Skip to comments.Final NASA shuttle mission clouded by rancor
Posted on 07/02/2011 3:19:42 PM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour
CAPE CANAVERAL The last shuttle, Atlantis, sits on Pad 39A, ready for its valedictory flight.
It is the nature of a shuttle to look kind of lonely out there on the pad, kept at a safe remove from the control room, the hangars, the observation platforms. The pad is not far from the beach, one of the last stretches of Florida coastline unblemished by hotels and condos. Beach houses were torn down years ago when the federal government showed up with rockets. Old-timers talk of 11 graveyards and an old schoolhouse lurking somewhere out there, the remnants of the era before the coming of the spaceport.
Now the U.S. space program itself is middle-aged, facing a painful transition. Atlantis will blast off, if all goes as planned, at 11:26 a.m. July 8 for a 12-day mission to the international space station. And then . . . what?
Then a lot of uncertainty. The only sure bet is that thousands of people here will be out of a job.
NASAs critics say the human spaceflight program is in a shambles. They see arm-waving and paperwork rather than a carefully defined mission going forward. NASA has lots of plans, but it has no new rocket ready to launch, no specific destination selected, and no means in the near term to get American astronauts into space other than by buying a seat on one of Russias aging Soyuz spacecraft.
The space agencys leaders say everythings on track, that the private sector will soon launch astronauts into orbit and let NASA focus on the hard work of deep-space exploration.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Talk to the guy who de-funded the space program, if you can get him off the golf course.
NASA will now be able to put Hansen in charge and get on with Global Warming predictions.
One deep-space, high-priority, essential mission quickly comes to mind.
Why does NASA NOT have a ready missile AND mission and warhead - or other device of ANY kind - to detect, track, target, launch, and destroy/move an inbound deadly asteroid?
Any similarly-designed programs would, I fear, devolve into huge budget overruns and no results to show for them. Time to leave it to the private sector.
NO new rocket?? Then use a old model and fire all the Affirmative Action crew!
You wouldn’t believe the number of office buildings that used to house employees of NASA contractors that are now vacant with “For Lease” signs posted along NASA Road 1 in the Clear Lake area.
To be fair, the Shuttle Program was due to shut down and everyone saw this coming years prior to Obama taking office.
Personally, I see no reason to explore deep space other than as a curiousity.
They can't. Most of the engineering drawings and tooling were destroyed. We can't build a Saturn V anymore. Your government at work....
What a perfect government program - spend tens of billions of dollars a year with no output product.
“Then use a old model
They can’t. Most of the engineering drawings and tooling were destroyed. We can’t build a Saturn V anymore. Your government at work....
Wow we forgot where it all came from,It will take this current Bunch,( of entitled to a NASA Job) 10 or more Years to come up with a Working Lifter design.
So all that money that created 10's of thousands of high paying technical jobs and pumped many hundreds of millions of consumer $$$ into local economies was money wasted... yeah I see the similarity between the Shuttle Program and say the section 8 housing programs of HUD...
لقاء مع صوفيا في اخر اخبار روتانا الحين - منتدى أوز لقاء مع صوفيا في اخر اخبار روتانا الحين ســـتـــار أوز ... الشات
Musk (SpaceX) has one. He orbited and returned a capsule safely. He's got a heavy lifter in the works. We don't need NASA doing this kind of design. They need to focus on materials technology, weird propulsion systems (ion, nuclear, etc), and other basic research.
“So all that money that created 10’s of thousands of high paying technical jobs and pumped many hundreds of millions of consumer $$$ into local economies was money wasted... yeah I see the similarity between the Shuttle Program and say the section 8 housing programs of HUD...”
So all we have to do to solve our economic problems is hire 10’s of thousands of high payed government workers and pump hundreds of millions of $$$ into local economies. That’s brilliant. Wait, isn’t that what Obama’s been doing? How’s that working out for us?
Exploration is in the vital national security interests of the United States. As a country with shared ideals, we cannot afford to sit back and say We dont want to find out anything new. That is tantamount to saying We give up. Columbus, Magellan, Lewis and Clark, Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong all of these people had 1 thing in common: They were sent by governments to Explore the Unknown. What is over the next horizon? It is the quest to answer that question that makes our country what it is today. If we lose that drive, we begin to die as a nation.
There is a shared risk and a shared reward to exploration. Private enterprise cannot afford to spend billions of dollars on an unknown. Government can, within limitations, obviously. But, our form of government also shares the rewards of exploration with the citizens of the United States. People always want to know What has NASA done for the US? Visit this site - http://www.sti.nasa.gov/spinoff/database . It is ASTOUNDING what NASA has contributed to the quality of life in the United States.
