Using the ISS/Shuttle to go to both the Moon/Mars

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craigmac

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I like the idea of inflatable space stations, Martian, and lunar bases of operation. It would seem to me the most expeditious and cost effective to setup temporary bases while in the process of setting up long term bases of operation. As a matter of fact this would even solve the problems of the shortage of space on the ISS.
 
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qso1

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Inflatahabs as I call them, on the moon or mars would serve well as temporary quarters until permanent habs could be put in underground or cave areas for radiation protection. The inflatahabs could still serve as storage or whatever after the permanent habs are in place.<br /><br />I also like the idea of single purpose LEO stations, one module affairs that would serve some major purpose along with some secondary purposes. And since they would be commercial habs/labs, they migh not be so expensive and certainly less expensive to deploy than ISS was. <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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fatjoe

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With the Falcon DARPA/USAF project SmallSat, and cost effective payload deliveries are beginning to take seed in the industry. More legitimate companies are beginning to actually do meaningful research and development along these same lines. My hope is that somewhere on a not too distant campus a graduate student will make a breakthrough in propulsion technology and before you know (my guess is sometime in late 2007 or 2008) our into entire aerospace industry will move into high orbit; starting first with SmallSat, then shipping, and finally the passenger flight industry.
 
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qso1

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Sounds like a plausible scenario to me. <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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willpittenger

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A while back I mentioned a simulator program for STS orbiters. I finally found it. You might want to read the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbiter_%28sim%29. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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marcel_leonard

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Ultimately a new system of propulsion will inevitably be found that will solve the short comings of air dependent scram jet power, and fuel dependent rocket boosters. Perhaps a combination of a scram jet/ aerospike engine would be the answer. If any has heard work being done on such an engine please post a link to this message. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> "A mind is a terrible thing to waste..." </div>
 
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brellis

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One of the cats at jpl was asked what futuristic conceptions were in play, and he mentioned running a high-speed mag-lev rail up a mountain could get a vehicle into orbit. Imagine THAT ride at disneyland, hehe. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="2" color="#ff0000"><em><strong>I'm a recovering optimist - things could be better.</strong></em></font> </p> </div>
 
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brellis

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Here's a spaceref.com article outlining one concept in this direction. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="2" color="#ff0000"><em><strong>I'm a recovering optimist - things could be better.</strong></em></font> </p> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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Just so you know, any form of cannon or other ground-only launch system can only provide a ballistic trajetory. The problem is that your woud-be satellite must make a course change to actually enter orbit. That means it needs its own thrusters. With STS, the OMS system provides that. Remember, the ET reenters because no course change is made.<br /><br />Now if that launcher can provide enough energy to get to something like 1.5 times the lunar obital diameter, that would be another story. Such a project might completely leave the Earth's sphere of influcence.<br /><br />(Many books on the Apollo missions talk about leaving that region, but they would going where the Moon's pull on the spacecraft is stronger than the Earth's. The Moon itself, while it has its own sphere, is inside the Earth's. Something completely leaving Earth's sphere must go farther out.) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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willpittenger

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Actually, do you remember my post about my Challenger Class Shuttle System? One of the last posts that I made in that thread suggested putting aerospikes on the exhaust of the scramjets -- ala Venture. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Will Pittenger<hr style="margin-top:0.5em;margin-bottom:0.5em" />Add this user box to your Wikipedia User Page to show your support for the SDC forums: <div style="margin-left:1em">{{User:Will Pittenger/User Boxes/Space.com Account}}</div> </div>
 
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marcel_leonard

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Here's a spaceref.com article outlining one concept in this direction. <br />Posted by brellis</DIV><br /><br />Sorry I've away for so long; I concentrating on my thesis, but getting back using the ISS, RLV, and new habitat designs for orbiting space station around Mars/Moon make more sense to trying first build lunar or martian base camps. I will probably take another generation before can establish permanent economic bases of operation on either.</p><p>However I think we can explore and even set up orbiting&nbsp;habitats today...&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> "A mind is a terrible thing to waste..." </div>
 
