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NASA Head Ignores Congress, Eyes Cooperation With China 271

Posted by timothy
from the fun-junket-too dept.
eldavojohn writes "Congress and the president haven't been exactly kind to NASA recently as far as funding goes but NASA chief Charles Bolden is ruffling some feathers with his planned trip to Beijing to investigate cooperative human space flight as well as potential Chinese involvement with the International Space Station. Such news has caused Congressman Frank Wolf to warn Bolden that 'no such planning or coordination has been approved by the Congress ... In fact, several recent NASA authorization bills have explicitly sought to place strict limitations on coordination with China.' Wolf is an outspoken critic of China in space and further warned Bolden in a letter that 'It should go without saying that NASA has no business cooperating with the Chinese regime on human spaceflight. China is taking an increasingly aggressive posture globally, and their interests rarely intersect with ours.'"
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NASA Head Ignores Congress, Eyes Cooperation With China

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  • Capitalism (Score:3, Insightful)

    by schn (1795404) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:20AM (#33851204)
    When you screw someone over, don't be surprised if they go elsewhere.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by durrr (1316311)
      I don't really recall when or how we screwed over china, but i have to be pretty severe considering they are going to the moon.
      • by tagno25 (1518033)
        I think the GP means that the USA government screwed over NASA, so NASA is going to the Chinese government.
        • Re:Capitalism (Score:4, Informative)

          by timeOday (582209) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:30AM (#33851802)

          I think the GP means that the USA government screwed over NASA

          Which (along with the story summary) is wrong; NASA's budget has not taken a hit [wikipedia.org] any time recently nor is it planned to do so.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Mitchell314 (1576581)
            I think "screwed over" was referring to NASA over authority issues and budget allocations, not necessarily the budget itself.
            • by timeOday (582209)

              I think "screwed over" was referring to NASA over authority issues and budget allocations, not necessarily the budget itself.

              Well, what does that mean? In the US, it is Congress that has federal budget authority. Congress decides how tax money is spent and how much budget authority to delegate downwards, e.g. to NASA management. NASA didn't give itself the mission to go to the moon in the 1960's, either; it doesn't work that way. If you offered a plumber $90 to un-clog your kitchen sink and he demande

              • Re:Capitalism (Score:4, Informative)

                by rack88 (1864866) on Monday October 11, 2010 @09:27AM (#33858552)
                True, but the situation with NASA is more like: The plumber says it will probably end up costing $110 to fix the sink. You say that $90 is the most you will pay AND he can only use his ATK wrench and USA pipe-cutters to do it, even when he says he might have tools in his bag that work better. Since you're the boss, he does it the way you want, but isn't very pleased with you.

                Oh, and NASA's budget hasn't "taken a hit" per-se, but the last time NASA was told to build a new space ship, congress at least gave them a 50% bump in funding for a few years for the extra cost involved in building it. Recently congress has done nothing of the sort, which leaves us with at least a half-decade without a space ship to fly. Here are some charts I generated last year to back that up: http://imgur.com/HE5kf.png [imgur.com]
      • As you well know, he's referring to NASA.

    • Re:Capitalism (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rich0 (548339) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:11AM (#33851402) Homepage

      Except that NASA is paid for by taxpayers, and answers to the taxpayers via their elected representatives.

      If the head of NASA wants to quit and work elsewhere that is his right. If every employee of NASA decides to emigrate to China, that is their right as well (though they are still bound to maintain confidentiality).

      However, for the head of NASA to spend tax dollars on something that the elected leadership has instructed them not to do is insubordination.

      NASA isn't a private company, and it doesn't have the luxury of dictating what its priorities are.

      Imagine if the UK National Health System decided that doctors aren't being paid enough so they're going to start charging a fee to get priority service? As long as they're accepting government paychecks, they have to do what their supervisors tell them to.

      Don't like your boss - then quit or be your own boss. However, you can't accept money from somebody and then tell them that they have no right to dictate your actions.

      • Re:Capitalism (Score:5, Informative)

        by Compaqt (1758360) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:21AM (#33851448) Homepage

        >However, for the head of NASA to spend tax dollars on something that the elected leadership has instructed them not to do is insubordination.

