Frazz by Jef Mallett


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  1. Nabuquduriuzhur

    Nabuquduriuzhur said, over 3 years ago

    The space program’s woes go back to at least 1986. That was the year that Congress ended all nuclear propulsion research. JPL had been working on them for years and we had prototypes for gas core engines that could take a craft to Mars in a matter of days. 1986 ended that.

  2. annieb1012

    annieb1012 said, over 3 years ago

    @ Nab Some of us made do with Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, and Arthur C. Clark. It’s fun to read those oldies now and compare the things their authors imagined with things that actually have come about.

  3. Varnes

    Varnes said, over 3 years ago

    But I mean that in a nice way….

  4. gir63

    gir63 said, over 3 years ago

    If you are going to blame someone for the demise of the space program, it’s the Democrats not the Republicans.
    I belong to the National Space Society, and in their magazine they had a history of Congressional votes for the space program since NASA’s conception. And every one was right down party lines with Democrats against space program funding and Republicans for.

  5. kroykali

    kroykali said, over 3 years ago

    Since you started it…

    It’s amazing how the left wing liberal environmentalists have stopped any new nuclear power plants from being developed, then make this absurd statement.

  6. CasualObserver

    CasualObserver said, over 3 years ago

    My father came back from WW2 and went to Oak Ridge to work on nuclear propulsion for aircraft in 1945. Back then they scrapped the idea because the design requirement weighed too much – or so I was told.

  7. AshburnStadium

    AshburnStadium said, over 3 years ago


    Remember what happened in 1986 to the space program that shut it down for quite some time?
    I remember clearly what happened on January 28, 1986 – it was my 22nd birthday.

  8. sonorhC

    sonorhC said, over 3 years ago

    Actually, the nuclear-propelled bombers weren’t even that promising as weapons. The big problem is that they can’t do anything that ICBMs can’t do faster and more reliably.

    And opposition to nuclear power is, sadly, bipartisan (one of the few things nowadays that is). Liberals oppose new plants due to misguided environmentalism, and conservatives oppose them due to misguided fears of terrorist action.

  9. JudyAz

    JudyAz said, over 3 years ago

    Didn’t it only put the space program out of action for a few years? I seem to remember it recovered fairly quickly once they figured out the problem.

  10. JudyAz

    JudyAz said, over 3 years ago

    Sorry, didn’t mean to post twice!

  11. puddleglum1066

    puddleglum1066 said, over 3 years ago

    Read “The Space Shuttle Decision,” the Smithsonian’s excellent book of history, and you will see how the Nixon administration took NASA’s plan for a real (fully reusable) shuttle, space station, heavy lift booster, nuclear interplanetary stage and Mars landing in the mid-80s, and whittled and bled it down until there was just a shuttle (seriously compromised by budget constraints and a mission greatly expanded by a DoD requirement that it serve as a manned spy satellite)… with no place to go.

  12. kingstonave

    kingstonave said, over 3 years ago

    You sound like do-nothing Washington politicians. Wasting time tossing around blame for what took place in the past. What are YOU doing RIGHT NOW to make things better? Blame accomplishes nothing. Write, call or email your Congressperson.

  13. Jim Guess

    Jim Guess said, over 3 years ago

    If you are being sarcastic, you are funny!

    If you actually believe what you said, you are an idiot.

    The ‘right wing’ is trying to take us BACK to the great country we used to be. The left wing is trying to take us into communism or socialism. Period.

  14. DutchUncle

    DutchUncle said, over 3 years ago


    When people say “Never mind how we got here! Let’s just figure out how to go forward!” I have to counter with this: If you’re in the ditch because your steering is busted, then “Let’s just get out of the ditch” isn’t enough – your steering is still busted and you’ll be back in the ditch again. Some people decried the space program as “throwing money into space”, forgetting that it’s all spent on salaries and work right here on the ground – which was precisely the problem to other people who were upset that Florida got jobs at the launch center, and places with easy rail connections to Cape Canaveral got jobs at factories building the parts (which was also silly, because all of that high explosive should have been built right nearby so it didn’t have to be shipped in the wrong position, but then Florida would have gotten even more and nobody else would vote for that). The ostensibly partisan differences can be traced to which party was being elected in which areas over time.

    The military function was another issue. People forget that a major justification for the highway system was MILITARY transport, not business and shipping, not personal travel. You couldn’t get modern tanks through the railway tunnels, and the railway bridges might not hold them, so we needed wider solid roads. NASA wanted to be science/tech-only, yet the only way some people would justify the expenditure was to include the obvious military applications of big rockets that could put heavy objects over other countries’ heads – which other people voted against on principle. The original Star Trek’s ambiguity over the fictional Starfleet being scientific or military was a direct reflection of the political situation with NASA.

  15. tdg2112

    tdg2112 said, over 3 years ago

    I think Jef must have just discovered Neil deGrasse Tyson. Maybe he watched the commencment address at Rice University:×6ymwJHYSk

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