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Should The Space Shuttle Program End Soon?  
User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13120 posts, RR: 12
Posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6005 times:

Fortuntally today's landing of the Space Shuttle, after the first flight of them in 2 1/2 years, was safe and successful. Despite this, there are many questioning the continuation of the program for many reasons, mostly as to the safety for the human astronauts and the costs. There are many sound and desirable reasons to send humans into space vs. unmanned spacecraft, but the costs and risks to the astronauts may not be worth it. There seems to be several basic options:
1) Make incremental improvement to the current shuttle units, and keep them operating for maybe 5 years and in the meanwhile consider replacement or new policy
2) If the improvements are too expensive, impractial, or still leave an unacceptable risk, then end the program now and replace with unmanned spacecraft.
3) Send astronauts via the Russian rockets. They seem to have a reliable system.
4) Develop a new Shuttle. Of course, this would make Boeing and all other aerospace companies drooling with anticipation for the huge contracts it could get as well as make a lot of politicans fight for the contracts for the bribes...uh campaign contributions...and to promote the 'high quality employment' from whom ever gets the contract.
No matter what, a decision has to be made soon to continue sending people into space. What do you all think?

42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6000 times:

I have already suggested this thread be moved.. "Belongs in military space"

User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3625 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5992 times:

I think it should end not because it is unsafe, but because we should move on to "bigger" and better things with regards to space exploration. aka the Moon and Mars.

User currently offlineTedTAce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5988 times:

Quoting LTBEWR (Thread starter):
the continuation of the program

I suggest you read this: New CEV/Future Vehicle Details (by DfwRevolution Jul 2 2005 in Military Aviation & Space Flight)

A lot of your questions are answered in that thread.


User currently offlineTexdravid From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1356 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5972 times:

I think this should be the last flight of the space shuttle. Instead of taking it back to Canaveral on the modified ex-AA Nasa 741, they should take it to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum!!

There is nothing more to be learned from this spacecraft.
It has been a money pit since its inception. It has not provided any significant info/products. It has not been a particularly good supply craft or satellite launcher. It is certainly not reliable.

Let's end this charade. I'm not saying end the space program entirely. But, focus attention on other endeavors. If we are going to spend money on the U.S. space program, let us spend it wisely, not to throw it down the shuttle pit.

Ideally, the whole space thing should be shut down and the enormous savings should be used to finance universal health care, improving national security, and bulking up social security. All liberal things, I know, but at least helpful and practical.



Tort reform now. Throw lawyers in jail later.
User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4344 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5969 times:

If we're going to have a manned presence in space (Space Station), we have to have a vehicle capeable of getting men there and back. Until an alternative is available, we're sorta stuck with the shuttle.

I skimmed through the other thread, but didn't notice any time estimates. What are estimates to build, test and put into production a replacement?



"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5968 times:

Quoting Texdravid (Reply 4):
Ideally, the whole space thing should be shut down and the enormous savings should be used to finance universal health care, improving national security, and bulking up social security. All liberal things, I know, but at least helpful and practical.

The amount of the federal budget that NASA gets is a piss in the ocean to what's being pissed away on current do-nothing social programs, congressional pork programs, the unjustifiable amount that congressmen and the President make in salary, and that debacle in Iraq.  Yeah sure

Quoting Texdravid (Reply 4):
It is certainly not reliable.

It's a spaceship, not an airliner.  Yeah sure Believe it or not, manned spaceflight is STILL in its infancy...why it keeps taking events like Apollo 1, Apollo 13, Challenger and Columbia to remind the public of this, I have no clue. The shuttle has at the very least provided us with valuble insights for the next generation of manned space vehicles. But to say that something whose very mission is fundamentally risky and dangerous is unreliable is clutching at straws. You want to see an American flag planted on Mars? Get ready for more Astronaut deaths...that's the price of human endeavours into the unknown.

Know this, the current STS can be likened to Concorde...ahead of its time and truly an advanced marvel. The long run of human spaceflight WILL see a return of reusable spacecraft as the only truly feasible and sensical way to venture into space.

 airplane B4e-Forever New Frontiers airplane 


User currently offlineAirWillie6475 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2448 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5963 times:

I agree with Texdravid, this should be the last flight of the STS. What the hell are we spending billons of dollars on the space shuttle for? I think the space shuttle is out-dated and NASA should start a new program. So much has to happen in order for a craft just to land. The crew can't even come out of the shuttle after they land for 45 minutes because of all the checklist work and checks. We are a long way from those crafts in StarWars where you can just hop in and go planet hopping.

