NASA in the 21st Century

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Now some of the details about President Bush's plans are out there for us to discuss.



from CNN:



BUSH SPACE INITIATIVE



?Spend $12 billion on new space exploration plan over next five years. $1bn will be new money, the rest reallocated from existing NASA programs.

?Retire shuttle program by 2010

?Develop new manned exploration vehicle

?Launch manned mission to moon between 2015 and 2020

?Build permanent lunar base as "stepping stone" for more ambitious missions

?Complete commitments to International Space Station by 2010

Source: White House
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Sucks. Manned missions hold no special place for me. The Space Shuttle is a huge waste of money. How many kick ass little rovers could we send to every planet and moon in our solar system if we just gave up the fascination with manned missions?
  • Reply 2 of 53
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    I like the manned missions, but I think we need both. We need to divert some of that defense budget towards NASA. That would help more than just cutting manned missions.
  • Reply 3 of 53
    aries 1baries 1b Posts: 1,009member
    Defund the N.A.S.A. and turn space exploration over to the private sector. The N.A.S.A. can't/won't take care of the toys that they get:



    http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/ns/news/...=19970219NY123



    This from someone who was a diehard N.A.S.A. supporter. The organization is too screwed up to salvage.



    Aries 1B
  • Reply 4 of 53
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aries 1B

    Defund the N.A.S.A. and turn space exploration over to the private sector. The N.A.S.A. can't/won't take care of the toys that they get:



    http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/ns/news/...=19970219NY123





    It sounds like NASA has its priorities right. It doesn´t have many Shuttle slots ready and they want to use them the best way.
  • Reply 5 of 53
    argentoargento Posts: 483member
    I'm all for space exploration, in both forms. Yeah the shuttle is a huge waste but they need them to finish the ISS and I like the idea of scrapping them as soon as that's done. Does anybody know the stances of any of the democratic presidential nomines on space exploration?
  • Reply 6 of 53
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Argento

    ... Does anybody know the stances of any of the democratic presidential nomines on space exploration?



    Same as Bush. If it gets votes they are for it.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    What type of launcher will replace the shuttles ?
  • Reply 8 of 53
    thttht Posts: 3,212member
    Disclaimer: I work for NASA.



    I'm all for it. A science base on the moon, like an observatory on the moon, would be hundred times better than Hubble. If Bush really had the guts, he would have retired the shuttle fleet immediately. It should have really been retired after Challenger, if started at all. It's been nothing but a ball-and-chain on the space program since its inception.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    brbr Posts: 8,395member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Powerdoc

    What type of launcher will replace the shuttles ?



    Shawndrive.



    Just say that McDonald's isn't responsible for idiots stuffing big mac's down their throats and shouldn't pay them because they got fat. His ass will explode and provide enough thrust to propel ships of titanic proportions into space. Of course the cooldown period between shuttle launches would be problematic.
  • Reply 10 of 53
    thttht Posts: 3,212member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Powerdoc

    What type of launcher will replace the shuttles ?



    Delta 4 and Atlas 5 heavy lift launchers. Approximately 50k to 60k lbs to station orbit.
  • Reply 11 of 53
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    Yes, Shawn does seem to defy the laws of physics and logic alike!









    Seriously,



    I would love to see the private sector become involved in space travel, but much of the research and discoveries that they might potentially make would likely be kept proprietary; locked away from public view (as befits their right as a private enterprise). So, I cannot imagine that we would ever eliminate NASA in the first half of the 21st century.
  • Reply 12 of 53
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    Delta 4 and Atlas 5 heavy lift launchers. Approximately 50k to 60k lbs to station orbit.



    the weird thing, is that that the goal of shuttles was to save money by reusing the importants parts of the the shuttle.

    But the maintenance was incredibely difficult (and lead to dramatic accidents), and the presence of human was mandatory, althougth unnecessary when you just have to launch satelittes.



    Anyway, the shuttles where great. The only sad things where the accidents.
  • Reply 13 of 53
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    I remember reading a book or an article in the last fifteen years that described the Russian space program as using "Big Dumb Rockets". Reading that article made it all too evident that NASA had really made a bad decision with the shuttle.



    I really want to go see a shuttle launch before the program ends, just watching video of it puts a big old lump in my throat - I can't imagine how amazing it is to be there in person.
  • Reply 14 of 53
    Delta and Atlas series boosters will do most of the US heavy lifting.



    Ariane and some Russian boosters (Proton and Energia) for the largest 100k stuff





    First reported casualty of the Bush NASA Vision:



    Fourth scheduled Hubble service mission now cancelled.

    (Shuttle can't service Hubble and get to ISS orbit in case of emergency).

    Without the gyro-replacement servicing, Hubble will probably have gyros fail and be offline up to four years before the replacement Webb Space Telescope is online in 2011.



