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Old 04 November 2013, 07:31 PM
E. Q. Taft's Avatar
E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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Default NASA Is Not Out of Business

Since the end of the Space Shuttle program the questions have grown louder and louder. Many Americans I speak to, and articles covering the space program, ask, "What happened to NASA?"

I'm glad to report that the rumors of NASA's demise are wrong. NASA has been focused on the longer-term. They have been working on the spacecraft and launch vehicle that will enable deep space missions, and we will see the results of those efforts in 2014. Throughout the year we will see the first test flight of the new Orion crew exploration spacecraft, and engine and booster tests on the new Space Launch System (SLS) -- the most powerful rocket ever built.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cr...b_4174726.html
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Old 04 November 2013, 07:51 PM
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Seaboe Muffinchucker Seaboe Muffinchucker is offline
 
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Glasses

Who do these people think was behind the Mars rover? Santa Claus?

Seaboe
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Old 04 November 2013, 08:08 PM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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I will admit that the combination of not having a current manned launch capability while at the same time maintaining a permanently-manned space station seems....odd. What if we had some kind of nasty spat with the Russians? I doubt they would leave our guys stranded, but they might refuse to take any more up.

The manned program has had trouble keeping to a unified plan since the Skylab days. Seems to me we should have planned to have a new launcher ready by the time the Shuttles had to be retired. But of course, with changing administrations, economic conditions, etc., things do tend to get revised and delayed a lot.
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Old 04 November 2013, 08:15 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Who do these people think was behind the Mars rover? Santa Claus?

Seaboe

Indeed. Curiosity rover was an amazing technical achievement, and both the Opportunity and Spirit rovers far exceeded their expected life, with Opportunity still going. The Cassini orbiter is still going (although that was a joint project with ESA), Messenger is still returning data from Mercury, New Horizons is on its way to Pluto, Kepler has totally revamped our understanding of extrasoalr planets.

Nick
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Old 04 November 2013, 08:28 PM
stoolie stoolie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
Seems to me we should have planned to have a new launcher ready by the time the Shuttles had to be retired. But of course, with changing administrations, economic conditions, etc., things do tend to get revised and delayed a lot.
The Lockheed Martin X-33 VentureStar showed a lot of promise, but yeah, economic downturn...

/edit - Whoops - unmanned, and pulled due to fuel tank issues.

Last edited by stoolie; 04 November 2013 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 04 November 2013, 09:11 PM
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crescent crescent is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
Seems to me we should have planned to have a new launcher ready by the time the Shuttles had to be retired. But of course, with changing administrations, economic conditions, etc., things do tend to get revised and delayed a lot.
We did have a plan to have a new launcher in place when the shuttles retired - the Ares rockets. Those were cancelled and the SLS was then planned. I don't know how much of the change from Ares to SLS was due to real technical details and how much was politics. The SLS would have been ready in time, but the shuttle retirement occurred much earlier than anticipated due to the Columbia disaster.
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Old 04 November 2013, 09:25 PM
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Tootsie Plunkette Tootsie Plunkette is offline
 
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TV

I know NASA is still in business because we watch the NASA Channel on our TV. Except during the 'furlough' period, of course...
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