Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Wanted! Your Views On America's Space Program Goals ^ | Jan 12, 2009 | Leonard David

Posted on 01/13/2009 8:25:11 AM PST by presidio9

It's time to put your 21st century thinking cap because you've been invited to take part in a new study into why the U.S. has a space program.

The new study "Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program" is looking for the public's view on the following questions:

What's the future of human, robotic, commercial, and personal spaceflight? Is your life impacted in a meaningful way by the space program? What kind of emphasis should the space program represent in going forward? How can the country's civil, or non-military, space program address key national issues?

Views - positive or negative - of the general public are welcomed.

This study is sponsored exclusively by The National Academies, and it is not receiving any funds from government agencies or any other external sources. The assessment is a joint effort of the Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board.

"Specifically, we are anxious to hear a broad range of views from the public, including people from outside and inside traditional space interest sectors," said Joe Alexander, study director for the appraisal. The effort is geared to explore the long-range rationale and goals of the civil space program, he told

Best objective judgment

The ad hoc committee will prepare a report to advise the nation on key goals and critical issues in 21st century U.S. space policy. Furthermore, the committee's to-do list includes:

Identifying overarching goals that are important for our national interest. Identifying issues that are critically important to achieving these goals and ensuring the future progress of the U.S. space activities. Discussing options to address unresolved issues. Using its best objective judgment and recognizing other national priorities, the committee will explore

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-35 last
To: presidio9
How about a Perfect Safety Record.
21 posted on 01/13/2009 9:44:48 AM PST by Dixie Yooper (Ephesians 6:11)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: presidio9

Eliminate the space shuttle program. They were a poor compromise of a good idea that is well over 30 years old. Make cargo rockets unmanned. Make manned rockets smaller and more survivable. Perhaps much smaller versions of the space shuttle.

22 posted on 01/13/2009 9:44:48 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Obama is living proof that stupid people should not be allowed to vote.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Freeport
From the PDF file you can download from their site:

In direct contrast to the current Ares Launch System (ALS), the Jupiter Launch System (JLS) reuses most of the existing manufacturing, integration and launch facilities of STS, as illustrated in figure 2. Because all the new technology requirements are moved to the lunar exploration phase of the VSE, NASA can focus initially on fielding a significantly safer launch system than the Space Shuttle, yet one which is far more capable than the Ares-I. With more than double the lift capability of Ares-I, the first Jupiter Launch System (JLS) variant enables the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) development team to deliver a fully lunar-capable vehicle to NASA, unconstrained by the current limitations of the Ares-I. In addition, this first variant of the JLS, the Jupiter-120, has enough excess capacity to complete the ISS, thus obviating the painful decision of leaving finished ISS elements on the ground or retiring the Space Shuttle on schedule.

Amazing what engineers can do when you leave the bureaucrats out of the equation.

I like the idea of using existing components in a new configuration to "git'r done", and not leave us out of the game for so long.

Remember when this country used to have the "can do" spirit?

23 posted on 01/13/2009 9:46:50 AM PST by AFreeBird
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: presidio9
"The best thing about space travel is that it makes it possible to go elsewhere." - Robert A. Heinlein
24 posted on 01/13/2009 9:49:58 AM PST by Drumbo ("Democracy can withstand anything but democrats." - Jubal Harshaw (Robert A. Heinlein))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: presidio9

Manned mission to Mars

permanent space station on Moon

hiring old fat guys to fly those contraptions who aren’t military pilots

hiring old fat guys to mine the Moon and Mars

25 posted on 01/13/2009 9:52:01 AM PST by RaceBannon (We have sown the wind, but we will reap the whirlwind. NObama. Not my president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Sons of Liberty

We can put them in a conex box and helo lift it to the Bermuda Shelf, is that enough?

26 posted on 01/13/2009 9:52:58 AM PST by RaceBannon (We have sown the wind, but we will reap the whirlwind. NObama. Not my president.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: BuffaloJack
The surface goal of the space program is to put someone in space, the moon, Mars, etc. The real goal has nothing to do with this. Private industry does not have the resources to create new science and inventions. Without a space program we would not have computers, the internet, velcro, high efficiency thermal insulating fabrics, silicone caulk, microwave safe ceramics, nylon electrical ties, and hundreds if noth thousands of other articles used in our daily life. It was even the Army who invented antibiotics.

You're kidding, Mister Central Government, right?

Private industry has always led the way with meaningful inventions, because it has the greatest financial motives to do so. Government does so only inefficiently and erratically, and at far, far, greater costs.

Private industry would have a lot more resources if our bloated government were downsized and taxes followed suit. It's a malicious joke to tax people and then say "haha, you can't do ____ as well as our rich, well-funded government. Guess you need government after all!"