We cannot give up the lead. If you are not trying to get better, you are falling behind. Sometimes, it is in the interests of the United States to partner with other countries on a shared objective. However, if we truly believe that ours is the greatest country on earth, we should be striving as much as possible to be self-determinant. Space is The Final Frontier. Frontiers WILL be explored. The question is By Whom? There is a saying that goes something like Nature abhors a vacuum The exploration of space has been led by the United States for 50 years. If we are not at the forefront, someone else will take our place. Now is not the time to cede leadership in the realm of Space Exploration.
SPACE: The Next 30 years
The following plan has 3 core ideas as driving forces:
1. Build a system that does one thing, does it very expertly, and does it more inexpensively than the super complex system. The urge to build a do-everything type vehicles usually results in a vehicle that does some of a lot of things, but does nothing really well, and ends up doing what it does much more expensively. This concept goes the other direction.
2. Separate the humans and the cargo. Doing this should drastically cut the cost of launching cargo into space and/or keep down the cost of launching cargo.
3. Design each successive system as a separate add-on capability to what has already been built and implemented. Design the interface first. Then, each subsequent system can be developed on its own schedule. Start with a solid foundation and build on it.
Already In Use - LEO < 20 Ton Materials Launchers
- Low Cost Launch platforms
- Not Man-Rated
- Get the Commercial Industry deeply involved in cargo space launching. Get NASA out of the LEO <20 Ton cargo business completely.
Already In Use - LEO Habitat & Science Station
- ISS Currently
- Seek ways to extend ISS for 10, 20, even 30 years, if possible.
- We can only learn to live in space by living in space and learning the lessons.
Priority 1 - LEO Ascent / Descent Vehicle System aka Up-N-Down(Critical)
- Human Transporter Only Not a large Cargo Vessel. Keep It Simple & Safe (KISS)
- 2 Man Operating Crew
- 10 Passenger capability (Or small payloads that bolt into place when a passenger seat is removed)
- ~12 hour Total Mission Time (Launch-Rendezvous-Land)
- 21 Day Mission Cycle Time (Land-Prep-Launch)
- Air Launch? Runway Launch? Vertical Launch? Mag-Lev Rail Launch?
- Conventional Airplane Landing? Parachute Landing? Rocket Landing?
- We desperately need a crash effort to develop and begin operations of a vehicle that can put astronauts into LEO and bring them back inexpensively, regularly and safely. Whether it is NASA, Commercial, or a combination of both, Americas preeminence as the leader in space will be jeopardized and/or lost if we cant regularly put humans into Low Earth Orbit.
Priority 2 - LEO 20-250 Ton Heavy Lift Launcher (Urgent)
- Large Assembly Launch Platform
- Not Man-Rated
Priority 3 - LEO Fuel Depot
- Build and Maintain a Fuel Depot for Space Ferry Vehicle, Lunar Tugboat, Lunar Ascent / Descent Vehicle
Priority 4 - LEO Cargo Re-Entry Vehicle
- Brings back space systems (ISS Components, Satellites, etc ) needing repair.
- Brings back (eventually) moon/asteroid/planetary resources.
- Deliver Space Manufactured Items to Earth
- Controlled Landing in Retrievable Area
- Not Man-Rated
Priority 5 - LEO Space Ferry
- Used to transport space craft of varying types to different orbits (Altitudes, Inclinations, etc...)
- Very low cost, reliability, longevity are desired features here.
- Simply moves spacecraft, satellites, etc around in orbit.
Priority 6 - Lunar Tugboat
- System to transport people and space craft of varying types from LEO to Lunar Orbit and back to LEO
- Low cost, reliability, and longevity are desired features here.
Priority 7 - Lunar Ascent / Descent Vehicle
- Vehicle used to ferry people and/or cargo to the lunar surface, and to transport people and/or cargo from the lunar surface to Lunar Orbit.
Priority 8 - Lunar Resource Development Station
- Establish a Lunar habitat capable of being semi-permanently manned.
- Used as base of Exploration, Scientific Research, Manufacturing and Materials Processing.
“Most of the engineering drawings and tooling were destroyed. “
That’s not true. There are multiple copies of Saturn V plans on microfiche including a set at the National Archives. However, it would not make sense to replicate technology from the 1950s.
10 or more Years to come up with a Working Lifter design.
Musk (SpaceX) has one. He orbited and returned a capsule safely. He’s got a heavy lifter in the works. We don’t need NASA doing this kind of design. They need to focus on materials technology, weird propulsion systems (ion, nuclear, etc), and other basic research.
Good Idea,They could keep the best people busy that way and let the private sector do the building.
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