Offtopic

Nasa outsources the space program

General chit chat

Nasa outsources the space program

Postby BigB » Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:46 pm

http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/ar ... /107170309

Yup.., kind of weird, after outsourcing their entire manufacturing industry to China, now they outsource the space program.., way to go :(
User avatar
BigB
-
-
 
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:40 pm

Re: Nasa outsources the space program

Postby Gauntlet » Mon Jul 18, 2011 1:22 pm

Your reaction kind of surprises me.

Knowing that the Space Shuttle Program has been scheduled for cancellation, and knowing that we haven't replaced it, you have an issue with us sending astronauts up via Russian rockets to the International Space Station?

While I am sad the Space Shuttle program is ending, it is long overdue, the first shuttle was a prototype, after that they designed a new shuttle immediately, which was scrapped in favor of continuing to produce the prototype models. Its had a glorious history, with allot of danger.

Don't get me wrong, I want shuttle style vehicles, but several programs were started and canceled since 1995, and so now we have no replacement.

Outsourcing to private companies for basic satellite launch and basic transit to ISS makes sense, what should anger us is our public's lack of interest in the space program.

But hey, maybe when China puts some people on the moon or such we will be invigorated, after-all the Space program only started because the US wanted to make sure it won every pissing contest it could with Russia.



PS: I suggest you look up SPACEX, promising company that has already produced some useful space rockets.
Gauntlet
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Nasa outsources the space program

Postby Boris28 » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:17 pm

The thing is the space program has give little back to the people in last 20 years.

After the moon project there wasnt much there else to explore to them. They didnt build any new engines which can go in some super speeds or anything. With rockets you cannot do much, its brute force to travel with rockets to other planets or to explore space. Its just that the tehnology didnt developed much and of course it all stuck. They didnt moved much except to put more and more satelites in orbit.
I was hoping nasa will put a moon base which would have been first step in colonization of mars. Lower gravity would make it ideal to build bigger ships.
But I think this is where we are stuck for the next 50-100 years until someone founds some better engine or powersource.
Humanity needs a new invention to be able to travel and explore more we are once again limited by tehnology of this century.
Boris28
-
-
 
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:16 pm

Re: Nasa outsources the space program

Postby Gauntlet » Mon Jul 18, 2011 2:54 pm

http://www.gizmag.com/ad-astra-ion-engi ... ays/12342/


Latest and greatest engine tech will likely give us month-ish travel to mars and back and isn't chemical. We've had ion engine tech for some time, though this is going to be the best yet.

We are faced with the bigger issue of the public and expectations. What do you expect NASA to 'give back' to the public? This isn't a business venture, or if it is, you really need to measure your goals in decades and centuries.

Your not going to get tons and tons of innovations for the everyday man, your going to get long, expensive, trial and error. I would be happy to give up on long distance recon like flybys of Saturn for a moon or mars focus, but people need to keep in mind that the value in a moon base is learning how to build moon bases, its not like there is a pot of gold up there we are going to dig up. And that makes it very hard to get public support and financial backing. Frankly the commercialization is going to be our best bet for new tech because voters and politicians won't likely be helping the space cause.

Lower gravity is only ideal for building bigger ships if you don't have to ship the raw materials through earth orbit and beyond to get there (at least with chemical launching). A much more interesting colony would be CERES, a planetoid in the asteroid belt (takes up about 25% of the mass in the belt, its quite big) and is largely ice, which will provide water, possibly fuel, and air supplies.
Gauntlet
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Nasa outsources the space program

Postby BigB » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:42 am

Gauntlet wrote:Your reaction kind of surprises me.

Knowing that the Space Shuttle Program has been scheduled for cancellation, and knowing that we haven't replaced it, you have an issue with us sending astronauts up via Russian rockets to the International Space Station?

While I am sad the Space Shuttle program is ending, it is long overdue, the first shuttle was a prototype, after that they designed a new shuttle immediately, which was scrapped in favor of continuing to produce the prototype models. Its had a glorious history, with allot of danger.

