Who Outsourced The US Space Program?

Russ Steele

Obama is making a big deal about outsourcing of American jobs.  I wonder how many Russian jobs this Obama outsourcing of the space program created?

This morning, Kazakhstan time, the next mission to the International Space Station successfully blasted off carrying the usual trio — a Russian commander, an astronaut from the international community and an American in a seat rented by NASA since the retirement of the last U.S. space shuttle a year ago this month.

The United States was once a leader in space technology, and now we have to rent a seat to the Space Station from the Russians. Obama is creating Russian jobs, while the US space industry employees are collecting in the unemployment lines.  

Obama can yammer about outsourcing, but his administration is one of the major outsourcers in America.


About Russ Steele
Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

13 Responses to Who Outsourced The US Space Program?

  1. Doug LaMalfa says:

    hah, just read that one too. evidently it’s to insource those HSRail “jobs” They get: high tech satellite and space research/tech, we get: 19th century steel wheel on steel rail tech [sped up to 220?] and a gigantic budget hole for the next few decades. thanks Russ!

  2. Dena says:

    The military and NASSA are two of the few constitutional things the government does. Both are being cut to the bones. Of all things, the Huffy post has this interesting item.

  3. I’m sure Russ, and our esteemed future Congressman, know full well who “outsourced the space program”. George W Bush published and presented his future of the US Space Program in 2004. It called for eliminating the manned flight program for the decade after the retirement of the space shuttle at a minimum, in favor of utilizing Russian lift capacity, and focusing on unmanned robotic exploration.

  4. Brad Croul says:

    This is the NASA budget since 1987 in 2007 Constant (Million) Dollars -from Wiki


    I don’t see any radical reductions.
    You guys need to make up your minds if you are ‘for’ Tea Party principals or just ‘against’ Obama.

    • Russ says:

      Well, it does depend on what the budget is spent on, and that current dollars do not buy as much as it did in the 1980s. Some of the Obama space budget is focused on a program to make Muslims feel better about science. A lot of the NASA budget go to modeling global warming and adjusting temperatures to demonstrate that humans are responsible for global warming, which has proven to be a natural warming and cooling cycle. Money that could have been spent on space exploration, not trying to prove AGW.

      • Dena says:

        NASSA has gone from 4.4% of the federal budget to about .53%. Government spending out of control or inflation? NASSA has been fighting restricted funding from the time they ended the Apollo program. Had more funding been available, the Shuttle would have been built far differently and would have been cheaper to operate as well as being more reliable.

      • Brad Croul says:

        Dena, 50 years ago, during the space race, NASA’s budget was was 4% of the Fed budget (for a couple of years). Look at the chart. It’s been around 1%, or less, for around 40 years.
        So the Rooskies created a bus route beyond the ozone to nowhere. At least the proposed central valley cho-cho goes somewhere (albeit, neither destination is somewhere I want to be).
        Let’s get those rocket scientists working on the next generation of rail that taxpayers can actually use-Maglev.

      • Dena says:

        I have enough electrical background to know Maglev while a neat concept will be very expensive for a long time to come. Also sadly, NASSA’s rocket scientist would not be my first chose to build a railroad. They are used to working in a government environment where cost is not a major consideration. Working in the real world, what you construct must work every time and be as cheap as possible. If you can’t design that, you shouldn’t proceed with the project or your company will go broke. I have worked for several companies that have gone down the tubes in the past, but what cause them to fail wasn’t something I did. It was done by somebody else not following the above rule.
        Also note that there is a big difference between a Scientist and an Engineer. For a rail system that I want to cover the country, I want an Engineer working on it. if it requires a Scientist, it’s not ready to build.

  5. RL Crabb says:

    Even though I am frustrated that I may not live to see a man walk on Mars, I have seen them walk on the moon, a feat that took 50,000 years of evolution to accomplish. Be patient, the planets aren’t going anywhere. It just may take a little longer than one lifetime to get there.

    • Dena says:

      Without additional funding and targeting a Mars landing, it may never happen. The original NASSA had one goal and that was maned space flight. Now NASSA is into so many things, they don’t seem to have the money to build the next generation device. Instead they are reinvention Apollo.

  6. Sean says:

    I must admit that NASA’s response to the Columbia loss made me completely lose faith in the orgainization. It has become an extremely bloated beaurocracy where every failure leads to several layers of new review on projects. I find it absurd that NASA could not develop a shuttle replacement vehicle in a 6-8 year period while at the same time I know that if it did, it would be obscenely expensive to operate just like the shuttle. ($0.5-1 billion to lauch each “space truck” into orbit). Large government project like this are pork distribution systems and this is just as true of major weapon systems as it is of NASA vehicles. Part of the approval process is to get work into as many congressional districts as possible, without regard to efficiency or expertise. That’s why even though I’m not a big fan of Elon Musk, Space X is an interesting venture. As a private enterprise, it does not have the legislated inefficiencies that NASA has. The successful launch and recovery of their capsule gives them legitimacy. Personnally, I think if NASA did have a man rated vehicle ready to go, it would be difficult to get NASA to use a commercial one, even if the cost of a ride into space was 1/4 to 1/2 the NASA system cost. For this reason, I think the situation we find ourselve in today with respect to manned space flight may have a pretty big silver lining.

    • Michael Anderson says:

      Sean, I totally agree. It’s time for the private companies to step up to the plate. And I like that NASA is now focusing on robotics R&D.

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