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Photo: President Obama Flashes Vulcan Salute With Nichelle Nichols April 4, 2012

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Celebrity,TOS,Trek Franchise , trackback

Once again President Barack Obama has revealed his inner Trekkie. A few weeks ago Star Trek’s original Uhura Nichelle Nichols visited the White House, and now she has shared a photo of the event featuring herself and the president, with both flashing Vulcan salutes. Check it out below.

 

Uhura meets Obama

On February 29th Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols was in Washington DC to speak at a NASA event and while there she had a chance to visit the White House and meet President Obama in the Oval office. And tonight Nichelle posted the official White House photo of the event on (Facebook and Twitter), which features Nichelle and the president flashing Vulcan salutes.


Nichelle Nichols & President Obama in the Oval Office on February 29, 2012

Back on February 29th, Nichelle tweeted about meeting the president saying:

I was honored to get a chance to meet with Pres Barack Obama today in the White House. He was as charming and handsome as I had expected.

Months ago Pres Obama was quoted as saying that he’d had a crush on me when he was younger. I asked about that & he proudly confirmed it!

President Obama also confirmed for me that he was definitely a Trekker! How wonderful is that?!

For more in Nichelle’s visit to NASA Godard (including video), go to nasa.gov.

Not Obama’s first Vulcan salute

This is not the first time that the president has shown his inner Trekkie. In 2009 at the White House Correspondents Dinner Obama threw up the salute (twice) while comedian John Hodgeman described him as America’s "first nerd president." And Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy has stated that when he met candidate Obama back in 2008 he was greeted with a Vulcan salute. Obama has also referenced Star Trek in his speeches on a couple of occasions, including once noting how he "grew up on Star Trek."


President Obama flashes Vulcan salute during White House Correspondents Dinner – June 19, 2009

 

Comments

1. Remington Steele - April 4, 2012

Ha ha, class. Big happy head on him as well :)

2. Andy - April 4, 2012

This is an awesome photo, and to think all those years ago she was going to leave the show!! I wonder what Martin Luther King Jnr would think of all this!! FANTASTIC!!

3. Romulus - April 4, 2012

Live Long and Prosper to them both.

4. kevin - April 4, 2012

I’m not a registered Republican or Democrat (registered Independent…but I’ve only voted for the Democratic candidate since I was able to in ’96) but if the individual becomes president and they do good or bad…they’re MY president. I didn’t agree with Bush’s policy (i.e. the Iraq War) but I’d still treat him with respect as my president. (stuff I learned from watching “Star Trek”) I was a Hillary supporter in ’08 during the primaries/caucuses. Seeing this picture reminds me why he, President Obama, was the best choice in the general election of ’08 and why he’ll be in the best (and more than likely reelected) in ’12…he’s a Trekker. (HE is a Vulcan!!!) I’d love to hear about the entire visit by Nichelle Nichols…from both their perspectives (I guess she tweeted her experience).
live long and prosper…U-S-A!-U-S-A!-U-S-A!
:)

5. Schultz - April 4, 2012

Oh, dear Lord, it’s election year. Treckers vote Obama!

6. CmdrR - April 4, 2012

First Fanboy.
I’m extremely fortunate to have had a photo taken with Nichelle Nichols as well. I know it’s a great feeling.

7. philip - April 4, 2012

can you all knock it off its a nice picture nothing more nothing less, it has nothing to do with the economy or the space program just leave it be. I hate Obama and the democrats personally but this is not worth getting into flame wars about.

8. flazak - April 4, 2012

I wonder if Obama agreed to her putting this out on the internets?

9. flazak - April 4, 2012

doh ofc he did we need a delete button!

10. Cat - April 4, 2012

Interesting that they are using the Vulcan salute in the photo. Lets keep in mind that we are humans after all, with all the good and bad associated with that life form. At times, politicians seem to be another breed of life altogether. I don’t give ANY politician and/or political party slack, I just try to keep my distance for fear of contamination. So, keeping in the theme of TOS, lets not forget the theme of Plato’s Stepchildren. I don’t think this is so much an excuse but a reality.

11. Fueled by Armus - April 4, 2012

#20 Why even mention “hate” if you want people to “knock it off”?? Sheesh.

I think it’s a nice picture and I’m glad that someone in such a major and visible leadership position embraces his inner-geek. Who knows who that might help when they see that Obama isn’t “too cool” to throw up a Vulcan hand sign. It’s nice to have a President who shows that being smart and having “geeky” interests isn’t a thing to be ashamed to share with the world.

12. Calastir - April 4, 2012

This would make a great campaign poster! :)

13. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 4, 2012

Your gaining points with me #1.

