# A cut too far.

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by Trippy, Jul 6, 2011.

1. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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Yeah, and they've spent 900 Billion on a war on terror, they're spending 685 Billion on the DOD, and they're asking for an extra 37 Billion for their war on terror, with a total 0f 1-1.4 Trillion to be spent on defence (includes DOD+ Other sources).

According to SIPRI the US alone was responsible for 42% of the global expenditure on Defense.

3. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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Yes. We're spending too much everywhere. We have got to dramatically lower spending AND raise taxes to pay off the debts we've accrued. Once we do that, things like the Webb will be easier to pay for.

5. ### spidergoatStop Plazma Inferno!Valued Senior Member

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We need to spend way more, just on different things.

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8. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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To make these kind of tough decisions.
When they make ones you don't like you bitch.

But budgets don't work that way, as you've gone on other places that like the French they spend .5% of their budget on space like we do, so NASA's budget is NASA's budget and they decided that that project was so mismanaged that it wasn't worth continuing to pour money into it.

No Bull. Are you denying that there is a possibility that the JWST could fail to reach orbit and be destroyed and we would have spent all that money and time and got nothing for it?

Yeah you did, and they were MINOR.
Stereotactic biopsy predates Hubble, but sure, they improved it for Breast Biopsies, maybe sped the technology up a few years over the wire guided approach, but it is hardly something that impacts the average person. And in comparison to the $10 Billion, it was and is a nit benefit which could easily have been developed with a few million of DIRECTED research into improving breast biopsies. I know eveyone wants to point off these occasional spin-offs, but directed research is SO much more cost efficient. Oh give me a break, they are a partner in the ISS, that's what they were always supposed to do. The Shuttle was the platform for building the ISS, the Russians, French and Japanese were going to provide the servicing missions. Besides that, the last STS mission took enough supplies to last the ISS until well into 2012, about when NASA's supply ships should begin flying. You've provided no evidence that this is the case. New technology is always difficult. This one they just bit off more than they could chew. Why? They clearly were not doing what they claimed they could do when Congress appropriated the money. Not even close, either in time or money. Yeah, we're all about war. We want war. We live for war. GIVE US WAR!!!!! Really? Last edited: Jul 12, 2011 9. ### billvonValued Senior Member Messages: 10,574 OK. Where does the money come from to spend? 10. ### cosmictravelerBe kind to yourself always.Valued Senior Member Messages: 33,449 The government sells bonds to itself to pay itself off. That's the illegal way they have been doing it for some time now and they are very much in the wrong by doing this illegal activity. But because they are the government they can get away with anything they want to, the citizens are the ones who suffer with lower dollar values and higher prices of everything. Eventually the costs will be so high that a depression will happen. 11. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member Messages: 10,880 True, but not the point I was making. And in so doing, failed to address the core problem. Beside the diuscussion we were having. Irrelevant. The technology is mostly ready to go. I didn't claim to have presented any evidence. I presented the statement as a supposition, not a fact. Having said that, take a step back and look at it. As an example, Hubble was over-time and over-budget because (among other reasons) perkin-elmer failed to do what they were contracted to do, and what happens? They get rewarded with more time and more money. Not only that,but the final product is flawed, because the sensor they were using to measure the mirrors shape was flawed - they even had two other sensors that were telling them that the shape of the mirror was wrong, and a backup mirror (up until they sucked up so much time and money with that, that they dropped it). But, Perkin-Elmer chose to ignore those results on the assumption that they were using the most accurate of the three sensors. I've already addressed the point that the budget flaw was that the initial estimates were lowballed. I'm fairly sure I've made clear my reasons for suggesting that canning the JWST is short sighted. For one thing, canning the project doesn't fix the issues which caused the project over runs in the first place. NASA researched the hardest parts of the technology ahead of time to save time and money. The majority (if not all) of the cost and time over runs have been because the companies working on the various components, have been deffering work that could have been done already, because NASA doesn't have the money to pay them to do it now, when it would be cheaper, instead of next year, when it's going to cost more. And why don't NASA have the money? Two reasons - one, the initial costings were lowballed, and two, NASA's budget was trimmed nearly every year between 1990 and 2000. Did you realize that if Congress gave NASA this extra 1.6 Billion dollars, their budget would still have been (in 2007 constant dollars) less than it was in 1991, and comparable to their budget in 1990, 1993, and 1994? And that as a percentage of the Federal budget, the only time it's been lower was pre-1960? Well, isn't a Senators job to reflect the will of the people? So the Senators (ostensibly) believe that the people wnat them to shave 1.6 Billion off NASA's budget, and gift the Military an additional 53 Billion - 37 of which is specifically for the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But then, these would be the same people (public anyway) that believe that NASA get 20% of the federal budget, rather than <1% So I guess... If the shirt fits :shrugs: 12. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member Messages: 10,880 How about the 37 Billion that the Government is about to authorize to be spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, or the extra 16 Billion over and above what the president asked for, that congress decided the USDOD needed. 13. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member Messages: 7,829 No it's not. Earliest launch date is 2018, clearly it is NOT "mostly ready to go". The longer it takes, the more it costs, their run rate is over 1 million per day. No. The report says that was not the only problem by far. Indeed it points to their major bugeting problems at the point of the Confirmation review in 2008, 6 years after the general contractor was chosen. Separate issue, but it is related. NASA will hopefully learn from their mistakes. Not according to the report. Indeed the project didn't start until after 2000, so budget issues from 1990 to 2000 have no bearing at all on their problems. Note, after confirmation the NASA project managers commit to complete the development based on the expectation of a reasonably bounded Life Cycle Cost and a firm launch date, but: So they are saying after they had worked on it for 6 years, they submitted a flawed budget to complete the project. You keep focusing on that 1.6 billion. The JWST was cancelled because it's launch date and life cycle costs kept going out and up, and they need almost$4 Billion to complete, based on a launch by 2015, but the reality is the latest estimate of the launch date is now out to ~2018, and thus the cost would likely be another couple of billion over that.

