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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Jul-28, 10:29 AM
Without ruffling feathers...I'd like to ask what you guys think. Is this the end of the space shuttle? Let's say that a re-design takes 6 months to a year, (best case) and a year to 18 months or more, (worst case)..you're getting awfully close to the shuttle retirement date. Will NASA be making the hard decision sooner rather than later? If this problem isn't fixed fast...is that the end so to speak? I think so...

kucharek
2005-Jul-28, 10:33 AM
This flight is a test flight. On test flights, you hope everything goes well, but it usually doesn't. Fix it and try again.
We haven't seen a catastrophic failure of anything. Until now, the orbiter seems to be in very good shape.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Jul-28, 10:40 AM
the thing is that the shuttle is going to be retired by 2010, (period)...if NASA gets to a point say 2007/2008...why bother spending billions more to get an aging vehicle back into space for two or three years, (and risk the lives of astronauts)...not worth it (imo)...

Moose
2005-Jul-28, 11:17 AM
I don't know. It's scheduled to be retired by then, certainly, but unless they really get moving on a replacement, they won't have much choice but to either extend the life of the shuttle, or dismantle the program entirely. I'm just worried that some may use this latest grounding as an opportunity to do the latter.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Jul-28, 11:32 AM
I think that there is a very good chance that some politicians will use this as an opportunity to dismantle the shuttle program...whether they will succeed is another question...

ngc3314
2005-Jul-28, 01:22 PM
Given that the mandate to retire the shuttles no later than 2010 is still a driver (Griffin stressed that as a bounary condition while on both CNN and Fox News this morning, as I was flipping around for video snippets to tape), they'll be very fortunate to have enough flights to leave ISS in a functional and useful (let alone "core complete") state.

And deeply on topic for BABB, I now see Hubble futures joining the telescope in free fall...

jfribrg
2005-Jul-28, 01:56 PM
I voted no, but I am less that 100% sure.

ToSeek
2005-Jul-28, 02:27 PM
No (perhaps unfortunately). They need the shuttle working in order to finish the space station. They're not going to give up on it this easily.

jfribrg
2005-Jul-28, 03:50 PM
I feel it is extremely important that we finish the space station. Whether it is worth doing is not important at this point. If we expect any international cooperation in future endeavors, then we have to meet our commitments for this project. I don't see any way of doing that without the shuttle.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Jul-28, 06:11 PM
she really is beautiful...

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/123677main_8M2C2673_hires.jpg

Laser Jock
2005-Jul-28, 06:19 PM
she really is beautiful...

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/123677main_8M2C2673_hires.jpg
[C3PO voice]That's funny. The damage doesn't look as bad from out here. [/C3P0 voice]

:D

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Aug-16, 05:07 PM
so...what do you guys think that now the shuttle has returned safely? Looks like March of next year before the next return to flight, flight.....lots of people want to see the shuttle grounded for good.....and scrap the ISS...thoughts???

Gillianren
2005-Aug-16, 07:03 PM
I am a firm believer in the policy of "don't take the old one away until you have the new one." this, to me, applies to the Shuttle, to Hubble, and to used cars universally. now, it may be said that the Shuttle isn't as necessary as having a car, but a car isn't necessary, truly, either--you can take the bus, my friends, even if it is a royal pain to go grocery shopping that way. (I speak from experience on that one!) sure, our satellites, etc, can "hitch a lift" from other countries' rockets, and we can borrow other people's research, but we're still going to (hopefully) be buying a car sooner or later, and might as well hold on to the old one until we do.

Sticks
2005-Aug-16, 07:50 PM
Sorry but the knives are out for personned space flight

It is billed as:
too costly
little return on investment
Too dangerous
Not the greatest of priorities compared to say the starving children of Africa (ducks for cover 8-[ )


Also there are other spending priorities and usually the money people are the ones who win in the end. These are the people for whom the nearest they get to long term planning is what sandwich is for lunch.

This was the last personned spaceflight
ISS will be decomissioned as the other partners will not be able to maintain it after the US pull out

Human spaceflight will be placed in the dustbin of history and eventually seen as a 20th century / 21st century folly

Well that is how it is looking on this side of the pond :(

tracer
2005-Aug-16, 08:11 PM
Sorry but the knives are out for personned space flight

It is billed as:
too costly
little return on investment
Too dangerous
Not the greatest of priorities compared to say the starving children of Africa (ducks for cover 8-[ )
And 20 years after the Space Shuttle is killed and manned spaceflight is discontinued, you just know some yahoo is going to produce a show for the Fox TV network titled The Space Shuttle Hoax.

