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NASA Relies On Thrusters To Steer Space Station After Malfunction
AP via CNN ^ | December 6, 2003 | AP

Posted on 12/06/2003 9:14:26 AM PST by John W

Edited on 04/29/2004 2:03:32 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AP) -- NASA is relying on Russian-made thrusters to steer the international space station following a new malfunction with the U.S. motion-control system, officials said Friday.

Flight controllers detected spikes in current and vibration in one of the station's three operating gyroscopes on November 8. Last week, when the gyroscopes were used again to shift the position of the orbiting outpost, all three worked.


(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: nasa; spacestation
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1 posted on 12/06/2003 9:14:27 AM PST by John W
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To: John W
 
 
From the ISS tracking site heavens above:
 

ISS Height Profile

ISS Height Profile

This plot shows the orbital height of the ISS over the last year. Clearly visible are the re-boosts which suddenly increase the height, and the gradual decay in between. The height is averaged over one orbit, and the gradual decrease is caused by atmospheric drag. As can be seen from the plot, the rate of descent is not constant and this variation is caused by changes in the density of the tenuous outer atmosphere due mainly to solar activity.


2 posted on 12/06/2003 9:27:11 AM PST by Lokibob
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To: John W
The ISS is turning into a boondogle. Why the heck are there only 2 on board when it was supposed to be 7? I know the shuttle is part of it, and they haven't been able to put enough modules on, and the escape system is poor too now.

But c'mon. Depending on the shuttle was mistake #1. This thing was supposed to help us get to the moon and Mars. They better make some good use of it soon.
3 posted on 12/06/2003 9:31:05 AM PST by Monty22
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To: Monty22
If you are really interested in what they are doing, you can read their weekly reports here.  They are doing some real science up there, but a lot of it is station keeping, due to the reduced crew.
 
The shuttle tragedy set them back a lot.
 
 

4 posted on 12/06/2003 9:51:40 AM PST by Lokibob
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To: John W
Never thought I'd live to say this but .....

Thank heavens for Russian technology.

They brought our crew home and their stuff is keeping the thing aloft.

Hey the ISS may not actually fly for very long but at least its a multi-cultural non-unilateral international bias-free rama-ding-ding insert any other PC nonsense here project. [/sarcasm off]

Apollo et. al. was American but dadgumit it flew.

5 posted on 12/06/2003 10:51:29 AM PST by festus
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To: John W
PLEASE don't tell me that the thing's ALREADY startin' to break down before we've even finished building it!

OK, guys. At this point I'd say skroo it all!
We need to start building THESE!!!

Imagine the look on the Kim Jung Ill's face!

6 posted on 12/06/2003 10:57:44 AM PST by RandallFlagg ("There are worse things than crucifixion...There are teeth.")
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To: John W
Airplane and Airplane II


Don't Panic!





Ok, Panic!

Seriously, they had something go "clunk" on the ISS about a week ago, and now this. Should at least be Breaking News.
7 posted on 12/06/2003 10:58:55 AM PST by leadpenny
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To: RandallFlagg
With the money NASA has squandered, the defense department would have already built two of those.
8 posted on 12/06/2003 11:06:04 AM PST by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: Lokibob
The loss of altitude has nothing to do with a malfunction in the attitude control system. The attitude control system uses gyroscopes to maintain the station's orientation to earth. The station needs a periodic reboost from either the shuttle or a Soyuz to reboost it up into a higher altitude.
9 posted on 12/06/2003 12:05:31 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls
I agree and understand that, however if they use the thrusters to maintain position, there is less fuel available to maintain altitude. I wonder if that is the reason it is so low as shown in the chart. I seem to remember the altitude in 2001 in the 420-440 range.
10 posted on 12/06/2003 1:26:13 PM PST by Lokibob
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To: Lokibob
if they use the thrusters to maintain position, there is less fuel available to maintain altitude.

That is true and it could be a problem down the road.

11 posted on 12/06/2003 5:10:06 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: XBob
Do you want to ping the team...
12 posted on 12/06/2003 5:14:50 PM PST by tubebender (We've been married 47 years and she still doesn't put the toilet seat up for me...)
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To: Monty22
3 - "The ISS is turning into a boondogle."

The ISS was a boondoggle long before it was built, it was a boondoggle from its incompetent conception, and repeated incompetent design changes, until NASA was finally told, either settle on a design (after screwing around with about 6 or 8 different designs), or forget the whole program.
13 posted on 12/06/2003 6:45:13 PM PST by XBob
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To: tubebender; snopercod; bonesmccoy
thanks TB - but there is nothing new here - just more NASA incompetence.

