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The Device NASA Is Leaving Behind

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago

Space 163

iminplaya writes "After years of delays, NASA hopes to launch this week a European-built laboratory that will greatly expand the research capability of the international space station. Although some call it a milestone, the launch has focused new attention on the space agency's earlier decision to back out of plans to send up a different, $1.5 billion device — one that many scientists contend would produce far more significant knowledge. "...it would be a true international disgrace if this instrument ends up as a museum piece that never is used.""

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:d (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551483)

An FP? Say it isn't so!

Intersting comment (3, Interesting)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551487)

Nobel prize winner Steve Weinberg says in the article that it will be the only good science done on the ISS if it goes up!!!

Re:Intersting comment (2, Funny)

raddan (519638) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552061)

He also said that "This device could make discoveries that are Earth-shattering". I think it's pretty clear why AMS is getting canned. We like the Earth in one piece!

Re:Intersting comment (2, Funny)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552337)

Is it an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator? Where's the kaboom? There was upposed to be an earth-shattering kaboom!

NASA Declares No Room; Re:Intersting comment (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552529)

SPACE SCIENCE: NASA Declares No Room for Antimatter Experiment
Science 16 March 2007: 1476
DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5818.1476

News of the Week SPACE SCIENCE:
NASA Declares No Room for Antimatter Experiment
Andrew Lawler

NASA has no room on its space shuttle to launch the $1.5 billion Alpha
Magnetic Spectrometer, which is designed to search for antimatter from
its perch on the international space station.

Expanded and posted on a science blog where it was being discussed:
NASA: Alpha to Omega
Category: astro
Posted on: March 18, 2007 10:39 PM, by Steinn Sigurðsson
http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics/2007/03/nasa_alpha_to_omega.php [scienceblogs.com] [scienceblogs.com]

SPACE SCIENCE: NASA Declares No Room for Antimatter Experiment

Lawler
Science 16 March 2007: 1476
DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5818.1476

News of the Week
SPACE SCIENCE:
NASA Declares No Room for Antimatter Experiment
Andrew Lawler

NASA has no room on its space shuttle to launch the $1.5 billion Alpha
Magnetic Spectrometer, which is designed to search for antimatter from
its perch on the international space station.

Hey, isn't that the Samuel Ting-Michael Salamon project?

Yes, it is:
http://ams.cern.ch/AMS/Secretariat/AmsWhosWho.html [ams.cern.ch] [ams.cern.ch]

NASA HQ is surely going WAY over the edge in punishing Michael Salamon. He was the head of fundamental Physics at NASA HQ, then they sent him to the White House, where he was for half a year or so the
Director of Physics at OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy). They pulled him out of the White House for what looks like political reasons.

This was to be the major actual Science experiment on the space station. And they are killing it -- why? I am leaning towards thinking that it is a purely political decision, as the "room" or money
argument is unconvincing, and as I say, it seems to be the #1 science project in the entire Space Station program.

If one detects even a single anti-carbon nucleus, one almost has to conclude that someplace there is an anti-star performinbg anti-nucleosyntheis, which exploded asn anti-supernova.

What a huge discovery that would be by the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. For that tremendous science value per dollar ratio alone, it should fly.

I am going to write to my congressman and senators. Maybe it would be worth writing to, say, Oprah. The tax-paying public deserves to have SOME science done with their NASA tax dollars.
====

Yep, I'd like to see it launched, too. Cancelling an experiment after spending 1.5 billion to build it is just the sort of idiocy that the govenment does all the time, though.

If you follow NASA politics, though, you'd see that there's no reason to invoke any sort of "punishment" to understand this call. Griffin was given the order to cancel space shuttle by 2010. When you add up
all the things that Griffin has been instructed to do with the shuttle before the drop-dead do-not-fly-it-any-more date, and look at the maximum flight rate that's considered to be safe, there are zero flights available.