User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5958 times:

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 7):
I think the space shuttle is out-dated and NASA should start a new program.

Out-dated is interesting. Just what manned spacecraft program out there today makes the OV's out-dated? None.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 7):
much has to happen in order for a craft just to land.

That has always been the case...spacecraft need TPS if they're going to venture beyond sub-orbital flights...and that will not change. Reentry isn't like dropping the gear, lowering the flaps, greasin' it, and leavin' for the bar soon after. It'll never be like that. The Physics of reentry say so.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 7):
The crew can't even come out of the shuttle after they land for 45 minutes because of all the checklist work and checks.

And? Mercury, Apollo, Gemeni all landed in the ocean and needed to be picked up by an aircraft carrier. Long and cumbersome, I must say. At least when finally stepping off the orbiter the crew is on dry land.

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 7):
We are a long way from those crafts in StarWars where you can just hop in and go planet hopping.

No kidding. And such will remain the case till around the end of our grandchildren's lifetimes. Hate to ruin Star Wars for ya, but space craft will never make noise in space like say those TIE fighters either. Sound needs a medium to be transmitted. A vacuum has no medium.

A new CEV is a must to continue NASA's mission. Sure enough we cannot hang onto the shuttle forever, and it does have its flaws. But the shuttle bashing is getting old.

 airplane B4e-Forever New Frontiers airplane 


User currently onlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5399 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5957 times:

Quoting Texdravid (Reply 4):
Ideally, the whole space thing should be shut down and the enormous savings should be used to finance universal health care, improving national security, and bulking up social security.

Enormous savings? Try less than 1% of the Federal budget. And I've got a sneaking suspicion that that less than 1% would go to the DoD.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5945 times:

I can't believe the space shuttles are now at least 20 years old. It's incredible when they talk about them being a bit elderly now. I can still remember the brave new world of re-usable spacecraft that day Columbia went up for the first time. It's a bit sad.


She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineTWISTEDWHISPER From Sweden, joined Aug 2003, 711 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5942 times:

Every now and then it seems to me that science and development take a few steps back.

Example 1.
July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong walks on the moon. A handful of people do this after him, but none has set foot on the moon since December 11, 1972.
33 years later we are actually talking about deserting the space shuttle program? I know it does not mean that we will never return to the monn, but come on, we're not making any progress in this matter...

Example 2.
October 14, 1947, Chuck Yeager was the first man to fly supersonic.
On October 1, 1969, Concorde first flew supersonic. Some 30 years later, when concorde went out of service, there's still no aircraft to really replace it...

I think it's sad...



Read between the lines.
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5718 posts, RR: 18
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5936 times:

It seems to me that everyone jumps the bandwagon right now just to say the shuttle is old, which is true but only to certain extent.
AFAIK, the Challenger disaster was a result of gross negligence on the part of NASA, but the Columbia disaster and the trouble with the Discovery mission were caused by a phenomena which has been happening ever since the first flight and is caused not by age of the shuttle but by negative side-effect of the its design and it seems to me natural that the lower part of the shuttle is vulnerable to impact by pieces of debris when huge structures such as the booster rockets and the fuel tank.

Quoting Texdravid (Reply 4):
It has been a money pit since its inception. It has not provided any significant info/products. It has not been a particularly good supply craft or satellite launcher. It is certainly not reliable.

That's just nonsense.
Has it not provided any significant info? It's the FIRST reusable spaceship, which allows if needed to bring back satellites from the orbit.
Not a good supply craft or satellite launcher. I don't know what the expectations were, but since both Mir and the ISS were supplied by personnel and supplies using the shuttle I think it proved itself to be a capable of such missions
Of course, that a dedicated "cargo" spaceship will be able to carry more payload, but it is lacking the versatility of the shuttle.
Not reliable? As someone said, space flight is not an airliner flight from London to Paris and most likely it will never be - and even airliners suffer from malfunctions and defects the only difference is it usually does not make headlines.


User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5931 times:

Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 6):
Know this, the current STS can be likened to Concorde...ahead of its time and truly an advanced marvel.

