Not signed in (Sign In)
This discussion has been inactive for longer than 5 days, and doesn't want to be resurrected.
    •  
      CommentAuthorLactamaeon
    • CommentTimeAug 29th 2011
     (10185.1)
    Uh Oh....I had a feeling this was going to happen sooner or later....Especially since the crash last week of an unmanned Russian Soyuz rocket taking supplies to up the space station...

    International Space Station might be abandoned in November
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2011
     (10185.2)
    A crash is obviously never a good thing, but: The man-rated Soyuz is the safest human launch vehicle ever.

    If that's not good enough then, yes, it might be time to call it a day.

    (That said, I think the article is referring to a temporary dehabitation of the ISS, which doesn't seem unreasonable if there is anything that needs to be fixed with the Soyuz.)
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2011
     (10185.3)
    I didn't even realize they'd finished building the fucking thing.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeAug 30th 2011
     (10185.4)
    @SteadyUP: Yeah, I didn't hear of that either. I mean, it makes sense--it's slow going building something like that, but it started building it, what, 20 years ago? Makes sense that it was. I just would have thought it would have happened with more fan-fare.
  1.  (10185.5)
    The ISS is the "Field of Dreams" project. The hope is that once it's finished, Star Trek's universe will come.

    As sexy as the idea is, the anti-science barbarian hoards are currently sacking our Techno Rome. I think these showy things need to be put aside and focus and resources placed on education and, sadly, political lobbying.
  2.  (10185.6)
    I think these showy things need to be put aside and focus and resources placed on education and, sadly, political lobbying.

    Absolutely. It's time for smart people to stop whinging about pet projects and focus on breaking down the military/industrial/financial complex before it kills us all. I'm not wasting my time worrying about space stations, I'm going to worry about how to smash the GOP so I can watch Nancy Pelosi grinding Michelle Bachmann face first into the dirt and not letting her up until she cries uncle through a mouth of broken teeth and gravel.
  3.  (10185.7)
    I'm going to worry about how to smash the GOP

    This is not at odds with the ISS! Smashing the GOP will be very easy with an orbital death laser.

    Also, in all seriousness, the ISS is an important project for real, Earth-based political reasons. It shows that international collaborations can work to support US-based industries. Those tend to be more of a "Democrat" thing when they're constructive (though the GOP sure has cornered the market on destructive international collaborations). The existence of the ISS has created a big incentive for companies like SpaceX to work on manned vehicles, supporting advances toward more lucrative manned spaceflight possibilities. These kinds of things will create an economy that even further incentivizes education, leading to a lot of the things you've come out in support of.
  4.  (10185.8)
    Politicians are greedy, stupid, and short sighted. They can't see beyond the next vote nor beyond their district. And everyone has given up on explaining it to them in simple words. A major progressive/ smart person failing is the tendency to think their long term, help others positions are self evident and everyone will go for it once they see them.

    Money is wasted on projects that 1% of the population and 0.005% of the power holders understand because they won't give the support they need. Education first, big dreams second.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2011
     (10185.9)
    There are days when I almost wish China would get off their asses and doing something amazing, space-wise. That might be just what the rest of the world needs to get interested in space again.

    Problem with that is, China doesn't really have anything to gain by doing anything amazing in space. And that's maybe what depresses me more than anything else.
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeAug 31st 2011
     (10185.10)
    @Alan
    China doesn't really have anything to gain by doing anything amazing in space
    Oh, I don't know about that.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2011
     (10185.11)
    I think progressives need to focus less on the ISS and more on creating the world of Richard Suarez' Daemon and Freedom. Less high profile symbolism and more bedrock sustainability projects (and also sword-wielding robot motorcycles).
  5.  (10185.12)
    The high-profile showy things like ISS are what persuades voters and politicians that science matters. Ask any working middle-aged scientist why they got interested in that field as children, and they will probably mention Apollo and/or Star Trek before the conversation is over.

    The ISS in particular is important, in much the same way that the Apollo-Soyuz link-up was back during the Cold War. Two governments that were usually not on speaking terms with each other at the top level, and which were busy posturing and "sending messages" thru diplomatic channels, were actually collaborating and cooperating face to face on something thru their space-science agencies. It re-opened and kept open communication channels between the US and Soviet governments. ISS has turned that into a multilateral nexus, and could be even more valuable if we got China and India on board (literally). Participation of some sort could even serve as an opening into North Korea.
    • CommentAuthorpurvision
    • CommentTimeSep 1st 2011
     (10185.13)
    The last piece of the International Space Station, the Permanent Multipurpose Module went up with the 3rd to last Space Shuttle mission, STS 133. If you're really into this, here's a 27 minute vid of the installation of the module as well as a home-movie style tour around the ISS talking with crew. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmbffpkudAo
    •  
      CommentAuthorLactamaeon
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011
     (10185.14)
    I didn't even realize they'd finished building the fucking thing.