        True, but at this point Frank Wolf is just speaking his mind (AFAIK). Frank Wolf would prefer that NASA not cooperate with China, but that hasn't been written into the law.

        And Frank Wolf is a member of the minority, too.

        (Not that it wouldn't be in NASA's interest to humor the likely next chairman of the subcommittee.)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by malkavian (9512)
        Imagine if the UK National Health System decided that doctors aren't being paid enough so they're going to start charging a fee to get priority service? As long as they're accepting government paychecks, they have to do what their supervisors tell them to.

        You mean the way that consultants in the NHS have their own private practice, where they take paying customers who don't want to wait on the NHS list? Or the fact that they take on patients from Private practice where private doesn't have the infrastruct

      • by arivanov (12034)

        Imagine if the UK National Health System decided that doctors aren't being paid enough so they're going to start charging a fee to get priority service?

        They do. Through the AXA PPP system.

      • Re:Capitalism (Score:5, Insightful)

        by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:09AM (#33851714)
        The Chinese space program is funded by the American taxpayer as well. However, instead of sending the money to NASA via Washington, they send it to Beijing via Wal-Mart.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by microbee (682094)

          Typical American arrogance. You make it sound like Wal-mart is doing charity in China. On the other hand, they went there for cheap labors.

          For the same reason, many seem to imply that cooperation or trade with China is just a favor to China. Time to look in the mirror with the US accuses others of not having an open and free market.

      • Re:Capitalism (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ktappe (747125) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:29AM (#33851798)

        Except that NASA is paid for by taxpayers, and answers to the taxpayers via their elected representatives.

        They sure haven't been answering to this taxpayer who has been saying for years that it's moronic to end the shuttle program before its replacement is even off the drawing board. I say all power to Bolden for doing what he has to to keep his agency going when the Bush and Obama administrations shoved him in a corner.

        • by nomadic (141991)
          They sure haven't been answering to this taxpayer who has been saying for years that it's moronic to end the shuttle program before its replacement is even off the drawing board

          Why? Is there some sort of space garrison we have to keep constantly staffed and stocked? Will the aliens come and get us if they realize that for a few years we don't have a shuttle program?
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            It's a bit like building a beautiful lakeside summer cottage that's only accessible by boat, then selling your boat and instead depending on your sometimes-hostile neighbour to get you to your cottage.
      • by Tridus (79566)

        Given how much of the US budget is borrowed money, maybe he's simply going to work for the people who are actually paying the bills.

      • Re:Capitalism (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Smallpond (221300) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @11:30AM (#33852110) Homepage Journal

        Except that NASA is paid for by taxpayers, and answers to the taxpayers via their elected representatives.

        If the head of NASA wants to quit and work elsewhere that is his right. If every employee of NASA decides to emigrate to China, that is their right as well (though they are still bound to maintain confidentiality).

        However, for the head of NASA to spend tax dollars on something that the elected leadership has instructed them not to do is insubordination.

        If you had been awake in your Civics class you would know that NASA is under the executive branch. Congress does not lead NASA, its role is to raise money and pass laws. Telling NASA what to do is overstepping its bounds.

      • Except that NASA is paid for by taxpayers, and answers to the taxpayers via their elected representatives.

        Theoretically. Except that the elected representatives don't even answer to the taxpayers IRL (In Real Life).

        However, for the head of NASA to spend tax dollars on something that the elected leadership has instructed them not to do is insubordination.

        So? They are simply following the lead of their "leaders". They do whatever the hell they want, despite their constituents expressed desires, and then lie like rugs when it's time for re-election.

        Imagine if the UK National Health System decided that doctors aren't being paid enough so they're going to start charging a fee to get priority service?

        What does the UK Health System have to do with the US space administration? Besides, from some of the other comments I'm reading, that's exactly what they do.

        However, you can't accept money from somebody and then tell them that they have no right to dictate your actions.

        That's exactly what the American federal governme

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      When you screw someone over, don't be surprised if they go elsewhere.

      To paraphrase a quote, Wait'll they get a load of China

    • by ebuck (585470)

      Exactly how is Congress screwing over NASA? This joker wouldn't have is job, much less an entire pseudo-branch of the government if it wasn't for Congress.

