so I
could appoint him SecDef. Brilliant. His lectures on the subject are
also very entertaining. If he had been able to get his stuff in before
Iraq, part deux. Would have had a much better force structure for what
The Cliff Notes version is at
"Distracting a politician from governing
is like distracting a bear from eating your baby."
Yep. I got a kick out his assignment to devise a 50-year strategy for the
Navy. After a month of work with a couple dozen flag officers, they gave up
and the officers returned to their commands. Barnett and his small staff
He looked at the first PowerPoint slide: "The mission of the United States
Navy is to gain control of the world's sea lanes." Then it hit him. The
first slide - and all that followed - were WRONG.
The goal of the United States Navy is not to "gain" control of the world's
sea lanes - the goal of the Navy is to MAINTAIN control of the world's sea
lanes. No other nation can project force like the U.S. Heck, the U.S. Coast
Guard is larger than any other country's navy!
We've got planes that can take off from Minot, South Dakota, or Missouri,
fly to any point on the globe drop 25 tons of precision munitions, and
return to base. In WW2 it was multiple sorties per target; today it is
multiple targets per sortie. We've 24 aircraft carriers, twelve Nimitz-class
(each with 60-75 aircraft). There are twelve teeny carriers in the rest of
the world (Russia has one carrier approaching the Nimitz class).
No need to worry about that. Obama has the whole program under review
with the goal to accelerate and exapnd it. The administration is
talking about manned missions back to the moon and going to Mars.
The Obama solution to the "financial crisis" is to spend sums
unthinkable just a year ago on a whole host of things we can't pay
for. Expanding the space program fits right in. As one small
example of the reckless spending going on, the govt is planning on
spending $60mil for a memorial park in PA where the United 911 flight
crashed. If you can justify that, surely you can justify anything.
You're confusing campaign promises with reality.
"[May 7th] Plans for NASA to send humans back to the moon might be in
jeopardy. President Barack Obama's administration today called for an
independent review of NASA's human space flight activities."
Yes, Obama called for an independent review and we don't know exactly
what that will bring. But nothing in that suggests a cutback or
moving away from manned flight. Obama's actual actions regarding
NASA go beyond what he said as a candidate. His first budget from a
couple months ago, increased NASA funding to $18.7bil, up another
$2.4bil and stated a commitment for manned flights back to the moon.
"Obama's NASA budget supports shuttle retirement, return to Moon
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: February 26, 2009
The Obama administration's proposed 2010 budget provides $18.7 billion
for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Including $1
billion that went to NASA from the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009, the new budget proposal represents a $2.4 billion
increase over 2008 funding levels, according to the White House Office
of Management and Budget.
The budget blueprint continues to support the Bush administration's
directive to finish the space station and retire the shuttle in 2010
and to return astronauts to the moon around the end of the next
I just heard a news story on it. They were ooohing and aahhing over
the fact that they had to take some screws out that were, get this,
hard to get to. Ooooo. The astronauts are pretty much little more
then fearless auto mechanics.
Try pulling and rebuilding a car engine with rusty stripped bolts, at
the bottom of a deep swimming pool sometime. That will give you a small
taste of what they are dealing with. And if their wrenches slip, or they
tear their suit on a sharp edge of a hatch, it is a lot harder to deal
with than a bloody knuckle under a car in the driveway. The work
wouldn't be that bad on the ground, but in orbit, nothing is easy. The
deep divers that work on the legs of oil rigs and bridge piers are
probably the only people not in orbit that can truly appreciate how hard
the procedures they are doing actually are.
You have no clue what you're talking about. Zilch. Have you undergone
the same sort of training these men and women have? Do you have any
clue as to the conditions they are working under?
Put on a pair of ski gloves and then try taking apart your PC, and
you'll only BEGIN to get a GLIMPSE of the difficulty the astronauts
are facing. Add to that they're working in micro-gravity with no real
way to brace themselves, and it gets a LOT harder. They're also not
working on an industrial piece of equipment, but a precision
instrument with very fine tolerances of what is and isn't going to
render it several tons of useless orbiting junk.
Then let's talk about the fact the astronauts are trying to access a
part of the Hubble that was never designed to be accessed or repaired.
The panel they had to remove to get to the STIS power supply that blew
had 111 screws, with Torx and Allen heads. Have you ever tried to keep
track of 11 screws on a project? Imagine nearly 10 times that number
of screws and inside an instrument designed to look billions of light
years away and cannot afford the smallest grain of anything getting in
How about that handle that had a stripped screw and had to be broken
off by brute force? And it took NASA engineers on the Hubble mock-up
back on Earth to come up with a way the astronauts could safely do it
without kicking debris into the internal workings of the telescope.
If you want to use a terrestrial analogy, these guys are precision
watchmakers working on the world's largest watch, in zero gravity, in
bulky space suits, with the risk that at any minute any one of a
billion things could go wrong and they would die.
So you came up with a slightly different analogy. The fact is, they
are, as I said, fearless auto mechanics. I say that to make the
distinction between them acting as scientists or test pilots or what
have you. The big deal about this mission comes down to us having
sent some mechanics into space to repair the shuttle. Not saying it's
not difficult but it's hardly "science", similar breathless news
stories could be done about Rusty Wallace adjusting the camber on his
race car during a pit stop and going on to with the big race.
It's not that the shuttle is in more danger, just that the options are
Usually the shuttle is either in a mission to ISS Alpha or in a
relatively similar orbit, so if something goes wrong on the shuttle
they can make a transfer orbit to Alpha and the crew can "lifeboat"
there until they're rescued.
On the other hand, Hubble and ISS Alpha are in such different orbits
(altitude and angle relative to Earth's equator) that Atlantis could
never make a transfer orbit to rendezvous with Alpha.
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