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Nasa Under President Obama  
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5205 times:

After a campaign that started early and seemed to last forever, we finally have a new President-elect in the United States.

After releasing an apparently anti-space Education Budget proposal late last year, President-elect Obama changed his position on NASA earlier this year and eventually released a strongly pro-space platform, in part due to criticism from within his own party and partly in his bid to win the battleground state of Florida, home of Kennedy Space Center. Now that he has won the Presidency, it seems unlikely he will make massive cuts to NASA's budget, although the additional $2 billion he promised for NASA may never materialize due to the economic crisis.

The GSA today published a report listing the 13 most urgent matters that need to be addressed by the new President. Among them (the list was in alphabetical order) is the retirement of the Space Shuttle.

So now, we await the new President's decisions about NASA.

First among them will be President Obama's selection of a new NASA Administrator (and possibly Deputy Administrator, although that post has traditionally been vacant.) It seems certain that Dr. Griffin will not long endure in the new Administration. One name which has been floating around recently as NASA Administrator is Dr. Sally K. Ride, who endorsed Obama for President late in the campaign.

Does the Shuttle program continue? Do we end the Shuttle program in 2010 as currently planned? Do we make major changes to NASA's Project Constellation (Ares/Orion), or do we just throw more money at it as-is and hope that will close the "gap" between Shuttle and Orion? Do we scrap the Ares and switch to a DIRECT or EELV launch approach at this late date? Do we switch to commercial services and pin our hopes on SpaceX's Falcon and Dragon? All these seem to be within the realm of possbility.

One thing is certain: President-elect Obama ran on a campaign theme of "change", and we are about to see a lot of it in NASA.

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5206 times:



Quoting Thorny (Thread starter):
Does the Shuttle program continue? Do we end the Shuttle program in 2010 as currently planned? Do we make major changes to NASA's Project Constellation (Ares/Orion), or do we just throw more money at it as-is and hope that will close the "gap" between Shuttle and Orion? Do we scrap the Ares and switch to a DIRECT or EELV launch approach at this late date? Do we switch to commercial services and pin our hopes on SpaceX's Falcon and Dragon? All these seem to be within the realm of possbility.

Indeed, these are interesting times for those who work in the space program or at least follow it closely. If at all possible, I would like to see the Obama administration and his NASA director take the following action:

1. Cancel the Ares I/V program immediately and replace crew-launch functions with a man-rated Delta IV Heavy. Target unmanned demonstration by mid-2012 and manned flight by the end of 2013 and fund appropriately.

2. Extend STS operations through mid-2012.

3. Following the end of Shuttle operations, fund Atlas/Delta evolutions to provide heavy lift capability of 50,000-75,000 kg. Using this capability, basic multi-launch lunar sorties would be capable toward the end of the decade.

4. Following the success of those initial lunar sorties, use commercially contracted launch services to augment lunar operations. This could simply be fuel delivered to orbital depots or direct delivery of payload/crew to the lunar surface.

5. Toward the end of the decade, begin international discussions for an ISS 2. I'm personally of the opinion that there is still plenty of research and technology demonstration to be done in LEO, and hopefully in 15-20 years, a modest research facility could be assembled and operated without the financial/scheduling mess the ISS became.


User currently offlineGsosbee From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5206 times:

NASA might do better than the DoD, but not by much. The ISS funds should be safe, but that is about it.

User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4944 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 1):
1. Cancel the Ares I/V program immediately and replace crew-launch functions with a man-rated Delta IV Heavy. Target unmanned demonstration by mid-2012 and manned flight by the end of 2013 and fund appropriately.


Man-rating the Delta 4 heavy is ll well and good, but if you have no certfiied manned s/c, it's all moot. IIRC ANSA still hasn't settled on a heat shield for Orion, and 2013 is not that far away.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 1):
2. Extend STS operations through mid-2012.


I've thought that's what they'll do for some time. Perhaps 3 flights/year to rotate crews and take supplies up. Don't forget there'll be more ATVs available. Mind you they're 'single-use' by design.

