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Dreadnought
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For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 4:53 pm

http://www.wesh.com/spacenews/22374043/detail.html

Project Constellation, which includes the new Aries rocket series which would be the next manned launch vehicle after the Space Shuttle is retired this year, has effectively been killed by the Obama administration.

That means that for the first time since Project Mercury, the US will no longer have the ability to launch men into space, and will not have any project in development to do so. Manned spaceflight is dead, as far as the US is concerned.

Thanks Mr. President, for handing over all future space exploration to the Russians and the Chinese, along with all the technological developments (and jobs) involved.

 
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CometII
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:10 pm

There needs to be cuts in space, in the military (yes, the USA is no longer able to maintain it's supersized military), reduce our bases in regions like Europe, we need to close embassies we cannot afford to have embassies in every single country (the UK is doing so), we need to stop funding international projects.

Finally, Americans need to accept we are a nation in decline. Yes, you heard me. We ran the credit card for decades (both parties to maintain such a hegemonic projection), and now the chickens are coming to roost. It is ironic since this is how the Soviet Union was made to collapse, spend itself to death. But Americans thought our country was different and immune because we were funded by the world through the dollar and our capital markets. No longer so.

However, if we do massive cuts now (in every category and areas either democrats or republicans do not want to touch), then in 5 years we can get our house in order and restart some of the programs.
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:11 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):
Thanks Mr. President, for handing over all future space exploration to the Russians and the Chinese, along with all the technological developments (and jobs) involved.

Way to go teleprompter in chief.

I wonder if this stuff will actually get passed.
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GQfluffy
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:16 pm



Quoting Flanker (Reply 2):
I wonder if this stuff will actually get passed.

It doesn't have to go through Congress. It is already done.
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Fly2HMO
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:17 pm

Well ain't that swell. Going back to the moon and setting up a base camp there was the stepping stone to getting to mars.

It doesn't help that since the Apollo missions the public's interest in space has become practically nil. Heck, I've run into too many people that didn't even know there was a space station orbiting the earth  
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:18 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):
Thanks Mr. President, for handing over all future space exploration to the Russians and the Chinese, along with all the technological developments (and jobs) involved.

Since you hate government involvement in just about everything, why is it the President's job to fund space exploration? Shouldn't private industry be doing this?

You keep screaming about how the federal government is bankrupt, but yet you want the President to spend billions on space exploration?
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:20 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 4):
I've run into too many people that didn't even know there was a space station orbiting the earth  

You've had to have had your head up the ass for at least 20 years not to know that. Cant believe the ignorance of people sometimes.

With that being said, i don't see this cutback as something that will last. Sad part is we will lose ground.
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Yellowstone
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:34 pm

While I would rather that NASA continue work on Project Constellation, Obama's new space policy isn't entirely bad. It includes:
- maintaining the International Space Station through 2020
- an increase in NASA's budget of 6 billion over the next five years
- major increases in investment into commercial space flight development

I'm especially excited about the last part. NASA should get out of the Earth to LEO business so that, when the economy recovers such that space exploration can again be a priority, it can focus on larger targets such as the Moon and Mars.
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CometII
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:47 pm

We've been first in every category for 50 years. It cost us 14 trillion dollars and rising.

Now the rest of the world with much lower debt can spend money on these things and we can't.

Forget NASA, forget a worldwide military presence. Let's accept our superpower status is coming to an end and let's share the load with China, the European Union, Russia, India, Japan, and the Latin American powers.
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:51 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):
Thanks Mr. President, for handing over all future space exploration to the Russians and the Chinese, along with all the technological developments (and jobs) involved.

Thanks, Mr President, for getting the Chinese, Russians and Indians to waste as much money as we've been wasting in space exploration.

What's the odds of them learning some new technical innovation via a space program that we wouldn't then be able to leverage too? Not enough to worry about, says I.

Anyhow, it'd be good for us to pirate someone else's technology for a change, versus the other way around.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 4):
It doesn't help that since the Apollo missions the public's interest in space has become practically nil. Heck, I've run into too many people that didn't even know there was a space station orbiting the earth

And if GHWB had followed his gut feeling, that would have been canned in the 80s. The only reason he kept it around was he wanted to give ex-Soviet space engineers something to do other than to work on nuclear weapons.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 5):
Since you hate government involvement in just about everything, why is it the President's job to fund space exploration? Shouldn't private industry be doing this?

I have no issue with the government funding appropriate, beneficial and important research, but manned space flight is really just a prestige program. It's all about seeing someone wave the US flag on the moon and perhaps on Mars, which is a shitload of money to spend for a few days/weeks/months of feel-good.

The bang for the buck is about 10x better for unmanned space research vs. manned.

Anyhow I'd much rather see my money go into alternate fuels research. Should these things pay off, we'd have next to no reason to be sending Americans into harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we'd get to reduce defense spending too.

I'd love to see an Apollo-like program for fusion. If we threw those kinds of resources at it, I'm sure we'd make huge amounts of progress. I'd rather be remembered as being someone from the generation who gave the US energy independence instead of being someone from the generation who went to the moon the second time.

