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Russian Invasion of Georgia Might Jeopardize Space Station

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the you-can't-get-there-from-here dept.

NASA 515

mknewman writes "Sen. Bill Nelson, one of NASA's biggest proponents on the Hill, is openly questioning how Russia's military intervention in Georgia will affect our access to the space station after the Shuttle is retired in 2010. Currently, NASA is able to use Soyuz vehicles for crew access and lifeboat operations thanks to an exemption from the Iran Non-Proliferation Act. The exemption expires in 2011, only one year after the Shuttle is due to head to the museums."

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Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (-1, Flamebait)

justdrew (706141) | about 6 years ago | (#24584955)

it should have no effect on our relations. WE should apologize for egging Georgia on./ Those cowards staged a missile attack on a city in the middle of the fucking night. After 10+ years of peace. fuck Georgia, they got what they deserved.

Re:Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (0, Troll)

krazytekn0 (1069802) | about 6 years ago | (#24585449)

Georgia killed 6 people... Russia has killed thousands of Georgians.
Also of note is the fact that Russia staged this two front military effort in less than 12 hours, before Putin left the Olympics... Sounds like a pre-planned deal just waiting for an excuse to me.

Re:Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (3, Insightful)

jgtg32a (1173373) | about 6 years ago | (#24585509)

Just like every other war?

All that's needed is some almost plausible BS to go in.

typically, your numbers are dead WRONG (0, Troll)

justdrew (706141) | about 6 years ago | (#24585609)

even if it was only six, which it wasn't, no fucking way is that even close to right, remember Georgia had 24+ hours before there was significant Russian response, during which they proceeded with ethnic cleansing operations all over the place.

Re:typically, your numbers are dead WRONG (3, Insightful)

Columcille (88542) | about 6 years ago | (#24585787)

The ethnic cleansing thing was one of the most amusing statements ever to come from Russia. Ethnic cleansing? Whatever. Georgia responded to separatists who once again launched terrorist attacks on Georgia. Russia, still pouting about Kossovo and unhappy to see a working democracy, decided to take the opportunity to show (1) Putin is still running things and (2) about all he knows how to do is drop bombs.

Re:Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (2, Informative)

krazytekn0 (1069802) | about 6 years ago | (#24585705)

don't bother replying to me in anger I see that my numbers are wrong...

Re:Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (1, Insightful)

wumpus188 (657540) | about 6 years ago | (#24585719)

Georgia killed 6 people... Russia has killed thousands of Georgians.

Watching much Fox lately or just pulling numbers out of your ass?

Re:Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (5, Insightful)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 6 years ago | (#24585823)

now please explain to me how georgia could kill only 6 people by shelling a sleeping capital city at midnight?

also of note is the fact, that georgia borders chechnya where lots of russian troops are waiting for any action.

Re:Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | about 6 years ago | (#24585499)

10 years of peace? Where are you getting that from? I don't think any corner of this globe has had peace for that long, let alone anywhere with disputed borders/sovereignty.

Back on topic,

It's surprising how they didn't account for it. The only fix I see that includes Russia, is to have a Russian on board the station at all times. That way, if they refuse to help in the direst circumstances, they are letting their own countryman die.

Re:Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (1)

justdrew (706141) | about 6 years ago | (#24585527)

near peace, sure there were limited actions by a few hot head militants from time to time. that's why there were peacekeepers present. until Georgia decided it would be a good idea to murder them in their sleep with rockets.

Re:Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (3, Insightful)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 6 years ago | (#24585659)

Both sides are guilty here, no doubt.

But Russia made it worse by their actions.

Re:Russia's ressponse was reasonable and justified (2, Insightful)

DustoneGT (969310) | about 6 years ago | (#24585891)

If the United States government supports Georgia, we should rescind our Declaration of Independence and rejoin the British Empire.

Let's look at a similar situation in history. A renegade province of Mexico rebelled and kicked the Mexican government out. A strong ally to the North took them in and waged war with the Mexican military, killing many and eventually taking much more land. I'm talking about Texas.

If we want to back Georgia on this one, we should give Texas back to Mexico.

The South Ossetians want to be an independent country. The voted overwhelmingly to do so in 2006. The Russians respect that. The Georgians and their allies (read: us) do not.

The right of a people to choose their leadership should not be overlooked here.

What? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24584971)

The summary makes absolutely no sense.

Can anyone shed light on what is going on?

Re:What? (2, Interesting)

mcvos (645701) | about 6 years ago | (#24585377)

Can anyone shed light on what is going on?

In particular, I'd like to know what non-proliferation in/of/for/by Iran has to do with Soyuz or Georgia.