14. Flim Flam - April 4, 2012

Isn’t this the second time he has given the Vulcan Salute?

Glad we have a Trekker in the White House, now he just needs to get back the original continuity to star trek.

15. Captain Realistic - April 4, 2012

I didn’t know Tuvok had an office.

16. Jersey_Bill - April 4, 2012

If I had a Vulcan son he would look like Tuvok…

17. Sugar Rush - April 4, 2012

Tee hee hee; you Americans are so funny to observe. You guys are just obsessed with politics – Here’s a few quotations to set you straight. Which president is the worst one? The next one. Democracy is the worst form of government except for the other kinds. The reality is that each one that gives it a go is destined to fail; no one is perfect. In politics, this holds true: Same crap, different pile.

18. WallDoctor - April 4, 2012

Can’t stand his politics, but I must admit, he does one good Vulcan salute. Even better than Uhura! :)

19. Gabriel Bell - April 4, 2012

33. You beat me to it. (Great photo!)

20. Cygnus-X1 - April 4, 2012

Excellent.

21. mntrekfan - April 4, 2012

Whether your a Democrat or a Republican or whether you agree or disagree with any President’s policies, I think it would be an honor to meet The President!

22. Anthony Thompson - April 4, 2012

The President is one of us. And we are one with him. I love it! Great shot!

23. Dan - April 4, 2012

I am ready for CHANGE!

24. Bill Roberts - April 4, 2012

He got the salue right. Thumb out to the side. Nice form Mr. President.

25. John Tenuto - April 4, 2012

Here is a photo of the best president ever:
http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/File:Federation_President,_2286.jpg

26. flake - April 4, 2012

Kurtwood Smith in STVI is the best president.

27. Steve - April 4, 2012

Obama is da man!

28. VZX - April 4, 2012

@43 I was thinking the same thing. Good job, Mr. President! It always bugs me when celebs don’t put the thumb out to the side.

I like Ms. Nichols’ necklace with the delta sheild. Is that for sale?

I am surprised that there is not that much political debating so far, but then we are only 45 posts in….

29. Kaleb - April 4, 2012

Real trek fans vote Green.

30. Robert Bernardo - April 4, 2012

Great photo!

31. Anthony Pascale - April 4, 2012

Warning to Black for kicking off the political trolling, and so I deleted it all, from BOTH sides.

Let’s stop with the partisan bickering. The above photo should be a moment to show that while people may be divided over politics, we can come together over our love of Star Trek.

Future partisan bickering will result in bans and more deletions

32. Romulus - April 4, 2012

@ 12. Schultz : “Treckers vote Obama!”

What is a Trecker?

33. They call me Stasiu - April 4, 2012

This picture brought me my first smile of the day, and it’s currently afternoon!
:-D

34. VZX - April 4, 2012

31: Tony, you should know that anything that remotely has to do with politics will be argued about on the Inter-webs. But, then, all the post-deleting keeps ya busy!

BTW: I like your article on movies.com. I agree with you about the over-zealous movie-secret-keepers.

35. Red Dead Ryan - April 4, 2012

GOOD LORD! I thought Anthony wasn’t going to tolerate partisan politics on this site? Well I guess I was wrong.

He should have kept the comments section closed, or not even bothered putting up the article in the first place. Me? I enjoyed the article, but many of the comments on this thread ruined it for me, and others too, I’m sure.

36. Magic_Al - April 4, 2012

Good time to highlight that both the current administrator and deputy administrator of NASA, nominated by Obama, were originally recruits of Nichelle Nichols’ 1970s-1980s NASA contract work to recruit women and minorities into the space program. Obama knows Nichols’ non-stereotypical appearance on TV when he was a child was one of the early steps in the cultural shift that made his political career possible.

37. Red Dead Ryan - April 4, 2012

I take back what I said. All of those posts were deleted when I wrote my post. Thanks Anthony!

Anyway, I wonder if the Prez likes DS9? How does he rank Captain Sisko?

38. JeFF - April 4, 2012

I *ADORE* Nichelle Nichols! What an absolute class act! How proud she must be of herself and her achievements…. I know I certainly am proud of her!

39. Desstruxion - April 4, 2012

I’m not an Obama supporter and I’m not really happy with any of the other choices either but I think it would be fun to kick back with the President and debate Trek for awhile. Maybe a “Beer Trek” summit. That would be cool.

40. Amish Electrician - April 4, 2012

I maybe wrong…but didn’t Nichelle want off the show and Dr King talked her out of that…something along those lines…

41. rm10019 - April 4, 2012

41 – lol that story has been told and morphed and retold countless times :)

LOVE this picture, just put it up in my office!