Quoting Flanker (Reply 6):
With that being said, i don't see this cutback as something that will last. Sad part is we will lose ground.

I think most are worried about losing prestige.

The only thing Obama should be worried about here is losing votes in FL, TX, CA, VA, etc.
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BA
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:52 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):

I find space exploration fascinating and it's a big interest of mine, but when is enough, enough? We have more important issues to deal with right now, particularly domestic issues. If we take a reprieve from manned space flight, it's not the end of the world.

We can resume manned space flight in the future.
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 5:55 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):
Manned spaceflight is dead, as far as the US is concerned.

I am not a fan of the current plan in the least, but the proposal is to pass NASA's job off to private enterprise. Republican friends of mine always assured me this was the way to go. Well here is the chance to prove private companies can do anything the government can, only more efficiently.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/science/space/29nasa.html

Quoting GQfluffy (Reply 3):

It doesn't have to go through Congress. It is already done.

Wrong. This is part of Obama's 2011 budget, which he is presenting to Congress, who will likely add the program back in. Congress has the power of the purse, the President can recommend, and then either sign or veto the budget, but can do no unilateral movements on it.
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:07 pm



Quoting BA (Reply 10):

I find space exploration fascinating and it's a big interest of mine, but when is enough, enough?

Imagine if after Christopher Columbus returned from the New World, he and all other explorers were told, "No, you can't go back - You've already been there so what's the point?"
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:10 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):
I think most are worried about losing prestige.

Meh, I am not worried about prestige. I am worried that we will lose ground to the Chinese,Russians and EU and then we will have to rely on them for our future endevours. I want the us to be the leaders in innovation.
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:12 pm



Quoting Flanker (Reply 6):

You've had to have had your head up the ass for at least 20 years not to know that. Cant believe the ignorance of people sometimes.

Those that I have run into were about exactly that age. Kids born in the 90's and more recently just don't give a damn about those things and many others I've found.  
 
windy95
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:22 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):
Project Constellation, which includes the new Aries rocket series which would be the next manned launch vehicle after the Space Shuttle is retired this year, has effectively been killed by the Obama administration.

But we are getting a high speed train that we do not want here in Central Florida.  

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 7):
- maintaining the International Space Station through 2020

To bad we will have to outsource to the Chinese and Russians to get there.
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:24 pm

No US government manned spaceflight, perhaps, but the private spaceflight industry is on the rise in the US, so there will be US rockets putting US men and women in space in the future. So while I'm not thrilled to see Constellation cut entirely (I would have liked to see it replaced with DIRECT), I don't think this is the tragedy that the OP makes it out to be.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 4):
It doesn't help that since the Apollo missions the public's interest in space has become practically nil.

 checkmark  Hell, just look at all the posts in this thread decrying the manned space program as a waste of money, time, etc.

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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:28 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
Imagine if after Christopher Columbus returned from the New World, he and all other explorers were told, "No, you can't go back - You've already been there so what's the point?"

Ultimately what drove the age of exploration was seeking out faster trader routes, supplies of spices, precious metals, etc.... There was a fairly immediate economic reward for those involved. Space exploration will get there eventually.

Quoting Flanker (Reply 13):
Meh, I am not worried about prestige. I am worried that we will lose ground to the Chinese,Russians and EU and then we will have to rely on them for our future endevours. I want the us to be the leaders in innovation.

I would agree that the lose of expertise will be a bigger concern.


Manned space-flight has always been so problematic to maintain. Public awe and attention waxes and wanes so much. That even by Apollo 13 the major networks weren't airing the living broadcasts from the crew.




Laying the blame squarely on Obama for killing manned space flight is hardly fair. Our politicians have been slowly eroding support for space travel for several decades. Including the major pull packs in support for the ISS -- which may have been scaled back so much that it isn't all that useful for much research.
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BMI727
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:28 pm



Quoting CometII (Reply 1):
Finally, Americans need to accept we are a nation in decline.

Why should we accept that? America didn't become America by accepting crap like that. Nobody said it was going to be easy.

Quoting CometII (Reply 1):
(yes, the USA is no longer able to maintain it's supersized military)

In that case I can only hope that Iran and North Korea get nukes. That could be wonderful for me.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 5):
Shouldn't private industry be doing this?

That is a fair argument, but then again, building cars and exploring space is kind of apples and oranges. Quite frankly, NASA is such a small piece of the pie it can't hurt anything. I was at a presentation by an astronaut a few months ago and the issue was raised. She said that the amout of each person's taxes that goes to NASA is ~$20. That seems like a fair price to pay for space exploration.
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windy95
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:34 pm



Quoting Mir (Reply 16):
I don't think this is the tragedy that the OP makes it out to be.

Tell that to the people of Brevard county who have already faced a huge downturn in home prices and are now facing a second onslaught with the loss of a minimum of 18,000 jobs from the shuttle being shutdown. With out Constellation there will be no recovery for a long time.
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:36 pm



Quoting Flanker (Reply 13):
Meh, I am not worried about prestige. I am worried that we will lose ground to the Chinese,Russians and EU and then we will have to rely on them for our future endevours. I want the us to be the leaders in innovation.

