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#1 2020-10-18 06:06:33

JMartin
Member
Registered: 2020-10-14
Posts: 15

Trump Calls for Big NASA Budget Increases -- Democrats Object

President Trump calls for 12% boost in NASA funding for Moon & Mars missions (and future annual funding increases planned as well):
https://www.space.com/nasa-2021-budget- … -mars.html
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-budg … m-funding/

Democrats in the House of Representatives block proposed NASA funding increase:
https://www.theverge.com/2020/7/7/21315 … ill-budget

I know many will argue the Moon program being proposed is flawed because it uses the inefficient and widely criticized SLS for a portion of the program instead of a more cost-effective option from SpaceX, but I think it's worth pointing out that the Artemis Program is including funding for the CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payloads Services) program that will be using companies like SpaceX.

Isn't a flawed program on an accelerated schedule that includes several great things like CLPS a lot better than vague promises of a Mars mission in the late 2030's that seems to be repeatedly delayed decades and decades with each new administration?  And, unless I'm mistaken, I don't think this Moon program is delaying those promised Mars missions much (if at all).

Democrats in the articles complain that the 2024 deadline is for political reasons, but without such a deadline for NASA, isn't it unlikely the program will be completed since a new administration may take office in 2025 and decide to change course if the Moon program deadline was in 2028 or 2030 (much like we saw happen with Constellation)? Aiming to complete the program by 2024 seems to make it much more likely the program will be completed without cancellation.

Additionally, when we look at the history of NASA, firm deadlines and focused goals (such as Kennedy's pledge to go to Moon in under a decade) seem to have been very successful in speeding up the space program and ensuring its the pursued programs are actually completed.  So the "political deadlines" of 2024 that Democrats are complaining about may be a very good thing for NASA, particularly when those deadlines and mandates are paired with the funding required to make it happen.  And Trump is providing the funding.

President Trump appears to be the candidate most willing to provide the funding required for an exciting (but perhaps flawed) space program on an accelerated schedule.

Last edited by JMartin (2020-10-18 21:11:25)

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#2 2020-10-18 07:54:48

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 19,940

Re: Trump Calls for Big NASA Budget Increases -- Democrats Object

It would be nice if the legislative branches would pass a budget bill containing the larger amount if it was to pay to get work done faster but from what we have seen from government bloat is that the amount raised is just gobbled up in increases by the project and not used to accelerate the program by getting more work done.
The contractors are on a cost plus formula for doing the work.
Then by spreading out whom is doing what the over lapping cost plus just makes the projects cost rise and rise and rise.

The support for going back to the moon within the clps is tiny as was the commercial development program that is the results seen in space x. It sheds all of the government triplicate paper shuffle and all of the cutting edge unobtanium for robust tried and true methods for creating what is desired.

The 2024 being political as its tied in with election cycle and changing of whom might do what that we have seen from all past administration changes. Either Americans are for the space program or they are not.

Most want the cost for the space programs to get realistic as they are not seeing benefits within and how it effects daily life.

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#3 2020-10-18 08:58:19

JMartin
Member
Registered: 2020-10-14
Posts: 15

Re: Trump Calls for Big NASA Budget Increases -- Democrats Object

SpaceNut wrote:

Most want the cost for the space programs to get realistic as they are not seeing benefits within and how it effects daily life.

NASA is about 0.5% of the Federal budget in the USA.  That's hardly anything.  If anything, we are spending far too little on NASA.  It should be at least doubled. 

Even if it was doubled, that's still only a penny per tax dollar going to NASA.

I agree with you that cost-plus rocket programs for ordinary chemical rockets are inefficient though... but politics is the art of compromise and SLS has big support in congress.

Last edited by JMartin (2020-10-18 09:16:19)

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#4 2020-10-18 15:08:13

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 3,772

Re: Trump Calls for Big NASA Budget Increases -- Democrats Object

JMartin,

Most space advocates aren't happy with the SLS, but if the combination of SLS / Falcon 9 Heavy / Starship / Vulcan / New Glenn, can re-ignite America's human space exploration program, then I'm all for whatever gets the job done.  I think something better than chemical rockets will ultimately be required, some combination of ion and nuclear thermal propulsion in the near term, but I'm more than willing to accept an imperfect solution today, rather than a perfect solution decades from now.

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