SAVE CONSTELLATION

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jakethesnake

Guest
Woah woah woah... I'm sorry, "Obama's plan to end the space shuttle program"?
Absolutely NOT... good riddens to that death trap...

The end of NASA's human space flight program!
 
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rcsplinters

Guest
There's been several threads that each bring a bit different light to this common discussion. Some posts in this thread reminded me of a point I was discussing the other day. I think one thing that really rubs the wrong way on this executivel proposal is that in killing Constellation, it killed everything. NASA LEO, NASA heavy lift, NASA lunar hardware, everything. In its place it left our manned spaceflight to a unproved commercial community which has no sound business model and a former mortal enemy which could boot us in a hearts beat. We don't even have a firm commitment to strategize any sort NASA based manned option. As everyone knows, a few shuttle flight from now, the USA is a non-player. I think if the plan had continued with a man rated ARES V or even demanded alternative in 6 months, it would have credibiilty. I personally would strongly support a continuation of ARES I and V (I personally like the idea of a smaller launch platform on the ride uphill) because those vehicles give us flexibilty for a few decades worth of missions. Then we'd have an option if commercial ventures fail or if our ride to the ISS decides that their interests are better served with us standing on the ground. Then planning for the lunar mission or whatever mission could take place and funding sought on its own merits.

There are some indicators that this president may only last 1 term. What if the next follows up the current debushification effort with their own a bamaectomy? Do we start on Constellation or son of Constellation again with nothing to show but loss of time and more expense due to the stop and start costs in these dark and uninspired times? Where's the logic in that? (Rhetorical question, there is no answer).

Anyone know much on the congressional requirement to vote on any plan to discontinue Constellation? I'd like to read that provision. Presuming its the law, I'd like to see how its worded. While the president may think he is vote proof, I'm not so sure that a majority in either the senate or house will vote for any plan that calls for the US to take a seat behind Russia, China and maybe India and even Iran in manned space flight. I rather expect to see parts of Constellation continued, though perhaps under another name.
 
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menellom

Guest
jakethesnake":3sexktqt said:
menellom":3sexktqt said:
Jake... all you're doing is posting videos and blogs and petitions shouting "SAVE CONSTELLATION! SAVE CONSTELLATION!"

We get it... you're really passionate about this... but do you understand why your passionate about it?

I'm concerned because I think you have it in your head that if Obama's proposal is shot down and Constellation continues the outlook for the program will somehow be different than it is now.

"Saving" Constellation won't magically convince Congress to double NASA's budget or poof a dozen Ares rockets into existence at KSC. "Saving" Constellation leaves us exactly where we already are - a shuttle retiring, nothing ready to replace it, nowhere to go when the replacement is done.
The problem here is not the Constellation’s architecture, it’s funding… and if you look at some of the garbage that is in the 2011 Budget you will see things such as 1 billion for a high speed train going from Chicago to St Louis… GIVE ME A BREAK… so far high speed trains in the U.S. has been a complete and total JOKE and in California these trains are only 2 % occupied!

Give it to NASA… Give it to SpaceX… Give it to Orbital…

Take NASA up to where it should be… about .75 to .80% of the Budget and we will actually go places. For that matter encourage commercial companies like SpaceX with real dollars right alongside NASA.
This is EXACTLY my point! Your argument has nothing to do with saving Constellation and everything to do with NASA's budget. Yes, we ALL hate the fact that NASA has a microscopic budget to work with... but getting Congress to shoot down the new proposal in favor of continuing Constellation doesn't get NASA a bigger budget!

By all means write your congressmen, but ask them to support NASA with a larger budget, not save Constellation!
 
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jakethesnake

Guest
This is EXACTLY my point! Your argument has nothing to do with saving Constellation and everything to do with NASA's budget. Yes, we ALL hate the fact that NASA has a microscopic budget to work with... but getting Congress to shoot down the new proposal in favor of continuing Constellation doesn't get NASA a bigger budget!

