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Shuttle - WTF over - Cancel Program?

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Marriott Platinum Member
Dec 2, 2003
2.5 years and 1 BILLION dollars of your and my taxpayers dollars and we have the same problem?

Haven't we orbited the earth enough? Why can't unmanned drones to this? How many times are we gonna launch the shuttle to see how ants dig tunnels while in space?

How much is this costing the American taxpayer?

This last mission's goals are now replaced with the foam problem and how to get back safely.

I vote to CANCEL the program
We can either own space exploration and all of its associated technologies.... or we can allow the middle easterners and asians to do so.

The space program is symbolic of are status as a superpower
The following editorial appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on Tuesday:

Truth be told, the shuttle program has never fulfilled NASA's ambitions for the post-Apollo era, which included making a return on investment as well as scientific advancements.

But that failure, along with the Challenger and Columbia disasters, is not sufficient reason to ground America's space program or even put it on hold until the next generation of space vehicles comes online in 2010.

Exploration of the vast unknown has always carried a high degree of risk. More than 90 percent of Magellan's crew of more than 200 - including Magellan - died during his fabled trip around the world. Most Americans forget that NASA's estimated failure rate for the Apollo missions was nearly 30 percent. There were 11 piloted Apollo missions, with only one fatal incident - a fire in a capsule during a launch simulation that took three astronauts' lives.

Astronauts and NASA officials accept the risks to further the spirit of human exploration, a worthy goal. So do the vast majority of Americans: in a poll after the Columbia disaster, more than 80 percent favored continuing efforts in space.

Starting out small

Human space flights may seem unproductive now, but that will not always be so. Nearly 102 years ago, the Wright brothers made their first engine-powered flight; think about the technological advances of the past 100 years. The only way scientists will fail to advance human space exploration in the next century is if we stop trying.

For better or worse, human space flight captures the public's imagination to a much higher degree than robotic efforts like the Mars Rover, despite its amazing pictures and data from the red planet. If Congress were to shut down NASA's shuttle program, it would be that much easier to cut back on robotic flights, which deserve more funding, not less.

And if the spirit of exploration is unpersuasive, consider the national-defense consequences of a cutback in space exploration. China is ramping up its space program, and other countries are developing space programs. Abhorrent as they may seem, military applications from space are likely to increase beyond today's spying capabilities. Can America risk falling behind?NASA's shuttle budget represents less than one-half of 1 percent of the annual federal budget, or less than the United States spends each month on the Iraq war. That's a small price to pay to continue exploring the mysteries of the hundreds of billions of galaxies in our universe. And on success rates, we're still way ahead of Magellan.
satpak77 said:
This last mission's goals are now replaced with the foam problem and how to get back safely.

No they're not. The debris didn't hit the shuttle.

satpak77 said:
I vote to CANCEL the program

Don't overexhert yourself, it'll be retired in 5 years anyway.


As an aside, I'm eagerly awaiting early/mid next year, when NASA will award the CEV contract. It would be pretty funny, in an ironic way, if it goes to Boeing/Grumman, whose proposal is basically a Soyuz configuration. It would show how a tried and true design from nearly half a century ago is still the best tool for the job.
Those are for the now-defunct OSP program. CEV is something else.

This is what I'm talking about.

The USV request for design proposals was supposed to be under wraps till late 2007!
Didn't they already award the contract to Lockheed a few years ago? I remember seeing a press conference with Al Gore standing next to that little penguin lookin model thing.

Or was that something totally different?
That was probably for OSP, again
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That CEV looks like it would give Rutan a run for his money in the "ugliest danged space vehicle" contest.

I have somewhat higher expectations for the future of manned space exploration.


There's no reason (other than money and sheer technological know-how) why we should be confined to our little dust particle. The universe is vast and -- given the time to create the new technologies (an economic driver in and of itself) -- we will likely be able to reach our potential.

Provided we can quit fighting each other over silly religious dogma for a few generations.
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