The notion that the space program gave us computers is so historically ignorant I won't comment.

Likewise, while there are many spin-off inventions from the space program, think how many more inventions we would be enjoying if the engineering and technical resources spent by government on its space programs were in private hands, meeting real wants and needs expressed by the free markets and the citizenry? We would inherently be better off with the more direct application of scientific resources to our own wants and needs, rather than getting the crumbs from the table of Big Government.

27 posted on 01/13/2009 9:56:56 AM PST by Liberty1970 (Democrats are not in control. God is. And Thank God for that!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: presidio9

The space program should have one primary goal: GET HUMANS OFF OF THE PLANET.

More specifically, set up sustainable human colonies on other worlds. The Moon is a good start and Mars should be next. Space habitats should also be explored.

28 posted on 01/13/2009 10:24:43 AM PST by Question_Assumptions
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Question_Assumptions

Absolutely! The longer we sit here on this dirtball without a self-sustaining offworld human colony, the closer we come to that comet or asteroid collision that wipes out humanity.

29 posted on 01/13/2009 10:48:56 AM PST by Tarantulas ( Illegal immigration - the trojan horse that's treated like a sacred cow)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Freeport
DIRECT 2.0 does seem to be the best option on hand to achieve what Congress asked for. And what they asked for was a Shuttle Derived Launch System (SDLV) making maximum use of existing hardware to affordably and quickly attain the goals of the Vision for Space Exploration (manned exploration of the moon, Mars, NEO's, and if necessary crewing of the ISS). Congress didn't want any major hits to the existing NASA work force.

Given those objectives, DIRECT on its face does seem to be the far better option - it can do what Ares claims it can do 2-3 years sooner, and for close to half the cost, and more safely. Apparently even NASA's own internal review suggested as much. Unfortunately, while Griffin was right to want to terminate the Shuttle, he seems too wedded to Ares. And Ares has reached the point where it uses virtually no Shuttle systems any longer - which means more cost, longer testing, more uncertainty, and higher risk of cancellation (especially of the big Ares V booster).

Could you design a better system "clean sheet?" Sure. But we have to work within what Congress wants and will go for.

And having said that, ideally Direct would be focused on beyond LEO exploration, while LEO becomes the preserve of commercial space enterprises as soon as possible through award contracts, deregulation, and tax breaks.

30 posted on 01/13/2009 10:49:03 AM PST by The Iguana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: AFreeBird
"I like the idea of using existing components in a new configuration to "git'r done", and not leave us out of the game for so long."

The DIRECT guys claim they can get us back into (manned) space by 2013 with the Jupiter 120 launcher, as opposed to 2015 for Ares I (which may be sliding now to 2016 due to various difficulties) - assuming the word "go" is given in April after a 60 day review. On the moon by 2017 instead of 2020.

It seems unconscionable to wait six years without a manned capability. Of course with luck SpaceX will be available with their Dragon capsule by 2011-2012 (I hope that happens either way, so that NASA can get out of the Low Earth Orbit game and leave that to private contractors and private enterprise), but there's no guarantee. This still leaves a three year gap, but that's more manageable, and easier to fill with SpaceX or, with considerably higher risk, extending the shuttles with a few more missions if Congress is really willing to cough up the extra cash they're talking about.

So I do hope Obama's people really listened to the DIRECT presentation seriously, and have it independently assessed. It's not too late to ditch Ares and go DIRECT.

31 posted on 01/13/2009 10:57:53 AM PST by The Iguana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: The Iguana
I've been reading through their proposal. And while I'm not a "rocket scientist", it seems very well thought out. I also like how it doesn't require a major redesign of the assembly, launch, and component transportation systems.

And if their charts and data are to believed (and I have no reason to doubt it), payload capabilities blow any configuration of Aries away.

More bang for the taxpayers buck while saving as much of the investments in infrastructure for the current system. What a concept. Therefore Congress won't even look at it.

32 posted on 01/13/2009 11:38:30 AM PST by AFreeBird
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: The Sons of Liberty
Can we build a spacecraft big enough to put Pelosi, Reid, Biden, Hildbeast and 0bama on board

Or we could just ask them to go home on the one that brought them here.

33 posted on 01/13/2009 6:40:27 PM PST by presidio9 (Islam Is As Islam Does)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: 11th Commandment
the biggest annual achievements it can boast is that it sends astronauts into orbit without killing them...

Most of the time.

34 posted on 01/13/2009 6:44:18 PM PST by presidio9 (Islam Is As Islam Does)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: presidio9

My goal... get RID OF NASA. It is a giant black hole of money.

35 posted on 01/13/2009 11:41:21 PM PST by Mobile Vulgus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-2021-35 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson