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Ares 1-X Ready On Pad, Launch Set For 1200 GMT

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the until-further-notice dept.

Space 260

DynaSoar writes "NASA's new Ares I-X rocket is undergoing final preparations for its planned launch test Tuesday, October 27. Launch time is scheduled for 8 AM EDT (1200 GMT). As of noon Monday it appeared that there was a 60% chance of showers and/or high altitude clouds interfering. However, the launch has a an eight hour window of opportunity through 2000 GMT, and would require only 10 minutes of clear skies within that time to fly. Of interest to engineering types, both those who favor the new vehicle's design and its critics, will be to see whether the predicted linear 'pogo stick' oscillation will occur, and whether the dampening design built into it prevents damaging and possibly destructive shaking. Extensive coverage is being presented by Space.com; for NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit nasa.gov/ntv." Update 15:37 GMT by timothy: The weather did not cooperate; today's planned launch has been scrubbed.

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First! (-1, Troll)

Engeekneer (1564917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881713)

First launc *Kaboooom*

Awesome (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881719)

This is awesome. It shows that the US is still number one, and that all you haters don't know what you are talking about. And btw. Obama didn't start Ares, Bush did.

Re:Awesome (2, Informative)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881755)

As a demonstration of US technical prowess, Ares I is pathetic; its got similar capabilities to Saturn I and took much longer to develop. It anything its a demonstration of US decline...

Re:Awesome (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881847)

As a demonstration of US technical prowess, Ares I is pathetic; its got similar capabilities to Saturn I and took much longer to develop. It anything its a demonstration of US decline...

I agree. NASA's budget is spiralling downwards, and they can barely keep the shuttle going. The Ares programme isn't even sure to be completed (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,459465,00.html).

Re:Awesome (-1, Troll)

plague911 (1292006) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882257)

lolz you linked to foxnews!.... as a reference lolz again

Re:Awesome (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882287)

Sorry, but your "lolz" make you unqualified to comment on any serious matter and be taken seriously.

Re:Awesome (-1, Troll)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882737)

Sorry, but your "lolz" make you unqualified to comment on any serious matter and be taken seriously.

And the stick up your ass prevents you from appreciating the "lolz." My condolences.

Re:Awesome (3, Funny)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882275)

Fox News is now slashdots #1 news source? :(

Re:Awesome (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882423)

They would've linked CNN or MSNBC, but those reporters were too busy on their knees at the White House...

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882517)

Nah, CNN and MSNBC are done at the White House for now... they're filling the time until they can go back with thrilling coverage of "Balloon Boy" and "Michael Jackson: Yep, still dead!".

Number one in what exactly? (4, Informative)

nietsch (112711) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882153)

This 'new' rocket is basically a solid booster from the space shuttle, that needs to be extended with a 5th segment, but it now flies with a 5th dummy segment. On top of that is more dummy weight. This is just a test of an existing and older booster. Now why do you think there is some kind of competition in rocketry that the US can be number one in? Or are you just happy you or your parents paid taxes for this upcoming show?
Or am I a 'hater' because I a a little sceptic about this project of NASA because you cannot understand discourse? Personally, I am much more impressed with SpaceX and Armadillo, who seem to come up with nice projects for much less money. Wasn't there a new SpaceX big rocket on the launchpad soon?

Re:Number one in what exactly? (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882173)

As well as being just a test of repackaged existing technology, this launch is costing $445 million. I'm pretty sure that Congress could find a lot of other uses for that half billion dollars.

Re:Number one in what exactly? (3, Insightful)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882203)

Probably not. I think that, even if the rocket explodes before takeoff, it's money better spent than all that money spent on bailouts.

Re:Number one in what exactly? (3, Insightful)

mustafap (452510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882373)

>I'm pretty sure that Congress could find a lot of other uses for that half billion dollars

Yea, think of all the coke the bankers could buy with handouts from half a billion dollars.

Re:Number one in what exactly? (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883121)

Yeah. They should add it to the hundreds of billions already spent on killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Funny how we can always find hundreds of billions for war, but nothing for science.

