Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

NASA and Space Station Alliance On Shaky Ground

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the in-space-nobody-can-hear-you-disagree dept.

NASA 73

coondoggie writes "Even as the latest shift of astronauts arrived at the International Space Station, challenges with the orbital outpost on the ground are threatening its future. Those challenges include the pending retirement of the space shuttle but also the way NASA and the ISS are managed. A report issued this week by the Government Accountability Office said NASA faces several significant issues that may impede efforts to maximize utilization of all ISS research facilities."

cancel ×

73 comments

i see what you did there (1)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 4 years ago | (#30540874)

maybe don't link to the comments section of the article next time...

Re:i see what you did there (1)

MathiasRav (1210872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30540910)

There's a tag for that. badlink

Re:i see what you did there (2, Insightful)

awyeah (70462) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541212)

Apparently there's a "baddoggie" tag for that as well. Learn something new every day.

Re:i see what you did there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30540932)

Since we can't use mod points on submissions, could the Slashdot admins take away this guy's story submission privileges or something? He always link to the same crappy site (which I assume he works for), and the summaries are always mangled with one or more stupid errors. As evidence, go read his criminally stupid submission for the WISE launch.

Yeah, I know, mod me down for flamebait. We still need standards, dammit.

Re:i see what you did there (1)

Antimus (1366367) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543290)

He always link to the same crappy site (which I assume he works for), and the summaries are always mangled with one or more stupid errors.

Never noticed that, it's true though. boo, hiss!

What a shame (0)

Sets_Chaos (1622925) | more than 4 years ago | (#30540904)

The ISS has been my favorite international effort to date. I hope things turn around.

Re:What a shame (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30540934)

Mine is the Ramses-Hattusili Treaty.

Note to editors on article link (3, Informative)

GasparGMSwordsman (753396) | more than 4 years ago | (#30540908)

Re:Note to editors on article link (1)

OolimPhon (1120895) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543024)

TL;DR

No human spaceflight can't help (4, Insightful)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30540926)

Well now that Obama is going to cancel Ares 1, the USA won't have any human spaceflight capacity until probably the 2020s (assuming the rest of Constellation isn't canceled before then too). That can't be helpful for the future of the space station.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (0, Troll)

tomhath (637240) | more than 4 years ago | (#30540952)

Obama's agenda has always been to funnel all available money into entitlement programs and short-term make-work projects. There's nothing left to invest in the future.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (4, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541038)

Neither party has any interest in the future. One focuses resources on entitlements and the other on war.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541360)

There is only one solution. Sarah Palin must be President!

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (4, Insightful)

dirkdodgers (1642627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541364)

Correction. Both parties focus resources on entitlements and war.

This is shameful. Better to be a beggar in a world colonizing the Moon, Mars, and mining asteroids, than to be a CEO in a world in which the human spirit is dead.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543770)

I've been re-watching Farscape and just got depressed at one statement. During one episode, human astronaut John Crichton states: "My planet doesn't even go to the Moon anymore." I realized that we haven't been to the Moon in my lifetime (born in 1975), much less anywhere else (manned) beyond low Earth orbit. By all rights we should have some kind of permanent Moon base in operation now if not a manned trip to Mars. Instead, we've pulled back and decided that we're ok with just orbiting around our planet for a while. Very sad.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544880)

Hey, here's a weird idea - what if we all went out, regardless of party affiliation, and demanded that those suckers we elected get their act together on space exploration??

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (0, Troll)

cmacb (547347) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541770)

No, One party focuses on war, the other party focuses on entitlement and war.

War alone (at the rate we've been fighting them since Lyndon Johnson's time) have not been enough to break the bank.

Entitlements (at the rate we've been enacting them since Lyndon Johnson's time) have been enough ALONE to break the bank (at some future point at least).

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543642)

For anyone who would like to look at the actual data and draw their own conclusions.

