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Shuttle program comes to a close

the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1Indy Icrontian
edited Jul 2011 in The Pub
Landing of the final Shuttle mission, Atlantis/STS-135
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First launch of Atlantis, 10-3-1985, STS-51
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Comments

  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    This makes me a sad panda. Not because it's the end of an era, but because it's ending an era without a solid plan for continuing where the shuttle program left off. Unlike the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions where things progressed from one to another, the STS program seems to have no successor. That really bothers me. It's like the Underpants Gnomes are doing space flight and stuck on Step 2.

    I don't understand how the powers that be see hitching rides in Space Ladas is a viable alternative. We cancelled Apollo in order to fund the shuttle and in the mean time did Skylab, all with the goal of moving forward toward reusable exploration vehicles. I just don't see any concrete goal now. :\
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    I'm hopeful that this isn't the last space stuff that happens during my lifetime from our country. It started before I was born and I grew up next to it (NASA Mission Control was <5 mins from my house). There is a lot we have left to learn from exploring space and I'll part with a quote:
    The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.
  • GattsuGattsu Orlando, Florida Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Nasa should be very proud of what they have accomplished. The shuttle is a 30 year old vehicle, it's time to move on to the next thing. Plasma rockets are going to take us to Mars and beyond, and those are going to take a lot of time and money to develop. I think it would be a worthwhile investment in putting off manned spaceflight for the next 10 years to design something that will last us another 30 years.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Good luck telling the cut taxes and reduce all expenditure except that which lines our pockets GOP crowd that space research is important.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Space is less important than the specter of terrorism and killing other people.
  • edited Jul 2011
    Tushon wrote:
    Good luck telling the cut taxes and reduce all expenditure except that which lines our pockets GOP crowd that space research is important.

    I think this statement is pretty fucking narrow-minded and naive, at best. I am registered as a Republican as far as political party is concerned, yet I am sorry to see the Shuttle program go without a viable replacement too. Unlike you, I am old enough to have grown up all through the earliest years of space travel and it pisses me off to no end that the political infighting and greed on both sides of the political fence while trying to line the pockets of their buddies and their companies, have done to our space program. And even if the Shuttle was ready for antique plates, it still was designed for quite a few more missions per vehicle than any of them actually flew. And NASA has squandered who knows how much money looking at launch systems too far reaching instead of going with something less advanced, but more sustainable as far as costs go. I'm referring to tech to get from Earth to LEO, not planet to planet (or Earth to Luna) travel.

    @Gattsu: Plasma drive is a nice technology for space travel, but isn't suitable for getting us out of Earth's gravity well. We need to come up with a better and cheaper system than chemical rockets for getting to LEO, but AFAIK, plasma drive doesn't provide enough thrust to do that. Maybe old Missileman will read this thread and can give hints as to what kind of promising tech there is on the horizon to beat the gravity well economically are being developed (if any).

    [Memory Lane moment] I still remember watching the Mercury launches in black and white happening, with all the attendant problems and holds in the countdowns. And also the Gemini and Apollo programs too. And I can't believe we just left all that good Apollo booster engine tech to rot away too. The F1 engine was one hell of a good piece of engineering and nothing was done with it after Apollo.:(
    [/Memory Lane]
  • QuadWhoreQuadWhore Toledo, Ohio, U.S. Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Ill miss em shuttles... I grew up on them.
    And muddoktor, there's no need to get so upset, or tell tushon how much of a better person you are. However I do agree the older rockets were great. The saturn v's were fantastic works of art.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    The Obama admin. was the one who cut the current space program that was trying to push manned flights back to the moon and mars. The issue was that it was moving slow and way over budget with almost no progress.

    It was dumped to because it was a bad project, but part of the reason they sited was allowing private sector to approach space flight while NASA got funded some how some time later to go back to the moon.

    One of many possible sources.
  • MAGICMAGIC Doot Doot Furniture City, Michigan Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Thrax wrote:
    Space is less important than the specter of terrorism and killing other people.

    Unfortunately QFT.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    I love NASA.

    But, there are 100 million better things to spend money on in this country right now then sending rockets off to mars|wherever as a luxury
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Properly funding NASA would cost 3 cents on the dollar, whereas defense costs in excess of 30 cents on the dollar.

    People often make the mistaken assumption that trips to space is NASA's only purpose. Let's not forget some of the amazing things NASA has developed, or all the unsung projects that teach us more about the universe every year.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Thrax wrote:
    Properly funding NASA would cost 3 cents on the dollar, whereas defense costs in excess of 30 cents on the dollar.

    People often make the mistaken assumption that trips to space is NASA's only purpose. Let's not forget some of the amazing things NASA has developed, or all the unsung projects that teach us more about the universe every year.

