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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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The NASA budget. The Moon program is dead.

The Obama administration released the budget request for NASA today. Of course this still has to get through Congress to be official..

Here are the main bullets points with my comments.

- The Moon program (aka: Constellation) is dead. Ares 1, Ares 5, and the Orion capsule have been canceled.


Well about damn time. Constellation is still pretty much on the drawing board and is already well over budget.

- The International Space Station will be kept in service until at least 2020 (The Bush administration was going to deorbit it in 2015).

I'm OK with this too. It would be ashamed to simply ditch a $100BILLION space laboratory into the sea.


- Money provided to develop a commercially provided rocket and space capsule for access to Low Earth Orbit (LEO)


This is where SpaceX comes in with their new Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule. Test flights for Falcon 9 start NEXT MONTH (barring delays).

- Money provided for enhancing the nations global climate change research and monitoring system. Including a satellite that helps identify global carbon sources and sinks.

Well, you knew he was gonna do something like this. Anything with "climate change" attached to it is gonna get his blessing.

- Money for a "robust program of robotic solar system exploration and new astronomical observatories"

This was already planned and is simply being maintained. New space probes are in the planning stages.

- Money to begin development of a future heavy-lift rocket system to increase capability for future exploration.

There is a lot of ambiguity here and it has me worried. IMO Obama has punted on the REAL issue of space exploration. IMO he has done the right thing in canceling Constellation but there is no solid plan for WHERE we are going to go. The idea is supposed to be that we'll use a "flexible path" for exploring the entire solar system. That's great but flexible path doesn't mean, NO PLAN.

Yes we are going to need a new Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) but WHAT will it be? We have several options available but there isn't a plan here. Everyone thought that we were going to go down the path of quickly getting a new HLLV using existing Space Shuttle components. Nothing about that is outlined here. Are we going to spend another decade developing something that we'll never actually put to use?

I give President Obama a "B" for ending a bad program and possibly giving birth to a new industry in the US but he could have gotten an A+ if he had put together an sort of a REAL exploration plan.

At least NASA has a competent guy to pull this off.

http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/index.html

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:37 PM
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I agree completely with your comments. And the administrator seems to have a good resume and history.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 02:50 PM
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Should have renamed the moom project 'viewing climate change on Earth from a rock, further away'

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 06:59 PM
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Should have renamed the moom project 'viewing climate change on Earth from a rock, further away'
LOL


Gives me an idea of who the moon pioneers need to be. Load up anyone against climate change in the Space Station and give it a gentle nudge that-a-way

No climate change on the moon, Mr....er...Captain Gore.

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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 06:58 AM
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In China we trust.... this is just another area of expertise that we should let china take the lead on, they have the money, and the technology (most of it stolen from us)

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 08:21 AM
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Would be nice to get NASA to the powerhouse/importance it used to be/have.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 09:34 AM
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In China we trust.... this is just another area of expertise that we should let china take the lead on, they have the money, and the technology (most of it stolen from us)
Because empowering China is exactly what America needs for long term sustainability.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-02-2010, 10:06 AM
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Because empowering China is exactly what America needs for long term sustainability.
I was being sarcastic... through out the course of human history those nations that seek out and explore have always prospered, while those nations that have stopped in their explorations have prospered far less. I think the space exploration is essential to Americas superiority in the world, I for one do not want to look up in 20 years and see a massive Chinese space station floating across the shy.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 01:18 AM
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Drop the tree-hugging shit and the Falcon 9/Dragon projects and this is very doable.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 01:19 AM
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I was being sarcastic... through out the course of human history those nations that seek out and explore have always prospered, while those nations that have stopped in their explorations have prospered far less. I think the space exploration is essential to Americas superiority in the world, I for one do not want to look up in 20 years and see a massive Chinese space station floating across the shy.
Wow. I don't think we're ever agreed on something. Go figure.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-03-2010, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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It's looking like the NASA budget is going to become a new Congressional fight. Several Republican's are against it, mainly because it affects jobs in their states. Kay Bailey Hutchinson appears to be against it because it could affect jobs in Houston.

Frankly it is just Republicans again abandoning their conservative principals. Letting NASA get on with exploration while having private industry take care of things like LEO access is a conservative way of doing this. Frankly I'm pleasantly surprised that President Obama would take a very non socialistic approach to space travel. He's actually using NASA to grow private industry while Republicans are looking to fight it.

