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In Leaked Email, NASA Chief Vents On Shuttle Program's End

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-jealous-of-garriot dept.

NASA 424

jerryasher writes "In a leaked memo, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin discusses 'the jihad' to prematurely terminate the Shuttle and what that means for the International Space Station. One implication: there may come a long interval when only our Russian Allies are aboard the Space Station. Add that bit of irony to your new cold war kit and then wonder why Griffin discusses why we wouldn't sabotage the Space Station, and how and why the memo got leaked in the first place."

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fag fag fag (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916449)

fag

Re:fag fag fag (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916777)

No this is a fag
http://goatse.cz/ [goatse.cz]

Re:fag fag fag (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916881)

You like to suck

niggas' dicks

...and make 'dem CUM .

Source of leak? (0, Redundant)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916451)

I hate the fad of anonymous sources today.

Doesn't anonymous source = baseless article?

Re:Source of leak? (4, Funny)

Ian Alexander (997430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916473)

I was going to post something about the importance of anonymity but then I saw a comment above yours by AC which just had the word "fag" in it. And suddenly I didnt have the heart anymore.

Re:Source of leak? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916575)

Stop being a Fag.

Re:Source of leak? (5, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916821)

Yeah, it's like defending free speech and having to stick up for Nazis and pedophiles. It's still a worthy cause in the abstract, but the specifics can take some of the wind out of your sails.

Re:Source of leak? (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916987)

Yeah, it's like defending free speech and having to stick up for Nazis and pedophiles. It's still a worthy cause in the abstract, but the specifics can take some of the wind out of your sails.

It shouldn't. Nobody wants to censor talk about mom and apple pie. The right of free speech only matters when it comes down to speech that somebody finds offensive. If you aren't willing to defend the freedom to speak about stuff you find offensive, then you didn't ever really believe in free speech to begin with.

Uhh... (5, Funny)

RichiH (749257) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917077)

I hate apple pie and will do my best to censor any talk about it!

Re:Source of leak? (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916475)

Quoth the article:

In a statement issued after the Orlando Sentinel posted Griffin's e-mail, the space agency administrator stressed that the memo alone lacked the appropriate context.

"The leaked internal email fails to provide the contextual framework for my remarks, and my support for the Administration's policies," Griffin said the NASA statement. "Administration policy is to retire the shuttle in 2010 and purchase crew transport from Russia until Ares and Orion are available."

This basically validates the accuracy of the article's source material (the email), although it does insist that relying on the information in the email alone would not respect the context it was written in. In short, you should have RTFA (which contains a lot more information than the original email), and your comment is idiotic and baseless.

My problem with the article (1, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916803)

leading to gap in U.S. spaceflight capability.

Having lived through one such gap in my lifetime I have to say they seem brief at first, but can extend some. A lot more than you would think at first.

It is not acceptable to me to surrender U.S. spaceflight capability. Not for one minute. Not for 12 years. Not at all. Dammit do we have to let the rest of the world own space? Did you hear? There's a lot more space in space than there is land on land. And more resources. There are entire moons made of hydrocarbons. And the conquering of space leads to us learning valuable lessons that help everyone stuck to this ball of mud. And then there's that whole "an 8' length of rebar dropped from low earth orbit can destroy any tank ever made" thing.

Hey, I heard that a retail 12 megapixel camera attached to a retail telescope can, from orbit, discriminate objects as small as fingerprints, and that advanced video analysis software can identify an individual by his gait if not by his impossible-to-mask facial features. Doesn't that make you wonder what the kind or money that launches stuff into orbit could buy? Could they scan you for cancer? Do I have your attention yet?

Obligatory Toynbee Tiles [blogspot.com] reference. If you don't know what they are, it behooves you to find out.

I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but no. Just no. We will not surrender space. It is not in our national interest to do so. If the odds of survival are 1:9 we'll still have enough volunteers that filtering them is the biggest challenge of the endeavor. Money is not an issue.

Re:My problem with the article (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916877)

Hey, I heard that a retail 12 megapixel camera attached to a retail telescope can, from orbit, discriminate objects as small as fingerprints, and that advanced video analysis software can identify an individual by his gait if not by his impossible-to-mask facial features. Doesn't that make you wonder what the kind or money that launches stuff into orbit could buy? Could they scan you for cancer? Do I have your attention yet?