Why does it always have to be a competition?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):

Imagine if after Christopher Columbus returned from the New World, he and all other explorers were told, "No, you can't go back - You've already been there so what's the point?"

Then a hell of a lot of Native Americans might not have died.

And they might not be referred to as "Indians".

I love space exploration. I would like the US to retain at least some interest in it. But it's not keeping me up at night.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:43 pm



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 15):
But we are getting a high speed train that we do not want here in Central Florida.

Good example. Nobody needs a high speed train train from Tampa to Orlando. Both cities have airports for people who travel there from far away. If you live in Tampa and want to take your family to Disneyworld, you might save an hour's travel time on the train, but then will have to rent a car on Orlando, since you can't do much without a car there, so you end up spending more money and time than if you simply drove.

And once the inevitable cost overruns are taken into account, this useless train will end up costing us the same as completing Constellation.
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Yellowstone
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:52 pm



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 15):
To bad we will have to outsource to the Chinese and Russians to get there.

Incorrect. NASA is outsourcing the Earth-LEO market, but to American companies like SpaceX and Orbital Sciences. Space exploration needs to be made profitable to attract further funding, and commercializing this part of the space exploration market is the way to do that.
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:53 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
Imagine if after Christopher Columbus returned from the New World, he and all other explorers were told, "No, you can't go back - You've already been there so what's the point?"

There was a point to going back to the new world, but what's the point of going back to the Moon?

If we want more rocks, we can send a robot at 1/10th the cost.

Quoting Flanker (Reply 13):
Meh, I am not worried about prestige. I am worried that we will lose ground to the Chinese,Russians and EU and then we will have to rely on them for our future endevours. I want the us to be the leaders in innovation.

So let's innovate in something useful like alternative energy. I'm sure the rest of the world would be much more interested in that technology.

Quoting Windy95 (Reply 15):
To bad we will have to outsource to the Chinese and Russians to get there.

I thought trade ties brought more stability to the world?

Personally I think it's kind of cool that we're using ex-Soviet technology to reach the Space Station.

Tough, functional stuff that works well and is much cheaper than anything we're likely to come up with any time soon.
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FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:54 pm

Well I'll guess we'll find out if my vote for Bill Nelson in Florida in 2006 was a waste or not. One of my primary reasons for voting for him is because he was an astronaut, and I know NASA is an important part of the state of the Florida, especially the Melbourne/Titusville area, and I feel if anyone could help ensure NASA continued to receive proper funding and resources, Nelson would be the guy.

Maybe I missed it, but was this even announced during the SOTU? Or was his plan to just announce this off to the side and hope it was just going to be a little scroller on CNN? "Obama axes manned US space flight" and thus most of the country wouldn't catch it?


Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18):
Quite frankly, NASA is such a small piece of the pie it can't hurt anything. I was at a presentation by an astronaut a few months ago and the issue was raised. She said that the amout of each person's taxes that goes to NASA is ~$20. That seems like a fair price to pay for space exploration.


My Senior Design teacher was talking about this last semester - NASA's entire budget would run the Department of Health and Human Services for about 2 days.

Quoting BA (Reply 10):
We have more important issues to deal with right now, particularly domestic issues.


What domestic issues? Healthcare? Is this behemoth of a Healthcare bill the reason we have to make such cuts? Much of the technology we enjoy and take for granted today can trace its roots back to space exploration.


Quoting Mir (Reply 16):
Hell, just look at all the posts in this thread decrying the manned space program as a waste of money, time, etc.

There's even more people nationwide shouting that national healthcare is a waste of time and money, but Obama doesn't seem too concerned about wasting our time and money there.

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 7):
NASA should get out of the Earth to LEO business so that, when the economy recovers such that space exploration can again be a priority, it can focus on larger targets such as the Moon and Mars.

Wasn't the focus of the program that is being cut - our way of getting back to the moon and to Mars? The Ares rocket is part of the Constellation program that is being cut.

So thanks Mr. President. Going to Mars is now back to being just a dream of Hollywood and an attraction at Disney World. Too bad I don't work at Disney World. If I did and Mission Space at EPCOT was closed for a day due to maintenance work or something, I would probably put a sign out front that read "Closed due to Obama's Budget Cuts".

I hope this is met with stiff opposition from both parties. Otherwise I better never see a Democrat on here ever again compare themselves to the Democratic party that supported JFK - "We choose to go to the moon in this decade, and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard". Well, apparently not anymore.  no 

[Edited 2010-01-29 11:07:35]
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flyboyseven
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:56 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
so you end up spending more money and time than if you simply drove.

