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US turns their back on NASA space program


Malbekh

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Apr 30, 2009
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More worryingly the 'greatest nation on earth' will be borrowing Soyuz spacecraft until 2015 as it will no longer have the means of reaching the International Space Station. Indeed, the perspective now is to use private companies to develop the technology to get NASA astronauts into Space.

While I understand the economic reasons to do so, this ties in with the recent US modus operandi that risks are no longer acceptable when it comes to breaking new boundaries. Exploration of Space needs to be under the auspices of governments, particularly governments which are accountable.

As a race, we are at our best looking forward onto new horizons using our brains and talents to get us there. These days we seem to be regressing into ourselves on the web and other conduits of nothingness.

Implications of budget cuts - Times Online
 

ivnryn

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Indeed, the perspective now is to use private companies to develop the technology to get NASA astronauts into Space.
That doesn't count as turning its back on space, merely trying a new approach.

Exploration of Space needs to be under the auspices of governments, particularly governments which are accountable.
Private activity in space is a good idea. The exact balance is open to question, but having private companies design and build the systems seems perfectly reasonable. Does the fact that airlines aren't government made mean that they have turned their back on air travel?
 

jcdf

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I think this is a good idea! As far as I can see a human base on the moon would serve no practical basis and cost a fortune.

Space exploration will continue the way it should via increasingly sophisticated robots. Outer space is not a human friendly place.

One of the greatest most expensive obstacles to current space exploration is our own atmosphere. We need to find away to get objects a few hundred miles up more cheaply and reliably than we can now. The private sector, which is more innovative, is most likely to accomplish this.
 

Cassandra Syndrome

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Well thankfully the proposed moon landings have been put on hold. I hear the aliens who live on the darkside of the moon are a tad touchy.....
 

Malbekh

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That doesn't count as turning its back on space, merely trying a new approach.



Private activity in space is a good idea. The exact balance is open to question, but having private companies design and build the systems seems perfectly reasonable. Does the fact that airlines aren't government made mean that they have turned their back on air travel?
Flying has either been a military or commercial activity, space exploration has many military uses (satellites for example), but primarily it has been about the advancement of mankind, civilisation or for national worth.

There are potential commercial uses in reusable spacecraft as an advance on current aircraft technology, but when it comes to space programs that involve exploration of the moon or Mars for example, that should be left to the likes of NASA.

You've seen The Right Stuff as a movie? That's what I'm talking about here, turning your back on what once made the US. For me, this is a defining moment for that country, and it ain't a good one.
 

Malbekh

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Apr 30, 2009
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3,032
I think this is a good idea! As far as I can see a human base on the moon would serve no practical basis and cost a fortune.

Space exploration will continue the way it should via increasingly sophisticated robots. Outer space is not a human friendly place.

The private sector, which is more innovative, is most likely to accomplish this.
There are many practical uses for a base on the Moon or even Mars as only achieving these (modest) goals can mankind hope to evolve into a space-faring species. The benefits from being able to mine and refine minerals, gases and other elements within our own solar system is a obvious one.

Private sector is interested in 1) money and 2) their shareholders. Not therefore the benefit of mankind.
 

truthforsooth

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Mar 13, 2009
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Surely it's good that any government focus its (at the moment quite limited) resources on improving matters within its own terra firma rather than spending money on a project such as moon-landing, the most deliverable benefit of which is national pride / vanity?
 

soubresauts

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Jun 2, 2007
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3,103
Space exploration will continue the way it should via increasingly sophisticated robots. Outer space is not a human friendly place.
I'm inclined to agree with this. Apparently the Apollo astronauts were lucky they didn't run into solar wind. While my imagination is really fired by the idea of landing on Mars, and I kind of want NASA to do it, with help from Russia, India, China, etc., the risks would be enormous. And then there are the financial issues, with the American economy in meltdown.

One of the greatest most expensive obstacles to current space exploration is our own atmosphere. We need to find away to get objects a few hundred miles up more cheaply and reliably than we can now. The private sector, which is more innovative, is most likely to accomplish this.
Perhaps the space elevator is the way.
 

toughbutfair

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May 28, 2009
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the risk of loss of life shouldn't be an issue - take precautions of course, but Europeans would never have discovered America, or Australia if the death of a sailor from scurvy was a national tragedy. This is a price of exploration.

