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59 comments

Time lapse allowed me to FIRST POST!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139555)

Did I get it? Oh YEAH!!

Re:Time lapse allowed me to FIRST POST!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45140999)

You are THE MAN!! You're so great to have been able to get the FIRST POST! Ooh, how I wish I can be like you and get my own FIRST POST someday. You're my idol, oh great first poster!

Re:Time lapse allowed me to FIRST POST!! (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45141905)

I propose we build a statue in his honor!

Dirty (1)

thechemic (1329333) | about 9 months ago | (#45139647)

Except for that clean looking tail, she's a dirty girl. ;)

End of An Era (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 9 months ago | (#45140013)

But it's the beginning of a new....eh...never mind.

That's what God invented bidets for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45142489)

Except for that clean looking tail, she's a dirty girl. ;)

Well, generally speaking the tail *is* the one bit you'd at least want a dirty girl to keep clean. :-/

Unlike some of the other shuttles, (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139719)

Its final ride wasn't a fireball cooking the people inside alive in a supersonic hell.

I'm not sad, not at all. (1, Insightful)

hottoh (540941) | about 9 months ago | (#45139757)

On the whole the shuttle was a boondoggle. It is best that the program is over.

Yeah it had some advantages, but overall it did not deliver what it was promised to deliver. The reasons are many, the reasons have made it to /. many times over the course of the existence of /. (the shuttle predates /. by a year or two ;-) )

Don't Be Short-Sighted (4, Informative)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 9 months ago | (#45140283)

On the whole the shuttle was a boondoggle. It is best that the program is over. Yeah it had some advantages, but overall it did not deliver what it was promised to deliver.

The Shuttle Program, like all of the manned space programs before it, delivered an immense amount of technology development that has advanced our knowledge of materials sciences and engineering in general beyond any level before it.

You can't base the value of the Shuttle Project simply on some science fiction ideal of a "space plane" and what such a thing could do.

By the way, without the Shuttle Program, the Hubble Telescope would have died long ago.

The Shuttle Program Was Short-Sighted (3, Interesting)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 9 months ago | (#45140571)

The Shuttle program should at most be considered bridge technology. NASA should have started "serious" planning for its replacement right after the first shuttle disaster. I mean, if it was going to replace it with the Orion it could have done it at least a decade earlier. Or it could have increased funding for a true SSTO (single-stage-to-orbit) spacecraft. I'm not a rocket scientist so I don't know what's the best form factor to get people into space, but any successor to the Shuttle should have already been in the live test stage by the time the Endeavor touched down for the final time.

So while I consider the Shuttle to be a marvel of engineering, I consider the Space Shuttle program as a whole to be a failure, and I'll consider the whole manned space program a failure if after all the billions poured into it, our great grandchildren would look back at the Apollo moonwalks as the Golden Era of space. As it is, Elon Musk looks like he has more vision than all of NASA's board of directors.

Re:The Shuttle Program Was Short-Sighted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45148543)

You are a fucking MORON. Your comment is not worth a readable response.

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45140689)

Yeah, the same kind of technology development as the stuff that was invented, then forgotten, for the Saturn V, right?

Face it; a lot of super-high tech stuff is one-offs. The idea that some amorphous 'progress' will magically result from JPL engineers creating a new, purpose-build widget for the space shuttle is a childish fantasy.

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (0)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#45140903)

The Shuttle Program, like all of the manned space programs before it, delivered an immense amount of technology development that has advanced our knowledge of materials sciences and engineering in general beyond any level before it.

Sure it did. Can you name an example?

By the way, without the Shuttle Program, the Hubble Telescope would have died long ago.

And they would have been able to afford to launch several replacements for the Hubble in that time. Same goes for the International Space Station, involving the Shuttle drove up the cost a lot.

When I look at what didn't happen because they had an expensive Space Shuttle instead of a space program, I have to say "good riddance" to it.

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45147783)

You're a fucking moron. There is no point in talking to people like you.

I'll bet you're a Tea Baggist...

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (0)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#45148243)

Oh dear, zero content, name calling on Slashdot! Who let all this riff raff into the room?

I stand by my comments. It takes a special sort of failure to make things cost several times what they should, even by the usual deficient funding and contracting processes present in Washington, DC. The Shuttle was a remarkable white elephant for its time.