As for lunar ops, I'm starting to get pessimistic about them for a long time. The US I believe is going to be squeezed financially, it seems, for the next few years, what with the current contraction plus on-going obligations in health care. You can only support programs with the economy you have, and if it's weak, then some things will necessarily de dropped or deferred.

Quoting Thorny (Thread starter):
One name which has been floating around recently as NASA Administrator is Dr. Sally K. Ride, who endorsed Obama for President late in the campaign.

That's a very interesting suggestion. She has IIRC been out in California teaching and/or administrating since leaving NASA, correct ? As a motivational nomination she might be hard to top.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4903 times:



Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 3):
Man-rating the Delta 4 heavy is ll well and good, but if you have no certfiied manned s/c, it's all moot. IIRC ANSA still hasn't settled on a heat shield for Orion, and 2013 is not that far away.

But at the same time, 4 years is a great deal of time. Plenty of aircraft and spacecraft have gone from concept to flight in that amount of time. Back in 2007, Lockheed Martin was claiming that they could have an Orion ready for flight by 2011-2012 if choice of a launch vehicle was no issue.

Cut out the politics and arbitrary specifications imposed on Orion/Ares I and there is nothing standing in the way of our capable and titanic aerospace industry from demonstrating a simple crew transfer vehicle in four years.

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 3):
She has IIRC been out in California teaching and/or administrating since leaving NASA, correct ? As a motivational nomination she might be hard to top.

She has done some work with NASA lately, though. Dr. Ride participated in the Columbia Accident Investigation Board in 2003.


User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3763 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4788 times:

And we should not forget either that spending billions on space programmes in fact does create a lot of jobs, as well. While this might not be as true as it was in the 1960s, one can certainly argue that spending 5 billion for space travel in fact might have the same effort as spending 5 billion on car manufacturers in a crisis...

But we had this discussion many times already, I guess this is not the point to warm them up again.

It will be interesting to see what Obama does with Nasa. Whatever he plans, he must react fast, because the deadline of retiring Shuttle gets nearer and nearer, while Ares is struggling, so either he supports Ares completely, or they have to get another solution fast, as the timeframe would otherwise be endangered considerably.


User currently offlineCadet57 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 9085 posts, RR: 30
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4525 times:

I love how no matter what program or branch of government all the conservatives think its going to hell in a handbasket. Its lovely!  sarcastic 


Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1630 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4515 times:

I'm a conservative, and I think Obama may actually help NASA. If he does anything, he'll probably kill the Ares program, which, I think needs done. He'll end up trying to man-rate the Delta IV's, which I think should have happened initially, for cost purposes.

Also, I think that if SpaceX has a successful launch with the Falcon 9, you might see them get a significant contract, on top of what they've got, to get cargo up to ISS. I just hope we don't get a massive break between the retirement of the Shuttle, and the first flight of the new system.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlineBOACVC10 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 623 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4354 times:



Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 7):
He'll end up trying to man-rate the Delta IV's, which I think should have happened initially, for cost purposes.

I would like to suggest that the US obtain from the Russians - some of their heavy launchers and assemble/manufacture them here in the US, or adapt Russian cluster-rocket designs with the delta launch vehicle to loft heavy loads.

Reasons:
ISS II will be obviously more massive, so more mass per launch will need to be lifted.
Missions to GEO will be more common, requiring larger mass vehicles to LEO and then GEO
Missions to the moon will require more mass to build up the lunar outposts and habitats
ISS I and II will require more support materials
Missions to LEO staging points will be more frequent, or more massive each launch, but not both.
Private sector operators (commercial explorers) can pay for space aboard a heavy lift launcher as they will be looking for profit from exploitation of rare minerals and will see a heavy launcher as being expedient over smaller expensive launchers.

ALSO, numerous small launchers will have a higher failure rate over time.