42. VZX - April 4, 2012

37: RDR: Good point. I heard from military folks that Sisko was the most realistic of all the captains. But then, I think Obama has stated he is a TOS and most especially a Spock fan. He, like Spock, was a child of two worlds and identified with the character.

43. Captain_Conrad - April 4, 2012

Before the comments close, I’m going to get my two cents in!

I don’t care how big of a Trek fan he is, I’m still voting for Ron Paul, the REAL Spock-like candidate!

44. Jorg Sacul - April 4, 2012

I’ll bet credits to navy beans that he asked her to say, “Hailing frequencies open, Mr. President.”

45. Bob - April 4, 2012

Two fantastic role models that broke new ground for African Americans and minorities everywhere. Bravo to both of them!

46. NCM - April 4, 2012

Pres. Obama: I’m not Spock…I am Spock :)

“Asked by Barbara Walters of ABC News what the biggest misconception of him is, Obama replied: ‘”Me being detached, or Spock-like, or very analytical.”‘

‘”People who know me know that I am a softie,” Obama added. “I mean, stuff can choke me up very easily. The challenge for me is that in this job, I think, a lot of times the press or how you come off on TV, people want you to be very demonstrative in your emotions.’”‘–Well, sadly, isn’t that the truth?

Thanks, Anthony, for being willing to post something you know carries such risks, and for trying to spare us the trolling.

47. none - April 4, 2012

I remember when some one made a comment that obama was the son of spock and uhura.

since there are infinte numbers of parallel universes, it probabaly true in one alternate universe

48. AJ - April 4, 2012

That photo is wonderful, and is just the best Trek photo ever. Obviously, the President is just as thrilled as she is.

49. Landru's cousin, Dandru - April 4, 2012

Philip: “can you all knock it off its a nice picture nothing more nothing less, it has nothing to do with the economy or the space program just leave it be. I hate Obama and the democrats personally but this is not worth getting into flame wars about.”

Why does it bother you if people are discussing the photo? And why was it necessary for you to end your post by announcing that you hate half of the U.S. population? Very mature of you.

50. Landru's cousin, Dandru - April 4, 2012

Sugar Rush: “Tee hee hee; you Americans are so funny to observe. You guys are just obsessed with politics – Here’s a few quotations to set you straight. Which president is the worst one? The next one. Democracy is the worst form of government except for the other kinds. The reality is that each one that gives it a go is destined to fail; no one is perfect. In politics, this holds true: Same crap, different pile.”

Over-generalize much? Saying “you Americans” is a very bigoted and ignorant thing to say. No matter what statement you might make, it definitely would not be true of all Americans, any more than it would be true of any other group. Don’t be such a bigot.

51. Stargazer54 - April 4, 2012

I don’t care how you slice it. If you’re a Star Trek fan, then this is awesome!

Imagine how thrilled they were to meet each other?

Politics aside, its just plain cool!

52. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 4, 2012

Amazing how Star Trek basically put that guy in office.

53. Phil - April 4, 2012

A friend of the family got to work in the White House for a week last October. It was a great experience, and she got a ton of pics and met the First Family. She was thrilled, to say the least.

54. Michael Hall - April 4, 2012

Man, Ms. Nichols is still lookin’ fine.

55. T'Leba - April 4, 2012

Love the photos, and Nichelle Nichols is as beautiful as ever.

56. Phil - April 4, 2012

@55. Really? Care to elaborate?

57. CarlG - April 4, 2012

@52: So at last count, Obama is a fascist-socialist-marxist-stealth-muslim-atheist-kenyan-hawaiian-not-a-real-murrican.

Right-wingers… you keep using these words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

58. sunfell - April 4, 2012

Vulcan salutes in the Oval Office- I love it!

59. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - April 4, 2012

It is a great photo of President Obama and Nichelle Nichols together doing the Vulcan salute. It really comes as no surprise that Barack Obama had a crush on Lt Uhura while he watched TOS…I mean, I do think that she is one of the most beautiful women to ever grace both the small and large screen and she ain’t so bad looking now either!

All leaders of nations can end up doing some celebrity type thing. I think it comes as part of the territory/job. It is just mean and ridiculous to criticize Obama for appearing to be some kind of celebrity sometimes, at fun events, like sporting or sharing with an actress their inner Trekkie. I am sure there were moments where all presidents became that, irrespective of their political stances. Or have to be at Memorial services for those who died on 9/11 and other sad events in the nation’s history. All the presidents get to do these things.

It is the same here, as for instance on ANZAC Day (25 April and public holiday) – commemorating those who fought and died in wars. Representatives of all the different parties (large and small) represented in our Parliament stand together, paying honour. The elected prime minister (John Key, at the moment, who personally I do not like, but when it comes to certain events…) lays the wreath on behalf of all the people. Same occurred at the Rugby World Cup – a very happy event.