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45148665)

Fucking MORON. Go back to masturbating to tentacle porn, and leave the actual thinking to people without neck beards.

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (1)

khallow (566160) | about 9 months ago | (#45152047)

Do you have any actual complaint to make about my post? I stand by my words. The US could have had a space program for what it spent on the Space Shuttle.

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (1)

hottoh (540941) | about 9 months ago | (#45149637)

<quote>

<quote><p>The Shuttle Program, like all of the manned space programs before it, delivered an immense amount of technology development that has advanced our knowledge of materials sciences and engineering in general beyond any level before it.</p></quote>

<p>Sure it did. Can you name an example?</p>

<quote><p>By the way, without the Shuttle Program, the Hubble Telescope would have died long ago.</p></quote>

<p>And they would have been able to afford to launch <b>several</b> replacements for the Hubble in that time. Same goes for the International Space Station, involving the Shuttle drove up the cost a lot.

When I look at what didn't happen because they had an expensive Space Shuttle instead of a space program, I have to say "good riddance" to it.</p></quote>

Thank you!

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 9 months ago | (#45141489)

Wars also bring technological development. This does not mean that the technical advancements justify starting a war of genocide.

Similarly, the space shuttle did have its uses with its large cargo bay and human crew. But the funds wasted in deciding, after the design was complete, that the fuel solid fuel boosters should not be recovered and re-used, and the decisions to manufacture the shuttle in one state by one contractor, different booster parts in other states for other contractors, and the nightmares of mismatched components from designing most of its systems form scratch rather than re-using consistent technologies, led to incredible costs and system failures as mismatched components were damaged in transport and _did not work_ when comibined with the other components developed in isolation.

I see this kind of thing every month in software and hardware projects whose developers and engineers are telecommuting or remotely located. This was coupled with congressional needs to distribute the manufacturing tasks across as many states as possible, in pure "pork barrel" American politics. The results were repeated returns to the drawing boards to redesign the most critical components, such as radar, heat shields, and life support, when the combined components simply did not work as planned.

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45149261)

The shuttle was neat in a lot of ways but, as the GP said, it was a boondoggle. A re-usable space plane that has to be essentially rebuilt every time isn't worth it. Lots of big dumb rockets would have been a much better investment in space technology.

By the way, without the Shuttle Program, the Hubble Telescope would have died long ago.

Without the Shuttle Program, the Hubble Telescope could have been delivered by a big conventional rocket and the repairs could have been based from a disposable living pod of some kind. With the money saved by not trying to make a shuttle workable and just going with plain rockets, maybe we could have been able to afford three Hubble telescopes.

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (1)

hottoh (540941) | about 9 months ago | (#45149641)

<quote><p>The shuttle was neat in a lot of ways but, as the GP said, it was a boondoggle. A re-usable space plane that has to be essentially rebuilt every time isn't worth it. Lots of big dumb rockets would have been a much better investment in space technology.</p>

<quote><p>By the way, without the Shuttle Program, the Hubble Telescope would have died long ago.</p></quote>

<p>Without the Shuttle Program, the Hubble Telescope could have been delivered by a big conventional rocket and the repairs could have been based from a disposable living pod of some kind. With the money saved by not trying to make a shuttle workable and just going with plain rockets, maybe we could have been able to afford three Hubble telescopes.</p></quote>

Bingo!

Re:Don't Be Short-Sighted (2)

hottoh (540941) | about 9 months ago | (#45149631)

Frosty Piss says: "By the way, without the Shuttle Program, the Hubble Telescope would have died long ago."

The Hubble telescope sat on the ground for years due to the Shuttle (ahem) explosion. It cost 6 million a month while it while it sat at NASA. Hardly a boost to the concept the shuttle helped the Hubble. It was wholly possible the Hubble telescope was on the first failed shuttle mission. AKA, the Shuttle could have destroyed the beloved Hubble telescope that destroyed a Shuttle in 1986.

1986 was the scheduled year for the Hubble deployment (the Challenger disaster year). It cost 6 million dollars per month for the Hubble to sit on the ground. It cost more than 200 million dollars for the Hubble to sit at NASA from 1986 till 1990. The Shuttle was a boondoggle.

