BUDGETARY CONSTRAINTS... IN SPACE!  10:37 am September 9, 2009

It’s Like Barack Obama Doesn’t Even Think Mars Is That Awesome

by Juli Weiner

Back in spring, Obama set up a special advisory science panel of scientists to find out exactly how cool it would be for NASA to send astronauts into space, like to Mars maybe. The panel’s findings indicate that this would be “pretty fucking cool,” or “quite brilliant, really” in metric units. Fantastiche! NASA will now be needing $3 billion a year on top of the $18 billion a year it already gets so it can send a guy or a clever monkey with a touching and uncanny capacity for human emotion to Mars.

Except NASA will not be getting that crucial $21 billion dollars, which is unfair. In fact, this whole thing is incredibly unfair, that NASA is even put in the position of having to justify why it needs its freedom, especially since George W. Bush promised NASA that if it was good it could send a team to Mars by 2020, but now they might not even get to go like at all. No one ever had to convince Bush that he should give NASA billions of dollars so that some guy could fuck around in space, because it’s SPACE and of course he should??? NASA will settle for going to an asteroid, but what even is that?

[Panel] members suggested a “deep space,” or “flexible,” option. Under that plan, NASA would launch manned missions to rendezvous at an asteroid, fly around the moon, or even fly to one of Mars’ moons, giving astronauts opportunities to hone their skills. [...]

With the report in the hands of Obama, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a strong supporter of deep-space exploration by humans, offered his own view.

“When creatures of the Earth in two dozen years settle permanently on another planet, the leader who sent them will go down in history as greater than Julius Caesar, Queen Isabella, all those people,” he said.

Barack Obama is going to be sorry.

[Chicago Tribune]

 
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{ 56 comments }

gurukalehuru September 9, 2009 at 10:41 am

I want the space elevator. That would be way cooler than Mars, even.

BitterDwarf September 9, 2009 at 10:44 am

I thought that last quote was a joke-y joke. But then I clicked on the article, and he really said that shit…

snideinplainsight September 9, 2009 at 10:46 am

Everybody’s always talking about “Man” going to space. “Man” going to the moon. “Man” going to Mars. Of course nobody wants to fund that.

“Bachmann” going to Mars – now there’s something we’ll fund. Calling the Planetary Society -

ForTheTurnstiles September 9, 2009 at 10:46 am

Barack been reading the Book of Mormon. He dies, he goes to heaven, he becomes God to his own world. Fuck Mars when you can be Mormon God to a world full of Osmonds!

LordPretzel September 9, 2009 at 10:48 am

All of the examples he gave were of imperialist, aloof asshole leaders. WAY TO LOOK AT THE STARS AND NOT YOUR HISTORY BOOK, ALDRIN

Paterlanger September 9, 2009 at 10:48 am

Really we should all be for this since we know that the chances of us getting it together to avert global climate fail are very poor. We need Mars as our species-bailout option.

Canmon (the Inadequate) September 9, 2009 at 10:49 am

Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact, it’s cold as hell.

Min September 9, 2009 at 10:51 am

When is NASA going to catch a clue and start the rumor that there are massive quantities of gold or iron or copper or zinc in them thar planets, all lying around on the ground in chunks, free for the taking?

Martian Gold Rush. See? It even sounds exciting.

ManchuCandidate September 9, 2009 at 10:53 am

Sorry to break it to you Space dudes, but like W was ever gonna deliver. It would have been another empty promise that would have only lead to heartbreak and a diaper wearing chase across US America armed with a hunting knife and taser.

His daddy had a Mars plan in 1990. Instead the money went to all those Raygun and Bush cronies (and his retarded son Neil) who fucked up their trusts/S&L in the ole S&L scandal to the tune of $500 billion 2001 dollars. Might have kept NASA in hi-tech gizmos, astro diapers and Tang for a little while and paid for a mission to Mars.

Same problem here. Another Demrat Preznit has to clean up an horrible fizkhal mess left by a Bush. Gotta pay for a trillion dollar bailout, a trillion dollar stimulus and a somewhat less fucked up healthcare system and two fucking wars without end that have cost $2-4 Trillion.

I want humanity to go to the stars, but this is what you, US America, get when you let the Ws, Sarah Palins and Mikey “Cum down my leg” Doo-alls run the show.

4tehlulz September 9, 2009 at 10:54 am

>as greater than Julius Caesar, Queen Isabella, all those people,

So we need to enslave the Martians? Murder them? Expel their Jews?

That’s not change I can believe in.

Mild Midwesterner September 9, 2009 at 10:54 am

I don’t understand how setting up a sound stage in Arizona to portray a Mars landing could possibly cost $21 billion a year.

ManchuCandidate September 9, 2009 at 10:56 am

[re=405340]4tehlulz[/re]:
No, we get to fuck them (assuming they look like Orion Slaves and not the Alien Queen from Aliens.)

Speed Ball September 9, 2009 at 10:56 am

Buzz Aldrin punched a conspiracy theorist guy in the face once. It’s on the youtubes. WATCH OUT BARRY.