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qso1

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<p>The problem as I see it with human spaceflight nowadays and for years actually, is budget. NASA never gets enough budget to do ambitious human missions beyond low orbit. It was all NASA could do to finally get ISS pushed through to where it is now. 15 years ago, NASA nearly lost ISS. Seeing it pass by just 1 vote in Congress IIRC. Most ideas I see proposed here and elswhere are excellent ideas from a technical standpoint.</p><p>But until cost is addressed in a radical way, "No bucks, no Buck Rogers" as they used to say at NASA.</p><p>If done by private industry, human spaceflight may still have a fighting chance and habitats is one area being addressed. Bigelows inflatahabs are already in orbit, albiet test versions. But thats pretty good progress for a non taxpayer funded entity.</p><p>I pretty much gave up on NASA ever opening the door to deep space (Mars and beyond) once they opted for capsules and Constellation over development of reusable low cost access to orbit. I doubt NASA will even get that once a new President is elected and his/her Administration changes all things Bush. However, NASA might still be able to do a lot for deep space exploration if the private sector can take the most expensive part of getting to space out of its hands.&nbsp;</p> <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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scottb50

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<p>However, NASA might still be able to do a lot for deep space exploration if the private sector can take the most expensive part of getting to space out of its hands....</p><p>And that's the operative idea. NASA should be doing exploration and research, not operating ISS's or manned missions to the moon or Mars. The ISS should be turned over to private operators as soon as it is complete. Maybe a couple or three Astronauts or Cosmonauts to manage the station, but if commercial users want to do projects they should be provided space, at a cost and charged for housing their employees doing their experiments.</p><p>It's basically a matter of providing a venue commercial users can see a benefit from, which is not what NASA or the Russian Space program are able to do. Lets say you want to put five or six Stations in a 600 mile orbit to provide World Wide coverage for communication or data relay. With plug in transponders a user could add to what they need as traffic increases, or reduce capacity if it doesn't develop. It's not in NASA's job description to maintain Stations for commercial use, the users need to see it as profitable and step up and participate.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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qso1

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<p>Your right, NASA should concern itself with deep space exploration and so far, it has since the start of the Constellation program. Once the Venture Star was canned, NASA was out of the inexpensive LEO access business.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <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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marcel_leonard

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Your right, NASA should concern itself with deep space exploration and so far, it has since the start of the Constellation program. Once the Venture Star was canned, NASA was out of the inexpensive LEO access business.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Posted by qso1</DIV><br /><br />Another idea would be to get the European Space Agency, the United Nations, and a global consortium of universities to head the funding and research for the ISS as opposed to only NASA. I like the idea of the private sector taking the lead, but until a dramatic break-through takes place in orbital delivery systems; I'm affraid that the Wall Street fortune 500 won't take that kind of risk.</p><p>Case/Point: Back during the 19th century it was Government/Private Sector resources that started the Trans-Europe Express, and the U.S. continental railroads. The same line of thinking will be necessary for both Lunar/Martian outpost. One way to pay for it is by using the entertainment industry; for example in hind sight no one realized back during the space race of the 1960s, the impact that broadcasted live television would have on the billions of viewers that tuned into&nbsp;see Neil Armstrongs setting the human footprints on the moon.</p><p>We have the technology to send excersions to both the Moon/Mars; then image the revenue that could generated&nbsp;when these exploration teams beam to billions of viewers on Earth pay-for-view Virual Reality broadcast of their expedition to either the Moon/Mars?&nbsp;</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> "A mind is a terrible thing to waste..." </div>
 
