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End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight  
User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5081 times:

Never thought I would live to see the day that the United States would cede the high ground in space but with the proposed budget out of the White House, that's exactly what will happen starting next year. Once the last shuttle mission is flown we will have no manned space flight capability of our own in the pipeline for the foreseeable future. I think Charles Krauthammer sums it up nicely. The door that President Kennedy opened with bravado is being closed with a whimper by President Obama.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/6866401.html

Many have speculated when we could see the end of the United States as a world leader. I have said many times I thought the beginning would be when we bailed on space flight. Those of you who have longed for the day our country got knocked back a notch, it is less than a year away now.   

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinemt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6615 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5067 times:
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Why doesn't private industry step in?


Step into my office, baby
User currently offlineMBMBOS From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2598 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5046 times:

I have no problem with it. We can get much more bang for our buck with unmanned exploration. I think we should wait for the day when we make appreciable steps forward, that make manned space flight more feasible technologically and financially, before stepping back in.

User currently offlinePhotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2771 posts, RR: 18
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5030 times:

Quote:
"Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Gene Roddenberry would roll over in his grave!


User currently offlinemt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6615 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5018 times:
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Quoting Photopilot (Reply 3):
Gene Roddenberry would roll over in his grave!

Have you seen Star Trek IV? hes been rolling for a while..



Step into my office, baby
User currently offlinenighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5167 posts, RR: 33
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5015 times:

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 3):
Quote:
"Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to go boldly where no man has gone before."

Corrected for you   



That'll teach you
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13141 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 5000 times:

What is sad too it that to have human space flight means 1000's of jobs thorughout the USA, but the costs to get humans up in space is very expensive. As many taxpayers don't see any immediate benefit, are demanding lower taxes and lower government spending and we can do many things with unpersoned aircraft, there may be no other decision for now.

User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2116 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4961 times:

Quoting mt99 (Reply 4):
Have you seen Star Trek IV? hes been rolling for a while..

That had me laughing out loud heh. Nice!

And Nighthawk Photopilot had it right the first time...  



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10107 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4952 times:
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Quoting nighthawk (Reply 5):
Quoting Photopilot (Reply 3):
Quote:
"Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to go boldly where no man has gone before."

Corrected for you

Ummm...Pretty sure he had it right the first time  
Quoting mt99 (Reply 4):

Have you seen Star Trek IV? hes been rolling for a while..

I thought Star Treks II, III, IV, and VI were all good. Star Trek V was the real stepchild of the series.



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineMarcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1801 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4915 times:

Quoting Photopilot (Reply 3):
Gene Roddenberry would roll over in his grave!

He was cremated wasn't he?



Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 4901 times:

Quoting MBMBOS (Reply 2):
I have no problem with it. We can get much more bang for our buck with unmanned exploration. I think we should wait for the day when we make appreciable steps forward, that make manned space flight more feasible technologically and financially, before stepping back in.

If you don't invest in the technology that's not going to happen. It will be interesting to see what the Russians decide to charge come 2013 when we have to renegotiate the rates.


User currently offlinemaxter From Australia, joined May 2009, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 4811 times:

Quoting dxing (Reply 10):
If you don't invest in the technology that's not going to happen

Isn't that just the point. The technology is still going to be invested in, only this time by private industry with a leg up from the govt. In addition NASA will still be funded to be able to carry out the vital research that will enable those private firms to implement their plans much more effectively and safely.

Correct me if i'm wrong, isn't that actually supposed to be the "American free enterprise way"?

It's funny, the main opponents I see in my reading of this debate seems to be the monolithic corporations who have been benefiting from being pretty firmly attached to the NASA teat for a very long time. Speaking of which, there is nothing stopping Boeing Space and the other majors from attempting to do exactly what SpaceX or Bigelow are attempting on a very much smaller budget.



maxter
User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4702 times:

Quoting dxing (Reply 10):
If you don't invest in the technology that's not going to happen. It will be interesting to see what the Russians decide to charge come 2013 when we have to renegotiate the rates.

If the private US industry is as good as they say, they can fill the gap, now they can no longer say that NASA is 'in their way' either.

I actually think it's a desperately disappointing prospect, no return to the Moon, however, once the full extent of the financial crisis became clear, the thought that the NASA return to the Moon programme would be yet another victim, did occur to me.
Whoever was in the White House.

The truth is, the Ares 1 part of the programme was going badly, despite some extra support for NASA from 2004 in reality the whole programme was underfunded.

The Russians have filled gaps before, after the loss of Columbia notably.
The Russians also use basically the same launcher as put Gagarin up nearly 50 years ago, the space vehicle not being much newer either.
That's how they've sustained it too, it is probably about the only system with any kind of operational maturity, after those decades of experience.