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy10/pdf/hist.pdf [gpoaccess.gov]

Page 321

Consumption expenditures 2010 Estimate ( % GDP )

Defense - 4.8
Nondefense - 2.5

Consumption expenditures 2002 ( % GDP )

Defense - 3.5
Nondefense - 2.0

Current Transfer payments 2010 Estimate ( % GDP )

Government social benefits - 11.0
Grants to State and local governments - 3.8
Other transfers to the rest of the world - 0.3

Current Transfer payments 2002 ( % GDP )

Government social benefits - 8.7
Grants to State and local governments - 2.9
Other transfers to the rest of the world - 0.2

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541290)

"Obama's agenda has always been to funnel all available money into entitlement programs and short-term make-work projects."

Really? I missed that. If that's really his agenda, he's really doing a bad job following it. Unless you consider the military an entitlement program.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (5, Interesting)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541128)

The existing Atlas and Delta-IV will be able to lift the Orion module just fine. Not only that, but Space-X's Falcon/Dragon vehicle will be ready well before then.

Of course, NASA always has the option of building an alternative launch system [directlauncher.com] for a lot less money than the ARES craft. The beauty is that all of the engines are already built and tested, and the J-130 can loft about 30-40 metric tons of payload (say, an MPLM [wikipedia.org] along with the Orion module.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (3, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541220)

Not only that, but Space-X's Falcon/Dragon vehicle will be ready well before then.

Unless you are a time traveler, that's an opinion - not a fact.
 

Of course, NASA always has the option of building an alternative launch system for a lot less money than the ARES craft.

Assuming, of course, that DIRECT doesn't behave like pretty much any other large scale aerospace engineering project and end up cost well above estimates while performing well below predictions.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541806)

Assuming, of course, that DIRECT doesn't behave like pretty much any other large scale aerospace engineering project and end up cost well above estimates while performing well below predictions.

It uses exactly the same engines as the space shuttle stack which can lift the shuttle (68.5 metric tons) plus it's cargo (24.4 metric tons) to Low Earth Orbit (92.9 mt total). It should be able to lift a 20-25 metric Orion module with no difficulty whatsoever (even if you hauled up a few metric tons of water as ballast and/or resupply).

As far as development, the only difficult thing that needs developing is the avionics. Everything else is fairly simple (changing the end cap on the tank, aft thrust structure, payload fairing). Engines are already built, in stock, and paid for. SRBs are already built, in stock, and paid for. There's more metal "bent" for Jupiter than ARES.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

angelwolf71885 (1181671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541978)

DIRECT is WAY more expensive the the shuttle program and way more expensive then ARES the shuttles external tank was NEVER designed for a load from the top and will LIKELY fail and needs to be redesign witch ARES already did the shuttle main engines are way to expensive to be disposable the jx2 WAS meant to be tossed away DELTA is OLD technology its time to INNOVATE and IMPROVE technology not be like the USSR and just keep using the same thing day in and day out never improving

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (2, Funny)

Rip Dick (1207150) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542298)

sentence (plural sentences)

1. (grammar) A grammatically complete series of words consisting of a subject and predicate, even if one or the other is implied, and typically beginning with a capital letter and ending with a full stop.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (2, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542576)

its time to INNOVATE and IMPROVE technology not be like the USSR and just keep using the same thing day in and day out never improving

Then Ares should be nixed as well. My view is that the problem isn't the insufficient sexiness of the technology, it's the feeble economics of space launch especially as practiced by NASA. The single most important economy of scale is launch frequency yet NASA has yet to use that economy of scale.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542302)

Assuming, of course, that DIRECT doesn't behave like pretty much any other large scale aerospace engineering project and end up cost well above estimates while performing well below predictions.

It uses exactly the same engines as the space shuttle stack

In a world where a booster consists of only the engines, that would be a useful statement. We don't live in such a world.
 

As far as development, the only difficult thing that needs developing is the avionics. Everything else is fairly simple (changing the end cap on the tank, aft thrust structure, payload fairing).

For certain large and handwaving values of 'fairly simple', sure. In reality, you're creating the most difficult parts of the structure from scratch, almost completely recreating the difficult parts of the fuel system, and creating the avionics and flight software from scratch.
 

Engines are already built, in stock, and paid for. SRBs are already built, in stock, and paid for. There's more metal "bent" for Jupiter than ARES.