By all means write your congressmen, but ask them to support NASA with a larger budget, not save Constellation!
Oh but you are wrong, Constellation is a vision, a set of goals, that I believe is the best out there.

What is Obama’s vision?

I will tell you... his vision is we don’t know where we are going, and there are no clear set of goals, but to kill the Constellation Program and to ground NASA.

And by the way... the budget has everything to do with Constellation, and they are not mutually exclusive.
 
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menellom

Guest
jakethesnake":1a9ch2c4 said:
This is EXACTLY my point! Your argument has nothing to do with saving Constellation and everything to do with NASA's budget. Yes, we ALL hate the fact that NASA has a microscopic budget to work with... but getting Congress to shoot down the new proposal in favor of continuing Constellation doesn't get NASA a bigger budget!
Oh but you are wrong, Constellation is a vision, a set of goals, that I believe is the best out there.
What on Earth are you talking about???

Look... I'm trying my best to be patient but it seems you're still not getting the point I'm trying to make here, so I'll try to explain as simply as possible:

You appear to be operating under the assumption that if Congress votes down Obama's proposal in favor of Constellation that it will, as part of that decision, give NASA the extra $3-5 billion dollars a year it needs to meet any of Constellation's goals...

... I'm one of the biggest optimists in the world when it comes to space and even I know that's not gonna happen.
 
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nimbus

Guest
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Constellation is one particular plan. VSE is the vision, the framework.
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
And forced NASA to feed it with it's flesh, killing projects on the way, leaving behind a path of devastation ..

I must confess, i was not able to follow NASA news for quite a while, every time i checked, another project canceled, or less money ..
Bad.

I just hope they will be able to pick up the pieces and go on. OK, i know they will, they did it before, many times ...
 
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RocketTony

Guest
It seems to me that the only problem with Constellation is money. If Obama is so good at throwing money around to banks and bail outs, why doesn't he just fix the problem and fully fund Constellation? That will avoid us wasting $10 billion in money spent so far and money to break Constellation contracts.

Now we have no vision and no mission. Just a pipe dream. Do people really believe it is easy to "just man rate" a cargo vehicle? History will show how long it takes and how much money it will cost. That is, unless Congress puts Obama back in touch with the American people.
 
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mr_mark

Guest
Ah... money. We were lied to or misled about a number of things from the previous administration, NASA's constellation budget being one of those. Well either we were lied to or we were asked to go to the market with no gas in the car. Problem is there are no gas stations on the way and we have not enough or no money to get there. That said, even if we had the money the arrival date was wrong by over 10 years. NASA has said, in actuality, constellation could not be fully built until after 2030. WAY, WAY too long for any program and soaking up so much money that the rest of NASA programs suffered in the process. So here we are with no moon program, why for the above reasons. So how do we get there and grow a space infrastructure in the process. Simple, go commercial. Why have one cell phone when you can have thousands made by many different companies. Same goes for Space we need many different vehicle for many different applications. NASA cannot do it all and they were taking us on a one way ride which, is no good for anyone especially if you look at the long haul.
 
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jakethesnake

Guest
What on Earth are you talking about???

Look... I'm trying my best to be patient but it seems you're still not getting the point I'm trying to make here, so I'll try to explain as simply as possible:

You appear to be operating under the assumption that if Congress votes down Obama's proposal in favor of Constellation that it will, as part of that decision, give NASA the extra $3-5 billion dollars a year it needs to meet any of Constellation's goals...

... I'm one of the biggest optimists in the world when it comes to space and even I know that's not gonna happen.

menellom
OK... and first off... your patients, and or the lack there of, is not the reason I started the post, but on the other hand this post which is titled “Save Constellation” is for what it suggests... to in some small way help in saving the Constellation Program.

To that end I think my part in this is to persuade, encourage conversation and to engage in debate in a professional manner... which to be honest... I find to be VERY difficult at times!