I hope the President will put up some leadership this time around and get the NASA budget approved. It might not be perfect but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:18 AM
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Can we send Obama on a one way ticket to the moon? Fuck him.

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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:33 AM
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the problem I see with letting private business take over development and exploration of space, is that no single company can compete, we have many aerospace companies that make components for NASA but none of them have the capacity to run their own space program. so when the government stops buying components from these private businesses they will be left with two options, close shop, or find another buyer (china).

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by cannonball996 View Post
the problem I see with letting private business take over development and exploration of space, is that no single company can compete, we have many aerospace companies that make components for NASA but none of them have the capacity to run their own space program. so when the government stops buying components from these private businesses they will be left with two options, close shop, or find another buyer (china).
I agree, I am just watching Obama slowly ruin this country. I am about to start my gun collection. Its only a matter of time now..

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 08:43 AM
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It's waaaaay more then just Obama. Right down to individual citzens.

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cannonball996 View Post
the problem I see with letting private business take over development and exploration of space, is that no single company can compete, we have many aerospace companies that make components for NASA but none of them have the capacity to run their own space program. so when the government stops buying components from these private businesses they will be left with two options, close shop, or find another buyer (china).
SpaceX doesn't have the capacity to run its own program?

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I agree, I am just watching Obama slowly ruin this country. I am about to start my gun collection. Its only a matter of time now..
That's really great guy. Complaining 8 times in one thread doesn't change any of that.

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 10:25 AM
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SpaceX doesn't have the capacity to run its own program?



That's really great guy. Complaining 8 times in one thread doesn't change any of that.
SpaceX gets funding from NASA

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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SpaceX gets funding from NASA
SpaceX had a program in place before they got a dime from NASA.

The Falcon 1 rocket is the worlds first privately funded rocket that is capable of making orbit. One of the reasons Falcon 9 has been so cheap to develop is because it is basically a scaled up Falcon 1. SpaceX is also not dependent on NASA funding. They have several Falcon 9 orders from private companies. Even the Dragon capsule is being offered as an orbital lab (Dragon Lab). They intend to fly the first Dragon Lab in a couple of years.

It is because Space X was squared away that NASA chose them for the COTS program to send cargo to the Space Station. Space X was already working on Falcon 9 and Dragon before getting the COTS contract. They also designed Falcon 9 and Dragon with "manned rating" in mind. Dragon only needs life support enhancements, flight controls, avionics, seating, and the escape rocket. Falcon 9 just needs some sensor upgrades to allow for the safety rocket. That is why they project that they can launch a manned capsule by 2012.

If everything goes as planned (and it won't) Falcon 9 will fly next month. Space X is scheduled to make 2 deliveries to the space station before the end of the year. By the time they get around to launching the manned version, they will have already had multiple launches and recoveries under their belt. That is LIGHT YEARS better than what NASA was planning with Ares 1.

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 02:19 PM
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SpaceX had a program in place before they got a dime from NASA.

The Falcon 1 rocket is the worlds first privately funded rocket that is capable of making orbit. One of the reasons Falcon 9 has been so cheap to develop is because it is basically a scaled up Falcon 1. SpaceX is also not dependent on NASA funding. They have several Falcon 9 orders from private companies. Even the Dragon capsule is being offered as an orbital lab (Dragon Lab). They intend to fly the first Dragon Lab in a couple of years.

It is because Space X was squared away that NASA chose them for the COTS program to send cargo to the Space Station. Space X was already working on Falcon 9 and Dragon before getting the COTS contract. They also designed Falcon 9 and Dragon with "manned rating" in mind. Dragon only needs life support enhancements, flight controls, avionics, seating, and the escape rocket. Falcon 9 just needs some sensor upgrades to allow for the safety rocket. That is why they project that they can launch a manned capsule by 2012.

If everything goes as planned (and it won't) Falcon 9 will fly next month. Space X is scheduled to make 2 deliveries to the space station before the end of the year. By the time they get around to launching the manned version, they will have already had multiple launches and recoveries under their belt. That is LIGHT YEARS better than what NASA was planning with Ares 1.
exactly how is trying to put a man in orbit profitable for a private company? that would put them 50 years behind NASA's progress. now eventually someone is going to discover something profitable up in space some where, however if we leave our exploration in the hands of a private company some 50 years behind the curb, what are the chance of them making that crucial discovery especially when the chinese and russians are decades ahead?