      NASA stuff quickly gets into national security stuff. If you can put a man in that capsule, you can put a weapon in it. Congress should act swiftly and replace this joke of a director. Congress (for better or worse) runs the country, not NASA.

      If Congress decides tomorrow to shut down every branch of NASA, it would suck; but, even then it would be the

  • by ehack (115197) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:23AM (#33851212) Journal

    Most consumer goods come from China these days, and we're told China's interests rarely intersect with the US?

    Isn't this attitude a bit ... schizoid?

    Or maybe, just dumb?

    • lead paint in toys, inferior toys that don't meat U.S. quality standards, most items having a fake UL stamp of approval (this is important, look up the Underwriters Laboratory and see what they do as for why its so important as to whether or not the stamp is legite or not)...nah, they have our best interests in mind. Just because they supply our gadget craze, doesn't mean they have our best interest in mind

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        Just because they supply our gadget craze, doesn't mean they have our best interest in mind

        Who said anything about best interests? As a nation we clearly want cheap, toxic plastic crap, and China supplies it. From where I'm sitting it looks like an equitable relationship to me. It's not like the first time was free or anything.

        • Just because they supply our gadget craze, doesn't mean they have our best interest in mind

          Who said anything about best interests? As a nation we clearly want cheap, toxic plastic crap, and China supplies it. From where I'm sitting it looks like an equitable relationship to me. It's not like the first time was free or anything.

          This sort of shenanigans of screwing the consumer is anathema. Where could Chinese businesses have learned such unscrupulous practices?

    • by WindBourne (631190) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @11:01AM (#33851934) Journal
      Consumers do NOT like Chinese goods. Large businesses do.
      • by Nemyst (1383049)
        If that was the case, nobody would shop at Walmart. Chinese goods are cheap, consumers like cheap.
  • Funding (Score:4, Insightful)

    by NoobixCube (1133473) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:31AM (#33851240) Journal

    If you don't feed your dog, don't be surprised when he looks elsewhere for food. This is what happens when the government fucks over the space program a million times. Maybe partnering with corporate ventures would be better for national security, but those are inherently driven by money. A government truly comitted to the idea of manned spaceflight though is more likely to be results oriented.

    • Re:Funding (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JamesP (688957) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:47AM (#33851306)

      They had the money and they chose to blow it on Constellation

      So, Tough.

      • by Moryath (553296)

        They were ordered by Clinton and then Bush to work on a program to replace the aging Space Shuttle fleet, which needed retiring.

        That program is Constellation. They didn't "blow" the money, they were told to come up with a bullshit cost estimate by bean counters when they were trying to create entirely new technology that involved all sorts of problems that we hadn't had to solve previously.

        It's idiots like you that have made scientific exploration in the US fall so far behind.

        • Re:Funding (Score:5, Insightful)

          by JamesP (688957) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:35AM (#33851526)

          They were ordered by Clinton and then Bush to work on a program to replace the aging Space Shuttle fleet, which needed retiring.

          I'm with you so far...

          That program is Constellation. They didn't "blow" the money, they were told to come up with a bullshit cost estimate by bean counters when they were trying to create entirely new technology

          you don't need "entire new technology" for LEO, MEO, GEO, get to the moon or mars. If it was needed, nobody would have done these things.

          that involved all sorts of problems that we hadn't had to solve previously.

          Problems created by reinventing the wheel for the nth time...

          It's idiots like you that have made scientific exploration in the US fall so far behind.

          Because I want to reinvent the wheel and spend money on solving already solved problems?!

          It's ok to 'refresh' the technology, my money is on Falcon launchers, and NASA should have gone DIRECT.

          Then there's money to spare for the real important things: new experiments, space probes, space telescopes, etc

          • Agreed, consider the US approach to zero gravity writing instrument, massive program. Russia's answer, pencil. Who took the smarter engineering approach?
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            you don't need "entire new technology" for LEO, MEO, GEO, get to the moon or mars. If it was needed, nobody would have done these things.

            Oh, but we do need "entire new technology" for these in terms of human passengers. The summary says that the purpose of the trip is to discuss human spaceflight, and it seems only prudent to discuss alternates to Russia.

