Shot across Constellation's bow

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qso1

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no_way:<br />Lots of other companies and organizations. Read Hobbyspace and find out.<br /><br />Me:<br />Of all the companies on that list...so far only two have actually done something as far as sending people into space. Scaled Composites which sent a human suborbital and Bigelow Aerospace which sent modules up that could be occupied later. Its a little early to hope that any of these companies will automatically pick up the slack if NASA human spaceflight should end and make no mistake...I won't be suprised if it does end. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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maxiumque

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"Also your view on ISS seems too US centric IMHO. Without NASA's active support I would assume that ISS would hobble along for a few years."<br /><br />It is so because the ISS is US centric. It might be an "international" station, but the core is US. Without NASA support, the ISS would be deorbited. I recalled there is another thread stating this.
 
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no_way

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Nobody will be "picking up NASA's slack" as nobody wants it.<br />However, odds are increasingly in favor that some organization, other than NASA will be flying humans to space on a regular basis from US soil in not too distant future. The odds are high simply because there are now so many entrants in the field, and new ones keep popping up. Even if 99% of them fail, 1% will still make it.<br />
 
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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>Without NASA support, the ISS would be deorbited.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />You must be confusing something. Without Russian Soyuz, ISS would already have been deorbited post Columbia.
 
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qso1

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I have to say I agree. Nobody wants to be in NASAs position to be sure and yes, sooner or later...some company in the private sector will assume the role of sending humans into space. Hopefully it'll happen soon, as in within a decade. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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I seriously doubt anyone at NASA would simply de-orbit ISS because the shuttle was unavailable. NASA had plans in place just for such a contingency and as we have seen, those plans panned out. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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Right, Progress and ATV both have the capability of correcting ISS orbit. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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holmec

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>But can someone tell me why we should have another gap? Are we simply too poor now to afford the pittance we currently spend on human spaceflight? So poor we have to spacepool with the Russians and Chinese? <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />IMO a gap just may happen if there are serious delays in Constellation program. Chalk it up to Murphy's law.<br /><br />I think it what we want to do in space that is so expensive. Look how much its costing just to build and maintain a habitat in low earth orbit for a crew of 7. Making a lunar base seems more expensive and going to Mars even more. Beyond that its colonizing space. And that would require much bigger launchers more often (Ares V class or bigger). The sheer logistics seems immense. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#0000ff"><em>"SCE to AUX" - John Aaron, curiosity pays off</em></font></p> </div>
 
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thereiwas

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"Look how much its costing just to build and maintain a habitat in low earth orbit for a crew of 7."<br /><br />It could have been done more cheaply if we were starting today. But ISS was designed so long ago we are stuck with obsolete technology. The <i>scientific</i> goals of ISS are not inherently that expensive.
 
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qso1

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The cost of ISS I would agree is well beyond what it should have been. ISS was proposed originally by President Reagan in his 1984 State Of The Union address. The price...$8B dollars...the IOC...1992.<br /><br />Unfortunately, Congress decided to dictate how the station would be kept in check cost wise to the point some complained that Congress was designing the ISS. Some of the problem or fault no doubt was NASAs as well. I would have understood an operational station in say, 1996 at $20B dollars. But nobody can really say what it costs except the most widely accepted figure is something like $100B dollars. Furthermore, ISS should have been designed to have components such as habitats, trusses placed in orbit by HLLVs while using shuttle to take crews and payloads more suitable for shuttle missions.<br /><br />I guarantee there will be a gap if not an outright end to human spaceflight. Things have not changed since I called it the "Cost Barrier". NASA was able to put man in space, orbit, the moon...breaking all those barriers. But NASA evidently cannot break the cost barrier.<br /><br />Had NASA been able to put a Venture Star, Orient Express type vehicle into service and that vehicle operate at low cost...you might not need nearly as many HLLV flights to colonize space.<br /><br />When I asked the question why should we have another gap. My intent was that we should not have a gap based on cost simply because we are either going to continue human spaceflight...or abandon it. We will never save money and have it spent on the right things by abandoning it, our govs not that altruistic...not even close. Nor will it get any cheaper if we bandaid pay year after year.<br /><br />I'm not calling for some huge increase like doubling NASAs budget. But if were going to do the Constellation program, fund it adequatly. We didn't have these kinds of ISS type delays in Apollo. May 25, 1961...JFK made the speech that had us put a man on the moon less than a decade later. This with fifteen <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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richalex