60. Trek Lady - April 4, 2012

Great photo! They both look thrilled. Politics aside, it is nice to see two people just having a bit of fun with a photo they will both cherish.

61. miguelito1701 - April 4, 2012

He must be thinking “OMG Nichelle Nicol from ST” And she must be thinking “OMG president Obama, the first black President”

TREKGASM

62. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 4, 2012

56. Phil – April 4, 2012

@55. Really? Care to elaborate?

Nichelle Nichols was instrumental with help equal rights become the norm, Jeri Ryan was imfamous for for implicating her Husband in some scandelous relationships and affairs. Therby allowing O to move into his spot as Senator of Illinois.

See..

http://emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/nichelle-nichols

http://articles.cnn.com/2004-06-25/politics/il.ryan_1_club-allegations-jack-ryan-senate-race?_s=PM:ALLPOLITICS

Oh, Jeri. ; )

63. Joseph F. Berenato - April 4, 2012

I’d bet a week’s pay that he was nervous before he met her, too. Chew on that for a second, and think about her importance. MLK personally told her to stay on television because of the good she was doing in the role, and the President of the United States of America geeked out when he met her. Seriously, how cool is that?

64. Jinn-Jinn - April 4, 2012

@47 I’ve heard that too. Actually I think someone at Deviant Art actually drew that.

Look at the smile on his face! You know meeting Nichelle just made his day!

65. Magic_Al - April 4, 2012

^62. It’s wrong to suggest Jeri Ryan revealed anything to torpedo Jack Ryan’s political ambitions. The information was from sealed records of their child custody settlement and they were divorced YEARS before Jack Ryan decided to run for office. During the campaign a judge decided to make it public over both parents’ objections. Jack Ryan was not ahead in the polls before the scandal. Obama would have won anyway. Kerry beat Bush in Illinois so how do you figure any Republican would have beat Obama in the Senate race on the same ballot? It’s time to leave Jeri Ryan alone about this.

66. Sebastian S. - April 4, 2012

Nice to know that the president and I both shared a childhood crush! ;-D
I had the pleasure of meeting Ms Nichols at a convention in 2002 and got an autographed copy of her book. She was just delightful to my wife and I. Nothing but good to say about her…

Great picture!

67. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - April 4, 2012

#62 – What on earth has Jeri Ryan’s relationship with her ex-husband got to do with this thread? It is just cheap and nasty posting this stuff about events that happened nearly eight years ago in connection with a previous election. And just who the hell was that judge releasing sealed information about the parents’ private activities that neither of them wanted their children to know about? F*cking disgrace, if you’ll pardon the strong language. Honestly, WTF?

68. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - April 4, 2012

is it safe to come on this thred yet. Lol.

69. Aussie Ian - April 4, 2012

#67 -I’m with you, Keachick, on that last comment. The poster of #56 assumes that Jeri Ryan actually DID find herself in the situation described and was complicent in the downfall of her ex-husband’s political campaign.

Here’s the ONLY fact from that article – it was said in a Family Law Court proceeding tied in with a nasty divorce. Ex husband’s and Ex wives say outrageous lies about what their partners did during the marriage all of the time………… doesn’t make one word of it a provable fact worth posting in this forum.

[defensive rant over]

On a brighter note, I love the fact that the American President proudly admits that he “Grew up on Star Trek”. Hopefully some of that IDIC philosophy guides some of his decisions.

What I truly worry about though is in 40 years, when the President who “grew up on Survivor”, with all of its broken alliances and back stabbing, takes office. Hmmmm?

70. Aussie Ian - April 4, 2012

I mean poster # 62, not poster #56. Sorry!

71. Vultan - April 4, 2012

#70

Nah, Washington DC has been playing Survivor since… George Washington. Nothing new here.

72. Basement Blogger - April 4, 2012

Fascinating. President Obama has always been compared to Spock. “No Drama” Obama. And Zachery Quinto aka Spock, was an Obama supporter.
I guest it’s logical that he knows the Vulcan salute. Maybe he’ll greet a foreign leader with “Live long and prosper.”

73. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - April 4, 2012

This photo makes me happy and proud I voted for him and will continue to do so.

74. Jack - April 4, 2012

It seems to me that American politics have gotten a lot uglier.

But, I don’t know. It’s scary. It seems all about ideology and vilifying the other side more than I remember it ever being, rather than trying to focus on specific problems/issues.

It makes most of the trolling/flaming etc. on these sites look tame.

75. Dee - lvs moon' surface - April 4, 2012

AWESOME!!!….