In a world where how much metal is bent is a useful metric, that would be a useful statement. We don't live in such a world. In reality, your big costs are in integration and engineering - two tasks that for DIRECT/Jupiter are as big if not bigger than for Ares.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30546850)

In a world where...

I cant help but hear your post in the voice of Don LaFontaine.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30547226)

I don't sound anything like him, but I was channeling him... :)

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541346)

Ares 1 was almost done. To put people on top of a Delta-IV or Atlas requires man-rating them. Building a new launch system means throwing away years of engineering effort. If you want to start building Direct now, you have to consider all the work that's already gone into Ares in the cost. Is it still cheaper?

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541366)

Ares 1 was almost done.

That will be why it wasn't supposed to make its first flight to ISS until around 2016.

To put people on top of a Delta-IV or Atlas requires man-rating them.

The whole concept of 'man-rating' is mostly nonsense: if a rocket isn't safe enough to launch some spam in a can, it's not safe enough to launch a billion-dollar satellite. There are issues with using the Delta and Atlas, but they're relatively minor compared to building a whole new launcher: ensuring that the trajectory used always allows a safe abort, improving engine-out performance (where your satellite is toast anyway so you might as well crash and burn on an unmanned launch), etc.

If you want to start building Direct now, you have to consider all the work that's already gone into Ares in the cost. Is it still cheaper?

Yes. Because you only have to build one new launcher and not two.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30544414)

Man rating goes a little beyond launching spam in a can. First of all, a satellite can withstand higher G forces. Second, a satellite has broader temperature and pressure tolerances. Third, a satellite doesn't need an abort system capable of pulling it away from the soon-to-be fireball that used to be the launch vehicle.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544852)

Man rating goes a little beyond launching spam in a can. First of all, a satellite can withstand higher G forces. Second, a satellite has broader temperature and pressure tolerances. Third, a satellite doesn't need an abort system capable of pulling it away from the soon-to-be fireball that used to be the launch vehicle.

The key word here is "little". The ULA knows how to lower G forces (assuming that becomes necessary). You get higher gravity losses, but it's not a deal killer. Second, satellites don't have broader temperature and pressure tolerances. Recall that the humans will be flying inside a pressurized, insulated can. They will have the same temperature and pressure sensitivity as any other valuable payload. Third, the abort system is part of the payload not the launch vehicle. The part that you need is some sort of monitoring system compatible with the launch vehicle avionics to trigger that abort system. This isn't a serious burden.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (2, Informative)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541532)

Ares I is really not almost done, and the many redesigns of the Orion capsule to make up for Ares I's deficiencies have delayed the programme further. I believe (I may be wrong here) that the J-2X upper stage engine and not Orion is the "long pole" development item for Ares I.

Even the number and type of engines has not been decided for Ares V, the supposed Batman to the Ares I Robin.

By contrast, all the major pieces and launch infrastructure are available to make the NLS/DIRECT idea work if the decision is made to take that route.

HINT: watch the video of thefirst Ares flight .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541844)

Google for the video (is in many places ... pick your favorite) and watching until the end .... then see the upper stage brake off before the video is killed.

Ares is no where near almost done.

Re:HINT: watch the video of thefirst Ares flight . (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541990)

I'm as much an Ares I basher as anyone (and not a RS), but Ares I-X used a standard 4-segment RSRM first stage. The velocity and altitude are much different than they will be with the 5-segment RSRMV, or whatever they are calling it. The test was designed to show that the "stick" wouldn't fall over on the launchpad and to get some aerodynamic data. It was in no way a test of the entire flight.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542040)

Sigh, they both suck. Trading Ares for DIRECT is just as bad a deal because they both have horrible recurring costs.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

twosat (1414337) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542792)

The Alas V is probably off the table for political reasons because of its Russian kerosene first stage engine, the RD-180. The proposed Atlas V Heavy is still a few years off with an extra RD-180 mounted on each side to act as boosters. The Delta IV Heavy is inefficient and costly because of its hydrogen engines made in the USA that are inefficient in the lower atmosphere. As well, it uses a lot of expensive helium gas to pressurize its tanks and to start its engines. Probably the only option that would not hurt NASA's pride and be a reasonable price and efficient would be a hybrid rocket with a Delta core and at least two Atlases used as strap-on boosters. That way they could say that the Russian rocket engines were only assisting, and still have an all-American core.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30554378)