Re:Number one in what exactly? (5, Insightful)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882319)

SpaceX is yet to really prove themselves as a launch company, let alone Armadillo. You want a low-cost heavy lift launch, you go to Russia and buy a Proton, simple as that.

Re:Awesome (-1, Offtopic)

mustafap (452510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882351)

>And btw. Obama didn't start Ares, Bush did.

Oh come on. Bush could find his own arse in the dark.

Re:Awesome (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882575)

Actually, it was my understanding that Al Gore started it.

Re:Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882929)

There's nothing like a giant phallic symbol shot into space to prove your superiority, is there?

Vibrations (2, Funny)

hyperion2010 (1587241) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881723)

As long as they are good....

Query: are rockets spaceships and if so are they female like normal ships? They've always seemed a bit to... phallic and gaseous to be female.

Re:Vibrations (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881753)

It's easy.

Rockets are male. Everything you intend to penetrate with rockets, is female.

Re:Vibrations (2, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881757)

Not necessarily. Take Uranus. Please!

Re:Vibrations (2, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882021)

Not necessarily. Take Uranus. Please!

Why, do you intend to penetrate Uranus with a rocket?

Re:Vibrations (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882167)

To wipe out the Klingons.

Re:Vibrations (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881759)

So the entire universe is female?

Re:Vibrations (3, Funny)

xyph0r (1153429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881809)

Yarrr she be a harsh mistress...
So yes. Yes it is.

Re:Vibrations (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882133)

Tables say: Did you sanitize your input?

Re:Vibrations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881801)

They explode easily, so they are female.

I'm a rocket, man! (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881745)

It's about bloody time they got this thing started. Of course, being on the pad is just the first step.

Once we've verified the structural integrity of the design, it would be nice to go ahead with astronaut insertion and extended earth orbit. People have been ragging on this design for a while, but I have high hopes that a return to the rocket-centric designs of yesteryear will put us back in the forefront of space exploration.

Tampon.

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (1)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881841)

but I have high hopes that a return to the rocket-centric designs of yesteryear will put us back in the forefront of space exploration.

With the current political climate, I wouldn't count on government to get us there. We've been idling for decades and really do need private sector involvement [ted.com] to start making solid progress again.

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881975)

how about telling the banks to piss off and die.

and tell the fed reserve to give 10 trillion of printed from nothing US $dollars to nasa.

nasa would stimulate the economy 100x more than stupid wall st stiffs who just transfer the trillions to Europe.

all banks could die, not a thing would change in our daily life, we still have cash, or new cash notes can be printed by congress.

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (2, Funny)

MrMr (219533) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882067)

I'm combining your
10 trillion of printed from nothing US $dollars
with
who just transfer the trillions to Europe
And I have to wonder: Don't those two issues cancel out?

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882209)

and tell the fed reserve to give 10 trillion of printed from nothing US $dollars to nasa.

Surely having the Federal Reserve arbitrarily print off a dollar amount that is close to the US GDP isn't a good idea, for all the destruction such printing would do to anyone except the guys who get the trillions first. It kind of makes your 'we still have cash' statement sound a little silly. Sure, we have paper, but if it's worth half of what it used to, are we really better off?

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (4, Interesting)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881989)

Sadly I suspect that the one thing that would really get NASA and ESA some serious funding would be if say, Pakistan, India and China all started attempts at building military space stations, especially China since they have the resources coupled with a "Just get it up there right now!" attitude similar to that of the soviets.

It's not so easy to sit back and relax when some other guy decides that you can just train more astronauts if a few die if it means you get there first.

/Mikael

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (4, Interesting)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882227)

Didn't work when the Russians had Salute's 5, 6, 7 and Mir or were you asleep during the last 50 years?

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (2, Funny)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882299)

Didn't work when the Russians had Salute's 5, 6, 7 and Mir or were you asleep during the last 50 years?

I haven't been alive for 50 years, you insensitive clod!

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882911)

Salyut, the word is Salyut.
Yes I know about the translation, but I bet you never call Mir, peace or world. Hell you could have said the fireworks 5,6 and 7 but you didn't so why not use the name they gave it ? Or do you go to the River of January for the carnival ?

