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David Hall
2002-Sep-20, 01:50 PM
I found another New York Times article today. This time it's about a report criticizing the recent cutbacks in ISS operations. It states that the lack of manpower and equipment available is seriously cutting into it's ability to do scientific research.

http://nytimes.com/2002/09/20/science/20STAT.html (Registration required)

Here's another page on the same subject:
http://www.space.com/news/iss_fin_020918.html

Doodler
2002-Sep-23, 05:48 PM
I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the construction industry, but what they have done to the ISS with lowering their sights to "Core Complete" reminds me of the odious practice I know called "Value Engineering". A cost cutting practice basically defined as: Engineering the Value out of your project.

JS Princeton
2002-Sep-24, 02:21 PM
Some of us are human-space travel enthusiasts, in which case ISS is a disaster because it really is just this big boondoggle up there with no mandate for future exploration.

Some of us are science enthusiasts, in which case ISS is a disaster because it is taking funds that could otherwise be used for legitimate science research.

Ah spacestation, you're like the embarassing uncle who eats all the food at the family reunion.

heliopause
2002-Sep-24, 05:15 PM
I wouldn't call the ISS totally useless. I mean, it can help an irrelevant pop star from a prefabricated farce of a music group get his jollies in Low Earth Orbit....if he can ever find the cash.


Other than that, yeah, its useless.

Doodler
2002-Sep-24, 06:36 PM
While I am not a fan of the music, I credit Lance with attempting to reintroduce an interest in space flight that the current generation of Americans has lost in favor of their own immediate pleasures. If putting a popstar in orbit gets the job done, then dangit, get'er done!!

Sum0
2002-Sep-24, 08:00 PM
It's something noblely eccentric, which we can all aspire to. Space tourism is here, for the rich at least...

DALeffler
2002-Sep-25, 08:47 AM
Actually, I like the idea of tourists being able to pay thier way into LEO.

I saw Aldrin and whatsisname land on the moon when I was 9 years old. I thought all the grown-ups were being way too emotional for what I expected to be common place for when I was all grown-up. Heck, I thought my job would be working on the moon.

I was lookin' forward to it.

I still am.

Now, all I gotta do is hit that (big) lottery. Which is a whole lot better odds than my chances were when goverments decided the who/what/why/where and when of space.

It's about time, you ask me...

Doug.

kucharek
2002-Sep-25, 09:21 AM
On 2002-09-25 04:47, DALeffler wrote:
I saw Aldrin and whatsisname ...

If this isn't a joke, Buzz is your friend /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Harald

Cloudy
2002-Sep-26, 06:03 AM
"America's white elephant" - a popular name for the station outside the US, or so I've heard.

If any project bears the marks of being made by a committee, ISS does.

Trouble is, you can't cancel it. I think that is one of the big reasons NASA wants all future large manned space projects internationalized - that way they can't be canceled no matter how overbudget and underperforming they become. Notice that the administration is having trouble even cutting back on the project because the other partners (who have invested billions) would then complain.

It is bad enough that everyone and their mother wants to pile something on to each new large project NASA goes for. We've made things far worse by inviting whole other COUNTRIES full of beauracracy to add to the pile by making them CRITICAL parts of the project. There is a reason NASA's smallest and/or most focused projects are the most successfull.

The best thing that could happen for manned space flight is for ISS to be DESTROYED in a terrorist attack or a freak impact - and for all the astronauts to evacuate saftly by heroic means. Perhaps such an adventure story would help free up the funding and restore the sense of adventure needed for a real manned space program.

Someone needs to get out the elephant gun and take a shot at this big, white target. It is already dead in terms of scientific payoff - we need to drag off the corpse before it begins to rot and ruin life for everything else in the Zoo.

Doodler
2002-Sep-26, 06:01 PM
Funny, I always thought of the space shuttles as white elephants... No matter how much they do up there, a half billion dollars a flight is ludicrous. They were supposed to make it MORE affordable. I'll hand the Russians this, they are at least cost effective, if not technologically advanced. Heck, maybe we ought to revive the Apollo CM/SM design and use them as lifepods/dorms too. Bet they'd be a lot less expensive to use than the shuttles, they are known technological entities, even with new upgrades to bring them into the 21st century, after that then we could put six people up and not be totally dependant on Russia for rides. (Not a knock against Russia, but asking for two Soyuz capsules at a shot would not be asking a lot of them at the momment)

mallen
2002-Sep-26, 11:59 PM
On 2002-09-26 14:01, Doodler wrote:
(Not a knock against Russia, but asking for two Soyuz capsules at a shot would not be asking a lot of them at the momment)


According to CNN today, it would:

<a href=http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/09/26/russia.station.reut/index.html>Russia mulls mothballing space station</a>

Bummer

overrated
2002-Sep-27, 01:33 AM
I think the biggest problem with the ISS is that it's just not being done right. NASA can't do everything it wants because it isn't getting all the funding it wants. So the space station is relegated to bare-bones status, meaning that its biggest plus is its ability to attract space tourists.