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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 02:27 PM
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exactly how is trying to put a man in orbit profitable for a private company? that would put them 50 years behind NASA's progress. now eventually someone is going to discover something profitable up in space some where, however if we leave our exploration in the hands of a private company some 50 years behind the curb, what are the chance of them making that crucial discovery especially when the chinese and russians are decades ahead?
Ummmm Hypersonic travel comes to mind for starters...
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 02:56 PM
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Ummmm Hypersonic travel comes to mind for starters...
the European Union has vested a fortune in developing hypersonic travel. its would be very hard for a private company to compete with an entity such as the EU, because the EU would not need to make a profit to survive.

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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 03:05 PM
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the European Union has vested a fortune in developing hypersonic travel. its would be very hard for a private company to compete with an entity such as the EU, because the EU would not need to make a profit to survive.
Yet I see no hypersonic travel produced by the EU....
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 03:20 PM
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Yet I see no hypersonic travel produced by the EU....
exactly, so why would a private company have any better luck?

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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-05-2010, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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exactly how is trying to put a man in orbit profitable for a private company? that would put them 50 years behind NASA's progress. now eventually someone is going to discover something profitable up in space some where, however if we leave our exploration in the hands of a private company some 50 years behind the curb, what are the chance of them making that crucial discovery especially when the chinese and russians are decades ahead?
Well let's count the ways..

1. providing LEO access services to government entities like NASA and the Air Force. (as proposed by Obama)
2. Space tourism: Russia had a line of Millionaires and Billionaires wanting to fly.
3. Manned access to a private space station. Bigelow Aerospace already has two test modules in orbit and is prepping for space station construction in 2012.
4. LEO and GEO orbital access for satellites.
6. Manned satellite repair. (some of those satellites cost hundreds of millions)
7. Long term there is a lot of resource utilization see from this.

By having a private company provide LEO access for NASA, the administration is doing the same thing the government did with AirMail. That gave birth to our airline industry. This is no different.

I would like to hear you tell me how you think they are 50 years behind NASA and the Russians. You act as if they are trying to reinvent the wheel. They are building off of everything NASA built up. This is the ultimate NASA spin off technology. Actual commercial space flight.

But lets face facts. NASA is the one that is now behind the curve. 129 Space Shuttle flights have killed 14 astronauts. The odds of dying on a NASA space craft are now higher than 1 in 100. The Space Shuttle was supposed to have been replaced over a decade ago but has failed each time due to mismanagement and Congressional interference. It cost roughly $1.2BILLION to fly the Shuttle. It can carry 7 people and a lot of cargo but a single engine failure can not only cause a mission failure but the loss of the entire crew and the ship. The Ares 1 rocket was originally based on this 1970's technology but has been modified so much that it only looks similar to the SRB used on the Shuttle. Even then, there are a lot of questions about its safety. NASA was only planning a small handful of test flights before putting people on it. Oh, and Ares is expected to cost about $120MILLION per launch.

Falcon 9 has no single point of failure. It's designed can lose one engine at launch and still get to orbit. They even designed it to be held to the launch pad at ignition to make sure all engines are running before releasing it. Falcon 9 and Dragon are also A LOT cheaper than either the Space Shuttle or Ares. Only $30Million a pop. Even if they end up costing twice as much they'll be cheaper. Dragon and Falcon 9's first stage is also designed to be reusable up to a few flights.

But really, what is the real point of this? The point is to get NASA back to EXPLORATION. Getting to LEO is NOT exploration. The point is to free NASA up providing LEO access and cargo replenishment to the Space Station. That frees up money to develop a heavy lift rocket that can put large components into space for lunar and interplanetary exploration. Anyone taking a close look at the proposed budget can see that the administration is prepping NASA for LONG TERM success. They are putting money into technologies we'll need for Interplanetary Manned transport. They are accelerating technologies like the VASMIR engine. They are upping the funding for Space Station research on things like radiation shielding and life support systems. There is also funding for nuclear reactors for spacecraft. This kind of technology will get us FAR beyond the moon. You're looking at the potential to see humans orbiting Jupiter and Saturn in our own lifetimes.

Why the fuck do we care about NASA providing LEO access when there is an entire fucking solar system to explore?

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