BOACVC10



Up, up and Away!
User currently offlineLnglive1011yyz From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 1608 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 4335 times:



Quoting Thorny (Thread starter):
oes the Shuttle program continue? Do we end the Shuttle program in 2010 as currently planned? Do we make major changes to NASA's Project Constellation (Ares/Orion), or do we just throw more money at it as-is and hope that will close the "gap" between Shuttle and Orion? Do we scrap the Ares and switch to a DIRECT or EELV launch approach at this late date? Do we switch to commercial services and pin our hopes on SpaceX's Falcon and Dragon? All these seem to be within the realm of possbility.

As we go along here, we're only less than 1 year away from the planned beginning of retirement for the Shuttle STS system. I just simply cannot see that happening with the unpredictable nature of the launch system to begin with (I.e, weather, equipment failures, etc).

I think that NASA is going to be forced to extend STS missions WELL into the next decade, perhaps even as far as 2015. I just at this point, cannot see things changing as they are.

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 3):


Man-rating the Delta 4 heavy is ll well and good, but if you have no certfiied manned s/c, it's all moot. IIRC ANSA still hasn't settled on a heat shield for Orion, and 2013 is not that far away.

From what I've read, man-rating a lot of the heavy-lift vehicles that are currently in the arsenal would be a costly venture, that would likely take too long to develop anyways. It's not as simple as taking existing technology and throwing a capsule on top.. Look at Ares.. perfect example.

I understand the need to retire shuttle, but NASA is in a bind.. big time.. If relations keep souring with the Russians, the US Space Programme will be dead in the water should Russia ever pull the plug on US Astronauts having seats on their craft.

1011yyz



Pack your bags, we're going on a sympathy trip!
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6491 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4327 times:

I thought Obama's intention was to generally support NASA and increase its budget, except that Constellation was to be reviewed separately.


When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4312 times:



Quoting BOACVC10 (Reply 8):
I would like to suggest that the US obtain from the Russians - some of their heavy launchers and assemble/manufacture them here in the US, or adapt Russian cluster-rocket designs with the delta launch vehicle to loft heavy loads.

I think that is politically impossible for many reasons.

a. No one in the US political establishment is in any mood to increase the amount of money this nation is sending to Russia. We have to buy seats on Soyuz, so we're paying them for that. But if we don't have to pay Russia, we're not going to. Russia's actions in the first two days after the US election did not win them any friends in the Obama camp.

b. The US spent the last ten years fielding two new large launch vehicles, both of which are now under-utilized. It will be a tremendously hard sell for Congress and taxpayers to buy Russian rockets when our own are going unused.

c. Russia is planning to retire its heavy launcher, the Proton, sometime in the next several years, replacing it with Angara. So you're asking the US to dump its own proven launchers in favor of either Proton, which Russia is trying to get rid of, or a new Russian paper airplane.

By the way, both -Heavy derivatives of the US Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (Delta IV and Atlas V) are already more powerful than Russia's most powerful rocket, the Proton.

Quoting BOACVC10 (Reply 8):
ALSO, numerous small launchers will have a higher failure rate over time.

That's true, but the vast majority of these launches will simply be carrying propellant to a depot, and propellant is very easy to replace if there is a launch failure.

Quoting Lnglive1011yyz (Reply 9):
From what I've read, man-rating a lot of the heavy-lift vehicles that are currently in the arsenal would be a costly venture,

That's what NASA says, primarily in the 2005 ESAS study which led to Constellation, and which they've been quoting ever since. But the EELV people have been very loudly saying that it isn't true and that ESAS used unfair/biased figures, and they point out that the choices NASA made (CLV and CaLV) no longer exist, so NASA's comparison is moot anyway. Ares I and V look nothing like the CLV and CaLV launch vehicles selected by ESAS, needing new SRBs, new Tank tooling, and new engines. Hopefully, the Obama Administration will order a review of these decisions, and hopefully its not too late to pull the plug on Ares.