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qso1

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<p><font color="#800080">Another idea would be to get the European Space Agency, the United Nations, and a global consortium of university to head the funding and research for the ISS as opposed to only NASA.</font></p><p>ISS is funded by ESA and the Russian space agency as well as NASA. They fund a much smaller portion of it and they oversee their research efforts. I'm not sure about the role of Universities in funding ISS but I would say they probably don't contribute any funds. The global consortium idea you mentioned sounds pretty good.&nbsp;</p><p><font color="#800080">I like the idea of the private sector taking the lead, but until dramatic break-through takes place into orbital delivery systems I'm affraid that Wall Street won't take that kind of risk.Case/Point: Back during the 19th century it was Government/Private Sector resources that started the Trans-Europe Express, and the U.S. continental railroads. The same line of thinking will be necessary for both Lunar/Martian outpost.</font></p><p>The difference today in getting government to fund lunar martian outposts is that the public and politicians in general are not very supportive of human spaceflight efforts. We have seen a longer span of time elapse from the Bush 1 lunar proposal to the Bush 2 proposal than we saw from JFK committing man to the moon and man landing there. And between the Bushes no hardware as yet, much less any actual missions. The U.S. has lost the will to do deep space exploration. Funding issues are just an excuse not to do such missions IMO.</p><p>Private industry itself would not have to do anything more than provide the low cost access to orbit and some companies are actually headed in that direction now. NASA would handle the deep space exploration provided the public and politicians understand that they are getting the benefits of savings achieved through the private industry cost reduction...assuming its possible.&nbsp;</p><p><font color="#800080">One way to pay for it is by using the entertainment industry; for example in hind sight one realized back the space race of the 1960s the impact that broadcasted live television would on the billions of viewers that tuned into&nbsp;Neil Armstrongs setting the human footprints on the moon.We have the technology to send excersions to both the Moon/Mars; then image the revenue that could generated&nbsp;when these exploration teams beam to billions of viewers on Earth Virual Reality broadcast their expedition to either the Moon/Mars? Posted by marcel_leonard</font></p><p>Anythings worth a try. I just hope the new Presidential Admin. doesn't curtail or cancel Constellation.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <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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fatjoe

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Another idea would be to get the European Space Agency, the United Nations, and a global consortium of university to head the funding and research for the ISS as opposed to only NASA.ISS is funded by ESA and the Russian space agency as well as NASA. They fund a much smaller portion of it and they oversee their research efforts. I'm not sure about the role of Universities in funding ISS but I would say they probably don't contribute any funds. The global consortium idea you mentioned sounds pretty good.&nbsp;I like the idea of the private sector taking the lead, but until dramatic break-through takes place into orbital delivery systems I'm affraid that Wall Street won't take that kind of risk.Case/Point: Back during the 19th century it was Government/Private Sector resources that started the Trans-Europe Express, and the U.S. continental railroads. The same line of thinking will be necessary for both Lunar/Martian outpost.The difference today in getting government to fund lunar martian outposts is that the public and politicians in general are not very supportive of human spaceflight efforts. We have seen a longer span of time elapse from the Bush 1 lunar proposal to the Bush 2 proposal than we saw from JFK committing man to the moon and man landing there. And between the Bushes no hardware as yet, much less any actual missions. The U.S. has lost the will to do deep space exploration. Funding issues are just an excuse not to do such missions IMO.Private industry itself would not have to do anything more than provide the low cost access to orbit and some companies are actually headed in that direction now. NASA would handle the deep space exploration provided the public and politicians understand that they are getting the benefits of savings achieved through the private industry cost reduction...assuming its possible.&nbsp;One way to pay for it is by using the entertainment industry; for example in hind sight one realized back the space race of the 1960s the impact that broadcasted live television would on the billions of viewers that tuned into&nbsp;Neil Armstrongs setting the human footprints on the moon.We have the technology to send excersions to both the Moon/Mars; then image the revenue that could generated&nbsp;when these exploration teams beam to billions of viewers on Earth Virual Reality broadcast their expedition to either the Moon/Mars? Posted by marcel_leonardAnythings worth a try. I just hope the new Presidential Admin. doesn't curtail or cancel Constellation.&nbsp;&nbsp; <br />Posted by qso1</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>All it would really take is transferring the budgetary power from the Congress to International Universities Collabratives around the globe, or better yet make the ESA/NASA a chapter of the United Nations using the IMF to note only fund space exploration, but much need educational opportunites and access to technolgies in the developing regions [i.e. Asia, Africa, South America]...</p>
 