You heard wrong. First of all, a 12 megapixel camera has trouble picking up fingerprints here on earth, unless the surface and lighting are conducive. Second, with a 1-meter aperture, the THEORETICAL limit for resolution would be picking up something 6 inches in diameter. With a 2.4 meter aperture (about the limit for optics going into space. It's the size of the Hubble, in case you were wondering), the (again, theoretical) limit of resolution that could be achieved is 3 inches in diameter.

Both of those numbers are, again, entirely theoretical. That's assuming you weren't looking through ~70 miles of turbulent, dusty atmosphere.

So unless the US Government beat the laws of electromagnetic diffraction and didn't tell anybody...

Re:My problem with the article (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916967)


Yeah, a couple of technical inaccuracies spoiling an otherwise nice post. I agree with the GP's conclusions, if not his arguments though.

Re:My problem with the article (2, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917023)

The shuttle was supposed to be retired in... what? 1988? The damned thing was built when freakin' Jimmy Carter was president! If we don't retire the damned things we won't HAVE to worry about retiring them,because they will blow up and take the crews with them. Hell,if we are that damned desperate and need something to fill the gaps why don't we whip off another couple of the old Apollo designs. Surely it shouldn't be hard with today's tech to whip off a 40 year old design,and those "tin can on a tube" would be a lot safer than trying to send up Jimmy Carter era junk that was supposed to be retired while Reagan was president. But as always this is my 02c,YMMV

Re:My problem with the article (2, Insightful)

Elrond, Duke of URL (2657) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917035)

I'm not particularly happy about the forthcoming gap in US manned launch capability, but your post really seems to come out of left field. It also jumps all over, from space based resources to tank destroying weapons to spying.

But what really threw me was the mention of Toynbee Tiles. You suggest that it would "behoove" me to find out about them. So I did. Behoove would suggest that it is of no small importance to learn more, but...

How is this relevant at all? The tiles are certainly interesting, but only from an artistic and "huh, that's odd" angle. Going from a space flight capability gap of about 5 years to resurrecting life on one of Jupiter's moons (Europa, I suppose) is one enormous leap to make.

You are likely preaching to the choir when it comes to putting people and things into space and space exploration in general. But trying to "strengthen" your argument with a serious mention of Toynbee Tiles makes it all seem a bit, well, nutty.

Re:Source of leak? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916479)

I read somewhere that keeping the shuttle fleet active would up the percentage of failure dramatically since they're already in the process of decommissioning. I think it may be smart to just keep the shuttles as a reserve fleet, that way if the Russians were to stop playing nice (unlikely) we could still access the the space station. Only slight issue is that congress would have to fund this, else it'd eat into NASA's budget, the amount of funding needed is a relatively small amount, and a wise investment for the period until Orion gets on its feet.

Re:Source of leak? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916507)

Congress could simply increase NASA's budget in the short term to handle the issue...

Re:Source of leak? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916555)

"Congress could simply increase NASA's budget in the short term to handle the issue..."

OMFG! [brillig.com]

Re:Source of leak? (2, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916917)

How about stopping to make wars?
Oh no, then those poor bankers could not sell credits and drive us to slavery and our government into obedience anymore... And there could actually be money spent on education and science (like, above 10% of the budget).
This of course can't be! Because then people would start to think, and kill those power-greedy bastards in an instant.

Re:Source of leak? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916623)

Would it have been more credible if it came from some Fox News announcer?

Yes, many times anonymity brings baseless information, but don't take it as a rule, especially in this world where even whistleblowing about your company for a good cause can ruin your life forever.

Re:Source of leak? (5, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916805)

Doesn't anonymous source = baseless article?

Only if the parties maligned actually deny the claims made by those sources.

This is a double edged sword. On the one hand, anonymous sources can help uncover serious abuses, i.e. Watergate. On the other, journalists can and do simply make stuff up and attribute it to these "sources". I recall the case of one American journalist, whose name(ironically) escapes me at the moment, who was caught extorting his victim. He was essentially threatening to publish stories that while they would be damaging to the victim, would not create any legal "liability" for his publication. I'm sure anonymous sources are abused in this way.

Personally, I think that given the low standing of journalism as a profession, anonymous sources are at this time completely without credibility. Nowadays, the default assumption that must be made about any journalist and news story is that they are a spin doctor spinning a story the way their employer pays them to. Under such high G-forces, the delicate anonymous sources collapse under their own weight.

Re:Source of leak? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916831)

I hate the fad of anonymous sources today.