Although that might be true( I dont think it will), a train will mean hundreds or thousands of cars off the road between the two cities. Even if you dont buy into climate change, I you can probably see that is a good thing. Also, it does not by any means take away your ability to drive or fly between. It just provides an alternate method of getting there that many thousands will probably appriceate. If enough people start taking it, it will probably start undermining the airlines on that route, and become cheaper. Another thing that should be done, if the public transit is as bad as it sounds in Orlando, is making that better and more extensive. Again though, it a choice everbody gets to make. You are not being forced to take the train or public transit. Many though will choose to do it that way.

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BMI727
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:03 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
Tough, functional stuff that works well and is much cheaper than anything we're likely to come up with any time soon.

Is your transportation is a horse and buggy?  duck 

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
so you end up spending more money and time than if you simply drove.

Just think of what improvements you could make to roads and airports for the price of building the rail system.

Quoting Flyboyseven (Reply 25):
Also, it does not by any means take away your ability to drive or fly between.

It does if money is being diverted to HSR which seems to have become something of a pet project. I hope that the loss of the olympics has ended the thought of a St. Louis to Chicago HSR.

Quoting Flyboyseven (Reply 25):
It just provides an alternate method of getting there that many thousands will probably appriceate.

I'm not keen on paying for alternate methods for others when perfectly good ones already exist.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
So let's innovate in something useful like alternative energy.

That has the potential to be much more profitable and is more attractive to private industry. At this point, it would probably take some time for private space exploration to even approach NASA.
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flanker
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space

Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:05 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
So let's innovate in something useful like alternative energy. I'm sure the rest of the world would be much more interested in that technology.

I don't really give a rats ass what the rest of the world is interested in. Its in our interests as a country not to be reliant on others when it comes to space exploration and technologies associated with that.

LOL "alternative energy" is a waste . Nuclear is they way of the future, not some stupid wind farms.

[Edited 2010-01-29 11:07:25 by flanker]
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:11 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Thread starter):
Thanks Mr. President, for handing over all future space exploration to the Russians and the Chinese, along with all the technological developments (and jobs) involved.

Dont you want a smaller government?

Let private companies invest. They are the best at knowing what you and me want and need. Richard Bronson is doing it.
Step into my office, baby
 
BA
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:14 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 12):
Imagine if after Christopher Columbus returned from the New World, he and all other explorers were told, "No, you can't go back - You've already been there so what's the point?"

The well being of this country and its citizens is more important than being #1 in a space competition.

Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 20):
Why does it always have to be a competition?



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 20):
Then a hell of a lot of Native Americans might not have died.

And they might not be referred to as "Indians".

I love space exploration. I would like the US to retain at least some interest in it. But it's not keeping me up at night.

 checkmark 

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
Both cities have airports for people who travel there from far away.

 

High-speed trains are not built for people who travel from "far away." They are built to connect population centers along the route, in this case, from Tampa to Orlando.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
If you live in Tampa and want to take your family to Disneyworld, you might save an hour's travel time on the train, but then will have to rent a car on Orlando, since you can't do much without a car there, so you end up spending more money and time than if you simply drove.

I'm afraid Disney World is a bad example to use to try to discredit this project as the Florida high-speed train will have a stop in Disney World. There will be no need to rent a car.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
And once the inevitable cost overruns are taken into account, this useless train will end up costing us the same as completing Constellation.

Yet will be infinitely more useful and beneficial for the general public.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 24):
What domestic issues? Healthcare?

Healthcare is only one thing. Everything from improving our public infrastructure, increasing education funding, to spurring more job growth across a wide range of industries.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 24):
Much of the technology we enjoy and take for granted today can trace its roots back to space exploration.

And we can still enjoy such technological progress through research conducted on the ISS. There is no need to go to the moon right now.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Flighty
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:45 pm

One way to phrase it is that space exploration is no longer 'high technology' - it is just a really expensive, old technology exercise. Much was learned from doing it the first time. Very little will be learned by doing it again.

If it becomes clear we have new propulsion technologies ripe to send us to Mars and beyond, then wonderful. We need to spend several more decades researching and thinking. Until then, there is plenty to do here on Earth.
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:46 pm



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 19):

Tell that to the people of Brevard county who have already faced a huge downturn in home prices and are now facing a second onslaught with the loss of a minimum of 18,000 jobs from the shuttle being shutdown. With out Constellation there will be no recovery for a long time.

Is a NASA-related job considered to be a birthright or something?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 26):
Is your transportation is a horse and buggy?

Funny that horse and buggy has a very similar safety record to that "starship" Space Shuttle...

Quoting Flanker (Reply 27):
I don't really give a rats ass what the rest of the world is interested in. Its in our interests as a country not to be reliant on others when it comes to space exploration and technologies associated with that.

Why? Is human space exploration a "vital national interest"?

Quoting Flanker (Reply 27):
LOL "alternative energy" is a waste of money and time. Nuclear is they way of the future, not some stupid wind farms.

In my book, nuclear power IS an alternative energy.