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>ISS was proposed originally by President Reagan in his 1984 State Of The Union address. The price...$8B dollars...the IOC...1992. ... 1984, Reagan proposes ISS which takes 14 years for the first element to be placed in orbit and 16 to reach IOC and were still constructing it 23 years later.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />Reagan did not propose the ISS. He proposed Space Station "Freedom." These are not at all the same thing, and the change from one to the other has a lot to do with the delay. <br /><br />Yes, a lot of the problem is politics. There is no way that Democrats in general would allow George Bush to have a successful legacy, of anything, if they could help it. That means that Iraq must be a failure; Social Security must not implement his proposals; his tax cuts must be reversed; and his "Return-to-Moon" and Mars proposals must die. What is more, this is going to be a continuing problem, because no significant space program can be completed inside a 4-year, or even an 8-year term. <br /><br />Look at how academia blasted Bush as anti-science, *especially* after he proposed sending men to Moon and Mars in earnest. It doesn't matter what else he does for science; NASA's budget increases, major new programs funded, etc. Liberal academia is focused like a laser on its pet agenda; stem cell research, Creationism and ID out of schools and global warming. The Culture War is here, and it is likely only going to get worse. <br />
 
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qso1

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Technically your correct. ISS was first known as Space Station Freedom. But ISS is similar to the original layout for SSF. Its mainly missing the keel assembly which made the original SSF design look somewhat like a box kite. But ISS is the end result of the Reagan proposal and subsequent Congressional and OMB budget cutting changes which among other things, eliminated the keel or square trusses that framed the original station. It took Reagan to direct NASA to build a station after years of reluctance to even mention the word space station within NASA walls.<br /><br />As for this being just a crusade against Bush. I agree in part. And that part would be that if a Democrat is elected President, anything Bush is out. But overall, the problem lies more with public apathy towards human spaceflight as evidenced by so many people buying into the idea that if we'd eliminate HSF, the money would be better spent. IMO, regardless of what party is in power...eliminate HSF and the money will be better wasted. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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JonClarke

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It is meaningless to compare a proposed cost of the 1984 project with the ISS. It was a much smaller and a concept not a finalised design. The project was effectively abandoned in 1990.<br /><br />The ISS was a new start in 1993 using SSF and Mir heritage. The projected cost of the ISS works out at ~ $212,000 a kg, about 2/3 of the Apollo program. Given its size, complexity, and that it is a major advance on anything done previously this is quite reasonable, IMHO.<br /><br />Jon <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em>Whether we become a multi-planet species with unlimited horizons, or are forever confined to Earth will be decided in the twenty-first century amid the vast plains, rugged canyons and lofty mountains of Mars</em>  Arthur Clarke</p> </div>
 
