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Old 08-30-2011, 07:54 PM   #11
V2Rider
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I too think this looks promising. If the private sector can start doing the low orbit stuff and satelites maybe than can free up NASA for the things it should be doing like exploring space and moving the frontiers of space travel. I always liked W's idea of a manned mission to Mars by 2025. I still hope to see that in my lifetime.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
seruzawa
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I too think this looks promising. If the private sector can start doing the low orbit stuff and satelites maybe than can free up NASA for the things it should be doing like exploring space and moving the frontiers of space travel. I always liked W's idea of a manned mission to Mars by 2025. I still hope to see that in my lifetime.
Maybe, but the visionaries who conceived of the space program all dead. Now it's run by bureaucrats.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:02 AM   #13
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Yeah but the Shuttle is/was a disaster that sucked the space program dry. While NASA proudly flew the flag this low orbiter cost so much to build and operate that no replacement could even be designed. The Shuttle was picked because of the various options at the time it spread the most fat govt contracts to the most congressional districts. Once it was picked of course history was rewritten to pretend that the Shuttle was the divine choice rather than a money sucking hole.

And so the greed of politicians once again destroyed something good. Now all we do is send probes that fail to work once they reach Mars. Willy Ley is rolling on his grave.
That's wrong. Congressional district spending has a part in any government project, but it was hardly the core reason for the program's difficulties and failure to meet expectations. However, there were real problems that fit your anti-goverment viewpoint.

The Shuttle was very much a compromise vehicle, and its design was dictated by DOD requirements, which drove the enormous size of the payload bay. Everything else was designed around that, otherwise the vehicle would have been much smaller. Spy satellites are huge.

As for the "fat government contracts," the Shuttle was a "lowest bid" contract with no less than four major designs proposed. The flawed segmented SRBs, for instance, were chosen because the segments fit in railroad cars; where a safer, single section booster would have to be shipped via barge. The astronauts had a running joke about flying on the "low-bid winner."

Here's my opinion on what went wrong, based on my years of participation in the project (STS-2 through STS-51-L):

1. Too many useless workers trying to justify their existence (we called it the 80/20 rule: 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people). Classic government waste.
2. Endless useless procedures and checks to ensure that if there was a failure, everyone could duck responsibility (the Oribital Vehicle was system checked before leaving the OPF, again in the VAB at integration, and again on the pad. Each check took days to complete).
3. Insufficient national priority to draw the right people, the way Apollo did. The best people either didn't come, or left in frustration.
4. DOD pulled out rather than working to improve the project. They claimed it was because the Shuttle was "unreliable." The real reason was the Air Force couldn't stand not controlling every aspect of the project.

By the way: One of the Mars Rovers that was supposed to last 9 months is still running around up there years later. NASA is still doing a lot of incredible work and accomplishing amazing things.
Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Home
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:35 AM   #14
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That's wrong. Congressional district spending has a part in any government project, but it was hardly the core reason for the program's difficulties and failure to meet expectations. However, there were real problems that fit your anti-goverment viewpoint.

The Shuttle was very much a compromise vehicle, and its design was dictated by DOD requirements, which drove the enormous size of the payload bay. Everything else was designed around that, otherwise the vehicle would have been much smaller. Spy satellites are huge.

As for the "fat government contracts," the Shuttle was a "lowest bid" contract with no less than four major designs proposed. The flawed segmented SRBs, for instance, were chosen because the segments fit in railroad cars; where a safer, single section booster would have to be shipped via barge. The astronauts had a running joke about flying on the "low-bid winner."

Here's my opinion on what went wrong, based on my years of participation in the project (STS-2 through STS-51-L):

1. Too many useless workers trying to justify their existence (we called it the 80/20 rule: 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people). Classic government waste.
2. Endless useless procedures and checks to ensure that if there was a failure, everyone could duck responsibility (the Oribital Vehicle was system checked before leaving the OPF, again in the VAB at integration, and again on the pad. Each check took days to complete).
3. Insufficient national priority to draw the right people, the way Apollo did. The best people either didn't come, or left in frustration.
4. DOD pulled out rather than working to improve the project. They claimed it was because the Shuttle was "unreliable." The real reason was the Air Force couldn't stand not controlling every aspect of the project.

By the way: One of the Mars Rovers that was supposed to last 9 months is still running around up there years later. NASA is still doing a lot of incredible work and accomplishing amazing things.
Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Home
Keep talking. Then explain why you want these people to handle your healthcare.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:43 AM   #15
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Keep talking. Then explain why you want these people to handle your healthcare.
Because some oranges are juicy.
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:27 PM   #16
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Because some oranges are juicy.
But what if you're hankerin' for Apples?
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