    That's because the International Space Station isn't complete yet.... :)
    The " Nauka " - the Russian Federal Space Agency's MLM (Multipurpose Laboratory Module ) will be their primary research module as part of the ISS, and will be used for general microgravity experiments, docking, and cargo logistics. The arrival of Nauka in May of next year will *then* complete construction of the Russian Orbital Segment and it will be the last major component added to the station.
    Returning to the problem at hand,The ISS crew have more than a year's worth of food and water on the Station, the main issue is that the attached "escape" vehicles have a operation life of 200 days. The crew can survive up there if need be, but if there was some kind of emergency, there would be no way for them to escape. So until the Russians analyze and fix their Soyuz rockets booster malfunction , the Station will most likely be abandoned by either November and December ( The ISS won't really be truly abandoned, like the old Skylab was back in '79 - The ISS can be remotely monitored and controlled by ground crew if need be, until a replacement crew can return )
    ( Originally, the ISS program was to end in 2016, when the Station was to be decommissioned , abandoned and then a powered deorbit into the Pacific, but it's shelf life was extended until 2020, due to President Obama's "Space Policy" speech back in April 2010 ).

    There won't be a Space Shuttle Replacement Vehicle until 2016 at the earliest.......Thanks, NASA for your great long term planning skills....
    • CommentAuthorOddcult
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011
     (10185.15)
    If I can get up to it, it's mine, right?
    • CommentAuthor256
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011
     (10185.16)
    Am I right in thinking Mir was temporarily abandoned and then reinhabited during it's lifetime? Or it might be completely the opposite, that they couldn't ever leave it unmanned.

    There won't be a Space Shuttle Replacement Vehicle until 2016 at the earliest.......Thanks, NASA for your great long term planning skills....

    NASA are great at long-term planning. They are, however, not very good at getting long-term funding. Which, bearing in mind the small-time short-term fuckers who hold the purse-strings, is absolutely understandable.
    •  
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011
     (10185.17)
    If I can get up to it, it's mine, right?


    I think you have to lick it, first.
  6.  (10185.18)
    Relevant.

    (assuming I was able to fix the mobile URL to a browser URL...)
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2011
     (10185.19)
    @all. I don't mean to jump in all random,like! Ever since i watched the end of Babylon 5 it's been a fantasy of mine to steal a shuttle or whatever and blast off and set the controls for beyond the heart of the sun. I can't think of a more noble way to shake of this mortal coil. Every time i read Orbiter our Warren's footnote really touches me.Anyhow excuse my grammer yet once again..me thick.Respect.
    •  
      CommentAuthorLactamaeon
    • CommentTimeSep 3rd 2011 edited
     (10185.20)
    Am I right in thinking Mir was temporarily abandoned and then reinhabited during it's lifetime? Or it might be completely the opposite, that they couldn't ever leave it unmanned.


    I believe that Mir was continuously manned and occupied for it's 15 year operational life, until it was abandoned and deorbited in 2001 ( due to the lack of funding by the Russian Space Agency, funding which instead was diverted to sending up the first couple of ISS modules ).


    NASA are great at long-term planning. They are, however, not very good at getting long-term funding. Which, bearing in mind the small-time short-term fuckers who hold the purse-strings, is absolutely understandable.


    I stand corrected, you're absolutely right about that fact.

    According to one of "The Myths of the Space Program" that were mentioned in William George's link was that "The average American thinks that NASA gets 1/4 of the U.S. total budget " ( 24 % ), when in fact, NASA's budget for Fiscal Year 2010 equates to a little over *one-half of one percent* (0.53%) of the total U.S. federal budget of $3.1 Trillion.
    That translates to 18.7 billion , which sounds like a lot of money, but when one considers for the 2010 fiscal year, the base budget of the Department of Defense spending on "overseas contingency operations" is * $663.8 billion*, or about 20 percent of U.S. federal spending .
    ( Yes, it's the DOD that get's almost 1/4 of the US total budget - and many say that the percentage is probably even higher than that.... )

    Afghanistan and Iraq combined totals $9.7 billion a *month*.
    For the cost of one month in Iraq and Afghanistan, NASA could have launched the space shuttle five more times.

    For $663.7 billion *a* year, ( not including a 33 percent return on investment , which is *quite* good for a federal agency ) we could have , ( if not on our way to ) not only fully manned and sustainable Lunar bases, but multiple O'Neill Orbital Colonies at Lagrangian points 4 and 5, continuous manned missions to Mars ( if not outright colonization ) and the outer reaches ot the solar system. Among other ventures.

    Oh well.
    There is always the "private sector"...Right?....hahaha..

This discussion has been inactive for longer than 5 days, and doesn't want to be resurrected.