;-) :-)

76. Phil - April 4, 2012

Before we all pat the president on the back for bing a Trekkie, let’s not also forget the shut down the manned exploration portion of NASA, without any clear direction on how this country would continue to explore space. No “boldly going” on his watch, folks.

77. TrueTolerant - April 4, 2012

@74: I don’t think that American politics has gotten uglier, its just with the internet being so widespread now, we come into contact with others and their different views more frequently. It’s not all bad. We actually have to practice the tolerance we preach and actually allow others to have views we disagree with.

There is a lot of demonizing of by both sides. Is it a woman’s right to her body or is it an unborn child’s right to live? If we take a step back, we can understand where both are coming from and not demonize the other side. How can we say someone is evil because they put what they think is a human life’s right to live above the right of someone not wanting to carry that life? Same the other way around. How can we say someone say it’s evil for protecting their individual rights. Pro-choice goes beyond abortion. It includes the right to drive a car without a seatbelt, the right to use 100 watt incandescent lightbulbs, to use drugs, etc.

In the end of the day. We should tolerate because when we really listen to each other, we find out that usually we only disagree on degree, not in totality. IDIC all the way!

78. Jack - April 4, 2012

“We should tolerate because when we really listen to each other, we find out that usually we only disagree on degree, not in totality. IDIC all the way!”

I’ll totally vote for you. :)

79. Phil - April 4, 2012

@67. A post, now deleted, implied that Trek was directly responsible for the rise of Obama to the office of the presidency. When asked to explain, a few other posted provided the information you probably saw.

80. Dr. Cheis - April 4, 2012

So does this mean we’re talking about Obama again without devolving into crazy insults and getting the article deleted?

We shall see.

81. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - April 4, 2012

#72 – So are a lot of other people who can be part of the Hollywood scene, to a greater or lesser extent, be Obama/Democrat supporters. I think that it has always been that way. Don’t know for sure as I don’t live there… Geography can also have a bearing on which party is more popular. It is just the same here. So it was really no surprise to read that Robert Pine with son Chris were handing out leaflets on the Obama for President campaign trail in 2008.

I have enough problems working out the nonsense offered by the two major parties here in NZ to bother trying to suss out what the Democrats or Republicans are on about upover.

82. Douglas - April 4, 2012

It’s a great photo and an historic photo for Star Trek fans. Thank you for posting it Also, thank you Anthony for deleting what you judge to be the most extreme political ranting. That kind of posting is personally very upsetting to read and not why I visit your interesting site. I appreciate the hard work and difficult decisions you have to make to keep this site working as the finest resource for Star Trek information.

83. Vultan - April 4, 2012

If you take a close look at the different political scenes around the world, you’ll see they’re more or less the same shade of ugly.

That old Twilight Zone episode was right: “People are alike all over.”

84. MB - April 4, 2012

My message was deleted and it didn’t contain any curse words. Now I know why there no anti Obama messages. What’s up with this? Just more covering for the president.

85. Anthony Thompson - April 4, 2012

84.

NO, MB, just keeping politics and personal attacks off these pages!

86. Jim Nightshade - April 5, 2012

obama didnt exactly shut down nasa he shut down shuttle for a cheaper method which then got cu in half by congresd almost shutting nasa down…thanx to economy—60 min had an eye opening segment last week….nichelle did help usher in the times that now have made a black man president—currentpolitics aside-martin luther king was right….i luv nichelle we got our pix with her n sulu n chekov at the 40th ann. vegas con back in 2006..havent been able to afford to go since but it was awesome to attend….i hope nichelle is very proud of her important parts to history….

87. denny cranium - April 5, 2012

@16 not cool in my opinion.
Was in Florida during that time and trying to make humor out of that tragedy is in poor taste.
Anthony you may want to delete @16 post.

88. Daoud - April 5, 2012

Guess who’s coming to dinner? :)
.
The best part about the shift in the United States over 50 years… is the first thoughts that come to mind seeing it are…
.
“Look it’s the President with Lieutenant Uhura.”
.
Guess what the first statements would have been in 1962?
.
The United States of America is a wonderful country, in spite of all its flaws. What other country in the world can compare for the bringing together of people of all races, ethnicities, languages and politics, forging together from all of the world?
.
Just like the United Federation of Planets…. it isn’t perfect, but what’s better?

89. Sebastian S. - April 5, 2012

#77.

Well said, TruTolerant. ;-)

90. Bruce Banner - April 5, 2012

Anthony, you missed #16. A slap on President Obama’s quote about the Trayvon Martin shooting in FL. “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon”, POTUS Obama.

