Energy

5 Years After Space Shuttle, Obama’s NASA Still Can’t Put A Man Into Space

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

The last Space Shuttle launched 5 years ago Thursday, but NASA still cannot put men into space without Russian cooperation due to President Obama’s cuts to the agency’s exploration and spaceflight capability.

NASA plans to return to Earth’s orbit are entirely dependent on private companies, some of which are scheduled to launch by the end of next year.

“The Obama Administration’s failure to make our human space flight and exploration programs a top priority has lengthened the gap in our ability to launch our own astronauts into space,” Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Space, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “I’m working to hold their feet to the fire and hasten the day when we are launching American astronauts on American rockets from American soil.  Never again should we put foreign nations in the critical path of our human spaceflight program.”

NASA’s inability of America to send humans into space forces the U.S. to pay Russia tens of millions of dollars for access to the International Space Station. Russia has repeatedly threatened to block American access to the $150 billion International Space Station (ISS) in response to U.S. sanctions. The U.S. paid for 84 percent of the costs associated with building the ISS.

NASA is still at least a year away from launching its astronauts from U.S. soil.

“Unfortunately year after year the Obama administration proposes cuts to space exploration programs,” Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House science committee, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The U.S. pays Russia more than $80 million a seat for access to the International Space Station. This is inexcusable. It is imperative that we launch American astronauts on American rockets from America soil as soon as is safely possible.”

Obama’s NASA budgets shifts money from NASA’s exploration and robotics programs to its environmental sciences and “outreach” programs. Obama’s budget manages to cut every part of NASA that actually works, including planetary science programs, technological development programs, and many important future Mars missions — without saving any money.

NASA’s budget includes more than $2 billion for the agency’s Earth Science Mission Directorate, which covers global warming science. The money will be specifically allocated to improve climate modeling, weather prediction and natural hazard mitigation. In comparison, NASA’s other functions, such as astrophysics and space technology, are only getting a mere $781.5 and $826.7 million, respectively, in the budget proposal.

The top scientific question the space agency seeks to answer NASA’s budget justification is, “How are Earth’s climate and the environment changing?” The more typical space questions, such as “Are we alone?” and “How does the universe work?,” were at the very bottom of the list.

The Earth Science Mission Directorate’s goal is to help NASA “meet the challenges of climate and environmental change.” The organization is also responsible for global warming models proven to be inaccurate when checked against actual temperature observations.

Spending on the Directorate has increased by 63 percent over the last eight years, making it the largest and fastest growing budget of any NASA science program. Over the same time period, the general NASA budget grew only by 10.6 percent — just enough to account for inflation.

Even global-warming alarmist Bill Nye the “Science Guy,” who is also CEO of the Planetary Society, has criticized Obama’s attempts to cut NASA space exploration and planetary science programs in favor of global warming. NASA’s planetary science program has previously held car washes and bake sales to gain political support to maintain funding.

 

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