Can the EU and USA do a partnership?
 

kerrynorth

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Oct 5, 2005
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jmcc

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Jun 12, 2004
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where does this leave theFAS space cadets?
They can contact the cabinet's own space cadet about unemployment benefits. Coughlan has a habit of arranging astronomical severance packages for FAS types.

Regards...jmcc
 

Catalpa

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Jun 10, 2004
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10,301
More worryingly the 'greatest nation on earth' will be borrowing Soyuz spacecraft until 2015 as it will no longer have the means of reaching the International Space Station. Indeed, the perspective now is to use private companies to develop the technology to get NASA astronauts into Space.

While I understand the economic reasons to do so, this ties in with the recent US modus operandi that risks are no longer acceptable when it comes to breaking new boundaries. Exploration of Space needs to be under the auspices of governments, particularly governments which are accountable.

As a race, we are at our best looking forward onto new horizons using our brains and talents to get us there. These days we seem to be regressing into ourselves on the web and other conduits of nothingness.

Implications of budget cuts - Times Online
Bad move on Obama's part and not very politically astute either.

Americans are rightly proud of their Space Programme and the spectacle of US Astronauts relying on having to hitch a lift into Space on the back of some Commie Rocket will not go down too well with the folks back home.

Developing the Space program is a win/win situation and gains America a lot of prestige and goodwill around the World.

TBH though I think robotics, 'intelligent' computers (HAL?) and miniturisation should really be pushed hard over the next few decades in Space exploration.

The successful development of those technologies would cut the cost of Human Space travel quite a bit IMO.

Rush Limbaugh and the boys are going to be thanking their lucky stars tonight for this gift from the heavens ...

- er I mean the White House!
 
Joined
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And no doubt China will increase their spending into space exploration and will take the moon for the red communist flag sometime between now and 2015.
 

CookieMonster

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Feb 19, 2005
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Our second great goal is to build on America's pioneer spirit...and that's to develop that frontier. A sparkling economy spurs initiatives, sunrise industries and makes older ones more competitive.
Nowhere is this more important than our next frontier: space. Nowhere do we so effectively demonstrate our technological leadership and ability to make life better on Earth. The Space Age is barely a quarter of a century old. But already we've pushed civilization forward with our advances in science and technology. Opportunities and jobs will multiply as we cross new thresholds of knowledge and reach deeper into the unknown.

Our progress in space, taking giant steps for all mankind, is a tribute to American teamwork and excellence. Our finest minds in government, industry and academia have all pulled together. And we can be proud to say: We are first; we are the best; and we are so because we're free.

America has always been greatest when we dared to be great. We can reach for greatness again. We can follow our dreams to distant stars, living and working in space for peaceful, economic, and scientific gain. Tonight, I am directing NASA to develop a permanently manned space station and to do it within a decade.

A space station will permit quantum leaps in our research in science, communications, and in metals and lifesaving medicines which could be manufactured only in space. We want our friends to help us meet these challenges and share in their benefits. NASA will invite other countries to participate so we can strengthen peace, build prosperity, and expand freedom for all who share our goals.

Just as the oceans opened up a new world for clipper ships and Yankee traders, space holds enormous potential for commerce today. The market for space transportation could surpass our capacity to develop it. Companies interested in putting payloads into space must have ready access to private sector launch services. The Department of Transportation will help an expendable launch services industry to get off the ground. We'll soon implement a number of executive initiatives, develop proposals to ease regulatory constraints, and, with NASA's help, promote private sector investment in space.
 

jcdf

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There are many practical uses for a base on the Moon or even Mars as only achieving these (modest) goals can mankind hope to evolve into a space-faring species. The benefits from being able to mine and refine minerals, gases and other elements within our own solar system is a obvious one.

Private sector is interested in 1) money and 2) their shareholders. Not therefore the benefit of mankind.
Yes I agree that mankind must first establish a Moon and or Mars base in order to become a space-faring species. Mining and refining of minerals within our solar system will also be necessary towards establishing our space-faring status. I believe that this will come about naturally once certain prerequisite technologies have been developed.

The private sector can aid in the development of many of these necessary technologies and is currently doing so. The private sector is responsible for the microchip in our laptop computers without which we would not be able to have this chat.
 
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