The loud noise they heard a week or 2 ago was probably one of the gyro's crashing.

They spent 10 years screwing around, just trying to get a design, and finally were forced to pick a design, and they didn't even pick a good design. They certainly picked a costly one though (one beam cost $500 million + another $500 million for launch costs).

In fact, I have grown so pessimistic with their incompetence, I think that the whole US manned space program will be cancelled in a few years, as the remaining shuttles crash (or rust away) and the ISS falls out of orbit.
14 posted on 12/06/2003 7:01:26 PM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
They spent 10 years screwing around, just trying to get a design, and finally were forced to pick a design, and they didn't even pick a good design. They certainly picked a costly one though (one beam cost $500 million + another $500 million for launch costs).

That was the whole idea. The ISS always was little more than a make work for bureaucrats and shuttle flights. Mission accomplished

In fact, I have grown so pessimistic with their incompetence, I think that the whole US manned space program will be cancelled in a few years, as the remaining shuttles crash (or rust away) and the ISS falls out of orbit.

Haven't you been reading all the threads about how Bush is going to spend even more of our money on a new moon mission?

15 posted on 12/06/2003 7:12:25 PM PST by Moonman62
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To: Lokibob
...the two-man station has more than enough fuel to spare, said program manager Bill Gerstenmaier.

Yeah right, that's why they're not reboosting it.

16 posted on 12/07/2003 3:29:44 AM PST by snopercod (The federal government will spend $21,000 per household in 2003, up from $16,000 in 1999.)
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To: Moonman62
15 - "Haven't you been reading all the threads about how Bush is going to spend even more of our money on a new moon mission?"

What money?

We don't have an extra Trillion+ dollars to get to the moon again. We don't even have the money to get to the space station.

The government burro-crats run what's left of our space program now, and there is no way we will be able to afford to go to the moon again.
17 posted on 12/07/2003 11:57:51 PM PST by XBob
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To: Moonman62
In fact, it is beyond our capability to get from the VAB to the launch pad again.

If the crawlers break, we have no way to make new ones. Marion Power Shovel, which built them, is now out of business and we no longer have expertice/skilled workers to make the giant forgings and castings necessary to build new ones.

18 posted on 12/08/2003 12:05:20 AM PST by XBob
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To: tubebender; snopercod; bonesmccoy
ping
19 posted on 12/08/2003 12:07:05 AM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
We don't even have the money to get to the space station.

We were discussing this very thing at work on Friday. One of my colleagues started with project Mercury and stayed with NASA all the way thru the mid 90s. He saw the heyday of NASA and was one of the people "on console" during the Apollo 1 fire. He is also skeptical we have the money to create the infrastructure needed for another manned shot to the moon in the near term. The big question is, if this program does get underway, will the next congress kill it not unlike the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC)?

20 posted on 12/08/2003 12:16:34 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
20 - "He is also skeptical we have the money to create the infrastructure needed for another manned shot to the moon in the near term."

He is correct. Most who say we have the technology, forget about the hardware aspect, and just how hard it is to get it designed, let alone built and tested. (also see my note above about the crawlers)

They have been needing a new shuttle for 20 years now, and still can't even agree on a design.

Those who think we can use the big Delta rockets, seem to forget that we must carry a lunar orbital module, a lunar lander, a car, equipment, and a space ship to rocket off the moon and return to earth.

IMO NASA is working on the wrong projects and should be spending their money on anti-gravity research.

The super-collider fiasco would be a drop in the bucket compared to another manned moon mission. At least with the super-collider we have a big hole in the ground we can perhaps go back and complete some day.

21 posted on 12/08/2003 1:11:55 AM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
21 - if I remember correctly, the super-collider was out of date before the first spade of earth was turned, the burro-crats and environ-wackos screwed around with it so long.
22 posted on 12/08/2003 1:17:37 AM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
Don't worry, Czechoslovakia still has the capability to manufacture large forgings.
23 posted on 12/08/2003 4:06:10 AM PST by snopercod (The federal government will spend $21,000 per household in 2003, up from $16,000 in 1999.)
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To: XBob; Physicist; Doctor Stochastic
if I remember correctly, the super-collider was out of date before the first spade of earth was turned, the burro-crats and environ-wackos screwed around with it so long.

Not from what I understand. IMHO, canceling the SSC set high-energy and particle physics back decades. However, I pinged two folks here who know a whole lot more about this than I do in case I am wrong here.

24 posted on 12/08/2003 5:23:30 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer; XBob
if I remember correctly, the super-collider was out of date before the first spade of earth was turned, the burro-crats and environ-wackos screwed around with it so long.