Re:What? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585887)

Clinton signed the Iran Non Proliferation Act [armscontrol.org] penalizing any country doing weapons-related business with Iran. Russia has been selling missiles and nuclear fuel which meant we couldn't do business with them. Hence the exception.

The exception was a tough sell the first time and NASA concerned it's dead in the water when time comes to renew it.

Re:What? (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 6 years ago | (#24585465)

Ok, here goes. Most of the international community thinks that Russia is either over reacting or taking advantage of Goergia's internal conflict with a Goergian province that declared independence. This may lead to repercussions, possibly including not renewing the exemption to the non-proliferation treaty. If the internation community chooses not to renew that exemption, based on what the summary says it sounds like Russia will not be able to launch Soyuz vehicles after the exemption expires.

Keep in mind that this is based on the summary and a quick look at what Wikipedia has to say about the conflict and it's repercussions. Therefore, I might be completely wrong so this should be taken with a big grain of salt.

Re:What? (4, Interesting)

Master Of Ninja (521917) | about 6 years ago | (#24585835)

I'm not sure that even not renewing the exemption (i admit I have no idea the details of it) will do that much. A lot of countries have broken treaties without blinking an eyelid. I can't see much being done against Russia, except issuing diplomatic statements. The UN will be paralysed by Russia's veto, and I can't see China being in a rush to side against Russia (or side for it). Russia and China (perhaps with Brazil and India - the BRIC countries) could just go it alone - they have a lot of the world's population in them.

I think the Georgians (or at least the president) were completely foolish to try and invade when Putin was at the Olympics and think that he wouldn't do anything. Compounding it is the fact that they seemed to be carrying out (from what I gather from the BBC) seems like ethnic cleansing by firing on the civilian population, and then killing Russian troops in the process. They burnt their bridges to some of their possible allies, who were also allies who being militarily over-extended aren't really in a position to help.

What I think will happen is that giving it a few weeks people will forget about this. The whole situation will be framed as Ossetians (sp?) are just like Kosovo - they have a right to be independent, and with Russian influence in the region they will eventually become re-united with Russia. The issue of the ISS is just a distraction - everything will stay the same.

Re:What? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 6 years ago | (#24585863)

The only considerable problem here is the retirement of the space shuttles. In a way they are dinosaurs of the cold war era.

Much of the specifications originated from the US military since they wanted the space shuttles to be able to launch spy satellites and the devil knows what.

But there have been advantages with them for civilian use too, so they haven't been useless.

What's needed are actually smaller shuttles mainly for person transportation. The Soyuz capsules are in a way good, but leaves little control over the descent. A small shuttle will be able to do more controlled landings, which may be useful.

But there is a downside for a shuttle that is able to fly (even if it flies like a brick), and that is that it's a lot more expensive than a capsule like the Soyuz.

The current shuttles are getting old, and the biggest problem is more the question of spare parts than it is of the hull itself, even if the hull is important too. But the hull and structure can be replaced relatively easy while a lot of the equipment onboard the shuttles are ancient with computer age measurements.

frozt post (0, Offtopic)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | about 6 years ago | (#24584973)

In soviet russia, georgia is being you're mind!!!!

NO wonder nerds have a bad rep (2, Insightful)

Goalie_Ca (584234) | about 6 years ago | (#24584979)

I can't believe that a slight pertubation to the timeline of the hopeless ISS is what really troubles nerds when two countries are at war. Seriously..!

Re:NO wonder nerds have a bad rep (5, Insightful)

Evilest Doer (969227) | about 6 years ago | (#24585395)

I can't believe that a slight pertubation to the timeline of the hopeless ISS is what really troubles nerds when two countries are at war. Seriously..!

Or, you could look at it this way. Overall human progress is being delayed because two countries are involved in a pissing and "my-dick-is-bigger-than-yours" contest. Or, similar to what Ernest Rutherford said, we've got more important things to worry about than another stupid war.

Re:NO wonder nerds have a bad rep (4, Insightful)

Peter Cooper (660482) | about 6 years ago | (#24585721)

Is that sarcasm? Things like nuclear power and landing on the moon came out of a "my dick is bigger than yours" contest between countries.

Re:NO wonder nerds have a bad rep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585419)

I can't believe that a slight pertubation to the timeline of the hopeless ISS is what really troubles nerds when two countries are at war. Seriously..!

Heaven forbid someone should look at the bigger picture. Part of good leadership is spotting consequences early and planning for the future.

There's public money at stake here you know.

Movie 2010... (0, Offtopic)

rmdyer (267137) | about 6 years ago | (#24585453)

When I read the headline, my immediate thought was from the movie 2010 from 1984. The Russians (the soviets then), allowed Americans to share a ride on their space ship to Jupiter to save an ailing American spaceship caught in a gravity well from the 2001 movie ending (the one with HAL 9000). Halfway through the movie, there was a conflict on earth that got out of control and put the Soviets and Americans at odds. So the Americans and Soviets in space were required to separate.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086837/ [imdb.com]

Re:NO wonder nerds have a bad rep (4, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#24585475)

That's right! No web site, anywhere, should ever talk about anything besides people dying, because people are always dying and it's always the most important thing happening.