Doesn't anonymous source = baseless article?

Read the article, narcberry -- it's obvious that Griffin acknowledges the content of the e-mail was his. The reason documents like this are leaked is that someone on the inside feels it's important for the public to know, but the person has a position to protect. The leaker is anonymous, but the source is NASA Administrator Mike Griffin.

No. If it did... (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916837)

... then Richard Nixon would not have been caught at all his bullshit.

Anonymous sources must not only be paid attention to, they must be protected in a Democratic society. Thus the laws protecting whistle blowers, and so on.

So let's stop faffing around (3, Interesting)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916467)

And get something new and awesomer in the skies to replace it.

Something that could get people going wow again would be nice.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (5, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916529)

And get something new and awesomer in the skies to replace it.

Something that could get people going wow again would be nice.

I would also like a pony.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916717)

dougE is that you?!

Re:So let's stop faffing around (1)

PaganRitual (551879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916719)

Ponies don't just fall out of the sky you know.

Only space stations do that.

And even then only after getting some "help".

Not that we're, you know, considering that at all.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916775)

de-orbit ISS onto Moscow.

No great loss, either way.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916923)

And get something new and awesomer in the skies to replace it.

Something that could get people going wow again would be nice.

I would also like a pony.

A _winged_ pony? [wikipedia.org]

Re:So let's stop faffing around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24917075)

You can't have a pony [photobucket.com]

Re:So let's stop faffing around (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916549)

"And get something new and awesomer in the skies to replace it.
Something that could get people going wow again would be nice."

Not going to happen. Not now. Not for another 30 years or more.

Afghanistan
Iraq.

Do I dare look at the expenses incurred for the latter? No. There is nothing I can do about it, and all it will do is fill me with rage.

And now, due to criminal lack of oversight (because regulation is BAD, Right?!),

THIS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7602992.stm [bbc.co.uk]

This administration has fucked us all for sure. Forget the Shuttle. Forget the ISS. Forget the Moon. Forget Mars. Forget space exploration. Forget inspiring kids to become engineers and scientists.

Forget dreaming at all, for we can no longer afford it. Our future has been pissed away in 8 years.

Welcome to total, complete, utter incompetent management by the Shrub and his apparatchiks.

The first words spoken by the next President after being sworn in this January and looking at the real numbers: "What the fuck is this shit?"

--
BMO

Re:So let's stop faffing around (0, Flamebait)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916621)

The first words spoken by the next President after being sworn in this January and looking at the real numbers: "What the fuck is this shit?"

And sadly, only a Libertarian President would do the right thing about it, and that's not gonna happen.

Deregulation caused the crisis. (5, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916819)

When the banks wrote the mortgages and held them, they were less likely to give money to unqualified buyers. When they were allowed to repackage the debt and sell it to other corporations, to no one's surprise, everyone got greedy and started trading the debt.

I like certain libertarians ideals, but the fact is that regulation is to industry what police are to neighborhoods. If you take a cop off a beat, crime will go up. If you take your eyes off corporate shenanigans, they will go up. This has been obvious from the days of Enron. What we need is reasonable regulation with national standards, state enforcement, and some new laws against the revolving door between business and government. There should be a separation of business and state, for the sake of both.

Of course, you can always argue that the fact that there was regulation that was removed led to the crisis. But you'd be wrong.

Re:Deregulation caused the crisis. (4, Insightful)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916995)

When the feds weren't "encouraging" them to lend to "minimally qualified" homebuyers, they were less likely to. As usual, "deregulation" was a farce that just meant the government shifted their influence somewhere else.

Re:Deregulation caused the crisis. (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917007)

Of course, you can always argue that the fact that there was regulation that was removed led to the crisis. But you'd be wrong.

Or you could argue that the problem is the return of regulation just in time to socialize the losses. The money that was lost due to piss-poor loan underwriting ought to come from those who took the risk of investing in piss-poor underwriting.

Instead, just in the nick of time, our tax dollars jump in to save the day for the people who unwisely chose to invest in piss-poor underwriting.

This whole idea of "too large to let fail" is the unholy love-child of pro-business 'conservatives' and pro-command-and-control 'liberals.' Its like they took the worst characteristics of each group and decide that those were the ideals by which to run our current government.

Re:Deregulation caused the crisis. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24917037)

"If you take your eyes off corporate shenanigans, they will go up. This has been obvious from the days of Enron."

