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Lockheed Gets $485M From NASA To Create MAVEN Craft

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the 480-million-is-cheap? dept.

94

coondoggie writes to tell us that Lockheed Martin has landed a $485 million contract to create the spacecraft for NASA's MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) project. "MAVEN is the second mission in NASA's Mars Scout Program — a series of small, low-cost, principal investigator-led missions to the Red Planet, NASA said. The Phoenix Mars Lander was the first mission under the program. Lockheed Martin is the industry partner on the Phoenix mission. It designed and built the spacecraft, and also provided flight operations and currently surface operations for the lander. The mission has been extended through Sept. 30, 2008."

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94 comments

MAVEN not MAVAN (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25076923)

It's MAVEN (In the article), not MAVAN (which is in the title)

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077037)

Hey! That was so people wouldn't catch the dupe!

mod parent up (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077039)

Maybe take a couple seconds for just a smidge of proofreading, occasionally, before actually posting them articles.

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (5, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077065)

No no, this one must be called MAVAN. MAVEN is a completely different project, albeit with a very similar name and identical goals and budget.

After all, slashdot had an article about MAVEN only couple of days ago: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/16/0123253 [slashdot.org] I don't think it's possible that they would post another one about the exact same project. That would be a dupe!

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (2, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078307)

No no, this one must be called MAVAN. MAVEN is a completely different project.

Same goals, but one project uses English units and the other Metric.
Hopefully there won't any confusion there at NASA ...

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (1)

Kligat (1244968) | more than 5 years ago | (#25079403)

Sarcasm on the Internet? DO-HO-HO-HO-HO! [youtube.com]

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077069)

It's MAVEN (In the article), not Party Van (which is in my driveway)

OH SHI-

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (1)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077671)

Maybe MAVAN is the flying Winnebago version?

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077233)

They had to switch, cuz SUVs are uncool these days and you get way more space, and that's important cuz it's a space mission.

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077363)

Hey be fair, it's not as if it's his job to fix mistakes like that.

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077421)

This is why I spend more time these days on Digg and Linux Hater's Blog than on Slashdot.

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25078283)

Either way, shoehorned acronyms are silly.

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (1)

DuncanLoomis (1367747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078697)

How about Mayvin? With the sister ship called Hoyvin. That way we could have the Hoyvin-Mayvin mission.

Re:MAVEN not MAVAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25081209)

Lockheed is maVens supplieR? Wow, these scene leaks are getting baaaad....

world of mavan craft (1)

floatingrunner (621481) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077041)

so it begins..... it's about time pre-order your copy of mavan craft nao!

Uh oh... (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077053)

I sure hope they choose the metric system!

Wait, or was that standard...

Ah whatever, it'll fly anyway.

Re:Uh oh... (2, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077623)

"I sure hope they choose the metric system!"

Well, I was thinking about it. Is it $485M metric or imperial dollars?

No need to spend that much (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077057)

Forget that MAVAN shit. If you're ready to part with gas, grass, or ass, you can ride in MYVAN for free.

Re:No need to spend that much (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077255)

Can we take this out of the 80 billion we gave to AIG?

Re:No need to spend that much (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077305)

Forget that MAVAN shit. If you're ready to part with gas, grass, or ass, you can ride in MYVAN for free.

Should be no problem, I had mexican for lunch.

Seriously, No need to spend that much ... (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077505)

NASA this week awarded Lockheed Martin a $485 million contract to design, build and operate the spacecraft for NASA's 2013 space mission known as Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) program.

I would've done it for $420 million, but they never asked.

First Chinese Post +AAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077085)

Any hockey mom who calls her husband First Dude is white trash [foxnews.com]

good luck (1)

einer (459199) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077179)

Hope Lockhead's repository has all the necessary jars, or this build is gonna fail hard. I mean, maven's okay for what I do, but I would hope that for 480 million, they could come up with something a bit nicer.

A new low for Slashdot? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077345)

We all know that the overpaid Slashdot editors can't be bothered with correcting the text of the submissions, much less to check the links in the submission. But I have not seen, so far, that they would manage to get the title wrong, too!?

For the record, at this moment the title of this story reads "Lockheed Gets $485M From NASA To Create MAVAN Craft".

