Customer Discussions > Science Fiction forum

Is NASA On Life Support?


Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 226-250 of 1000 posts in this discussion
Posted on Feb 2, 2010 11:47:36 AM PST
C'mon Ronald. Give her a break on this one. I worked in the computer industry for 35 years and I'm always amazed by the new things I learn even now.

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 11:56:38 AM PST
Sigh, kiss the Moon and Mars goodbye for a while. The latest on the budget fallout is that NASA is to cancel it's Constellation program and work on future enabling technologies. I guess it will work out if they come up with some really good missions once they do all the work, but I guess it's going to be Dullsville for quite some time.

The best positive spin on the new budget that I've seen is over at the Planetary Society at http://www.planetarysociety.org/about/press/releases/2010/0201_Planetary_Society_Welcomes_New_NASA.html

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2010 12:10:57 PM PST
The way I see it, when leaders try to lower horizons even with the best of reasons, they tend to make it hard for a nation to "dare to think big" and "shoot for the stars."

I think it has been remarked by greater minds than mine, but had the United States not waged a war in Vietnam in the 1960s and cooperated with the then-extant Soviet Union more, all the things we saw in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 - at least the space travel part of it - would have come to pass.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2010 3:23:17 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2010 4:02:30 PM PST
Doug says:
"Kiss Mars goodbye for a while?"
I'd say a LOOOOOONG while. If we don't get off this planet now, we will NEVER do it. Here we are, as smart as we have ever been as an example of homo sapiens; between ice ages, tons of resources at our disposal, almost unlimited energy and we have short sighted idiots leading the tribes.
"For better or worse,,, a society GETS the government it DESERVES." author unknown ( at least by mee)
Borat O'bama
Joe Biden
Al Gore
John Edwards
nuff said.........

We pizzed away 860 billion dollars on bailing out other idiots who should have been allowed to go bankrupt gracefully, instead of making them even richer in their lunacy.

Imagine what NASA could have done with 860 billion dollars? Key word is Imagine. We have no more imagination as a society. WaL-E might have been a cartoon, but that was US right now.
Let's see --- couple billion more on the space station. Space docks and shops to build the ion engine.
Couple more billion for a few way-stations on the trip to Mars, and a few more outward toward Europa.
Multiple missions with the new ion ships to the most likely of the extra-solar earth-like planets?
Couple more billion to Livermore for transporters to make the ion ships obsolete?
Dang,,, that leaves 854 billion left yet to spend...
Well,,, wait --- just give NASA another 200 billion, and ...
Sorry, I'm wasting breath, time, and typing.
Just wont happen, but ---

WE COULD DO THIS R I G H T N O W with the money we are squandering on pork and earmarks, and not even strain the economy.
Spin on the new budget? Borat's new budget, just unveiled, is a disaster. He is budgeting programs that aren't even passed yet.
Planetary Society? Carl must be turning over in his grave.
We CAN correct every one of these governmental abuses, and get us firmly on the right path,,, but will we? Much as I'd like to say Yes, I am not optimistic at this point.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2010 3:37:20 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 2, 2010 3:43:34 PM PST]

Posted on Feb 2, 2010 8:39:23 PM PST
All good points, Doug!
(PS..loved Wal-E!)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2010 3:12:26 AM PST
Doug says:
ty - would be nice if we could just DO something about it...

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2010 7:53:38 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
I did note that President Obama has set aside $3.1 billion for a NASA research and development programme to support future heavy-lift rocket systems. In many ways that is as if not more important than a return to the Moon; the Constellation program simply wasn't new enough to drive forward the necessary R&D.

Heavy lift capability is needed to make any major presence in orbit and beyond a possibility.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2010 8:25:53 AM PST
anniewilkes says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2010 9:32:11 AM PST
I, for one, don't buy into that "the end of the world in 2012" hype. I'm sorry, but it's a song I've heard before (a planetary alignment back in the 1980s was going to trigger Doomsday...the End Was Nigh in 2000, etc.) and nothing happened that ended life as we know it or the planet itself. This whole Mayan calendar issue is simply yet another bogus issue that makes for a good sci fi/horror story but that's it.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2010 3:16:49 PM PST
To R. A. Lee:
RE: "...but I guess it's going to be Dullsville for quite some time."

Not necessarily! There's a lot that can be done in cis-lunar space, especially involving space construction of various facilities such as a permanent "space dock" for large spacecraft assembly, a space hotel, a space hospital & research center, to name a few.

