The future for Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour

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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">I have faith in NASA however I do not have faith in the government</font>/i><br /><br />But NASA is part of the government. I think a better way of saying this is I have faith in many of the <i>people of NASA</i>. Or maybe, I have faith in the many of the <i>people in the current space program</i> (since many are contractors).</i>
 
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lunatic133

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Actually what I should have said was I have faith in NASA but I do not have faith in the people in charge of the checkbook. Although I of course have faith in the people at NASA and the contractors too ... at least most of them ... I'm sure there are evil ones but I haven't met them yet!
 
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jcdenton

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<font color="yellow">NASA, like the Air Force, has at least two major problems: it is a monopoly and it is a government organization. Not the best organizational environment for fostering a revolution.</font><br /><br />Which raises a question, was competition with the Soviet Union the main impetus for success in the Apollo era? Has NASA stagnated due to lack of any adversaries?<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">Has NASA stagnated due to lack of any adversaries?</font>/i><br /><br />I suspect the answer is very complex, but I suspect the lack of competition is certainly part of the answer.<br /><br />It certainly motivated (and may yet again) Congress. I suspect if China was close to establishing a permanent manned colony on the Moon (possession is 9/10 of the law), it would get Congress moving again. However, "losing" to China today is not the same as "losing" to the USSR back in the heat of the cold war. Apollo was to a large degree a marketing effort to demonstrate to African and Asian countries that our way of government and economics produced the better results. Align yourselves with us.<br /><br />We are not in an similar ideological race with China, India, or any other powers. I think only the threat of an Islamic government on the Moon could really get Congress going at this point. For example, if Saudi moguls used their mountains of cash to establish a Wahabi colony and mosque on the moon, I think it would send shock waves through the world. Christendom is dead, long live Islam (and so on).</i>
 
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radarredux

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> <i><font color="yellow">Has NASA stagnated due to lack of any adversaries?</font>/i><br /><br />(Reply part II)<br /><br />While I don't know for certain, I suspect the people at NASA in the 1960s realized they were participating in a very special time and were in the process of making real history. It was a revolution. In a period of about a dozen years mankind went from putting its first man-made anything in orbit to walking on another world. The esprit de corps must have been incredible.<br /><br />By contrast NASA's current goal a dozen years from now is to have several people in LEO in a capsule (~2016 -- CEV in LEO). Hardly a revolution. Even putting humans on the Moon around 2020 will not be a revolution; been there, done that. At best NASA would be repeating what it did -- 40 years earlier!<br /><br />Note that even the President's call and NASA's expansion on it has <i><b>not</b></i> talked about colonization -- only "exploration". There is <i><b>no</b></i> discussion about opening up space to the rest of us. NASA's plans do not include you or me.<br /><br />There is no revolution on the table. Until there is (and I don't think there ever will be again), NASA is just a government organization. The DMV of space.</i>
 
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jcdenton

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<font color="yellow">For example, if Saudi moguls used their mountains of cash to establish a Wahabi colony and mosque on the moon, I think it would send shock waves through the world.</font><br /><br />Now that's a scary thought! <img src="/images/icons/shocked.gif" /><br /><br />I have this feeling that returning to the moon and eventually reaching Mars is going to cost a lot more than the current NASA budget stretched out over 30 years. A $1 billion increase now should be fine, but how about when there are demands for a $5 billion increase in the annual budget? I really don't know, but I hope that the incentive is there in the future...<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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