Re:A new low for Slashdot? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083121)

But I have not seen, so far, that they would manage to get the title wrong, too!?

Browse slashdot.org/tags/spellingmistake [slashdot.org] and slashdot.org/tags/typo [slashdot.org] .

Spam is Back With A Vengence [slashdot.org]

D2 Updates, Text Message Notifcation [slashdot.org]

US Missle Interceptor Tests a Success [slashdot.org]

The CPU Redefined: AMD Torrenze and Intel CSI [slashdot.org]

The 700mhz Spectrum Auction In Perspective [slashdot.org]

There have been many more, some do get fixed after a few hours.

Re:A new low for Slashdot? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083147)

OK, I stand corrected, thanks. But:

The 700mhz Spectrum Auction In Perspective

I can't find faults with that one.

Re:A new low for Slashdot? (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#25083621)

"The 700mhz Spectrum Auction In Perspective":

Should be "MHz". m = milli, .001. M = mega, 1000000.

What no massive bid war? (4, Funny)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077377)

So, we're not going to have a highly publicized 6 month bid process, and then give it to the company with the better plane, and then take it away because the local company is crying about sour grapes? And then have them both re-bid, and then cancel that project because it looks again like the company that start with a B is starting ti whine AGAIN because they just can't compete in the competitive market because their damn plane just isn't good enough. So we scrap the whole damn idea till "later" and make our guys fly around in 30 year old gas filled bombs with outdated electronics hoping that one doesn't fuckin' blow up over a residential area?

What's the fun in that? I didn't get a notice to bid! I'm going to congress!

Re:What no massive bid war? (1)

Vagnaard (1366015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077507)

Pfah. A bidding war for a $485M contract? Not worth it.

Re:What no massive bid war? (1)

alta (1263) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077983)

you're right. I'm stupid. That was a $30B contract...

$485 Million is like their lunch money.

Re:What no massive bid war? (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077563)

Bidding process has been over for a while ... but there was a cost increase of $10mil because of delays related to some sort of conflict of interest [space.com] .

(and what the hell's up with the Lockheed spin? CU-Boulder is the ones who won the proposal ... Lockheed's a subcontractor at most)

Re:What no massive bid war? (1)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 5 years ago | (#25081449)

So we're bringing beer to Mars?

Re:What no massive bid war? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077571)

You missed the first phase of it, with the contract being awarded without much oversight to the local company after the awarding officer is promised a position, then the sexual antics that follow with executives leading to the downfall of two of them. That part is much more interesting.

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077419)

Which will happen first:
* Slashdot editors spend more time on editing and dupe-checking and remove Idle.
* Lockheed cost-overruns this thing to $2 billion.

Bets, anyone?

Low-cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077481)

"...a series of small, low-cost, principal investigator-led missions to the Red Planet..."

Since when is half a billion dollars low-cost?

Re:Low-cost (3, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077673)

It's in comparison to the older programs such as Viking, Galileo, and Cassini, which cost several billion each in current dollars (but which did their jobs incredibly well). The move to smaller, faster, cheaper followed the loss of the Mars Observer.

What NASA management didn't factor into smaller, faster, cheaper is that you can normally pick only two of the three.

Re:Low-cost (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078515)

The three you can only pick two of are better, faster and cheaper. The point of the program is that given that even the best probes have quite a high failure rate, it's not worth trying to engineer everything to be "perfect"; it's better to send three cheap probes and accept that one of them will fail than one expensive probe that has a substantial chance of failing and losing everything.

Re:Low-cost (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25081941)

I know what the point of the program is. NASA has been notoriously bad at making thosee goals, which is why I kept the 'pick two' mantra within their own range of options. They miss budget targets and milestone and launch dates (even when cutting corners), and in some cases have only made the 'smaller' requirement by cutting instruments out to make the launch weight or the schedule.

I'd be interested in a few of the old super-probes which, while certainly expensive and with their own variable calendars, generally were handled more carefully and returned tremendously valuable data at a rate that I think is at least cost-competitive with the machine-gun approach at which we've been sending out probes. We lose a little in flexibility, but I'm not sure that's such a big cost given the timescales over which either project scale works.