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (1, Flamebait)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883003)

Burt Rutan has produced a small, suborbital toy for billionaires. The private sector has been free to get into space for decades, and hasn't done so. But then again, the private sector hasn't delivered a reliable banking system or a method of food distribution that does cause unnecessary deaths, so meh.

Re:I'm a rocket, man! (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883139)

It's about bloody time they got this thing started

Actually, it's past time. [yahoo.com]

NASA test flight delayed, bad weather still looms

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer Marcia Dunn, Ap Aerospace Writer - 59 mins ago

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - NASA's newest rocket is on the verge of blasting off on a test flight, but minor problems are causing last-minute delays.

The Ares I-X rocket is set to lift off Tuesday morning. But forecasters are monitoring upper-level winds and clouds that could delay the experimental flight. It's already 1 1/2 hours late because of extra time needed for the countdown and minor communication system trouble.

This is the first step in NASA's effort to return astronauts to the moon.

The flight will last two minutes. Parachutes will drop the first-stage booster into the Atlantic for recovery. The upper portion of the rocket -- all fake parts -- will fall uncontrolled into the ocean.

NASA expects to learn a lot, even if it's for another type of rocket. The White House is re-evaluating the human spaceflight program.

Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (3, Interesting)

blackchiney (556583) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881863)

I'm watching the stream now of them assembling the Ares and I must say the VAB is the most impressive building I've ever seen. I got to tour the inside (way back in the early 90s) and the amount of empty space available, inside a building that can withstand hurricane force winds. It is truly mind-boggling.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (4, Interesting)

qmaqdk (522323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881873)

I'm watching the stream now of them assembling the Ares and I must say the VAB is the most impressive building I've ever seen. I got to tour the inside (way back in the early 90s) and the amount of empty space available, inside a building that can withstand hurricane force winds. It is truly mind-boggling.

I've always wondered about that building. Why is it so much better to do the assembly vertically, rather than doing it horizontally and then raising the vehicle afterwards?

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (5, Interesting)

Angostura (703910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881905)

Can you imagine the lateral stress on the structure if you attempted to build it horizontally and then hoist? I suspect the engineering challenge involved in building a machine that would give sufficient support along the full length of a multi-story structure as it was raised to vertical would be substantially greater than the challenge of constructing a tall, hurricane resistant building.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (5, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881949)

Most launch vehicles are optimised to the point where they are basically balloons. They can't support themselves unless their tanks are pressurised and then only in one direction.

I read that US engineers watched with amazement when a Russian booster was winched off a truck at an air show supported horizontally by two cables, one at either end.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882273)

Easy. It was empty, there was no fuel in it and no payload, just the fairing. Since fuel can easily be 90%+ of the weight, there's nothing to be amazed about. That booster would buckle and disintegrate had they done that when it was fueled up.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (5, Interesting)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882471)

Was it "How did they do that?" amazement, or was it "Why did they do that?" amazement?

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (4, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882829)

Most launch vehicles are optimised to the point where they are basically balloons. They can't support themselves unless their tanks are pressurised and then only in one direction.

I read that US engineers watched with amazement when a Russian booster was winched off a truck at an air show supported horizontally by two cables, one at either end.

Actually, that is *not* true in general. It was true for the original Atlas, and is true for the Centaur high-energy upper stage, but most other modern launchers avoid balloon tanks. Most modern designs are very fragile, but self-supporting when unpressurized. That doesn't mean you can hoist them any way you please, but it's still a vast improvement in ease of handling. One of the requirements on the Shuttle External Tank design was that it not be a balloon tank. It was later discovered (to much embarrassment and annoyance) that the ET is self-supporting when empty or full, but that there is a partially-full intermediate range where it isn't, so it has to be filled while pressurized.

Some smaller launchers are assembled horizontally; in particular, SpaceX's Falcon I and Falcon 9 are. They're still fairly fragile, but they're closer to the Russian design approach in a variety of ways. Trading more structural margin, and hence lower payload fraction, for easier operations and hence lower cost per payload mass is one of those.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881999)

one question, why is the building SQUARE, and not circular, like a big cylinder , surely fast wind will pass a big TUBE easier than a square shaped building.