And so you can understand “What on Earth I am talking about” I will put it this way...

SAVE CONSTELLATION...

1st and foremost my goal is to help save a program called Constellation, and as MW has previously stated a program “that was inadequately funded from day 1”... so I say fund Constellation!

2nd At the very least my goal is to hold the high ground i.e. save NASA’s ability to get it’s astronauts into LEO and to push this Point...

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by risking NASA’s astronaut’s lives and their ability to access LEO in the hands of the still not mature commercial sectors.
 
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mr_mark

Guest
So you suggest to fully fund a program that cannot be finished until after 2030, does not build any space infrastructure such as multiple private companies with multiple vehicles and station variants for the future and would strip all other NASA programs of nessessary funding. That's not only nuts, that's bad business. Cancel Constellation and stop the bleeding now. Then once the mess is cleaned up build a heavy launcher that works, is on budget and can be delivered in a timely manner.
 
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SciFi2010

Guest
Commercial aerospace is not about achieving lower costs by selling the physical product and outsourcing the production-process to other nations, but it is all about providing services (for example space launch) to governments, companies and individuals at lower costs by competition and new ideas. Several months ago I read an article about Scaled Composites (Spaceshipone & two). They had to ask approval from the US government before they could buy and use technology of other aerospace companies and I assume the backgrounds of all its personnel were also screened. They were also not allowed to pass this technology on to others, which means there’s a major difference with other kinds of commercial business: Aerospace technology belongs to the interest of national security and can not be sold or passed on to others without governments’ approval (even between American companies). That is a major advantage of commercial aerospace: aerospace companies could provide commercial services, but the technolgy can not be exported or outsourced to other nations. In other words we could generate growing profits and investments with commercial aerospace and protect the research, the technology and the jobs at the same time (even if we decide to export these services). I do agree that at the moment commercial aerospace is too much confined to the market of launching of satellites. That’s why we also need space tourism for the masses starting in LEO and later on the moon and mars. First we need more investments to develop fuel-efficient jet-engines, rocket engines (whether it is air-breathing, non-breathing and hybrid) and cheaper/lighter (inflatable?) space modules in order to reduce the cost of (manned/unmanned) space launch and space stations at least 20 times or more. Maybe we do need the Orion rocket as a back-up plan to replace the Space Shuttle in case commercial aerospace will not deliver its promise in time, but I do think that in the near future the commercial aeroplane industry/infrastructure will merge with the commercial aerospace industry*. I fear if we focus too much on the moon-mission or space-station “old-style” and we do not develop this option our commercial airplane and aerospace market could face tough competition from other nations in the future. (That is why America and EU have to make agreements not to outsource the production-line of the airplane industry to other nations and should decide to develop this option together). Not commercially exploiting this option would also diminish our possibilities to develop an economic viable plan to colonize LEO (Low Earth Orbit), the moon and mars. The space industry at the moment is too depended on government budget and policy for developing affordable LEO space-launch, “spaceports” and space colonization. We need to allow the aerospace industry to develop commercial services to generate profits, investments and research without selling and outsourcing the technology. The only thing the government should do is to support the commercial aerospace and keeping an eye on whether the technology doesn’t fall in the wrong hands.

*Scaled Composites for example is already planning to transport people to different continents in “no-time”. Their long term vision is to reduce the launch-costs by using more simple technology, logistics, infrastructure and fuel-efficiency (airlift, decreased air-resistance, air-breathing and air-pressure compensation) by combining future fuel-efficient airplanes and rockets to launch satellites and “space-tourists” into LEO (with the possibility to dock to different “spaceports”) at significantly lower costs.
 
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menellom

Guest
jakethesnake":3dbor453 said:
1st and foremost my goal is to help save a program called Constellation, and as MW has previously stated a program “that was inadequately funded from day 1”... so I say fund Constellation!