Bullshit. The Saturn V was ahead of its time, and truly an engineering marvel. The Shuttle is a compromise too far. Can anyone actually envisage an RTLS abort actually working? Two out of five shuttles have crashed. No Saturn Vs have crashed. 14 people have died thanks to the Shuttle. Three people died on a Saturn V...due to something completely unrelated to the vehicle itself.

Serious work should start on a Shuttle replacement. This time they should actually fund it correctly. Look at all the money NASA has spent on the Shuttle post-Challenger and post-Columbia, and look at all the money they spend on every single launch. If they'd spent that money in the first place, then they'd have a reliable, cheaper vehicle that wouldn't have killed 14 people.


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5923 times:

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 13):
Three people died on a Saturn V...due to something completely unrelated to the vehicle itself.

Nobody ever died on a Saturn V. Apollo I was fitted on top a much smaller one, a Saturn 1B.

I would remind everyone that man's future lies beyond the Earth's atmosphere. Don't kill NASA, but start working of the STS's successor. The STS's basic design specifications dates to the late 60's, early 70's. It's like an airline still operating DC-8s.

Charles


User currently offlineOV735 From Estonia, joined Jan 2004, 914 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5918 times:

While it would be possible to continue the program with three shuttles left, I really can't see why there is a need to haul a hundred-and-ten ton piece of sophisticated and (as experience shows) fragile equipment up there just to get two or three persons to the ISS and back.

I think the future belongs to the likes of SpaceShipOne. And until these come available, the Soyuz, which is a lot simpler and more reliable design, can be used.


User currently offlineNoUFO From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 7958 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5914 times:

ESA has already spent 3 billion Euro on the Columbus Laboratory, a science module for the ISS. Columbus has a ten years lifespan and was scheduled to be launched this year. Since NASA had halted the Shuttle program, Columbus is now already two years late. Japan develops another laboratory for the ISS.

If NASA refuses to stick to international contracts, they would certainly receive (not so) nice letters from their European and Japanese colleagues.



I support the right to arm bears
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5911 times:

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 14):
Nobody ever died on a Saturn V. Apollo I was fitted on top a much smaller one, a Saturn 1B.

Well there you go.

If NASA don't get thinking about what they're doing, the Chinese and the private sector will become the dominant force in space.


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14030 posts, RR: 62
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5889 times:

Obviously, at least for Bush, it is more glamourous to be the person who initiated a new national program to get to the moon and Mars, than to finish an international project, like the ISS.
It has been said that the ISS has shown very little profit so far, but the big problem is that the ISS got stuck through the shuttle problems. The crew on board is essentially just a caretaker crew, to keep the ISS going. The real scientific modules, where the work is supposed to be done in, are still standing mothballed in Germany and Japan, because the shuttle is not available to transport them to the ISS.
The modules the ISS consists of now are basically just the crew living quarters and the control mudule for the station's basic systems.

The shuttle is needed until all existing modules for the ISS are in space.

Jan


User currently offlineBoeing nut From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 5832 times:

Quoting Texdravid (Reply 4):
There is nothing more to be learned from this spacecraft.

Oh? If they had all the answers, it would be the perfect spacecraft and no other types of vehicles would be needed.

Quoting Texdravid (Reply 4):
It has been a money pit since its inception.

It's a government program. The two are synonomous with each other. Nuff said.

Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 6):
Quoting Texdravid (Reply 4):
It is certainly not reliable.

It's a spaceship, not an airliner.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Quoting Texdravid (Reply 4):
I'm not saying end the space program entirely. But, focus attention on other endeavors. If we are going to spend money on the U.S. space program, let us spend it wisely

Gotta agree with you somewhat here. Spend the money on expanding and improving the ISS. There have been countless benefits to humans from studies/experiments that have been conducted in the weightlessness of space. I see no benefit whatsoever to us by going to the Moon or Mars other than to say we did it.


Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 8):
A new CEV is a must to continue NASA's mission. Sure enough we cannot hang onto the shuttle forever, and it does have its flaws.

Agreed. The new CEV program should absolutely happen. I also believe that the Shuttle should remain an option as a suppliment to the new CEV program for any "specialized missions" that would not be possible with any CEV vehicles. I.E. bringing back a space component for repairs/modifications.

Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 8):
But the shuttle bashing is getting old.

Absolutely. Dispite it's age, it is still probably the most advanced machine ever built by man to date. The thing is simply awesome.