Read my Blog on the subject...
http://prober-spaceviews.blogspot.com/ NASA is making the same mistakes!

if you feel the same as I do...pass the info on.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (4, Interesting)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541134)

jpmorgan, you need to keep up on the news, good and bad

"Reporting on a White House and NASA meeting last Wednesday, sources say that the President has decided to give NASA an additional $US1 billion in 2011. The extra funding will serve to create a new heavy lift rocket, as well as to increase the fleet of satellites controlling Earth’s land, oceans and atmosphere.
The objective is to have the heavy rocket ready for a 2018 launch"
http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2009/12/obama-gives-nasa-bigger-budget-backs-new-rocket-cancels-ares-1/ [gizmodo.com.au]

Can't agree with tomhath either, looks like this administration is willing to invest in the future

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (3, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541616)

"Reporting on a White House and NASA meeting last Wednesday, sources say that the President has decided to give NASA an additional $US1 billion in 2011. The extra funding will serve to create a new heavy lift rocket, as well as to increase the fleet of satellites controlling Earth's land, oceans and atmosphere.
The objective is to have the heavy rocket ready for a 2018 launch"

One billion a year extra isn't going to get a heavy lift rocket ready in nine years.

Note also that that extra billion is the lowest rate of growth of any budget item so far. Most of them are getting 9-12% increases, this is closer to 6%....

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542356)

You need to keep up on the American political process. First, $1B is chump change when we're talking rocket development. But it's a moot point.

Obama will ask congress for an additoinal $1B in funding to build a heavy lift rocket. Congress will, as expected, decline to spend that amount of money on such 'frivolities' when they're desperately trying to pay for an expanded health care system and repay $1T spent digging holes in the ground.

I don't know why everybody is so shocked over this. Obama told everybody he'd kill the manned spaceflight program in his campaign. He's just following through.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543582)

$9 billion is barely enough to develop a new medium rocket, which might scale to heavy lift if using parallel staging with some more cash. But not super heavy lift.

$9 billion buys you a new engine design and work on a 1st stage, plus integration work with an existing 2nd stage (such as Centaur). i.e. something like what SpaceX will have by H1 2010.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541304)

Well, if human spaceflight continues to consist of dicking around in earth orbit like a project Mercury SUV, it's not much of a loss.

Re:No human spaceflight can't help (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541352)

That was the point of the constellation project - to make it feasible to leave LEO. Constellation has now been thoroughly dismantled so who knows.

In short, yet again ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30540954)

NASA says "we need more more money"

SpaceX to the rescue (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30540992)

Current estimates suggest they will lower the cost of cargo to the ISS from $46,000/kg to $20,000/kg. The Dragon capsule will serve as a lifeboat too, increasing the number of crew that can be permanently stationed at the station.

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541316)

The sooner NASA is privatized the better. There really is very little the government does without colossal waste involved. Give space exploration and colonization a true profit motive in a free market and we'll be on Mars in a decade.

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541380)

What's the "true profit motive in a free market" for space exploration and colonization? Mining? Hotels?

Or are you suggesting government bounties of some sort? Because artificial incentives ponied up by government with taxpayer money hardly count as true profit motives in a free market, though they may in some cases be reasonable ways for the government to get something done.

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541628)

People are ready and willing to pay to go do exploration and colonization.. if only the price wasn't so damn high.

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544766)

Give space exploration and colonization a true profit motive in a free market and we'll be on Mars in a decade.

It's not happening now. NASA has obstructed space development and exploration in a number of ways, but my view is that if we were this close to profitably landing on Mars, private industry would be well on its way, NASA or no NASA. The truth is that we don't have a "true profit motive" for going to Mars in the near future. That is, we don't have any serious business plans that would expect to make a profit by landing on Mars in ten years. NASA, the legal environment, etc aren't the only obstacles. You also have to make a profit. The capitalism/free market pixie dust is strong stuff, but it isn't that strong.

