View Full Version : Discussion: Nasa Begins Its Transformation

2004-Jun-25, 04:59 PM
SUMMARY: NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe announced a series of changes to the agency to better prepare it to fulfill President Bush's new vision for human space exploration; to "make it leaner and more focused on its goals." NASA will merge seven existing enterprises into four mission directorates, to create clearer lines of communication and authority: Exploration Systems, Space Operations, Aeronautics Research, and the Science Directorate. Further changes are on the way.

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

2004-Jun-25, 11:34 PM
Hmmmmm... you know, I've recently started to read Gene Kranz's superb autobiography, "Failure Is Not An Option" - he was in the game right from the beginning, just as they were starting the unmanned Mercury test flights.

Back then things were a whole lot simpler and you had fewer people on the team. Your goal was to get a man into space and bring him back safely to the Earth. Even with Apollo, the overall goal appeared to be simpler (albeit incredibly difficult to achieve): send a man to the Moon and bring him back safely. The men and women who worked at NASA and the subcontractors never lost sight of that goal and they would make almost any sacrifice, including their careers and their marriages, to make that happen.

Granted, it was a different era, it was the midst of the Cold War and national pride was at stake, but I can't help feeling that NASA has lost it's way somewhat. There doesn't seem to be a clearly defined goal or mission statement.

I don't think I'm really saying anything new here, to be honest, but until the Chinese start making more claims about landing on the Moon by 2010, I can't see the spirit of the 60's being resurrected anytime soon.

2004-Jun-26, 12:49 AM
I agree with Dippy.

Also, one of the specifics I noticed in the Vision was to study the health effects of space, Blah, blah, blah.

They've been studying the health effects for 50 years now. Gimme a break.

Old Observation...Humans don't deal well with Zero-G, so:

Solution>Give the astronauts some Gravity!!!!!

Old Observation...Humans don't deal well with radiation:

Solution>Give the astronauts some extra shielding!!!!! Grab an NEO. Use the mass from it for shielding. For heavens sake, spend more money looking for NEO's.

Old Observation...Considering that Humans don't deal well with Zero-G and that Humans don't deal well with radiation, an extended duration trip to Mars (a logical mission choice) might be harmful to Astronauts, so new systems of better, faster propulsion (such as nuclear) shoud be developed first.

Solution>Give the astronauts some Gravity and some extra shielding and use the rockets we've got and quit asking for more money to throw at problems that have easy solutions.

Eric Vaxxine
2004-Jun-28, 12:02 PM
Earth based humans and space, really don't seem to be matched. I cannot see humans taking over space without massive bionic changes. Can we evolve to live with more radiation, can the human form mutate to deal with less gravity? I am not a scientist and am sure there are MANY more factors. We should start on the moon, surely.

If space faring is our future, then so is the evolution of the human form. Perhaps nature is waiting for this moment, genetic engineering !