Not to that level of specificity. We have a representative government and we expect them to make the right decisions in these matters as the public has not the level of understanding of NASA or the mission or the problems to make those kind of specific decisions. They commissioned a talented group to study the program and after that study came to the conclusion that continuing it was not in our best interests at this time.

14. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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Now go back and re-read what I actually said.
Or do you think that the Technology is the only piece of this puzzle?
Interesting.
What - you think they shoot a bunch boxes, some mirrors, and some solar panels up into space, without testing them, and hope that they'll withstand the cold, the vacuum, the radiation, and somehow manage to spontaneously organize themselves into a Space Telescope?

Really. I gave you more credit than that.

Yeah, remember this post: http://sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=2777387&postcount=3 where I linked to the Casani report.

First off, I don't recall suggesting that it was the only issue.
Secondly, even with some modest research you can find members of the astronomical community, who voiced right from the get-go, when the JWST was going to be a 500M USD project with an 8m mirror who got clipped upside the back of the head for suggesting as much.

Apparently, the only people who believed they could do it were NASA. So no, the budgeting problems existed before the confirmation in 2008, but they may not have become apparent before then.

The Casani report made a series of reccomedations to fix the problem and reign in the cost.
The House Appropriations Comittee chose not to fix the problems, and can the project instead.

Bull-pucky.
If NASA's budget had been maintained at 1990 levels over the last 8 years, there would have been an extra 3 Billion USD available, but no, they were cut back from 19.7 Billion in 1991 to 14.9 Billion in 2000, and held in the 15-16 Billion USD range between 2001 and 2007.