2nd At the very least my goal is to hold the high ground i.e. save NASA’s ability to get it’s astronauts into LEO and to push this Point...

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by risking NASA’s astronaut’s lives and their ability to access LEO in the hands of the still not mature commercial sectors.
1st, that's not gonna happen. I'm just being straight with you here. NASA would need $4 or $5 billion dollars a year added to the budget to make any part of Constellation happen within the original VSE deadline. We're talking $50 billion dollars over the next 10 years. Congress will never vote for that. It sucks, it really really sucks, but it's true.

2nd, even if through some massively improbable happenings, Congress DID give NASA the funding it needs (and deserves), the damage is already done. Even with the extra funding the best it might do is cut the development time for Ares from 2018 down to 2016, that's still six years without a rocket.

3rd, NASA's rockets and spacecraft have always been built by the private sector, the new proposal just opens it up a little more instead of relying entirely on defense contractors like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. SpaceX isn't Weyland Yutani Jake, they're not going to cut corners and risk lives to save a buck.
 
D

DarkenedOne

Guest
rcsplinters":95rcu5in said:
There's been several threads that each bring a bit different light to this common discussion. Some posts in this thread reminded me of a point I was discussing the other day. I think one thing that really rubs the wrong way on this executivel proposal is that in killing Constellation, it killed everything. NASA LEO, NASA heavy lift, NASA lunar hardware, everything. In its place it left our manned spaceflight to a unproved commercial community which has no sound business model and a former mortal enemy which could boot us in a hearts beat. We don't even have a firm commitment to strategize any sort NASA based manned option. As everyone knows, a few shuttle flight from now, the USA is a non-player. I think if the plan had continued with a man rated ARES V or even demanded alternative in 6 months, it would have credibiilty. I personally would strongly support a continuation of ARES I and V (I personally like the idea of a smaller launch platform on the ride uphill) because those vehicles give us flexibilty for a few decades worth of missions. Then we'd have an option if commercial ventures fail or if our ride to the ISS decides that their interests are better served with us standing on the ground. Then planning for the lunar mission or whatever mission could take place and funding sought on its own merits.

There are some indicators that this president may only last 1 term. What if the next follows up the current debushification effort with their own a bamaectomy? Do we start on Constellation or son of Constellation again with nothing to show but loss of time and more expense due to the stop and start costs in these dark and uninspired times? Where's the logic in that? (Rhetorical question, there is no answer).

Anyone know much on the congressional requirement to vote on any plan to discontinue Constellation? I'd like to read that provision. Presuming its the law, I'd like to see how its worded. While the president may think he is vote proof, I'm not so sure that a majority in either the senate or house will vote for any plan that calls for the US to take a seat behind Russia, China and maybe India and even Iran in manned space flight. I rather expect to see parts of Constellation continued, though perhaps under another name.
So the problem is that if you continue to develop Constellation as is there will be no money for any commercial operation. Constellation as it stands now requires that the ISS be scraped in 2015. It largely rules out the possibility for the participation of other government agencies and private space services.

Constellation is just like Apollo where NASA and its traditional contractors get all the exploration money and develop everything themselves.

I agree that having a back up would be nice, and if Constellation were a bit more reasonably priced. However the problem is that even with scraping all money for ISS and commercial services Constellation still needs $3 billion more per year. It is clear that if we pursue Constellation it will be to the exclusion of everything else.

Perhaps it is worth while to resurrect the Orion Lite concept to be launched from Ares. Such a vehicle could provide a back up at considerably lower cost.
 
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jakethesnake

Guest
So you suggest to fully funding a program that cannot be finished until after 2030,
If you fully funded Constellation then the date of 2030 becomes obsolete, the date that I am reading says that constellation could be ready somewhere around 2023 if they fully fund it.

does not build any space infrastructure such as multiple private companies with multiple vehicles and station variants for the future and would strip all other NASA programs of nessessary funding.
You are absolutely incorrect; if you fully fund Constellation then no other programs would have to be stripped.

