Endeavor into the Night

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by onedomino, Mar 27, 2008.

  1. onedomino
    Offline

    onedomino SCE to AUX

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Thanks Received:
    474
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Ratings:
    +476
    [​IMG]

    Only eight missions left before the shuttles never fly again. This photo is of Endeavor blasting off into the Florida night on STS123. The last scheduled flight of Endeavor is STS130. The last scheduled flight of a shuttle is Discovery on STS131. Due to the terrific planning of the US Government, there will be a five year gap in the US ability to put a man in space between 2010 and 2015. During that period, Americans will have to rely on the Russians to give them a lift to the International Space Station. The completed ISS, toward which America has paid many billions, will be literally inaccessible to Americans for five years, except through no-bid, cost-plus Russian launch vehicles. If the USGOVT\NASA was a private company, and it delivered that kind of planning and performance to the stockholders, all the executive staff would be canned.

    Orion, pictured below, will not be ready until 2015. It represents a throw-back to the days of Apollo when capsules were launched on big inefficient rockets. And at least for the next two or three decades, it represents the defeat of the idea of a reusable space-plane. Apparently a reliable, reusable space-plane is just too hard for NASA. It has given up.

    [​IMG]

    http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn9825-nasa-dubs-space-shuttle-replacement-orion.html
     
  2. onedomino
    Offline

    onedomino SCE to AUX

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Thanks Received:
    474
    Trophy Points:
    98
    Ratings:
    +476
    For five years after the retirement of the Shuttle, America will have zero ability to put people in space, except for bumming rides with the Russians. NASA is one mighty broken agency. The only thing more messed up is the complete mismatch between the government assigned missions and the money appropriated.

    Mikulski on NASA: "There is No Silver Bullet"

    Complete American Institute of Physics Article: http://www.aip.org/fyi/2008/045.html

    Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, was discussing the five-year gap for the replacement of the space shuttle when she told NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, "So what you're saying is there is no silver bullet. There is no magic motion available to close the gap." Griffin agreed. They could have been talking about the much larger funding gap between what many in Congress want the space agency to do, and the amount of money Congress is able to appropriate for NASA every year...

    REPLACEMENT OF THE SPACE SHUTTLE:

    "Everyone's deeply concerned about the gap," Mikulski told Griffin, referring to the often-discussed five-year gap between the scheduled retirement of the space shuttle in 2010 and NASA's new Orion and Ares system that will fly in 2015. During this time, NASA will have to rely on the Russian Soyuz system for crew transportation only to the station. Mikulski asked Griffin if this gap could be reduced with additional funding. Griffin replied it would cost at the rate of a $100 million to shorten the schedule by a single month. It would be impossible to shorten the schedule to be earlier than the late fall of 2013...

    FLYING THE SPACE SHUTTLE BEYOND 2010:

    Mikulski told Griffin: "there are some Members in the House who are raising the concept of extending the life of the shuttle until 2015." Griffin replied, "the shuttle is an inherently risky design," with NASA calculating that if the shuttle was flown twice a year for an additional five years "the risk would be about one in twelve that we would lose another crew. That's a high risk." He added, "To fly the shuttle after the space station is completed for any significant length of time I believe would incur a risk I would not choose to accept on behalf of our astronauts..."
     

Share This Page