Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sen. Brownback to hold discussion on commercial space flight

June 24, 2010


— Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback planned to host a panel discussion of the future commercial space flight Thursday in Washington.

The Republican senator says Kansas' history as a leader in general aviation could help the state be a leader in space flight.

Officials of several companies involved in space flight were expected to take part in the panel discussion.


Abdu Omar 7 years, 12 months ago

Is this what is important to him? Commercial space fights?

We have lots of other issues, Brownback.

overthemoon 7 years, 12 months ago

He has an answer for everyone of them. "no"

gccs14r 7 years, 12 months ago

We're too far away from the Equator to be a practical launch site, and surprise! we don't have a well-educated workforce for aerospace innovation because the State won't fund education. Besides, we're in the middle of nowhere, so no one would want to come here, anyway.

vigil05 7 years, 12 months ago

A spaceport doesn't have to be located near the equator to be practical. The Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan is a good example. It's on a higher latitude than Kansas, but is still being used by various space agencies, including NASA. Secondly, Baikonur is probably just as "middle of nowhere" as Kansas is. This just might be the "in" that Kansas can offer to help jump-start what looks to be a promising future for commercial spaceflight (see the recent SpaceX launch)

The state's motto is "ad astra per aspera". Now might very well be the time to live up to it.

Tristan Moody 7 years, 12 months ago

Baikonur is far from ideal. To reach low earth orbit, you need to achieve a velocity of 17,500 mph relative to the center of the earth. If you start at the equator, you are already starting at 1,000 mph. At Baikonur's latitude, that drops to 714 mph. Furthermore, the closer you are to the equator, the more choices of orbit you have without doing additional out-of-plane burns. Far away from the equator, you can only reach inclinations as low as your own latitude without additional burns--for lower inclinations, the lower you want to go, the more fuel it takes, which means more money for less payload. The Cape has a latitude of about 28 degrees, while Baikonur has a latitude of 45 degrees. Kansas is right around 39 degrees.

This poses a problem, as a large amount of commercial spaceflight would likely serve to put communications satellites in orbit, which need to be at a 0-degree inclination.

Finally, there is the safety issue--there is a reason all major US launch sites are on the coast. A rocket explosion can throw debris up to 10 miles. A launch in Kansas would create a roughly 20-mile-wide danger zone to the east, extending hundreds of miles.

gccs14r 7 years, 12 months ago

To that end, there are launches conducted from platforms in the ocean to get that equatorial advantage. The U.S. isn't using that method, but other countries do.

vigil05 7 years, 12 months ago

Good call. Still an interesting prospect. Was glossing over the "best" source on the interwebz (Wikipedia =p) for locations of launchpads.. pretty scattered globally. Only 2 launch pads @ the 28 degree latitude. The Cape, and Kennedy for the USA.
I guess it'll depend on what sort of orbit they'd want to achieve? Maybe a space tourism hub of sorts - that's commercial right?

geekyhost 7 years, 12 months ago

We could build spacecraft out in Wichita. They don't need to launch from there. But agreed about the well-educated workforce.

1983Hawk 7 years, 12 months ago

Anything and everything to keep the public sector on its knees in front of the big corporations. Heaven only knows what kind of "incentive$" will be needed to launch the commercial space flight initiative and help even more millionaires get a shot at orbiting the earth.

Maddy Griffin 7 years, 12 months ago

Commercial space flight! What the? How much commerce is going on out there?In the face of what's going on on this planet, is this really a priority? Tom Holland for Governor!

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 12 months ago

I'm rather surprised Brownback approves of this. After all, if God had meant man to fly he would have given us wings, right?

63BC 7 years, 12 months ago

Great opportunity for developing high-tech Kansas jobs.

Brownback gets things done, haters on this board complain.


zbarf 7 years, 12 months ago

Wow...Brownback is trying to grow the aerospace industry in ks to build upon a great history of aerospace (if successful we would see job and economic growth), but the ridiculous libs above are bad mouthing him about this effort.

If it is not about easy social program handouts, these libs won't be satisfied because they are a bunch of lazy slobs that don't want to work and don't want to see economic growth for all people.

Get a job!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 12 months ago

What the hell for?

Does this NOT realize about 16 million people need jobs or the country may go bankrupt?

The reckless republicans have blown this USA economy twice and provided the wealthy with entitlements such as tax breaks and giving OUR tax dollars to wealthy corp america aka Big Government Entitltments aka Big Government corp welfare.

Of course he does NOT want to talk about how his party consistently steals money from taxpayers in a very BIG way.

If you study the facts you likely would not vote republican for several decades.

Study these facts and you will understand my position. Repubs are not repubs. They became radical right wing in 1980 and never looked back. All the while ripping apart our economy and watching millions upon millions of jobs go abroad.

The Global Economy and Reagnomics are absolute failures for the USA!!!