I guess you should be concerned about how Hitachi and Toshiba have bought their way into gaining access to US nuclear energy technology (and in Toshiba's case, a controlling interest in Westinghouse), which is certainly more of a "vital national interest" than is space exploration.
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Zentraedi
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:52 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 9):

I'd love to see an Apollo-like program for fusion. If we threw those kinds of resources at it, I'm sure we'd make huge amounts of progress. I'd rather be remembered as being someone from the generation who gave the US energy independence instead of being someone from the generation who went to the moon the second time.

You mean like ITER? Yup, in fact the Democrats in congress even cut 2008 US funding for the project...as opposed to the EU, China, Russia, Japan, India, South Korea, etc.

Quoting BA (Reply 29):

The well being of this country and its citizens is more important than being #1 in a space competition.

That's a faulty argument. There are always other things you can spend the money on.

Quoting BA (Reply 29):

High-speed trains are not built for people who travel from "far away." They are built to connect population centers along the route, in this case, from Tampa to Orlando.

Of course, the priority should depend on the the particular need and level of traffic between said population centers. Let's tackle the NEC and SF to San Diego. Honestly, how much business traffic is there really between Tampa and Orlando? You don't just build HSR for the tourists.

Quoting BA (Reply 29):

Healthcare is only one thing. Everything from improving our public infrastructure, increasing education funding, to spurring more job growth across a wide range of industries.

NASA and US research institutes are a very important part of education in the US. Or did you mean simply throwing more cash at US primary and secondary schools? Those institutions already produce substandard results at several times the cost of education in other first world countries. More won't get you anything more than shinier toys.

Quoting BA (Reply 29):

And we can still enjoy such technological progress through research conducted on the ISS. There is no need to go to the moon right now.

Constellation was about more than just the moon. It was the whole thing, including the shuttle replacement. Say goodbye to the US sending astronauts into space on NASA rockets.
 
Mir
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:12 pm



Quoting Windy95 (Reply 19):
Tell that to the people of Brevard county who have already faced a huge downturn in home prices and are now facing a second onslaught with the loss of a minimum of 18,000 jobs from the shuttle being shutdown. With out Constellation there will be no recovery for a long time.

There are always people who are going to lose jobs with things like this. And there are people who are going to gain jobs as a result of expansion of private spaceflight. So Florida's loss may be another state's gain. But if you look at the two big launch facilities in the US (KSC and Vandenberg), KSC is the only one useable for eastward launches. So unless you want to put a man into polar orbit, you either have to build a whole new launch facility that can be man-rated (which, due to latitude, is going to be more restrictive than KSC payload-wise), or you can just use the already excellent facilities at KSC. Somehow, I think that a lot of space jobs will stay in Florida, only they'll be with private companies instead of NASA.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 24):
There's even more people nationwide shouting that national healthcare is a waste of time and money, but Obama doesn't seem too concerned about wasting our time and money there.

Fair point, but I really do believe that if you asked the people of the country whether they would rather spend money on national health care or a space program, more people would be national health care. Space, unfortunately, is just not a national priority in the minds of the people. I wish it were different, but that's just the way it is.

-Mir
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BA
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 8:22 pm



Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 32):
That's a faulty argument. There are always other things you can spend the money on.

I don't get your point. Of course you can always spend money on "other things." What's your point?

Ultimately it's a matter of prioritization. That's what budgeting is all about. We have unlimited wants, but finite resources, so we must prioritize.

Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 32):
Of course, the priority should depend on the the particular need and level of traffic between said population centers. Let's tackle the NEC and SF to San Diego. Honestly, how much business traffic is there really between Tampa and Orlando? You don't just build HSR for the tourists.

I agree with you that there are other corridors that are of higher priority such as the NEC and SF to San Diego. I'm not familiar with the amount of traffic between Tampa and Orlando, but I imagine it is still pretty substantial. I agree that you don't build HSR just for tourists. What makes HSR successful is high volume of traffic. Disney World, being a high volume destination, makes it a perfect stop on the route. The TGV in France makes a stop in DisneyLand Paris and is a very popular mode of transport to get there. Obviously the TGV wasn't built just for serving DisneyLand Paris, but DisneyLand Paris is a natural stop to have along a TGV route.

Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 32):
NASA and US research institutes are a very important part of education in the US. Or did you mean simply throwing more cash at US primary and secondary schools? Those institutions already produce substandard results at several times the cost of education in other first world countries. More won't get you anything more than shinier toys.

Actually, I was more referring to higher education funding. More and more universities around the country are being forced to raise tuition because of funding shortages.

Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 32):
Constellation was about more than just the moon. It was the whole thing, including the shuttle replacement. Say goodbye to the US sending astronauts into space on NASA rockets.

As I said earlier, taking a reprieve from U.S. manned space flight does not mean that we can't return to manned space flight at some point in the future.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Zentraedi
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:01 pm



Quoting BA (Reply 34):
I don't get your point. Of course you can always spend money on "other things." What's your point?

Ultimately it's a matter of prioritization. That's what budgeting is all about. We have unlimited wants, but finite resources, so we must prioritize.

You honestly don't get it? "We have other things we need to spend money on now." Is a faulty argument used by all sides in the political spectrum in order to avoid discussion of rational budget allocation.

