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Report: Obama May Merge NASA, Pentagon Space Programs

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,475 ... tech/space

President-elect Barack Obama will probably remove barriers between the U.S. civilian and military space programs once he takes office, according to one report.

Bloomberg News reported late Thursday that Obama's transition team was exploring collaboration between NASA and the Pentagon in order to get America's next generation of spacecraft into orbit before the scheduled date of 2015.

Military rockets may be less expensive and more readily available than NASA's planned Ares I and Ares V vehicles, which are still in testing.

The space shuttle program is due to end in 2010, and NASA will have to pay its Russian counterpart to transport American astronauts to the International Space Station for the next 5 years.

Current NASA administrator Michael Griffin, a rocket scientist himself, is a strong backer of the Constellation program, which includes the Ares vehicles. But tensions have been reported between him and both the Bush administration and the Obama transition team regarding budget restrictions and possible restructuring of Constellation.

Obama has already publicly pledged to revive the National Aeronautics and Space Council, a White House office which coordinated military and space policy from the Eisenhower through the Nixon administrations, and then again during the administration of President George H.W. Bush.

The move is being spurred by fear that China, which is making great strides in space, could challenge the U.S. for orbital dominance in the near future.

"The foreign affairs and national security implications have to be considered," a former science advisor to President Clinton told Bloomberg News.




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A new Chinese Russian Space race eh? Could be interesting?

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I think it would be a good idea to merge the pentagon and Nasa, it would certainly get us to the moon quicker and before any of the others trying to get there right now. I just hope a merger does not mean that more of the stuff Nasa does now will become secret and out of the public domain.
The defense dept and Nasa were much closer in the early 1980's and if it had not been for the Challenger disaster they would still be flying secret military shuttle missions as they did up till 1986. The plan was to have a fleet of 50 of 60 shuttles and fly it every week at least but it all changed on that cold morning.
Right now Ares is a bit of a disaster and even if it works it's going to be slow, right now they are still trying to get it to work in wind tunnels so using existing rockets makes total sense.




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The thing that worries me is just what kind of monkey business the military will be up to out there.

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Gunner 51 wrote:The thing that worries me is just what kind of monkey business the military will be up to out there.


They are doing a lot of stuff we don't know now, there are launches from Vandenberg in California that are military and totally secret, we know they are launching cause you can't exactly hide that but nothing is known about what they are carrying, they are unmanned but thats about all we know about a lot of them.




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martyn20 wrote:
Gunner 51 wrote:The thing that worries me is just what kind of monkey business the military will be up to out there.


They are doing a lot of stuff we don't know now, there are launches from Vandenberg in California that are military and totally secret, we know they are launching cause you can't exactly hide that but nothing is known about what they are carrying, they are unmanned but thats about all we know about a lot of them.


Indeed.

I watched a documnentry on DARPA earlier ( durign a period of insomnia ). Some of the footage showed Area 51 runway, and they interviewed some people at Lockheed and Darpa. The technology on show. Exo-skeletons, unmanned mini drones, and hover stare bots were obviously just a tip of the secret icebarg.

Fascinatign stuff, but we'll never got to know about 99% of it.

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