I remember seeing a documentary, from about 1990, of a Soyuz launch to Mir .
In the very depths of winter, they erected it from a transporter locomotive, on to the launcher, the crew boarded and soon off it went.
For Low Earth Orbit there is surely a lesson there?

There is no real US public support for Ares/Constellation, there was only major public support for Apollo in the period leading up to, then to the actual first landing.
Basically Apollo's 8-11.

I think getting back into manned flight beyond Low Earth Orbit is intrinsically a good thing, but my taxes are not paying for it.


User currently offlineWingman From Seychelles, joined May 1999, 2290 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 4663 times:

So in 47 years our much vaunted manned space flight has taken us as far as the moon and then back into low Earth orbit to study the effects of weightlessness on mice. I'm with the "cool factor" camp when it comes to manned space flight but in terms of real scientific return on investment I don't get it. We would go back to the moon to replace the American flag and give China the bird? I don't see the benefit. To me the real return is unmanned space flight to figure out if there is any place in fact worth sending human beings to. Once you identify that prospect then having sent men to the moon after a 40 year hiatus won't do much good. You need to figure out all other kinds of stupefyingly expensive solutions to make that happen like much faster travel through space and the long term effects of weightlessness. As far as the latter goes you can get those results from the Space Station.

User currently offlineDavid L From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 9524 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4638 times:

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 7):
And Nighthawk Photopilot had it right the first time...
Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 8):
Ummm...Pretty sure he had it right the first time


Never mind, Nighthawk, I know what you meant - "boldly splitting infinitives..." and all that.  
Quoting mt99 (Reply 1):
Why doesn't private industry step in?


Fair enough but what disappoints me most is that there is to be no gradual transition from NASA to the private sector. NASA's manned programmes are stopped, just like that, and now we'll have quite a wait for the filling of the void to begin.


User currently offlineBEG2IAH From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 973 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4635 times:
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Quoting David L (Reply 14):
Fair enough but what disappoints me most is that there is to be no gradual transition from NASA to the private sector. NASA's manned programmes are stopped, just like that, and now we'll have quite a wait for the filling of the void to begin.

Is there any purpose for the existence of the Kennedy Space Center, except tourism maybe? I guess all training needed for the ISS can be done in Houston. All unmanned launches were done from Cape Canaveral anyway...

BEG2IAH



FAA killed the purpose of my old signature: Use of approved electronic devices is now permitted.
User currently offlineconnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4579 times:

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 15):
Is there any purpose for the existence of the Kennedy Space Center, except tourism maybe? I guess all training needed for the ISS can be done in Houston. All unmanned launches were done from Cape Canaveral anyway...

BEG2IAH

There are still lots of unmanned satellites and space probes waiting and needing to be launched from KSC. The Eastern Range offers huge unpopulated sectors of ocean that give the launch agency (whomever) a pretty good feeling for safety, one of the reasons, one supposes, that Florida was chosen over southern Texas as a national launch site.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10107 posts, RR: 26
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4559 times:
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Quoting Wingman (Reply 13):
So in 47 years our much vaunted manned space flight has taken us as far as the moon and then back into low Earth orbit to study the effects of weightlessness on mice. I'm with the "cool factor" camp when it comes to manned space flight but in terms of real scientific return on investment I don't get it.

I am very much in agreement with that. I'm all for manned missions to Mars or wherever, but only when there is a significant enough reason to offset the risk and cost. And right now, I really don't think there is.

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 16):

There are still lots of unmanned satellites and space probes waiting and needing to be launched from KSC. The Eastern Range offers huge unpopulated sectors of ocean that give the launch agency (whomever) a pretty good feeling for safety, one of the reasons, one supposes, that Florida was chosen over southern Texas as a national launch site.

Believe what he was saying was that Kennedy Space Center only consists of Pads 39A and B (and related facilities like the Vehicle Assembly Building and shuttle landing strip), which are only used to launch the Space Shuttle. All the other launch pads in that area are part of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which - though contiguous with KSC - is a separate facility, far as I remember.

Quoting David L (Reply 14):
Never mind, Nighthawk, I know what you meant - "boldly splitting infinitives..." and all that.

   That's what I get for sticking my nose into Mil/Space!



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlinesonic67 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 292 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4547 times:

This is a very sad day for the United States!!!

In the next 4 years lawmakers will have eliminated almost all major space and aerospace programs excluding KCX and Joint fighter programs. We are yet to see if the KCX and Joint fighter programs get canceled as well.