Don't get me wrong, I want shuttle style vehicles, but several programs were started and canceled since 1995, and so now we have no replacement.

Outsourcing to private companies for basic satellite launch and basic transit to ISS makes sense, what should anger us is our public's lack of interest in the space program.

But hey, maybe when China puts some people on the moon or such we will be invigorated, after-all the Space program only started because the US wanted to make sure it won every pissing contest it could with Russia.



PS: I suggest you look up SPACEX, promising company that has already produced some useful space rockets.



My reaction is not just about the space program.., it's the general politics in the Western world.
I'm not American, but it's sad to see a country as advanced as America to be constantly outsourcing everything., now even the space program.
If they keep this trend, I will bet with you the many of the Nasa scientists will move overseas.
What do you think its best for the nation ? Invest billions in Nasa, or invest billions in keeping 100.000 soldiers in Germany doing I have no idea what ?
Which of those investments will give back more in return ?
If you don't invest in it, you will loose the technology edge you have.., America will never ever get out of this crisis if they outsource everything, hell, even the new bay bridge in San Francisco is made in China, how crazy is this ? I think the only thing left right now in the US as an industry is movies,music and insurance companies.
User avatar
BigB
-
-
 
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:40 pm

Re: Nasa outsources the space program

Postby Boris28 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:17 pm

I know about Ion engines, they are again based on a Ionised gas with a lower power "solar". They still are very slow and inefective propulsion system you need ages to travel somewhere and they reach their maximum speed in 1 month or so. I talk about half lightspeed or almost lightspeed or more. We need a new powersource, Imagine Ion engines on a ship with 1000Mega Watt power source he would shoot to mars in 2 hours days :p. But thats scifi for now.
Boris28
-
-
 
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:16 pm

Re: Nasa outsources the space program

Postby Gauntlet » Tue Jul 19, 2011 1:49 pm

@BigB

Well I think there is allot we could talk about there. In terms of strictly whats best for the 'nation' then, as much as I love the space program, I would have to say that should not be top priority.

A) Maintaining our global domination strategy is important, those bases in Germany are used (last time I checked anyways) for various military flight routing. I believe we are trying to also gain a foothold and a few air bases in Turkey.

B) Maintaining an occupation force in Iraq/Afghan would not have been my decision. BUT, it is interesting, that since we did decimate those countries, are we or are we not responsibly to help rebuild them? Does that lead to peaceful coexistence later or not? The biggest example in relative history, would indeed, be Germany, as billions of US dollars were spent in aiding the reconstruction after WWII. This was done for 2 reasons, A) to prevent the hostility that occured after the Treaty of Versailles from happening again, and B) to ensure that Western Germany was developed and somewhat rearmed to help us against the potential threat of the Soviets.

So you tell me... if I believed those countries were a serious threat, I would not have occupied/invaded, I would have probably maintained a campaign of containment and bombardment as needed.

C) Oh the economy... what to do, what to do, well I don't expect my government to be smart enough to fix the economy, its not. But the pre-WWII measures of Roosevelt were very good at limiting/curtailing the symptoms of unemployment. I would reinstate the various work programs we had then. (You could get a job digging ditches, building dams, etc... you couldn't simply get a check for being unemployed).

I live here, I can tell you that some of the infrastructure, particularly clean water, could use allot of work.

E) Finally, the one of the greatest threats to America is our own media, and certain segments of our population who have isolated themselves from common sense. Our media monopolies need to be broken, and education reform from a federal level is necessary. Evolution needs to be taught in all schools, sexual education needs to be more than 'Don't have sex!!!'.


So where exactly does that leave us hmmm? American society has a bit of a crisis of identity going on... we have 14 trillion in debt (proportionally to citizens this is the same as Greece) and a populace getting dumber by the day. A Space Program is not terribly useful in fixing these problems, and is always going to be impotent with the current state of our culture/leadership.