"Here we are, 20 years after the so-called 'space' shuttle allegedly flew, and human beings aren't even going into space with the technology we have today. Those shuttle flights had to have been faked."

Swift
2005-Aug-16, 08:22 PM
<snip>
This was the last personned spaceflight
ISS will be decomissioned as the other partners will not be able to maintain it after the US pull out

Human spaceflight will be placed in the dustbin of history and eventually seen as a 20th century / 21st century folly

Well that is how it is looking on this side of the pond :(
Wow Sticks, I thought I was dark. You make it sound like the end of human spaceflight forever. I'm uncertain a shuttle will fly again (maybe 50/50 odds), but even if there are a couple of more flights, I am not optimistic about the prospects of human spaceflight from the West (NASA and ESA) over the next 20 years. But those are not the only players; China seems to be where the US was 40 years ago and I suspect someone from China will be the next person on the moon, maybe in my lifetime (I'm 46).

montebianco
2005-Aug-16, 08:55 PM
Also there are other spending priorities and usually the money people are the ones who win in the end. These are the people for whom the nearest they get to long term planning is what sandwich is for lunch.

What is the evidence for this? I know money people who invest in things that won't produce any benefits for years or even decades sometimes.

Sticks
2005-Aug-16, 10:36 PM
Also there are other spending priorities and usually the money people are the ones who win in the end. These are the people for whom the nearest they get to long term planning is what sandwich is for lunch.

What is the evidence for this? I know money people who invest in things that won't produce any benefits for years or even decades sometimes.

I got the quote, or variant from a course I was doing. Unfortunately I can not at this point remember which of the many courses I had to sit through.

It may have been a business course. The trainer certainly had a depressing take on certain parts of the financial industry, most likely the stockbroking industry. But this is not my discipline, and it could have been one of those "business courses for Scientists/engineers" I had to do one when I did my first degree, a BSc in Physical Sciences. We all had to make our way across town to the business school. I think I preferred the computing and numerical methods to the business part, but it was an interesting diversion.

We had to do a presentation on a company, so I chose to do it on British Aerospace, as my father was a civil servant overseeing that company as part of 2nd party assessment.

Van Rijn
2005-Aug-16, 11:17 PM
Human spaceflight will be placed in the dustbin of history and eventually seen as a 20th century / 21st century folly

Well that is how it is looking on this side of the pond :(

I wonder what Richard Branson would say about that. :-k

montebianco
2005-Aug-17, 01:43 AM
I got the quote, or variant from a course I was doing. Unfortunately I can not at this point remember which of the many courses I had to sit through.

Not trying to be nasty or harsh here, but references to "long-term" automatically set off alarm bells in my head, because I see accusations of short-termism all the time. Sometimes, perhaps they are justified, but sometimes they are just used to avoid a realistic analysis of costs and benefits. I like the fact that there is manned space flight, but I've got to admit, it is very expensive, and the US system doesn't seem anywhere near as safe or reliable as was promised when it was first proposed. And the benefits claimed for space flight are, in my opinion, often exaggerated; I routinely see people enumerate lists of practically every technology developed since 1960 as a direct benefit of manned space exporation, as if technological progress would have stopped without these programs. I'm in favor of a certain amount of human spaceflight, but as I pay for only a small part of it, I don't think it is unreasonable for the people who pay for the rest to want to see some benefits from it. Alternative uses of the money can have benefits also, both short-term and long-term.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Sep-11, 05:44 PM
Katrina recovery @ $2.0 billion/day...doesn't look good for the shuttle...

also

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/orl-canenasa09_105sep09,0,5906033.story?coll=orl-home-headlines

ottawan
2005-Sep-11, 09:24 PM
Sorry to interrupt . . . .

But for a spaceflight related board there seem to be a lot of negative people here!!

Granted, big government, and big agencies, seldom do everything right. But when it comes to manned spaceflight who else do we have right now?

I understand the anguish over the destruction caused by Katrina.

Does this affect the budget for the war in Iraq? For the launching of satellites for DoD?

Why(IMO) does the amount of money needed for disaster relief mean that it must come from the money allocated for space flight?

How about the money siphoned to the tobacco, and dare I say OIL companies?

There is where the real tax dollars come from.

Space is where we are headed. It is where we are destined to go. I know we haven't reached very far yet, but it is the lack of effort, the lack of drive, and the close-mindedness of "budget" that will hold us back.

Interruption concluded.

Carry on.