Blooody obvious design idea? or is it harder to build a giant tube.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (4, Informative)

blackchiney (556583) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882037)

If they did it circular, like the Gerkin tower in London, the wind shear actually twists the building like a rope. So you would have to get into more exotic support systems. Building it square means you can use regular beams for crossbracing.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (2, Interesting)

findoutmoretoday (1475299) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883063)

<quote>If they did it circular, like the Gerkin tower in London, the wind shear actually twists the building like a rope</quote>

That's why cooling towers are square?

Vortex shedding (5, Informative)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882169)

A cylindrical structure is subject to unstable wake flows, where small asymmetries in the flows around the structure lead to alternating vortices behind it. This is commonly termed vortex shedding, and leads to substantial lateral loads which vary fairly quickly and may cause resonance problems in the structure http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vortex_shedding [wikipedia.org] . That's why tall smokestacks nowadays usually have corkscrew fins - to deliberately introduce turbulence, so that the load is less variable and resonant load frequencies have negligible amplitudes.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (1)

Mr Thinly Sliced (73041) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881913)

My gut feeling is that doing it the way they do it (vertically) they only have to account for stress and strain in their models in one direction, in a relatively predictable setup.

Having to rotate the thing in-situ after assembly would introduce huge differences in where braces and stress / strain could occur.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881927)

because won't have to withstand the same amount of shear.

it's designed for vertical thrust, not horizontal.
in short, it's built vertical, so the tip doesn't break off, when they raise it.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881937)

Because you can build lighter structures if you assume that certain loadings can be rejected - if you assemble it horizontally, then the joins and internal support structures must be strengthened to support the dyanmic weight in the raising of the entire structure, rather than just supporting the weight of the structures above it in a static way.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (1)

blackchiney (556583) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882015)

For the same reason you don't assemble buildings horizontally and raise them. The lateral forces would be great and you would end up creating a lot of supports for one time use.

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881883)

I got to tour...inside a building that can withstand hurricane force winds. It is truly mind-boggling.

Just moved here from the jungle, have you?

Re:Rockets are impressive, but the VAB is insane (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882117)

I got to tour...inside a building that can withstand hurricane force winds. It is truly mind-boggling.

Just moved here from the jungle, have you?

Nice bit of selective quoting there.

More NasaTV Feeds and launch data (5, Informative)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881923)

NasaTV Feeds at different resolutions:
100k/s [yahoo.com] , 320/240
200k/s [yahoo.com] , 320/240
500k/s [yahoo.com] , 480x360(I think)
1200k/s [yahoo.com] , 640/480
All Windows Media format

Real media format [nasa.gov]
Quicktime [nasa.gov]

Launch data [nasa.gov]

Re:More NasaTV Feeds and launch data (4, Funny)

cpscotti (1032676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882253)

Fun thing is... these links broadcasting show the following string on the bottom on "Windows Media Player": "NASA Space Shuttle Launch"

Re:More NasaTV Feeds and launch data (1)

agentgonzo (1026204) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882465)

The video is actually NasaTV's public channel, which a lot of the time is not showing live TV (instead, showing past missions, upcoming missions, press briefings etc). The only things that are shown live are really the space shuttle missions and press briefings. The vast majority of viewings are for space shuttle launches only. Yahoo (provider of the feeds) does not bother to update their metadata and just leaves it on "Nasa Space Shuttle Launch" the entire time.

It's swaying around in the wind a bit.... (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882431)

...I wonder if it could get blown off course :0

Re:More NasaTV Feeds and launch data (1)

zrq (794138) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883137)

Is anyone else having problems with these feeds on Linux with VLC ?

The 200k/s Windows Media stream seems to work ok, but the higher resolution streams just display a few frames of video and then lock up.

The Real Media stream only provides audio, but it seems to be at about 60 seconds ahead of the Windows Media streams.

the last thing the other' nazis did while leaving? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29881967)

they emptied their territory's coffers, just like they (our corepirate nazis) are doing here now.

they'll need every penny & it will not be enough to save them from the creators' newclear powered planet/population rescue initiative/mandate/big flash. as the expression goes; get ready to see the light.

