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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Default Last shuttle launch

    The last shuttle launch is schedule today at 11:26 ET. Watch it live:
    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/
    So you call this your free country
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    Forum Member jlcooke3's Avatar
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    It's a sad day for our country. For the foreseeable future America will not be the premier space explorers. NASA R&D has provided many of the products that we use today and dollar for dollar has been one of the best investments America has made. I've always dreamed of going into space and now it looks like it just became that much more improbable in my lifetime.

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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Look at how many people will loose their jobs now!!!!
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlcooke3 View Post
    It's a sad day for our country. For the foreseeable future America will not be the premier space explorers. NASA R&D has provided many of the products that we use today and dollar for dollar has been one of the best investments America has made. I've always dreamed of going into space and now it looks like it just became that much more improbable in my lifetime.
    I agree....
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Yeah I got to watch it. Sad to see the shuttle program come to an end with no program coming online to replace it. Now if we want to send anybody to the space station we have to rely on the Russians. So instead of using the money to replace the shuttle, we're going to give it to the Russians. Nice going US Govt. (MORONS!)

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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    I really wonder if we as a nation have the national will to pursue lofty goals like space exploration. It seems our society is more embroiled in arguing about things like gay marriage or complaining that any government spending is now socialism.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlcooke3 View Post
    It's a sad day for our country. For the foreseeable future America will not be the premier space explorers. NASA R&D has provided many of the products that we use today and dollar for dollar has been one of the best investments America has made. I've always dreamed of going into space and now it looks like it just became that much more improbable in my lifetime.
    While I hate to see the shuttle go while there's no credible replacement on the pad, this has been done before. It's not like the Shuttle was ready to go when the last Apollo mission ended.. I think there was about a 6 year gap in between (75-81?).

    I think the shuttle is an absolutely amazing piece of engineering but it was also complicated, manpower intensive, and expensive for the amount of cargo it could handle. I can't argue against the belief that after 30 years of use it is time to move on to the next level.

    The question really is whether the current strategy will get us that next level. I'm not so sure. There's something to be said for letting private companies drive and SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have some interesting projects.. but they don't have the eye-catching "umph" that Apollo or the shuttle did (at first).
    So you call this your free country
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    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leeland View Post
    Yeah I got to watch it. Sad to see the shuttle program come to an end with no program coming online to replace it. Now if we want to send anybody to the space station we have to rely on the Russians. So instead of using the money to replace the shuttle, we're going to give it to the Russians. Nice going US Govt. (MORONS!)
    Not that I disagree, but the US Govt is funding private enterprise for the shuttle replacement. Namely SpaceX and Virgin Galactic. The reliance on the Russians is temporary. I can't imagine Congress would allow that to continue for too long.

    I did see an article saying that the Russians would not let Dragon (the SpaceX capsule) carry Russian cosmonauts until it meets their "Stringent safety standards".. Given that it's already being built to NASA's standards many see this as posturing and a delaying tactic by the Russians who now have a vested interest in delaying any manned alternative to their monopoly.
    So you call this your free country
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    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    The question really is whether the current strategy will get us that next level. I'm not so sure. There's something to be said for letting private companies drive and SpaceX and Virgin Galactic have some interesting projects.. but they don't have the eye-catching "umph" that Apollo or the shuttle did (at first).
    I'm old enough to remember Alan Shepard's historic flight as the first American in space. There was a lot of glamor for the astronauts during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Specifically the moon landings. The astronauts were treated like rock stars by the public.

    That luster seemed to fade with the Shuttle. I doubt anyone could name ten individuals that are currently in the astronaut corp.

    I know I can't. At one time I could name all of them.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I'm old enough to remember Alan Shepard's historic flight as the first American in space. There was a lot of glamor for the astronauts during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Specifically the moon landings. The astronauts were treated like rock stars by the public.

    That luster seemed to fade with the Shuttle. I doubt anyone could name ten individuals that are currently in the astronaut corp.

    I know I can't. At one time I could name all of them.
    There was pretty good interview with Neil Degrasse Tyson on NPR I think. He mentioned that in a lot of respects that was a consequence of a NASA policy. NASA wanted to highlight the shuttle as a "space truck" and not something that required "rockstars" to fly. They wanted going to space to sound "simple". In addition he mentioned that during Apollo NASA worked very hard to protect the astronauts and their families and acted as strict gatekeepers between them and the press. During the shuttle times this protectionary policy continued even as Media interest was waning.

