Obama withdraws funding for constellation

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Tritium

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NASA goes into research and development mode to find better propulsion systems,life support/habitat/radiation shielding,etc..Private business:Boeing,Paragon,Orbital,Virgin,Space X,Bigelow,United Launch,Blue Origin,United Launch,Sierra Nevada,etc. take over and get humans into space from USA based companies faster than the government ever could.Very soon we will see the ISS being resupplied by Dragon cargo,and Dragon manned capsules from Space X.VirginGalactic may use it's Whiteknightwo to lift Sierra Nevada's Dreamchaser into LEO,etc.

Long story short:Capitalism will propel humankind into space where federally funded NASA left off. :ugeek:
 
M

menellom

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I don't think it's quite as clear cut as that Tritium.

As with most things in this country I believe it will turn out that the best approach is finding a balance between the public and private sector. I believe what we'll see develop over the next decade is a sort of symbiotic relationship develop. NASA break ground in R&D, the private industry will find a way to take the technology developed and make it affordable (relative term when discussing space exploration). The private industry will develop LEO while NASA blazes the trail beyond.
 
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dreada5

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I will miss Constellation, as the prospect of returning to the moon for good was exciting, but these are still exciting times!

To think that within a decade the private sector could be providing space taxi services to ISS, regular sub-orbital trips for tourists, lunar fly-bys and possibly space hotels! This is the start of something great, this is pivotal, this is sci-fi becoming sci-fact if you think of all those movies you've seen with private companies routinely flying people up to LEO!

There's no real future, with government controlled settling of the solar system, government moon bases, colonies etc... yes the nation could be proud that it was first to the Moon, first to Mars, first to Titan, but whats the point of "firsts" if nothing sustainable follows? Nothing has followed Apollo, no lunar hotels, no lunar mining and the moon remains uninhabited, and exploration thereof as challenging and as costly as ever. This traditionalist approach will keep space off-limits to the general public for a long time yet; and keep space firmly within the domain of big, inefficient government for even longer.

Obama's "cost-cutting" proposed budget, is inadvertently providing the opportunity for private industry to catch up and really be part of the final frontier, conquer LEO, conquer Earth-Moon space; all while NASA gets the money to go figure out why in the year 2010 we can't get to Mars in a couple weeks or have closed-loop life support systems or compact nuclear reactors! Yes it feels like we've been here before when Goldin and O'Keefe were Administrators, but you didn't have SpaceX, VG, Bigelow around back then with plans and capability as developed as theirs.

Undoubtedly, the space operations workforce that would have been responsible for Ares vehicles will need to be retrained/reskilled or employed supporting private sector ops; but ultimately, I don't mind mankind hanging around in LEO or Cis-lunar space a bit longer if it means we realize these commercial opportunities within the next 10-15 years.

Thoughts?
 
H

History_101

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It has been said that "Necessity is the Mother of Invention".
Mark my words folks... with out a
MISSION, NASA (USA) will end up going no-where fast! :cry:
 
B

Brabyns

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Obama is very short sighted not to support going back to the moon soon as possible. Beaming back solar energy is worth going back it on its own. With all our eggs in one basket how long have we got to be fiddling away precious time?
 
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neutrino78x

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dreada5":14p1vxlk said:
Obama's "cost-cutting" proposed budget, is inadvertently providing the opportunity for private industry to catch up and really be part of the final frontier, conquer LEO, conquer Earth-Moon space; all while NASA gets the money to go figure out why in the year 2010 we can't get to Mars in a couple weeks or have closed-loop life support systems or compact nuclear reactors!
It is not inadvertent; that is exactly the intention. He wants private companies to do routine LEO flights, and NASA to do deep space exploration and colonization.

--Brian
 
T

Tritium

Guest
neutrino78x":2bnx00rf said:
dreada5":2bnx00rf said:
Obama's "cost-cutting" proposed budget, is inadvertently providing the opportunity for private industry to catch up and really be part of the final frontier, conquer LEO, conquer Earth-Moon space; all while NASA gets the money to go figure out why in the year 2010 we can't get to Mars in a couple weeks or have closed-loop life support systems or compact nuclear reactors!
It is not inadvertent; that is exactly the intention. He wants private companies to do routine LEO flights, and NASA to do deep space exploration and colonization.

--Brian
And this is exactly what needs to happen at this time to keep it all going forward.NASA still has plenty of bucks to do research and design for deep space and colonization of Mars,private companies get going and find additional innovations which add together towards a stepping stone approach to a Lunar base,and a Martian colony.
 