Of course, adding one more shuttle flight in 2011 would make perfect
sense-- the replacement for the shuttle won't be available for
another four years, so why not? But at the moment, that is being
considered the "camel's nose under the tent" thinking, and "cancel
shuttle by 2010" is a non-negotiable deadline.
- Show quoted text -

From the same blog and thread, a reply about Michael Salamon and the
Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer:

==========

He was the head of fundamental Physics at NASA HQ, then they sent him
to the White House, where he was for half a year or so the Director of
Physics at OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy). They pulled
him out of the White House for what looks like political reasons.

It's not quite as bad as this (though almost). From what Michael has
told me, he was looking forward to the OSTP job --- it was something
that (I think) he was genuinely excited about doing. But the whole
time he was there, he was considered "on loan" from NASA, and remained
officially a NASA employee.

He was definitely pulled out for political reasons, though. I never
got the full story, but the impression I got from Michael and Ron
Hellings is that NASA suddenly decided they couldn't afford to have
people out working at other agencies, and pulled them all back in.
Again, Michael was fairly quiet about it, but he definitely gave the
impression that he wasn't happy being jerked around.

One of my fears is that he's going to get fed up with all the BS and
just walk. From my perspective, he's been very helpful and quite an
asset for the community.

Posted by: Scott H. | March 19, 2007 11:16 AM

[Scott A. Hughes:
Assistant Professor and Class of 1956 Career Development Professor,
Department of Physics, MIT.
My research is in astrophysical general relativity, focusing mostly upon gravitational wave sources and black holes. Much of my work is based on using (and often abusing) general relativistic perturbation
theory.
A more informative webpage describing my group's work will hopefully appear in the not-too-distant future as the group grows, probably here. For now, I'm too busy trying to get work done to spend much time describing it!]

-- Prof. Jonathan Vos Post

Re:Intersting comment (2, Informative)

Ruie (30480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552849)

Nobel prize winner Steve Weinberg says in the article that it will be the only good science done on the ISS if it goes up!!!

And with a very good reason. AMS (the device) is meant to observe extremely high energy cosmic rays - energies magnitudes higher than we can currently achieve in big (or small) colliders.

These rays cannot be observed with ground instruments as once they enter Earth atmosphere they immediately react to produce showers of lighter particles - this is how we know they exist in the first place.

One can hope to observe creation of antimatter, dark matter or tiny black holes - or who knows what else that has been happening in the upper atmosphere of Earth for ages but we did not have instruments to look.

Contrast this with an exciting discovery of more virulent salmonella - a very important hazard to be avoided while you are eating chickens on the way to Mars - but I doubt it will make anyone run naked in the streets as, say, discovery of a reaction that makes dark matter could (it is the 30% of the universe after all !)

That's what's wrong with science nowadays (1)

mstahl (701501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554755)

Nobody runs naked in the streets when they do discover something awesome....

Re:Intersting comment (2, Interesting)

Iron Condor (964856) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553193)

Nobel prize winner Steve Weinberg says in the article that it will be the only good science done on the ISS if it goes up!!!

...which is slightly misleading, of course. Back in the late eighties, early nineties, cosmic-ray scientists in the US formed a collaboration to conceive pretty much this system. It was called Astromag. It had a certain cost, NASA said it was too expensive, it got canned. Fast forward a couple years and Sam Ting, who has no clue of cosmic-ray science and only now discovers that there's interesting things to be done there drums up financial support in industry and various European partners for a harebrained gizmo that he called AMS that would never do a thing and be horribly expensive. NASA agrees to fly it in complete circumvention of any kind of peer-review that had axed Astromag earlier. In the following years, AMS hits snag after snag, snafu after snafu, redesign after redesign -- and after many, many redesigns finally effectively mimicks what Astromag would've been from the word go.

The reason it took "500 scientists 12 years to build" the piece of junk is because these were scientists who had no clue of space particle research. Who were lacking the simplest background in anything to do with with space radiation. There were major press releases, for example, when a first prototype flew on the shottle and purportedly newly discovered a population of trapped electrons -- i.e. the van Allen belts. Which none of these folks had ever heard of, because they're all particle physicists who've spent their lives in tunnels underground.

So at some point AMS runs our of money, steam, political will to ram an expensive industrial project down the throats of people who proposed to do the same damn thing for 1/10 the cost a decade earlier. I can't say I'm surprised.