91. Captain Hackett - April 5, 2012

it is my understanding that Mitt Romney is also a Trekkie.

if true, it would be real cool to see Trekkie vs Trekkie in U.S. Presidential Election campaign! What’s more is it is important to keep Trekkie in White House continuously no matter whether she/he is a Democrat or Republican! :)

92. Ctrl-Opt-Del - April 5, 2012

SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!!!

All this partisan rubbish is ridiculous!!!

You people don’t deserve to watch Star Trek with such petty attitudes!!!

IDIC

93. T'Cal - April 5, 2012

If he’s really one of us, where’s our warp program???

94. TechTrekker - April 5, 2012

91 – Can you imagine the debate?

You’ve both said that you like Star Trek, so here’s our next question: What does IDIC stand for?

:-)

95. NCM - April 5, 2012

@76: I respectfully suggest you do some more research into who has attempted to fund what at NASA and what NASA seems to think is their best first destiny, at this time.

The following are excerpts from a year old Wired article. I hope posting them doesn’t over-step restrictions on political expression. I think the article’s more interesting in terms of space exploration, NASA priorities, than in political terms. Wired’s a techno-geeks’ mag., not a partisan rag, though surely bias can infiltrate anywhere:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/02/nasa-budget/

“The new plan…was announced today with the release of the Obama administration’s NASA budget request, which despite the axing of the moon plan delivers a $6 billion funding increase over the next five years.

“NASA’s Constellation program — based largely on existing technologies — was begun to realize a vision of returning astronauts back to the Moon by 2020. However, the program was over budget, behind schedule, and lacking in innovation due to a failure to invest in critical new technologies,” the budget summary concluded.

“Using a broad range of criteria, an independent review panel determined that even if fully funded, NASA’s program to repeat many of the achievements of the Apollo era, 50 years later, was the least attractive approach to space exploration as compared to potential alternatives.”

Constellation had been heavily criticized since it was unveiled in 2005 by President George W. Bush. Even before the plan was announced, some scientists pointed out that manned exploration has drawbacks, such as high costs, extreme safety requirements, and humans’ biological sensitivity to radiation. Scientists such as Ronald Arkin of the Mobile Robot Laboratory asked whether robots could do exploration better. The high-profile success of the Mars Rovers, Cassini, and Mars Phoenix mission suggested that robotic exploration was viable, at the very least.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden made measured statements, ultimately noting that regardless of Constellation’s merits, it was not going to put humans back on the moon as envisioned.

“We were not on a sustainable path back to the moon’s surface,” Bolden said.

96. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 5, 2012

67. Keachick

Pretty self explanatory. Put down the cool-aid.
And by the way, I voted for O, too.

97. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - April 5, 2012

#96 – There was nothing self-explanatory in your post of #62. Posting those links were negative and unnecessary. Please do not inform me as to what I can drink. Besides, cool-aid is not something I am familiar with.

I did not vote for Obama because I can’t. I am not an American citizen. However, I can say this – at least President Obama seems to be an intelligent, well spoken (as in not saying oafish stuff that the previous president, George Dubya Bush Jnr came out with sometimes) and affable individual. His wife, Michelle, seems a really cool person as well. Without knowing a lot, I have to say that I like the Obamas, FWIW.

#88 – “The United States of America is a wonderful country, in spite of all its flaws. What other country in the world can compare for the bringing together of people of all races, ethnicities, languages and politics, forging together from all of the world?”

NZ has been pretty good at accomplishing the above, albeit on a much smaller scale. In my own part of Auckland, approx. population 350/400,000, there are no less than 150 different languages/ethnicities identified as living here, including mine – NZ European/Pakeha. I am of predominately UK descent.

98. Vultan - April 5, 2012

#95

Well put, NCM. But in your explanation of NASA and the White House’s cancellation of the Constellation Project you also expose the main problem: the project hasn’t been replaced with any sort of real, concrete goal or “vision.” All we get are vague ideas of going to an asteroid or investing in private companies such as SpaceX or… something else. There hasn’t been a Rice University speech, a “not because they are easy but because they are hard” kind of Kennedy moment that gets us excited about the future.

If NASA and the Obama administration want to be seen as proponents of space travel, they need to state definitive goals, advertise them, strategically invest in them, and continually remind the public how important “the final frontier” is, both financially and… well, for lack of a better word, spiritually.

On the other hand, there are those with stated goals, who are working hard to put man on the Moon again. Want to guess which country that is…?

99. Sebastian S. - April 5, 2012

Contrary to the posts I’ve read here (and NOT to get too political) but it was not Obama’s decision to end the shuttle program. That was made relatively early in the previous administration.