Re:Low-cost (1)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25089965)

Galileo lost a huge amount of data because its high-gain antenna was never usable, considerably reducing the return on the more than $1 billion invested in it. Mars Observer was simply lost, $800 million down the drain. When you put all of your eggs into one probe, a single mistake destroys an enormous amount. Using more, smaller probes reduces the risks and ultimately either costs the same or saves money. A gain in flexibility is just a bonus.

It's time to defund NASA (0, Flamebait)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077583)

It's irrational to consider that the United States, in its current condition, could or should operate a Mars mission.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077627)

Yeah, that's what they said in the sixties about the moon, fuck-face.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077697)

Yeah, that's what they said in the sixties about the moon

So, what's the telephone area code for the moon, Mr. Anonymous?

Oh, there is none? Why, because nobody has been there for 40 years. The United States does not have the competence to operate space research.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25078255)

Why, because nobody has been [to the moon] for 40 years.

I don't think that's the point. A lot of research and development went on that left us with a lot of knowledge and techniques for space flight.

We haven't lost that knowledge, and it's being reapplied for future space missions. The moon landing wasn't as unnecessary as you suggest, without it we'd have to research, develop and spend all that money to get to Mars anyway

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

Vagnaard (1366015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078395)

If you are talking about Bush, you are right. But the United States ? Does not have the competences? Madness. I think what is lacking here is profit. There is no profit involved in going to the moon thus, they lost interest. Maybe if they were people to democratize on the moon ... But I digress

Re:It's time to defund NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25078571)

That's it: as long as the United Space isn't on the moon because there's no profit in it, they don't have what it takes to do space research competently. Their focus on profit hasn't improved our lives or even improved our profit.

If your home was worth $300,000, and now it's worth $1,000,000, did you make money? Well, only if you don't want to buy a second home, which now costs $1,000,000 too.

Bruce

Re:It's time to defund NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25078771)

What the fuck does that prove, Mr. Fuck-face? We didn't put phones on the moon proves we can't go to Mars? You failed logic in school, didn't you.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078829)

Oh, there is none? Why, because nobody has been there for 40 years. The United States does not have the competence to operate space research.

Forty years ago the US proved humans could do it, and that it wasn't a complete freak accident. Who else has gone there? The russians? The europeans? The chinese? Anyone else? Oh that's right, nobody. Not because we're so primitive that we couldn't, but because we still haven't figured out a good reason for doing so, except to do so. He3 for the imaginary fusion reactor? Telescopes that do just fine in orbit or with advances in technology on earth's surface? The moon is pretty much a big rock, Mars is the interesting place to be though for now I think we're better off with probes. Supporting people up there would take a whole other level of resources than the robots that survive on next to nothing.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25078967)

So, when has the U.S. put even a robot on the moon? Not since the Surveyor mission, which must be around 50 years ago.

There were lots of good reasons to continue to go there, #1 of them being getting the human race out of the situation of being bound to one planet with its fragile ecosystem. Oh, but that isn't profitable. By some definition of profit other than the good of the human race and even earth-descended life in general.

NASA is not the organization to do that. The United States is not the nation to do that.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25081453)

There were lots of good reasons to continue to go there, #1 of them being getting the human race out of the situation of being bound to one planet with its fragile ecosystem.

Almost any disaster here on earth some would survive in deep bunkers, probably more than on an offworld base. If earth is utterly destroyed, we're centuries away from a self-sustaining base anywhere else. Not where we can just go for a vacation trip with pre-dropped resources, but with people and machinery to produce everything themselves. Check out the few attempts that have been made at making a closed ecosystem, which even with huge structures have had issues with food amounts, power, oxygen levels and so on. And that's not counting many of the hard problems like bringing and constructing it on the moon/Mars, the low gravity, the lack of magnetosphere, the added distance from the Sun in case of Mars, being able to repair and renew it and so on. Should we get there? Yes. Is mankind in any immidiate danger if we don't? I don't think so, it's 65 million years since the dino-killer so another thousand years or so won't really matter. Nukes are pretty powerful but they're not enough to eradicate all of mankind.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077859)

Manned space missions are a complete waste of time and money. For now we should just continue with unmanned missions.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (2, Insightful)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077861)

It's irrational to consider that the United States, in its current condition, could or should operate a Mars mission.