    If you want to argue bang-for-the-buck science and inspirational return on investment in space,

    it's hard to beat the visionary impact of the Hubble photos of the Eagle Nebula to spark imagination.

    Many will miss it if it dies before its time.



    87 Billion for Iraq. only 1 Billion new funds for NASA.
  • Reply 15 of 53
    toweltowel Posts: 1,479member
    The problem I have with this plan is that it lays out very specifically how to gut our current efforts while providing little new money and few specifics for our future efforts. $200M a year is piddlewinkle. That's 20 hours worth of Iraq occupation, to put it in perspective. In fact, it's less than the effect of inflation on the current NASA budget. And where is the $2B/year in reallocated money going to come from? NASA isn't exactly swimming in money right now, and that represents fully 13% of NASA's whole budget. The shuttles will be retired years, maybe many years, before a replacement is ready. ISS will be left to wither on the vine as a slightly more modern successor to Mir. And maybe, maybe, 12-20 years from now we'll go back to the Moon.



    I said all along, "show me the money", if Bush is serious about all this, and he didn't. Given that, I dunno, I see this as a new "Clear Skies" or "Healthy Forests" initiative. "NASA's Future", only it's actually a plan to shut NASA down. I think it's horribly sad that my young generation, which has never known the US not to have manned spaceflight capability, will see it end (temporarily, as a purely interim measure until the new vehicle is ready any year now, of course).
  • Reply 16 of 53
    toweltowel Posts: 1,479member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by curiousuburb

    87 Billion for Iraq. only 1 Billion new funds for NASA.



    It's even worse than that. The $1B is over 5 years, while the $87B is a one-year thing. And it doesn't even take into consideration that offical DoD spending has jumped about $80B/year since 2001. So you're really looking at $0.2B/year versus, oh, somewheres around $160.0B/year. Not sayin' that defense money isn't well spent, just sayin' that $200M is chump change; and that if we can afford $160B, then we can afford $170B and give NASA a fair shake. But hey, that's what this President does. Anyone know remember all that money that was going to go to fight AIDS in Africa, from last year's State of the Union? Yeah, me neither.
  • Reply 17 of 53
    aries 1baries 1b Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by drewprops

    I remember reading a book or an article in the last fifteen years that described the Russian space program as using "Big Dumb Rockets". Reading that article made it all too evident that NASA had really made a bad decision with the shuttle.



    There was an article in a Newsweek right after the Challenger disaster (cover had Ed White floating with earth in the background with the caption 'Lost in Space?'). The article went over some of the bad moves that had led up to Challenger. Evidently, someone/group proposed the idea of building a rocket engine (liquid fueled) using just steel and shipyard tolerances. They did and it worked. The cost to orbit would have plummeted. Of course, the people working on it were told that they'd never work in the industry again if they pursued it.



    QUOTE]Originally posted by drewprops

    I really want to go see a shuttle launch before the program ends, just watching video of it puts a big old lump in my throat - I can't imagine how amazing it is to be there in person. [/QUOTE]

    Do it. There is nothing in real life that you will ever watch that is more exciting or joyous. To see a manned space vehicle claw its way from the ground is stupendous. Tofeel the ground beneath your feet shake (seven miles away with a swamp between you and the launch pad will astound you.



    Aries 1B
  • Reply 18 of 53
    When we stop dreaming we stop living.



    Space may not be practical to some... but I would argue they are dead.



    Live.



    Fellows
  • Reply 19 of 53
    aries 1baries 1b Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Anders

    It sounds like NASA has its priorities right. It doesn´t have many Shuttle slots ready and they want to use them the best way.



    Hubble is a one billion dollar asset. To throw it away is an apalling waste.



    N.A.S.A. might be able to pack the necessary supplies aboard an unmanned Soyuz, place it in proximity to Hubble and then send an astronaut aboard another Soyuz for a repair mission. I don't know what the costs for a Soyuz mission are, but they could send some rich tourists up to watch and to defray the costs.



    Ideally, N.A.S.A would move Hubble (slowly, and over a period of time) to proximity with the ISS. Then the ISS program could say that they ALSO support the Hubble.



    Too obvious.



    It would, of course, be totally neat if Burt Rutan's first space orbital space mission consisted of bringing the necessary repair equipment to Hubble. Defray the costs with an internet Pay-Per-View. That would be neat, wouldn't it?



    Aries 1B
  • Reply 20 of 53
    aries 1baries 1b Posts: 1,009member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by FellowshipChurch iBook

    When we stop dreaming we stop living.



    Space may not be practical to some... but I would argue they are dead.



    Live.



    Fellows




    Space is the future. The barrier between Now and that future is the N.A.S.A..



    Aries 1B
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