"We can't build museums when there are poor/hungry people in the US."
 
nomadd22
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 9:16 pm

What manned capability did we have from 1974 to 1981? The new plan is to develop private capability since NASA can't seem to launch a butterfly without spending ten years and $20 billion. Fund the LAS for Spacex and give Dragon a chance.
Anon
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:27 pm



Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 35):
"We can't build museums when there are poor/hungry people in the US."

Unfortunately that's not really the argument. Instead, we should not build museums when no one has a use for the museum.

The manned space flight program has been a caricature for years. It has no purpose other than the (poor) missions jotted down by Bush some afternoon during his presidency. It's not the cost of manned spaceflight, it's the fact that it has little to no purpose over and above unmanned missions.
 
BA
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:45 pm



Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 35):
You honestly don't get it? "We have other things we need to spend money on now." Is a faulty argument used by all sides in the political spectrum in order to avoid discussion of rational budget allocation.

"We can't build museums when there are poor/hungry people in the US."

Please reread what I said. As human beings, we have unlimited wants, but we live in a world with finite resources. This is called scarcity in economics.

That is why we budget. Governments have to budget, companies have to budget, we have to budget in our own personal lives.

The debate in any budgeting process is prioritization. If space programs comes high in your list of priorities, then fine, you are entitled to have an opinion. I personally see other more important matters so I don't have a problem with the U.S. withdrawing from the manned space flight for the time being in order to focus on other matters.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
prebennorholm
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 3:03 am

What need do we have for manned space travel?

Well, as long as we have the ISS (which seems to do some science which few people know about), then we need to transport operators up and down. For the time being the Russians provide a fairly reliable means for that. With slightly updated 1960'es hardware, hopefully combined with fairly modern electronics.

What can a man do on Mars which hasn't already been done by robots? Hardly anything but stand next to a flag and be photographed.

Why was the Shuttle built? There were a lot of reasons. It was sold (vastely oversold) as "The Space Transportation System". But the main reason for spending all that money isn't widespread knowledge. The enormously successful Hubble Space Telescope and its service visits were a fantastic spin off from the main task, for which the Shuttle was made, and for which it was never used.

The main reason for investing in the Shuttle was to refuel the enormously expensive Keyhole spy satellites, and reload new film cartriges and film reentry capsules. It was an enormous waste of money that those satellites fell down and burned to ashes when they ran out of fuel, film and reentry capsules. But the Shuttle never came near a Keyhole satellite for two reasons:

1. It never made a lunch from Vandenberg, therefore it never reached a near polar orbit which is mandatory for Earth covering spy satellites.

2. When it was ready for eventual launch from Vandenberg, then advances in electronic imaging had converted the Keyhole satellites into outdated museum pieces.

Even if the Hubble has been, and still is, a fantastic instrument, then it is somehow "outdated". Since its design around 30 years ago its unique imaging capability has been surpassed by a hundred times larger earth bound telescopes with adaptive optics which electronically compensate for atmospheric disturbances. And atmospheric non-penetrating wavelengths can be - and are - covered by much smaller and cheaper satellites.

Once upon a time there was maybe also some valid business case named "supersonic air travel". That is of course totally outdated in today's environment of video conferencing and world wide data sharing networks, internet and company-/government managed closed networks. In the same way advances in technology has made manned space travel somewhat outdated.

I feel somehow sorry for the Chinese when they lunch a manned spaceship. What good does that do? Well, it tells the Chinese people and the rest of the world that "we have successfully copied what the Russians and the Americans did fifty years ago". If my government got an equally stupid idea, then I would do my best to overturn that government.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
rwessel
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:30 am



Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 39):
Why was the Shuttle built? There were a lot of reasons. It was sold (vastely oversold) as "The Space Transportation System". But the main reason for spending all that money isn't widespread knowledge. The enormously successful Hubble Space Telescope and its service visits were a fantastic spin off from the main task, for which the Shuttle was made, and for which it was never used.

The main reason for investing in the Shuttle was to refuel the enormously expensive Keyhole spy satellites, and reload new film cartriges and film reentry capsules. It was an enormous waste of money that those satellites fell down and burned to ashes when they ran out of fuel, film and reentry capsules. But the Shuttle never came near a Keyhole satellite for two reasons:

1. It never made a lunch from Vandenberg, therefore it never reached a near polar orbit which is mandatory for Earth covering spy satellites.

2. When it was ready for eventual launch from Vandenberg, then advances in electronic imaging had converted the Keyhole satellites into outdated museum pieces.

While various classified satellite servicing missions were clearly a consideration after the DoD was required to take part in the Shuttle program, these weren’t the main drivers for the program. Yes the DoD's requirements did drive up the size of the Shuttle, and add to its capabilities, but these were incremental. And the main size drivers were related to launch capacity - the servicing type missions would not have required as large a vehicle.