Delta IV needs new avionics for the job. It is using Delta Classic-era primitive avionics today (that's the Evolved part of EELV). However, Ares I and V need new avionics, too. So that work has to be done no matter what. But that's is essentially all Delta IV needs. An improved version of the RS-68 engine is already being paid for by the NRO.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4301 times:

Quoting Lnglive1011yyz (Reply 9):
From what I've read, man-rating a lot of the heavy-lift vehicles that are currently in the arsenal would be a costly venture, that would likely take too long to develop anyways. It's not as simple as taking existing technology and throwing a capsule on top.. Look at Ares.. perfect example.

Ares is only an example of the fact that rockets aren't Legos. Snapping together new combinations of existing tanks, boosters, and engines ultimately requires the engineering effort of a clean-sheet design. Edit: well, it's an example of other things, too.

That is not the case with man-rating the EELVs. The Delta IV was designed so that manned vehicles could be carried in the future as an upgrade capability. The Delta IV Heavy was a strong contender to launch the Orbital Space Plane that was canceled in 2003 and there were no limiting safety factors at that time.

We are talking about rocket science here so it was never going to be cheap to man-rate an EELV in absolute terms. But in relative terms, spending approx $1-2 billion over 2-3 years to upgrade an existing vehicle is a bargain when it will take about $10 billion and 8 years to produce an all-new vehicle with the same payload throw weight as the EELV Heavy.

[Edited 2008-11-09 22:04:49]

User currently offlineNomadd22 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 1900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4245 times:

I'm thinking that the success or lack thereof of some upcoming Cots demos might have a lot to do with what gets decided a year from now. The thing that would keep Ares going is the unwillingness to see China and Russia flying people for the next ten years while we're begging for rides. If Dragon or some other commercial equivilent works out I doubt the Moon and Mars manned visions would be enough to keep Ares alive.
I'd always thought Nasa should have developed a light capsule that a 552 could get to the station and a cargo version that a 502 could lift. There have been rumors of the Atlas carrying Dragon if the F9 doesn't work out.



Andy Goetsch
User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3192 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4162 times:

Can I ask something as a bit of space noob when it comes to the raw tech at play;

Why the heck don't we just retrofit/refurb the shuttles for LEO flight and use them indefinitely. I mean they've done the job pretty damned well for decades. Sure they don't pack the punch for lunar operations, but frankly I think lunar ops are a waste of time (unless someone can come up with a good reason to be there other than gosh golly.. i.e. being able to extract resources on the surface and build things on the moon from matierals of the moon).

I really don't want my life's major aviation milestones witnessed to include both the return to subsonic commercial flight *and* the return to purely capsule based space exploration. I'm a bit surprsied frankly at how poorly we (humans) are doing when it comes to space flight. We haven't really gotten anywhere in the last 30+ years.

Maybe I'll just stop watching NASA and go watch folks like Ratan and Branson. Branson has the desire and Ratan the genius.



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineLnglive1011yyz From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 1608 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4142 times:



Quoting Thorny (Reply 11):
Hopefully, the Obama Administration will order a review of these decisions, and hopefully its not too late to pull the plug on Ares.

Without politicizing the discussion, it appears from news articles I've read today that Obama is planning to re-visit LOTS of the previous administrations decisions.... so one can only hope.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 14):
Why the heck don't we just retrofit/refurb the shuttles for LEO flight and use them indefinitely. I mean they've done the job pretty damned well for decades. Sure they don't pack the punch for lunar operations, but frankly I think lunar ops are a waste of time (unless someone can come up with a good reason to be there other than gosh golly.. i.e. being able to extract resources on the surface and build things on the moon from matierals of the moon).

I agree with you that it would be nice to see the Shuttle continue flying, but you have to look at it this way:

From the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo missions, only 3 men were killed, and albeit, it was a design failure before the flight even left the ground (Apollo 1) , and NO astronauts were ever killed as a result of the launch/landing/orbit flight of the missions..

Shuttle has killed 14 people in the span of 125*(not exactly sure) flights, which is by far, a very non-stellar record if you look at the previous vehicles..