Once production is stopped it is very hard restart it again. Plus we will not have the expertise to produce our own military equipment. We will have to buy our supplies from foreign companies. Not to bad mouth foreign companies but building your own military and space equipment was something of a national pride for any nation.

that my 2 cents


User currently offlinemaxter From Australia, joined May 2009, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4467 times:

Quoting sonic67 (Reply 18):
Plus we will not have the expertise to produce our own military equipment

How is this remotely related to the thread topic? Also you seem to suggest that all the knowledge gained by NASA and the myriad of other researchers at Universities, Colleges and laboratories all over the US since the advent of the space program will suddenly and magically disappear in a puff of smoke...

That makes no sense at all. Is the insinuation the new private space companies going to re-invent the wheel and produce a completely new form of space propulsion? I think not.

NASA will still be in the game carrying out research to assist these new'ish entities to make their tech much more efficient, while itself doing their calling in a much more effective, structured and focused manner.



maxter
User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4401 times:

Quoting maxter (Reply 11):
Isn't that just the point. The technology is still going to be invested in, only this time by private industry with a leg up from the govt.

NASA was a good example of government and private industry in a cooperative partnership. That patnership is now going to suffer a pretty big blow. As Krauthammer points out in his opinion piece:

"At the peak of the Apollo program, NASA was consuming almost 4 percent of the federal budget, which in terms of the 2011 budget is about $150 billion. Today the manned space program will die for want of $3 billion a year — 1/300th of last year's stimulus package with its endless make-work projects that will leave not a trace on the national consciousness. "

Here in Houston there is talk of at least 10,000 jobs going out the window. I have not heard what the cost will be in the Titusville area. The comparison to the stimlus bill is striking when you consider that hi tech jobs are being traded for "shovel" ready jobs.

Quoting maxter (Reply 11):
In addition NASA will still be funded to be able to carry out the vital research that will enable those private firms to implement their plans much more effectively and safely.

Not in so far as developing a new manned space vehicle they won't. Much of what else NASA is theoretical research.

Quoting maxter (Reply 11):
Correct me if i'm wrong, isn't that actually supposed to be the "American free enterprise way"?

Sure, but if no profit will be realized within a reasonable amount of time what company, bank, or consortium of lenders is going to invest? There are only a few such Sir Richard Bransons running around. This is one of the long term areas where the military and the government really have to get involved due to the extrordinary length of time involved from start to finish.

Quoting maxter (Reply 11):
Speaking of which, there is nothing stopping Boeing Space and the other majors from attempting to do exactly what SpaceX or Bigelow are attempting on a very much smaller budget.

I don't believe either of those two companies have as their corporate mission goals the landing of a man on the Moon or Mars. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 15):
All unmanned launches were done from Cape Canaveral anyway...

And still will be as that will be the prime place for communications and other various satellites to be launched from.


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13229 posts, RR: 77
Reply 21, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

The question still is not answered though?
Space X, which I understand as being the most likely provider of transport to ISS (which has been extended to 'at least 2020'), has been working on a manned capsule.
What NASA should do, is give them the help they need to get this operational by 2015.

NASA Administrator Bolden has stated that the US still requires a heavy launch vehicle.
I understand NASA Engineers, in their own time, proposed DIRECT, based to the Shuttle ET (but with engines at the base) and Shuttle SRB's.
It's all early days right now.

It is worth remembering that under the previous plan, the manned to LEO launches of Ares 1/Constellation, to support ISS, had slipped to 2017.
That is a hell of a gap from the Shuttle.
So arguably, there was already a case to help the private players to get a 'ISS Taxi' capability anyway.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8640 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4342 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 12):
The Russians also use basically the same launcher as put Gagarin up nearly 50 years ago, the space vehicle not being much newer either.

And for much less money than the Americans can do it. Crucially, their safety rating is also higher than the American system. We should support and improve what works. This isn't a problem that needs lots of new engineering. We are chasing 1950s-60s type problems with NASA's missions. It is no longer necessary to do those missions ad nauseam.

Private firms can handle orbital launches. The usefulness of the human body in orbit is positive, but not extremely large. A robot can do a lot of what humans can do, without oxygen or adult diapers etc.

Personally, I lose no sleep over this. If we want space research, NASA is a good base of operations but we should not confine ourselves to it. The private market can send people to the moon, if there were a desire. There isn't!


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12740 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4330 times:

Quoting dxing (Thread starter):
Never thought I would live to see the day

We can always count on you for some theatrics, DXing...

Quoting MBMBOS (Reply 2):
We can get much more bang for our buck with unmanned exploration.

  

Quoting Marcus (Reply 9):
He was cremated wasn't he?

I really hope he didn't go the Ted Williams route.

You never know what might happen with your head if you do.

Quoting sonic67 (Reply 18):
In the next 4 years lawmakers will have eliminated almost all major space and aerospace programs excluding KCX and Joint fighter programs. We are yet to see if the KCX and Joint fighter programs get canceled as well.