DOOMMaster
2005-Sep-11, 10:44 PM
Sorry but the knives are out for personned space flight

It is billed as:
too costly
little return on investment
Too dangerous
Not the greatest of priorities compared to say the starving children of Africa (ducks for cover 8-[ )


Also there are other spending priorities and usually the money people are the ones who win in the end. These are the people for whom the nearest they get to long term planning is what sandwich is for lunch.

This was the last personned spaceflight
ISS will be decomissioned as the other partners will not be able to maintain it after the US pull out

Human spaceflight will be placed in the dustbin of history and eventually seen as a 20th century / 21st century folly

Well that is how it is looking on this side of the pond :(

You know, I love it how every time a thread about human spaceflight comes up, you always have your standard canned response about how it's doomed to throw in every time. It's annoying, especially since you don't have a clue what you are actually talking about.

Too costly? Not really. The US and Russia spend only a few billion dollars a year on the space program. We spends thousands of times more money each year on miltary programs than the space program. Yet I don't hear you calling for an end to spending on the miltary (like it would happen anyways).

Little return? Again, I find this to be an insult to the entire space program. How many scientfic discoveries would we have missed out on if we didn't have the space program and manned space flight? The Hubble program has done tons more science than just the pretty pictures you see, and it's based on the manned space program. In fact, it's probably one of the greatest programs we've had in the entire space program, manned or unmanned.

Too dangerous? Funny, people used to say the exact same thing about heavier-than-air flight. Guess what? They were just as wrong as you are. Sure, it's dangerous. But as the technology and experience continues to improve, the danger will continue to decrease. The space shuttle isn't the optimal vehicle for space flight anyways, since it's a comprimise for so many different interests. The Russian Soyuz is one of the safest vehicles ever to exist, and it's been flying since the 1960's.

Not the greatest of priorities? This is your opinion, of course. You always bring up the starving children of Africa and I could give you hundreds of reasons why stopping human space flight won't do a single thing for the starving children of Africa. But this is treading into politics and that's not something I'm going to discuss here as it's not something the moderators want done. But as far as my opinion goes, I'd rather see our money spent on the manned space program than the starving children of Africa. At least something will get done that way when we spend it.

And if human spaceflight will be put in the dustbin of history, why is it that dozens of private companies are developing spacecraft to carry private citizens on paid trips to space? Same reason dozens of companies invested and developed aircraft during the beginning of the aviation era. They saw a future where people would be able to fly around the world cheaply and safely. We have this today. One day we will have the same thing for spaceflight. It might take decades, but it will happen, just as it did for the aviation industry. And the people who said it couldn't happen (just as you are doing for human spaceflight) won't be the ones making history.

ottawan
2005-Sep-11, 10:51 PM
Disregard my previous post.

What DOOMMaster said.

Sticks
2005-Sep-12, 05:21 AM
The reasons I gave are one I have heard elsewhere, I just collated them in one area. I have even seen others on these boards putting up a robust defence of them.

I also see that the counter arguments are quite eloquent and if only they could be put over to our Joe and Josephine Public here in the UK. It seems now that there is a more appreciative attitude in the US to the space programme than on this side of the pond.

As for the proverbial "starving children of Africa" I use that as an archetypical argument that I have encountered elsewhere. One of those thinks you dare not be been to be against, like motherhood, apple pie and Family values. Hence the smilies!!

My comment about the private sector involvement raises a couple of questions

1) Will they be allowed to do this, as space is a strategic area, would not some authorities want it controlled

2) Private enterprise is there to make money, what about blueskies research where return is not immeadiately apparent.

Edit realised a better description of archetypical argument may be Totem

Cugel
2005-Sep-12, 12:34 PM
A followup to what DOOMMaster posted:

1. When must a project be called (too) costly?
Suppose there is a big hole in the ground, right in Central Park, which poses a risk to the local pedestrians. We have to fix this and somebody suggests we should fill it with 20 dollar notes which would take $50 billion to fill the hole completely. According to your reasoning this is not a costly solution because the US military spend 10 times that amount each year. Clearly we must come to a better definition of 'costly'. I would like to suggest that a project is costly when there is an obvious and much cheaper way to reach the same goal. Whether manned spaceflight is too costly by this definition depends on the goals you want to achieve with it.

2. If Hubble would have been based on unmanned spaceflight we could have build and launched a new telescope, instead of repairing it, and save some money in the process.