That all being said... money is fake and we have enough lawyers to double that debt and get away with it. We could try and do everything lol.




@boristhe
-Yes that is scifi for now... you get to scifi by doing the legwork, which deploying a slow ion engine vehicle would do. Point is, the problem is not the technology, not the scientists, not whether its government controlled or private sector...

Its public opinion and public expectations. And Unfortunately, its really not on our side... but I have faith that if smart people use less condoms and continue watching scifi movies that could change.
Gauntlet
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Nasa outsources the space program

Postby BigB » Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:33 pm

@Gauntlet,

There's indeed a lot we could talk, it's a very complex situation and it's not as simple as it looks.

A,B) What's the global domination strategy for ? war in Germany ended ages ago, the country is stable, there's no danger in there, why keep a base with 100.000 soldiers in there ? I do agree that having troops in Korea makes sense, even in Iraq and Afeganistan makes sense, as you said after destroying Iraq as they did, weapons of mass destruction and stuff :mrgreen: , yeah, it's their responsibility to keep the country safe, and it won't be anyways once Americans leave.
My point is, in the situation as it is now, it doesn't make any sense to keep an active base in Germany that costs probably billions to taxpayers. And along with Germany there's probably bases spread all over the place, no clue what for.


C) To fix the economy would be so simple.., just add an import tax from all products that come outside the US (for america) or outside Europe (for europe).
Want to build a bridge in china ? Sure, no problem, just add 40% taxes on it.
Wanna build it in here ? Please do, no over taxation used.
If they used this simple rule, big corporations would need to buy everything locally, preserving peoples jobs, giving money to people to buy more stuff, etc,etc, the economy would pick up.
Right now, lets build all in China, it's cheaper more profit, then lets put it on sale in western country's where legions of unemployed people keeps rising, having no money to buy things..
Last time I went to Sears, there was no clothes made in USA, it was all China,India, Vietnam, Mexico., same thing with Walgreen's.
It's sad, but I don't think things will change, corporations lobby's are way powerful.
User avatar
BigB
-
-
 
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 8:40 pm

Re: Nasa outsources the space program

Postby Gauntlet » Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:56 pm

A,B) Whats the strategy for? To rule the world of course.

Yes its a bygone remnant from the cold war (its not Germany so much as Russia for the reasoning of that base) and I would agree that a 100,000 is allot, but it does serve as a nice support location, a flight from Germany to Iraq is cheaper than a flight from the US.

And of course, if Germany were to ask us to leave, I of course would support leaving.


I did some research so that we could have a little more realistic a conversation, there are currently two airforce bases and then a slew of tiny facilities around them and the most recent staffing count I could find (late 2010) put the troop count in Germany at 52,000. These facilities were use constantly during the various conflicts in the balkans during the late 90s early 2000s. They serve today in maintaining our mid-east presence.

The most recent operational cost figure I could find was 178 million per year as of 2007. However, a 660 million upgrade has been budgeted to keep the bases well equipped and useful for the next 20 years.


I have a few friends who work for Raytheon and similar military contract companies, and considering the sheer volume of money purposefully wasted by private research companies, I'm very very comfortable with these expenses above. Due to the ... counter-intuitive way we dish out funds for research, if you don't spend all of the funding you are less likely to receive projects in the forward, so private companies will find excuses to waste tax payer money.

Hell, the new laser program for our destroyers cost 98 million and all it can do is light a motored inflatable raft on fire...
Gauntlet
 
Posts: 70
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:16 am

Re: Nasa outsources the space program

Postby Boris28 » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:32 pm

I heard Germans love the American base because they love to spend lots of money in shops and bars :P and of course all CIA secret missions go from Germany as well to spy Russians etc. And Germans love Americans so I think that wont happen. I lived in Germany and know what I talk about :P.
Boris28
-
-
 
Posts: 287
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:16 pm

Next

Return to Offtopic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron