Space Shuttle replacement scaled back still more.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Briggs, Oct 30, 2002.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I am beginning to wonder why the country simply doesn't kill NASA off. It has become ridiculously apathetic toward assuring the agency's future and goals.
    First, the X-33/X-34 VentureStar program was killed, simply because the concept of a single-stage-to-orbit manned spacecraft was too difficult to design and build on so skimpy a budget.
    Then came the Space Launch Initiative, a design-and-bid competition started by NASA with a view toward awarding the contract to the best proposal among the participating aerospace firms. Dramatic, fully reusable two-stage spacecraft were being considered.
    Now, NASA has been forced to scale even this program back. It looks as if the agency is having to consider a small manned spaceplane to be launched atop a standard expendable launch vehicle (probably an Atlas V).
    And, worse, NASA is considering using the current Space Transportation System (i.e., the "Space Shuttle") maybe for as long as thirty more years. Got news for you: Use the current vehicle that long and another catastrophic STS-51L-like disaster will occur (I breathe a sigh of relief every time that bird makes it into orbit without incident).
    If NASA is not going to be given the tools it needs in order to conduct a viable space program, then why bother? Whatever happened to this country's competitive spirit?
    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewnews.html?id=550
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
  3. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Jack, you have said everything that I could say without giving (my) reasons as to why we are where we are.
    And I can’t do that without forcing you to close your own thread. [​IMG]
    I follow this kind of stuff reasonably closely, but its always nice to get an easy briefing. Thanks for the update. [​IMG]
     
  4. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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  5. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    ...and there is no where to really, go. Think about it. There is no livable planet anywhere that we have come across, why go live in a box in space? Also, with the rate this entire planet is headed down the toilet, more and more money will need to go for defending this great nation of ours.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  6. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Sad news. And the tragedy is that space-flight isn't that expensive, once you spend the cash on proper R&D.
    The budget for NASA must be cut really bad if NASA can't use a new space shuttle design, while Japan, which has a tiny space budget (and minimal military budget), already completed aerodynamic in-flight tests on theirs.
    Hmmmm, maybe NASA can buy the Japanese space shuttle once the Japanese start manufacturing them in their fully-automated Lexus factories? [​IMG]
    I want one with a moonroof, leather-bucket seats, climate control, and ergonomic drink holders!
     
  7. Tim Hoover

    Tim Hoover Screenwriter

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  8. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    That's too bad. But, expected, given the visionless bean counter that's present now.
     
  9. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Given the realities of space (the Solar System's being a shooting gallery and the Sun's lifetime being very finite), I would suggest yes—that is, if the human race's survival is of importance to you.

    Escaping the perils presented by the entire population of the human race living on one planet means leaving the homeworld.

    "One cannot remain in the cradle forever," said Tsiokolvsky.
     
  11. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    The fact is, as a long supporter of NASA, the country has just pretty much turned their back on the long term goals of doing something truly unique; the pioneer spirit is seriously lacking.

    While China announces they will be the first to land a man on mars (and are pumping money into a space program to put the first person of another country on the moon) we do almost nothing.

    In 1991, Bush (Sr.) proposed we try to go to Mars.. and people absolutely heckled. People barked and squallered about the "waste" that was Hubble, when in fact, years later Hubble has turned into one of the greatest scientific boons in the last many years.

    Our culture has just decided we don't care. We don't have any adventurous spirit. Despite all the debate, most of it boils down to status quo.

    In the 1950s and 60s, tens of books and television programs were based around how feasible life would be on other planets; whether or not we could colonize the moon, etc. as "Grand goals" Now, you'll almost never see those concepts unless they are used for humor.

    Fact is, someone will do it. Some countries are putting money into it. Even a horribly insolvent Russia is investing in their space program and allowing private ventures. China has committed billions. If any US politician were to campaign or openly say they supported more money for NASA, they would be slaughtered.

    Fact of the matter is, the US public has decided we don't really give a crap unless it's something that directly impacts us tomorrow.
     
  12. James L White

    James L White Supporting Actor

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  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Which is exactly what scares me. Without the necessary will to push forward, we can't stay ahead.

    The space effort will be undertaken, even if the first humans to walk on Mars speak a language other than English. It is inevitable.
     
  14. David Von Pein

    David Von Pein Producer

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  15. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    Competition drives exploration. Whether it was Portugal, Spain, England and France sending out sailing vessels or the U.S. and the Soviets launching missions into space, IMO competition is the "life-force" of exploration. The drive to be there first, to plant your flag is what forced the space program to expand its vision.

    As Chris said above, the snickering and indignant cries when the elder Bush announced a Mars Initiative was a major sign that America was losing the brass needed to move forward. Today, the lack of public outcry over the ever-shrinking NASA budget is sad, but not a surprise. If it doesn't serve an immediate, local purpose (save the owl, build a new highway, bail out a corporation) people aren't interested in it.
     
  16. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    Staying only on earth is like putting all our eggs in one basket. If a situation like a huge f'n meteor coming straight toward us right now were to happen... sure... we would see it. But there would be NOTHING we could do. We are POWERLESS in the universe without the space program.
     
  17. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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  18. Gregory Scott Bass

    Gregory Scott Bass Stunt Coordinator

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    I kind of feel that anyone that does'nt want to quadripple nasa's budget should be declared taliban sympathizers and taken out back and shot! [​IMG]
    ----apologies in advance....hot button issue for me
     
  19. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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  20. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    NASA can do it on it's current budget, they do not need more money, just better money management.
    I say scrap the entire NASA program and start from scratch.
    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     

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