It's irrational to criticize the pursuit of science and discovery, while being the co-founder of worthy initiatives which promote openness for the purposes of advancing mankind. Call me crazy, but I don't think America's "current condition" should derail established efforts towards these scientific goals.

If you want to argue that sending the money to Lockheed Martin is a mistake, then that's fine. I've heard much criticism of their organization from reputable associates and I tend to believe that there's is a bad work environment from these anecdotes. However, suggesting that NASA doesn't deserve the shoestring budgets that they receive then in the name of advancing mankind beyond the reaches of Earth's atmosphere, I have to humbly disagree.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078023)

The nice thing about Open Source is that it doesn't require billion-dollar budgets.

By rights, we really should have a permanent base on the moon by now, and should have already put somebody on Mars. But unfortunately, that wasn't the first priority for the United States. We want to fight stupid wars with insignificant countries. We want 1% of the population to essentially own the rest, and we're willing to manipulate the economy to make that more and more the case every day.

This is not a country that does great things any longer. It's not been one since 1969. It's time to stop pretending.

And don't tell me that Obama will fix this. He can't win.

Bruce

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078927)

The nice thing about Open Source is that it doesn't require billion-dollar budgets.

Wheeler [dwheeler.com] might disagree with that, albeit the 'budgets' are largely time-based via volunteer effort or corporate-based via organizations who realize sharing software is cheaper than allowing it to be hoarded.

This is not a country that does great things any longer.

You might be right about that, but I find fault in the logic that we shouldn't fund NASA because they didn't do much during the last 40 years. You complain about stupid wars, but what they experienced in 1969 was the culmination of an effort to win the mother of "stupid wars". Whether the Russians or Communists were significant or not is up for debate, but the Cold, Korean, and Vietnam Wars were all unnecessary pissing contests and as a result of that American piss made it to the Moon.

If you are going to blame anything for the lack of "accomplishments" of NASA for the last 40 year, blame the lack of a structured plan when they hit the ground running in the 1960s. Since then --- technology has advanced, discoveries have been made, and science has caught up to the engineering accomplishment of putting a man on the moon. By suggesting that NASA be defunded, you are suggesting that everything during the last 40 years has been a waste.

By rights, we really should have a permanent base on the moon by now, and should have already put somebody on Mars.

If you consider that 2 of the 17 Apollo flight missions were failures and that 2 of 4 Space Shuttles have blown up (with 120+ successful mission), you'd realize that working in space is *really* hard and risky. Do you recall the challenges of Skylab in the early 70s when NASA had a pair of booster rockets that it needed something to do with? This was a far cry from what ISS is today. So, I would argue that the past 40 years have been instrumental towards getting us to where are today... which is in the position to *consider* a trip to Mars 20 years from now. However, without the groundwork that this and other missions have laid, it will never happen. Because the most important thing for a human Mars mission is that he (or she) doesn't die there. I have no doubt that any attempts in the 80s or 90s to customize a Saturn V with a crew vehicle destined for Mars would have resulted in such a death. In 20 years, though, I think technology exists that will enable such an astronaut to survive.

And the "present American's condition" cares very little about what was going on in the 1960s or what will be going on in the 2030s.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25079173)

It's not very clear to me that we learned a lot about manned missions since 1969. Orion has a very "back to the past" flavor about it - it looks like a big Apollo. The space shuttle architecture is being abandoned as too complicated to fly any longer, and the space station doesn't have much of a mission to justify it.

We learned how to make good robots.

I think Europe and Japan will make some progress. The U.S. is going to Europe for its next manned vehicle, a man-capable version of the Jules Verne.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (3, Informative)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25079487)

It's not very clear to me that we learned a lot about manned missions since 1969.

Telescopes, rovers, and orbiters have yielded good knowledge. No?

Orion *is* a big Apollo lander. I recall that it will be capable of landing 3 man on the surface (a 50% increase!). If you were looking for an alternative type of lander, maybe its possible that they got it right in the 60s. On Earth, we the vehicles that are capable of landing include have helicopters and airplanes and not much else. And these don't seen like good ideas to me. Maybe this [moller.com] ? The big improvement, though, is Ares V [wikipedia.org] which should enable us to do a big more than just flying to the Moon or Mars and back. With the materials that we'll be able to bring things will get real exciting (you just wait).