By the way, thanks for the link to the Planetary Society website.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2010 3:54:56 PM PST
To anniewilkes:
RE: "...who knows what's gonna happen in 2012."

Oh, no! Another Chicken Little! Didn't people learn anything from the Y2K hype? Apparently not. To paraphrase George H. W. Bush, "Read my lips: no new...DISASTERS!" This is merely more propaganda by the TV & movie industries to get you to watch/rent/buy their (or their sponsors') products. Get a grip! Please!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2010 6:20:00 PM PST
Doug says:
True -- there IS a lot that can be done,,, if we can get the ()_*^&%(% bureaucrats out of the way and let the engineers do what they do best~!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2010 8:01:10 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
Doug,

" there IS a lot that can be done,,, if we can get the ()_*^&%(% bureaucrats out of the way and let the engineers do what they do best~!"

And to do that they need $Billions.

You can announce Moon and Mars programs but no dollars, no mission.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2010 4:32:25 PM PST
Doug says:
No kiddin -- get rid of the bureaucrats and the bean counters... Give NASA the 2/3 of the original 860 billion of stimulus money that hasn't been whizzed away yet.

Posted on Feb 4, 2010 7:06:02 PM PST
Jacob Klaus says:
i dont think we should sell off the remaining shuttles.

Keep One at nasa, put it in a nice pretty hanger to ohhh and ahhh at, pack the other ones full of every scrap of equipment and raw materials you can scrap up, along with the parts for a few more shuttle-compliant docking nodes. Launch these puppies into orbit and bolt them onto the ISS. Instant living space and lab space, along with enough material to fulfill every nasa engineers "things to get into space just in case" list.

They can always be destructively de-orbited later, or even landed, but once the shuttle program is over and the required support structure is sold off as scrap metal, it will become nearly impossible to return to the point we are at now.

that, and my inner sci-fi geek thinks that a space station or revamped moon colony project based around rebuilt Shuttle hulls is awesome.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2010 4:17:51 AM PST
Doug says:
Good idea, Jacob. Just like Boeing, who lays off everybody when a contract expires, it's hard to start up again. Seems to me that if they just kept improving the Shuttle it would be MORE cost effective, than scrapping the whole concept. . . . . .but then again,, that goes against all bureaucratic philosophy.
I'm waiting for the price to come down, so I can park one in my back yard; start it up every once in a while and taxi it around; tick off the neighbors. . .

Posted on Feb 5, 2010 9:30:52 PM PST
I like your thinking. It's a bit like when they cancelled the rest of the Apollo missions, and NASA had a couple of Saturn V's already to go, so they used one of them to create SkyLab.

But don't you think the Space Shuttles are a bit too cramped? MUCH better for taxiing around the neighborhood! Instead go for the Space Hotel that is supposed to be up in 2012. See-> http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5A151N20091102 or http://www.galacticsuite.com/

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 5, 2010 9:55:03 PM PST
Doug says:
Many possibilities; all of them akin to Uncle Joe tinkering in his garage while the rest of the clan is busily engaged in the main mansion with all sorts of social activities amounting to nothing.

The NASA budget and it's priorities should be the Next Biggest Thing after the Defense Budget. They are both most essential to insuring our national survival, and quite possibly the survival of the rest of the planets inhabitants.
This should be readily apparent to the President and to every bureaucrat on down to the local mayor.
That we must continually explain this Fact Of Life illustrates the truism that
"Every society gets the government it deserves."

Maybe we can get ourselves back on track.

I am not optimistic at this point.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010 6:13:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2010 6:13:52 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
"Seems to me that if they just kept improving the Shuttle it would be MORE cost effective, than scrapping the whole concept. . ."

Not really practical: updating the shuttle's software and computers has happened several times, but the airframe and launch configuration prevent any serious re-engineering of the shuttle to enhance its motors. Unfortunately the shuttle configuration of the orbiter strapped to a fuel tank plus two solid chemical rockets was forced by budget and meddling: it isn't what was originally defined and the concept was severely cut back to satisfy financial demands. So: the orbiter was reduced in size and an outboard fuel tank added, from powered flight on return the shuttle became a hypersonic glider, and two strap-on rockets were required for launch. Many of the subsequent failures can be traced to the cut-backs forced on the design engineers.

Whilst STS have performed remarkably well albeit with two catastrophic failures, it is not a suitable basis for improvement. An entirely new spaceplane, closer to the original concept, is required.