Also, we could just fake a Mars lending and spend the $3billion on THIS: http://superpunch.blogspot.com/2009/04/tauntaun-sleeping-bag.html

lampadadog September 9, 2009 at 10:57 am

[re=405312]gurukalehuru[/re]: Yes, yes to the space elevator.

greg September 9, 2009 at 10:57 am

And that’s why our hiphop bards are writing odes to the memory of the glorious bravery of the president who got us to the moon, Richard Nixon.

BadKitty September 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

Where the fuck are we going to get $21 billion? A garage sale?

Fuck Mars. Spend the money on health care.

Monsieur Grumpe September 9, 2009 at 11:00 am

[re=405345]ManchuCandidate[/re]:
Once you go Green you’ll never recede.

JMP September 9, 2009 at 11:06 am

“the leader who sent them will go down in history as greater than Julius Caesar, Queen Isabella”

So the leader who sends people to Mars will be known for nearly ending American democracy, with his adopted son completing the job; or for ordering all the Jews to be tortured to death? Oh noes, I think good Buzz may be a teabagger.

memzilla September 9, 2009 at 11:07 am

Muslins on Mars have oil. There, fixed.

Gallowglass September 9, 2009 at 11:11 am

I’ve been watching Defying Gravity and I have to say I’m on NASA’s side here. Space travel is awesome. Especially if the space travelers are crazy and sexy and we all get to watch.

Carl Spakler September 9, 2009 at 11:13 am

[re=405337]ManchuCandidate[/re]: Look at the bright side. By the time the Dems clean up this epic Repub cluster fuck, “real ‘merican’s” will be ready to put them back into office.

AnnieGetYourFun September 9, 2009 at 11:15 am

The worst part about this is that NASA is going all Reagan on the Space Station, talking about privatising its maintenance and shit. There’s plenty of snark to be had there, but I’m still on my first cup of coffee.

SayItWithWookies September 9, 2009 at 11:16 am

Who knew that announcing NASA would initiate a manned Mars mission without giving them the money to do so would result in failure? I mean, it wasn’t like our last president to just go ahead and do something without worrying about how it was going to be funded.
Maybe we could start small and just send a few blankets laced with smallpox now, and people can follow in a few years.

GreenHalo September 9, 2009 at 11:18 am

Somebody’s going to establish a Moon colony on the near side. They’ll lose dozens of astronauts, one by one and in handfuls, and keep going. When they’ve got a closed-cycle biosphere and a heavy-industry camp, with a nuclear-powered steel refinery, and they turn out their first Giant Drilling Tractor with 100% Moon-made parts, they win. If China wants that, they’ll do it, and they’ll pwn every satellite in the sky as a bonus.

The idea of playing Buck Rogers on Mars is silly and ignorant. There are several world-shaking technological breakthroughs in the way, and the idea of landing on a rock the size of the Bronx (Phobos? Ceres? Kinfolk, puh-lease!) is about as Golden Fleecy as I can imagine. If someone had a wad of wonga to blow on space, they’d rebuild the frigging military’s outdated, busted-ass GPS constellation before our entire arsenal is thrown back into inertial navigation and LFSR-encrypted CB-radio territory. About two years from now. And the EU is not playing nice AT ALL about sharing Galileo with our leaky spy-riddled asses.

6.9 km/s, bitches! Blam! See that red planet? We done hit that! Next!

Come here a minute September 9, 2009 at 11:19 am

This could all be straightened out by appointing Buzz “Lightyear” Aldrin to be Mars Czar.

He could turn Barack Obama into John F. Kennedy, Ivan the Terrible, Julius Caesar, Queen Isabella, and everyone else all rolled into one.

bhosp September 9, 2009 at 11:21 am

[re=405340]4tehlulz[/re]: Maybe Buzz just only wanted to give non-American examples that Obama could hope to live up to, since being a Kenyan Mulatto, he couldn’t hope to live up to the greatness of a Martin Van Buren or a Calvin Coolidge?

Old guys say nutty stuff.

bureaucrap September 9, 2009 at 11:22 am

I’m all for a manned mission, as long as we get to vote on who we get to send there, and they promise to stay and colonize it for the good of the earth. If we could put Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck, Silvio Berlusconi and Robert Mugabe on such a flight, I’m sure we could vastly improve both planets. Well, okay, just earth.

snideinplainsight September 9, 2009 at 11:23 am

Today we are all disappointed, ravenous Martians.

jasper f. krone September 9, 2009 at 11:24 am

oh man, wonder if they’ll ever know
it’s the freakiest show.

Besides, Mars Needs Guitars.

finallyhappy September 9, 2009 at 11:26 am

[re=405386]bureaucrap[/re]: I think we also need Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin- because I am not sure Ann Coulter is female – so if you are talking about colonizing by reproduction…

thejesusandmarycheney September 9, 2009 at 11:29 am

Obama’s gonna load the ISS with all our sick grandmas then divebomb that shit into the South Pacific, just to make us cry.

bureaucrap September 9, 2009 at 11:32 am

[re=405394]finallyhappy[/re]: Works for me.

Green Soda September 9, 2009 at 11:32 am

[re=405386]bureaucrap[/re]: Sigh.
I miss Douglas Addams.