The Hubble, by the way, was wholly designed to be toted to space by the Shuttle. IOW, it would not exist without the Shuttle. Another aside is Sean O'Keefe nixed the final repair of the Hubble telescope, because of what? Another Shuttle was lost. It was almost not repaired for the 5th time. Thank the director following Sean O'Keefe for it. Thank the second Shuttle disaster to what? An unreliable and dangerous delivery system best know as the Space Shuttle. The same reason for the first Shuttle disaster. The Shuttle was a boondoggle.

Science fiction? Clearly you have not done your reading. The Shuttle was to have done far more than it ever delivered. The Shuttle fuel cost to launch was literally astronomical due to its sheer empty mass. It was supposed to deliver, repair, and return satellites to space. How many satellites did it bring to Earth and return? Zero. AKA, the Shuttle was a boondoggle. It was not on budget and it did not deliver what it promised, not even close on either case.

Re:I'm not sad, not at all. (2, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45142019)

I can remember being told as a kid that the Shuttle was going to be like a spacecraft in the movies. It would take off under its own power, come back down and land, be refueled, and take off again. "It's going to be like an airplane for space," one of my teachers said.

Sadly, what we got was just a very expensive splash-down pod that could land on a modified airstrip instead of the ocean, with a larger crew cabin and a small cargo bay. It had to be strapped to giant nonresuable rockets to get into space, couldn't go beyond LEO when it got there, had very limited maneuvering abilities and fuel even in LEO, couldn't even land under its own power (it just glides in), and has to be almost completely rebuilt every time it lands. Oh, and it's expensive, complicated, and dangerous as fuck to boot. It's more "contractor boondoggle" than it is "Buck Rodgers."

And meanwhile, we scrapped the Apollo program and the Saturns, and all that institutional knowledge is long gone from NASA.

Re:I'm not sad, not at all. (1)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 9 months ago | (#45143081)

Right on the money except for:

couldn't even land under its own power (it just glides in)

...even gliders can LAND perfectly fine. What exactly were you expecting? It to take a couple of passes at the runway before deciding to touch down? Did you want it to carry fuel up into space and then back down, just so it can fly in the atmosphere for a little bit? They're in orbit, they can come down wherever the hell they want.

Re:I'm not sad, not at all. (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45143623)

It's just a further illustration of how much it is NOT "an airplane for space." It neither takes off nor lands under its own power. It's more analogous to a slash-down pod in that it basically just falls back down to earth.

Re:I'm not sad, not at all. (1)

drussell (132373) | about 9 months ago | (#45146411)

It had to be strapped to giant nonresuable rockets to get into space

Actually, they retrieved the booster rockets after takeoff and rebuilt and reloaded them for re-use.

End of an era (0)

cultiv8 (1660093) | about 9 months ago | (#45139759)

We can continue to try and clean up the gutters all over the world and spend all of our resources looking at just the dirty spots and trying to make them clean. Or we can lift our eyes up and look into the skies and move forward in an evolutionary way. -- Buzz Aldrin

Re:End of an era (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139805)

What maudlin, sentimental garbage from a privileged white test pilot who got an entire country to build giant rockets with little tin cans on them. So the hell with everyone else and their problems, you wanna play out Star Trek in a dead vacuum? You shameless autistic sociopath.

Re:End of an era (3, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 9 months ago | (#45139823)

We've thrown vast amounts of money at the Third World, and it's still the Third World.

Re:End of an era (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139843)

I'm a marathon runner*. I spent hours and hours of my valuable time helping my buddy train for his first marathon and I still beat him by over an hour.

Obviously all that time was totally wasted.

* Not really.

Re:End of an era (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139849)

It's kind of counter-acted by the much much MUCH vaster amounts of money the US has spent KEEPING it the Third World, though.

Re:End of an era (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 9 months ago | (#45140285)

you get what you pay for. You buy a Third World, you get a Third World, plus more that come knocking for the handouts.

Re:End of an era (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45143981)

Define vast amounts in terms of GDP and I bet you will find it is not all that vast.

There is a difference between feeding the hungry because their crops failed and paying their way out of the third world.

Re:End of an era (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139919)

White guilt. Classism. Anti-science. Misguided populism. Bigotry against autism. Where to start, except... fuck you.