No, it's been obvious since the days of Teapot Dome, if not earlier. The corporation has been crooked since the invention of the corporation. The manner in which a corporation is legally required to be run can be mapped 1:1 with the way a sociopath behaves.

Re:Deregulation caused the crisis. (5, Insightful)

silentbozo (542534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917105)

I think the problem was not that we bailed them out, but that we bailed BOTH of them out.

It would have been an object lesson had the feds let one of the two fail completely, with all of the reprecussions, and saved the other.

Instead of letting people see how bad it could have gotten, and let the unlucky lenders who couldn't get their repackaged debt bought by the surviving company fail, we're going to have a long and painful slide as everyone waits for the next shoe to drop.

There will be more banking failures, but my fear is by then there won't be any free capital left in the US to reinvest and reinvigorate when the whole process winds up - we'll have used it all up waiting, just like the Japanese did after their banking/real estate disaster in the early 90's.

I'm wondering how much of this is due to people not wanting to face up to the fact that they're holding on to worthless paper (much as the Japanese refused to let companies go bankrupt), and how much of this is due to recent changes in the bankruptcy code, pushed forward, ironically, by the finance companies...

Re:So let's stop faffing around (1)

amirulbahr (1216502) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916645)

Why do it now? Why not let the next administration decide? Maybe because John McCain wouldn't have any chance of victory if there was another financial crisis before the elections.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (1)

amirulbahr (1216502) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916651)

I'm talking about the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae bail-out by the way.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (5, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916711)

"Why do it now? Why not let the next administration decide?"

Because the problem is so large, and such an emergency, that it /must/ be dealt with right now. Word is that that without the bailout, we had two weeks before the shit hit the fan.

It's true what's been said, that Fannie and Freddie were "too big to fail." Failure without a buyout would have caused...utter chaos - literally runs on the banks not seen since 1929.

And I'm not kidding about criminal lack of oversight. We already know the books were cooked over there to make things look rosier than they were.

The CEOs of Fannie and Freddie lost their jobs because of that. BFD. They probably deserve jail time, but I won't hold my breath.

I lived through the RISDIC crisis, and this is the same stuff, just writ REALLY LARGE. 9 percent of all home loans, nationally, in arrears or in default? What? Here in Rhode Island, it's 32 percent. Apparently that's for real, and this stuff has just started. Trust me, this has just started.

And we still want to go to Mars. Har. Unlikely.

--
BMO

Re:So let's stop faffing around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916669)

Forget dreaming at all, for we can no longer afford it. Our future has been pissed away in 8 years.

Y'know, it just takes a little core of civil disobedience to completely screw with a government.

Don't like what the Shrub is doing?

Unhappy about the Freddie Mac/Sallie Mae bailout?

It's simple: just stop paying taxes. That's REAL CHANGE.

disclaimer: I'm not seriously proposing this. (That's why my post is signed 'AC').
You all can do the math

Re:So let's stop faffing around (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916697)

Like it or not, there is more thought than appears to the Fannie and Freddie bail-out. Yes, there have been major screw-ups (probably much attributable to reality distortion and setting up the game so that huge profits are made in the short run...). But the bail-out at this point, given past events and monumental screw-ups have occurred, may not be one of them.

It is to try to help avoid a financial market crash and the economy from plunging farther and more quickly into the shitter.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916741)

It is to try to help avoid a financial market crash and the economy from plunging farther and more quickly into the shitter.

The word you're looking for is delay, not avoid.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (5, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916749)

"It is to try to help avoid a financial market crash and the economy from plunging farther and more quickly into the shitter."

Oh, I know. I know too well. We had no choice.

Read my previous message.

This is the result of out-and-out fraud. However, while I live in a country where we have the highest per capita rate of imprisonment, the people responsible will never see the inside of a cell. Not even for a second. Trust me on this. We jail potsmokers instead.

--
BMO

Re:So let's stop faffing around (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916783)

People keep complaining that the war in Iraq costs the US multiple billions, but why doesn't anybody take into account the profits that America receives from the captured oil fields? Somehow, I suppose the occupation of Iraq must be profitable after all, otherwise it would only be logical to withdraw troops from there. Same for Afghanistan.

Disclaimer: I'm not a US resident and might not understand what's happening under the hood of your political machine.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (5, Interesting)

bmo (77928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916817)

"Somehow, I suppose the occupation of Iraq must be profitable after all, otherwise it would only be logical to withdraw troops from there. Same for Afghanistan."