All that said, it is definitely an interesting project. It would most certainly be the only worthwhile science on the ISS. But it could've been up there as one of the first functional modules at some fraction of the cost.

(And trust me I am moderating this comment -- go and chat to Ed Stone (PI on Voyager and former director of JPL who retired to head the Space Radiation Lab at Caltech) one of these days for a lesson on how politics drives science).

It can't gather cosmic rays in a new way. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551491)

But can it run Linux?

What's that item!? (5, Funny)

FeebleOldMan (1089749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551495)

Argh someone new please RTFA and quickly post what THAT item is! The suspense is killing me!

Re:What's that item!? (5, Funny)

WallaceAndGromit (910755) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551603)

A large wooden rabbit.

Re:What's that item!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552017)

Offtopic, yes. But I also tittered at this.

Re:What's that item!? (2, Informative)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552165)

A new type of cosmic ray detector for observing dark matter and such, if I read correctly. TFA says it took 500 scientists worldwide 12 years to build, so it's not just any old tin can.

Re:What's that item!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552939)

He's right, its a new aluminum can.

The reason? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551499)

dollar, dollar bill y'all

cash rules everything around me

Re:The reason? (2, Informative)

nizo (81281) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551843)

The money is there; it is simply about priorities. Take a look at the budget [whitehouse.gov] to get an idea of where the money is going instead of somewhere constructive.

Re:The reason? (3, Informative)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552947)

Take a look at the budget to get an idea of where the money is going instead of somewhere constructive.

It looks like a lot of it went to making that page as indecipherable as possible. I think someone inadvertently created a new crypto algorithm. Let's use something with a little more impact [nationalpriorities.org] .

Not really (3, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552959)

EU can launch this JUST as much as America can. Why are they or Russia not launching it? In fact, Russia has the ability to put CAM AND AMS into orbit (progress can operate as a tug). Right now, American budget is getting very tight and we have paid for the bulk of the ISS. Russia AND EU are doing good right now.

Re:Not really (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21554761)

It does not fit. Sounds silly, but that is the truth.

The 'device' was designed for the shuttle cargo bay. Fitting it to a rocket would mean redesign and modifications. Making a new one would be cheaper.

To be desired at lot leaves your grammar, hmmm? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551507)

"...it would be a true international disgrace if this instrument ends up as a museum piece that never is used."

This should read "...it would be a true international disgrace if this instrument ends up as a museum piece that is never used."

Grammar your strong point is not, mmmm?

Calling Mr Tang (0, Flamebait)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551515)

""The credibility of the United States is at stake here, because NASA made a commitment to bring Columbus and AMS to the space station," said Samuel C.C. Ting, a Nobel laureate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who conceived the project in 1994 and drew in collaborators from 60 institutes in 16 nations to build and fund it. "After all this work, it would be a terrible blow if the instrument cannot be used.""

Precisely the sort of narrow minded, exclusionist, inflammatory, idiotic, (and, not least, entirely self-interested) comment that would serve as a useful reminder that Nobel Laureates are not the fonts of Socratic wisdom some purport them to be.

The credibility of the US is at stake here? Some needs to write Mr. Ting a memo, reminding him that since that commitment is made, not one but TWO shuttles have been blown to flinders along with their brave crews.

This is tantamount to you promising to take your neighbor to work, since he doesn't have a car. Overnight both your cars BLOW UP. The next morning, as you're staring at the wreckage of your garage and both vehicles, holding the bicycle you're going to have to ride to work for the foreseeable future. If your neighbor shows up, insisting on a ride on your handlebars since you "committed" to taking him to work, well, I'd frankly hope you'd punch him.

It is a disgrace on the US myopic vision of space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551569)

They people that died in those accidents died because they believed in a cause for science and exploration. They knew the risks and accepted them. The last thing they would have wanted was to be used as a reason for killing the manned-space program budget.