3. As there are a zillion posts on this board about this manned/unmanned issue it should be clear to everybody now that there is something incompatible between these two activities. They are simply two different kinds of sport with very different goals. The real question of course is why both of these things have to be paid from the same NASA budget. This way they will always bite each other, like they have done so in the past. I really hope that manned spaceflight will drift (and evolve) into the private sector, so that the NASA budget can be spend on space science and exploration.
(Things that will never have a direct economical return value).

R.A.F.
2005-Sep-12, 02:24 PM
My comment about the private sector involvement...snip...Will they be allowed to do this, as space is a strategic area, would not some authorities want it controlled.

And just how would the authorities stop the private sector? If they were going to do something like that, well, they're a little late.


If Hubble would have been based on unmanned spaceflight we could have build and launched a new telescope, instead of repairing it, and save some money in the process.

Just how would that be "saving money"? Are you saying that a replacement HST would have been "cheaper" than repairing it?? Does anyone else have a problem with that line of reasoning?

Ilya
2005-Sep-12, 06:04 PM
Just how would that be "saving money"? Are you saying that a replacement HST would have been "cheaper" than repairing it?? Does anyone else have a problem with that line of reasoning?
Sorry, Cugel is right. Building an entire new Hubble, not certifying it for Shuttle, then launching it on an unmanned rocket is cheaper than a repair mission. At least half the cost of anything launched on a Shuttle -- space telescope included, -- is just the cost of "man-rating" it.

DOOMMaster
2005-Sep-12, 06:32 PM
A followup to what DOOMMaster posted:

1. When must a project be called (too) costly?
Suppose there is a big hole in the ground, right in Central Park, which poses a risk to the local pedestrians. We have to fix this and somebody suggests we should fill it with 20 dollar notes which would take $50 billion to fill the hole completely. According to your reasoning this is not a costly solution because the US military spend 10 times that amount each year. Clearly we must come to a better definition of 'costly'. I would like to suggest that a project is costly when there is an obvious and much cheaper way to reach the same goal. Whether manned spaceflight is too costly by this definition depends on the goals you want to achieve with it.

2. If Hubble would have been based on unmanned spaceflight we could have build and launched a new telescope, instead of repairing it, and save some money in the process.

3. As there are a zillion posts on this board about this manned/unmanned issue it should be clear to everybody now that there is something incompatible between these two activities. They are simply two different kinds of sport with very different goals. The real question of course is why both of these things have to be paid from the same NASA budget. This way they will always bite each other, like they have done so in the past. I really hope that manned spaceflight will drift (and evolve) into the private sector, so that the NASA budget can be spend on space science and exploration.
(Things that will never have a direct economical return value).

Not a bad point, but unfortunately we have been stuck with the space shuttle for the past 2.5 decades. The Russians have been sending people into space for much less than how we decided to do it. The problem with manned spaceflight is that after the Apollo program, everything space took a back seat. I've never been a fan of the shuttle and I think we need to develop a replacement now.

As for Hubble being cheaper, maybe. Remember, Hubble originally didn't work due to a flaw in the mirror. Would it have been cheaper to build a whole new telescope from scratch and launch it again? Or was the repair cheaper? I really don't know, but someone here might. I do know that it certainly wouldn't have been quicker and we would have been waiting many more years for the next Hubble. Cheaper isn't always better. Ask me about the roads here in Central Illinois and I'll give you many reasons for that. :-)

As for manned/unmanned spaceflight, I'd like to see it move toward the private sector as well. NASA will probably still be sending people into space long after the private sector does as well. Hopefully they learn few things from the private sector and make their human spaceflight missions cheaper, better, and safer.

ToSeek
2005-Sep-12, 06:52 PM
Sorry, Cugel is right. Building an entire new Hubble, not certifying it for Shuttle, then launching it on an unmanned rocket is cheaper than a repair mission. At least half the cost of anything launched on a Shuttle -- space telescope included, -- is just the cost of "man-rating" it.

First time I've heard that. Heck, before the Challenger accident, they were ready to place a liquid-fueled, uncontrollable-from-the-ground Centaur upper stage in the shuttle's cargo bay.

Still, the cost of a shuttle launch is on the order of a billion dollars, about the same price as a separate mission (http://www.pha.jhu.edu/hop/) that would include the instruments waiting to be installed as part of the next servicing mission.

fossilnut2
2005-Sep-12, 08:42 PM
I can't vote because my answer would be a mixture of the two

'Yes, I'm optimistic'

Gemini
2005-Sep-12, 08:56 PM
I think we should have some sort of interim vehicle, like the stick, could be launched while the shuttle is grounded.