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dryson

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Landers? Who cares about landers? Here what I proposed we use as staging gear... 1. Lunar Mobile Construction Trailers 2. A Lunar Transporter From The ISS To The Moon 3. A Deep Space Transporter and Lander that can be used for both the Moon/Mars <br />Posted by marcel_leonard</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Why not design a shuttle that is the same basic shape of the shuttle without the wings. It would be carried into space the normal way a shuttle would but would be used to send crew and parts to the moon base. With the landing gear and added structure of the wing's being removed there would be far more cargo space then any other craft could carry. Every mission that the old shuttle did would still be achievable with this design and would cost less then sending many cargo type ships to the moon. The ORION could carry the crew to ISS and then transfer to the shuttle along with any cargo heading to the moon. The shuttle could then pick up any modules, mined moon ore ect and then transfer it back to ISS where a larger re-useable ORION command module converted to a cargo hauler would return the cargo to Earth.</p>
 
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stanwhite

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<p>QUOTE]Here's a spaceref.com article outlining one concept in this direction. <br />Posted by brellis[/QUOTE]</p><p>They studied maglev for years, but the problem is that it requires a massive electrical spike that only a nuclear powerplant can provide. Current MAGLEV tech can only provide around 1% of the energy needed. That is why it was dropped. However, the idea of assisted launch is the key to future spaceflight. The skyramp people have their website back up with all the details.</p><p>http://www.g2mil.com/skyramp.htm</p><p>It also explains that heavier aerospike engines to adjust the rocket plume are not needed if launched off a mountain top.</p>
 
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Cygnus_2112

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>&nbsp;Why not design a shuttle that is the same basic shape of the shuttle without the wings. It would be carried into space the normal way a shuttle would but would be used to send crew and parts to the moon base. With the landing gear and added structure of the wing's being removed there would be far more cargo space then any other craft could carry. Every mission that the old shuttle did would still be achievable with this design and would cost less then sending many cargo type ships to the moon. The ORION could carry the crew to ISS and then transfer to the shuttle along with any cargo heading to the moon. The shuttle could then pick up any modules, mined moon ore ect and then transfer it back to ISS where a larger re-useable ORION command module converted to a cargo hauler would return the cargo to Earth. <br /> Posted by dryson</DIV></p><p>Because the shuttle is a bad shape for this.&nbsp; Also the shuttle doesn't have the power to leave LEO&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
 
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qso1

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<p><font color="#800080">Why not design a shuttle that is the same basic shape of the shuttle without the wings. It would be carried into space the normal way a shuttle would but would be used to send crew and parts to the moon base. With the landing gear and added structure of the wing's being removed there would be far more cargo space then any other craft could carry. Every mission that the old shuttle did would still be achievable with this design and would cost less then sending many cargo type ships to the moon. The ORION could carry the crew to ISS and then transfer to the shuttle along with any cargo heading to the moon. The shuttle could then pick up any modules, mined moon ore ect and then transfer it back to ISS where a larger re-useable ORION command module converted to a cargo hauler would return the cargo to Earth. Posted by dryson</font></p><p>Actually, of all the ideas mentioned here, the idea of a wingless shuttle was closest to having been tried. It was called shuttle "C" and was well into development by 1990. To the point where NASA reached the mockup stage. But as with all ideas in recent years doing what cost cutters would want. The shuttle "C" was canned as too costly because the anticipated flight rate was too low.</p><p>Shuttle "C" was mainly for use on the Freedom station rather than anything beyond LEO. Going beyond LEO would require modifications to the current shuttle or derivitive that would render them pretty expensive despite being so called off the shelf.</p><p>The modification would also still require additional propellant capability in the form of upper stages or tanks in some part of the payload bay. This is workable from a technical standpoint but not very workable from a cost effectivity standpoint. If NASA were going to develop such a vehicle, may as well start with a clean slate and design one system that can handle the majority of anticipated requirements.&nbsp;</p> <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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craigmac