We need a -1 Naive tag.

You need to read up on the Project for a New American Century.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqletter1998.htm [newamericancentury.org]

Please note the date.

Please note who the members of PNAC are and who signed the Mission Statement.

http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm [newamericancentury.org]

Let me know when you finish screaming.

--
BMO

Re:So let's stop faffing around (2)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916847)

Take a look at this chart of the top exporters of oil to the US. [doe.gov] Who is #1? Not Iraq. #2? No. #3? Nope. You'll find that oil exports from Iraq to the US have remained relatively constant for years before and after "Shock and Awe." The only spike was in 2004.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (2, Informative)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916863)

America does not profit from the "captured oil fields". The profits are going to Iraq, when we *buy* their oil at *market prices*.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (5, Insightful)

n dot l (1099033) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917049)

Well, some American companies are certainly making money off of the whole thing. It's just that the money isn't coming from where you think it is. Let me clarify. This isn't a war where the USA is looting Iraq (they've done a lot to that country, but looting isn't part of it). This is a war where one segment of the USA (the military industrial complex) is effectively looting the rest of the USA. And their government seems to take turns being too oblivious, evil, or simply too incompetent to do anything about it.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916827)

Loser.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (5, Informative)

cohensh (1358679) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916559)

Part of the point of this is that it takes an incredible amount of time and money to send something into space. Adding one more flight will not be a huge issue, because there is a rescue flight scheduled for the last current shuttle flight. But after that to add a flight would be a ton of work. With the knowledge that the shuttle program was coming to an end the ability to make the antique parts that the shuttle flies on is diminished, as no one makes them anymore. (To give an idea of how old the hardware is, the navigation system runs on something like 512 K) It would cost in the order of $400 million dollars per additional flight. Also, to speed up Constellation it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars per month, and even with expanded funding there is a limit to how fast it can be realized. In short, everyone is asking for money, NASA included, and lots of people question how important manned space flight actually is.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (2, Insightful)

uofitorn (804157) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916737)

My immediate reaction years ago to seeing that some parts of the shuttle run on 512K was... great! If it can get the job done with minimal complexity, then what is the problem? Why invite more loc, when it accomplished what was necessary for the job at hand?

Re:So let's stop faffing around (1)

cohensh (1358679) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916785)

As the next drive is to the Moon and to Mars, something has to be developed, as the Shuttle is an Orbiter, not an interplanetary transport. Going to Orion and Ares was supposed to be taking the best from the Shuttle and Apollo programs and using that so that as little as possible had to be re-engineered. Flying the Shuttle is a huge complex process, NASA claims that the Constellation program will actually be less complex, requiring fewer people to operate the program once it is running. However, just because they hope it will be easy, doesn't mean that developing or operating the Constellation program will run as smoothly as NASA hopes.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916683)

And get something new and awesomer in the skies to replace it.

Something that could get people going wow again would be nice.

In an age where even the 130 tonne Ares V is getting yawns, there is realistically only one rocket [wikipedia.org] that could potentially impress people.

Re:So let's stop faffing around (1)

cohensh (1358679) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916729)

I am "potentially impressed" by an engine that needs enough electricity it requires its own nuclear reactor in space, uses radio waves to excite plasma, and uses a magnetic field as a nozzle. It's the VASMIR [daviddarling.info] Designed by Franklin Chang-Diaz.

And he's absolutely right (5, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916481)

With Putin doing his best Stalin imitation lately, it's moronic to trust the Russians to be a reliable stopgap until our new rockets and spacecraft are ready. We need to simply accept the fact that we'll be needing the Shuttle for a little while longer, and budget appropriately.

Re:And he's absolutely right (4, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916501)

Or pump some cash into SpaceX to get a reliable vehicle faster.

Re:And he's absolutely right (2)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916619)

Because throwing more money at a problem always solves it.

Re:And he's absolutely right (2)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916677)

And that sarcastic comment is always applicable.

Re:And he's absolutely right (4, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916667)

That would be akin to pumping money into the Wright Brothers in the hopes of getting the 747 faster. The problem isn't that SpaceX lacks cash, the problem is that they aren't anywhere near a booster to replace the Soyuz let alone a capsule to replace the Soyuz. (Yes, the Russians call the booster 'Soyuz' and the capsule 'Soyuz'.)