Project Constellation (the ‘return to the moon’) was never adequately funded; I know, as my cousin worked on it. They were simply pulling teeth from the (IMO more valuable) unmanned missions. It was never going to happen; the funding was simply not there. I went to a convention in Pasadena in 2006 where astronaut Wally Schirra (now deceased) answered audience questions about the program (which was hailed at the time as “Apollo on steroids”); he in fact referred to the project derisively as “Apollo on food stamps.”

Obama’s plan for low earth orbit is to turn that portion of manned spaceflight over to the private sector; it’s good for job growth, and it’s good for the overall health of the NASA space program (think how much future NASA funding will not be needed just to build another expensive space truck?). With LEO off it’s agenda, NASA will have more flexibility to focus on manned missions to asteroids or even to Mars someday (hopefully; if the national will is back someday).

100. Vultan - April 5, 2012

#99

The “national will” will only return when NASA and the government do a descent job in convincing us that space travel is something worth investing a tremendous amount of money in again. Over the past three decades they haven’t. The fighter jocks were replaced with scientists. The swagger was lost. Tomorrow Land turned into Yesterday Ville. And now the NASA Channel is the best cure for insomnia.

Want people interested in space again? Advertise it! Make it fun!
That’s all it takes.

101. Vultan - April 5, 2012

Correction: that should be “decent” not “descent”
Going down….

102. NCM - April 5, 2012

Sebastian and Vultan; I agree with you both. I don’t think Obama or NASA want to draw much attention to NASA right now, because it’s the last thing on most American’s minds. Still, I think both recognize that NASA has vital roles to play — tech. advance re: solar flares is desperately needed, and much of our military advancement, in areas Obama wants to take the military, will rely on NASA being reasonably well funded. I think we’ll see startling and amazing changes in military ops and equipment in the next couple of decades (advances, we can hope, will minimize loss of life).

I don’t have super strong opinions on the matter of the artice; I just think it’s too easy for any of us to be hoodwinked by criticisms slung from left to right and vice versa, and I encourage people forming opinions on such matters to at least scratch the surface.

Vultan, I think I heard that Russia actually wants to set someone down on the moon–did I get it right? They seem cash strapped for that, but I think moon landing is still considered a means for inflating national pride.

103. Vultan - April 5, 2012

#102

I haven’t heard about Russia’s plans so much, but China definitely has goals set for a space station, a Moon base, and beyond. That’s the country you’ll probably be seeing big things from in the next twenty or thirty years. But there are several others getting in line for the next space race.

Hopefully, the US, with both NASA and private companies involved, doesn’t lag too far behind. Much of our economic and technological development depends on it.

Anyway, check out this recent article by Neil deGrasse Tyson. It’s definitely worth a read. The guy knows his stuff:

http://discovermagazine.com/2012/apr/14-back-to-the-final-frontier/

104. Sebastian S. - April 5, 2012

Vultan, NCM–

Looks like we’re all on the same wavelength on this issue.
The problem with the manned space program (beyond the obvious one of expense during a recessed economy) is that (as you’ve said) it’s not sexy anymore. No Buck Rogers to get the bucks from Washington. And frankly, unmanned missions can get many of the same goals done for a LOT less. So, what puts humans into space?

The moon race had the national impetus to beat the “Reds” (the former Soviet Union) as well as fulfilling the agenda of a martyred president. We have no such driving force or unity in today’s goals. The goals are are always too far off (2020, then 2030, etc.) and they’re never going to be followed up by a newer administration (no new president wants to carry water for the last one).

Perhaps this poor economy and lack of singular national willpower can also be a sobering splash of water in all of our faces; what do the manned missions give us that unmanned missions can’t? I know there are thousands of reasons to send humans, but let’s face it; the Apollo days are over. We’re a much more cynical breed these days. Manned space missions are expensive (not to mention dangerous and technologically challenging).

In my opinion, THIS is the jumping off point where you start to enlist the world’s help; you have ambitious space ‘up and comers’ like China and even India (which recently stated it’s plans for manned spaceflight) who could be strong financial/scientific partners, along with Russia and the EU (of course), to get the US back into the space game. It’d be ironic if no longer ‘going maverick’ and enlisting world help and cooperation ultimately paves the way for some version of a “Star Trek”-style United Earth starfleet someday.

As the Dave Bowman message in “2010″ said:
“All of these worlds are yours… use them together; use them in peace.”

;-)

105. Vultan - April 5, 2012

#105

Well, I don’t think I can add anything further to this topic because you pretty much summed it all up beautifully. Well done, sir.

Oh, by the way, 2010 is a great movie. Not as great as its predecessor but underrated, I think.

106. Sebastian S. - April 5, 2012

Very kind of you to say, Vultan. Thanks!