It's not like NASA had the station thrust upon it; it wanted to do it. But the project is not being done right, mainly because it's not politically expedient.

Face it, NASA isn't high on the priority list of anyone who controls the country's purse strings. If bringing other countries onboard important projects is the only way to keep the projects from being axed, so be it. Otherwise the agency would be forced to keep crash-landing probes onto Mars.

As far as the Space Shuttle, I think NASA keeps it around, again, because it can't afford to develop anything better.

DALeffler
2002-Sep-27, 03:41 AM
Are we expecting too much?

The Apollo missions and the sts missions are all about two entirely different things.

Apollo was about going to the moon, gathering samples and coming back alive where as sts is about living in leo and coming back healthy.

I would submit that most Americans feel the moon missions were the hard part, that anything else short of a new manned planetary mission was/is going to be relatively cheaper, faster, and safer.

And we're not at all happy that the conquest of the solar system is going to be so ever more dangerous and expensive and time consuming than what those moon landings promised.

I think our choice is simple: we either send mankind out in his tin cans or we don't: there's trade offs either way...

I'd like to think the reason we're exploring space with any type of machine is because it means somebody will someday get to go there in person ...

We need the ISS, we need the STS, and we need Soyuz.

Otherwise, what's the point?

Doug.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: DALeffler on 2002-09-26 23:53 ]</font>

Doodler
2002-Sep-27, 12:32 PM
Oops, sorry Mallen, mistyped. I just read that and had this strange sinking feeling. Ah well, on to the moon.

That goes back to something about the US that's been bugging me for several years. We have DEFINITELY lost our stomach for risk. I cannot tell you the number of times bile has hit my throat when I hear about how we can't do things because its not 100% safe. How we have become so dependant on politicians who are even more dependant on opinion polls taken from the average citizen, who has NO grasp of the reality of the risks we take, or are so terrified by the possibility that someone might get hurt, that they feel they have to protect us from ourselves. DAMMIT, its irritating!! I have said on a couple other boards and in a few live debates that we couldn't do the Apollo missions today because we are so freakin' paranoid about danger, we shrivel... I really think this space station is a boondoggle not because its mission is wrong, but because it represents a baby step out from the planet. We have seen some real interest in returning to the moon, I just hope to God those parties willing to go lie through their teeth about the risk involved. One peep about radiation exposure, equipment failure, or God forbid a hangnail and its over. For those in Europe and elsewhere I apologize, this is an issue I have seen in the States and I believe it is behind more of our woes in space exploration and development than anything else. Our leadership is slaving itself to a general public that has been spoiled by convenience and complacency into a hand-wringing cowering mob. We've been on top so long we no longer feel the need for a challenge or to be challenged. I take back part of my earlier reservations about China putting a man on the moon. If competition with them gets us there, more power to them.
_________________
Never discount a possibility, always charge full price - HB Marketing Philosophy

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Doodler on 2002-09-27 08:45 ]</font>

MKR
2002-Sep-27, 01:09 PM
On 2002-09-24 16:00, Sum0 wrote:
It's something noblely eccentric, which we can all aspire to. Space tourism is here, for the rich at least...


That's how it started with commercial flights in airplanes, now anybody can fly, and i don't expect this to take as long to develop into a major industry.

SeanF
2002-Sep-27, 01:57 PM
On 2002-09-27 09:09, MKR wrote:


On 2002-09-24 16:00, Sum0 wrote:
It's something noblely eccentric, which we can all aspire to. Space tourism is here, for the rich at least...


That's how it started with commercial flights in airplanes, now anybody can fly, and i don't expect this to take as long to develop into a major industry.


Actually, I disagree with this assessment. Air travel for the general population is used as a means to an end - "we can get you from here to there faster than driving." Civilian space travel, for the forseeable future, would be an end unto itself. Hence, I don't think this "industry" will develop faster.