This is what I mean:
1. The Reagan/ Bush Savings and Loan Heist

  1. The Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank Fraud on Consumers

  2. What did Bush and Henry Paulson do with the $700 billion of bail out money?

  3. Why did GW Bush Lie About Social Security?( This would cost taxpayers $4 trillion,place taxpayers insurance money at risk and wreck the economy)

  4. Still A Bad Idea – Bush Tax Cuts - The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class

  5. The "tea parties" BTW are part of the wreckanomics program funded by the Koch Brothers... well known oil billionaires. These thinkers back a tax payers bill of rights which is another scheme to reward the upper 1% which is designed to wreck local and state governments: AKA

The Other ENTITLEMENT Program for the Wealthy

Richard Heckler 7 years, 12 months ago

Perhaps he should explain the following to we citizen taxpayers:

In the early 1980s, under Reagan, regulatory changes took place that gave the S&L industry new powers and for the first time in history measures were taken to increase the profitability of S&Ls at the expense of promoting home ownership.

A history of the S&L situation can be found here:

What is important to note about the S&L scandal is that it was the largest theft in the history of the world and US tax payers are who was robbed.

The problems occurred in the Savings and Loan industry as they relate to theft because the industry was deregulated under the Reagan/Bush administration and restrictions were eased on the industry so much that abuse and misuse of funds became easy, rampant, and went unchecked.

Additional facts on the Savings and Loan Scandal can be found here:

There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and still part of the Bush Jr. administration today.

Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars (note that this is about one quarter of our national debt).

Between 1981 and 1989, when George Bush finally announced that there was a Savings and Loan Crisis to the world, the Reagan/Bush administration worked to cover up Savings and Loan problems by reducing the number and depth of examinations required of S&Ls as well as attacking political opponents who were sounding early alarms about the S&L industry. Industry insiders were aware of significant S&L problems as early 1986 that they felt would require a bailout. This information was kept from the media until after Bush had won the 1988 elections.

Jeb Bush defaulted on a $4.56 million loan from Broward Federal Savings in Sunrise, Florida. After federal regulators closed the S&L, the office building that Jeb used the $4.56 million to finance was reappraised by the regulators at $500,000, which Bush and his partners paid. The taxpayers had to pay back the remaining 4 million plus dollars.

Neil Bush was the most widely targeted member of the Bush family by the press in the S&L scandal. Neil became director of Silverado Savings and Loan at the age of 30 in 1985. Three years later the institution was belly up at a cost of $1.6 billion to tax payers to bail out.

Liberty275 7 years, 12 months ago

That's funny coming from the echopiece of two clowns from comedy central, an idiot at MSNBC and the wacko wing of the left at the huffpo blogorama or the DUmmy forum. Are you capable of even having a thought before they give it to you?

As for merril, he copypastas garbage from leftwing blogs and expects people to read it. That's just a lack of creativity and laziness. His teacher probably taught him by rote with hip hop. Yo dawg, we heard you like dissing on republicans so we put a picture of karl marx in your trunk.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 12 months ago

Maybe Brownback should explain this to his audience regarding the Bush/Cheney Wall Street Bank rip off?

"And, yes, substantial fraud was involved. For example, mortgage companies and banks used deceit to get people to take on mortgages when there was no possibility that the borrowers would be able to meet the payments. Not only was this fraud, but this fraud depended on government authorities ignoring their regulatory responsibilities.

So, no, a bubble and a Ponzi scheme are not the same. But they have elements in common. Usually, however, the losers in a Ponzi scheme are simply the direct investors, the schemer’s marks. A bubble like the housing bubble can wreak havoc on all of us."

Arthur MacEwan is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Dollars & Sense Associate.

Perhaps Brownback was never around enough. Too busy collecting that BIG wallet full of corrupt special interest campaign dollars. That which erodes democracy.

Centerville 7 years, 12 months ago

Palin has endorsed Tiahrt, like an hour ago. LJW asleep at switch.

camper 7 years, 12 months ago

You could make an argument that this could lead to the development of new technology. But being a private venture, it would seem almost impossible that there would be enough demand to make this come close to break-even.

Would a venture of this magnitude also seek public investment or grants? Naw that would be Socialism. Regardless, if I were to take a flight, I'd feel pretty safe as I put on my crash helmet and sit next to Zoey, the Chimpanzee who would also come along for the ride, reluctantly. Zoey does have common sense though, probably more than me. Despite Zoey's discomfort, my fears would be put to ease knowing that this is a private venture and subject to less governmental regulation. No red tape and beaurocracy here....well like the Post Office, if you know what I mean. This will be just like a cab ride on a UPS route (albeit without any union involvement).

Yes, it would also be good to take a ride away from this planet for a while. After all it is becoming more polluted. The moon might just be a good place after all. The only thing is, I can predict the libs on planet earth griping about the potential to distrupt lunar activity. They will throw unproven data out there about the lunar gravitational effect on earth. Just like the same stuff they are saying about global warming. Can you believe that there are some nutjobs that really believe that human activity on the moon (if it would expand greatly) can really distrup gravitational forces on the 3rd rock?

Sparko 7 years, 12 months ago

Had he sought common ground with democrats, he might have had some goodwill upon which to build. Brownback has achieved virtually nothing positive. I don't recall him standing up for the unemployed, uninsured or typical Kansan on anything. Space flight for a man who does stand with the 6,000 year old earth nuts, and the anti-science crowd in the GOP is beyond a hypocrite.

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