NASA once said that there would be 1 in 100 shuttles that would face a potential disaster.. that has been signifigantly lowered, if I remember correctly..

While I love Shuttle, and I love the whole programme, *something* needs to be done to ensure the safety of the crews who will continue to go into space.

1011yyz



Pack your bags, we're going on a sympathy trip!
User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3192 posts, RR: 25
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4130 times:



Quoting Lnglive1011yyz (Reply 15):
While I love Shuttle, and I love the whole programme, *something* needs to be done to ensure the safety of the crews who will continue to go into space.

Agreed, but why does this something have to be a capsule based approach. We have over 30 years of time since the shuttle was designed initially. I refuse to believe that we couldn't make a version 2.0 of the shuttle and refit them for increased safety. I also don't believe that capsules are any safer, limited operational history aside. Has Russia not suffered several deaths with capsule based systems?

Re-entry is a tough game. The Challenger disaster was COMPLETEY avoidable, and should have been avoided, so to count those lives as victims of the shuttle design is a mistake IMHO. In effect the big rockets killed those people, not the craft strapped to the big rocket.



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineLnglive1011yyz From Canada, joined Oct 2003, 1608 posts, RR: 15
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4123 times:



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 16):
Agreed, but why does this something have to be a capsule based approach. We have over 30 years of time since the shuttle was designed initially. I refuse to believe that we couldn't make a version 2.0 of the shuttle and refit them for increased safety. I also don't believe that capsules are any safer, limited operational history aside. Has Russia not suffered several deaths with capsule based systems?

Well, anything is a possibility.. but the US has entered a time of economic slowdown, and drastic spending on [questionable] programs is going to be scrutinzed. (Questionable is used because Space exploration is a very volatile discussion).

They've already gone through many processes of attempting to re-design the current shuttle to allow for safer ascent and descent, and nothing else can effectively be done to the current system.. You're talking about rebuilding an entire vehicle from scratch, which would cost billions and billions of tax dollars.

Ares seemed logical, because all they were doing was improving on proven systems (such as the SRB's, and ET, albeit in a different configuration, and the US already has extensive knowledge in capsule building..)

At this point in time, it's NOT an issue of being able to or wanting to build another "Shuttle" type system -- it's a cost $$$$$ issue.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 16):

Re-entry is a tough game. The Challenger disaster was COMPLETEY avoidable, and should have been avoided, so to count those lives as victims of the shuttle design is a mistake IMHO. In effect the big rockets killed those people, not the craft strapped to the big rocket.

Challenger WAS avoidable, and, many believe, Columbia was an avoidable situation too.. The problem was systemic in that NASA believed the Shuttle was a 'proven' vehicle. The Shuttle is, and always will be an "experimental" vehicle.

as for the comment on Russian success/failure, I do not believe there have been very many Cosmonauts killed if I'm not mistaken.. I think there were 2 or 3 that died back in the 60's or 70's on re-entry (pressurization problem??) but I don't recall any that have died on ascent or in orbit.. can anyone else clarify??

Spaceflight will NOT be routine anytime in our lifetime, like the Shuttle was designed to make it.

1011yyz



Pack your bags, we're going on a sympathy trip!
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4122 times:



Quoting Lnglive1011yyz (Reply 15):
From the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo missions, only 3 men were killed, and albeit, it was a design failure before the flight even left the ground (Apollo 1) , and NO astronauts were ever killed as a result of the launch/landing/orbit flight of the missions..

Shuttle has killed 14 people in the span of 125*(not exactly sure) flights, which is by far, a very non-stellar record if you look at the previous vehicles..

You can't compare Shuttle to the others. Shuttle killed seven astronauts on its 25th flight by which time it had already carried 125 astronauts into space. The other US systems together had flown 31 times taking 71 astronauts into space, and in that span had killed one crew on the ground and had come perilously close to killing two more in flight (Gemini 8 and Apollo 13). In Russia, the "safe" capsule method did not prevent the deaths of four cosmonauts.

