Tough call, but I picked the second option. I think the CEV will likely be developed for ISS flights, but I don't know if we'll see much more than that. The heavy lift vehicle is so far out in the future that a lot can change between now and then.
Anything is possible. But the only thing that is going to really destroy this program (and NO it isn't either the shuttle nor the ISS) is going to be large cuts in NASA's budgets. Anyone with any degree of intelligence at all realizes that totally eliminating NASA's ENTIRE budget is going to do literally nothing to help balance the federal budget. NASA's entire budget is only about 3% of the deficit itself, and less then 0.7 % of the entire federal budget! So the incredibly false argument that cutting NASA's budget is going to have any affect on the federal deficit is just plain BULL!!<br /><br />Actually, as NASA is one of the very few true INVESTMENTS in the future instead of a total EXPENSE of the federal government, it SHOULD get at least modest increases. While I don't really expect congress to suddenly adopt a farseeing attitude, I can at least hope for a modest look ahead.<br /><br />Now, as to the private interests just taking over and beating NASA back to the moon and on to Mars, where is the profit to private industry in doing that? Remember that private industry investor types NEVER do anything that does not result in profits! NEVER! NEVER! NEVER! If you do NOT realize this simple fact of capitalistic life then you need to go back to school and take Economics 101! It just DOES NOT happen!<br /><br />Now, it might just happen that at least Burt Rutan will indeed make short hops into sub orbital space profitable. And if you think that accidents in NASA's programs are a problem, you wait and see what happens if there are ANY such problems with a very marginalized (at least for profit) program for space tousism. This is why there is still such a need for the insurance program of NASA's human space flight program. I mean if there were no ISS then where would the last three space tourists have gone to?<br /><br />Now, I would be more than happy to see pure private efforts be very, very successful! No problem. But it is a long way from sub orbital flights
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Actually, as NASA is one of the very few true INVESTMENTS in the future instead of a total EXPENSE of the federal government<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Dunno .. DARPA just obtained FIVE working robotic offroader designs for a mere 2 million plus event organizing costs. Of course, they had to wait a year, and last years attempts <i>appeared</i> incredibly pathetic for casual observer who doesnt know jack about robotics.<br /><br />I'd call that one heck of a smart investment
Yes! to the DARPA model. DARPA and AFRL are spearheading the process of creating CATS launch systems. Remember, the DoD is the largest "space program" in the world, not NASA. AFRL especially is interested in responsive/cheap space lift, and are putting $$$ where needed.<br /><br />josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
<font color="yellow">Now, I would be more than happy to see pure private efforts be very, very successful! No problem. But it is a long way from sub orbital flights to orbital flights. And of you don't understand why, then I would like to suggest that you try to improve your education in such subjects!! </font><br />Private Orbital flights by 2010, Private trips around the moon by 2016, by then VSE will be delayed or cancelled for sure...first tourists land on the Moon in 2020....NASA buys launch services from a private company.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p>http://asteroid-invasion.blogspot.com</p><p>http://www.solvengineer.com/asteroid-invasion.html </p><p> </p> </div>
spacefire asserts: <i>Private orbital flights by 2010</i> <br /><br />Who exactly will be doing this? t/space seems the most likely but they have stated they need NASA money to close a business case.<br /><br />I suppose a private company could buy Soyuz but does that count?
Still haven't figured out what VSE means <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> "<font color="#0000ff"><em>The choice is the Universe, or nothing</em> ... </font>" - H.G Wells </div>
I based my answer on politics and the fact that plans are meant to be changed. <br /><br /> />Sometime after the 2008 election but before a single launch<<br /><br />This will probably be the predominant answer. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
DARPA does not do anything under the control of anything but the military. Now I am NOT automatically against anything that the military does, but I do NOT believe that the future of mankind should be tied up with the military in space. If you seem to think that NASA is a beurocracy, you have not see anything until you see what the military will do with space travel. <br /><br />I would rather see manned space become the exclusive province of private capitalistic interests by far than to see the military take it over, either our military or anyone else's for that matter. And no we do NOT need a manned military program in space to protect our satellites, robotics is perfectly capable of doing this job alone!<br /><br />So as far as I am concerned any funding going to the military for manned space activities should go to the pure capitalistic interests first and NASA secondly. If this amounts to billions (which I believe it does) then human beings will get into space for civilian uses that much faster!!
