NASA just about pork?

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DarkenedOne

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Something has been bothering me about our space program. Why is it that the Russians are able to maintain the capability to transport humans into space with their $2.4 billion budget when NASA with its $17.6 billion budget cannot? Now it has gotten even worse. Now the Chinese with a estimated budget of $1.3 billion have and maintain this basic capability as well.

Now one can say that the Russians benefit from a great deal of heritage hardware, infrastructure, and personal that they got from the Soviet Union. However the Chinese do not have this benefit. The US and the Russians have the benefit of having almost half a century more experience in space than the Chinese do.

I just cannot understand what has happened to the US space program. People always say that the lack of results and capability is due to a lack of money. However there are plenty of space programs that have a small fraction of the money NASA has and yet they have no problem maintaining the basic capability of transporting crew and cargo into and from space.

Is it just me or does it seem that it cost NASA 10 time more for the exact same capability that it costs everyone else.
 
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planetling

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IMO, our country has become defined by waste, lack of direction, lack of trust and greed. We Americans complain but do nothing about it. Our govt. cuts deals to promote offshore companies and the exportation of jobs. We are such war-mongers not only abroad, but also here in our own country, that it justifies abandoning the constitution.

Russia, China and other countries recognize that positive thinking, but more importantly, specific direction is required to obtain specific results. Our country has become bored of, and quite literally, just sick and tired of those philosophies.

Great question DarkenedOne, maybe somebody will let me in on the politically correct answer.
 
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FictionBecomesFact

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In light of NASA's wastefulness as chronicled and documented at sites such as:

http://www.spaceprojects.com

the U.S. federal government is being forced to open more procurement up to competitive prizes bidding:

http://www.nasa.gov/challenge

http://www.Challenge.gov

Too little too late, though. The USA's wasteful policies are collapsing under their own weight:

http://www.usdebtclock.org

Notice how our $13 trillion dollar national debt doesn't even include social security, medicare and prescription drugs "entitlements" for the elderly? With those included, our debt's $54 trillion and counting. Annual Gross Domestic Product is only around $14 trillion though. We're bankrupt if we don't abolish such vote-buying entitlemente programs, but retirees want a life of leisure and they're willing to dishonestly claim that one awaits us if we simply pay into their Ponzi scheme.

Secession is likely necessary to awaken Washington D.C. from its drunken pork-fest:

http://www.Seceder.com .

Or might you perhaps disagree? If so, might you have statistics to back your defense of NASA or do you simply receive subsidies (if not a salary) from that underachieving bureaucratic quagmire?
 
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kk434

Guest
The OP is absolutelly right, NASA stuff always costs 10 times as much as other space agencies. Tha japanese solar sail is a good example it was cheap and still very advanced.
 
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raptorborealis

Guest
Lots of misunderstanding in the above posts...i'm not even an american and and can see the short sightedness in the remarks.

There is a reason why the USA dominates Nobel prizes in science....often sweeps them

In part it is because of institutions like Nasa....it's also because of research by the military...by the NHS...by the EPA, etc.
Name the science and the USA probably dominates it.

-space
-physics
-medicine
-computer tecnology
-weapons technology
-aviation technology
-genetics..
-agicultural

Where do the brightest in the world go to study? do research?....Harvard, MIT, Berkely Stanford... and a hundred other top notch american institutions.

All that 'stuff' Nasa does isn't in a vacuum...it's a stewing pot for the brightest brains in the country. Brains that come and go to Boeing, Microsoft, Ford, GE, and every other niche where technology happens. 20 billion is peanuts for the return. Sure, China can send up a few guys in a rocket...after the Nasa developed most of the basic understanding of the technology needed. Japan can work on solar sails onlty because of advanceds of physics in the USA.

Hats off to the Russians. they hit a home run with their manned rocket design. But it's 'one' home run. Don't look at them to do much else in the next decade. they just don't have the infrastructure that Nasa provides as a base for cutting edge technology. I'm not a fan of the Shuttle but it's the type of project the only Nasa can take on. other countries can 'dabble' but only the USA can taske on the big stuff.

As for space costs in China. Come on, get real. Why do you think that wristwatch in Walmart costs $2.99.
 
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SteveCNC

Guest
I am sitting around the middle ground on this one , yes NASA wastes a lot of money doing things the cost plus way . If they looked around there are plenty of ISO9001 certified companies around willing to step up and do it for a hard line quote . I think part of the problem is it's so ingrained into the system on how to funnel money into certain places that it's hard to weed it out . It starts with congress and flows down hill from there .

Yes they do a lot of great work and I suppose with how much money they used to toss around they darn well should be great . The problem is in these times of unemployment and recession and all they need to stick to a realistic budget and that means hard line quotes are what needs to happen to get things done , no more cost plus !
 
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docm

Guest
IMO -

Line engineers at NASA are about the mission. Git 'er done, son.

UNFORTUNATELY they have to deal with missions as defined by the President, his appointed lackeys and Congress, and the latter is definitely more interested in pork than anything else.

Because of this those line engineers, God love 'em, end up trying like hell to make silk purses out of sows ears.
 
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SteveCNC

Guest
docm":20tmy9uc said:
IMO -

Line engineers at NASA are about the mission. Git 'er done, son.

UNFORTUNATELY they have to deal with missions as defined by the President, his appointed lackeys and Congress, and the latter is definitely more interested in pork than anything else.
I'm sure your right about that , congress is who says where pork money goes not NASA , I would be willing to bet that the people that actually work for nasa are a very small percentage of the budget and a huge portion goes to certain places designated by congress for projects that may or may not actually produce anything .
 
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FictionBecomesFact

Guest
NASA doles out contracts largely at its own discretion after Congress appropriates the funds (our tax dollars) to NASA. NASA officials often try to by elected officials' support with such money, at our expense (and the space program's).

The Russians did space stations much more economically than NASA, too:

http://www.spaceprojects.com/Mir
 
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