Not expanding the space station with better instruments is a monumental waste of money. Other methods should be investigated for getting getting things in space.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551579)

But NASA still has three "cars" remaining, it's not as if both of two "cars" were lost. The first one was lost well before commitment was made.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551743)

Well that is part of the problem. The more major issue is that all Space Shuttle Orbiters will require recertification if they operate past 2010 which will cost billions of dollars (per the Columbia Accident Investigation Report). In order to operate past 2010 they would need to start taking one orbiter out of service at a time for recertification. This would slow down the construction timeline by years. The funds for the Space Shuttle program might take another 2 years or so to free up (plus the recertification costs). This would set back the new lunar program by many billions of dollars or delay it by several years. There are many modules that have been cut due to timelines. The Russians have done it, the US has done it, even the Europeans have scaled down their contributions. The only partner of the ISS that has completely met its initial agreement contributions is Japan. Let's not get stressed out about one scientists pet project being axed.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (1)

mbone (558574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551789)

I suspect that one additional flight could be made without recertification. Imagine, for example, that the last flight has tile damage and gets stuck in orbit...

Re:Calling Mr Tang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551887)

Yeah, go ahead and run that by the bureaucrats. They'll eat you for dinner for not submitting the forms in triplicate in white, magenta, and green--and that's just the forms for permission to ask!

In reality NASA has about 6 months of free time before the end of the program where they can run this flight (no flights scheduled). It is likely that they aren't making a commitment today just in case things get delayed. And if they do they will probably just turn around and ask Congress for a flight waiver and the extra funding needed to pull off one more mission.

Try not to get stressed out about this until at least mid 2009, ok?

Only 1 shuttle has blown up since then. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551607)

Some needs to write Mr. Ting a memo, reminding him that since that commitment is made, not one but TWO shuttles have been blown to flinders along with their brave crews.

Um... no. The Challenger blew up in the 80s. The project was conceived in 1994.

So since that commitment was made, not two but ONE shuttle has been blown up.

You're also ignoring the fact that NASA is flying shuttle missions for far less important reasons. The ISS is a huge, ridiculous waste of resources. This piece is the silver lining on that cloud, the one major scientific venture. They're skipping it in favor of kiddie science projects and more stuff related to human activity, i.e. putting more lives in danger.

Re:Only 1 shuttle has blown up since then. (2, Insightful)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551967)

They're skipping it in favor of kiddie science projects and more stuff related to human activity, i.e. putting more lives in danger.

If we want to make sure that human kind is not just limited to this one rock we currently inhabit, we are going to have to put lives in danger. Same thing happened when we wanted to be able to fly more than a few miles in an aeroplane. And this doesn't mean just making special test flights. It means making trips to space into a routine activity. Do it more often for whatever reason. The more it is done the more we know about how to do it, and eventually the cheaper it will become as that understanding is transferred to the technology of the day.
I for one would like to see us diversify our environment. With the number of countries aquiring nuclear arms on the increase, with Putin reformulating the Soviet Union and taking a more aggressive military posture, with China starting to expand its military even more and become more aggressive in its foreign policies... never mind America unilaterally doing whatever it wants and becoming the nuclear armed paranoid schizophrenic of the bunch (everyone is out to get us so we need to attack first before they attack us... and check out the republicans new front runners... even more right wing religious than Bush) ... there is still a really good chance we could wipe ourselves out.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (3, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551615)


The credibility of the US is at stake here? Some needs to write Mr. Ting a memo, reminding him that since that commitment is made, not one but TWO shuttles have been blown to flinders along with their brave crews.

The Challenger blew up in 1986, whereas the commitment was made in 1994. I don't think that anyone has ever questioned the fact that strapping yourself to the top of hundreds of tons of high explosives is inherently dangerous.

If you want to make a more valid point, you could indicate that neither the space shuttle or the ISS are particularly well-suited for the purpose that they were designed to fulfill (and I'd imagine that many of the ISS's woes are stemming from the issues with the fact that the space shuttle is expensive, dangerous, and can't carry very big payloads -- literally the worst of all worlds).

For what it's cost to send the shuttle into orbit umpteen times delivering parts to the ISS, I imagine that we could have designed and built a large rocket that could have delivered most of the payload in one or two trips. We'd already done it twice -- the US had the Saturn vehicles, and Russia more recently had the the Energia platform.

If we had a better platform than the shuttle for sending large parts to the ISS, we might have actually been able to get some legitimate science done on it. The shuttle was *never* an optimal launch vehicle, even before the safety issues came to light.