Sheesh. You realize humans are capable of paying attention to more than one thing at a time?

There is a big problem actually (4, Interesting)

thermian (1267986) | about 6 years ago | (#24585523)

Due to the desire of the US to use the space shuttle to service the ISS, it was placed in a much lower orbit then would otherwise have been the case. Certainly it was much lower then most interested parties wanted.

As a result of this it is constantly being slowed by friction caused by contact with the outer atmosphere. We are talking very slight friction, but at the speed of the ISS that slight friction is enough to bring it into a lower orbit over time.

One of the main worries after the challenger disaster was that space shuttle had been used to correct this reduction in orbit periodically by firing its thrusters whilst docked. Instead they had to use Soyuz capsules to try and do the same thing.

Its bad either way, but if there is tension and both countries stop going there, the orbit will deteriorate to the point where only a specialised mission to boost it would work. That may not be possible, or indeed successful.

While it would have to drop a long way to re-enter the atmosphere and burn up, it wouldn't have to drop too far to start being prohibitively complicated and expensive to get it back into its normal orbit.

Re:There is a big problem actually (1)

ray-auch (454705) | about 6 years ago | (#24585693)

The ATV can already boost the ISS orbit, and it is neither Russian nor American.

Re:There is a big problem actually (4, Informative)

TorKlingberg (599697) | about 6 years ago | (#24585841)

The European Automated Transfer Vehicle [wikipedia.org] can also re-boost the station. If I remember correctly, even more than the shuttle can.

Since my wife works at NASA...yeah...this matters. (1)

sckeener (137243) | about 6 years ago | (#24585825)

I do not see what is wrong in discussing all the ramifications of this conflict.

Do you want us to not plan for the future at all until the conflict is over?

Besides this is a 'nerd' site...what do you expect us to discuss? ISS and space exploration are about as Nerdy as you can get. There is already a posting about the internet war between the two countries....do you know of any other nerdy subjects that might be affected by the war? if so, please post them. I'm sure /. would love to toss around the subject.

When push comes to shove (3, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | about 6 years ago | (#24585019)

I am sure we will invent a new piece of legislation so we don't have to acknowledge our pesky integrity or morals.

After all, its just some little piss ant country, aren't the G8s allowed to run over one a year?

Whats next? Having doubts about going to the Olympics based on China's treatment of Tibet and other ethnic/religious minorities? Oops, looks like we forgot that one too, there G8 as well. I know, New G.... oops, can't go there... uh...

Oh yeah... Russia will have a hissy because we bitched, people will claim that talking would have worked or did work (ignoring the fact Russia got what they wanted and killed lots of people - but talking sure brought them back to life), and threaten to not allow us to fly but will cave in when we pay more.

Yeah, US foreign policy has been pretty much spineless when dealing with Russia since Reagans day... somehow since then we aren't allowed to piss them off. Peace sucks for the little guys as it means the big boys get to trample the little guys without worry about another big guy actually doing something about it.

I know, lets get the UN involved, they can write a strongly worded letter, well as long as none of the words offend the Russians and the Russians approve it of course.

Sheesh.

Re:When push comes to shove (0, Troll)

justdrew (706141) | about 6 years ago | (#24585075)

so you don't even know what Georgia did to provoke the response do you? Do you even know the bush assholes have been hostile and engaging in encircling Russia since the day they took office as if the cold war never ended? We provoked this idiot maneuver out of Georgia but they get to pay the price.

Re:When push comes to shove (1, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | about 6 years ago | (#24585591)

so you don't even know what Georgia did to provoke the response do you?

I honestly think there is enough blame to go around on both sides here (Georgia overreached but Russia hasn't exactly gone out of her way to solve the issues in South Ossetia either) but I get nervous when a large country with a history [wikipedia.org] of [wikipedia.org] aggression [wikipedia.org] and outright annexation starts to beat up on a small neighbor.

Why don't you ask somebody from Poland, the Baltic States, Finland or Ukraine what they think of recent Russian actions?

Russia has ultimate weapon. (5, Insightful)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | about 6 years ago | (#24585113)

...somehow since then we aren't allowed to piss them off.

Russia has the greatest weapon of our time: oil. They have more than the Saudis. Nobody is going to piss them off and disrupt their supply.

