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Space Program Needs The Right Stuff



 
 
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  #41  
Old January 11th 04, 08:41 PM
Roger Balettie
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Default Space Program Needs The Right Stuff

"Martha H Adams" wrote:
I think Luna as a way station out to the local solar system makes all
kinds of sense.


Not particularly.

It makes sense as a great near-Earth *TESTING GROUND* for all of the
techniques and applications we may need to do on Mars, for instance. It
gives us a very short data/voice transmission time for troubleshooting
problems, whereas a Mars base will need to be much more autonomous, due to
the longer transmission times.

Work out the bugs/kinks on the Moon... then go straight to Mars from the
Earth.

Building a Mars mission vehicle on Earth, then launching it to the Moon,
landing it on the Moon (or even just placing it in orbit around the Moon),
assembling *and refueling* it there, then launching it *FROM* the Moon makes
no sense at all.

What more could you ask of a place for serious practice?


This, I agree with. *Practice* on the Moon... *execute* on Mars.

On which topic, how about moving the Space Station from its political
orbit to an orbit in our solar system ecliptic. This would greatly
improve its utility.


Not possible. The fuel costs alone are prohibitive, not to mention the
structural integrity questions to the ISS.

Google for the results of this oft-had conversation.

He wants to say, let's do it all at once, Luna and Mars.


How do you know that? The official proposal hasn't been laid out yet.

I think those numbers strongly imply a definite priority.


Sure... and appropriately, so! National security will *always* outweigh
R&D.

It's a fact of life.

We were a very large step up on that back in the 1970's. The Saturn V
heavy lift booster's blueprints were then sold for scrap paper,


Urban legend.

So what do we have? Look at the Columbia disaster. As vs Apollo, our
current generation of, well, engineers, wouldn't even look to see if a
problem existed after getting strong signals it did. They'd rather
just sit there and vaguely hope those people up there didn't come down
dead.


That's a pretty huge pile of offense BS, Martha.

What sort of engineering background do *you* have? It's always extremely
easy to sit back and criticize afterwards with 20/20 hindsight...

So I look for 20 years to catch-up and begin to get past
what we had 30 years ago.


Based on what? I put a lot of faith in today's engineer. There is a
significantly larger toolset from which to generate new ideas... once the
mandate is put forth.

Consistent funding, of course, is a significant hurdle that *must be*
overcome, along with a consistent goal to achieve.

Because, what else can Bush's words be for? Is Bush going to rustle
up a bunch of bible-thumping faith-based engineers and we'll have a
space program because we Believe? No, I don't think even Bush and his
ilk are *that* far out. I think rather, the Republicans are pulling
out all the stops to touch a maximum number of hot spots and so win
the coming Presidential election. (Will he need Supreme Court help
again?) Following which, we see piles more of same old same old.


Ah... *NOW* I see where your rant is really based...

Leave politics out of it, and you might actually be able to hold my interest
in a technical conversation.

Keep your biased blithering ramblings in it, and you rant alone.

Roger
--
Roger Balettie
former Flight Dynamics Officer
Space Shuttle Mission Control
http://www.balettie.com/

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  #42  
Old January 19th 04, 11:15 PM
Rand Simberg
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Default Space Program Needs The Right Stuff

On Sun, 11 Jan 2004 08:54:42 -0800 (PST), in a place far, far away,
(Martha H Adams) made the phosphor on my monitor glow
in such a way as to indicate that:

On which topic, how about moving the Space Station from its political
orbit to an orbit in our solar system ecliptic. This would greatly
improve its utility.


It wouldn't stay there.

  #44  
Old January 22nd 04, 01:11 AM
Rand Simberg
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Default Space Program Needs The Right Stuff

On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 15:57:32 -0800 (PST), in a place far, far away,
"Mike Combs" made the phosphor
on my monitor glow in such a way as to indicate that:

On which topic, how about moving the Space Station from its political
orbit to an orbit in our solar system ecliptic. This would greatly
improve its utility.


It wouldn't stay there.


I assume you're refering to lunar influences.


No, I'm talking about nodal regression due to the equatorial bulge.

How about equatorial orbit? That might at least make it a better node for
trips to the moon.


That would at least be a constant orbit with respect to the ecliptic.

 




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