US scientists host 'bake sale for NASA'

Jun 08, 2012

Could some really great cupcakes be enough to send Americans back to the Moon?

More than a dozen US universities are hosting events on Saturday to urge support for the cash-strapped space agency, which faces major cuts to its planetary programs in fiscal year 2013.

Ranging from shoe shines to car washes and bake sales, the events are not actually designed to raise money to send to , the organizers stressed.

"Our goal is not to raise money but to raise awareness and to have people tell Congress to put the funds back to last year's funding level," said Cindy Conrad, an assistant at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

NASA's planetary programs are expected to be cut by more than $300 million dollars in President Barack Obama's next budget, and the cost-cutting has already axed a major Mars project with Europe.

The has faced harsh criticism in recent years by slashing a program to return Americans to the Moon and retiring the space shuttle fleet in 2011 without a replacement vehicle to take to space.

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User comments : 17

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tthb
not rated yet Jun 08, 2012
the good are fine; . . . . .look at that Job
tthb
not rated yet Jun 08, 2012
at loss
chardo137
3 / 5 (2) Jun 08, 2012
I really thought that science had some hope under the Obama administration, and while I didn't think that it was possible, he seems to be doing worse than Bush Jr. At least he believes in evolution.
pauljpease
3.3 / 5 (7) Jun 08, 2012
I really thought that science had some hope under the Obama administration, and while I didn't think that it was possible, he seems to be doing worse than Bush Jr. At least he believes in evolution.


I hope you're not blaming everything that happens while Obama is president on him alone. As a scientist acutely aware of funding cuts, I follow this issue pretty closely. Obama has been a fervent supporter of science, and when you look at his proposed budget, republican proposed budget and what actually got passed, Obama is much higher than republicans and usually close to or above what actually passed. He is doing a good job in a tough situation I think, regarding science funding.
Vendicar_Decarian
4.2 / 5 (5) Jun 08, 2012
It would appear that Republicans have finally succeeded in their decades long plan to destroy NASA.
SatanLover
1 / 5 (27) Jun 08, 2012
people still think the president does anything lol.
Dunbar
4.5 / 5 (2) Jun 09, 2012
In the shadow of one of the worst international financial disasters in history, profligate spending on a Moon program seemed somewhat inappropriate, to say the least. I support Obama's decision to cut the white elephant Orion program and to keep the ISS in orbit. By keeping the ISS aloft Obama has created a market for private industry to supply and provide taxi duties, he has made it profitable for private companies to operate in low Earth orbit.

Sure, NASA's budget has been cut further than any Republican administration dared, but, NASA is saving a small fortune as they no longer have to cover the costs of shuttle launches.
gopher65
not rated yet Jun 09, 2012
Dunbar: Believe it or not, in the short term the COTS program is actually costing NASA significantly more than it would have cost to launch shuttles with a similar amount of cargo. In fact, even SpaceX's base contract is costing NASA slightly more than equivalent shuttle launches (Just under 1.5 billion for that much cargo via shuttle, vs 1.6 billion via Dragon/Falcon 9). With Orbital Sciences they're paying about double what the shuttle cost per launch.

So it isn't saving them money in the short and medium term, it's costing them more.

But that's beside the point. In the long term this has the potential to save NASA an enormous amount of money -- if the programs succeed, that is. And that's what the program is really about. It isn't about saving a bit of money right now, it's about saving huge amounts of money down the road.

And that's something worth doing. I'm glad NASA is doing it.
alfie_null
5 / 5 (1) Jun 10, 2012
So it isn't saving them money in the short and medium term, it's costing them more.

Disregarding that the existing fleet was at the end of its life. Continuing the shuttle program would have meant building more shuttles. How much to start up the production line again and start building? I bet NASA is saving money.
gopher65
not rated yet Jun 10, 2012
alfie: Oh, absolutely, if you're including replacement costs. But I am assuming that congress would have just ordered them to continue using shuttles that were on the edge of exploding every time they were fueled up. After all, many in congress tried to push that very option on NASA.

But in any case NASA shouldn't have built more Columbia Class Shuttles. It was a bad design from the get-go. If NASA wanted to have their own LEO capacity, they shouldn't have canceled the X-38 or X-37 projects (the latter of which is now funded by the US Airforce). When it was canceled the X-38 program was one prototype away from its initial unmanned orbital test. It's sad that it was cancelled right before it was scheduled to be completed:(.
NotParker
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 10, 2012
I really thought that science had some hope under the Obama administration, and while I didn't think that it was possible, he seems to be doing worse than Bush Jr. At least he believes in evolution.


I hope you're not blaming everything that happens while Obama is president on him alone. As a scientist acutely aware of funding cuts, I follow this issue pretty closely. Obama has been a fervent supporter of science, and when you look at his proposed budget, ...


The one that that nobody on either party voted for?

Obama gave 1 trillion to his union cronies. Science isn't important to him. Not enough money in it for his cronies.
ryggesogn2
3 / 5 (2) Jun 10, 2012
"Bake sale ban in Massachusetts sparks outcries over 'food police'"
http://www.csmoni...d-police
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (2) Jun 10, 2012
What assembly line? There never was any assembly line.

All of the shuttles are custom built one-offs.

"How much to start up the production line again and start building?" - Alfie
Vendicar_Decarian
2.8 / 5 (4) Jun 10, 2012
Virtually all of the money paid out since 2008 has been in the form of medicare, medicade, food stamps, and financial support for the unemployed, as well as infrastructure programs - roads, bridges, etc.

The banks were bailed out by Bush.

"Obama gave 1 trillion to his union cronies." - ParkerTard

Liar, Liar. Pants on fire.

Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 10, 2012
RiggTard is right. Republicans/Libertarians have not only destroyed NASA...

"Bake sale ban in Massachusetts" - RyggTard

they have bankrupted the rest of their own country as well.
MandoZink
5 / 5 (1) Jun 11, 2012
Several months ago, the military offered NASA two "obsolete" unused spy satellites. NASA officials were delighted. Both of these "obsolete" telescopes had much higher quality optics than the Hubble. We give the military 40 times the budget that NASA gets and they can dump better obsolete equipment than NASA has funds to build.

Where the hell are our priorities?

To hear a discussion of this hand-me-down, listen to the Science Friday episode for June 08, 2012 on NPR:
http://sciencefriday.com/

While you're at it, you might catch the "Dark Matter vs. Aether" article by Sean Carroll, also on Science Friday:
http://sciencefriday.com/blogs/06/08/2012/dark-matter-vs-aether.html
GSwift7
not rated yet Jun 11, 2012
Technically, NASA reports to the office of the Vice President, not the President.

NASA is still the leading space agency in the world. And don't even think about saying that they aren't just because they can't send a human crew to the ISS right now. Having humans in space accounts for only a tiny portion of all the things we should be doing in space. The ISS is a complete waste of time and money too.

NASA's budget peaked in 1991, 92 and 93 (not including the apolo program years) under Bush Sr. It has fallen continuously since then (in adjusted dollars), but not in an extreme way, especially considering inflation and economic recession. It would not be fair to say that any President or Party has treated NASA unfairly in the past 20 years. Their funding has largely survived a very rough time for most Americans. If the rest of the US is tightening its belt, then NASA should share equally in that. That is financial reality.

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