Re:Russia has ultimate weapon. (5, Interesting)

Erwos (553607) | about 6 years ago | (#24585391)

This is exactly it, and it's even more true for Europe. Europe is extremely dependent on Russia for their energy needs. That's why the reaction has been relatively quiet compared to the usual shrill screams that they have when a large country runs roughshod over a smaller one (even one that might have deserved it). It's the same reason they kowtow to the Arab states, and it's the same reason they can't seem to find it in themselves to do anything serious about Iran (notice the comma - I know Iran isn't an Arab state).

You can call it pragmatic or whatever, but I laugh a little every time I hear some smug European government official tell us how he or she is "principled" when it comes to foreign relations. The principle they're practicing ain't the same one they're preaching. The principle is, of course, "advance my country by any means possible". (Which is how it's always been, really.) The Russians and Chinese, however much I dislike their governments, at least tend to be up front about it.

Re:Russia has ultimate weapon. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585733)

The Russians and Chinese, however much I dislike their governments, at least tend to be up front about it.

If the Russian goverment would care about the country they would be the indisputable number one with their natural resources...

Re:Russia has ultimate weapon. (4, Interesting)

mcvos (645701) | about 6 years ago | (#24585467)

...somehow since then we aren't allowed to piss them off.

Russia has the greatest weapon of our time: oil. They have more than the Saudis. Nobody is going to piss them off and disrupt their supply.

Oil is what the Russia/Georgia conflict is actually about! There's lots of oil and gas in the Caspian Sea and central Asia. There are a couple of ways to get it, but two of the most important ones are:

1: through Kazakhstan and Russia
2: through Azerbaidjan, Georgia and Turkey

There's your conflict, including the reason why the US and EU want Russia out of Georgia.

Re:When push comes to shove (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 6 years ago | (#24585223)

"Yeah, US foreign policy has been pretty much spineless when dealing with Russia since Reagans day... somehow since then we aren't allowed to piss them off."

We didn't risk much for the trivial players back then either. Some game pieces are expendable, while others have more value.

Re:When push comes to shove (3, Informative)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about 6 years ago | (#24585253)

Having doubts about going to the Olympics based on China's treatment of Tibet and other ethnic/religious minorities? Oops, looks like we forgot that one too, there G8 as well.

No, China's not part of the G8. They're part of the O5 ("Outreach 5"), a group of less developed nations recognized by the G8.

Re:When push comes to shove (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 years ago | (#24585413)

Yeah, US foreign policy has been pretty much spineless when dealing with Russia since Reagans day...

I know it's fashionable to rail against the US, but in truth the European countries have shared this shortcoming due to their addiction to Russian oil.

Economic realities drive foreign policy for most countries in the world. We only manage to stand up in righteous indignation when we've got nothing really to lose. It's why we (eventually) were willing to isolate Apartheid South Africa, but never took any measures of consequence against China for {choose any one of many offenses}.

Re:When push comes to shove (0)

Abcd1234 (188840) | about 6 years ago | (#24585681)

I know it's fashionable to rail against the US, but in truth the European countries have shared this shortcoming due to their addiction to Russian oil.

Luckily, this is a story about *US* foreign policy, particularly with respect to NASA, so your comment is entirely off topic, and only serves to muddy the waters.

Re:When push comes to shove (1, Flamebait)

Robotbeat (461248) | about 6 years ago | (#24585459)

I completely agree. This has gone on far enough. Russia wants to annex parts of another country, so it backs "freedom fighters" and makes them Russian citizens, allowing Russia to claim that they're just trying to protect the interests of Russians in Georgia. Has anyone noticed that this is THE SAME EXCUSE THAT HITLER USED WHEN HE STARTED WWII??? Why, Russia is just trying to bring other Russians under the wings of the motherland! How NOBLE of them!

Seriously, if the separatists in Georgia actually wanted to form their own country, I could say that it is ARGUABLE that Russia's actions are justified, but this situation if FUCKING STRAIGHT-UP IMPERIALISM! Russia wants to have complete control over energy in this region, and so they're going to annex parts of Georgia (actually, all of it, if the West doesn't do anything).

Re:When push comes to shove (1)

pclminion (145572) | about 6 years ago | (#24585881)

Russia wants to have complete control over energy in this region, and so they're going to annex parts of Georgia (actually, all of it, if the West doesn't do anything).

Such as what? Go to war with them? No fucking thank you.

Re:When push comes to shove (2, Insightful)

ShibaInu (694434) | about 6 years ago | (#24585925)

And, what are we going to do? The US military is tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even if they weren't, getting to Georgia isn't going to be easy. The Euros don't have the balls to do anything meaningful to their largest energy supplier. So, what do you suggest? WWIII?