Re:It's time to defund NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25083453)

This is not a country that does great things any longer. It's not been one since 1969. It's time to stop pretending.

Waaaaaa!..Waaaaaa!..Waaaaaa!.....Waaaaah!.........Waaa!
(Insert mental image of red-faced flailing baby here.)

It's too bad that we've become so dependent on the government to do everything for us. And it's a shame that *our* priorities are now tied so rigidly to the govermnent's.

What is an American to do when the government won't do our bidding?

Apparently much of the American can-do attitude, motivation and self reliance has also died since the 60's.

Waaaaa!

Re:It's time to defund NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25079143)

It's irrational to consider that the United States, in its current condition, could or should operate a Mars mission.

Are you kidding? When our creditors start coming to collect we're going to need to get outa dodge ASAP. Mars ahoy!

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25079161)

It's irrational to make such a claim when we are currently operating *multiple* Mars missions. (Two rovers, one stationary lander, and two orbiters.)

Re:It's time to defund NASA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25079287)

The rovers were a really cool achievement. The Phoenix is sort of a salvaged old spacecraft with a new mission. No long-term science capability like the rovers. Really cool that it found water, they won that bet. One of the rovers clearly came down in the wrong place for the science they wanted to do. Had that been Phoenix, they would have lost the bet entirely.

But these aren't manned missions. The U.S. just isn't the sort of country that can pull that off any longer. Remember how the U.S. turned their superconducting supercollider into a tube for farming mushrooms, and now the Europeans have the LHC? I can't trust that the U.S. will have the continued will to build this sort of mission over 20 years.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

red_blue_yellow (1353825) | more than 5 years ago | (#25079583)

For Christ's sake, even as much as I love the idea of space exploration, I totally agree for financial reasons only. Has anybody else seen the national debt lately? While there are plenty of better things to cut, we do have to start somewhere.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 5 years ago | (#25081813)

I disagree. We are spending a c*apload of money in fixing the bull$hit that this administration has done for the past 8 years. Why does science have to suffer? Start cutting down paychecks and jobs in D.C. and subsidies to big oil and tobacco companies.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

red_blue_yellow (1353825) | more than 5 years ago | (#25081919)

Absolutely those subsidies should be gone, I agree one-hundred percent. Of course, so should a thousand-and-one other things too. The problem is that the US is burning the candle at both ends by spending like there's no tomorrow. In reality, not only is there a tomorrow, but a whole lot more of them after that. Science funding is the last on my list of things to cut, but it's on the list nonetheless.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25079891)

Despite the ad-selling headlines you've apparently been reading, the "current condition" of the United States is neither desperate nor hopeless.

We have a stable republican government, a massive GDP, an industrious and reasonably well-educated work force, solid infrastructure (utilities, transportation, commerce, etc.), a strong university-based R&D system awash in basic science available to exploit, and a long tradition of creatively overcoming both internal and external challenges.

The financials have been rocky of late, sure, which makes this a great time to invest (remember, it's buy low, sell high - now is "low" relative to last year (though not 2006), so I'm buying). I sold Lockheed Martin stock in February at just over $110 a share, and it closed today slightly higher than my selling price. Darn it.

What is irrational is your belief that the USA is suddenly unable to operate all of the successful space missions that we are currently operating.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 5 years ago | (#25080757)

We have a stable republican governmen

I didn't get any farther than that before turning off the fantasy channel.

Re:It's time to defund NASA (1)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25081149)

If you believe our government is unstable, then you have my sympathy.

Wait, Wait... let me get this straight... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077625)

I wouldn't be surprised if some shill zings me as off-topic or inflammatory, but...

Is this the *same* outfit that got hundreds of millions, if not *billions* for the widely-ridiculed Bertholf National Security Cutter widely derided as a boondoggle and which might not see more copies built because that outfit couldn't coordinate with subcontractors to get the damned communications systems' TEMPEST security wiring in place?

Ok... how can *i* get just $50,000 of that cash without killing, blackmailing, or doing seances and runes?

In short... (1)

Jastame (1367673) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077775)

kissed up to the current office holders ..which just so happens to be the Republcians.