            We might be able to handle close-in stuff with Russian partners and existing cargo rockets (separate launches because nothing exists that can transport both passengers and heavy cargo). However getting to, landing on, and leaving the moon or mars isn't plug-and-play. The Apollo program ca

            • by JamesP (688957)

              Oh, but we do need "entire new technology" for these in terms of human passengers. The summary says that the purpose of the trip is to discuss human spaceflight, and it seems only prudent to discuss alternates to Russia.

              As you said, for LEO, etc, they could try and create a human rated Atlas V or Delta rocket

              However getting to, landing on, and leaving the moon or mars isn't plug-and-play. The Apollo program can't be duplicated because the schematics and records are lost.

              Yes, you're right. Going to the moon again is a big challenge and to Mars is an an order of magnitude more complex.

              With the way things are going I don't see anyone matching the capability of the shuttle for decades, much less sending people to the moon or mars.

              True, me neither. Very sad.

    • by khallow (566160)

      If you don't feed your dog, don't be surprised when he looks elsewhere for food. This is what happens when the government fucks over the space program a million times. Maybe partnering with corporate ventures would be better for national security, but those are inherently driven by money. A government truly comitted to the idea of manned spaceflight though is more likely to be results oriented.

      Uh huh, so why are "money driven" corporate ventures less "results oriented" than international partnerships? I doubt something like the International Space Station makes sense in terms of what it produces. International cooperation is one of the reasons it turned out that way.

    • by timeOday (582209)

      If you don't feed your dog, don't be surprised when he looks elsewhere for food.

      So many posts are buying into the baseless assertion that China's budget has been cut. Where did this idea come from?

  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:40AM (#33851276) Homepage Journal

    Good for him.

    Here is the thing: society that loses manufacturing jobs, loses the manufacturing sector, it then pretty much loses the need for engineering, and in reality in most of realities, engineering is what drives progress forward and it even drives the need for scientific advancement forward.

    So society that stops making stuff, stops thinking of stuff as well. You can't be thinking without actually producing, even though those who really build/engineer and those who do basic science are different people and working in different institutions.

    Lose your manufacturing economy and you'll lose your knowledge economy, or did you think you could have the cake and eat it too?

    --
    So this NASA move is basically a survival move, it's smart.

    • by JustOK (667959)

      walmart has cakes on sale.

      • by bsDaemon (87307)

        Yeah, but they're made in China and the sprinkles metabolize into GHB in your system, which would work out well for frat boys, except the frosting is led-based.

    • Re:Good (Score:4, Informative)

      by gabebear (251933) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:19AM (#33851440) Homepage Journal
      The US still manufactures... a LOT. In dollar figures, we manufacture more than any other country and are still rising at about the rate of inflation, which isn't great, but not bad ( http://investing.curiouscatblog.net/2008/09/23/top-manufacturing-countries-in-2007/ [curiouscatblog.net] ). We have lost a TON of manufacturing jobs, but not manufacturing, and that is a huge difference. The US is losing highly labor intensive industries, but that's just going to happen when your poor aren't all that poor. We really need to get rid of more of the low paying jobs that can be automated away.
      • Fudge (Score:4, Interesting)

        by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:24AM (#33851780) Homepage Journal

        Big pile of fudge. USA is no longer manufactures the components, it assembles the final product, that is also 'manufacturing', but it really is not.

        The proof is in this simple pudding: go to this site [tradingeconomics.com] and set the 'FROM DATE' to January 1992 and leave the 'TO DATE' as the current year.

        This is the real USA economy in action.

    • by samkass (174571)

      I'm not sure what country you're referring to. The United States manufactures more than ever. It's the manufacturing engineering you mention, though, that has steadily reduced the number of people required to drive our manufacturing industry.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        I commented on this, you can look it up yourself from the link there. Manufacturing in USA today means assembling in USA and the trade deficit, which shows where the economy is really going, is showing the direction very clearly.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        Sorry, didn't close a double quote in the previous post:

        I commented [slashdot.org] on this, you can look it up yourself from the link there. Manufacturing in USA today means assembling in USA and the trade deficit, which shows where the economy is really going, is showing the direction very clearly.

