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  • NASA Boss Speech

    My comments on NASA Administrator Mike Griffin's speech to the Space Transportation Association. This basically reiterates what NASA has been saying for the last few years.
    http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/208916main_S..._22_Jan_08.pdf


    * The Shuttle is being dumped in 2010. Comment this means the USA is dropping out of the space race.
    * Americans will go to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2011 on Russian rockets. Comment Embarrassing.
    * (Comment what happens in 2012, 2013, 2014 is undefined.)
    * What happens to the ISS after 2016 when the money runs out is undefined. Comment either NASA gets a very big increase in budget or the ISS will be dropped into the Pacific Ocean.
    * NASA hopes to buy rockets to move cargo, such as food, to the ISS using a program called Commercial Orbital Transportation Services II (COTS II). COTS I consists of NASA giving rocket manufactures a tiny amount of money to design new rockets.
    * Griffin wants to go to Mars.
    * The Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) is being implemented using Project Constellation. This includes a new small rocket (the Crew Launch Vehicle CLV) called Ares_I, a new capsule Orion (also called the Crew Exploration Vehicle CEV) and a heavy-lift launch vehicle known as the Ares_V. A new Moon lander is planned as well.
    * The Moon landing is due in 2020.
    * The Orion is meant to fly on the Ares_I as near to 2010 as possible. Comment the launch has already slipped to 2015.
    * Ares_I and Orion are not meant to be the replacement for the Shuttle but could do it.
    * Griffin does not like the EELV rockets, particularly for launching people. Comment the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) are rockets developed for launching military satellites with a mass of up to 20 - 27 metric tons.


    Comments

    There are rumours coming out of NASA that the Orion is going to weigh about 23 metric tons but the Ares_I can allegedly only safely lift about 15 - 19 metric tons. There is also a major vibration problem (major = will kill the crew) that NASA thinks it can solve.
    (Find alternative and first hand sources before quoting this.)

    The EELV are expensive rockets but they are the only high probability way of getting astronauts to the ISS in 2012 on a "Made in USA" rocket. Cheaper cargo rockets may be nice but they are not urgent.

    To fly people on the EELV either NASA would have to ignore its safety rules or pay for significant design changes to man-rate them.

    The USA has not had a capsule able to carry people since Apollo, the Orion in 2015 (with luck) is too late to be the next one.

    2015 is near the end of the second term of the next US President, a disgraced NASA will be lucky to survive that long.

    2020, the with lots of luck Moon landing year, is the re-election year for the President after that.

    NASA can afford to support one and only one of the ISS, Moon Base or Mars trip with out a big budget increase.

    There is a rival proposal for Moon rockets called DIRECT. The Jupiter-120 would lift the people and the Jupiter-232 heavy cargo like Moon habitats. They claim that the J-120 could fly by 2012.

    http://www.directlauncher.com Direct proposal website
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com
    http://www.nasawatch.com
    Last edited by Andrew_Swallow; 01-23-2008, 08:50 PM.
    Andrew Swallow

  • #2
    Just think where we'd be know if instead of the cold war arms race, the east and west had thrown all those billions into the space race.

    Would we need Iraqi oil (do we now?).

    Imagine how much further we would be with billions spent on the Iraq war put into space too.
    I have the wings for Bingo.

    Comment


    • #3
      The US *still* puts most of its money into arms, compared to the space program. It is as if there is still a cold war going on? What would you need mini-nukes, new attack planes and so on for? Planning for the "end of oil"? (Fallout (computer game) calling...)

      PeAcE
      greetings from austria, best known for its history and fine wine... feels like a wine cellar on a graveyard 8-)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Shr'eshhhhhh View Post
        Would we need Iraqi oil (do we now?).
        Need Iraqi oil?

        UK and USA - No.
        France, Germany, Italy, Japan and China - Yes.
        Andrew Swallow

        Comment


        • #5
          Well Germany builds a gas-pipeline to Russia (under the northsee), so at least part of that problem is solved. And Russia also has some oil... but they (Germany) also want the Turkey-Connection to the Oilfields in Irak.

          But all that is intermediate, until the black stuff runs out... what happens then is everybodies guess.

          PeAcE
          greetings from austria, best known for its history and fine wine... feels like a wine cellar on a graveyard 8-)

          Comment


          • #6
            As your Emperor, (Well, those of you who are US Citizens, anyway) I will triple -at least- NASA's funding. Half that will be used to push development of Orion (and add a Near-Earth Asteroid mission), and the other half for a program for orbiting solar power satellites and ground-based microwave receiving stations, and X-prizes for technology that makes solar cells more efficient.

            Pay for it? Well, once we're supplying our electricity generation needs with the solar farms, we can pay for it by selling our leftover oil to those other countries. When that runs out, we'll sell them our surplus solar electricity.

            Anybody complains, we just refocus one of the microwave stations on them. Ants under a magnifying glass.

            Bwa-ha-ha!
            "It's hard being an evil genius when everybody else is so stupid." -- Quantum Crook, Casey and Andy Webcomic

            Comment


            • #7
              I hearby endorse the Emperors most benificient policies!

              All Hail his Imperial Majesty!

              Hurrah!





              By the way, your new set of clothes is ready for you to wear your captivating magnificence [points to the empty space]
              Last edited by Talwyn; 01-24-2008, 08:44 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I don' need no "new clothes!"

                It's growing the damn hair-crest that's going to be difficult. Especially since my head is on fire.

