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Old April 3 2012, 06:10 AM   #31
Kelthaz
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

SmoothieX wrote: View Post
Uhhh, maybe we should worry a little more about the earthly problems in this country right now.
Fortunately explorers in the past didn't think as you do. We're always going to have earthly problems, so if you're waiting for the perfect time for funding space exploration it's never going to come.
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Old April 3 2012, 06:48 AM   #32
sojourner
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
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^Really? then show it to us on the current "open path".
The current manned capsule that is being worked on was part of the Constellation program.
And?
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Old April 3 2012, 08:13 AM   #33
Caliburn24
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

I'd prefer to disband NASA and incentivize commercial development in space. Government(any government) is too risk adverse, too bureaucratic, too inefficient, and too uncreative to be in charge of taking us into space.

For all the lessons NASA learned, all the improvements in technology, materials and engineering, the price to put a pound of weight into orbit did not drop. In fact it increased once we moved from the Saturn Vs to the Shuttle. And that is a failure that should doom NASA to the ash-heap of history. And there have been many other missed opportunities.

The government has had many opportunities to turn over civilian space activities to the private sector. In the 1970s, American Rocket Co. was one of the private enterprises that wanted to sell launch services to NASA and private businesses. But NASA was moving from science to freight hauling, and planned to monopolize government payloads on the shuttle and subsidize launches of private cargo as well. The agency thus turned down American Rocket.

In the late 1980s, Space Industries of Houston offered, for no more than $750 million, to launch a ministation that could carry government and other payloads at least a decade before NASA's station went into operation. (NASA's station currently comes with a price tag of nearly $100 billion for development, construction and operations.) NASA, not wishing to create its own competition, declined Space Industries' offer.

In 1987 and 1988, a Commerce Department-led interagency working group considered the feasibility of offering a one-time prize and a promise of rent to any firm or consortium that could deliver a permanent manned moon base. When asked whether such a base were realistic, private-sector representatives answered yes -- but only if NASA wasn't involved. That plan was quickly scuttled.

Each shuttle carries a 17-story external fuel tank 98 percent of the distance into orbit before dropping it into the ocean; NASA could easily -- and with little additional cost -- have promoted private space enterprise by putting those fuel tanks into orbit. With nearly 90 shuttle flights to date, platforms -- with a total of 27 acres of interior space -- could be in orbit today.

These could be homesteaded by the private sector for hospitals to study a weightless Mr. Glenn or for any other use one could dream of. But then a $100 billion government station would be unnecessary.

As long as NASA dominates civilian space efforts, little progress will be made toward inexpensive manned space travel. The lesson of Mr. Glenn's second flight is that space enthusiasts ignore economics at their peril.
http://www.cato.org/publications/com...privatize-nasa

Get government out of the way and let the private sector have a try.
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Old April 3 2012, 08:29 AM   #34
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

Ah, the old external tank proposals. Didn't use of them in orbit turn out to be impractical? Basically, they were never designed to last in that environment and the argument that "with little additional cost" they could be modified wasn't anywhere near the truth.
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Old April 3 2012, 12:49 PM   #35
Knight Templar
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

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Ah, the old external tank proposals. Didn't use of them in orbit turn out to be impractical? Basically, they were never designed to last in that environment and the argument that "with little additional cost" they could be modified wasn't anywhere near the truth.
No one knows given that we never actually put external tanks into orbit.
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Old April 3 2012, 11:09 PM   #36
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

Um, right, because no one knows how the tanks are made and what the conditions in orbit are like.
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Old April 4 2012, 01:41 AM   #37
Caliburn24
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

I'm no engineer, nor do I have any particular knowledge on the matter. But what orbital conditions could possibly stress an external tank more than that of the launch? And no it is not a rhetorical question, I'd genuinely like to know. Micro-meteorites? Containing an atmosphere?

But that is a weak argument at best for getting rid of NASA, arguing what they have not done.

The stronger argument by far is what they have done. They have made it much more expensive(even with inflation adjusted) to put stuff into orbit. That is government waste at its finest.

Last edited by Caliburn24; April 4 2012 at 03:09 AM. Reason: inflation
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Old April 4 2012, 02:05 PM   #38
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

An economy based on innovation is the only economy with a reliable future. A well funded and highly motivated space program necessitates innovation like nothing else can. Americans are pretty damn good at getting shit done when they have the motivation and the resources available for them to do so.
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Old April 4 2012, 02:33 PM   #39
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

This is the ideal time to launch my drive for a crowdfunded mission to Mars.

How much do you think i'll need? Can't cost more than a season of Enterprise, surely.
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Old April 4 2012, 02:33 PM   #40
Knight Templar
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

Commercial interests are not known for financing exploration.
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Old April 4 2012, 07:43 PM   #41
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

^Really? explain to me the existence of all those teams oil companies send out then.
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Old April 4 2012, 09:00 PM   #42
Knight Templar
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

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^Really? explain to me the existence of all those teams oil companies send out then.
They aren't being sent into oceans that have never been sailed or undiscovered countries are they?

You have really got to be kidding.
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Old April 4 2012, 11:24 PM   #43
Caliburn24
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

How big a prize would it take to get commercial groups to start heading to Mars? 10-20 billion dollars tax free to the first team to bring us back some pretty red rocks?

Financial investors are afraid of risk, which exploration is, so give them a concrete profit motive. The X-Prize writ large.
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Old April 4 2012, 11:54 PM   #44
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

Knight Templar wrote: View Post
sojourner wrote: View Post
^Really? explain to me the existence of all those teams oil companies send out then.
They aren't being sent into oceans that have never been sailed or undiscovered countries are they?
Oh wait, who are some of the most experienced deep see divers in the world? Ah right, commercial divers.

Oh, and you didn't answer the question.
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Old April 5 2012, 12:10 AM   #45
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Re: NASA's budget: Help save space exploration!

Didn't Elon Musk say that once the Falcon Heavy starts flying he could do a round trip to mars entirely with SpaceX tech for half a million dollars?

Of course, Musk says a lot of stuff and I'm pretty damned sure its impossible, but if they successfully dock a Dragon with the ISS, and then start putting people up in them, safely in the next 2 years then he'll have pipped NASA to the post for returning Americans to LEO, and if Falcon Heavy works fine then it's just a matter of time and money. If the rest of Space X performs as its intended too, the money shouldnt be a problem for them.

Source for the half a million figure: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/03...l-cost-500000/
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