        But here is the link [tradingeconomics.com] and if you go there and set the "FROM DATE" to 1992 and leave the "TO DATE" current, you'll see what I am saying.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

      by ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) <obsessivemathsfreakNO@SPAMeircom.net> on Sunday October 10, 2010 @09:55AM (#33851618) Homepage Journal

      Lose your manufacturing economy and you'll lose your knowledge economy, or did you think you could have the cake and eat it too?

      My MBA had lead me to believe that through leverage and synergy, not only can we eat the cake and keep it for later, we can also lend out the same cake to others who can in turn do the same, and moreover, the same can be done with the eaten cake which can again be leveraged. Moreover the cake having been eaten, futures contracts on anticipated fertiliser yields can be optioned and bundled with cake shares into massive derivative portfolios which can be sold to speculators adding to overall market liquidity.

      There are naysayers who claim that all this cake eating will result in is a big pile of crap. But the smart MBA will have left the cake industry and moved on the the next victim^Hopportunity long before the tab needs to be picked up. Look at Carly Fiorina. After HP, she's moving into politics. Do you know how much money can be made by liquidating^Hleveraging^Hoptimising the US government? Think big, and let the markets decide the winners.

      • by roman_mir (125474)

        Yes, you can do all that with the cake as long as it is federally guaranteed to give you the expected result either on its merits alone or by government bailing your investment out from a publicly funded bakery.

        Unfortunately the public bakery is in huge debt, the people running it have spent all the money on a side business of military contracts by running very expensive wars, the chief financial officer of the bakery is printing IOUs at ever increased rate without actually having either flour or milk or eg

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Lose your manufacturing economy and you'll lose your knowledge economy, or did you think you could have the cake and eat it too?

      We don't manufacture so much as we used to but we still design stuff. The majority of that cheap crap we get from China was designed in the USA, and possibly adapted from existing designs in China. Indeed, a great deal of it is a direct copy of a product designed and sometimes even made in the USA, or in some other nation where they care about the quality of goods. Chinese knockoffs are often so faithful that they copy the flaws of the original product precisely. Remember, designer and producer have not had

      • Re:Good (Score:4, Interesting)

        by roman_mir (125474) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:52AM (#33851898) Homepage Journal

        We don't manufacture so much as we used to but we still design stuff.

        - but China is also designing, every day, every factory has issues that are being addressed by engineers in the factories. This drives the need for more science. Also just because not EVERYTHING is outsourced yet, do not despair, one step at a time, one step at a time.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          - but China is also designing, every day, every factory has issues that are being addressed by engineers in the factories. This drives the need for more science. Also just because not EVERYTHING is outsourced yet, do not despair, one step at a time, one step at a time.

          Obviously copying is a way to learn how stuff is put together, so it's not like it's useless. And of course, there is new work being done in China. It hardly matters today where the knowledge came from. On the other hand, the copying habit will be hard to break and it's a habit that keeps you perpetually behind.

          As our economy crashes, outsourcing will be reduced... But you won't be able to afford anything but food and tyvek coveralls with your earnings.

    • by deblau (68023)

      The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
              George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman (1903)

  • by Quantus347 (1220456) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:46AM (#33851300)
    So it should “It should go without saying that NASA has no business cooperating with the Chinese regime on human spaceflight,” Wolf wrote. Despite the fact that the visit, along with the up coming visit of the NASA director's Chinese counterpart, were ordered and agreed upon last year by the White House.

    “In fact" He says, "several recent NASA authorization bills have explicitly sought to place strict limitations on coordination with China.”

    Sought being the key word there, which means tried and failed...by him. He was the top Republican of the Appropriations Committee that wrangled for so long over NASA's budget early this year, the one that was stuck in limbo for months like a hung jury with some idiot hold-out. In actuality, the provision to bar space cooperation with China was defeated by a 4-9 vote on the grounds that there are many areas we can cooperate with China, and fear of military complications should not keep us from cooperating in scientific and humanitarian pursuits. Wolf is banking on the laziness of the media consumer to make is sound like this defeated motion of his is somehow still viable and/or supported policy.
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @08:57AM (#33851348) Homepage Journal
    First and foremost the technology used in China's manned space program was overwhelmingly Russian, the US would gain very little by cooperating with them over continuing our cooperation with Russia.