And yes; “2010″ was a great movie. I liked it for what it was, not what it should’ve/could’ve been. It’s biggest problem was the burden of expectations placed upon it being a sequel to one of the greatest movies ever made. That couldn’t have been easy; and IMO, director Peter Hyams succeeded admirably.

At any rate, here’s to a future (of a future generation, if not mine) for united human exploration of the solar system, and perhaps one day, in a distant future; to the stars!

;-)

107. Vultan - April 5, 2012

#106

Agreed!

108. NCM - April 5, 2012

104: well said, Sebastian.

The U.S. is planning more cooperative space quests with Russia; unnerving critics concerned about Russia’s ability to fund and employ prudent safety protocols. I didn’t know India was gearing up a space program–interesting.

Thanks for the link, Vultan; will follow-up, tomorrow. It’s late.

109. Dr. Image - April 5, 2012

Nice pic. Cool indeed.
I however still disagree with his policies.
And not aiming to get back to the moon? BIG mistake. Purely political.
Tragic.

110. William Kirk - April 6, 2012

You have a great president….

111. Phil - April 6, 2012

Wadda ya know, the thread is still accepting comments!!

112. elliot - April 6, 2012

Obama’s space policy in two words: Kobiyashi Maru

113. Sebastian S. - April 6, 2012

112. elliot

Just remember it was the previous administration that put the kibosh on the shuttle, not Obama. And the moon program was never seriously funded to begin with; it was purely political.

If we go back to the moon or Mars? Let’s get the other space-faring nations of the world involved this time. Enough of this ‘space travel as demonstration of national prowess’ stuff.

It’s too important to the ultimate survival of the human race to simply be a prize for bragging rights….

114. Goosenecked Fan - April 6, 2012

When you can’t win a debate, delete the posts…wonderful strategy, Anthony…

115. Vultan - April 6, 2012

#113

I think we could do both.

Maybe have a friendly competition, a kind of X prize or Space Race Olympics or whatever you want to call it, to get us back to the Moon and on to Mars, then combine the best ideas and technology to carry us ALL forward.

Don’t get me wrong. I like the idea of the nations of the world uniting, but we can’t deny human nature. For better or worse, we live for competition. It’s in the DNA.

116. Sebastian S. - April 6, 2012

115.

Good point, Vultan.
Nothing spurs the human race like competition.

Maybe a friendly international X-Prize of sorts? We have the America’s Cup, the Olympics, Tour de France, World Cup and other friendly international competitions. Why not one for going to Mars, or the asteroids or even back to the moon (even though I personally think Mars is a much more beneficial goal, really).

And a race for space could have such long-term scientific and cultural benefits for the future of the human race (not to mention our very survival; spreading the gene pool across the planets is genetically wiser than leaving all of our ‘eggs’ on planet Earth…). It would potentially be the most worthwhile competition of them all…

;-)

117. Jim Nightshade - April 7, 2012

Bottom line…if we dont keep working on going to mars and beyond we wont have the tech to move off the planet n survive…if we use up all resources we need to expand n if a planet killing asteroid arrives bye bye mankind…cancelling funding for off world expansion because its not profitable could be fatally short sighted—

118. John Cooley - April 7, 2012

Yeah…but, a REAL Trekkie would know how to give a proper Vulcan salute. Thumb in? That’s a poseur passing himself off as a Trekkie. look at Nichelle…THAT”S how it’s done! :) The Vulcan Salute; outing fake Trekkies since “Amok Time’, accept no substitute!

Someonewho calls himself a LIFE LONG Trekkie? Thumb in is kind of like a lie detector for those who wish to pass themselve off as a Trekkie but miss the mark. Look, the shape of the hand is supposed to mimic the Hebrew Letter Shin, and it can’t properly do that with the thumb in. But, don’t take it from me, here’s the inventor of the Vulcan hand salute…http://youtu.be/​1QodqIiZ0ls

Leonard-Nimoy-Vulcan Salute From Kabbalah.flv

http://www.youtube.com

In this short video piece Leonard Nimoy explains the source of the Vulcan Salute.

119. John Cooley - April 7, 2012

Sorry…here’s the clip of Mr. Nimoy on the Vulcan Hand Salute.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1QodqIiZ0ls&feature=youtu.be

120. TrekMadeMeWonder - April 7, 2012

maybe he is used to having his middle fingers inside with the thumb.

121. Keachick - rose pinenut (F) - April 7, 2012

Why, on the clip, does it refer to Kabbalistic mysticism and black magic? Why not white magic? Just wondering.

122. nina - April 9, 2012

nyota e seu filho tuvok…

123. Spock/Uhura Admirer :-/ - April 12, 2012

Well, I was excited over this until I hit the comments section, even with it being ‘cleaned’. I’m not going to comment on any of it.

Anyway, nice photo.

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