The reality is that JSF got a funding boost and KC-X is now a top priority (even though many of us think we should do more re-engining of KC-135Es).

Quoting dxing (Reply 20):

"At the peak of the Apollo program, NASA was consuming almost 4 percent of the federal budget, which in terms of the 2011 budget is about $150 billion. Today the manned space program will die for want of $3 billion a year %u2014 1/300th of last year's stimulus package with its endless make-work projects that will leave not a trace on the national consciousness. "

Funny, many view NASA's manned space flight program as a make-work project used as a political football whenever someone wants to get votes from FL or TX.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinedxing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4304 times:

Quoting GDB (Reply 21):
The question still is not answered though?

In my mind it is. Which private firm is working on flight to the Moon or Mars? Which private firm provided funding for Christopher Columbus? In some areas the government has always had to take the lead since the risk was too great for private capital.

Quoting GDB (Reply 21):
Space X, which I understand as being the most likely provider of transport to ISS (which has been extended to 'at least 2020'), has been working on a manned capsule.
What NASA should do, is give them the help they need to get this operational by 2015.

No problem with that but it still does not answer the larger problem of how to get beyond low earth orbit. As ProjectX says on it's own website:

http://www.spacex.com/updates.php

"The ongoing evolution of the commercial space industry was recently featured as the cover story (%u201CThe New Space Rush%u201D) in Popular Science magazine. The article provided a great perspective on the industry as a whole, but I disagree with the subheading, %u201CWho Needs NASA?%u201D. If you read the article, it's clear their intent was just to convey excitement for the developments in commercial space, but obviously NASA is and always will be critical to the future of space exploration, particularly at the outer edge where there is no commercial market. Without NASA, SpaceX certainly would not be where it is today."

Quoting GDB (Reply 21):
It is worth remembering that under the previous plan, the manned to LEO launches of Ares 1/Constellation, to support ISS, had slipped to 2017.
That is a hell of a gap from the Shuttle.

Primarily due to funding both from the Bush and Obama administrations.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 22):
Private firms can handle orbital launches.

Fine, but their basis for existance and the technology they employ was developed by whom?

Quoting Flighty (Reply 22):
Personally, I lose no sleep over this. If we want space research, NASA is a good base of operations but we should not confine ourselves to it. The private market can send people to the moon, if there were a desire. There isn't!

As stated above, how many private firms sent people like Christopher Columbus to find the new world? Also as stated above in the SpaceX launch update they even recognize that NASA was, is, and should remain the leader on the outer edge of exploration.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
We can always count on you for some theatrics, DXing...

Sorry, my disappointment with a political decision disappoints you.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
Funny, many view NASA's manned space flight program as a make-work project used as a political football whenever someone wants to get votes from FL or TX.

So we have a stimulus bill worth almost a trillion dollars, of which less than half has been spent, of which "jobs saved" is the big moniker, yet no hi tech jobs are worth saving even though the cost would be but a drop in the stimulus bucket? That sounds awful inward looking to me. Penny saved (although it really hasn't been, just redirected), Pound foolish come to mind?


25 maxter : Irrelevant in the context of this discussion, that's ancient history. Once again, that won't change. Their existence will be funded by the Government
26 Revelation : Without going down the rat hole of stimulus package, I have said here in an earlier thread that a lot of these people seem to have the same skills as
27 GDB : I agree, that is beyond the reach of private industry, who have to prove they can do 'taxi to LEO'. The thing is, in the past few years, not just the
28 JakeOrion : BUT at a much slower pace. What once took years to develop, now have most likely been extended to decades. When you had a deadline, things got done,
29 Post contains images ea772lr : This is truly sad. It sucks because I'm living during a time where America falls but it's happening right now... but have no fear my friends. Carter c
30 WESTERN737800 : I think we need manned spaceflight. I know there are other things more important that we can be spending our money on. But those other things that we
31 dxing : Completely relevant. Funding is the primary reason for the programs demise. Do you stil invest when times are tough? Even at a reduced level? I do. H
32 GDB : Be fair, the Apollo J missions had surface stays of three days, that was however as far as that system could stretch it. However, even this enthusias
33 windy95 : An estimated 17,000 government and Civilians jobs to be lost here in Central Florida. Great jobs plan from the Obama administration. I imagine amny m
34 dxing : Which is only a few hours versus years which is what we need to work on now. Private industry has been building automobiles for over 100 years now. T
35 GDB : These feared job losses in Texas and Florida, given that as part of the Ares/Constellation direction, was the ending of the Shuttle in 2010, consideri
36 maxter : Bingo, it's apparent this doctrine is only used to support ones argument when convenient and the opposite is uesd when not. The private contractors h
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