                It does occur to me that Western Oz would be prime real estate for your own beam-receiving stations...
                "It's hard being an evil genius when everybody else is so stupid." -- Quantum Crook, Casey and Andy Webcomic

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oddly enough with all that's going on (or not) at NASA and after reading this thoroughly depressing thread, I did happen across this interesting little statement made by a physicist from apparently CalTech (I assume since that's his screenname) who was posting and responding to questions from Bob Orci of the new Trek film over at Trekmovie.com:

                  The two things I've always loved about Star Trek are: 1) it's humanity and 2) it's portrayal of our technological future. In terms of the second, one thing that has kept me a fan all these years is its keeping with established physics and it's postulation for where our physics and engineering might eventually go! As a physicist, I can't tell you how close we actually are to making a breakthrough that would lead to the kind of star travel we see in ST.
                  Emphasis mine and he went on to ask his question, would the new film use real scientists to help maintain a sense of realism to which Orci stated most definitely yes.

                  But what obviously slung my jaw rapidly to the proverbial ground upon which causing it to bounce several times what his statement that we're close to star travel. This goes against everything I've seen or read scientists say. They all say it's impossible. I wonder if there isn't some new discovery on the verge and wouldn't that be wonderful?!!!

                  I mean, B5, Trek...all of them really have star travel arriving on the scene by some momentous occurrence or discovery. For B5 it was the discovery of the jump gate and for Trek it was one man discovering how to build a warp engine that actually worked. Genius and accident going hand-in-hand.

                  Could we be on that verge? How would we greet it?

                  CE
                  Anthony Flessas
                  Writer/Producer/Director,
                  SP Pictures


                  I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think maybe the scientist you quoted meant that we have - in theory - the knowledge to make it happen someday soon. And apart from that, who knows what is being developed behind the scenes. Usually, there's about a ten year gap between what we know exists and what is currently being developed.

                    On the question about how we should greet such an enormous opportunity ... I think there are only two possible ways.

                    The first is: We don't at all. Humanity is still far from being smart enough to deal with this kind of technology and someone will try to exploit it. It will just lead to chaos, possibly war. It will be considered "one more resource" to obtain and not as a chance to lay aside our differences and explore space as ONE kind.

                    The second, more optimistic way: Facing the opportunities and the chances that space travel on such a scale would offer, maybe humankind will finally understand that there is but one earth and we all live on it. Maybe the chance of setting out for places "where no man has gone before" (sorry, I know, blasphemy ) will bring humankind to its senses and we will be able to come together and start a new age.

                    Pretty philosophical, sorry for that
                    It's easy to find something worth dying for. Do you have something worth living for?
                    Rule TwentyNine (Blog about B5, politics, environment and much more)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Shr'eshhhhhh View Post

                      Would we need Iraqi oil (do we now?).

                      Imagine how much further we would be with billions spent on the Iraq war put into space too.
                      I'm sorry but this argument doesn't carry water because Nasa has never been overly funded if that money wasn't spent on the war it was would have jsut been spent on some social program that pays out 17 on the dollar but the war is bad. Bush bad and so on. Our government just isn't going to spend money on space like they once did.

                      As for Mike Griffin he's the best NASA Administrator Since Apollo and he cares more about making NASA a great again. He had done this by listening to the Engineers and not the politicians and if we had done that sooner their might be a lot less died astronauts.
                      "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOW - What a RIDE!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Night Marshal View Post
                        I'm sorry but this argument doesn't carry water because Nasa has never been overly funded if that money wasn't spent on the war it was would have jsut been spent on some social program that pays out 17 on the dollar but the war is bad. Bush bad and so on. Our government just isn't going to spend money on space like they once did.

                        As for Mike Griffin he's the best NASA Administrator Since Apollo and he cares more about making NASA a great again. He had done this by listening to the Engineers and not the politicians and if we had done that sooner their might be a lot less died astronauts.
                        Oh I agree,if it wasn't throwing billions at the war it would be throwing billions on ID cards or tax breaks for the mega rich and I'd still be here typing my lament about where we would be if we hadn't spent that money on ... instead of reaching for the stars.

                        One thing is for sure the money would go on the wrong sort of space projects long before it was spent on making the lives of the average person on the street/muddy track as pleasurable and fulfilled as it should be.

                        Some days I'm Marvin The Paranoid Android and some days I think he's just too optimistic.
                        I have the wings for Bingo.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well I know a few astronomers that will free admit that what they do does very little to improve human life but at the same time they are thankful that we as a sociality are willing to fund them and to put value in it.

                          As for NASA I still want more funding to manned space but with the prospect of having people going into space on a private space plane in as soon as 18 mounts I think it is right for NASA goals to much further in the heavens.
                          "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOW - What a RIDE!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Shr'eshhhhhh View Post
                            Just think where we'd be know if instead of the cold war arms race, the east and west had thrown all those billions into the space race..
                            Mmhhh... the Space Race was part of the Cold War...

                            It was not only pride of beating each other to milestones that pushed both the USA and the USSR to explore space... it was the possibility of using satellites and moonbases as potential military platforms and for espionage.


                            Colony Earth
                            Maybe the physicist meant "can't tell" literally, because he can not tell what he does not know?
                            Really, give the slightest chance to a scientist to tell what he knows and the problem will be how much they can tell.
                            Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                            James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Shr'eshhhhhh View Post
                              ...tax breaks for the mega rich.
                              Three questions:

                              If the tax breaks were for the mega rich, how come I got one? I make just over 33K. That ain't mega rich, unless you live in Sudan or somewhere.

                              If you can't give a tax break to the rich, how can you give a tax break to the poor? The bottom 50% of wage earners in the US pay no taxes already. Zero minus zero is still zero.

                              Ever been given a steady, living wage job by a poor person?



                              If you want to really save money, cut waste.

                              25% of Medicaid's yearly pay-outs go to fraudulent claims.

                              Then again, what do I know? I live in a country that once spent $224 million to protect eight flies. Really!
                              "It's hard being an evil genius when everybody else is so stupid." -- Quantum Crook, Casey and Andy Webcomic

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