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (1)

frederickroyceperez (865361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30555340)

The sooner NASA is privatized the better. There really is very little the government does without colossal waste involved. Give space exploration and colonization a true profit motive in a free market and we'll be on Mars in a decade.

Do you also believe that the only way to raise revenues is to cut taxes ?

/

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541400)

I wonder if America is ready to tolerate a vehicle with a 33% success rate, which is what Falcon 1 has. Talk about carnage. I laugh at how much stock you people put in the amatures at SpaceX.

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541492)

I wonder if America is ready to tolerate a vehicle with a 33% success rate, which is what Falcon 1 has.

If I remember correctly, Atlas had about a 75% failure rate before NASA stuck John Glenn on top, and I think the first Mercury/Atlas unmanned test flight exploded shortly after launch.

Failures are expected during development, the question is whether you can fix the problems and move on (and sustain funding while you're debugging the system), which SpaceX appear to be doing.

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541648)

1. You're not real good at math.
2. You're a malcontent armchair retard.
3. Neither cargo, no the life boat Dragon has anything to do with Falcon 1.
4. You can't spell amateur.
5. You don't seem to know what it means if you could spell it.
6. Kindly fuck off.

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30548936)

  1. Falcon 1 has 1 success in 3 flights.
  2. Falcon 9 uses the same engines. Ergo, its reliability should be similar or worse.
  3. Unlike the lawyers at the whitehouse?
  4. Dragon's engineering may be even more uncertain than Falcon 1. You propose pinning America's future in space on the whims of a rich hobbiest.
  5. Spelling flames are a dullard's response to an air-tight argument.
  6. I am surprised you can count to 6!

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30550116)

You know my favourite part about Slashdot? Watching retards like you embarrass yourself. I *could* correct you on all your errors but it's just so much more fun to watch you repeat that same stupidity in post after post. People who know what they're talking about will read what you say and think "gee, what a blow hard loser" and people who don't know the difference will read my flames of you and jump on the bandwagon of hating you. It's win-win, and so much entertainment.

Re:SpaceX to the rescue (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30551326)

Wow! You are really torqued up. Why such a SpaceX fanboy? Of course you cannot refute anything I say. Yet you waste everyone's time and reply anyway. Who then is the loser?

Are you kidding???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541758)

So far, 100% of the SpaceX flight has being a failure. Not a single cargo made it to the target orbit. Partial success and almost there is not good enough for man flight

Their record so far has proven abysmal for satellites, what makes you believe that they can deliver a man-rated transportation system???

There is a better change of Scaled Composites/Virgin Galactic having a commercial flight to the ISS before SpaceX can actually put a satellite in the correct orbit.

Re:Are you kidding???? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542022)

I really don't know why people feel the need to make up FUD about SpaceX. If you want to criticize them it's not hard, just point at their schedule and link to some of their claims from 5 years ago. I guess what I'm saying is that if you want to be a troll, be a smart troll, do some research.

Truth is not FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30542090)

Not one of their cargo has made it to the target orbit. The only cargo that made it into orbit (last July on a Falcon 1) was SHORT off the target orbit.

SpaceX would claim the contrary ... but the fact is it did not make it to the correct orbit.

Re:Truth is not FUD (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542150)

You know a great way to back up a "it's the truths!!!" retort? References. It also helps if you log in coward. In any case, that's not much of an argument.. there's much better ones you can make against SpaceX, my point is, why are you aiming so low?

Re:Truth is not FUD (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30551406)

The previous poster is correct. Proof that SpaceX is not ready for prime time is seen in the dismal success rate of the Falcon 1. The Falcon 9 is an order of magnitude more complex. I think America's space future would be more wisely bet on the men that sent us to the moon and built the space station than some web hack hobbyist with too much money to spend.

Re:Truth is not FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30542200)

That's not true. Flight 5 was within a few km for apogee and perigee. You probably looked at the TLE's and don't know what an averaged orbit is.

Since when is within a few km making target?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30547116)

Wow! People come up with the dumbest reasons to defend against facts.

Your own words show ... IT DIDN'T REACH THE TARGET ORBIT. It got close, but not enough.

