Thursday Ends In A “Y”, Right?

The state of NASA’s space suit supply looks bleak in a new report from the space agency’s auditor. NASA is still “years away” from having a new space suit ready for future deep-space missions, the report claims, even though the agency has invested close to $200 million on space suit development since 2007.

Meanwhile, NASA seems to be running out of the space suits it does have for the astronauts on the ISS. Only a fraction of the original space suit supply for the station is fully functional right now, and NASA may risk not having enough space suits to last through the end of the ISS program, currently scheduled for 2024.

If either of us told the other that this was somehow surprising, there would be lying going on.

These problems, outlined by NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), could turn into major roadblocks for NASA as it tries to pull off its long-term human exploration plans. Right now, NASA’s goal is to start building a human outpost in the space near the Moon throughout the 2020s, where astronauts can live and train for future deep-space missions. Then in the 2030s, the first Mars astronauts will leave from this outpost and make the journey to the Red Planet.

As much as NA$A has earned a well-deserved hammering for this, and it is a day ending in “Y”, this is actually fantastic news. Think about it: by the time NA$A gets its’ act together, the astronauts they send will have to clear Customs. And then buy air and water credits (Heinlein reference for the obtuse).

You know, I was gonna end it here, but I just can’t.

What the effity-eff are we paying for? A friggin decade to end up with nothing? With all the billions-with-a-B that they collect in tax dollars?

We should write to the President and demand that every dollar increase in the Federal budget be balanced by reducing NA$A’s budget by two. I’d say to take the entire thing and split it up amongst the private companies that are actually doing something, but no. First off, the tax rates are too high and Gummint shouldn’t be in the business of stealing from their employers anyway. Second, they’ll be wanting something for all those dollars, and getting away from the US Government is just as important as getting away from all the nuclear-armed crazies and/or fanatics.

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