That's just all wet. There isn't even any machine in the planning stages what will be able to do what the supercollider would have done. There's a machine being built in Europe that will reach some of the SSC's physics goals; if we're lucky it might start producing data in 2008.

25 posted on 12/08/2003 5:41:16 AM PST by Physicist
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To: RadioAstronomer
The big question is, if this program does get underway, will the next congress kill it not unlike the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC)?

I hated when they killed that program. How do they expect us to lead without basic research?

26 posted on 12/08/2003 10:58:12 AM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: Physicist; RadioAstronomer
25 - Sorry guys, but I must ask youall to task your memories. I realize this is not my area, theortical physics, however, government boondoggles are my area.

As I remember, in the late 80's and early 90's there were numbers of breakthroughs in supercooling/superconducting.

As I remember, they developed new techniques and new magnets, which would have reduced the size and cost of the Dallas project by half (this at a time when the price went quickly from $2 billion, to 5 billion, to 6.5 billion, to 7.5 billion to 8+ billion, and on up to 12-25 billion. Just like the shuttle, which was to be an 'inexpensive' way to go to space, it appeared it was going to be a 'yacht' - you know - a big hole in the water into which you pour money.

And while it was last generation technology, as they were 'digging', it was to be bigger and better by than anything currently existing.

And the government, in it's usual stupidity, rather than regrouping, just dropped the whole thing, wasting billions of dollars and billions of research and hundreds of millions in contracts, facilities, holes, etc.

Please think back.
27 posted on 12/08/2003 3:43:46 PM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
IMO NASA is working on the wrong projects and should be spending their money on anti-gravity research.

There is nothing in that area to justify spending a dime.

28 posted on 12/08/2003 3:52:40 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: Physicist
The SSC should have been built in Alaska. Got just the spot for it. Nothing but caribou and a few mag 2 quakes now and then.
29 posted on 12/08/2003 3:56:06 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: RightWhale
you make no sense.

do you actually think we are going to get interplanetary or interstellar travel on combustible chemical fuels?

do you actually think the greenies will allow nuclear launches, when we can't even get a nuclear plant with 5ft thick walls built?
30 posted on 12/08/2003 4:09:37 PM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
do you actually think we are going to get interplanetary

We already have interplanetary with existing motors.

31 posted on 12/08/2003 4:11:03 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: RightWhale
31-"We already have interplanetary with existing motors."

I haven't seen any men on saturn lately.

You already have transcontinental travel built into your shoes too.
32 posted on 12/08/2003 4:29:42 PM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
Did you say that we should research anti-gravity? This in spite of ZERO evidence there can be such a thing?
33 posted on 12/08/2003 4:32:34 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: RightWhale
stop wasting bandwidth and our time.
34 posted on 12/08/2003 4:35:03 PM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
stop wasting bandwidth and our time.

You can have ion motors and chemical motors, but you can't have nuclear motors and there is no such thing as anti-gravity. Don't expect NASA to waste any more time or money than they already have on this nonsense.

35 posted on 12/08/2003 4:42:49 PM PST by RightWhale (Close your tag lines)
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To: XBob
As I remember, in the late 80's and early 90's there were numbers of breakthroughs in supercooling/superconducting.

If you mean the ceramic high-Tc superconductors, they are completely inappropriate for ultra-high-current applications like the SSC magnets. The design for the LHC magnets now being installed at CERN is fundamentally the same as the SSC magnet design, almost 20 years later.

As I remember, they developed new techniques and new magnets, which would have reduced the size and cost of the Dallas project by half (this at a time when the price went quickly from $2 billion, to 5 billion, to 6.5 billion, to 7.5 billion to 8+ billion, and on up to 12-25 billion.

I don't believe that the magnets made up anywhere near half the cost of the SSC, so even if they were free, you wouldn't save half the cost. Moreover, the initial price tag was $5 billion, and the final price tag was around $12 billion. Part of that is inflation, but most of that is due to cuts in discretionary spending. In each budget cycle, the SSC would get less than was budgeted, which would cause the schedule to stretch out, which would cause the total price to rise. The cost overruns were almost entirely political in nature.

As for antigravity, there is no theoretical or experimental reason to believe that such a thing exists. A search for the operating principle behind flying witch's brooms would be as wise a use of public funds.

36 posted on 12/08/2003 5:40:49 PM PST by Physicist
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To: Physicist
http://www.cato.org/pubs/briefs/bp-016.html

Super Boondoggle Time To Pull The
Plug
On The Superconducting Super
Collider

May 26, 1992

Technological Defects

Despite its supporters' claims to the contrary, the SSC will rely on several untested technologies that are proving to be extremely expensive and riddled with problems. Some of the obstacles that the SSC has run into were predicted by its opponents. The gigantic atom-smashing machine will not be built with off-the-shelf technologies because neither the individual pieces nor any comparable systems have been built before.

