Posts Tagged ‘NASA’
November 21st, 2013 at 12:01 pm
Google’s Green Hypocrisy Pollutes the Environment, Costs Taxpayers

Google likes to promote itself as a green, environmentally conscious company. After all, the company stays busy lobbying for carbon tax and cap-and-trade schemes, encouraging government to shutter coal plants and building solar farms. In reality, however, as I point out in a piece featured today on The Blaze, Google is far from green.

The company’s executives control a fleet of private jets that they use to gallivant to vacation spots around the globe – burning an average of 100,000 gallons of fuel every month. The supposedly environmentally conscious company’s jets have emitted more than 100 million pounds of carbon dioxide over the last four years alone.

What’s worse is that you are helping to fund Google’s green hypocrisy. Google, thanks in part to its hefty campaign donations and cozy relationships with federal lawmakers and the Obama Administration, gets to park its jets in a taxpayer-funded NASA hangar and purchase its jet fuel at below-market prices from NASA and the Department of Defense. Google officials spent an estimated $29 million on jet fuel at the facility, roughly $10 million less than what they would have paid on the open market.

Read the entire story here.

September 17th, 2013 at 12:29 pm
Three MORE Stupid Ways the Government Wastes Your Money

1) No manned space missions to Mars will be possible for at least 25 years, according to NASA projections. Still, NASA spends about $1 million a year “researching and building the Mars menu.” According to Sen. Tom Coburn’s annual “Wastebook” publication, NASA passed out an additional $947,000 in 2012 to researchers at Cornell University and the University of Hawaii to pretend they were on Mars and eat food that could be served on the Red Planet.

2) Because the federal government couldn’t actually afford to fund President Obama’s ill-conceived $833 billion stimulus debacle, American taxpayers will continue to pay for the scheme for years to come — with interest.

Among the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s more outrageous expenditures was a $20,785 handout to the Miccosukee Indian Village in Florida that funded, among other things, a high school-age alligator wrestler. Two other alligator wrestlers from the Miccosukee Tribe have been severely injured performing with gators in recent years. Now, thanks to Obama, taxpayers are helping to pay for a kid to engage in the senseless stunt.

3) In February the Government Accountability Office revealed that American taxpayers spent millions to shuttle the Attorney General and the FBI Director around in two high-tech luxury jets.

The pair of Gulfstream V jets were supposedly purchased for counterterrorism purposes, but were used more than 60 percent of the time for “non-mission flights” from 2007 to 2011. Flying Attorney General Eric Holder, his predecessor in the Bush administration and FBI Director Robert Mueller around on those “non-mission flights” cost taxpayers $11.4 million.

August 6th, 2012 at 10:46 am
Curiosity Reigns! Congratulations

By the way, many congratulations to NASA for the successful landing of Curiosity.

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May 31st, 2012 at 5:53 pm
First Commercial Flight to Space Successfully Completed Today

ABC News reports that the SpaceX Dragon, the first private spacecraft to service the International Space Station, successfully returned to Earth this morning at 8:42am Pacific Daylight Time, off the coast of San Diego.

The mission wasn’t glamorous.  The unmanned Dragon “carried extra supplies, experiments and garbage that the space station astronauts had loaded on board.”  However, the success of the flight indicates that May 31, 2012 might become a milestone in commercialized space travel.

Until now, all flights to the space station have been made by the U.S., Russian or European space agencies. NASA hopes SpaceX and other commercial firms will take over space jobs previously done only by governments.

[Space entrepreneurs] say space could be a bit like the old West: Governments sent explorers, such as Columbus or Lewis and Clark, to open the frontier, and then private settlers followed.

PayPal founder Elon Musk started SpaceX in 2002 and is moving his company closer to becoming the private sector alternative to ferry U.S. astronauts to the ISS.  (With the shuttle fleet mothballed, the Russians are doing the job now at price-gouging levels.)  Jeff Bezos of started Blue Origin to build, test, and deploy reusable spacecraft.  Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic wants to make orbits around Earth the high-flying equivalent of a five-star cruise.

With the economy in the tank and NASA failing to find an extraterrestrial mission Congress will fund, it’s time to let these and other capitalistic cowboys take their shot at taming the final frontier.

March 1st, 2012 at 7:10 pm
99% of NASA’s Computers Are Not Encrypted

From The Blaze:

According to the Office of Management and Budget, a mere 1 percent of NASA’s portable devices and laptops have been encrypted this year.

“Until NASA fully implements an Agency-wide data encryption solution, sensitive data on its mobile computing and portable data storage devices will remain at high risk for loss or theft,” [NASA Inspector General Paul] Martin said.

This wouldn’t be a big deal except that:

An unencrypted NASA laptop computer complete with command codes to control the International Space Station was stolen last year, according to congressional testimony by NASA’s inspector general.