    But if NASA really wants to cooperate with another space agency they should up their links with JAXA. Even though the Japanese have yet to put a man into space they have shown that it is possible to really turn around a flagging space program quickly. Before the launch of the Hayabusa in 2003 you could describe JAXA in one word: failure. As late as 2002 they were having troubles even putting a relatively basic satellite into orbit. However in recent years they have had two overwhelming successes, Hayabusa and IKAROS. They obviously know how to turn a stagnant space program around. Furthermore their interests and NASAs interests are much more in line than the interests of the US and China.
    • by selven (1556643) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:17AM (#33851748)

      Can't we just cooperate with everyone?

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Furthermore their interests and NASAs interests are much more in line than the interests of the US and China.

      [citation needed]

      To expand on this: China and the USA have been in economic lock step for how many years exactly? I think you're assuming a conflict where none exists. China is our favorite trading partner. On the other hand, if Wolf is to retain his legions of knee-jerking conservatives, he has to say crazy shit like this on a regular basis, whether he believes it or not. (I don't know if he does or no, it's really irrelevant.)

      Or put another way, the people making decisions on behalf of the USA and China h

    • Actually, we cooperate VERY closely with JAXA. And ESA, and RKA, and even CSA. I think that with private space taking off, we will see even more cooperation. The problem that exists is that we did not cooperate as much with companies that dealt heavily with China. Why not? Because we are seeing our tech flow into an organization that is not civilian, but is Military. And yes, Chinese space agency is 100% Military controlled. They are the ONLY space agency that is, that NASA has some form of cooperation wit
  • Go right ahead. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grapplebeam (1892878)
    It's not like we have any manufacturing power anymore, nor were any manufacturing jobs created by the bailouts. The reason America was such an impact in WW2 was because we had a lot of people, and a lot of resources and industry that could be mobilized. Now who has those things? China. Since both sides of government famously refuse to do anything for this country, we might as well give China all the space flight aid they want. This country is on the decline, but only because greed and apathy rule our govern
    • by Legion303 (97901)

      "It would be ridiculous to say that politicians aren't also businessmen. Well, that seems to be all they're good at."

      Judging by the plunging economy over the last decade, they suck at that too.

    • by Prune (557140)
      This is why the US must act fast, before China achieves nuclear primacy. You know what I'm talking about. Finding a pretense for pre-emption shouldn't be that hard, considering the US experience with it. If the threat is not dealt with, China will become a world power, and the US will fade away--and with it, its defense of western culture and western values, something which, having lived in China before, I fear enormously.
  • Not only do we have problems with them industrially and diplomatically (politically and in terms of human rights), but we also have stronger ties to, say, JAXA or the ESA. We've actually cooperated with the ESA for several missions before, so it's not unprecedented. If it's to get a developing nation into space, why not... India? China seems like the worst of all worlds.
  • To be perfectly blunt here, NASA's head's stance is just mirroring what's already happening in the private sector. Over the next decade or two, all of the good graduates in engineering and physics and so on will all just go over to Asia and ignore the U.S. Much like how they did during the early part of the last century when there was a mass migration of brainpower from Europe to the U.S. They always follow the money and innovation.

    He knows that unless something is done, NASA is dead in the water. But

  • by pablo_max (626328) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @10:45AM (#33851864)

    Really, other than the British government (not the people), who's interest intersects with that the of US? I don't know if anyone paid attention to the International Monetary meeting this weekend, but over here in the EU the general consensus is that the US is less and less relevant due to its complete lack of competent leaders, massive debts, and lazy, uncaring masses.

    It’s simply amazing how your douchebag leaders can consistently complain about China’s growing aggressiveness to thwart direct US control over their country when no other country in the world has the audacity to stomp on others sovereignty as the US government has.

    You people better get your shit together before you end up like all the other has been empires throughout history. Did I mention your leaders are D-Bags? So are our of course, but at least here, the people still can control them. ;)

    • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld.gmail@com> on Sunday October 10, 2010 @11:10AM (#33851972) Homepage
      I don't know if anyone paid attention to the International Monetary meeting this weekend, but over here in the EU the general consensus is that the US is less and less relevant due to its complete lack of competent leaders, massive debts, and lazy, uncaring masses.

      Ah yes, we haven't had such paragons of statesmanship like Tony Blair or Silvio Berlusconi.