Re:In short... LCS/Zumwalt... Lockheed... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078133)

Thread of the subject's contractor (Lockheed)

While I'm grateful for one Admiral Elmo Zumwalt for making changes that made Navy life better before I joined (well, a number of admirals hated his guts, and a number he had to fire, IIRC), I am glad it appears the DDG-1000 design is not going to see too many more copies. It is just an ungainly appearance, un-naval looking, and it seems more navies using Aegis want the DDG-51 look (for now...). Every time i LOOKED at the DDG-1000 my stomach growled. It's too bad the boondoggle of a project even got programmed funding. Now, that's money partly wasted, tho *some* of the knowledge gained *might* be back fitted to the DDG-51 class/DDG-9x+ variants. But, the gun system apparently is too large to back fit.

Re:In short... LCS/Zumwalt... Lockheed... (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25080819)

Correct me if I'm wrong, because this is an interesting topic, but to summarize your post: "Aesthetics are more important than stealthiness of ships at sea from radar." There are other failures from the program, but you bring up its looks instead.

I must be thinking of another Maven (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077769)

Perhaps it will have the inscription

  "Lord loves a workin' man; don't trust whitey; see a doctor and get rid of it."

on a plaque on the side?

grossly wasted money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25077819)

I'd like to know exactly who decides that we should spend half a billion dollars on a freaking mars satellite when we have very real and serious problems here on earth such as global warming, pollution and even our current economic situation! When are we going to stand up and stop letting our government pretend that there's nothing wrong at here at home and make them spend our money a lot more wisely!

Re:grossly wasted money (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078011)

Seems like me with my student loans... I owe so God damned much, why not just buy this second SLI video card? It's not like $300 is going to make a noticeable dent in my loans and getting a new video card would be REALLY fun!

Er... (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077953)

I think they picked the wrong subcontractor to build the prototype [powerstudios.com.au] .

half a billion dollars for what exactly? (0, Troll)

kzdfbhikndzvfkjndff (1119193) | more than 5 years ago | (#25077975)

I'd like to know exactly who decides that we should spend half a billion dollars on a freaking mars satellite when we have very real and serious problems here on earth such as global warming, pollution and even our economy! When are we going to stand up and stop letting our government pretend that theres nothing wrong here at home and make them spend our money a lot more wisely!

Re:half a billion dollars for what exactly? (1)

In hydraulis (1318473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078185)

Seems like me with my student loans... I owe so God damned much, why not just-

Wait a minute...

Re:half a billion dollars for what exactly? (2, Insightful)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078301)

Hey, space exploration is fine - that's actually advancing the state of humanity. What ISN'T fine is spending 20% of the budget JUST ON ONE TINY FUCKING COUNTRY, and that's in addition to the *regular* military spending!

Re:half a billion dollars for what exactly? (0, Offtopic)

Vagnaard (1366015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078561)

Well, don't blame me, I'm Canadian. The problem I see with your economy is that a gamble was made and lost. Then a second gamble was made and lost. Afghanistan and Iraq could have been good for the United States economy but it ended up dragging on for 10 years. This, combined with the recent mess up with mortgage market resulted in your current situation. But, the fact is that the United State saw worst, and came back stronger. Why? Because they continued to invest in the future, to spend money in risky in place and make profit out of it... Think about it, spending your money wisely is about not losing it. Spending your money recklessly is about profit.

Re:half a billion dollars for what exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25080687)

"The problem I see with your economy is that..." gov't funded health leaves some people dying while waiting for surgery, plus satellite recievers are outlawed, partly so you can't watch/listen to Bill O'Reilly bloviate.

Wait, that's not just an economy problem, it's a freedom problem, too.

But it affects your economy.

Freedom = creation of wealth = tax revenue = strong military.

Too bad our congress spends about half the budget on SSD, SSI, SS payments (read: fraud) and medicare (more fraud).

When you canadians get some Freedom = creation of wealth = tax revenue = strong military, then you can talk to us USers about our economy, foreign policy, etc. and whatever.

Steve in Ft. Lauderdale

Re:half a billion dollars for what exactly? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#25080101)

Half a billion dollars will be the change they lost behind the couch once Paulson finishes bailing out his buddies.