V

vulture4

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The only way we could continue shuttle flights is if a lot of people in a lot of very important positions admit they were wrong.
Charlie Bolden is, to my knowledge, the first NASA administrator ever to admit he was wrong about anything, so the possibility is still open.
 
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rockett

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vulture4":u1tyeoql said:
Charlie Bolden is, to my knowledge, the first NASA administrator ever to admit he was wrong about anything, so the possibility is still open.
Charlie Bolden also says in interviews flatly that the President is his boss, not Congress.
 
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neutrino78x

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To me, a "goal" would be "land men on the moon in less than 8 years" or "land men on an asteroid in less than 8 years". It has to be doable, concrete, and short term, preferably within one Presidential term.

--Brian
 
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rockett

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neutrino78x":355qd2u6 said:
To me, a "goal" would be "land men on the moon in less than 8 years" or "land men on an asteroid in less than 8 years". It has to be doable, concrete, and short term, preferably within one Presidential term.

--Brian
The LAST thing we need is more "boots and flags", we all know what happened after Apollo. What we need is a sustainable long term presence in space. That means building the infrastructure to maintain it.

We could be on the moon again within weeks of throwing together another lunar lander. We could carry it up in the Shuttle and loft a booster for inserting it into lunar orbit.
http://www.nss.org/settlement/moon/ELA.html
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/humeturn.htm

That would be just as much a dead end as Apollo turned out to be.
 
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neutrino78x

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rockett":2o25190f said:
The LAST thing we need is more "boots and flags", we all know what happened after Apollo. What we need is a sustainable long term presence in space. That means building the infrastructure to maintain it.
Yes, but I want the majority of activity in space to be private merchants, not Navy/NASA. The government should only be sending astronauts for specific missions that accomplish missions which cannot be done with robots, such as colonization.

In other words, NASA might send men to an asteroid to test ways of getting there for the purpose of diverting one if necessary, but any mining operations should (imho) be done by private miners.

We could be on the moon again within weeks of throwing together another lunar lander. We could carry it up in the Shuttle and loft a booster for inserting it into lunar orbit.
http://www.nss.org/settlement/moon/ELA.html
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/humeturn.htm
That wouldn't bother me. We should have habitation modules, and a fleet of fully reusable NASA heavy lift boosters. Thus, if you want to go the moon, you take a habitation module, and add an Earth Departure Stage with enough fuel to go to the Moon, then you launch that from Earth. If you want to go to Mars, you take a habitation module and attach an EDS with enough fuel to go to Mars. I would want a future where men are going into space every day. That much activity would require infrastructure to be built, over time.

However, with any of these activities, the primary goal would not be science. Science can be done with robots. You send humans when humans are needed, not just for the sake of having humans there for general purposes. So, if our intention in putting a NASA base on the moon is to create a commercial presence there for tourism, industry, etc., fine. But if the purpose is just to explore, we don't need to send humans there to do that.

That would be just as much a dead end as Apollo turned out to be.
Apollo turned out to be a dead end, in my opinion, because there is no colonization to do there. It doesn't have the natural resources that Mars has. The only reason to go to the Moon is science, and possibly space tourism, but neither of those require NASA astronauts. If you want to put a radio telescope there, for example, that could be done with robots. Hence, we didn't have a compelling reason to continue going to the moon.

With Mars, on the other hand, if you want to go there and declare some section of it to be US soil, so people can buy land and go there to raise a family, build businesses, etc., that would require sending humans.

From the same web site you cited, Robert Zubrin wrote:

The Case for Colonizing Mars

An idea which he expands upon, and gives specific engineering ideas also, in his book The Case for Mars.

--Brian
 
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rockett

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neutrino78x":3osbram4 said:
Yes, but I want the majority of activity in space to be private merchants, not Navy/NASA. The government should only be sending astronauts for specific missions that accomplish missions which cannot be done with robots, such as colonization.