This is a larger part of a regional conflict that includes Chechnia. There are layers of ethnic hatred in the region that go back a long way and I find it hard to believe anyone's side of the story. This is a tragedy, but at this point the best thing to do is just to get the shooting to stop.

moral decline (4, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | about 6 years ago | (#24585035)

These problems occur, when a country prouding itself to be the greatest, democratic nation on earth, breaks its own rules(like : not intruding on other nations Sovereignty), which lead to other nations breaking those same rules, ... This empire is on its way out i fear, and the results won't be pretty.

Re:moral decline (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 6 years ago | (#24585173)

"which lead to other nations breaking those same rules, .."

Our Cold War opponents broke them at will in the recent past anyway, because it served them well and they could.

"Rules" are window dressing to amuse the earnest and naive people who believe in them. Power is what matters, because to the extent one has power one can make up and enforce rules.

Re:moral decline (1, Insightful)

polar red (215081) | about 6 years ago | (#24585439)

"Rules" are window dressing to amuse the earnest and naive people who believe in them

That's all true, but when you keep shouting at the top of your lungs about those moral standards, you're a hypocrite

The Georgians ... (1)

BitterOldGUy (1330491) | about 6 years ago | (#24585191)

wonder why, since they're helping in Iraq, doesn't the US help them?!? Now, the Georgians will have to pull their troops out of Iraq leaving US with more of the burden - rightfully so.

Troll indeed!

Re:The Georgians ... (1)

krazytekn0 (1069802) | about 6 years ago | (#24585485)

Is anyone informed on this issue? Their troops are already gone from Iraq we flew them back home

Re:moral decline (1)

mcvos (645701) | about 6 years ago | (#24585743)

These problems occur, when a country prouding itself to be the greatest, democratic nation on earth, breaks its own rules(like : not intruding on other nations Sovereignty),

This is a very good point. Recent actions of the US have given other nations like Russia and China plenty of excuses to do what they like, and to push their own interests.

Whenever the US criticised China for its human rights record, China can criticise the US right back for its human rights record.

And because the US invaded a souvereign nation with a flimsy excuse (when it was really about oil), now Russia can use the same flimsy excuse to invade a foreign nation (which is really about oil). And they make claims of genocide too, because that worked so well in Bosnia and Kosovo.

priorities man! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585039)

Shit, if germany decided to kill the jews again, CmdrTaco would be wondering how this affects his BMW's warranty.

Re:priorities man! (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | about 6 years ago | (#24585083)

To be fair he did get the extended warranty protection, and that shit ain't cheap.

Re:priorities man! (0, Offtopic)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about 6 years ago | (#24585181)

Shit, if germany decided to kill the jews again, CmdrTaco would be wondering how this affects his BMW's warranty.

How does Slashdot know to take away my mod points at the right time? It's uncanny. I haven't used them in 6+ months and then when I need them.... nada.

+1 Informative wrapped in uncomfortable funny bonus point for effective use of Godwin.

Re:priorities man! (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | about 6 years ago | (#24585407)

I haven't used them in 6+ months and then when I need them.... nada.

I believe that's an intended feature of Slashdot, if you're more active on the site you're more likely to get them back sooner.

Re:priorities man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585507)

Shit, if germany decided to kill the jews again, CmdrTaco would be wondering how this affects his BMW's warranty.

Others would be wondering if they would do so in a more eco-friendly way, rather than carbon-spewing ovens.

After all, Jews are bio-degradable.

US manned spaceflight ends in 2010 (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | about 6 years ago | (#24585053)

US manned spaceflight will end in 2010, when the Shuttle is retired. There won't be any follow-on for at least a decade. The US can't afford it any more.

NASA might be able to sell their interest in the ISS to China or Russia.

Re:US manned spaceflight ends in 2010 (1)

nebulus4 (799015) | about 6 years ago | (#24585221)

In my opinion it would depend on the outcome of the US elections. If Obama wins US might sell or strike another deal with Russia. If McCain wins then I don't think either would be possible, simply because McCain hates Russia and Russia hates McCain.

Re:US manned spaceflight ends in 2010 (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24585263)

How do you figure the US can't afford it anymore? Too much debt? Too many promises to pay money in the future?

As it stands, even with the recent erosion in the dollar, average Americans have more material wealth than they had 50 years ago, or 30 years ago. Probably not more than 10 years ago, but that is only 10 years, things generally don't move in a straight line up up up the way they did between 1950 and 1990.

Re:US manned spaceflight ends in 2010 (1)

mcvos (645701) | about 6 years ago | (#24585769)

As it stands, even with the recent erosion in the dollar, average Americans have more material wealth than they had 50 years ago, or 30 years ago.

The average American, yes. But the US government has a lot more debt than it had 30 years ago.

Re:US manned spaceflight ends in 2010 (1)

maxume (22995) | about 6 years ago | (#24585857)

My point was more that the wealth is there, it just isn't being put to that specific purpose at the moment.