In fact, I believe there was only about ten years between the Wright brothers first flight and the first commercial airline starting business, so it's already too late! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Mespo_Man
2002-Sep-27, 02:47 PM
In regards to the ISS debate...

Please read the inclosed link

NASA Future plans (http://www.msnbc.com/news/813251.asp?0cl=cR)

and tell me if there would be any advantage to moving the ISS from it's current LEO to the L1 position. NASA seems to put a lot of importance on that place.


(:raig



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Mespo_Man on 2002-09-27 10:53 ]</font>

Doodler
2002-Sep-27, 08:21 PM
No, its not designed for operations that far out, there is no protection against hard space radiation, it wouldn't be viable outside the Van Allen Belts

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Doodler on 2002-09-27 16:22 ]</font>

DALeffler
2002-Sep-28, 01:46 AM
Has anything ever been refueled in space?

It's not a debate point but a question that I don't know the answer to.

Thanks,

Doug.

MKR
2002-Sep-28, 02:32 AM
On 2002-09-27 09:57, SeanF wrote:


On 2002-09-27 09:09, MKR wrote:


On 2002-09-24 16:00, Sum0 wrote:
It's something noblely eccentric, which we can all aspire to. Space tourism is here, for the rich at least...


That's how it started with commercial flights in airplanes, now anybody can fly, and i don't expect this to take as long to develop into a major industry.


Actually, I disagree with this assessment. Air travel for the general population is used as a means to an end - "we can get you from here to there faster than driving." Civilian space travel, for the forseeable future, would be an end unto itself. Hence, I don't think this "industry" will develop faster.

In fact, I believe there was only about ten years between the Wright brothers first flight and the first commercial airline starting business, so it's already too late! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif





Well, once there's a moon colony, it'll develop fast. I'll probably be able to go to the moon to visit sometime within my lifetime, and it'll be cheap.

Cloudy
2002-Sep-28, 04:37 AM
About space refueling -
Both Mir(when it existed) and ISS have been refueled - shuttles and Russian rockets have replenished the fuel they need to maneuver arround debris and to "reboost" - that is, to compensate for atmospheric drag and prevent the stations' orbits from decaying(yes, there is a TINY BIT of astmosphere that far up).

There is a new company trying to make money by refueling commercial communications satelites and their plans are pretty far advanced. Don't remember the name or website. It is not really a direct 'refueling' though - it involves attaching a 2nd spacecraft with a solar powered ion engine and using the ion engine instead of the satelite's old station keeping thrusters.

Until recently, docking in space required at least one of the spacecraft to be manned because only a pilot could make the minute corrections required to dock one craft with another. There may be allot more refueling of satelites in space now that automatic rendevous and docking is possible. Many perfectly good, billion dollar satellites have become useless because they have run out of the fuel they need to keep them in just the right orbit to do their missions.

Strongly agree with Doodler regarding risk. People do not know how to asses it correctly and then foist their ignorance upon the rest of us via the government. Its time bring the word "coward" back into the language.

"A coward is not one who does not fear at all, rather, he is one who is not afraid of the right things." Plato.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Cloudy on 2002-09-28 00:43 ]</font>

Doodler
2002-Sep-30, 01:24 PM
Also on the subject of refueling, doesn't the Hubble get the occasional top off?


Thanks for the support Cloudy, I apologize to anyone offended for getting so fire and brimstone about the issue, but after seeing that attitude hamstring so many worthwhile endeavors, I had to unload about it. Even if the general public cringes at the thought of the risks involved in space work, the least they could do is get out of the way of the rest of us.

ToSeek
2002-Sep-30, 09:51 PM
On 2002-09-30 09:24, Doodler wrote:
Also on the subject of refueling, doesn't the Hubble get the occasional top off?


No - the Hubble has no thrusters, though part of each servicing mission is a "reboost," where the space shuttle moves HST up to a higher orbit.

Doodler
2002-Oct-01, 02:50 PM
I knew about the boosting I was refering to its maneuvering thrusters. The one's they use to turn it into position for use. Or does NASA simply replace them?

David Hall
2002-Oct-01, 03:21 PM
I don't think the Hubble uses thrusters of any kind. I believe it uses flywheels for pointing.

Sudden thrusting maneuvers could really mess with a deep-field image.

ToSeek
2002-Oct-01, 06:24 PM
On 2002-10-01 11:21, David Hall wrote:
I don't think the Hubble uses thrusters of any kind. I believe it uses flywheels for pointing.