I see you are using fuzzy math…

That's not only nuts, that's bad business.
Hey… Thanks for calling me nuts...

Cancel Constellation and stop the bleeding now. Then once the mess is cleaned up build a heavy launcher that works, is on budget and can be delivered in a timely manner.
I would submit that cancelling the Constellation Program, which is a program that has been voted on by congress twice and passed with overwhelming bipartisan approval, is a program that should be fully funded.

Also, I think what is a mess here is changing course every time a new administration takes office.
There is this thing called separation of powers, and I think Congress should put its foot down and let Obama know that his power is not over the Congress, but the same!
 
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jakethesnake

Guest
1st, that's not gonna happen. I'm just being straight with you here. NASA would need $4 or $5 billion dollars a year added to the budget to make any part of Constellation happen within the original VSE deadline. We're talking $50 billion dollars over the next 10 years. Congress will never vote for that. It sucks, it really really sucks, but it's true.
I say give NASA $3 billion a year and extend the original VSE deadline.

Also, if the Congress was good with giving Acorn $4 billion in the 2010 budget and another 4 billion in the proposed 2011 budget, then NASA’s increase shouldn’t cause anyone to blink... including Congress!

2nd, even if through some massively improbable happenings, Congress DID give NASA the funding it needs (and deserves), the damage is already done. Even with the extra funding the best it might do is cut the development time for Ares from 2018 down to 2016, that's still six years without a rocket.
And you truly think the commercial sector can field anything sooner?

I’m not the betting type of person, but if I was I wouldn’t take that bet!

3rd, NASA's rockets and spacecraft have always been built by the private sector, the new proposal just opens it up a little more instead of relying entirely on defense contractors like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. SpaceX isn't Weyland Yutani Jake, they're not going to cut corners and risk lives to save a buck.
No, I don’t think they would do that intentionally, but what they would do is what all small and large businesses do to procurer a contract ... and that is to promises the moon and then in the end sometimes what they find is that all they can deliver is the cheese...

Definitely not a risk I would want to take!
 
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menellom

Guest
jakethesnake":3ued1884 said:
I say give NASA $3 billion a year and extend the original VSE deadline.

Also, if the Congress was good with giving Acorn $4 billion in the 2010 budget and another 4 billion in the proposed 2011 budget, then NASA’s increase shouldn’t cause anyone to blink... including Congress!
Yes, we've established that Congress wastes money... several pages ago... that doesn't change the fact that they're never going to give NASA $4 billion dollars a year.

And you truly think the commercial sector can field anything sooner?
YES!
 
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menellom

Guest
jakethesnake":1yzxaz9l said:
We shall see...
Now you're not even bothering to answer anymore. Your argument is just getting more and more vague.
 
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nimbus

Guest
It's a bit incredible to see someone put down his credentials as weight on such a definite but dodgy prediction.
 
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rcsplinters

Guest
DarkenedOne":1hw6l38u said:
rcsplinters":1hw6l38u said:
There's been several threads . . .
So the problem is that if you continue to develop Constellation as is there will be no money for any commercial operation. Constellation as it stands now requires that the ISS be scraped in 2015. It largely rules out the possibility for the participation of other government agencies and private space services.

Constellation is just like Apollo where NASA and its traditional contractors get all the exploration money and develop everything themselves.

I agree that having a back up would be nice, and if Constellation were a bit more reasonably priced. However the problem is that even with scraping all money for ISS and commercial services Constellation still needs $3 billion more per year. It is clear that if we pursue Constellation it will be to the exclusion of everything else.

Perhaps it is worth while to resurrect the Orion Lite concept to be launched from Ares. Such a vehicle could provide a back up at considerably lower cost.
Tried to cut out my original post so folks don't have to read through my drivel once again. Not sure if that worked.