User currently offlineBoeing4ever From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5789 times:

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 13):
Bullshit. The Saturn V was ahead of its time, and truly an engineering marvel. The Shuttle is a compromise too far. Can anyone actually envisage an RTLS abort actually working? Two out of five shuttles have crashed. No Saturn Vs have crashed. 14 people have died thanks to the Shuttle. Three people died on a Saturn V...due to something completely unrelated to the vehicle itself.

The Saturn V is 60's tech. And expensive...NASA doesn't have the huge budget it had during the Space Race. And to insist that these vehicles were safe is idiocy. Spaceflight is risky chief. The reason we haven't seen losses on Apollo spacecraft like we have seen on the STS is...

1)The number of missions flown by Apollo is shit compared to the 114 flights now done by STS.
2)Three or fourteen doesn't matter. The shuttle carries 7 for a crew...compared to Apollo and Gemeni, the shuttle is the freakin' 747 of space right now. If a 747 blows up by bomb and 450 people are killed while two 737s go down to rudder failure killing 200, is the 747 considered less safe?

Three people did die on a Saturn IB, burned in an Apollo Command Module Oxygen rich atmosphere after an electrical spark IIRC. It's tragic, but again, the price of human endeavour.

Finally, has anyone even seen the Apollo launch tower abort system work? Nope. We never will. We've seen three astronauts cooked by Apollo 1 and nearly had another three die from suffocation. Remember Apollo 13? Apollo 12 was struck by lightning during liftoff.

A spacecraft that can launch, land, and launch again is far more advanced than the throw away capsules of Apollo. In the long run, reusable spacecraft such as the shuttle will be the standard.

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 13):
Serious work should start on a Shuttle replacement. This time they should actually fund it correctly. Look at all the money NASA has spent on the Shuttle post-Challenger and post-Columbia, and look at all the money they spend on every single launch. If they'd spent that money in the first place, then they'd have a reliable, cheaper vehicle that wouldn't have killed 14 people.

On the first point I agree...work on the Shuttle replacement should begin now to ensure a quicker transition. The rest is pure bullshit. You act as if we should have everything nailed down, and that accidents can never happen. Spaceflight isn't like driving to the store for milk. Never will be. And cheap? Please. It's more difficult to progress with spacecraft development than with aircraft development. Space is a whole different animal, and you're dangerously naive. In order to achieve the "reliable", "cheap" vehicle we're going to have to pay some sort of a price. In an environment such as space...human lives unfortunately are a part of that price.

Get a degree if Aerospace Engineering 777236ER...then I'll take you more seriously. Right now, you're an armchair Gene Kranz...

 airplane B4e-Forever New Frontiers airplane 


User currently offlineTexdravid From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1356 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5775 times:

Quoting Boeing4ever (Reply 6):
The amount of the federal budget that NASA gets is a piss in the ocean to what's being pissed away on current do-nothing social programs, congressional pork programs, the unjustifiable amount that congressmen and the President make in salary, and that debacle in Iraq.

Hey, I agree that there are plenty of pork projects that should be axed. Let's start with the Space Shuttle. Government employees like Senators, Presidents, etc making too much money? Alright, let's cut that. Too much money on defense? Probably. Look, the point is that there is soooo much pork around, let's just start cutting and cutting... BTW, Universal health care is NOT pork!!

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 12):
Not reliable? As someone said, space flight is not an airliner flight from London to Paris and most likely it will never be - and even airliners suffer from malfunctions and defects the only difference is it usually does not make headlines.

Yes, and until space flight is as routine, simple and safe as a flight from LAX-JFK, then space exploration will always be in doubt. Why settle for unsafe, unreliable machines? Why, just so more astronauts can die?

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 13):
Bullshit. The Saturn V was ahead of its time, and truly an engineering marvel. The Shuttle is a compromise too far.

You got that right. The Saturn V was, and still is an engineering marvel. Strong, powerful and very reliable. The space shuttle on the drawing board was supposed to be much better than the spacecraft we actually had. Budget cutbacks and shortcuts were severely used in the early 70's to prevent the whole program from being shut down, a la the Boeing SST concept. Thus, right from the get go the shuttle was a inferior, compromise ship. Let's call a spade a spade.



Tort reform now. Throw lawyers in jail later.
User currently offlineCitation X From Malaysia, joined Feb 2001, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5766 times:

Me things that the space shuttle is a wonderful spacecraft with lots of capabilities and abilities. The future should by right belong to the shuttle and not the likes of cev. But, before that can happen, do bring down the cost of operating it dramaticaly, up the simplicity, reliability and safety. Now that would be the true sts. Thank you.