The SSC has been designed to the scientifically optimum limits of a circular collider configuration. The size of the loop around which the atoms will circle was changed when researchers determined that there was a slightly different optimum size than originally assumed. There is even new evidence suggesting that a circular configuration may not be necessary for exploring high-energy particle collisions. Improved linear designs, which are potentially much less expensive than the SSC, may be technologically feasible in only a few years. Far less expensive linear design electron-positron accelerators soon may be able to compete with the SSC design as a scientific tool.(37)

In addition, only 11 prototypes of the more than 8,600 dipole magnets and only 1 prototype of the 2,000 quadrupole magnets have been built and tested. In fact, even if the prototypes are successful, most of the magnets will not be tested until after they are installed in the underground tunnel. The recent experience with the out-of-focus Hubble space telescope should provide a lesson on the desirability of pretesting complex equipment.

In addition, the subatomic particle collisions must be detected by complex devices and interpreted by powerful computers if the experiments are to yield any information whatsoever--yet the budget for that vital feature of the project has not been approved. The Department of Energy's estimated budget for the SSC includes no more than $640 million for design and construction of the massive detectors.(38) The people working on the designs "have been instructed to plan on a budget of no more than $500 million each, only half of which will come from the U.S. government."(39) So far, only one design has been accepted (but not built) by the SSC project managers, although the SSC plan requires two separate detector designs. The accepted design was to have been peer reviewed in April 1992. The estimated cost of the first detector alone is $712 million.

Even bigger roadblocks have impeded the development of the SSC's second detector. Selection of a designer of the detectors necessary to measure and record the experimental results has been slow and painful. The L-Star detector project proposal, developed by an international consortium of European, Soviet, and American institutions (90 institutions in 13 countries) has been rejected by the SSC management team. In January 1991 the SSC management team rejected a second design known as EMPACT/TEXAS. A June 1991 workshop was organized to investigate design options and create a new consortium. Currently, the gamma-electron-moon detector proposal is scheduled for review in November 1992.

The detector design problems demonstrate that the SSC is much further from reality than its proponents claim. In addition, the decision to develop only two detectors was based on cost, not scientific, considerations. Regardless of funding levels, the lack of appropriate detection devices and workable computer software could limit the SSC's scientific usefulness and greatly delay the scheduling of experiments.
37 posted on 12/08/2003 6:08:39 PM PST by XBob
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To: Physicist
36 - "As for antigravity, there is no theoretical or experimental reason to believe that such a thing exists. A search for the operating principle behind flying witch's brooms would be as wise a use of public funds."

Pardon me - please tell me what gravity is, since there is no anti-gravity.

seems to me there is a law of physics - for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
38 posted on 12/08/2003 6:11:35 PM PST by XBob
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To: John W
THRUSTERS to Move our "Space Station" a "FEW FEET!!??"

WHO are we Kidding!!

It's TIME to go "Back to the Moon---& ON to Mars!!!

Despite the Utterly "Conservative" "Belief System" of the "Reactionary FOOLS" who THINK they are "in Control Of" the "Best & Brightest in America,"

WE are the FUTURE of "America!!"

Despite the Most EVIL "Thrusts" of the MOST "Islam, Aberrant Christianity, Animism, "Psychotic Islam," Has "Levelled at Us"--Somehow, We have Survived--& Prospered!!

39 posted on 12/08/2003 6:40:03 PM PST by Doc On The Bay
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To: XBob
Pardon me - please tell me what gravity is, since there is no anti-gravity.

It's the curvature of spacetime. Feel free to tell me what the opposite of that is.

40 posted on 12/08/2003 7:24:20 PM PST by Physicist
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To: XBob
That article totally contradicts what you said about the magnets. You said they were obsolete; the article says they were too far beyond the envelope. They couldn't have been both.
41 posted on 12/08/2003 7:26:39 PM PST by Physicist
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To: Physicist
40 - "It's the curvature of spacetime. Feel free to tell me what the opposite of that is."

Sorry you have no immagination. if gravity is the curviture of spacetime, then anti-gravity would be the opposite curve - you know - convex versus concave - simple.

No wonder we aren't getting anywhere in physics, if you are any example of an American physicist. You have nothing to contribute to this discussion, only dissention.

The point I was making is that we need a quantum leap in space travel mecanisms/methodolgy or we are never going to get off this planet,

Chemistry is not the way to do it - hopefully physics is, but apparently we have no hope with physicists like you.