In other words, NASA might send men to an asteroid to test ways of getting there for the purpose of diverting one if necessary, but any mining operations should (imho) be done by private miners.
First you have to prove it commercially viable. We have yet to do that after 50 years. All that time, and we are just now getting a few start-ups interested in lofting payloads to LEO (with goverment subsidies).
neutrino78x":3osbram4 said:
That wouldn't bother me. We should have habitation modules, and a fleet of fully reusable NASA heavy lift boosters.
We can't support them. Not on .52% of the national budget.
neutrino78x":3osbram4 said:
I would want a future where men are going into space every day. That much activity would require infrastructure to be built, over time.
It will only happen if we can find a less expensive way to LEO.
neutrino78x":3osbram4 said:
However, with any of these activities, the primary goal would not be science. Science can be done with robots. You send humans when humans are needed, not just for the sake of having humans there for general purposes. So, if our intention in putting a NASA base on the moon is to create a commercial presence there for tourism, industry, etc., fine. But if the purpose is just to explore, we don't need to send humans there to do that.
We have a lot of "science" to do yet, just to keep humans alive in space long term. I think you are, for some strange reason, not considering astrobiology as a science. You simply can't do the science without humans in that arena.
neutrino78x":3osbram4 said:
Apollo turned out to be a dead end, in my opinion, because there is no colonization to do there. It doesn't have the natural resources that Mars has. The only reason to go to the Moon is science, and possibly space tourism, but neither of those require NASA astronauts. If you want to put a radio telescope there, for example, that could be done with robots. Hence, we didn't have a compelling reason to continue going to the moon.
The reason Apollo died, is because the American people had the attitude of "been there done that", no other reason. After the fiirst couple of lunar landings, Americans, lost interest. We beat the Russians, end of story. This is an inherent problem with any "boots and flags" approach. I lived through that era and watched it. There just was no popular support for a moon base. As for the resources you keep continually bringing up, they can all be procured elsewhere, without the gravity well and distance penalty (meaning, lunar, asteroids, etc.) I really would like to know where there is any advantage in resources that can't be procured elsewhere.
neutrino78x":3osbram4 said:
With Mars, on the other hand, if you want to go there and declare some section of it to be US soil, so people can buy land and go there to raise a family, build businesses, etc., that would require sending humans.
Once again (I forget how many times):
1. You can't realistically claim Mars. As a country we can't support it, can't afford it, can't protect it. Therefore, you can claim it all you want, but can't sustain the claim.
2. Nobody is going to invest trillions of dollars for someone else to have "40 acres and a mule", period. Any congressman that even brought it up, would very quickly be silenced, either by his/her colleagues, or by being voted out of office (if not laughed out).
3. No individuals, not even the most wealthy, are going to do what you propose (as far as buying land) and even if they would, even they couldn't afford to. Especially when they could get the same thing buying land in Arizona or the Australian Outback, have the same quality of land, with air, with water, and with convenient shopping.

The only way we are ever going to have sustainable colonies, is as a gradual outgrowth, over an extremely long time, of infrastructure building, commercial developoment, and exploiting other resources elsewhere for many years. There is simply way too much "low hanging fruit" in this solar system, that doesn't require dragging it up through a gravity well and atmosphere. There are simply way too many rocks floating around that are only marginally less habitable than Mars.

As for terraforming, once again, nobody is going to start an investment that has anywhere from a 150 yr to 50,0000 yr ROI. That doesn't even address the people that think such a thing is a criminal idea and we should keep Mars "pristine", cause it is against nature.
 
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neutrino78x

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rockett":31dkgx1j said:
First you have to prove it commercially viable.
The government doesn't prove things commercially viable; private enterprise does.

rockett":31dkgx1j said:
neutrino78x":31dkgx1j said:
That wouldn't bother me. We should have habitation modules, and a fleet of fully reusable NASA heavy lift boosters.
We can't support them. Not on .52% of the national budget.
See the Direct 3.0 Launcher (which has nothing to do with Robert Zubrin; it is a group of NASA engineers who came up with an idea to make a heavy lifter with space shuttle technology).

The reason Apollo died, is because the American people had the attitude of "been there done that", no other reason.
Exactly. If you want to just do science, you are always going to run into that problem.

Hence, astronauts should only be sent into space if there is a reason apart from science. Colonization, for example.

1. You can't realistically claim Mars. As a country we can't support it, can't afford it, can't protect it. Therefore, you can claim it all you want, but can't sustain the claim.
With Mars Direct, yes, we can. Mars Direct can be done with current technology. All you have to do is make a heavy lifter, and Direct 3.0 is a mere reconfiguration of Shuttle technology.

You don't even really need the heavy lifter, if you want to send some modules up with Falcon 9 (for example).

But the heavy lifter makes it easier.

2. Nobody is going to invest trillions of dollars for someone else to have "40 acres and a mule", period. Any congressman that even brought it up, would very quickly be silenced, either by his/her colleagues, or by being voted out of office (if not laughed out).
What do you think all those congressmen who want a goal of going to Mars are talking about? They are talking about colonizing Mars. Everybody agrees this should be the goal. They just disagree on the pace. btw 40 acres and a mule was about compensating former slaves, so that has no relation to this.

As for terraforming, once again, nobody is going to start an investment that has anywhere from a 150 yr to 50,0000 yr ROI. That doesn't even address the people that think such a thing is a criminal idea and we should keep Mars "pristine", cause it is against nature.
Those people would not be living on Mars, hence it would not be their choice. Terraforming is something that the Martians would do. That is a very long term deal, centuries. Colonizing Mars can be done in this generation, with the technology of this generation.