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qso1

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What I recall was the first station concept was actually roughly the same as ISS in size. Four hab modules in a racetrack arrangement which allowed for some limited on board safety otions in case fire broke out in one module or the other. The four modules having a long truss similar to the ISS truss with SPAs at each end. The dual keel design appeared in 1985 or 86 IIRC and was complete with hangars for OTVs etc and a lattice support type framework.<br /><br />This was one of the reasons for early Congressional oversight or intervention of the station design. The keel was dropped from the concept, the habs and station made smaller overall and the name Freedom attached to the design in the late 80s. Then when the station nearly got canned by one vote, more looking into redesign resulted. They looked at four major concept proposals including larger HLLV launched stations. In the end, the station was saved and called Alpha. When Russian participation was allowed, it became informally known as Ralpha.<br /><br />One alledged reason for the cost increase was how the cost was estimated. The $8B dollar figure was said to have been development costs rather than operational cost. The $100B figure is said to be operational cost of station spread over its lifetime. But nobody seems to know what the actual development and operational costs are or how its actually arrived at.<br /><br />I agree that ISS is still a bargain compared to Apollo considering what ISS is intended to do. But the public and press which weakly supports human spaceflight as it is recalls the $8B dollar figure proposed by Reagan so the $100B dollar figure looks outrageous. Of course, Reagan used the lowest figure he could because public support for human spaceflight was so weak. Then when the costs rise, Congress and OMB get involved and redesign (Or rescope as they used to call it) space station.<br /><br />IMHO, they drug station development far too long. They could have just built the dual keel station with OTV <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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Almost forgot. ISS to me was not a new start since it was not a major new change and the station development all the way to the current ISS has its origins in the Reagan address. The only really new element added to station in 93 was Russian involvement which saved space stations arse. Had station Freedom actually been canned, I doubt very seriously there could have been a new station allowed to start given the lack of political will that continues to pervade human spaceflight. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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qso1

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http://astronautix.com/craftfam/usstions.htm<br /><br />This link provides a pretty decent overview of station development. I completely forgot station started as the power tower, then dual keel. Once the keel was dropped from the design, the general shape of station Freedom emerged. That shape remained through the redesigns up to 1993. The reason I did not consider ISS a completely new design was that in 1993, four major redesigns were presented. One called the can was a Skylab like station that would have been expandable and required shuttle "C" to place the elements in orbit.<br /><br />One of the four proposals was yet another resope of the basic Freedom layout. Below is an excerpt from the link:<br /><br />"At the same time, NASA had scaled down its space station in the seventh redesign in nine years. This more modest station Alpha deleted most of the original science experiments, but would still cost more than Clinton was willing to spend. In October 1993, with the gunfire of the coup attempt outside their windows, NASA negotiators in Moscow agreed to the 'International Space Station' (ISS), a merger of stations Alpha and Mir-2." <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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thereiwas

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"Given its size, complexity,..."<br /><br />It's complexity is one of the major things wrong with it. <br /><br />
 
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richalex

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>What I recall was the first station concept was actually roughly the same as ISS in size.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote> <br />I found an interesting and lengthy press release dating to 21 March 1991 concerning Space Station "Freedom." Among several other statements, it mentions, <br /><br />"The overall width of the station has been reduced from 493 feet to 353 feet."<br /><br />http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/1991/91-045.txt<br /><br />The press release indicates a pressurized volume of 4458 cubic feet and a solar electric generating capacity of 75 kW. It was supposed to require 17 to 20 shuttle flights over 3 years to complete. <br /><br />In contrast, ISS is 354 feet long by 243 feet wide, with a pressurized volume of 44,143 cubic feet and a solar electric generating capacity of 110 kW. More than 50 shuttle flights are required to complete ISS (and remember, these flights are expensive!). <br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>One alledged reason for the cost increase was how the cost was estimated. The $8B dollar figure was said to have been development costs rather than operational cost. The $100B figure is said to be operational cost of station spread over its lifetime.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Quoting again from the press release, <br /><br />"Congress told NASA to expect no more than 8 to 10 percent growth over the next 5 years (FY 1992-1996), with peak spending for Freedom not to exceed $2.5-2.6 billion. The budgetary ground rules, including the cut for FY 1991, represent a $5.7 billion shortfall from what NASA had planned to spend for Freedom over that same time period."<br /><br />It should be obvious that Space Station "Freedom" and ISS are on completely different scales. <br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>ISS to me was not a new start since it was not a major new change and the stati</p></blockquote>
 
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nuaetius

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p> Apparently Barack Obama wants to delay the Constellation program by 5 years in order to help pay for his education program. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />(btw I know this is a duplicate post, but heck we have a duplicate thread in freespace ïŠ)<br /><br />Lots of rattling on about how this is a bad idea. Have you personally told him so?<br /><br />Obama, Barack- (D - IL) Class III <br />713 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510 <br />(202) 224-2854 <br />Web Form: obama.senate.gov/contact/ <br /><br />Send the SOB a letter, call, and then send him an e-mail. The more people that contact him to say that this is the WRONG policy at the WRONG time the more likely he is to change his tune.<br /><br />Does this guy what to be remembered as the next Kennedy or the next Nixon?<br />
 