Re:And he's absolutely right (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916951)

Yes, the Russians call the booster 'Soyuz' and the capsule 'Soyuz'.

Soyuz say.

Re:And he's absolutely right (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916971)

I really don't think SpaceX is strapped for cash. Even if they did, I'm sure Musk would just put his own money into it, hell bent on making it work such as he is.

I'm very anxious for their next launch, I'm afraid I've become some of a fanboy, sadly. :-D

Re:And he's absolutely right (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916525)

The Russians are reliable as long as we pay them to be. Slightly better than the shuttle's "reliable only when it hasn't exploded in the last x months" track record. The Russians would very likely extort some more money from the US but that's probably about as far as they'd go. Worse case is that the ISS is lost, I doubt the Russians want to pay to keep it afloat, which depending on who you ask may not be a bad thing in the long run (we'd at least be able to built the next one without being hamstrung by needing to keep Russia on board).

Re:And he's absolutely right (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916603)

The Russians are reliable as long as we pay them to be.

Right. Why does the US even need its own fleet of ICBMs. They could just pay the Russians or Chinese to provide and outsourced deterrent facility.

Re:And he's absolutely right (4, Interesting)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916787)

We're talking about the ISS not ICBMs, please refrain from randomly changing the subject unless your desire is to amuse me with your incompetence. You know that floating pierce of crap that was mainly created to let multiple nations work together and has been heavily outsourced to Russia already?

The ISS was by design a joint project and otherwise idiotic design decisions were made for that reason. The Russians have provided support not only as part of the normal design but also during times when the shuttle fleet was grounded. The Russians also own part of the station and will own even more of it once it's finished (the European and Japanese likewise own other parts of the station).

If they US didn't want to outsource the ISS then they shouldn't have made it a joint project.

Re:And he's absolutely right (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916845)

We're talking about space launch capacity. I think the US needs an independent one, in case they need to launch a spy satellite or something for defense reasons that the Russians might object to. In fact given that missile defense is heavily dependent on satellite tracking and the Russians are very hostile to it, it's almost certain that the US can't rely on Russia for all its space launch needs.

I couldn't care less about the ISS, as far as I'm concerned its a white elephant.

Re:And he's absolutely right (1)

TorKlingberg (599697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916959)

The US has satellite launch systems, just not human ones other than the shuttle. Atlas V, Delta II, Delta IV and probably some smaller ones I forgot. There are ICBMs too.

Re:And he's absolutely right (3, Insightful)

Zero return (1244780) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916739)

One of the benefits of the station is the symbol and fact of international co-operation. Words like "extort" and "hamstrung" are right off target. It's not like Russia is spoiling a US party. If anything, the party is only happening because of Russia.

Re:And he's absolutely right (0, Redundant)

Konster (252488) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916757)

In Soviet Russia, the space program launched you!

Er, wait...

Re:And he's absolutely right (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916587)

You can not realistically budget the fact that alot the people that made parts for the space shuttle have already changed jobs because of a mandated stop in orders. Any company that exclusivly worked building components itself either retooled the machines, sold them off or more unlikely left them taking up costly space in storage.

You would need to wave one hell of a magical wand to reverse changing your mind at this point. Its along the lines of saying to 'Just use the same rockets.' to get to space and to the moon that were used previously before the space shuttle.

Except the capacity to do that was also mandated to end in order to bring online shuttle. Deja vu.

Re:And he's absolutely right (4, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916617)

With Putin doing his best Stalin imitation lately

I agree that Russia over-reacted to the Georgian problem, but its not a black-and-white situation there. It was not a blatant land-grab as some paint it.
       

Re:And he's absolutely right (4, Insightful)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916671)

I agree. It was an elaborate land grab.

Re:And he's absolutely right (2, Interesting)

Dramacrat (1052126) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916767)

Yeah, an intelligence/espionage mastery! Putin's spies in the high echelons of the Georgian government managed to convince the rabid PM to crush those pesky Ossetians once and for all. "Russia? Since when has Russia protected her fledgling friends?" The moles whispered... brilliant! Boy, those Georgians got got schooled by the the ELABORATE Russian intelligence plan.

Re:And he's absolutely right (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916747)

And rather extraordinarily tame, when compared to America's fuckup in Iraq.

Re:And he's absolutely right (5, Insightful)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917015)

Well, what Russia did is small potatoes compared to what America's foreign policy has been for quite some time. They have attacked a country without provocation and have been occupying it for the past 5 years.