The JWST was first proposed in 1989 (as the NGST) as a successor for Hubble, because Giacconi (director of the STSci at the time) realized that it would take about 20 years from conception to launch. In 1993, the Dressler report reccomended extending the lifetime of the HST to 2010 and putting a 4m telescope in a low background orbit, in 1994 Hi-Z was proposed. In 1995 Goldin took the helm with his "Faster, Better, Cheaper" mantra, and pushed them to consider an 8m Telescope, and in 1996 a report was published that laid out the roadmap for the NGST for the next decade. By 2000, they had already ruled out a 2000 launch because of the mirror schedule, and the cost was already several hundred million over budget.

It was because of these already existing budget problems, and the realization of future technological (and I believe budget) problems that in 2001 the Telescope mirror size was reduced from 8m to 6.4m.

So yes, I think it is entirely relevant to consider the funding conditions of the '90s as part of the problem.

I'm aware of how the planning process is supposed to work, thankyou.

The underestimated their confidence intervals on the budget - IE they lowballed it.

Note that Sen. Mikulski, the Senator that wrote the latter requesting the review that resulted in the Cassani report, still supports the JWST, thinks it should be allowed to go ahead, and thinks that cancelling it is short sighted, and will set back American technological and scientific advance substantialy.

Go back and re-read the report - they need an additional 1.6B USD on top of the 4.5B odd the originally projected in April 2006, after the replanning started in August 2005 they did as a result of cost growth revealed in Spring 2005.

Only the experts didn't reccomend canning the project, did they. A Senator did, because it was over budget and behind schedule. The report came to the conclusion that the most cost effective way of fixing the project was to sink a little extra money into it now so that the defered work could be completed, and to fix the management structure, allowing the project to go ahead.

They commissioned a study, and then chose to ignore the advice given to them, and instead follow the lead of the Tea Party (whos views on the matter align with yours). Meanwhile, the AAS, AURA, Sen. Mikulski, and Sen. Polis all seem to support the completion of the project (they're the one's I've been able to identify in the little time I have anyway - I get the impression there are a number of others as well, support for the project is widespread).

What makes it worse is this: It's not just NASA that's had its funding cut, it's science. It's NASA, NSF, NOAA, and NIST, have all had their funding cut, or reduced from what Obama requested.

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16. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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As I do you, but I still think that if it can't launch till 2108 saying it is "mostly ready to go" is not an accurate assessment of the project or the technology. As in the testing that must be done. Certainly FAILING the tests is a possible outcome, is it not?

Don't matter, they still blew it after 6 years on the project, and more importantly AFTER the Confirmation when they should really know what it will take to complete/launch.

Yeah, because later estimates only got worse.

No, they knew the budget conditions when they started the project and it doesn't matter that NASA didn't get the money they wanted in the 90s, they FULLY FUNDED this project, it just didn't meet it's goals, worse after the Confirmation in 08, it really went in the toilet from what they predicted then, which was the kiss of death.

So?
It's not jsut Mikulski's opinion that matters.

So, it's still would take over 4 Billion to launch it 7 years from now, MAYBE, and thats MORE than the original budget and timeline.

That wasn't what they were asked.
But that's certainly a valid conclusion from the report they prepared.
are a number of others as well, support for the project is widespread).

Yeah, things are TOUGH all over.
Maybe you heard of the GLOBAL RECESSION we are having?
Oh, and NOAA got $4.5 billion including a Polar satellite system and the National Science Foundation got$6.9 Billion so it's not like we aren't giving them a LOT of money.

Arthur

Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
17. ### CptBorkRobbing the Shalebridge CradleValued Senior Member

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Re Arthur:

If that's your reasoning, why not cut back every single federal program which isn't matching its budget or delivering a tangible return on its dollars? What benefit is there to handing hundreds of billions of dollars to Wall Street firms and banks who were so badly over budget and off projection, that they went completely under and crashed the economy? Why does NASA/America's future technical prowess have to be first on the chopping block, when the economic trouble wasn't even their fault? I know NASA employees can't muster too many votes at election time, but their contributions to the US and the world go quite a ways beyond their ability to vote or unionize...

18. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Why do you think I'd have a problem with that?