    Wasn't talking defense (which I think we need to put MORE into)

    was talking schools, economy, hunger etc
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    muddocktor wrote:
    I think this statement is pretty fucking narrow-minded and naive, at best. I am registered as a Republican as far as political party is concerned

    If you identify with the GOP leadership that are making headlines and pronouncing policy (McConnell, Boehner, Cantor [and in the past, Rove, Cheney, and others]) then I suppose we will never see eye to eye. I've been following everything I can for the last 5 years and would love to open up a new thread discussing why you think my statement was wrong. I'm not generalizing to everyone who is a registered Republican, just the leadership and current policy directions. While I am a liberal, I am by no means a Democratic fanboy nor a straight Republican hater. I call it like I see it on an issue by issue basis and enjoy those with more experience pointing out, with reasoning, why I am not correct on a particular issue.

    k, you are correct in pointing out the manned missions were canceled by the current administration. Returning to the moon at this point is an interesting goal originally pushed by Bush II administration but the funding/will was not there. If we don't blow ourselves up first or have some ridiculous worldwide famine/epidemics, we'll need to start colonizing other planets at some point in the future and preparation is the only way to do that. If we wait and wait and wait until it is at the breaking point, we will already have lost.

    The "what is important" in funding decisions will always come down to personal leanings, but I'm going to choose scientific research over wars.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/02/01/us/budget.html?hp

    An interesting infographic depicting the budget. You'll find NASA in the bottom right under general sciences.
    fatcat wrote:
    Wasn't talking defense (which I think we need to put MORE into)
    wut?
  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Just because Brian is on a road trip doesn't mean we break the "No Politics on Icrontic" rule. I don't think anyone has overstepped the line yet, but we should all be aware that the conversation is getting close to it. I'd hate to see this thread locked when we all have a lot to say about the space program. ;)
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    getting back to it:

    <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1cFdhyVtNUw"; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    edit: note this - best. videocast set. ever.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    I thought this was a pretty cool pic. Father and son at first and last shuttle launch.

    5921961525_2ddc0b2a00_b.jpg
  • the_technocratthe_technocrat IC-MotY1 Indy Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    A new era begins:

    <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/O9XtK6R1QAk"; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    <iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/w4sZ3qe6PiI"; frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    hawking-zero-g.jpg
  • UPSLynxUPSLynx Top EA shill, The Dean of Computer Graphics Redwood City, CA Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    If you're not of G+, then you missed this excellent eulogy of sorts to the space program from Thrax:

    OF4Zt.png
  • KoreishKoreish I'm a penguin, deal with it. KCMO Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    When you grow up you can be anything you want to be. Except an Astronaut, we don't have those anymore.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    UPSLynx wrote:
    If you're not of G+, then you missed this excellent eulogy of sorts to the space program from Thrax:

    OF4Zt.png

    His thoughts match my own exactly.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Atlantis?...moon? Neither of them ever met.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    It was never implied.
  • _k_k P-Town, Texas Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    "When Atlantis touches down at the conclusion of its mission, we will have given up more than the moon."
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    Actually implying that the end of the shuttle program is the end of America's role in space for the foreseeable future, which does happen to include the moon via the canned Constellation program (and its competitors).
  • SweetDragonSweetDragon Casselberry, FL Member
    edited Jul 2011
    Gattsu wrote:
    Nasa should be very proud of what they have accomplished. The shuttle is a 30 year old vehicle, it's time to move on to the next thing. Plasma rockets are going to take us to Mars and beyond, and those are going to take a lot of time and money to develop. I think it would be a worthwhile investment in putting off manned spaceflight for the next 10 years to design something that will last us another 30 years.


    I know I am on this way late....but I do know a guy who is a rocket scientist actually and had his last day at Cape Canaveral yesterday. When I asked him what he would do for work now he said that he was asked to work on a new project and that the space program might reopen in 5 to 10 years but that they had a lot of work and testing to do before they could keep a full staff on again....I hope this is really a light at the end of the tunnel. I am really going to miss the space shuttle. Growing up here It just feels wrong to not go outside and watch for the shuttle and laugh at the tourist who went to the cape to watch it. The traffic jams SUCK!!!!!;D

    Besides with out the space program how will we discover the next new thing, like TV, Microwaves and the tons of other things that are products of Space mistake engineering. ;D
  • GattsuGattsu Orlando, Florida Icrontian
    edited Jul 2011
    muddocktor wrote:

    @Gattsu: Plasma drive is a nice technology for space travel, but isn't suitable for getting us out of Earth's gravity well. We need to come up with a better and cheaper system than chemical rockets for getting to LEO, but AFAIK, plasma drive doesn't provide enough thrust to do that.

    [/Memory Lane]

    I am aware that plasma drives aren't suitable for achieving orbit. The exciting part of plasma drives is the ability to cut the travel time to Mars from 9 months to less than 2. A 9 month journey to Mars and another 9 months back is completely inefficient, and probably not very good for humans either.
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