Re:Are you kidding???? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30542560)

They've had 2 successes out of 5.

"More expensive to run experiments in the ISS" (1)

l2718 (514756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541438)

GAO wins the "d'oh" prize for the most useless self-evidence statement of the year. Instead, they should have tried to figure out if the extra expense has led to better results. My guess is that the bang-for-bucks ratio for the sundry experiments in the ISS is very low -- except for the PR value. However, all this PR is important to keep the big experiment -- the ISS itself -- going, and that one is worth all the expense.

Bush and his friends are destroying science ..... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30541730)

.... oh wait ..... it is the guy with the dark skin. Way to go Mr Black President .... keep up the good work.

The first two points (3, Interesting)

CompressedAir (682597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30541784)

The first two points in the article cancel each other out. To paraphrase, they are:

1. It costs too much, so no one flies experiments, and
2. There are too many experiments for the crew to handle.

No one goes there anymore, it is too busy. -- Yogi Berra

If the ISS is kept running for 5 years, we will get more out of the fifth year than we did the first year. If it is kept running 10 years, we will get more out of the 10th year than the 5th year. Launch cost will be dropping regardless of the fate of Ares, and as current research opens up new research the demand for space launch capabilities will increase. Remember, in the absolutely most boring future, the Russians could build a second Progress assembly line. The probable success of SpaceX just makes that better (notably in the "return of material" area.

Now, is any of this worth it? That's more of a policy decision than a technical one. I think it is, half for the science and half for the global cooperation required. Remember, this International Space Station represents the efforts of 2/3 of the planet (land area-wise, heh, not population). When is the last time that has happened without there being a war in progress?

Re:The first two points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30543794)

Not necessarily contradictory in this case. We're not talking about a group of researchers on a small peninsula somewhere lounging around in beach chairs after puttering around with an experiment or two. The ISS itself takes significant amounts of work just to keep going. Before the long-term crew was expanded to six, they didn't have time to do much more than just station maintenance.
So they don't have many people who can spare time to do the experimental work. And since the Shuttle is being shut down, putting up new habitation modules isn't likely. So they're going to remain limited on crew time.
If, however, they weren't... then there'd still be the problem of the experiments being too costly for most interested groups to do. Which means that even if they did have the crew capacity, it wouldn't be used (for experiments, anyway).

Re:The first two points (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544468)

And since the Shuttle is being shut down, putting up new habitation modules isn't likely.

As far as I know, there never were plans to extend the size of the ISS past six even when the Shuttle's end wasn't considered. Someone would have to build the habitation module first. And even with the end of the Shuttle, there are several vehicles (Delta IV Heavy, Ariane 5, Proton) that can launch such modules to the ISS.

Re:The first two points (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30544962)

Here's a dumb idea for SpaceX.

Have them start up by making trips to the ISS carrying odd shipments (like fancy meals and such) claiming them as training exercises. As NASA loses intrest in the ISS (the government right now is much more intrested in giving free medical insurance to Mexican Crack Whores than science), they can take over the routine stuff. Soon, the only way for the US to reach the ISS is through SpaceX. That pretty much gives them full control over it (with maybe some complaints by a bankrupt Russia). They can now use it as an expensive hotel, like Russia is doing, but at a lower cost. Soon they could build up a series of orbiting Hotels, which could be a jumping off point for the planets. Building hotels on the planets/moons would give them control over most of the solar system. The adventurous would be the ones intrested in going out, leaving the unemployable welfare recipients stuck on Earth. When the planets reach self-sufficiency, they cut political ties to Earth, saving huge amounts on useless taxes used to build useless bridges in a useless senators district. Earth might try to cause problems after that, but drop a few asteroids on them and they should quiet down fairly quickly.

They should just dump it in the sea (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543598)

...like the giant albatross that it is. It serves no useful purpose but it's soaking up all of NASA's budget, budget that could be spent on more interesting/useful stuff like the Mars rovers.

Poorly worded title (1)

sajuuk (1371145) | more than 4 years ago | (#30543808)

Since I read this title and thought it was an Onion article about how the ISS crew was planning on attacking NASA... I for one welcome our new space-dwelling overlords!
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...