April 26, 2011

YOU Can Commemorate 50 Years of Human Spaceflight--By Helping Launch a New Space Program!

Two historic anniversaries occur in May. May 5th, 1961 was the day Alan Shepard became the first American in space, and May 25, 1961, the day President Kennedy launched the nation to land on the Moon "in this decade."

Lets not wait decades to next send Americans beyond Earth orbit. We can return to the Moon and establish a permanent base there to test components for Mars in this decade. We can go to an asteroid in this decade. And perhaps by 2025 we can launch the mission to Mars which will open a wonderful chapter in human history as we land on Mars!

Remember it took just six years to build the complete Apollo system--Saturn rockets, capsule, lunar lander, launch pad, computers, spacesuits, rovers--everything! Now, after fifty years of experience in space and great advances in technology, the idea we must wait decades is ridiculous!

You can help make this happen! Here's the campaign:

Between now and May 25, let's all spread the word to call Congress and the White House in support of a new "in this decade" plan to return to the Moon and visit an asteroid in this decade; and to land on Mars as soon afterwards as possible, perhaps by 2025.

Space is a national priority and Congress and the White House must offer sufficient support, or we effectively cede leadership in high technology to those nations willing to take bold actions. They, not us will reap the rewards of high tech leadership, jobs and investments. They, not us will reap the rewards from new technologies developed as they reach new worlds without us. That's our future if we sit this out and accept a second-class status in the world.

So lets go bold and make this a big campaign which will help make history.

Call Congress at 202-224-3121, the White House is 202-456-1111.

Tweet it, Facebook it, email it; let's make this huge!

Let's launch a new space program now!

April 13, 2011

50th Anniversary of First Man in Space: Russia Announces Plans to go to Moon & Mars, US Announces Final Resting Places for Shuttles

On this date, April 12, 1961, the Russians launched the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into orbit in space; a truly great feat in human history.

This helped inspire Americans to go to the Moon, harnessing American ingenuity and can-do spirit! That first step on the surface of another world was perhaps the greatest feat in human history. It must not be our last great feat.

Russia has announced new plans to build a permanent base on the Moon, mine helium3, and go to Mars--an ambitious program to take the lead in space exploration and technological development.
Important Article:
Going for Helium3:
The Benefits of Space Exploration--as Seen by Russians:

Today also marks the 30th anniversary of the first space shuttle launch, also a feat worthy of great honor. NASA sadly used the occassion to announce how to dole out the relics of our once-great space program: where the shuttles would be displayed. The administration had earlier cancelled the Ares V rocket which could take Americans to the Moon and Mars, and cancelled even the plans to go to the Moon at all, rendering a US human Mars mission essentially impossible.

It is not too late. Perhaps our leaders can awaken to the dangers of abandoning American leadership in space--losing the jobs, skills, technology, and investments to other countries. A good date to reverse course would be May 5th, the 50th anniversary of America's first man in space; Alan Shepard. A better date might be to use the 50th anniversary of JFK's famous speech that put us on a specific course for the Moon "in this decade." Mr. President, launch America back to leadership in space and you will launch America back to prosperity.
Indeed we could build a manned base on the Moon "in this decade" which would be used to develop and test the technology to use for a Mars mission. We could also complete a manned mission to an asteroid "in this decade." The technological hurtles are far less than those which faced American engineers in 1961 in building Apollo. The rewards in tech investments, jobs and new inventions will help secure a prosperous future for all Americans.

And here's a desperate plea to save the shuttles. Discovery has already been destroyed as a flightworthy spacecraft (many systems were removed for museum display), but you can still accept United Space Alliance's proposal to privately operate Endeavour and Atlantis. You must do it now, for soon after Endeavour's last mission, she too will be gutted and made impossible to ever fly again.

April 12, 2011

Welcome to the Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration

If you support a bold human space exploration program following the "in this decade" vision set by President Kennedy, you are invited to participate by calling and writing your Senators and Representatives in support of:
  • Saving the Space Shuttles until replacements are ready. There is still time for NASA to accept United Space Alliance's offer to continue flying the shuttles as a private venture. America must not rely entirely on Russian launches at similar cost and become subject to potential pressure by Russia on foreign and defense policies to keep providing launches. Each orbiter was designed for 100 launches each, and none have come anywhere close: Atlantis: 32, Discovery: 39, Endeavour: 24; so we are throwing away a valuable national resource without cause. Discovery is already being stripped and is no longer capable of flight, to time is of the essence to save the others.
  • Saving the the International Space Station (ISS): the July 2010 cooling system failure on the ISS was a wakeup call that without the heavy lift and return capabilities of the shuttles, the entire $100 billion station could be lost if there is a critical failure which a single shuttle flight could have fixed. This is a totally preventable risk if even one shuttle is kept in operation on at least a "launch on need" basis. Every component of the ISS fits in the shuttle, only relatively small parts fit in a Russian Progress capsule. ISS can last virtually indefinitely as long as we can supply spare parts as needed, and it will be essential as a base for assembling spacecraft for missions to asteroids, the Moon, Mars and beyond. We must not risk losing this national treasure.
  • Building now or improving the Constellation Program which can take us to the Moon, Mars and beyond. Delaying until the 2030's will find China, Russia and others will have already been there, and they will have taken the lead in technological leadership in the world--and gained the resulting jobs, innovations, and national wealth entirely at our expense. China is building their heavy lift to launch in 2014, is going to the Moon as early as 2017, and launches the first module of their own space station this year. Cancelling Constellation now would be like cancelling Apollo in 1965--robbing us of our future! Aries I mostly duplicates Space X's and similar private crew launch vehicles, but Aries V or a derivative should be built. Space X has proposed building a medium-heavy lift rocket, and perhaps they can fill the vaccuum with a Saturn-class rocket capable of launching Lunar and Martian spacecraft and habitats.  We have invested billions into Constellation and starting from scratch to build a similar rocket would take years longer and cost far more. NASA could simply give the plans and tooling to Space X or others and offer to buy launches if they build it; that may save money and get it done sooner.
  • Encouraging private space launches for ISS crews and supplies, exploration to the Moon and beyond, space industrialization and power generation, and tourism. Opposing regulations which would hinder the creation of a vibrant private space market.
  • Adopting a bold, exciting space program which will return Americans to the Moon and visit a near-Earth asteroid in this decade, and land on Mars by 2022 or no later than 2025. A vague program set decades in the future is the death of manned space exploration; it will never happen. Please see our sample timetable of possible missions below.
Space exploration must remain a national priority to maintain our technological leadership. The new Congress is urged to increase support for NASA and to direct it towards a bold plan of exploration. There are a great many other spending programs which could be cut instead.

The Coalition to Save Manned Space Exploration is a completely non-partisan project of The Conservative Caucus; a Virginia-based public policy organization: http://www.conservativeusa.org/. To achieve our shared space goals, Americans on all sides must work together in a large coalition. Sign up for more information and actions you can take to restore the dream and make it reality; not in the distant future, but in this decade! Organizations, experts, astronauts, and all individuals are invited to join the Coalition and to assist in promoting the goals of the Coalition. Sign up for email alerts, email us for more information.