Mars Oddyssey (1)

dolphin558 (533226) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078115)

It's easy to forget about Mars Oddyssey. Did any major scientific discoveries/confirmations come out of this ongoing mission?

Uh, what? (0, Troll)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078171)

Small, low-cost investigator-led missions in an atmosphere. In other words, robotic hang-gliders, gliders and microlights. And this is going to cost $485 million? How many does NASA expect to get for that? The Germans had mastered the basic technology in the 40s, with rocket-launched glider bombs, radiation-proofing by better shielding rather than expensive layouts has been used in space vehicles for ages now, and UAVs have become practically commonplace. Yes, you need more reliable unfurling systems, as you can't rely on astronauts to make repairs on Mars missions just yet, and the Martian atmosphere is sufficiently thin that you really do need excellent lift to maintain flight, but I see nothing here that is technologically revolutionary. It looks like a basic evolution from existing hardware, along with a little repackaging. So long as you've a good supply of ultra-light materials, access to an aircraft hanger you can seal up and reduce air pressure to Martian levels, and some serious aviation geeks, you should be able to design, develop and mass-produce such systems at a fraction of the cost.

I've no objection to NASA paying serious money for serious work, or paying Really Big Money for Really New Inventions, but when you're talking something that is almost at the point where anyone with encyclopedic knowledge of the 1,500+ public domain airfoils, the experience gathered by biplane and triplane designers, an Open Source CFD package and say a couple of the really freakish designs (I'd go with the DH98 Mosquito, Barnes Wallice's aircraft, and/or one of the round-the-world aircraft) could be expected to be able to come up with something workable... Someone outside of the top research groups probably won't come up with the best design, but if the margin between "it works" and "it's perfect" is sufficiently small, you don't NEED the "best" design. I don't see any proofs here that Lockheed can do better than a bunch of MIT engineers or even a sufficiently geeky high-schooler. I certainly don't see any proofs here that Lockheed'll do anything other than pull up a pre-existing design for exactly this kind of work (they've plenty to draw from - including a prior proposed shuttle replacement), re-badge it so they can pass it off as new, and spend the remaining $484M on drinks.

Hell, in the Martian atmosphere, all you really need for this kind of stuff is a collapsible, inflatable R100, the 3D solar panels that high-schooler DID design, and some ultra-light electric motors. (Definitely the R100, not the R101. You do NOT want the R101. I know this is Mars and there are traditions to uphold, but think of the Martian children.) Definitely a Zepplin derivative, not a modern blimp. There's a big difference. The R100 is probably still one of the best airship designs ever. So long as you can reassemble and inflate at destination, such a design could hop from point to point on the planet with the greatest of ease, be far less prone to mechanical fatigue than even the spectacular rovers out there at present, and potentially be scooped back up for a trip to another planet or a return to Earth.

And NASA will pay Lockheed HOW MUCH to build something almost any Slashdotter could assemble out of Japanese craft paper, the carbon fibre rods used in high-end LARP swords, and some Blue Peter sticky-back plastic? John Noakes probably has a dozen he made earlier.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078469)

Hell, in the Martian atmosphere, all you really need for this kind of stuff is a collapsible, inflatable R100, the 3D solar panels that high-schooler DID design, and some ultra-light electric motors.

Did you know they have 60mph winds on Mars ?

Re:Uh, what? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078919)

The R100 plan is ideal for exactly those sorts of conditions. The original actually did fly through some really nasty storms - quite possibly 60mph or worse - and modern materials and building techniques should provide vastly superior structural strength. The superior shape to modern blimps means you should be able to fly directly into 60mph winds, as you have a far and away lower profile. For the same reason, side winds should be much less of a threat. However, the R100 is usually also described as much stronger and lighter than the Zeppelins (which were tough enough to pose a serious threat to the RAF), suggesting that even the whirlwinds that crop up should not be a serious threat. If you can survive high-speed machine-gun bullets, you can probably survive a sandstorm - at least, so long as you're high up enough to avoid the worst. You can't ride over it entirely, but all you need is a low enough density that you're not having an entire side panel sand-blasted out of existence.

Re:Uh, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25081511)

In order for a lighter-than-air ship to float, it has to be (wait for it...) lighter than air.

The Martian atmosphere averages only 7 millibars, which is less than 1/10 of the density of Earth's atmosphere.

