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Unformatted text preview: he cuts were a way to keep NASA's budget to $19 billion while continuing a Constellation-like program, offers Louis Friedman, co-founder of the Planetary Society in Pasadena, Calif., which also has opposed the House version. Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 115 Mercury Politics Human Exploration – Unpopular – No Political Consensus (2/2) Human spaceflight doesn’t have support it needs - Lukewarm commitments Dorr, Aerospace Analyst, 9 (Robert F. – Senior US Diplomat and Aerospace and Military Author, Looking to new leaders, Washington Watch Pg. 12, July 2009-August 2009, Lexis) AC NASA has been without a leader since Michael Griffin stepped down in January. The new administrator will face fundamental decisions about U.S. space policy but also could be preempted: An independent panel commissioned by the Obama administration in May, and led by former aerospace executive Norman Augustine, is looking at the Constellation program that will develop the next-generation Ares and Orion manned space boosters and vehicles. It is unclear whether the new administrator can shape key decisions (or even spend appropriated funds) before late summer, when the commission issues its findings. Most observers in the capital feel, however, that the White House, the new NASA administrator, and Capitol Hill lawmakers must take an even broader look--going far beyond Augustine's mandate to study Constellation--at what the nation wants to do in space and whether the public will support it. Obama inherited President Bush's "vision" for a new generation of manned spacecraft under the Constellation program, to be preceded by retirement of the shuttle fleet next year. As a candidate, Obama reversed an early position and supported the vision, which would take astronauts to the Moon by 2020 and eventually to Mars. As president, he has seemed lukewarm on human spaceflight and has made no significant statement about space policy. The editorial board of USA Today, citing NASA's "diminished stature," urged a focus "not on fixing NASA's failures"--a reference to a string of unfulfilled human spaceflight programs under several presidents--"but on building on its successes." Those include probes to Mars, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and other robot platforms, the newspaper opined, but not space vehicles that carry astronauts. Calling Constellation a costly program with "modest support," the newspaper implied that human spaceflight is not viable and that "NASA's real stars are its machines." On the day of this pro-robot editorial, it was reported that the NASA Mars rover Opportunity had discovered new evidence of water in a Martian crater called Victoria. However, the second of two Mars rovers, Spirit, has been foiled by technical glitches. The administration's budget proposals for NASA do not respond to the view of some that space exploration ought to be conducted by robots. Many argue, however, that the proposals do not sufficiently support human spaceflight either. The administration endorses shuttle retirement in 2010 and a return to the...
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