dxing
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End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:55 pm

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

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

Many have speculated when we could see the end of the United States as a world leader. I have said many times I thought the beginning would be when we bailed on space flight. Those of you who have longed for the day our country got knocked back a notch, it is less than a year away now.   
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mt99
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:02 pm

Why doesn't private industry step in?
Step into my office, baby
 
mbmbos
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:07 pm

I have no problem with it. We can get much more bang for our buck with unmanned exploration. I think we should wait for the day when we make appreciable steps forward, that make manned space flight more feasible technologically and financially, before stepping back in.
 
photopilot
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:15 pm

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

Gene Roddenberry would roll over in his grave!
 
mt99
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:22 pm

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

Have you seen Star Trek IV? hes been rolling for a while..
Step into my office, baby
 
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nighthawk
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:25 pm

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

Corrected for you   
 
ltbewr
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:32 pm

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

Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:33 pm

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

That had me laughing out loud heh. Nice!

And Nighthawk Photopilot had it right the first time...  
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vikkyvik
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:42 pm

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 5):
Quoting Photopilot (Reply 3):
Quote:
"Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to go boldly where no man has gone before."

Corrected for you

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

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

I thought Star Treks II, III, IV, and VI were all good. Star Trek V was the real stepchild of the series.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
Marcus
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:32 am

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

He was cremated wasn't he?
Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
 
dxing
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:24 am

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

If you don't invest in the technology that's not going to happen. It will be interesting to see what the Russians decide to charge come 2013 when we have to renegotiate the rates.
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maxter
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:43 am

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

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

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

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

Tue Feb 16, 2010 7:31 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think getting back into manned flight beyond Low Earth Orbit is intrinsically a good thing, but my taxes are not paying for it.
 
wingman
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:57 pm

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

Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:58 pm

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


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


Fair enough but what disappoints me most is that there is to be no gradual transition from NASA to the private sector. NASA's manned programmes are stopped, just like that, and now we'll have quite a wait for the filling of the void to begin.
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:03 pm

Quoting David L (Reply 14):
Fair enough but what disappoints me most is that there is to be no gradual transition from NASA to the private sector. NASA's manned programmes are stopped, just like that, and now we'll have quite a wait for the filling of the void to begin.

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

BEG2IAH
 
connies4ever
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:32 am

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

BEG2IAH

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

Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:56 am

Quoting Wingman (Reply 13):
So in 47 years our much vaunted manned space flight has taken us as far as the moon and then back into low Earth orbit to study the effects of weightlessness on mice. I'm with the "cool factor" camp when it comes to manned space flight but in terms of real scientific return on investment I don't get it.

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

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 16):

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

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

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

   That's what I get for sticking my nose into Mil/Space!
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
sonic67
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:34 am

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

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

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

that my 2 cents
 
maxter
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:06 am

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

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

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

NASA will still be in the game carrying out research to assist these new'ish entities to make their tech much more efficient, while itself doing their calling in a much more effective, structured and focused manner.
maxter
 
dxing
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Wed Feb 17, 2010 3:03 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And still will be as that will be the prime place for communications and other various satellites to be launched from.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
GDB
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:30 pm

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

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

It is worth remembering that under the previous plan, the manned to LEO launches of Ares 1/Constellation, to support ISS, had slipped to 2017.
That is a hell of a gap from the Shuttle.
So arguably, there was already a case to help the private players to get a 'ISS Taxi' capability anyway.
 
Flighty
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:40 pm

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

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

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

Personally, I lose no sleep over this. If we want space research, NASA is a good base of operations but we should not confine ourselves to it. The private market can send people to the moon, if there were a desire. There isn't!
 
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Revelation
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:15 pm

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

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

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

  

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

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

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

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

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

Quoting dxing (Reply 20):

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

Funny, many view NASA's manned space flight program as a make-work project used as a political football whenever someone wants to get votes from FL or TX.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
dxing
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:16 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sorry, my disappointment with a political decision disappoints you.

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

So we have a stimulus bill worth almost a trillion dollars, of which less than half has been spent, of which "jobs saved" is the big moniker, yet no hi tech jobs are worth saving even though the cost would be but a drop in the stimulus bucket? That sounds awful inward looking to me. Penny saved (although it really hasn't been, just redirected), Pound foolish come to mind?
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
maxter
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:55 am

Quoting dxing (Reply 24):
Primarily due to funding both from the Bush and Obama administrations

Irrelevant in the context of this discussion, that's ancient history.

Quoting dxing (Reply 24):
Fine, but their basis for existance and the technology they employ was developed by whom?

Once again, that won't change. Their existence will be funded by the Government and their technology will still be augmented by research and development at NASA.

Your great desire for man to travel to the moon and beyond very much matches mine, but as others have put much more eloquently than I can, where is the payoff or the reason to, and where is the funding going to come from in these difficult economic times.

Certainly when the piggy bank is somewhat heavier, the opportunity to carry out these defining projects is greater and much more palatable to those many millions of individuals who are currently struggling. By then the private sector might actually be able to define a reason as to why we should go there and then develop a business case for it and make it happen.

Quoting dxing (Reply 20):
As Krauthammer points out in his opinion piece...