I agree with much of what you propose. However, I think you make a point about commercial ventures which is extremely important. We have to be very attunded to their business model. Seed money should bring about a viable business sooner and remove some of the start-up risks. However, many many times, we see that the business model is about the seed money and not the resulting business. To me, its unclear which is the case with commercial manned space flight at this time. Unclear enough that I would not bet our leadership in manned space flight on an untested and fledgling industry.

I've never been a great fan of Ares Light. Were it up to me, there would be one capsule and it would be designed for the most far reaching goal, the trip to Mars. I don't know that we can afford mission specific products. A robust Orion could serve many types of missions, from LEO to lunar to Mars. The remainder of Ares Lite, at least as I understand it was essentially the ARES I booster. I still would design and build ARES I and V. Why? I like the idea of a dedicated smaller booster to LEO and most any mission is going to start from there. Do one thing and do it well for safety.

In regards to funding, I worry that manned space flight will always suffer as long as we're quibbling over a billion or few with each political transient. In my mind, its a commitment like we are committed to having a military. There, they manage weapon system life cycles. However, they never end up in a situation where we are without planes. As a country we need a vision and a legal commitment to the vision. Right now all we have had since Apollo is a political football.

Were it up to me, I'd fund Orion and Ares I and V. I'd also take sometime to do studies of manifests and missions. I'd also be taking a look at the Orion and Ares replacements (and the ISS replacement as well). In terms of commercial ventures, the heck with seed money. In those cases, you invite the potential suppliers in and as them how can WE make money. I'm all for the government providing venture funding and a knowledge base to those with sound business models and legal commitments to the manned space flight business. I frankly don't care "if" they can put a man in orbit. I do care whether or not they can make a lot of money doing it. If they can't, then in 5 or 10 years, they won't be committed and will exit the market or we'll end up with another GM because they'll be too important to fail.
 
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jakethesnake

Guest
menellom":2xq86o9h said:
jakethesnake":2xq86o9h said:
We shall see...
Now you're not even bothering to answer anymore. Your argument is just getting more and more vague.
Not really, I think I have made my point quite clear, if not 10 ways to Sunday…

I will reiterate this one last time:

The Vision which is the Constellation Program is a good program, but has been under funded from the start.

No one has shown that the Ares 1 is not doable; in fact the contrary happens to be the case, and even the Augustine Commission saw no technical hurtles.

I also, believe that if Obama asked for 3 billion a year more, which is basically just keeping up with inflation, he would get it!

I believe the only person being vague is you and your argument against the Constellation Program.

If Congress ends up going with Obama’s non-vision of a space program then somewhere down the line we shall see.

Is private industry up to the task?

What will the American people say when countries like China, India, Russia and Japan start moving into and out of LEO and we can’t even get off the ground??? :cry:

If there is not more than one option then any little bump in the road could cause years of delays, and all we will be able to do is just wave bye, bye! :evil:

Be careful what you ask for! :roll:
 
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jakethesnake

Guest
Were it up to me, I'd fund Orion and Ares I and V. I'd also take sometime to do studies of manifests and missions. I'd also be taking a look at the Orion and Ares replacements (and the ISS replacement as well). In terms of commercial ventures, the heck with seed money. In those cases, you invite the potential suppliers in and as them how can WE make money. I'm all for the government providing venture funding and a knowledge base to those with sound business models and legal commitments to the manned space flight business. I frankly don't care "if" they can put a man in orbit. I do care whether or not they can make a lot of money doing it. If they can't, then in 5 or 10 years, they won't be committed and will exit the market or we'll end up with another GM because they'll be too important to fail.
Welcome to SDC and thank you very much...

Here is someone who actually understands how business works and where the governments place is.

The governments place is to encourage commerce i.e. the railways, interstate highways, and the airways!

Create the infrastructure and let business use it and prosper!
 
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jakethesnake

Guest
nimbus":2s0epl9g said:
It's a bit incredible to see someone put down his credentials as weight on such a definite but dodgy prediction.
Really?
 
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