Re:End of an era (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45140555)

From one AC to another... STFU.

Re:End of an era (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about 9 months ago | (#45170909)

Aldrin grew up in a lower-Middle class family; his father was career military. In those days unless one had very high rank or married into society, working in the military was generally looked down upon. There was some temporary cachet accorded to members during WWII. So, no, not privileged.

He was not a test pilot, but he was of the Caucasian persuasion. (Usage from Hill Street Blues; you don't like, go look it up.) He had fairly extensive flight experience and taught flying. Scratch autistic.

He flew 66 combat missions in Korea where he shot down two Migs. Hmm. Well, according to some, anyone in the military qualifies as a sociopath. So that's your call. Just out of curiosity, tho, when was the last time you put your life on the line or got shot at for anything? Or honored an oath you swore?

I don't understand how he got an entire country to build rockets and such for him; perhaps you'd care to explain that a bit. Also, looked to me he was being more inclusive than exclusive, but again, that's your call.

Source: Wikipedia, et al.

Happy it's over (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139767)

Now that America has stopped pissing away it's money on the space program, it can spend it on things that really matter: supporting Al Qaeda against various Arab governments, health care and housing for illegal aliens and African Americans, aid to Israel, and handouts for Wall Street (they need money too!).

Re:Happy it's over (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45145805)

Would you fucktards please stop modding these damned trolls up?

seems somewhat of a letdown (1)

deodiaus2 (980169) | about 9 months ago | (#45139855)

After having seen men land on the moon, it seemed a bit of a letdown that we only set our sites on flying 300 miles above earth. I had expected a mission to Mars much earlier on. Yes, it is expensive, but compared to the cost of wars that we had not questioned, it would have been cheap. Even the Cold War could have been averted had the US wanted to, as it was driving the USSR broke even before Chernobol. However, having the Soviets as a boogie man was a great play to get the public to spend a fortune. However, most of the population is really not able to affect the political process. All parties are owned by those who have the money to pay for the fanfare of elections. Fundamentally, there are trivial differences between the Democrats and Republicans. Carter, Clinton, and Obama really haven't changed the course of the status quo. With all the fanfare surrounding the Affordable Care Act, the truth of the matter is that previously, the uninsured left huge bills unpaid which were picked up buy driving up costs for everyone else. Similarly, the Vietnam War did not end because of mass public protest, but because of the realization that more bombs and money was spent on it then in all of WWII. Thirdly, the fact that we live in a republic rather than a democracy was evident during the TARP bank bail out in 2007, where most elected officials acknowledged that the majority of the population was against it, but the powers that be made sure that the investors would get their money back or the economy would be sunk.

Re:seems somewhat of a letdown (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45146787)

After having seen men land on the moon, it seemed a bit of a letdown that we only set our sites

I stopped reading right there. What grade did you drop out of, dimwit, third? It's sights. Learn the (written) language or shut the FUCK up. I don't come to a nerd SITE to read shit from uneducated fools like you. Go away.

Whee. (2)

JeanCroix (99825) | about 9 months ago | (#45139901)

Now let's get on with a space program that crashes & burns less, and goes somewhere more.

Re:Whee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139961)

Are you fucking insane? No vehicle has carried more people safely to space than the space shuttle.

Re:Whee. (4, Insightful)

JeanCroix (99825) | about 9 months ago | (#45139971)

Space is a medium, not a destination. Imagine discovering the new world in 1492, then spending the next two hundred years hugging the European coast. That's what we did with the shuttle.

Re:Whee. (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 9 months ago | (#45142141)

There wasn't gold to steal or natives to kill/rape/enslave on the moon. Basically the only reason we kept coming across the Atlantic was for extraction of resources.

Re:Whee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45144595)

Extraction? So the Europeans never colonized the place, they just brought stuff back to Europe? Huh.

Re:Whee. (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | about 9 months ago | (#45152973)

The originally colonized in order to make the extraction more efficient. The people that tried moving over there for other reasons didn't fare so well (see Jamestown).

Re:Whee. (1)

grep -v '.*' * (780312) | about 9 months ago | (#45146157)

hugging the European coast

First tree huggers, and now coast huggers. What's this world coming to?