Yeah right, one can hardly accuse Krauthammer of being impartial in this debate... He has fairly conservative leanings

Why don't you quote Buzz Aldrin's view on the decision, I wager he has a much deeper insight into NASA and the politico/economic complex that it became... and in terms of space exploration, he actually did some.
maxter
 
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:19 pm

Quoting dxing (Reply 24):
So we have a stimulus bill worth almost a trillion dollars, of which less than half has been spent, of which "jobs saved" is the big moniker, yet no hi tech jobs are worth saving even though the cost would be but a drop in the stimulus bucket? That sounds awful inward looking to me. Penny saved (although it really hasn't been, just redirected), Pound foolish come to mind?

Without going down the rat hole of stimulus package, I have said here in an earlier thread that a lot of these people seem to have the same skills as one would need to do fusion research and I hope they end up getting redeployed in that field. Going back to the moon for the Nth time might boost our pride and ego, but not much else.
Inspiration, move me brightly!
 
GDB
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:02 pm

Quoting dxing (Reply 24):
In my mind it is. Which private firm is working on flight to the Moon or Mars? Which private firm provided funding for Christopher Columbus? In some areas the government has always had to take the lead since the risk was too great for private capital.

I agree, that is beyond the reach of private industry, who have to prove they can do 'taxi to LEO'.

The thing is, in the past few years, not just the past several months, I've seen very little from various specialist sources that actually thought Ares was going to reach the Moon.
When the program took shape in 2004/5, many attacked it as 'Apollo 2.0', my view was 'good, we know that works', but perhaps in there were the seeds of it's demise.
People wanted, for all that money, (likely to reach $100bn by the time of any first Lunar attempt), something more 'new'.
 
JakeOrion
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:52 pm

Quoting maxter (Reply 25):
Once again, that won't change. Their existence will be funded by the Government and their technology will still be augmented by research and development at NASA.

BUT at a much slower pace. What once took years to develop, now have most likely been extended to decades. When you had a deadline, things got done, and realitively quickly. Now, not so much.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
Going back to the moon for the Nth time might boost our pride and ego, but not much else.

Jobs, jobs, and oh yes, more jobs. Space exploration could literally employ every person on the planet if everyone was willing to work together on it and put aside their differences. Fat chance but hey, it's something to look into.

Quoting GDB (Reply 27):
People wanted, for all that money, (likely to reach $100bn by the time of any first Lunar attempt), something more 'new'.

How can we have something "new" if nobody is willing to pay for it?
Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.
 
EA772LR
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:17 pm

This is truly sad. It sucks because I'm living during a time where America falls but it's happening right now... but have no fear my friends. Carter cut lots of programs (not manned space) but they were quickly put back in place when Reagan was in office. Obama will only be here for 2 more years, and his power will be greatly diminished this November!  
We often judge others by their actions, but ourselves by our intentions.
 
WESTERN737800
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:26 am

I think we need manned spaceflight. I know there are other things more important that we can be spending our money on. But those other things that we can spend our money on, how much of the funding for that stuff actually makes it to what it was intended for and not in other people's pockets. I feel bad for the young people out there who want to be astronauts. People who are willing to work very hard and the politicans just take it away and they have no control over it. I've read posts that the private sector can take care of manned spaceflight, but I'd be kinda leerly of it. With the way the economy is and companies going belly up, I think the govt will be back in manned spaceflight before the private sector.
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dxing
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:57 am

Quoting maxter (Reply 25):
Quoting dxing (Reply 24):
Primarily due to funding both from the Bush and Obama administrations

Irrelevant in the context of this discussion, that's ancient history.

Completely relevant. Funding is the primary reason for the programs demise.

Quoting maxter (Reply 25):
Your great desire for man to travel to the moon and beyond very much matches mine, but as others have put much more eloquently than I can, where is the payoff or the reason to, and where is the funding going to come from in these difficult economic times.

Do you stil invest when times are tough? Even at a reduced level? I do. How else to make your money work for you?

Quoting maxter (Reply 25):
Why don't you quote Buzz Aldrin's view on the decision, I wager he has a much deeper insight into NASA and the politico/economic complex that it became... and in terms of space exploration, he actually did some.

I don't doubt he has experience in the engineering and practical sides of space flight. Into the politcal and economic? Where exactly has he spent time doing that?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
Going back to the moon for the Nth time might boost our pride and ego, but not much else.

I disagree. The Apollo mission were just as they have been described, circus shots. We brought back a couple of hundred pounds of rocks and proved we could actually pull of the engineering to get there, stay for a few hours, and get back. Never was the challenge to get there, and stay there. That is the challenge now. Not just on the Moon but on Mars as well.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
GDB
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Sat Feb 20, 2010 6:42 pm

Quoting dxing (Reply 31):
I disagree. The Apollo mission were just as they have been described, circus shots. We brought back a couple of hundred pounds of rocks and proved we could actually pull of the engineering to get there, stay for a few hours, and get back. Never was the challenge to get there, and stay there. That is the challenge now. Not just on the Moon but on Mars as well.

