Is NASA dead



I didn't write clearly, I was agreeing with you on the bring back capablilty lost but didn't word it right. It is late for me.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
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Wes wrote:

Oh. Pratt & Whitney are going to be in production of the Russian RD-180 pretty soon if that's any consolation.
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John R. Carroll



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John R. Carroll wrote:

The true technological sin here was breaking up the Saturn V tooling.
That was something special...
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Richard Lamb
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CaveLamb wrote:

Incredible thing to do.
The Hall of Science Museum in NYC had the base of a Saturn V stage 1, with the main engines and about 20 feet of the rocket above them. It was removed to who-knows-where.
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John R. Carroll wrote:

I'd strongly agree with John's sentiments here.
The Shuttle was "supposed" to be a cheap way to get to orbit. But it was designed by committees (some of whom had a hard on for it - like the USAF).
It turned out to be a 1953 Chevy space pickup truck - low orbit only.
And it turned out to be WAY more expensive to operate than was intended.
And more dangerous than intended.
An argument could be offered that the Shuttle itself is the cause of the space agency losing it's future. We it less expensive and less dangerous it could be kept going for many more years.
Bucks per pound delivered to orbit is one serious parameter. Having more life capability than needed for the job really means the job cost more.
But the on-orbit hands-on repair capability (Hubble) and the retrieval capability were something special. Low orbit only didn't hurt there, because that where the work was to be found.
But no way to take it to the moon, say. Or even a really high orbit. (what goes up higher comes down much faster!)
But as a delivery truck for the Maytag Satellite Repair crew? Priceless...
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CaveLamb wrote: One lousy beer and my fingers don't know me...
(Edit)

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Richard Lamb
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On Sun, 10 Jul 2011 18:48:23 -0400, the renowned Wes

There's Delta IV for the military. And there are other options for commercial satellites.
Is there any benefit, vital or otherwise, to putting people into space? Wasn't the ISS just a make-work project to keep Russian scientists from churning out ICBM designs to pay the rent?
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
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Spehro Pefhany wrote:

But the public likes to see astronauts go up. A cheap probe can learn a lot more than an astronaut in the same low orbit they were in 50 years ago, but the public wants adventure and doesn't care if anything is learned or not.

Definitely.
People will be needed on planetary missions when we can do them, but that will require new propulsion technology that NASA chose not to develop in favor of funding the shuttle.
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John R. Carroll wrote:

Satellite return was done once, just to test the concept. It was never necessary.
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Tom Del Rosso wrote:

It's always been necessary. When you buy a computer or other electronic device these days the price includes a fee to dispose of the trash the device becomes once it's become scrap. Low Earth has become a flying junk yard that's continuing to be added to much faster than it self recycles. Cleaning up that mess would have and should have been one of the Shuttle's primary missions. That would have meant fewer glorified professors as mission specialists, of course, but who really cares about flying PHD's into space. Most of what these over qualified Bozo's did could have been automated altogether and flown unmanned.
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On Mon, 11 Jul 2011 13:28:30 -0400, "Tom Del Rosso"

Failure analysis might be useful- but the X-37B can probably do things like that, at least for smaller satellites, without endangering humans.
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Minor correction. Satellite return using the shuttle was done once.............
Dan
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On Sun, 10 Jul 2011 08:23:13 -0800, the renowned Jon Anderson

NASA claims $450,000,000 per shuttle launch: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/about/information/shuttle_faq.html#10
But the shuttle has higher capacity to LEO, so cost per kg is maybe only halved by using the Soyuz (again, using NASA's numbers- which cover only operating costs.. real costs from NASA are more like $1.3bn/launch when you amortize the cost of the program over the number of launches).
Either way, it looks to be MUCH cheaper than using current NASA technology. Given that the ISS is doomed to "de-orbiting" in 8 or 9 years (2020), it seems like a reasonble choice.
.. also see the article in the most recent issue of _The Economist_ entitled "The end of the Space Age".
http://www.economist.com/node/18897425
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If a viable shuttle was still in existance, would it be possible to attach propulsion to increase the height of the orbit and the stations life?
Wes
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The Russians wisely gave their ISS module tow eyes.
jsw
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On 7/10/2011 6:54 PM, Wes wrote:

The station is routinely boosted by engines built into the Russian Zvezda module, by Progress capsule engines, and by other robotic delivery trucks that arrive regularly.
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Stuart Wheaton wrote:

Moving it out to high orbit would possibly pin it up there forever. But reentry from that high gets a little dicey.
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Richard Lamb
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"No, it is just taking a nap."
NASA, as a political organization, doing things at the behest of Congress, is dead. It might be renewed as an "R&D" operation, leaving the exploitation of "new" technologies to the private sector. And that includes the building of heavy lifters, space stations, extra-planetary habitats - all the big ticket Projects - that turned NASA into a burocratic quagmire.
tschus pyotr
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pyotr filipivich wrote:

That's backwards from how things usually work. Usually it's the private sector that does the inventing and developing before offering something to the government sector...
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typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    In something like the space program, the timeline for a return is "too long" for a company which has to show improvements every ninety days to keep the stockholders happy. NASA was originally the app;lied idea guys, who would shoot satellites "for research" into the sky, and test out all sorts of thing. And being part of the Government, they would occasionally have military assets involved. Whcih also served as a cover for what the military was doing in space - spy sats, and the like.     I'm sure that a lot of tech development occurred at private corps, which then sold it to NASA. X planes, Dyna-soar, etc, were private built but government funded. Much as the Space-X Dragon is. But the model now is (and may have been before the moon race), fixed cost. "We want one of these, for this much money."     It doesn't always work out. The R101 Dirigible was built to Government specs, and crashed on it's maiden flight.
tschus pyotr
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