    Finally, compare the shuttle missions with Apollo. In early Apollo each mission was different, and expanded the frontier.. later Apollo mission saw a downturn in Media coverage as the missions because similar. The shuttle missions faced the same problem. Other then a few key ones most of the missions were the same and it was hard for the media to sell that story.
    So you call this your free country
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    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    That luster seemed to fade with the Shuttle. I doubt anyone could name ten individuals that are currently in the astronaut corp.
    Sadly the only shuttle astronauts that get Media attention are the ones married to Senators and those that drive across the country in diapers.. So I guess in that respect they are treated like rock stars..
    So you call this your free country
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    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Another quote from the NPR interview:
    Looking to the future, deGrasse Tyson says he would double NASA's budget if he had the power to do so, and that would allow the U.S. to explore further regions of space. He notes that Venus, with a temperature of 900 degrees Fahrenheit, has a runaway greenhouse effect; and Mars once had running water but now is bone dry. "Bad stuff is happening on those planets. I want to know what that is," he says.

    "If you're going to say, 'Only spend money to study Earth' and you're not going to study anything else ... you can't build a science on a study of one. And the universe provides the repository for comparative places so you can say, 'Oh that's how that works there! Let me bring that back to Earth.' So the value for it, especially for this minute cost, is incalculable," DeGrasse Tyson says
    So you call this your free country
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  13. #13
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    Sadly the only shuttle astronauts that get Media attention are the ones married to Senators and those that drive across the country in diapers.. So I guess in that respect they are treated like rock stars..
    Or the ones that died when their ships crashed.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber voyager9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Or the ones that died when their ships crashed.
    Touche'. Though in that case I agree with the media attention. Unlike the other example.
    So you call this your free country
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I really wonder if we as a nation have the national will to pursue lofty goals like space exploration. It seems our society is more embroiled in arguing about things like gay marriage or complaining that any government spending is now socialism.
    John F Kennedy once said words to the effect of that we chose to go into space not because it was easy to do but because it was hard.
    I don't think that he would believe that there wasn't enough money in our Treasury to take care of those who won't or can't work, AND go to explore our neighborhood as well.
    Though,I believe commercial interests will be the next major player in space exploration,there will always be governmental action in space.I doubt any liberals will allow space exploration without a government finger in THAT pie,even if only to collect taxes on resources found Out There.

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    Quote Originally Posted by voyager9 View Post
    There was pretty good interview with Neil Degrasse Tyson on NPR I think. He mentioned that in a lot of respects that was a consequence of a NASA policy. NASA wanted to highlight the shuttle as a "space truck" and not something that required "rockstars" to fly. They wanted going to space to sound "simple". In addition he mentioned that during Apollo NASA worked very hard to protect the astronauts and their families and acted as strict gatekeepers between them and the press. During the shuttle times this protectionary policy continued even as Media interest was waning.

    Finally, compare the shuttle missions with Apollo. In early Apollo each mission was different, and expanded the frontier.. later Apollo mission saw a downturn in Media coverage as the missions because similar. The shuttle missions faced the same problem. Other then a few key ones most of the missions were the same and it was hard for the media to sell that story.
    What's that line from "Apollo 13"? "...that we've made space flight about as exciting as flying to Pittsburg..."?
    As to the difficulty of space flight,Tom Clancy's "The Sum of All Fears" has a line about atomic bombs needing to have geniuses building the first one because it WAS the first.After you've developed them,what required a genius to invent becomes the work of a tinsmith to reproduce.
    It's the same with spaceflight.Once they've figured out how to keep air inside the "people locker" and to maneuver large objects around in a vacuum,it becomes the work of an airline pilot.It used to be you had to be well trained and in perfect health to fly an airplane.Now,anyone with the desire can pay their way through a civilian flight school and go aviating with the best of them.
    It might not happen in my or your lifetimes but I don't doubt that there WILL be civilian businesses in space around this planet,if not the whole solar system and beyond.

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    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    If the United Sates is depending on the Russian's to go back and forth to the space station, then we are fudged!!

    One of their rockets with supplies blew up after launch.

    Too bad obamma closed down the US part, in going and coming to the station. Those folks are doomed!




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