(October 28, 2014)
An unmanned cargo rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded Tuesday over a launchpad in Virginia.Note:
No injuries were reported following the first catastrophic launch in NASA's commercial spaceflight effort.
The accident at Orbital Sciences Corp.'s launch complex at Wallops Island was sure to draw criticism over the space agency's growing reliance on private U.S. companies in this post-shuttle effort.
NASA is paying billions of dollars to Orbital Sciences and the SpaceX company to make station deliveries, and it's counting on SpaceX and Boeing to start flying U.S. astronauts to the orbiting lab as early as 2017.
"NASA is paying billions ... "
and later in the article:
President Obama has long championed this commercial effort, urging that NASA focus its human spaceflight effort less on nearby orbit and more on destinations like asteroids and Mars. He was in Wisconsin for a campaign rally Tuesday evening and was kept abreast of the accident and its developments.Nowhere in the article was mentioned President Obama's 2013 decision to shut down NASA. and place the effort of space exploration on private industry. This was his decision.
According to an Editor's Update to a September 30, 2013 article in space.com:
Editor's Update (Oct. 17): NASA is officially reopened for after a late-night Congress vote ended a two-week government shutdown. [content link deleted] NASA would be among those federal to experience a near total closure if the threatened government shutdown becomes reality on Oct. 1, U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday (Sept. 30). But a government shutdown should not endanger American astronauts currently in space.Of course, the decision to shut down NASA was blamed on the GOP protest shut-down of national government enterprises. In fact, Obama was undermining (and distancing himself) from budget items which he was personally unwilling to support.
Now we've seen a rocket blow-up, (An attempt was made to embed the video here, but the FOX NEWS source was not functional in the embed HTML Another example of private industry ineptness? Probably not.)
You can bet that the blame will fall heavily on the private company which has spent billions of dollars investing in America's future ... and the splash will not soil Obama's wing-tips. Although the Obomadminstration is out of the Rocket Game, they're still hard-chargers in the Blame Game.
And still, even FOX NEWS speaks in terms of " ,,, first catastrophic launch in NASA's commercial spaceflight effort." [emphasis added]
... although NASA is a customer, and as such takes no responsibility for the accident even though one expects them to have taken a governmental 'oversight' position during the entire manufacturing and launch process.
Obama, of course, is delighted. Schadenfreude is alive and well in ObamAmerica.
One thing is certain: when anything goes wrong, the people who just sit around and watch will heavily criticize those who are trying to actually accomplish something.