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Why not design a shuttle that is the same basic shape of the shuttle without the wings. It would be carried into space the normal way a shuttle would but would be used to send crew and parts to the moon base. With the landing gear and added structure of the wing's being removed there would be far more cargo space then any other craft could carry. Every mission that the old shuttle did would still be achievable with this design and would cost less then sending many cargo type ships to the moon. The ORION could carry the crew to ISS and then transfer to the shuttle along with any cargo heading to the moon. The shuttle could then pick up any modules, mined moon ore ect and then transfer it back to ISS where a larger re-useable ORION command module converted to a cargo hauler would return the cargo to Earth. Posted by drysonActually, of all the ideas mentioned here, the idea of a wingless shuttle was closest to having been tried. It was called shuttle "C" and was well into development by 1990. To the point where NASA reached the mockup stage. But as with all ideas in recent years doing what cost cutters would want. The shuttle "C" was canned as too costly because the anticipated flight rate was too low.Shuttle "C" was mainly for use on the Freedom station rather than anything beyond LEO. Going beyond LEO would require modifications to the current shuttle or derivitive that would render them pretty expensive despite being so called off the shelf.The modification would also still require additional propellant capability in the form of upper stages or tanks in some part of the payload bay. This is workable from a technical standpoint but not very workable from a cost effectivity standpoint. If NASA were going to develop such a vehicle, may as well start with a clean slate and design one system that can handle the majority of anticipated requirements.&nbsp; <br />Posted by qso1</DIV></p><p>The main thing to look at here is funding. Until we find new sources of funding deep space manned excursions nothing will take place this decade. Once agian I think a collaboration of universites or a transition to a United Nations runned ESA/NASA would provide the best resultes. In my humble opinion the United States has lost its will to do meaningful science. If you think about it under the Carter Administration it was mandated the U.S. would switch over to the SI Metric system by the year 2000, and here we are in the year of our lord 2008 and nothing has been done except that the toilet of the ISS got broken and is still in the process of being repaired...</p>
 
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qso1

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<p>Personally, I don't consider ISS to be a toilet, expensive yes. Toilet, no. But you are absolutely right about funding and because of funding, or in this case lack of...I have given up on NASA ever getting us to the planets or stars. At least NASA and taxpayer funded spaceflight as we know it today.</p><p>Whether the change comes from a collaboration of universities or from private enterprise investing in their own human spaceflight ideas. The change will be needed if we are going to see anyone go to the moon or mars this century. University collaboration, it would have to be one giant collaborative effort to come up with enough money to fund humans to mars but if thats what it takes...go for it.&nbsp;</p> <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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craigmac

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<p><BR/>Replying to:<BR/><DIV CLASS='Discussion_PostQuote'>Personally, I don't consider ISS to be a toilet, expensive yes. Toilet, no. But you are absolutely right about funding and because of funding, or in this case lack of...I have given up on NASA ever getting us to the planets or stars. At least NASA and taxpayer funded spaceflight as we know it today.Whether the change comes from a collaboration of universities or from private enterprise investing in their own human spaceflight ideas. The change will be needed if we are going to see anyone go to the moon or mars this century. University collaboration, it would have to be one giant collaborative effort to come up with enough money to fund humans to mars but if thats what it takes...go for it.&nbsp; <br />Posted by qso1</DIV></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>I was not calling the ISS a toilet. I merely pointed out that the toilet was broken as reported on nearly every news braodcaste on the planet. The main issue I have is that we could several space stations such as ISS to remotely orbit Mars/Moon as a preliminary step to construction permanent bases off-world...<br /></p>
 
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