We rocket scientists types call them reaction wheels (http://www.thetech.org/exhibits_events/online/hubble/whichway.html). /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Manchurian Taikonaut
2005-Nov-17, 06:04 AM
NASA to halt key research on space station ?
http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/dp-15408sy0nov04,0,7871029.story?coll=dp-news-local-final]
NASA warns of possible layoffs
Space shuttle costs could force cuts, the agency says, which may impact Langley

Battle over spending cuts heats up on Capitol Hill
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/politics/12980420.htm
using Katrina as an excuse to slash programs

publiusr
2005-Nov-18, 10:50 PM
They had better not!

Launch window
2006-Jan-10, 07:24 AM
revised space station plan
http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=33513

NASA Had No Choice But To Buy Soyuz Flights
http://www.spacedaily.com/news/NASA_Had_No_Choice_But_To_Buy_Soyuz_Flights.html
NASA's announcement last week that it will pay Roskosmos $43.6 million for a round-trip ride to the International Space Station this spring, and an equivalent figure for an as-yet-undetermined number of future flights to the station until 2012, represents the agency's acknowledgment that it had no alternative.

NASA Space Station On-Orbit Status 9 January 2006
http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=19219

cash woes
http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=7959

NASA testing in-house system for Space Station
http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;995642994;fp;16;fpid;0

Launch window
2006-Aug-28, 01:50 AM
Space station science gets squeezed
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14489184/
Setbacks and shifting exploration vision stir controversy

Doodler
2006-Aug-28, 02:02 PM
Not complaining too much. Get it built, then do science. Its next to impossible to get anything useful done in a laboratory on Earth when the building is only half done, with so few people on the station, its not surprising the same is true.

Eckelston
2006-Aug-28, 11:38 PM
Who are the biggest supporters of ISS? I guess space enthusiasts don't really like it all that much, they'd prefer to see more ambitious projects. There's not much science being done, I really doubt there are many scientists who work on the effects of microgravity on the human body. Certainly less than those working on extrasolar planets or gravity waves (LISA and TPF).

Yet the ISS is alive and well. There never was a serious initiative to abandon it, so it definitely must have some serious support. Is it those congress(wo)man whose constituents depend on the Space Shuttle? Or maybe it's strong pressure from Russia and ESA? Could someone enlighten me?

transreality
2006-Aug-29, 01:12 AM
As a space enthusiat it is nice to log on to Nasa TV and see what the astronauts are up to on the station, That provides a sense of continuity. Usually they are doing unconventional things, like rebuilding zero-G excercise machines, that is banal on one hand, but exotic on the other. This suggests that this is real 'life in space'.

Now, is the ability of the astronauts on the station to inspect and repair the space shuttle, in a manner that appears routine, contributing to the continuing operation of the shuttle fleet? More depends on that than just the station...

If a long-stay facility is placed on the moon then I sure that it will incorporate habitation technologies developed on the station.

Launch window
2006-Aug-29, 02:17 AM
Who are the biggest supporters of ISS? I guess space enthusiasts don't really like it all that much, they'd prefer to see more ambitious projects. There's not much science being done, I really doubt there are many scientists who work on the effects of microgravity on the human body. Certainly less than those working on extrasolar planets or gravity waves (LISA and TPF).

Yet the ISS is alive and well. There never was a serious initiative to abandon it, so it definitely must have some serious support. Is it those congress(wo)man whose constituents depend on the Space Shuttle? Or maybe it's strong pressure from Russia and ESA? Could someone enlighten me?

Some times joint missions work very well, take example the European/NASA work with Ulysses to study the Sun or the Soho mission with ESA, or co-operation with the Russians during the docking of Apollo-Soyuz, and Canada's contribution to robotics that NASA constantly puts to use, these missions can be great but joint missions can also become a big mess.
It's because it an international mess that it is becoming a failure.

The ISS project was high ambitious to begin with, it was connected to the politics of the time and then was badly managed and costs over-ran. Since the Shuttle distaster and STS flights got grounded the Japanese have been wondering when their lab will ever be launched, instead in is sitting on Earth in NASA storage collecting dust, while the Russians now had to launch extra Soyuz flights to keep NASA in space. The Russians then of course starting playing hardball and asked NASA to pay up for its extra flights, ESA's Columbus-Module is still grounded at Kennedy Space Center, while countries like Brazil and Canada hope that their investments in the ISS won't be a total waste of money.