Ted Cruz Announces for President

Sen. Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has announced his candidacy for the presidency. He will be seeking the nomination of the Republican Party.

Cruz has already staked out a position on space policy, arguing that NASA is overspending on Earth science research at the expense of human space exploration. This is not born out by the budget numbers; Obama’s FY 2016 budget proposes $8 billion for human space exploration vs. just under $2 billion for Earth science.

But, hey, let’s not let reality get in the way of a good campaign meme. Cruz is the space exploration candidate, which he believes will inspire school kids, restore America to its former glory, and (no less vitally) keep his constituents in Texas employed indefinitely.

For conservative space supporters, Cruz’s candidacy poses a bit of a dilemma. On the one hand, many of them probably agree with Cruz’s view that global warming is a gigantic international fraud cooked up by Al Gore and his fellow liberals to….I’m not really sure….I guess to destroy America’s way of life as we know it. Or something.

To the extent conservatives equate NASA’s Earth science budget with global warming research, they would be happy to see the funding cut and the program transferred to a lower profile bureaucracy like NOAA, where it would be given as little money as possible and subsumed by the agency’s weather forecasting duties. Presumably, this change would free up NASA to go explore deep space.

However, most conservative space geeks realize that NASA’s problems with deep space exploration do not result from some other part of the space agency spending a relatively small part of the budget studying the Earth within the Science Directorate. NASA can actually walk and chew gum at the same time.

Instead, they see the problem as being the Space Launch System and Orion programs that Congress insisted that NASA build to explore deep space. In their view, the programs are the epitome of a bloated government space effort that will be so expensive to build, maintain and operate that we won’t be able to do much of anything in deep space.

Cruz’s own exploration philosophy likely aligns the SLS/Orion approach, which will keep a lot of NASA folks and contractors in his home state employed for decades to come. It’s very hard to imagine him accepting the arguments of conservative NewSpacers that these programs should be cut and all those fine, hardworking Americans be put out of a job.

The senator could gain support by at least putting SLS and Orion toward something other than a visit to an asteroid. The plan has little support in Congress or in the space community at large. Perhaps a lunar COTS model — with NASA partnering with the private sector to use the moon as a stepping stone to Mars — would gain broad support.

  • windbourne

    Romney was born in Mexico? No way.
    If he was legally there at time of Birth, then he is MEXICAN, not American.

  • Gary Church

    I am a follower of Gerard K. O’Neill and as such I believe the Moon is the first place to go and exploiting lunar resources to power civilization on planet Earth- and eventually acquire new lebensraum in space- is the prize.

    The two central concepts of O’Neill’s vision were Solar Power
    Satellites built with lunar resources and the conclusion there are no bodies in the solar system suitable for colonization leaving artificial hollow moons constructed from lunar resources as the answer. These concepts are completely contrary to the popular culture hype spread by NewSpace advocates over the last several years. A vast state-run public works project using super-heavy lift vehicles to return to the Moon is the NewSpace nightmare.

    Mars is a gimmick; mistakenly popularized as “just close enough” to get to on the cheap.There is no cheap.

  • Gary Church

    Replying for me with an insult is simple harassment from a thug. Been putting up with you Musk worshiping creeps for years now…

  • Gary Church

    they said there would never be a black president- and If the guy who co-starred in bedtime for bonzo can get elected…

  • Michael J. Listner

    That you label people “cranks” whilst you don’t even have a college degree much less a PhD presents the dilemma of whether the word “irony” or “hypocrisy” is applicable. Before you call other people’s credibility in question you would be wise to ensure that yours is intact.

  • I think that’s generally referred to as argument from authority and credentialism. Credibility is something entirely different. My interest in the bismuth iodide hydrides goes back 25 years and I had a space commercialization business back in the mid to late seventies, which, unfortunately, was somewhat premature and overly optimistic. It did however yield me my desired results. What your your plans for the future, Michael, other than prohibiting space development enthusiasts from obtaining launch licenses and encouraging obvious cranks to devolve further into their paranoid and delusional scientific conspiracy theories?

  • Michael J. Listner

    There’s a legal term for your response: Bull sh–, and you’re full of it Thomas.

  • Calling simple planetary astrophysics ‘the greatest scientific hoax since the Piltdown man’ falls more deeply into that category in my humble opinion.

  • Michael J. Listner

    It doesn’t take away from the fact that you’re neck deep in it Thomas.

  • Neck deep in what, Michael? Science and engineering? Or conspiracy theories? Planetary astrophysics? Or politics?

    I’m totally ok with the things I say and do. That’s all that counts.

  • Michael J. Listner

    In your own narcissism.

  • ‘Narcissism’ is a vastly overused literally undefined woo woo psychology term. Very useful in the courts no doubt, but science and engineering are both tested by iteration and experience.

  • Michael J. Listner

    More bull sh–.

  • Ted Cruz is your man then. Be sure to get out there and vote.

  • Michael J. Listner

    Whatever you want to think Thomas…

  • I think freedom of thought must appear as completely alien to authoritarians. There are many people who want to leave Earth, apparently. There appears to be an actual commercial market for people leaving Earth, and now the only holdup appears to be politics and laws, since most of the technological problems now seem to have been solved, and there certainly isn’t a lack of wealth and capital and will to do so. Those are some of my thoughts this morning. Thanks for asking.

  • Michael J. Listner

    You can’t have freedom of thought when you can’t admit that you’re being driven by your ideology, which is the crux of the Cruz issue that most posting here will not admit. It takes guts to look inward and admit your opinions are driven by ideology. Everything else, including math and theorems, are merely excuses to justify the ideology until you can be honest with yourself about it.

    So, in reality Thomas, while you on the one hand you proselytize about freedom of thought, your ideology seeks to suppress it in others if it doesn’t correlate or otherwise threatens your own. The truth is you have a right to free thought and expression, even if that means making an ass out of yourself (hell, I’ve done it myself on occasion). It doesn’t mean you have the right to ridicule others; to the extent you recognize that shows how great your mind is and not your ability to calculate numbers and theorems.

  • Unfortunately for you, Michael, I do have the right to ridicule you and others for your beliefs. It is a right given to me by the government under which I was born, and I intend to use those rights to ensure that those rights are maintained. My belief is that my rights will not be maintained in this country if I remain silent. My belief is also that religious beliefs have no basis in objective reality, and therefore no place in government and education, and furthermore, that science demonstrably yields evolutionary progress in the engineering of repeatable and repairable processes and devices that work most of the time, and that religious beliefs are not capable of those things, and do not do that in any way shape of form. So I feel that anyone or anything that does not conform to my objective perception and perspective on science and engineering and objective reality are fair game for my freedom of thought, expression and beliefs.

    I guess that makes me an American progressive libertarian. I hold these beliefs because they work for me, and when they quit working for me I change my mind and abandon those beliefs that no longer work. For me. My country. My species. And life on Earth. If that makes me a narcissist, so be it. I have enough high quality education in the hard sciences, and enough hard earned experience in the real world (not necessarily the civilized or human populated world, but that too)

  • Matt

    I cannot your support of this evil woman called Hillary. God help to prevent your country being overtaken by her.

  • Gary Church

    Hillary is God.

  • Guy Rovella

    That’s frightening.

  • Guy Rovella

    You’re scaring me.