Re:Whee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45140165)

So Mercury killed more astronauts? Nope. Gemini? Nope. Apollo? Nope. Tell us, dear AC, which programs have carried more astronauts safely up and back again than the shuttle program. I'm going with All Of Them.

Re:Whee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45140925)

"Number killed" and "number safely carried" are not the same, and the original poster didn't claim the shuttle had a smaller number of total deaths.

But if you do want to compare the programs, try this -- the shuttle flew 355 unique individuals (833 man-flights, counting repeat flyers) and only killed 14. Apollo only had 32 individuals assigned, and only that 24 ever took flight (and it killed 3 who never left the ground). Both by absolute count and by percentage the shuttle clearly carried more people safely.

/ And arguably "safely to space" shouldn't include Columbia, as that crashed after the space portion of the flight.

Re:Whee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45149401)

If I ran a bus company and took twice as many people as my competitors and half minus two of my passengers died on the trip, I could claim that I carry more people safely than any other bus company, even if I had competitors with perfect safety records. The US has had more manned space flights than any country and most of them have been shuttle flights, whereas Russia, for example, has used a broader mix of vehicles, so your statistic doesn't say much. As it stands right now, the Soyuz has a slightly better safety record than the shuttle.

Back to expendable rockets (2)

Animats (122034) | about 9 months ago | (#45139915)

Space-X is now able to provide much of the capability of the space shuttle at much lower prices. [spacex.com] (Each Space Shuttle launch ended up costing about $600 million.) Once the Falcon Heavy launches, they'll have the capability for even more lift to LEO.

Space-X even offers transportation of humans to low earth orbit. [spacex.com] So far, NASA is the only buyer, but Space-X advertises it as a commercial service.

Re:Back to expendable rockets (2)

necro81 (917438) | about 9 months ago | (#45141553)

Space-X is now able to provide much of the capability of the space shuttle at much lower prices. (Each Space Shuttle launch ended up costing about $600 million.) Once the Falcon Heavy launches, they'll have the capability for even more lift to LEO. Space-X even offers transportation of humans to low earth orbit. So far, NASA is the only buyer, but Space-X advertises it as a commercial service.

I certainly hope that the Falcon Heavy and the (astronaut-rated) Dragon crew capsule come to fruition; I believe they will. But let us not lose sight of a simple fact: those haven't actually flown yet; it's still just advertisement.

The Shuttle was not merely a crew carrier nor a heavy lift vehicle. It was rather inefficient at both tasks. However, the ability to both do heavy lifting and a have crew with it was a unique capability - essential for certain missions - that no one is likely to replicate anytime soon. A Dragon capsule would not, for instance, have been an appropriate platform for performing a Hubble repair. I'm sure the Elon's got some bright engineer thinking about how to attach a CanadArm (or equivalent) onto a Dragon, but we haven't seen that yet. I suppose you could maybe have assembled the ISS without the Shuttle, but it would have been a lot harder.

This is not to say that the Shuttle paradigm would be an appropriate way to do that combination of crew+cargo+working platform in the future. (It is debatable whether the Shuttle ever was appropriate for it.) An operating platform in LEO, useful for construction or repair, with living space for several astronaut for weeks at a time, does not need to be a machine that returns to Earth. I suspect that in the future we'll have orbiting work platforms - small versions of the ISS - that never return to Earth and that crew and cargo arrive at separately. The crucial capability that must be included in such a plan is the ability to perform significant orbital maneuvers - altitude and inclination changes, or even leaving LEO altogether.

What a magnificent machine (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139927)

Sad to see the end of an aura (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45139997)

US space capabilities were king for so long it is strange so them relegated to second tier.

Re:Sad to see the end of an aura (1)

NikeHerc (694644) | about 9 months ago | (#45142987)

It's even sadder to see the end of an era.

Thieves (0)

aglider (2435074) | about 9 months ago | (#45140063)

That was posted on Astronomy Picture of the Day [nasa.gov] long ago.
This is another side-effect of the shutdown: online media theft.

Whew (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45140115)

Least it didnt blow up

Home (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45140319)

It's not like the money was put into the shuttles and shipped into space. It was spent on earth to make and fly the shuttles.

Home Is the Sailor ---A.E. Housman

  Home is the sailor, home from sea:
  Her far-borne canvas furled
  The ship pours shining on the quay
  The plunder of the world.

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