Different issue entirely, but they are paying back the money.
And WE crashed the fuckin economy.
Bubbles only work because millions of us got greedy.

IT WAS THEIR FAULT.

Arthur

19. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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When you are over 14 trillion dollars in the hole, what makes more sense? Do you spend even more, or do you reduce your spending? What would be the common sense solution?

20. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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Yes, however blowing a gasket during a vacuum test (for example) does not prove that the cryocooler isn't technologically ready for depolyment.[/quote]

Woulda-shoulda-coulda.
They blew their estimates of the reserves required, and ate them. They should have got their budget right the first time. Even back in 2005, they should have done a ground up estimate.

Yes. On this we agree - they should have gotten it right at confirmation in 2008.
They should have rebuilt the budget from the ground up after what happened in 2005, but they didn't.

Still the wrong choice.

Thankyou for so adequately illustrating my point for me.

Yes, they knew the budget conditions when they started, they knew that big science wasn't going to get the money it needed to do the job it wanted.

I gave four examples in that

So? That's the money Congress agreed to spend in 2008 in Confirmation when NASA said it would take 5.1 Billion for a 2014 lift off (as far as I'm aware anyway - there's a lot of fluff on the web on this that makes finding anything conrecete difficult).

I don't recall suggesting that it was.

I suggest otherwise - the implication behind my statement is that if the independent panel of experts had felt that canning the project was the most cost effective step, then they would have said so.

Really? No shit Sherlock. There's a recession on? I hadn't noticed :/ (note the sarcastic smiley).

NOAA, NSF, NIST, and NASA have all had their budgets slashed by 5%-10% by this proposal.

Meanwhile the USDOD is being given an extra 50 Billion.

Maybe Congress should can the F-35 while they're at it. It's over budget by the same percentage, and behind schedule by a similar amount as the JWST, and that will save them tens to hundreds of billions of dollars, rather than the couple of billion they've spared themselves.

Oh wait, that's right, because it's a matter of national security.

21. ### TrippyALEA IACTA ESTStaff Member

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When you're over 14 Trillion Dollars in the hole, what makes more sense?
How does giving trimming your science spending by 10 Billion only to turn around and give your military an extra 50 billion (37 of which is for one war), or planning on spending 56 Billion on an aircraft that's behind schedule and over budget, or planning on spending 385 billion over 21 years to acquire 2500 of them make any sense?

See, that's the thing that bugs me about this whole 'argument' there are far larger savings to be made elsewhere. Making savings, and having the JWST aren't mutually exclusive.

Build one less Virginia class submarine, and there's your extra money that NASA needs to get the JWST to launch, plus some change.

22. ### adoucetteCaca OccursValued Senior Member

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Trippy, if it was "mostly ready" it wouldn't take 7 years from now to launch.
at over 1 million per day, that's a LOT of work yet to be done.

We'll see.
I think the boys at NASA will figure out how to do this for less.

No, it's Billions more than was agreed to at the Confirmation in 2008. Had they met the Confirmation numbers/time lines we wouldn't be having this discussion.

That wasn't there charter.
They just said what it would take to fix the problem.
Congress decided they didn't want to spend that much money NOW, on a launch 7 years from now.

And if there wasn't then it would be much more likely that they would have let this slide.

5 to 10% in these tough economic times is NOT being slashed.

Yeah, it is.
Too bad fighters, carriers and submarines cost so much.

Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
23. ### billvonValued Senior Member

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It doesn't make sense. The only thing that makes sense is to trim EVERYTHING.

Yep. And there's some military type out there saying "it's absolutely ridiculous to compromise our nation's security just so we can have two space telescopes instead of one. We won't have any telescopes if the USSR can destroy them without fear of reprisal."

And who is right? Both are. And until BOTH types are willing to give up their favorite project to pay off this debt, the hole we are in will just get deeper and deeper.

Ask yourself this. Let's say you are deep in debt and are about to lose your house; your family will have no place to live. Which should you give up?