Question for those in-the-know (3, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29881983)

What is going to happen with the Ares V? I heard rumors about it being scrapped. I hope they were wrong?

Re:Question for those in-the-know (1)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882301)

Ares V is still in development AFAIK. It's for equipment lifting (except for the Ares V lite, that's crew, I think), while Ares I is for crew.

Re:Question for those in-the-know (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882723)

What is going to happen with the Ares V? I heard rumors about it being scrapped. I hope they were wrong?

No decisions as yet. Stay tuned.

Fp GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882109)

end, 3e need you there are about 700 the reaper In a

Solid Rocket Vibrations Are Not Pogo (5, Informative)

jstults (1406161) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882281)

The vibrations that are commonly called 'pogo' in big rockets are caused by a feedback / resonance of thrust oscillations with inlet pressure of the turbopumps, see this extensive discussion [yarchive.net] . Pogo is fixed by adding dampers to the propellant lines. Ares I, like every big solid, has combustion instabilities that cause thrust oscillations, but there's no feedback like in a liquid rocket. Only danger is hitting one of the structural resonances and ringing the rocket like a bell (and possibly causing the structure to 'diverge').

Re:Solid Rocket Vibrations Are Not Pogo (2, Insightful)

raymansean (1115689) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882449)

structure to 'diverge'

Never hearing the term before, it very succinctly communicates the situation. I must say the mental image is also quite pleasant. Well done!
~the chemical engineering student who uses numerical methods to solve large problems

Re:Solid Rocket Vibrations Are Not Pogo (4, Insightful)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882713)

Never hearing the term before, it very succinctly communicates the situation. I must say the mental image is also quite pleasant. Well done! ~the chemical engineering student who uses numerical methods to solve large problems

I suspect that the term "blow up" would be just as apt, though a little less British in the degree of understatement.

Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (1, Flamebait)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882309)

Though I have always adored the thought and reality of space travel--this is just a luxury we cannot afford now. There is no pressing problem that would cause this need to travel to the Moon or Mars to occur.

We have so many problems in the United States right now and I really don't see why this is necessary. Since this just recycles Space Shuttle technology, I don't see that this Ares I rocket represents any innovation that would justify the expense.

Though I know all the Aerospace Engineers are going to hate me for killing off their jobs program, there are other scientific needs--such as the need to develop clean energy sources and stop global Climate Change in its tracks--that warrant priority over any dough we spend at NASA.

Example of International Space Station
Currently, for example, the ISS is slated to be decommissioned in a few short years. I ask you, what sort of great innovation has resulted from the ISS? I am hard-pressed to think of any great advances in knowledge that were not already known from by the time the cruddy but long-surviving MIR burned up in the atmosphere.

Again, though I adore seeing these rockets take off and follow every STS-n mission with great interest, it's just a joyride and is not justified in a country like ours that is in danger of becoming a has-been global power.

NASA should halt the Ares-I and, even more painful because it would have been the biggest rocket to date, the Ares V. They are boondoggles that do not solve a pressing problem.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882369)

Keep in mind these missions are generally budged for years in advance. In the case of the 1-X launch, it was paid for with the equivalent of 2006 US $.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882439)

So what? That's logic on a par with "two wrongs make a right." 2006 dollars or 2009 ones--we cannot afford it right now.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882661)

Maybe we should just pull it off the pad and return it to the Boeing store? I hear the restocking fee is a shocker!

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (4, Interesting)

JWW (79176) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882871)

This logic just pisses me off right now. NASA is asking for an extra $3 billion per year to build a new viable replacement to the space shuttle. When you contrast the other things the gov't is wastefully spending its money on its ridiculous.

You could fund NASA the extra $3 billion for

10 years instead of bailing out GM and Chrysler

or

Nearly 57 years instead of bailing out f-ing AIG

THAT is government waste. Spending for NASA has always provided benefits for science and impacted our daily lives. Its a worthy endeavor and something necessary to IMHO spur on the advancement of the human race.