Joehoya September 9, 2009 at 11:33 am

Buzz to Obama: “Get yo ass to Mars, get yo ass to Mars, get yo ass to Mars …”

Guppy06 September 9, 2009 at 11:38 am

[re=405329]Canmon (the Inadequate)[/re]: So’s Alaska, but Baby Trig seems to be doing… nevermind.

Alldat September 9, 2009 at 11:40 am

Why doesn’t NASA just hire some shills to go on Fox and explain how we’ve finally found the WMDs and they were on Mars all along? And the Martians helped al Qaeda do 9/11? We’d be on Mars like yesterday, and no one would ever question how much it cost. Duh!

malvones September 9, 2009 at 11:44 am

There is obviously only one thing left to do… launch dozens of nuclear warheads into low earth orbit and shoot them down with lasers. I don’t know what this will solve, but at least it will give our people something to do as our shuttles rust away and the ISS starts shedding module chunks into the atmosphere.

Norbert September 9, 2009 at 11:52 am

Mars is wear thay keep the real birf certificate, thats why Nobama dusnt want to go!!!!

Mot! Yob! Mot! Yob!

thejesusandmarycheney September 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm

He hates NASA because all its facilities are in Republican states! He can’t stand that Jesus placed the best launch sites in the Holy Latitudes.

converse September 9, 2009 at 12:05 pm

Bambi should make Buzz the Mar Czar.

Guppy06 September 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm

[re=405456]thejesusandmarycheney[/re]: Actually, the best launch site is his (fake) birth state.

pink triangles September 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Send Sanford.

RoscoePColtraine September 9, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I can see the moon from my house.

Dangerous September 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm

As a HUGE supporter of men going to Mars now, I know it is just a matter of how the endeavor is framed. On a strictly economic basis, there is no justification for space exploration at all, except by robotic craft — and then just barely.

Very little of what anyone of us learns in school applies to actually making a living. That’s a fact. A few of us, naturally, pursue careers that use a small portion of that knowledge, technical or not. But engineers at Microsoft and NASA also had to take English and Social Studies.

So what do we get for going to Mars, apart from the vicarious fun? Not much. Except we might be able to determine whether life ever existing there and whether we are unique or not. As a philosophical and religious question, that’s a huge thing. Since one can’t justify religion or ceremony or fun on an economic basis either, it seems to me that a little bit of our public money going to space exploration, arts or other fun stuff as part of our national budget is a pretty reasonable thing.

Besides, I’d kind of like to know myself.

widget09 September 9, 2009 at 12:39 pm

It may be cheaper to bring Mars to Earth!

house of the blue lights September 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Why do we want to go to Mars? Are there Muslims there?

Sharkey September 9, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Ziggy Stardust is going to be pissed when s/he hears this.

“To boldly go where no Bachwomann has gone before…”

totoro September 9, 2009 at 12:41 pm

If Mars were populated with brown people with oil, we’d be there in a quick-ass jiffy. Concern about the spread of Martian radicalism to the rest of the solar system and their lack of freedom would make it Strategic. There would be more creepy Boeing weaponry ads on the Yellow/Blue line with airbrush paintings of the new USS Aldrin space destroyer we will be using to bomb the Planet and spot real estate for KFCs.

house of the blue lights September 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm

[re=405366]Gallowglass[/re]: crazy and sexy and we all get to watch.

I think you just defined Wonkette in a nutshell.

Paul Tardy September 9, 2009 at 12:59 pm

[re=405500]Dangerous[/re]: “Besides, I’d kind of like to know myself.” Take up a collection and go. The problem is you want this to be a government scam.

I say midgets. No astronauts taller than 4″ should be allowed. Trust me if they had to restrict astronaut selection to the obvious best people, midgets, they wouldn’t want to shoot people into space any more.

On a serious note after WWII space engineering talent was cheap as most every country on earth was blown to bits so if you were in that business you basically had one choice spelled USA. Now if you want world class talent you have to pay for it. And since most of the jobs will be in S Florida and Texas you are not even getting a USA effort. In short gigantic USA only projects are out of the question, and a global project is out of the question as other countries are not that stupid and the US does not play well with others anyway. Not that any countries play well with each other.

tamiflu September 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm
Mr Blifil September 9, 2009 at 1:09 pm

It’s all moot, because at the end of this nobody was going to get to fuck a green bitch anyway.

DangerousLiberal September 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm

[re=405558]Paul Tardy[/re]: Four inches? Are you also the guy who designed the Stonehenge stage in Spinal Tap?

Bruno September 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm

The only way to make this economically viable is forced labor GOP internment camps.

zhubajie September 9, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Prison colony! It could be the US answer to Siberia, Australia, Devil’s Island.

LoweredPeninsula September 9, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Let’s get something straight, Obama’s health care plan would cost nearly a trillion dollars over 10 years, and you mean to tell me we can’t bust open some national and/or private piggy bank and find an extra 21 billion laying around? Shake the fuckin’ national sofa cushions, you freaks!

BTW, I too thought that last quote was a joke, but, alas, it was not. Julius Caesar, Queen Isabella? What century is this guy from, again?

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