Re:US manned spaceflight ends in 2010 (5, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | about 6 years ago | (#24585683)

The US can't afford it any more.

What bullshit! The US doesn't want to pay it any more. It can certainly afford it. Bringing NASA up to Apollo levels of funding would be a virtually unnoticeable drop in the current federal budget.

Re:US manned spaceflight ends in 2010 (1)

khallow (566160) | about 6 years ago | (#24585789)

The US can easily afford manned flight and many other expenses as well. I can see some unlikely scenarios where the US doesn't maintain the cohesion to continue a manned space program, but I believe that the various doomsday scenarios are overrated. The US isn't likely to fall apart as a result of too much public spending, peak oil, etc.

Re:US manned spaceflight ends in 2010 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585921)

This is bogus, I work in astrophysics, and rocket design. There wont be available human travel because nothing we have currently is man-rated. Not due to the us money issues. Ares, although total crap will be ready to take the human flight crown in 2014, and if the us would take even 1% of the current DoD budget and place it toward the development of ares, it would be ready within a year.

and...... (1, Troll)

pablo_max (626328) | about 6 years ago | (#24585095)

Seriously... who cares? Without the shuttle, there is no need for the ISS. They only exist to give reason for the others existence. The shuttle was useless and spending all that time in LEO with a skeleton crew with no time for real science makes the ISS useless IMO.
I say NASA should strap some motors on that POS and send it out to L1 and use it as a supply depot or a "just in case" spot on the way to the moon.
I have always hated the shuttle and the ISS.

Re:and...... (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 6 years ago | (#24585643)

How would it be a just in case spot on the way to the moon? Any mission to the moon would have to perform a large burn to stop at that point, not to mention another burn to send the ship back to earth. Unless if there's a problem only with the life support systems and they know for a fact that the engines are in perfect working order they would probably be better off pulling an Apollo 13 and slingshotting around the moon which would require only one or two small burns.

anonie-mouse (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585107)

apparently, Georgia attacked first, a prodominantly russian population.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_jCdbcAjNM

Re:anonie-mouse (1)

mcvos (645701) | about 6 years ago | (#24585799)

apparently, Georgia attacked first, a prodominantly russian population.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_jCdbcAjNM [youtube.com]

Only predominantly Russian because Russia started handing out Russian passports to foreign nationals.

need space taliban? (2, Insightful)

wardk (3037) | about 6 years ago | (#24585131)

if only there was a terror threat from space. NASA would be up to their eyeballs in no-need-to-account-for cash.

Of course it will hurt further missions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585169)

People don't realize just how close Georgia is to Florida.

The Russians are coming.

Sen. Nelson was confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585171)

He was worried because Georgia is near Florida, and this would potentially put communists on both sides of NASA.

Russian Retaliation (1, Insightful)

MissingRainbow (969435) | about 6 years ago | (#24585175)

Let us all be correct in the terminology here. It is not Russian Invasion, but Russian Retaliation. It was Georgia, with support from USA and Israel, who first initiated the attack against Russian peace keepers. In my opinion [blogspot.com] , it is dangerous to have the US as an enemy but fatal to have as a friend. I encourage everybody to read the articles at WSWS [wsws.org] for a good analysis.

yes, Russian actions completely justified (1, Insightful)

justdrew (706141) | about 6 years ago | (#24585339)

what would America do if some asshole country rockets barracks of our peacekeepers in the middle of the night for no reason after 10+ years of mostly peace? we'd go get some revenge and we'd teach a lesson. which is all Russia did. Good for them.

Re:yes, Russian actions completely justified (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585553)

The war between Georgia and Russia is a classic "He started it first!" "Nuh-uh! He started it first" "No, I saw what he did. He started it first." etc. You may have seen such a scene on a playground once and even been a part of one. The truth is that both sides are culpable.

Re:Russian Retaliation (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585519)

And the Russians just HAPPENED to have their Black Sea fleet ready to sail, and 40K men at the border - just as Georgia attacked....

Re:Russian Retaliation (3, Informative)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about 6 years ago | (#24585773)

please look up the geographical position of georgia.
it directly borders to chechnya where russia waged two wars in the last 15 years and where still lots of troops are in a ready state.

also, a couple of ships of every military fleet are ready to sail.

Re:Russian Retaliation (1)

TheSync (5291) | about 6 years ago | (#24585819)

It was Georgia, with support from USA and Israel, who first initiated the attack against Russian peace keepers.