FWIW, the first KH-11 was launched in 1976, and was the first electronically imaged bird, so the need to move film was long gone by the time the Shuttle became operational. There was some consideration for refueling, but it would have applied to something following the KH-11s. Certainly KH-11 follow-ons were planned to be launched by the Shuttle (and in at least one case that happened - STS-36 launched a KH-12 or Misty, as well as several other military satellites), but the DoD happily abandoned the Shuttle as soon as they were allowed to (after Challenger), and only a few additional military missions were conducted. The DoD liked neither the cost or inflexibility of the Shuttle (in terms of mission planning), and they certainly detested the attendant publicity.

Now I think that if the Shuttle had performed on anywhere near the level it was sold on, we would have seen some of these missions, but then it never did.
 
MCIGuy
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 6:52 am



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 18):

Quoting CometII (Reply 1):
Finally, Americans need to accept we are a nation in decline.

Why should we accept that? America didn't become America by accepting crap like that. Nobody said it was going to be easy.

Quoting CometII (Reply 1):
(yes, the USA is no longer able to maintain it's supersized military)

In that case I can only hope that Iran and North Korea get nukes. That could be wonderful for me.

Exactly, I will accept niether, we MUST maintain our military.
Airliners.net Moderator Team
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:18 pm



Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 32):

You mean like ITER? Yup, in fact the Democrats in congress even cut 2008 US funding for the project...as opposed to the EU, China, Russia, Japan, India, South Korea, etc.

I'm sorry to hear about that.

Quoting Prebennorholm (Reply 39):

Even if the Hubble has been, and still is, a fantastic instrument, then it is somehow "outdated". Since its design around 30 years ago its unique imaging capability has been surpassed by a hundred times larger earth bound telescopes with adaptive optics which electronically compensate for atmospheric disturbances. And atmospheric non-penetrating wavelengths can be - and are - covered by much smaller and cheaper satellites.

Thanks for the excellent post.

Hubble certainly has been a marvelous instrument, but I've read you could have built 20 Keck-class ground observatories for what was spent on HST.

As fortunate as it was to be able to service the HST in orbit, it would seem foolish to count on such serviceability in the future.
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Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
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speedygonzales
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:09 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 42):
Hubble certainly has been a marvelous instrument, but I've read you could have built 20 Keck-class ground observatories for what was spent on HST.

As fortunate as it was to be able to service the HST in orbit, it would seem foolish to count on such serviceability in the future.

It's successor JWST will be launched by Ariane 5 and put into orbit around the Sun-Earth L2-point, way out of reach for the LEO-confined shuttle. WMAP, Herschel and Planck is already orbiting there. I've also been wondering if ther would be any interest in putting a space telescope at L4 or L5 in order to observe parts of the sky otherwise obscured by the sun.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
Personally I think it's kind of cool that we're using ex-Soviet technology to reach the Space Station.

Not only using it to get there, a lot of the space station is Soviet technology, after all Zvezda was already under construction as Mir 2. In addition you have the russian RD-180 engine powerint Atlas V. I wonder what Sergei Korolyov would have thought if anyone told him that 50 years later a direct descendant of Vostok would be carrying american astronauts into space.
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GDB
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:06 pm

Dreadnaught, I share your enthusiasm for space, I think the naysayers are often ill-informed and narrow, though often, and I think how the Shuttle turned out is an example, they have compelling points to make.
But you know what, when the financial meltdown hit, after near at home issues, personal finance, my job, stuff like that, I did get to think well that's the Constellation program screwed then.
Try selling it now.
No POTUS is going to make a big pitch for it.

Bush launched Constellation (which I regarded as about the only sensible looking way to get back into doing beyond LEO in 30 years), on back of the loss of Columbia .
Had that tragic accident not occurred, the Shuttle would have had it's life extended again and again....until........

But, he knew that the greater part of the spending would not be on his watch, that is a political reality of major space projects.
Apollo was, as in so many ways, the exception, aside from the need to reply to Soviet space firsts, JFK was told back in 1961, that the first landing could be possible by 1968, what an end to a career had he been re-elected in '64.
LBJ was keen too, there was political calculation, plenty in the form of 'pork', but he also, unlike most POTUS, liked big programs, he saw Apollo as the 'Great Society' ascended off Earth.

But, that other LBJ legacy, in SE Asia and it's political/economic impact, was already killing Apollo's future, the Applications projects of which only Skylab would survive, they had gone from the budget (which had peaked in 1965/66), by 1968.

I do think it would be foolish to junk Ares V, slow it down maybe?
But, many in the US want LEO astronaut ferry to go private, the big question being what happens to that after ISS decommissions in perhaps 2020 .
Commercially funded small orbital modules?

One thing to remember in all this though, the US manned programme very nearly ended in 1975, with the Apollo-Soyuz link up.
The Shuttle very nearly never happened, only Pentagon involvement (which distorted it's design for missions that never happemed), plus political fears for jobs in states like CA in 1972, saved it.
But until supporting Mir, then ISS, with the exception of Hubble launch and servicing, the Shuttle did not really have a role.
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 5:18 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 44):
But until supporting Mir, then ISS, with the exception of Hubble launch and servicing, the Shuttle did not really have a role.