Politicians make a great noise about "science and engineering" being important to this country. Lets see them back up those words. If NASA's new rockets die on the vine the politicians will have shown their true beliefs on this issue. If this nation fails to renew its capability for manned spaceflight, in my opinion, we will also distinctly show that to America, science and engineering don't matter anymore. Why not become a doctor or lawyer, oh wait, the doctors are going to get screwed by health care reform, so why not just become a lawyer if you want to be successful. This country no longer rewards those that build and design great things anymore, the money game and the ever growing soulless corporations get quite literally TRILLIONS of dollars in support from the government, and one of the biggest science and engineering problems we are trying to solve right now gets told "sorry theres not enough left for you". Its utter bullshit.

Sure our government doesn't really have enough money right now, but not because of NASAs budget issues, it because they've been handing it out like f-ing candy to assholes on Wall Street who f-cked the country over and went laughing all the way to the bank(err government). We need to get all that money back (or at least stop giving it away) and start spending it on the RIGHT things.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882983)

I agree those things piss me off too. However, that is an argument for eliminating those wasteful items of spending, NOT an argument for wasting MORE money in NASA.
I agree the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs hugely expanded our knowledge.
The Space Shuttle really did not and even less so the International Space Station. I believe the ISS should have been canceled even though at the time I was all for it. It served no great purpose other than providing a vacation location for millionaires with $20 million.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883073)

THAT is government waste. Spending for NASA has always provided benefits for science and impacted our daily lives. Its a worthy endeavor and something necessary to IMHO spur on the advancement of the human race.

And THAT is why NASA won't get the money that is eagerly shovelled into the pockets of crooked businessmen who would sell their own grandma to a glue factor for a dollar.

The word is 'Kleptocracy' - despite all protestations, modern western governments exist solely to enrich the participants in those governments and their friends/business associates.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882469)

They are boondoggles that do not solve a pressing problem.

Wrong. In the fullness of time, space exploration will be understood to be the most important thing 21st century man ever did.

Climate change, on the other hand, will be seen to have been complete bollocks.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (0, Flamebait)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882491)

I agree that in the long term space travel will be deemed very important. However, that does not create the funds to pay for it. You sidestepped my point, which is that we cannot afford it.

As for your politically-based comment regarding Climate Change, you're just showing your Right-Wing Jackassedness, Mr. UK.

So, your lack of an argument is showing. And my response? Go to Hell

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (2, Interesting)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882781)

I agree that in the long term space travel will be deemed very important. However, that does not create the funds to pay for it. You sidestepped my point, which is that we cannot afford it.

You answered your own question - in the long term it will be very important. Try reading up on some of the mission objectives and payloads before you categorically deny that no "great innovations" have resulted. Long-term missions and space habitability experience cannot be solved on paper.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (1, Troll)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882875)

I never said it will not be [note: future tense construction] important. But, again, we don't have the money for it now.

For example: spending $500 billion dollars to find a cure for cancer will be very important. [We can't afford it right now.]

Even if I read up on the mission objectives--that does not create money out of thin air to pay for it! Why does every Space Travel Booster (I consider myself one) totally disregard the cost! This is so frustrating. Are you little children who can't see the obvious. No matter now important it is--if we can't pay for it--it's unattainable right now. Maybe in 20 years we will be able to afford it but right now--we can't!

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882985)

If it isn't done now, how do you reasonably expect it to happen in the future?

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883141)

What, is there an expiration date on space travel? What a ridiculous statement. Trust me, it will be waiting for us.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (2, Interesting)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882989)

We can afford it fine, its just we keep spending the money on military misadventures or corporate bailouts. If we used your logic for funding it, we'd never have a space program, as we would endlessly be spending money on whatever crisis or crapshoot interests us, and not bother with space tech till its too late.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883075)

Not true. Has there ever been a time when we were engaging in Space Travel while our country was going through a Greater Depression?

I don't think so. Sadly, this is a time when we cannot afford this.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (2, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883153)

Once you stop the wheel, it takes a lot to get it to start turning again.

Aerospace engineering expertise exists in the engineers that live/work/breathe/teach their profession. If you temporarily cancel a program, all of those engineers will have to find work elsewhere and all of their knowledge that is stored in their heads will be lost.

