Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Today is the one-year mark of Barack Obama’s presidency. In January of 2009, a subsidiary website of the St. Petersburg Times called PolitiFact has compiled more than 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign and is tracking their progress on the Obameter.
They rate the status as In the Works or Stalled. Once their reporters find action is completed, they rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken.
Last year, I introduced their initial report card for all space-related promises on the campaign trail... so I thought I’d post an update here on his one-year anniversary of being in office.
Stalled... #150: Code of Conduct for space-faring nations
Stalled... #331: Re-establish National Aeronautics & Space Council
DONE... #332: Additional Space Shuttle flight
Working #333: Speed development of next-gen space vehicle
DONE... #334: Use private sector to improve space flight
Working #335: Work with international allies on ISS
DONE... #336: Partner to enhance potential of ISS
DONE... #337: Use ISS for biological + physical research
DONE... #338: Explore whether ISS can operate after 2016
Working #339: Support human mission to moon by 2020
Stalled... #340: Robust R&D on future human/robotic missions
Stalled... #341: Increase spending for long missions [Mars, asteroids]
DONE... #342: Deploy global climate change monitoring system
Working #343: Improve climate change data records
DONE... #345: Enhance earth mapping
Working #349: Support commercial access to space
Working #350: Revise regulations for export of aerospace technology
Working #351: School programs to highlight space science achievement
So, the overall score sheet for us hopeful space enthusiasts shows 7 promises kept, 7 in the works, and 4 in a holding pattern due to budget restrictions or administrative debates. I personally don’t think that’s a bad track record by any means – though now that the national news is rife with the Constellation program being a "house of cards," of course we always want more!
#341 is the one over which many of us are desperate for news. No one truly believes we are about to see the death of long-duration manned spaceflight, or that "astronaut" will no longer be an occupation... but wow, there have been some awfully sad songs in the news lately.
Here at the crossroads, we impatiently away the upcoming State of the Union address, when most believe Obama will make his next announcement about human spaceflight.
Posted by PillowNaut at 9:34 AM