Indeed. NASA shamelessly resorted to giving rides to politicians (John Glen was one, I forget the rest) to try to keep their hands in the public till.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
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FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:33 pm



Quoting Revelation (Reply 45):
Indeed. NASA shamelessly resorted to giving rides to politicians (John Glen was one, I forget the rest) to try to keep their hands in the public till.

Anyone else I'm not aware of because I think John Glenn can be an "exception" to the rule, on account of how he's one of the pioneers for NASA and space exploration.

Quoting GDB (Reply 44):
But you know what, when the financial meltdown hit, after near at home issues, personal finance, my job, stuff like that, I did get to think well that's the Constellation program screwed then.
Try selling it now.

Well, he's certainly trying to sell us healthcare. And it's because the American public is uneducated and usually only thinks short-term. NASA's entire budget for the year could run the Department of Health and Human Services for about 2 days.

Quoting Nomadd22 (Reply 36):
What manned capability did we have from 1974 to 1981?

The difference is that NASA knew what its next step was going to be following Apollo. Here, our "next step" is the one that was inching closer to completion so it would be ready to go soon after the Shuttle was retired and is now having the floor pulled out from under it, leaving us with nothing in manned space flight for the indefinite future.
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GDB
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 7:34 pm

Interestingly, in a recent doc on Mars exploration, discussion on future probes, attempting to find traces of primitive (more likely past) life, the scinetists reckoned that such a thing would only likely happen with a manned mission, these were people with professional stakes in unmanned missions.
Now I'm not advocating an immediate program do try such a thing, politically impossible for a start, but it does illustrate that whenever it happens, manned missions to other heavly bodies will not be about just flags and footprints.
It is notable that NASA have now teamed with the European agency to develop future unmanned missions.

Certainly the major science returned by Apollo was from the 'J' missions, with the 3 day stays and Lunar Rovers, but most people only think of Apollo 11 which being really a pure test flight, by necessity was little more than flag and footprints.

To the nearer future, I think we need to see more about what these commercial astronaut ferrying systems could do, timescales etc.
I do think there is a case for a heavy lift launch vehicle, but certainly at present it's a hard sell for understandable reasons.
 
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sat Jan 30, 2010 11:17 pm



Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 46):

Anyone else I'm not aware of because I think John Glenn can be an "exception" to the rule, on account of how he's one of the pioneers for NASA and space exploration.

So were Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell, etc. Unfortunately for them, they also didn't happen to be Congressmen.

Quote:
The first American official to reach space was Senator Jake Garn of Utah, who made the trip in April 1985. In January 1986, U.S. Congressman Bill Nelson flew on the Columbia, as a payload specialist.

Ref: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1732.html

Here's a shot of Bill Nelson about to enjoy one of the perks of office:



And here's one of Jake Garn:



Apparently Garn spent so much time on the flight puking that the unofficial scale for airsickness on the Shuttle is the "garn", with 1 garn representing the top of the scale.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
prebennorholm
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RE: For First Time In 50 Years, No US Manned Space Flt

Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:36 am

Dear Rwessel, your analisys in reply #40 covers the situation very well, thanks a lot.

Quoting Rwessel (Reply 40):
...the first KH-11 was launched in 1976, and was the first electronically imaged bird, so the need to move film was long gone by the time the Shuttle became operational.

Right, but electronic imaging didn't happen as an overnight revolution. It began as a cheaper and faster alternative to chemical film and film recovery capsules. Later high resolution imaging was done by onboard film development, onboard scanning and electronic transfer of the developed film, eliminating the reentry capsules.

I think you are right that the DoD never loved the Shuttle. But during the concept evaluation already back in 1970-1972 they were simply told that the Shuttle would be the only space transportation system, that the Delta, Atlas and Titan launcher programs would be discontinued. And that they had better adjust to the concept of multiple use of as much space assets as possible. And one major driver was to make those enormously expensive KH satellites last five years instead of five months by resupply as needed, fuel, film and reentry capsules. The only buzzword during those days was "reuse". Anything related to space, to which you could apply the word "expendable", was outdated and old-fashioned.

Those satellites we becoming almost as complex and expensive as the Hubble itself. And even when electronic imaging had matured, then they needed at lot of fuel because of the very low orbit and the need to maneuver into position on fairly short notice.

If the decision makers (politicians) had not seen the enormous savings potential by DoD back in 1972, then I doubt that there would ever have been anything like the Shuttle. Those savings never came, but that's a different story.

And right, the Challenger disaster in 1986 ended the DoD connection to the Shuttle program. Only during the last 21 years did the Hubble program (and other programs) shown us the fantastic capabilities of the Shuttle, but also the enourmous costs and complexity involved.

Quoting Rwessel (Reply 40):
And the main size drivers were related to launch capacity - the servicing type missions would not have required as large a vehicle.

If launched in near polar orbit from Vandenberg, then the Shuttle payload capability would be much smaller than from the Cape, something like a 70% reduction. A refuel mission to a KH satellite would have been a major task for the Shuttle, also payload wise.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs

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