It is just so amazingly hypocritical that you now believe that this will be a total failure. If it had been a lifting body, you would have been the VSE's biggest and loudest cheerleader.<br /><br />Talk about the ultimate sour grapes. Now that you didn't get a LB, you now only discount the VSE, you actively lobby against it, and try to stir up negative support. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong><font color="#ff0000">Vote </font><font color="#3366ff">Libertarian</font></strong></p> </div>
98% of americans don't know what VSE means or much about it. The cancellation or not will not be a political issue as it's a non-issue.<br /><br /> Reality check needed. NASA needs direction. It's budget will be around 15 billion (maybe slightly less, 13 billion? because of increased US debt). So what can be done with that amount of money. Realistic costs and realistic time frames? VSE will have to change but maybe not the broad outlines...certainly the time frame.
Where do you get your information? The last that I read right here on SDC Burt Rutan (who has the program closest to going orbital) has stated that tspace would indeed be lucky to get the sub orbital flight program into the profitable area by 2010, let alone even an orbital program at all. At least he has some degree of sense in his timing! <br /><br />It took almost 200 billion dollars and almost ten years with over 400,000 people working to even get to the moon at all in the 1950's, with men of such capabilities as Wherner Von Braun leading the efforts, and you state casually that private interests are going to do this within five years! Powerpoint presentations and fancy graphics do not cut metal and actually get us anywhere!!!!
> <i><font color="yellow">98% of americans don't know what VSE means or much about it. The cancellation or not will not be a political issue as it's a non-issue.</font>/i><br /><br />As Zubrin points out, the primary development effort for the VSE does not begin until after the next presidential administration takes office. It is much easier to cut a program that has not started than one that is already in progress.<br /><br />The CEV/CLV will probably get built, but the HLV, which does not begin development until after 2010, has a lower probability of succcess. I have no idea what those numbers are, I am simply pointing to relative probabilities of success.<br /><br />There are obviously a lot of unknown variables: China success/failure and America's response, success/failure of commercial efforts, Congress's response to massive unplanned expenditures already baked in (Iraq and Katrina) and those yet to occur, success/failure of completion and perceived value of ISS, etc.</i>
<font color="yellow">"The cancellation or not will not be a political issue as it's a non-issue." - paleo</font><br /><br />Jobs lost by VSE cancellation will be an issue. And further down the line, national prestiege will be an issue -- when other nations start arriving on the Moon with the USA nowhere in sight. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
> <i><font color="yellow">Jobs lost by VSE cancellation will be an issue.</font>/i><br /><br />There is already significant job loss at NASA centers in order to continue STS/ISS and start the new VSE. Look for the "RIF WATCH" logos on the following page:<br />http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/personnel_news/<br /><br />More importantly, when the government cuts back, jobs will be lost somewhere. The New York Times ran an op-ed piece showing how the $200 billion hurricane cost can be covered by cancelling and cutting back various programs. The space exploration program was there, as well as a lot of other programs such as cancelling the V-22 Opsrey and the F/A-22 fighter. In short, there is going to be a lot of pain to go around. NY Times Op-Ed.<br /><br />The piece concludes: "<i>There are many ways to get that job done - the purpose of this exercise is to focus on the idea that budgets are about setting priorities, and that a choice to spend more in one place should be linked to a choice to spend less elsewhere.</i>"</i>
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>DARPA does not do anything under the control of anything but the military.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />What does DARPA being a military organization have to do with the fact that the event they organized helped spur the development of robotics in US immensely and as a result we have several (at least four ) organizations who can pull off building relatively robust all-terrain autonomous robotic vehicles ?<br />You know, VolksWagen ( which, in german, means "peoples car" btw ) is entirely commercial entity and nothing prevents them from using the tech they developed for DARPA GC in consumer-oriented applications. The same goes for every other competitor.<br /><br />There was an argument in this thread for government-dictated tech development efforts, and NASA manned spaceflight in particular being smart investment of billions. DARPA just demonstrated that there are more effective ways for government to operate, as in getting better results for far less dollars than a traditional approach would have given. <br />No established defense contractor would have been able to build such a vehicle for a mere $2 mil. Not in this century.
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>They'll have to do something in 2010 when they finally put the shuttle out of it's misery<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />A fitting quote from todays edition of The Space Review, written by Wayne Eleazer, former program manager of Thor ELV, Atlas test director etc etc ..<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><br />In late 1985, at the height of the shuttle mania, I said to the people I worked with, “When the last surviving Space Shuttle is accepted by the Smithsonian, you will be able to watch the ceremony via a satellite launched by an Atlas.”<br /><br />I was wrong. You very likely will view that ceremony through a satellite launched by a Russian Proton, Ukrainian Zenit, or French Ariane, not an American-built booster. The Space Shuttle did that.<br /><p><hr /></p></p></blockquote>