I think if the US set the example returning to a non-interventionist foreign policy and eliminating all barriers to trade it would export democracy and freedom much more effectively than the armed forces and the CIA ever did.

Re:And he's absolutely right (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917065)

and eliminating all barriers to trade

A bit off-topic, but why would you want to make the trade deficit even bigger? We've had enough bubbles already.
     

And he's absolututely wrong (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916853)

on at least one point.

How can this be called the premature end to the shuttle program? Shuttles were an ill-conceived idea from the beginning and now they are almost 30 years old. Surely they should have been retired long ago.

Sabotage! (3, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916521)

Add that bit of irony to your new cold war kit and then wonder why Griffin discusses why we wouldn't sabotage the Space Station...

I would imagine he's covering scenarios. But I'm sure someone will manage to read something sinister in to it.

Leaked on purpose with a threat of sabotage (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916583)

I think the leaked email was a warning that NASA/Gov't could secretly sabotate the ISS, but I'm not sure to whom.

Was it to Putin's government to get them back in line?
To congressman who oppose allowing us to buy seats on Russian craft?
To Obama or McCain warning them that to fail to back NASA can be used against them in the election?
To Alex Krycek, who is rumored to be an ISS visitor in 2009?
To the black oil alien hybrids that we can and will take down the ISS if we need to?
To PepsiCo/Fritolay that we can and will take down the ISS if we need to?

It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, sent in an email, read on a blog, noticed on twitter.

Not really (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917001)

In the article it shows he's implying that Russia can do whatever they like with the ISS apart from the unlikely situation where the USA declares war and actively sabotages it. It is a way to say that due to cuts NASA will be completely irrelevant to the ISS after the shuttle is retired.

Pfft, more misdirection (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916595)

It's hard to sift what's really going on anymore..
This is the same Mike Griffin that has advocated shutting down manned space programs for AGES..

Re:Pfft, more misdirection (2)

bds1986 (1268378) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916631)

He probably is still in favour of shutting down manned space programs, but it's not his call to make. What he's complaining about is that he is expected to keep an American presence aboard the ISS but has not been given the tools necessary to do the job. If it was up to him he'd probably de-orbit the thing, but it's not.

Screw the ISS (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916663)

ISS has been nothing but a money pit so far. If we take an extended vacation from it, so be it.

Are we afraid the Russians will take over it like Northern Georgia or something and decorate it with Soviet nick-nacks? What's the deal?

Gotta wonder what affect the election will have? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916687)

It's a serious question since McCain has already said the Russians should be thrown out of the G8 Summit. How likely is he going to be to continue cooperating with the Russians or how happy are they going to be dealing with some one that speaks openly against them? The Cold War is coming back at a very bad time for the ISS.

It's worse than that (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916927)

The Cold War is coming back at a very bad time for the US.
When politics turn sour because of internal factors, politicians try to create an external enemy.

Premature my ass (5, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916771)

"Premature"? The shuttle program should have been terminated decades ago when it was clear it wouldn't meet stated design goals, i.e. low cost transportation to orbit. The termination of the shuttle program is very, very post-mature. The only reason it survived is the number of jobs it provided in the right congressional districts.

Well, it's YOUR ass... (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916857)

The shuttle failed to meet design specifications as you state (cost is only one area in which it failed). But unfortunately, all our eggs are in one basket. Nobody did sufficient forward planning to replace the space shuttle... planning that should have begun no later than the day it first launched.

Nevertheless, you don't throw away the only tool you have, even if it is expensive and unwieldly. Granted, we should have had a replacement for the shuttle a long time ago. But we don't, so that means we fly the shuttle until we do!!!

How did it leak? (1)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916797)

The more serious question is - how the hell did the email leak out? Is everyone tapping everyone these days?

Anyway NASA, I'm waiting for more moon pics (the ones taken in Utah).

We might not sabotage the ISS... (2, Interesting)

blindseer (891256) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916833)

Might the Russians decide to sabotage the ISS? How badly do they need us to keep the thing running? Sounds like they don't need us at all.

Here's a wacky idea so bear with me. Could the Russians "steal" the ISS? They have the capability to dock with the ISS but we will not (without their cooperation) between 2011 and 2014. That date of our being unable to reach the station may come sooner if Russia becomes even less "friendly" and the date we can reach the station might be pushed back because of technical difficulties, further budget diversions, etc.