It is still in many ways an incredible machine, and to watch a launch from closeby is impressive, but the shuttle was always the orphan child of political compromise.

Posted on Feb 6, 2010 6:22:14 AM PST
All I keep hearing recently is how Obama is the one that killed the moon/mars missions. He wants to take it to a commercial industry. The problem with that is it will be another country getting the profits of said commercial venture. That is the biggest problem we face the out-sourcing of virtually everything from clothes to electronics and now it will be spacecraft. If NASA doesn't have the budget they certainly can't do it without money. Also, where is constellation/orion as far as developement? I was under the impression that they were pretty close with that?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010 6:42:49 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 6, 2010 7:17:11 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
"All I keep hearing recently is how Obama is the one that killed the moon/mars missions."

The sad fact is that although President George Bush announced the Moon Return and a mission to Mars the necessary funding wasn't there, and that is one of the reasons why "constellation/orion" appear to be basically a re-run of earlier missions with nothing very new being developed. Whilst a great deal of paperwork design was in process as well as some engineering work and actual rocket development, it isn't very mature. Without investment such projects won't go very far.

"He wants to take it to a commercial industry."

SpaceX and others are working on reusable launch vehicles (RLVs); the other big commercial companies are Bigelow Aerospace, EADS Astrium (Arianespace SA), Mojave Aerospace Ventures, Rocketplane Kistler, Space Adventures, Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic.

The Delta IV and Atlas V rockets are used for commercial launches; the Russians (International Launch Services) have the Proton, Soyuz, and Zenit, France (Arianespace SA) has the Ariane, China, India and Japan have a number.

And whilst NASA cancelled the X-33 program Lockheed Martin has continued testing and development in what could be a viable alternate to the Constellation program -- and the shuttle. But it also needs investment.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 6, 2010 7:07:16 AM PST
Doug says:
blah blah blah --- The bottom line is

Either the bureaucrats and the bean counters recognize the true importance of NASA and give it the funding it needs,,,,

OR

get out of the way and let the private sector companies that see the importance of space exploration do the job~!~!~!!

Nuff said --

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2010 7:20:45 AM PST
To M. Helsdon:
RE: "Not really practical: updating the shuttle's software and computers has happened several times, but the airframe and launch configuration prevent any serious re-engineering of the shuttle to enhance its motors....Many of the subsequent failures can be traced to the cut-backs forced on the design engineers.

Whilst STS have performed remarkably well albeit with two catastrophic failures, it is not a suitable basis for improvement. An entirely new spaceplane, closer to the original concept, is required."

Right on! Thanks for that cogent and lucid summing up.

Posted on Feb 13, 2010 6:39:55 AM PST
M. Helsdon says:
WHEN NASA's Viking landers touched down on Mars, they were looking for signs of life. Instead, all their cameras showed was a dry, dusty - and entirely barren - landscape.

Or so it seemed. But what the 1976 Viking mission, and every subsequent one, saw was a scene littered with rocks coated with a dark, highly reflective sheen. That coating looks a lot like a substance known on Earth as "rock varnish", found in arid regions similar to those on Mars. The latest evidence hints that rock varnish is formed by bacteria. Could there be microbes on Mars making such material too?

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20527471.200-martian-sheen-life-on-the-rocks.html
‹ Previous 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 ... 53 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in
 


Recent discussions in the Science Fiction forum

Discussion Replies Latest Post
Announcement
Read fresh new science fiction stories - and help take them to the next level
6 May 20, 2015
Announcement
Important announcement from Amazon
190 Jul 2, 2014
Announcement
New Star Wars Release: The Jedi Path now available. Read the author's insider notes...
29 Sep 24, 2014
It's July 2015. What sci-fi book are you reading? 4 1 hour ago
Kindle Unlimited: Science Fiction Recommendations 116 7 hours ago
Too many female authors flooding sci fi , fantasy books 238 3 days ago
Help with space opera book name please 3 9 days ago
Looking for Recommendations - Dystopian reading 34 10 days ago
If you had input into a story... 10 13 days ago
blade runner? 16 15 days ago
Science-Fiction and comic book convenion story's. 0 15 days ago
Your Favorite Science-Fiction books and films of the year? 41 16 days ago
 

This discussion

Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  99
Total posts:  1309
Initial post:  Sep 19, 2009
Latest post:  Sep 15, 2013

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.
Tracked by 6 customers

Search Customer Discussions