Tell me, as an engineer who recently graduated, why I should even go into aerospace engineering if I have to deal with the opinions of people like you who would rather we not spend money on such frivolous activities. Instead we are so broke we need to allocate a few billion for national health care or for bailing out wall street. Why would any student go into aerospace engineering in the kind of an environment where they don't even have a potential job.

You claim we have more pressing problems to solve like clean energy etc, but you don't realize that just throwing more people at the problem isn't going to necessarily solve it. Those engineers might want to design rockets instead of fuel cells yah know.

Cut the welfare and go to space (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882581)

I would rather throw a few thousand people off of disability and have the spaceship, then not, if it comes to that.

Re:Cut the welfare and go to space (1)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882617)

So, since you're more than willing to allow [other] people to shoulder some pain so you can have your gee-wiz moments of watching blast offs, I would bet it's fair to say you're not on disability. How magnanimous of you.

[Full disclosure: I have never taken any sort of government benefit and am not on any now.]

Re:Cut the welfare and go to space (0, Flamebait)

IrquiM (471313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883057)

People like you is why the rest of the world hates USA (and not Canada)

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (4, Informative)

MxTxL (307166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882591)

I am hard-pressed to think of any great advances in knowledge that were not already known from by the time the cruddy but long-surviving MIR burned up in the atmosphere.
I hate it when people like you pull the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately schtick. Listen, just because you can't think of anything doesn't mean there isn't useful science coming out of NASA EVERY DAY.

You should look at the NASA Spinoff page. http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/ [nasa.gov]

NASA is pushing the state of the art in materials, robotics, communications, structural engineering, environment and many others. Things that have real-world impact on our lives today. It's not just Tang and Velcro.

The ISS, despite all it's flaws and short comings, gives us lessons every day in how to survive and thrive in the harshest of all environments. It will give us the technology and know-how to do longer range and longer duration missions than were ever before possible.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882789)

Though I have always adored the thought and reality of space travel--this is just a luxury we cannot afford now. There is no pressing problem that would cause this need to travel to the Moon or Mars to occur.

No, actually, space exploration is essentailly done on the bubble-gum budget of the US. Deleting NASA or doubling NASA would have no noticible effect on the US budget-- the funding level is down in the noise compared to the main budget items.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (-1, Troll)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882927)

Two wrongs don't make a right. Just because a luxury is not a high percentage of our budget--does not justify it.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (2, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883161)

Your original argument was "we can't afford this because we have other problems."

You are now saying that space exploration is "wrong."

That's a different argument. You are entitled to your opinion.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883193)

Space isn't a luxury... In the long term it will become a necessity and the nation that is first to exploit it will be the one that prospers the most in the future.

Re:Tragically, We Cannot Afford This Now (2, Interesting)

damburger (981828) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883037)

Considering the banks here in the UK alone received £1 trillion, the amount spent on a space program is a drop in the ocean and is frankly spent in a far more responsible manner (rather than give greedy sociopathic bankers massive bonuses despite the fact they fucked us all).

What is the point? (3, Interesting)

new death barbie (240326) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882357)

Why is NASA so bent on using the solid-fuel boosters, when the military already has the much cheaper Delta iV Heavy and Atlas V rockets that have been proven?

Re:What is the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29882425)

Because they are pressed to keep funding this crap so Aerojet doesn't increase the pricing for solid boosters and related maintenance to the military.

Re:What is the point? (3, Informative)

icebrain (944107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882733)

Well, Delta and Atlas don't keep former shuttle employees busy. And everyone knows that reusing large components of something entirely different will make the end result cheaper... because you never have to do rework and the reused components are always optimal for the design.

Oh, I'm sorry, I'll wipe up the extra sarcasm I spilled there...

Delayed to 9:44 EDT (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29882999)

As I write, delayed till 9:44 EDT

Further Delay (2, Informative)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883017)

Just announced cargo ship in the range will need up to 90 min to clear the area.

Re:Further Delay (1)

cmiller173 (641510) | more than 4 years ago | (#29883107)

Range Control says clear. Curently 9:49 launch.
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