42 posted on 12/08/2003 11:27:23 PM PST by XBob
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To: Physicist
41 - "That article totally contradicts what you said about the magnets. You said they were obsolete; the article says they were too far beyond the envelope. They couldn't have been both."

I have said before, I am not a physicist, and have only my memory of news reports of an arcane incident to rely on.

You claim to be a physicist by profession, and apparently know nothing about the Super Collider, and why it was built, and why it was cancelled, and apparently have nothing to contribute.

Perhaps you could contribute your head as a target on a linear accelerator, to see how fast electrons go through empty space.
43 posted on 12/08/2003 11:36:06 PM PST by XBob
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To: XBob
one of NASA's problems, IMO, is that the Space Science & Technology committee has to be satisfied, whenever new designs are selected so that Barbara Mikulski and others have to have their fair share in THEIR states, etc. It is this type political crap that causes many of NASA's problems.... along with the fact that NASA has NO dreamers.

The typical government hierarchal mentality, and political correctness has taken over, that's helped creat just another government agency. It was the PREMIER government agency for many, many years.

enuf....
44 posted on 12/08/2003 11:40:30 PM PST by Gracey (Can't wait for the next opportuity to FReep with the fine FResno FReepers)
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To: Gracey
44 - "NASA has NO dreamers"

Your whole post is absolutely correct. The guys who got us to the moon were the guys with 'stars in their eyes'.

They are all now all dead, or retired.

NASA is now just another burro-ocracy - pun intended! And we are going to be stuck on this planet.

It began after the first moon landing (goal accomplished), and has been going down hill ever since.

Any NASA project is now a make work program, and most, starting with the shuttle, were/are designed to impact at least 75 congressional districts, in order to guarantee funding.

And NASA and the space contractors have learned to 'rig' the system to make it so prohibitively expensive, that we can't afford to go anywhere again, other than sending a toy car (much like you get a 6-8 year old boy for christmas) in our stead.
45 posted on 12/09/2003 12:02:40 AM PST by XBob
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To: XBob; Physicist
Sorry you have no immagination. if gravity is the curviture of spacetime, then anti-gravity would be the opposite curve - you know - convex versus concave - simple.
No wonder we aren't getting anywhere in physics, if you are any example of an American physicist. You have nothing to contribute to this discussion, only dissention.
The point I was making is that we need a quantum leap in space travel mecanisms/methodolgy or we are never going to get off this planet,
Chemistry is not the way to do it - hopefully physics is, but apparently we have no hope with physicists like you.

Ummm... Take some time with this site I am linking to. It is an excellent tutorial you may want to read. After you do (and I mean really study it) take another good look at what you posted:

http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~wright/cosmolog.htm

Here is a nice description of gravity you may also want to look at:

http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/gravity.html

46 posted on 12/09/2003 12:55:18 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: XBob; Physicist; RightWhale
You claim to be a physicist by profession, and apparently know nothing about the Super Collider, and why it was built, and why it was cancelled, and apparently have nothing to contribute.

Perhaps you could contribute your head as a target on a linear accelerator, to see how fast electrons go through empty space.

Sigh. Physicist has FORGOTTEN more about collider physics than you will ever know. What do you think his PhD is in anyway? You might want to do a bit of research before slamming another freeper.

47 posted on 12/09/2003 12:59:06 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: XBob
Any NASA project is now a make work program, and most, starting with the shuttle, were/are designed to impact at least 75 congressional districts, in order to guarantee funding.

Pure codswallop.

And NASA and the space contractors have learned to 'rig' the system to make it so prohibitively expensive, that we can't afford to go anywhere again, other than sending a toy car (much like you get a 6-8 year old boy for christmas) in our stead.

More codswallop. Do you have any idea how hard it is to accomplish an interplanetary mission? I do. I flew interplanetaries.

48 posted on 12/09/2003 1:02:45 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: RadioAstronomer
I did do some research - which is why I am so perterbed at Physicist - with all his background in physics he still has nothing he contributes, except challenges to non-physicists, lack of vision and lack of ideas.
49 posted on 12/09/2003 2:57:41 AM PST by XBob
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To: RadioAstronomer
48 - "Any NASA project is now a make work program, and most, starting with the shuttle, were/are designed to impact at least 75 congressional districts, in order to guarantee funding.
Pure codswallop."

Apparently you don't know much about it, and how the funding and design structuring comes into being. Nor do you know much about $3 o-rings sold to NASA for $300, or 1 inch sheet metal screws sold to NASA for $89, or pieces of butcher block paper sold to NASA for $100, after putting a part number on them.
50 posted on 12/09/2003 3:01:52 AM PST by XBob
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