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elguapoguano

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I've already sent him a letter and an e-mail describing why and how his idea would hurt America. You are right, others need to follow. come on guys.... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font color="#ff0000"><u><em>Don't let your sig line incite a gay thread ;>)</em></u></font> </div>
 
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baktothemoon

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you could make a youtube video of your opinon and post it as a response to one of his videos, you'd get thousands of people to view it that way.
 
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qso1

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In mentioning that ISS was roughly the size of the first station concept. I made a mistake. I didn't take into considerations the scale down that had occured. I knew station had been scaled down but the extent was probably a little more than I recalled. The measurements apply to the truss assembly ends and should not have caused such huge cost increases. What did cause the cost increases? In part, the constant redesign of station up until 1993.<br /><br />RichAlex:<br />In contrast, ISS is 354 feet long by 243 feet wide, with a pressurized volume of 44,143 cubic feet and a solar electric generating capacity of 110 kW. More than 50 shuttle flights are required to complete ISS (and remember, these flights are expensive!).<br /><br />Me:<br />If there is one thing I won't have to remember, its the cost of station due to expensive shuttle flights. I was always an advocate of HLLV assembly for large station concepts. If station had been more Mir like, the shuttle made sense. But with all the ISS flights, it makes no sense.<br /><br />Station and ISS are on different scales to be sure. But its not the same as what could have happened. If NASA had gone for the so called can concept, then ISS would have been completely different. There are also press releases concerning the parts of Freedom station that ISS adapted to continue on.<br /><br />The main point is this:<br /><br />Economics is what will make or break a program. NASA estimates are crucial to the success of a given program. And space station almost got cancelled because the cost estimates grew enough to make some people wonder if NASA could successfully build a station if it could not even figure out what it cost. Or worse, that NASA was hiding costs and that all the fat cat big contractor hidden gov agendas were actually taking place and that station is nothing more than a jobs program.<br /><br />RichAlex:<br />Do you believe that Reagan would have advocated an INTERNATIONAL Space Station?<br /><br />Me:<br />Station was internat <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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vulture2

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"We cant even finish a station at reasonable cost."<br /><br />I agree. But can we really maintain a permanent manned lunar base at a reasonable cost with the Constellation technology? Does it make sense to burn our entire R&D budget flying missions?<br />
 
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qso1

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We could have finished station had Congress not stalled it so much in the 1980s. Some of the blame lies with NASA as well. Particularly in NASAs reluctance to develop a heavy lifter to take up the outsized payloads.<br /><br />I'm not all that certain were gonna get very far with the lunar program simply because it was proposed and considered doable as long as NASA takes money from other projects.<br /><br />How will we be able to finance what is essentially Apollo 2.0 without Apollo 1.0 funding?<br /><br />I tend to think NASA will eventually shrink as to its role. Becoming more of an FAA type agency that regulates commercial spaceflight assuming commercial spaceflight can do the job with human spaceflight that NASA now does.<br /><br />Bottom line...nobody in a position of power is, or has been really ready to support NASA with the kind of funding increase it would take to do Apollo 2.0 and thats not to say Constellation will have to cost as much as Apollo did, but it would surely seem to me that it will cost more than that which is currently being alloted. This will see in a few years when NASA starts asking for budget increases to cover what they could not do under the original proposal cost wise assuming the Dems do not get elected and scrap the program outright. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><strong>My borrowed quote for the time being:</strong></p><p><em>There are three kinds of people in life. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen...and those who do not know what happened.</em></p> </div>
 
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thereiwas

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Democrats already control Congress and they haven't canceled it yet. But they haven't been dealing with the financial realities yet either. They just passed a water bill over a veto that had lots of pork in it. Pork wins out in the end with this Congress.
 
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