One Giant Leap, Backwards?

Posted: 4th April 2009 by Mike Trent in Current Affairs, Politics, Science, Space, Technology
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Mike Trethowan Pen Truth Contributor

Three parachutes open with the capsule swaying slowly below, barely seen against the canvas of the vibrant cloudless blue sky.  Astronauts returning to earth head toward a splash down into the Pacific Ocean.  Helicopters buzz around the floating city that is the aircraft carrier.   All standing on the deck cheering, having waited in breathless anticipation for the hero’s return from the moon.

But this is not Apollo.  This is not 1962.  This is 2021.  This is Orion.  This is a step backwards to kludgy unsophisticated space travel.  Lost is the promise of the space plane.  Thrown away are 28 billion dollars of research and development.

In 1994, President Bill Clinton announced a major new program, one that would use existing technology in the creation of the replacement for the space shuttle.  Lockheed was to build the new Space Plane based on the very top secret Aurora.  For a few months Aurora was acknowledged in the public awareness in semi-declassification.

Aurora is the stuff of UFO folk lore.  For years many have claimed to see the plane, hear the sonic signature of Aurora’s exotic engines.  Some have come forward and claimed direct knowledge of this vehicle.  During the semi-declassification, official description was that the Aurora was nothing more than a very high flying surveillance platform.  To the UFO hunters, Aurora was a space plane capable of interplanetary flight.  One retired Air Force colonel claimed to have flown the Aurora to Mars of all places.

I have no comment on any claims of believers or nonbelievers.  The only thing I know for sure is that in 1998, President Bill Clinton quietly ended the project with a line item veto (for budgetary reasons.)   What I am willing to say is that a program existed.  A new program was conceived based on the old program.  The new program was ended.

Then early in 2001 NASA closed down another space plane project, the X-33 program after spending 1.3 billion in tax dollars.  Now we are to believe that a capsule is the most advanced vehicle that our engineer and scientists are able to design for our return to extra-earth-orbital space travel.

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