The R100 (or 101) barely supports its own weight on Earth. It would never leave the Martian surface.

Re:Uh, what? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#25082407)

If the R101 is in any shape to support anything, it's the ground. Obviously, with the R100 design, you'd need a much larger volume (but hydrogen is still vastly lighter than the CO2 of Martian air), a much lower mass (the R100 was designed to support a large human crew, aviation fuel and gigantic engines, and had a frame made of steel and aluminium as I recall, whereas a UAV version for unmanned Martian missions needs a few tens of pounds of payload, solar panels and a few light electric motors, and a frame of carbon fibre with airgel struts should be solid enough for such purposes). The R100 was also much much lighter than Terran air. It supported its own weight, but at significant (for the time) altitude. Notice I'm talking about an airship that actually IS comparable in size to the R100, not something scaled down the way the payload is. Nothing, when compressed, doesn't take up much space, and the lower air pressure of Mars means that the air bags would be filled with mostly nothing. All you need to store is the hydrogen gas under pressure. As per the Archimedes Diver, the relative pressure in the airship can be used to control altitude, so long as the containment is adequate. For those familiar with the device, it is clear you don't NEED to shed the gas used for buoyancy so long as pressure is controllable. In consequence, you only need to ship enough to inflate the device, you don't need to ship any for re-inflating later. Other factors include temperature. So long as the relative temperature of the hydrogen is high, you get extra volume and therefore extra buoyancy. (You only need to displace the airship's mass to float, and displacing more is what makes you rise until the relative air pressure means you are only displacing an equal amount. Which is how you can tell that anything that can handle 20,000 or so feet above mean sea level must be far lighter than the air displaced at ground level and not just supporting its own weight (which implies a ground level measurement). A black surface (that ultra-black stuff reported on Slashdot not too long ago, for example) should be handy for that, as would any heating elements. Not much risk of fire if there's not much oxygen, so frankly you might as well push such a design to the limits of the material. And that's the key thing. The material. You need gas bags - basically floatation bladders no different from those in fish - that can swell sufficiently to allow maximum altitude but be strong enough to support Archimedian descent through pressure rather than through deflation. The latter requirement also takes care of surviving the storms, as any material strong enough to handle the pressure from the inside is strong enough to handle the buffeting from the outside. And, yes, you would need a huge airship to support even a small mass, due to the lower air pressures involved. But, frankly, that's the only engineering problem I can see. The rest was mastered by humans a century ago and by evolution two billion years ago.

Looks like ARES. (1)

fructose (948996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078253)

No, not that one. This one. [nasa.gov]

Oh, wait, scratch that. It will look completely different and won't use any previous research. I mean they already spent some money to come up with a new acronym, so why not go all the way?

And YET (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#25078311)

congress has issues with spending a couple of hundred millions making sure that a capsule is ready by end of 2010. Amazing.

Re:And YET (1)

red_blue_yellow (1353825) | more than 5 years ago | (#25079863)

Wait, wait, wait! You say congress has problems spending money on something? Surely you must be mistaken.

IgnaA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25078643)

Simpsons (1)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 5 years ago | (#25080027)

I keep thinking of "Project Hoyven Maven" from The Simpsons ;)=

Why Mars? (1)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 5 years ago | (#25081771)

Aren't we supposed to go to Titan? Nobody reads Stephen Baxter anymore? :)

In case "U" might be interested OR UNaware.... (1)

AvenueOfLight (1368141) | more than 5 years ago | (#25084693)

http:www.Xanga.com/avenueoflight [xanga.com]

check out: "The Lucifer Project" listed on my site.

looks do matter (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25085495)

The ships can simultaneously be stealthy and attractive. One example: every navy has standards and many have differentiation in appearances due to national and architectural and service input. Anyway, while i am happy th SK navy and the JMSDF have formidable ships, i wish the SK would effectively or economically find a way to to suck up or give in to political reasons resulting in the King Sejong The Great looking like another Burke clone. SK can do BETTER than THAT. Atago is sexier than DDG-8+.

Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25101987)

It's a shame McLockMart got it. They are no longer the engineering company they once were, and all they really care about is making sure the precious paperwork mandated by CMMI is filled out.

What a shame.

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