Be fair, the Apollo J missions had surface stays of three days, that was however as far as that system could stretch it.

However, even this enthusiast with his bookshelves and DVD racks containing much space program material, with the bias on Apollo, is still puzzled at the on the one hand, opposition to government involvement in many things, (including what much of the rest of the democratic world sees as normal), with an exception granted for the space program.
Understandable if you live in areas directly connected, but then surely that validates other claims elsewhere, not just Detroit either?

The geo-strategic rationale for it ended with the Cold War, which must have lost it some support in Washington.
Worth remembering that this policy is the conclusion of a report chaired by the ex CEO of a major US aerospace company, the sort which benefits from NASA.
ea772lr, that means that your wishes are probably a pipe dream, it also means that Ares was doomed whoever was in the White House.
The report found that the return to the Moon project as it was set up, was not going to succeed (not without the sort of funding that is just not going to happen in the USA of the early 21st Century).

My own view is that the shutdown costs for Constellation , some $2.7bn, should be used instead to maintain the development over a number of years, albeit at a much decreased pace, along with the prospective Lunar lander, much less advanced in development.
Concentrate of getting Space X and/or others into the ISS taxi role ASAP.
Then, around mid decade, if the economic environment is much better, start moving on them again along with the proposed DIRECT launcher.
In a NASA unburdened with an expensive orbital taxi commitment.
 
windy95
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:09 pm

Quoting dxing (Reply 20):
Here in Houston there is talk of at least 10,000 jobs going out the window

An estimated 17,000 government and Civilians jobs to be lost here in Central Florida. Great jobs plan from the Obama administration. I imagine amny more being lostt because without manned space flight there is no reaseon for KSC. Cape Canaveral can handle all of the unmanned launches.
 
dxing
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:22 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 32):
Be fair, the Apollo J missions had surface stays of three days, that was however as far as that system could stretch it.

Which is only a few hours versus years which is what we need to work on now.

Quoting GDB (Reply 32):
Understandable if you live in areas directly connected, but then surely that validates other claims elsewhere, not just Detroit either?

Private industry has been building automobiles for over 100 years now. The customer base is well established. Can you say the same for a vehicle that will have to travel through hundreds of thousands or millions of miles of space?

Quoting windy95 (Reply 33):
An estimated 17,000 government and Civilians jobs to be lost here in Central Florida. Great jobs plan from the Obama administration.

They'll be hand a shovel or some other implement so they can start working on roads and bridges. Hi tech to low tech seems to be this administrations call to arms.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
GDB
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:35 pm

These feared job losses in Texas and Florida, given that as part of the Ares/Constellation direction, was the ending of the Shuttle in 2010, considering the large amounts of manpower needed to service and launch that most complex of (now aging) vehicles, with at first a 4 year, going to maybe 7 year gap, before Ares 1 flew, how much of these job losses would have happened anyway with the ending of the Shuttle?

Quite a large portion I suspect.
The same also happened when Apollo ran down with the transition to the Shuttle.

Given that additional funding is set to go into unmanned exploration and aeronautics (the latter was bled to fund Constellation), aside from these parts of NASA probably not being as upset as other parts, some positions will arise there.
Assuming that these private launch providers step up, how many jobs will be created there? Going from experimental to an operational cargo, then manned, launch system I'd say they'd be needing experienced staff in this field.

I don't want to get into internal US politics around the stimulus, but comparing a short term attempt to try and alleviate the worst effects of the recession caused by Washington, Wall St and London, which is by nature a one time deal, with longer term funding for a program in deep technical and political trouble, seems not to be comparing like with like.
Given also that NASA are not in the immediate future getting funding slashed, to two don't seem to be comparable.

I still fund it hard to understand, beyond local concerns, this 180 deg shift in political ideas about the place of government in business, from some.
Me? I've no problem with it.
But this tension has been apparent in space-flight in the US for quite some time, if companies are emerging with credible ideas and know how to do basic human and cargo ferry to the ISS to start with, is it not for many absolutely the 'American Way' to support this?

Remember, the embryonic airline industry, including in the US with mail flights, started out with direct government support.
If the Russians can provide a reliable to orbit service with over 50 year old technology, cannot US can-do and know how match and improve on this?

In hindsight, the 2004 launch by Bush, of NASA's new direction post Columbia should then have been about getting private industry replacing the Shuttle post 2010 and concentrating NASA's efforts on to return to the Moon, not Ares 1, but straight to Constellation and a man rated heavy lift vehicle.
Since the mess Ares 1 got into has been the real cause of this program's demise.
 
maxter
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RE: End Of Manned U.S. Space Launches Now In Sight

Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:30 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 35):
But this tension has been apparent in space-flight in the US for quite some time, if companies are emerging with credible ideas and know how to do basic human and cargo ferry to the ISS to start with, is it not for many absolutely the 'American Way' to support this?

Bingo, it's apparent this doctrine is only used to support ones argument when convenient and the opposite is uesd when not.

The private contractors have been for a while now claiming they can achieve NASA's goals much more cheaply. Well they have the opportunity now so let us see what the deliver. It's not like they will deliver human space flight capability much later than the troubled Constellation program according to their published development plans.
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