--Brian
 
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nimbus

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neutrino78x":35q57sf0 said:
Colonizing Mars can be done in this generation, with the technology of this generation.

--Brian
Possible yes, but how plausible is the budget for it?
 
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neutrino78x

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nimbus":xv5u38ah said:
neutrino78x":xv5u38ah said:
Colonizing Mars can be done in this generation, with the technology of this generation.

--Brian
Possible yes, but how plausible is the budget for it?
If you do it the "build the USS Enterprise NCC-1701D in orbit, then go to Mars at 90% the speed of light, and send small landers down to make a colony" way, then no, it is not plausible. :roll:

If you do it the proper way, the Mars Direct way, it is completely plausible. :)

You have to do these things in a lean, sustainable way.

Mars Direct sends a small machine ahead of the humans, to make the fuel for the return trip. Once that is done, then the humans go, with only the fuel to go one way. No orbital assembly, no VASIMR, no stopping at the Moon to refuel, no fuel depots, none of that. Just chemical rockets, launched from the Earth directly to Mars.

You can use the same modules, with different components attached, to go to the Moon or an asteroid. You can send these modules often, one year you go to the Moon, the next to Mars, then to the moon again, if you want.

But the key is that NASA should not be trying to build the Enterprise (yet). Lean and nimble.

When Zubrin wrote the book The Case for Mars, he estimated the cost to be $55 billion over ten years. So $5.5 billion a year, easily within the NASA budget.

Zubrin should be the NASA administrator. I am disappointed that a President who was going to name Gupta from CNN to be the Surgeon General did not ask Zubrin to be the NASA administrator... :)

--Brian
 
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HopDavid

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neutrino78x":1rpc3h0c said:
nimbus":1rpc3h0c said:
neutrino78x":1rpc3h0c said:
Colonizing Mars can be done in this generation, with the technology of this generation.

--Brian
Possible yes, but how plausible is the budget for it?
If you do it the proper way, the Mars Direct way, it is completely plausible. :)
Ummmm. . . No.
 
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rockett

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HopDavid":3nvxmwz9 said:
Ummmm. . . No.
I happen to agree with you. There are simply too many unknowns, and too much to be developed.

The "refuel module" for example. What if something goes wrong with it while you are en-route? You've spent the majority of your fuel, and there won't be enough to return when you get there? It also makes your return totally dependent on landing, no aborting the mission like Apollo 13 did. A very high risk strategy.

A good example is when Mars Phoenix Lander had problems with of all things, sifting grids, yet this was a major headache. Simple tech, low tech, but in the case of a processing facility, it could be a show stopper.
 
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EarthlingX

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About Zubrin :



Somebody could put Venus on this picture .. nah, then you would have to put all of the other options too, too cluttered ..

Whenever you get on the flat land, you have to get up again. Two unnecessary trips, when you are starting.

For the same amount of energy spent landing and taking off from Mars, with only people, and maybe a box of samples, you could haul tons of stuff from Phobos and Deimos, or just process it there, not far, dV wise, from LEO.
You could put a bunch of tele-operated bots on the Mars too, they don't need to come back, and you could toy with them, to the full extent, without trans-planetary lag. No more programming moves for a day ahead, and then checking what happened, but driving like a ...

You could, of course, use similar trick for Moon and Venus.

experimental example :
NASA : Avatar Explore: Autonomous Robotic Operations Performed from the ISS (Avatar_Explore)
Research Summary
* Avatar Explore: Autonomous Robotic Operations Performed from the ISS (Avatar Explore) involves an astronaut onboard the ISS operating a four-wheeled rover as it scans the Mars Emulation Terrain located at the Canadian Space Agency headquarters for a possible geothermal source.
* The crewmember will evaluate data through a graphical user interface rendered on a laptop. This interface features a map of the MET and displays the location of the rover.
* Avatar Explore is the first terrestrial rover ever controlled from space.
 
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rockett

Guest
Articles from and about the House Hearings:

Aderholt criticizes Obama space budget as 'reckless'
http://www.al.com/news/huntsvilletimes/local.ssf?/base/news/1269422118119060.xml&coll=1

Bolden: Constellation Program needs to die
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/space/os-nasa-administrator-testifies-20100323,0,380751.story

Briefs: Space hearings; Edgar Mitchell & fixing NASA; NASA and health care bill aftermath
http://yooxe.com/briefs-space-hearings-edgar-mitchell-fixing-nasa-nasa-and-health-care-bill-aftermath/
 
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edkyle99

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