In a statement given to a House committee on the security challenges facing NASA, Paul K. Martin said the computer was actually not an isolated incident but was in fact one of 48 taken between April 2009 and April 2011.

But who cares about cyber security so long as the Obama Administration is making sure “dominantly Muslim nations… feel good about their historic contribution to science… and math and engineering”?

September 16th, 2011 at 7:37 am
Podcast: Consequences of Neutering America’s Space Program
Posted by Print

In an interview with CFIF, George Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom, discusses why the end of the space shuttle program and America’s dominance in space are huge mistakes.

Listen to the interview here.

January 17th, 2011 at 11:28 pm
Global Warming Extremist Hansen: America’s Problem is Democracy
Posted by Print

Dr. James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has been upping the ante for global warming hyperventilation for decades. After all, this is the man who said that global warming would leave parts of Manhattan underwater in 20 years — 22 years ago.

Yet Hansen, who enjoys mainstream respectability on the left, has trumped even his own debased standards for cluelessness with a recent round of remarks in China. Writing in the Washington Times, the Cato Institute’s Patrick J. Michaels has some of the gory details:

According to Mr. Hansen, compared to China, we are “the barbarians” with a “fossil-money- ‘democracy’ that now rules the roost,” making it impossible to legislate effectively on climate change. Unlike us, the Chinese are enlightened, unfettered by pesky elections.

Mr. Hansen has another idea to circumvent our democracy. Because Congress is not likely to pass any legislation making carbon-based energy prohibitively expensive, he proposed, in the South China Morning Post, that China lead a boycott of our economy:

“After agreement with other nations, e.g., the European Union, China and these nations could impose rising internal carbon fees. Existing rules of the World Trade Organization would allow collection of a rising border duty on products from all nations that do not have an equivalent internal carbon fee or tax.

“The United States then would be forced to make a choice. It could either address its fossil-fuel addiction … or … accept continual descent into second-rate and third-rate economic well-being.”

It may not be necessary for climate change alarmists to make common cause with authoritarian statists the world over. But how many times does it have to happen before we can assume that it’s a feature, rather than an accessory, of the environmental left’s worldview?

July 12th, 2010 at 9:05 am
Ramirez Cartoon: NASA Psychologist
Posted by Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

June 14th, 2010 at 12:09 pm
The Hubris to Think Small

As a die-hard space enthusiast, I find it hard to believe that the Obama Administration can’t seem to come up with $3 billion a year to sustain America’s manned space program.  From the folks who continue to bring us trillion dollar deficits and hundreds of billions in new spending for feel-good policies like universal health insurance, combating climate change, and subsidized job creation, can it really be that the end of the budget line stops just short of funding NASA’s Constellation program?

Apparently so.  A commission created by President Obama concluded that NASA’s current strategy is too expensive, lacks innovation, and takes too long to achieve its goal of getting Americans back to the Moon, and then off to Mars by 2020.  The criticism reminds me of the adage about getting something fast, accurate, and cheap: you can have any two, but not all three.  Thus, it looks like Americans will get nothing now that Obama’s NASA chief is directing contractors to abort their work as the government prepares to terminate the program.

So, good riddance thousands of science and engineering jobs; hello make-work Recovery Act projects!

Though I’m sure the Obama White House doesn’t agree; killing the Constellation program is the latest example of an inner circle that can’t see the forest for the trees.  Afghanistan is the war that won’t (can’t?) end; no one seems to know how to “plug the damn hole” in the Gulf; and there is growing unease about the direction of the country from the Left and the Right.  Wouldn’t a presidential challenge to put an American on Mars by the end of this decade be the kind of national rallying point we need?

It would inspire the best and brightest to pursue astrophysics instead of exotic financial careers, spur public and private investments in aerospace (and by extension, defense) technology, and give Americans a reason to wave Old Glory together apart from a sporting event or wartime.  It would also make good on the president’s implied promise to be the heir of John F. Kennedy, the first chief executive to call for a national moon shot.

For that, though, this president would need a quality that has so far eluded him: the courage to lay down an unmistakable threshold of success.

October 14th, 2009 at 1:37 pm
NASA is A-Twitter with a New Marketing Possibility

Say you’re a career civil servant who’s looking for a way to package old wine in a new wine skin. You don’t have the budget for hiring hot marketing talent or revamping your website. What to do? Invite a flock of twitterers to tweet about your work. Of course, this strategy is probably a bit easier to implement if you’re a NASA scientist offering prime seating at a shuttle launch in exchange for good publicity in the form of electronic sentence fragments. If nothing else, it will probably be a better show than watching a delivery of supplies to the International Space Station.  To be sure, transparency in government is usually a good thing, but do we really need to spend taxpayer money sharing footage of the space equivalent of a trucker delivering goods to a grocery store?