      Honestly, the EU's opinion just isn't really relevant anymore, something which has been further underscored by its near economic collapse lately. Which is the reason that both the US government and US corporations are focusing more on Asia. A good article on the subject: Towards a Post-American Europe: a power audit of EU-US Relations [3cdn.net]

      Some choice quotes:

      In this report we argue that the real threat to the transatlantic relationship comes not from the remaking of America's global strategy, but from European governments' failure to come to terms with how the world is changing and how the relationship must adapt to those changes. Our audit (based on extensive interviews and on structured input from all the European Union's 27 member states) reveals that EU member states have so far failed to shake off the attitudes, behaviours, and strategies they acquired over decades of American hegemony. This sort of Europe is of rapidly decreasing interest to the US. In the post-American world, a transatlantic relationship that works for both sides depends on the emergence of a post-American Europe.

      . . .

      Thus far, the Obama administration has seen European governments broadly living down to their expectations. It has found them weak and divided - ready to talk a good game but reluctant to get muddy. Seen from Washington, there is something almost infantile about how European governments behave towards them - a combination of attention seeking and responsibility shirking.

      . . .

      These behavioural traits - a welcoming of dependence; a need for attention and reassurance; a desire to ingratiate coupled with a reluctance to take responsibility; and occasional self-assertion set against a more general disposition to play the loyal lieutenant - suggest a less-than-adult attitude on the part of Europeans to transatlantic relations. The term "infantilism" does not seem out of place - just as veneration of the transatlantic relationship less for what it can deliver than as an end in itself might unkindly be described as a sort of fetishism.
    • You're right, compared to other nations' amazing leaders, like Ahmadinejad (sp?), Kim Jong and Chavez, our leaders are just complete "D-Bags".

      I have a better idea. Go fuck yourself.
  • by RogueWarrior65 (678876) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @11:01AM (#33851930)

    Keep your friends close, your enemies closer. We're more likely to get better intel on what the Chinese are really doing by teaming up with them than being isolationist about it.

    • No, we are not. OTH, China will get loads of tech that will be put into Missiles. The reason is that Chinese space agency IS A MILITARY GROUP. It is NOT civilian.
  • by jcampbelly (885881) on Sunday October 10, 2010 @12:08PM (#33852386)

    I woke up this morning and read the news with the blue side of the stereo glasses: "Short-sighted fear-mongering populist pandering pointlessly nationalistic republican running for re-election attempts to derail human progress again."

    Then I flipped to the red lens: "National hero fights valiantly to defend capitalism and national security against communist regime seeking to steal American jobs, overthrow American space technology superiority and likely launch weapon of mass destruction into orbit."

    After I had my coffee, I took off the goggles and rubbed my eyes.
    "The United States has moved forward with its planned defunding of an aging method of launching cargo into space, diverting all available funds to more fruitful robotic missions and more complicated manned spaceflight projects. Meanwhile, other nations and even private enterprises are developing their space programs. NASA is looking to avoid spending more of its limited resources by taking advantage of technology which is already under significant development by other technologically capable societies. With cooperation from every advanced space-faring nation, all of Human civilization stands to benefit from shared scientific developments made by each other's civilian and scientific programs."

    I've considered the "you don't understand what the Chinese are capable of!" and the "we're funding an oppressive regime!" and the "you really think they're only using this for civilian technology?" angles, and I remain unconvinced that they carry any real weight. I'm willing to be convinced, but I stopped being mystified by big political words in high school, the Red Scare is a sad chapter of our history, the Russians' and subsequent space-faring nations' contributions to our own space exploration ambitions have been fruital for everyone and from the L2 Legrangian point at >60,000 kilometers, we are all just a single, interdependent colony of ants on the surface of a tiny ball of dirt.

  • Considering the Chinese already own many assets in the US it's more like he's visiting his landlord to re-negotiate the lease. ;)

  • Communist or Democratic, Socialist or Capitalist... it doesn't matter when the asteroid hits. We should do whatever we can to be prepared for that absolutely certain eventuality. Because there's nothing certain about sociopolitical stability.

"Right now I feel that I've got my feet on the ground as far as my head is concerned." -- Baseball pitcher Bo Belinsky

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