User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14030 posts, RR: 62
Reply 23, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5751 times:

After having read both the reports about the Challenger accident and the Columbia accident, I think NASA's main problem is not the Shuttle technology, engineers can get this fixed if given free reign.
The problem seems to lie in NASA's political culture, where the paperpusher repetely overrode worries and decicions made by the technicians to look good in PR. As Prof. Feynman stated in his report to the Challenger commitee, engineers at both NASA and the booster's manufacturer knew that there were problems with the seals, but their recommendations were ignored by those further up, who wanted to show the appearance of having everything under control and to stick to a launch schedule on paper. The manufacturer, because he didn't want to get fined for not delivering as agreed and the NASA bosses took avoidable risks to please their bosses in the White House.
Both accidents could have been avoided.

Now the management is pushing the responsibility to the engineers and technicians.
It is just a big "pass the buck" game.

Jan


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13120 posts, RR: 12
Reply 24, posted (9 years 1 month 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5715 times:

Thank you all for your comments. What I am really suggesting is that we need a serious debate on the Space Shuttle program and it's future. There are many factors that need to be considered from the operations of NASA to the technology to be used, and so on as noted in the above posts, but in the end most of us still want a human presence in space as can observe and work far better and faster than machines in many parts of science. It's too bad in the USA that good science is being crippled by the 'holy rollers' ('intellegent design', against stem cell research for examples). Let the debate continue and hopefully a sound and better answer can be found.

25 GDB : Run Shuttle until ISS is completed to an acceptable standard. Push hard on CEV and an unmanned heavy lifter, (which NASA seem to be at least trying to
26 DiscoPete : IMHO I would agree that the STS is obsolete technology and should be retired as soon as possible. Some funding should be devoted to next generation ex
27 Jrw261 : I personally think Bush's agenda when that comment was made was to get the public excited again about the space program and to hopefully point some fu
28 DfwRevolution : >> As to actually going to mars, thats a big step It really isn't. The technology exist today, you heard me today, to send a modest crew to Mars and
29 Post contains images Boeing4ever : Let's start with your pet's war in Iraq...that'll save us ten times as much as eliminating a program intent on peaceful purposes... Let's see, end th
30 GDB : To be fair, Saturn V also launched Skylab, could of/should of, launched a successor, (part of which is in the Smithsonian in Washington). But there wa
31 Thorny : And very, very lucky. Saturn V only flew 13 times, and in those 13 flights had one near-disaster (Apollo 6) one very close call (Apollo 13), and a bu
32 Thorny : Well, not quite... but close. Life support and spacesuits are two of the most notable deficiencies. Russia's experience with its regenerative life su
33 SATL382G : Analysis indicated that this failure was due to damage from Skylab Micrometeoroid shield debris. Since Apollo 17 did not carry a Skylab this failure
34 Post contains images Boeing4ever : It's nice to know someone gets it. Kudos to you. Seriously. And I didn't even know about Apollo 6. You learn something new everyday. Thank you. B4e-F
35 Texdravid : Why do you have to ruin your argument with your self-serving political statements? Your points were made, then just sit back and have others make the
36 DfwRevolution : >> Well, not quite... but close. Life support and spacesuits are two of the most notable deficiencies. True, but these two problems are somewhat exag
37 Post contains images Boeing4ever : You said the shuttle wastes money. I merely pointed out that the shuttle is money better spent than say that which is spent on Iraq. B4e-Forever New
38 Post contains images Texdravid : Again, I kept the discussion on topic...the shuttle and the space program. No need to bring a political hot potato like Iraq into it. IMHO, I believe
39 Post contains images Boeing4ever : And on topic it stayed. I pointed out that the shuttle is far more reliable than some care to realize, and adding to that, while the orbiters can't m
40 Alessandro : Thorny, thank´s for the comparision between the space-shuttle and the Apollo-project, people tend to forget how complicated it´s to fly into space..
41 Thorny : No, they haven't and that's exactly the problem. Mir used those oxygen candles extensively when Elektron failed (which was often.) The fire aboard Mi
42 Bmacleod : Universal health care right now is a mess here in Canada. Long surgical waiting lists, inadequate number of beds, hospitals closing down, the governm
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