Stalin divided Ossetia between the Russian and Georgian Soviet Republics in 1922 (part of a Communist "divide and control" plan). After the breakup of the USSR, South Ossetia desired to re-unite with North Ossetia, but Georgia sent troops in to crush the rebellion, sparking a war in 1991-92. Russia has been helping the rebels and has provided Russian passports to Ossetians in South Ossetia. Sporadic mortar fire between Georgians and South Ossetians has been going on ever since (which is why Georgia claims they had to "invade").

South Ossetia has voted overwhelmingly for independence (just like Kosovo). On the other hand, Russia didn't seem to be willing to let go of Chechnya.

All this ethno-nationalistic stuff is stupid and counterproductive. In a free country, people of many ethnicities should be able to live together in peace and work on making some $$$ together.

Re:Russian Retaliation (1)

apathy maybe (922212) | about 6 years ago | (#24585843)

I don't believe you, or the author of the WSWS article really know what is going on. Heck, I know I don't. I don't that most *news* folks know what is going on.

I don't trust the BBC or CNN ("Communist News Network", even if they are right-wing to the core) to provide impartial accurate coverage, and they claim to be impartial and independent.

So why am I going to trust someone with an explicit barrow to push? (Even if it is a barrow that I could get on board and travel with, at least some of the way.)

I'm afraid the only thing that anyone who is not on the ground (and even then you have major problems with knowing what is going on) can do is to weigh it all up, and in the end condemn all sides.

The Georgians should support the staging of an independent binding plebiscite on independence in those regions where people have expressed a desire for it. The Russians should fuck off back home and respect the outcome of such a plebiscite. The USA and the EU should shut the fuck up about territorial integrity (it only suites them to talk about it when they want to, i.e. not when the country is Serbia or Germany post WW1) and fuck off too.

Does that cover everyone?

Re:Russian Retaliation (1)

asuzuki (305049) | about 6 years ago | (#24585859)

You are absolutely right to question the semantics of this conflict. Without truly indepdendent media coverage we have no way of knowing exactly what happened in these last days.

The consensus in my country is that it was a Georgian aggression, with an albeit disproportionate reaction by Russia.

From reading previous (modded up) posts I am getting the impression that most Americans are all to eager to step back into the cold war and blame Russia.

I mean seriously, the Georgian president talking about a Russian aggression (standing in front of an EU flag, no less) and asking the West (hey, wake up, Russia is the West!) to help, don't make me laugh....

Re:Russian Retaliation (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about 6 years ago | (#24585865)

that is a stark and scary article. Sadly enough it rings true to the point where even and an optimist like myself, I wonder not if, but when will this administration drop the other shoe and push us into a third war front.

It really sucks to be a thinking aware pawn in this current game of global chess.

might have to keep flying shuttles a little longer (2, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | about 6 years ago | (#24585187)

I still have my doubts as to whether the shuttle replacement will pan out.

I'm thinking... (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | about 6 years ago | (#24585205)

OSSD (Open Source Spaceship Design) anyone? Could throw up a solid, reusable ship for 1/100 the cost AND on time! (There's plenty of concepts around the net if you look, surely). Except that would be way too economically viable.

Re:I'm thinking... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585575)

OSSD (Open Source Spaceship Design) anyone? Could throw up a solid, reusable ship for 1/100 the cost AND on time! (There's plenty of concepts around the net if you look, surely). Except that would be way too economically viable.

Yeah, I'd trust my ass to "ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE" [gnu.org] .

Re:I'm thinking... (1)

stranger_to_himself (1132241) | about 6 years ago | (#24585615)

I guess you could design a spaceship that way, but who would you get to build or test it?

Re:I'm thinking... (1)

bond_ionic_bond (1344071) | about 6 years ago | (#24585803)

Take the X-Prize, for instance. There were a number of potentially feasable projects, that could possibly do with better management or a more solid budget (which would still be 1/1000 of what NASA gets for some of their projects). Take Canadian Arrow, Pablo de LeÃn, et al.) Who says Government shouldn't invest into the public sector?

Re:I'm thinking... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 6 years ago | (#24585697)

Yes, for too long have the world's space powers ignored my design of a positronic interferometer based plasma drive. It runs on homeopathisized , magnetic water and an organic copper catalyst. It removes carbon dioxide from the air and harnesses the 4 CORNER SIMULTANEOUS 4-DAY TIME CUBE [timecube.com] .

They can have Georgia (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585209)

and Florida too.

but we get to keep South Carolina

Russian are not invading Gerogia (0)

jessedorland (1320611) | about 6 years ago | (#24585265)

Georgian were murdering native population, russian stepped in to protect them. Western media has always protest criminals, and branded victims as devil.

I doubt this will really matter (4, Insightful)

Bullfish (858648) | about 6 years ago | (#24585285)

I doubt this will really matter in the end. Especially long term. The Russians will likely leave by the end of the week as soon as the Georgian military is dismantled. In the end, Georgia started this, and really, what effect did the crushing of the Prague spring, the Hungarian uprising of 56 etc really have on relations between the west and Russia?