When it comes to spaceflight, there are two manned vehicles that have flown enough to have statistically meaningful numbers, Shuttle and Soyuz, and then there is everything else. The two systems with a statistically meaningful number of flights have almost identical safety/fatality records despite being radically different types of spacecraft from two radically different industrial and technological cultures.

Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 16):
I refuse to believe that we couldn't make a version 2.0 of the shuttle and refit them for increased safety.

We probably could, NASA has proposed Shuttle II at various times in the last 20 years. The problem is that it will still be very expensive to operate, relative to expendable launchers, and with NASA now forbidden from launching commercial payloads on the Shuttle, there isn't a good enough reason to build Shuttle II. And NASA wants to resume exploring deep space, something at which Shuttle II would be little help.


User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3192 posts, RR: 25
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4106 times:



Quoting Lnglive1011yyz (Reply 17):
At this point in time, it's NOT an issue of being able to or wanting to build another "Shuttle" type system -- it's a cost $$$$$ issue.

Perfect. Obama wants a stimulus package... why not merge the two.. spending billions on the space program and create thousands of jobs by doing it. At the end, instead of feeling good about giving away 100s of Bs of $, you can have a kick-ass space programme.

Quoting Thorny (Reply 18):
The problem is that it will still be very expensive to operate,

Not disputing you, but it always boggled my mind that they would end up more expensive being reusable and all. The other crying shame in all this is the retirement of the SME  Sad



I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineBmacleod From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 2379 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3524 times:

I feel Obama's long-term vision is the abolishment of NASA and have private corporations take over. I don't want to be anti-NASA here; but just looking at the current status of everything else and what is needed to fix all our problems; it's a logical conclusion that eventually Uncle Sam's "unbilical cord" will have to be cut - perhaps sooner than later...


The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.
User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1001 posts, RR: 51
Reply 21, posted (6 years 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3464 times:



Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 20):
I feel Obama's long-term vision is the abolishment of NASA and have private corporations take over

The long-term vision of any President can extend no more than 8 years into the future. In that time period, it's hard to imagine NASA becoming a "kill-able" agency. NASA does work in too many Congressional districts and is too high-profile for a President to axe.

Realistically, the most anti-space position Obama could take would be to kill the VSE and restrict Constellation to supporting the ISS.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (6 years 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3431 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 21):

The long-term vision of any President can extend no more than 8 years into the future.

And killing NASA would very likely cost him Florida's votes in 2012, especially in the I-4 corridor that put him over the top this year. It is unlikely he could win re-election without Florida.

And you're right, Congress, even a Congress firmly in his camp, would never rubber-stamp a move of that magnitude. And it isn't clear Congress will be firmly in his camp. If he trends centrist, he'll have their support, but it he falls back on his far-left ways, Congress will start to get annoyed with him, a repeat of Clinton and Congress in 1993-94.


User currently offlineDiscoverCSG From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 833 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 3179 times:



Quoting Osiris30 (Reply 16):
The Challenger disaster was COMPLETEY avoidable, and should have been avoided, so to count those lives as victims of the shuttle design is a mistake IMHO. In effect the big rockets killed those people, not the craft strapped to the big rocket.

I fail to see the distinction. The Solid Rocket Boosters are designed specially and only to fire for 2 minutes and 4 seconds per STS mission, then fall into the ocean for recovery and reuse. That's what they're designed to do, and with that one highly unfortunate exception in which they were used over the objections of the people who built them, they've done the job beautifully.

Both of the fatal shuttle accidents were completely foreseeable - make that "foreseen" - but allowed to happen, anyway. I doubt there will ever be a completely unforeseen accident in space travel, as there are too many highly-trained minds involved not to think of the most plausible failure modes - neither Challenger's known-to-be-frozen faulty O-ring seal nor the failure of Columbia's known-to-be-damaged heat shield was a new concept. The problem is neither one of equipment nor of smarts; rather, it's one of management that minimizes risk while moving forward with the program.


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