What would they do with the ISS if given free reign over its operation for four years? What COULD they do with the ISS in four years? They could arm it. They could turn it into a spying platform. They could let it rot and fall into the ocean.

I'm sure someone is thinking, why would they arm it? What could they possibly shoot from orbit that they can't already shoot from the ground? If they start to militarize it as a platform for spying then it becomes a target. They might feel the need to put an anti missile defense system to keep the US Navy from putting a SM-3 in a coincident orbit.

That's all crazy talk. The Russians would never use ISS as a military platform, right?

Re:We might not sabotage the ISS... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916891)

All that arming thing was done in the Almaz space stations project, but it become clear that the most efficient approach to space spying was unmanned. So I think there is no point in arming the ISS.

Keeping the ISS in orbit costs a lot of money, even if it is unmanned, because the drag with the atmosphere slows down the station continuously. But they can't let it fall 'freely': the ISS is the biggest ever man-made orbiting object, so it should have a controlled fall into the Pacific ocean to minimize the chances of large unburned chunks of the ISS impacting inhabited areas. And this costs money.

Re:We might not sabotage the ISS... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916981)

Might the Russians decide to sabotage the ISS? ... What would they do with the ISS if given free reign over its operation for four years? .. They could arm it. They could turn it into a spying platform...

Or they could really embarrass us by figuring out how to get real science out of the damned thing.
     

Re:We might not sabotage the ISS... (2, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917021)

What COULD they do with the ISS in four years? They could arm it

Only in a movie so bad that it makes a group of half decent actors look like incompetant idiots.

Chinese spcae lab in 2010 (frmo wikipedia) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24916875)

The PRC initially designed the Shenzhou spacecraft with docking technologies imported from Russia, therefore compatible with the International Space Station (ISS). The Shenzhou 8 unmanned space laboratory module, the Shenzhou 9 unmanned Shenzhou cargo and a manned Shenzhou 10 will be docked in late 2010 to form a first step small orbital space laboratory complex. This first step will allow China to master key technologies prerequisites for the following larger permanent space station. The Shenzhou 11 mission will carry the second crew to the complex

Stephen Metschan said it best (4, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916957)

http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1188/1 [thespacereview.com]

Time is short. Senior NASA management is committed to beginning the destruction of the tooling used to construct the Space Shuttle's External Tank as early as next month. This destruction is completely unnecessary to support the current Ares 1 production plan because the floor space NASA plans to use is not occupied by the External Tank tooling. The only apparent objective of beginning the destruction of this $12-billion national asset next month, used by both the Space Shuttle and Jupiter Launch System, is to maliciously eliminate any competition to the current plan. In an attempt to put a halt to this unnecessary destruction of government property, the Senate version of 2009 NASA authorization bill sought to make this imminent action of the NASA administrator explicitly illegal. Specifically, the Senate provision directed the NASA administrator "to terminate or suspend any activity of the Agency that, if continued, would preclude the continued safe and effective flight of the Space Shuttle Orbiter after fiscal year 2010." Unfortunately, this provision, that cost us nothing to include yet wisely keeps our options open, was removed from the Senate-House conference bill just before the summer recess.

Opportunity for private sector (1)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916963)

Man, if SpaceX gets even just the Falcon 1 in orbit successfully soon they're gonna make big bucks. Seriously big.

I hope they succeed.

I ... (1)

Giffut (695196) | more than 6 years ago | (#24916965)

.... quite do not understand, why NASA and ESA won t join all their forces to get the ATV and it s planned offsprings running high: http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/ATV/SEMNFZOR4CF_0.html [esa.int] It still puzzles me, that such closed allies run amok regarding the nationalistic approach inbuilding those technologies. I truly believe that this would speed up the programs schedule by 50% the least. It seems like the best concept out there, in direct comparison to the american proposal and the Kliper/Parom technology not yet developed by the russians due to unsolid fundings.

Stargate Command (1)

wikes82 (940042) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917017)

Who need the shuttle, when NASA+Air Force been sending team to other planets through Chapa'ai

Butt BJ? odd title (2, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917051)

"Vents On Shuttle Program's End" - That just sounds so wrong.

Re:Butt BJ? odd title (2, Funny)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917063)

"Vents On Shuttle Program's End"

It's got to have those vents on the end, otherwise how will all the hot exhaust gases get out?

Re:Butt BJ? odd title (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#24917073)

Via Uranus, of course ;-)

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