And as others have pointed out, the Georgians started it with an area of effect attack on a city populated by ethnic Russians. If there is trouble with the ISS, it will be for other reasons.

Re:I doubt this will really matter (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585849)

While Georgia attacked an area populated by ethnic Russians, it wasn't an attack on the ethnic Russians. It was an attack to keep that population from declaring independence from the rest of the state.

It's like if the areas predominately populated by mexicans tried to become their own state. You're sure as hell that the U.S. would attack them, but we are not attacking the mexicans due to their ethnicity.

Squeal like a pig! (2, Informative)

Baldrson (78598) | about 6 years ago | (#24585295)

'NASA's plans to launch new manned missions to the International Space Station three years after the space shuttle retires in 2010 aren't panning out.'

'Officials at the space agency said Monday that they will still hold to their word that the Constellation program--a mission of the newly developed Ares 1 rocket and Orion crew capsule to the ISS--will happen by March 2015, five years after the space shuttle program shuts down. But a previous goal of an early launch in 2013 has now been moved to 2014 because of budget constraints. NASA officials are also leaving wiggle room there.'

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-10015009-76.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-5 [cnet.com]

Hard to believe those culturally insensitive crackers managed to go from zero to the Moon in eight years using 1960s technology...

Re:Squeal like a pig! (2, Insightful)

justdrew (706141) | about 6 years ago | (#24585431)

is it any wonder? We should have been working on the next gen replacement for the shuttle since 1990 at least. We've fucked up and now it's all going tits up.

The question on everyone's mind (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585355)

Who is this General Shermanski we keep hearing about?

restoring 'constitutional order'.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585521)

is not done with howitzers.....3h ahter declaring not to use force an entire capital is devastated by bombing ????

mr saakasvili deserves to be removed from power....clearly he abuses it.

the phrase 'restoring constitutional order' is bogus.....a piece of paper is not worth a 1000 lives in my opinion.

Georgia gambled....and lost big time

is this a proxy war by bush???? is a thought I cannot get out off my head

I am unwilling to help those who indiscriminately bomb towns.....there was no 'urgency' for georgia to restore 'order'.......clearly a provocation.

besides my ranting....the ISS has nothing to do with all this.....the russians have a better record of bringing supply's up there than any other country.

American planning in action (3, Interesting)

HiggsBison (678319) | about 6 years ago | (#24585533)

This is the United States of America, mister. We do not think ahead. We do not plan ahead.

Our shuttle was a marginally workable exercise in pork barrel politics. And now it's up for retirement long before it can be replaced. Probably to be replaced by another pork barrel exercise, eventually. Or obsoleted by a burst of finesse from Europe or the third world. (But I'm not holding my breath.)

Russia thinks ahead and plans ahead. Now they're holding all the space exploration cards. Of course now they're the only ones who can get to the ISS, or to put it another way, they got stuck with the task. I wonder how well they thought that through.

Re:American planning in action (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 6 years ago | (#24585797)

Russia thinks ahead and plans ahead.

I believe the phrase you're looking for is, "Russians don't take a dump, son, without a plan".
- Adm. Painter, The Hunt for Red October

Ahhh, Permanent UN Security Council members and their toys...

Possible solution...? (1, Interesting)

bond_ionic_bond (1344071) | about 6 years ago | (#24585583)

Maybe it's time [for NASA] to look at some [aerospaceguide.net] of the commercial space projects being developed out there and take note how they're doing it. Perhaps even take one (or two) projects showing success under its wing and develop it further... Would surely save millions, decrease dependence on wacko nations like Russia and take reusability to a new level... Just my 2c.

Georgia shot first... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585601)

...just like Han.

Europe to the rescue? (1)

damburger (981828) | about 6 years ago | (#24585827)

Converting the ATV to a manned vehicle seems to be the quickest way of restoring access to the ISS if the Russians don't want to let us go there. Its got a proven launch vehicle, and the cargo version has already flown. Just need to develop a heat shield really.

Re:Europe to the rescue? (1)

khallow (566160) | about 6 years ago | (#24585923)

Apparently the ATV docks through the Russian modules. It's not as easy as you would think to wean the ISS off of Russia. I gather down the road that the Japanese might have their own docking port and cargo vehicle, but these might not be capable or reliable enough for people. Second, the US has a standard docking port for people. My take is that it'd be easier to adapt a Delta IV Heavy or Atlas V Heavy (with a lightweight Orion on top) for ISS transport than it would be to adapt the ATV.

do`ll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#24585919)

~280MB MPxEG off of their hand...she alike tO reap = 1400 NetBSD
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