Indeed, should be 'capability' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21553439)

The credibility of the US is at stake here? Some needs to write Mr. Ting a memo, reminding him that since that commitment is made, not one but TWO shuttles have been blown to flinders along with their brave crews.
You are right, should be capability.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (3, Interesting)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553959)

I don't think that anyone has ever questioned the fact that strapping yourself to the top of hundreds of tons of high explosives is inherently dangerous.

To drag this further off-topic... Plenty of people have questioned that assertion. Or perhaps more accurately, plenty of people have questioned the idea of strapping yourself to a motor that can't be turned off (the SRBs and most solid motors) -- no current manned rocket actually uses high explosives for propellant. Many of these people are very smart and experienced, and many of them are trying to do something about it. Unfortunately, NASA and the current commercial providers don't seem terribly interested in attempts to reduce the risk of spaceflight by more than modest amounts.

I've worked on rocket engines. There's nothing more inherently dangerous about them than there is about a jet engine or even your car engine. All contain high energy chemicals and at least moderately high pressures. The fact that historically rocket engines are more dangerous than modern airplane engines is a result of two things: higher maturity levels in aircraft engine design, and a very curious lack of attention to safety and reliability in historical rocket engine design.

It does not have to be this way. We know how to build rocket engines that fail less often, and fail less catastrophically when they do fail. We know how to build rockets that don't kill their passengers when they fail. We need to stop assuming that space travel will always be as dangerous as it has been, and ask what we can do differently to make it safer from early in the design process. (It won't ever be completely safe, just as air travel will never be completely safe. It can, however, be continually improving in safety, and we can continue searching for ways to make it safer.)

Re:Calling Mr Tang (0, Redundant)

imjustmatthew (1164609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551617)

Let's set the facts straight here: NASA lost challenger in 1987, long before this promise was made. NASA's garage is hardly empty, it still has three serviceable shuttles: Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavor. So let's try your story again with the facts straight:

You promise your friend a rise to work since he can't afford a car. The next day you get into a wreck and total one of your four cars. When your neighbor shows up to get the ride you promised, you tell him you can't take him because his added weight increases your braking distance and chance of being in an accident, since you don't want to risk any of your three remaining cars.

Suddenly I think the friend should be punching you for being such a jerk.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (1)

cybrpnk2 (579066) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554137)

Um, as long as we're getting the facts straight here, Challenger exploded in 1986, not 1987.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (1)

imjustmatthew (1164609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554371)

You're right, I'm off a year.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551623)

The reason for this experiment not being launched has nothing to do with the dangers of spaceflight. It's been bumped because of Bush's manned space flight bullshit.
After all, why focus on real science when sending people to Mars is much more exciting to the average Joe, and has no risk of endangering his precious backwater world-view further.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551635)

You are wildly misrepresenting the situation.

The situation is that ESA, RKA and others committed to building modules and equipment, and NASA committed to delivering them, installing them with stuff like the CanadARM which the CSA committed to build.

It's called a technical partnership.

Your making ESA out as some freeloading bum is insulting and ignorant.

That said, I agree that the credibility of the US with respect to ISS is not at all at stake here. You'd have to be equally ignorant to not realize that the loss of two shuttles would have an impact.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551651)

Worse yet, this is clearly a case of putting politics over science. This 'lab' will accomplish nothing more, it seems, than the same insipid crap that's been done since the beginning of the Shuttle era: materials science in 0-g. Zero gravity can be simulated on earth, fairly well. Doing good astronomy needs to be done in space away from sources of interference.

The remaining shuttle missions need to be used for real science, not some political crap that attempts to smooth over differences between US and Europe. As if a space station would solve political problems. Like they'll say "you guys really screwed up that Iraq thing, but you helped us out with the space shuttle so you're OK in my book."

That's been the problem with the ISS since the very beginning - cute story for political news, bad use of resources for science.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (3, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551715)

Zero gravity can be simulated on earth, fairly well.

So how do you propose to simulate, say, just one hour of continuous zero gravity?

Frankly, I don't know how useful or useless material science in zero-g is. However I'd strongly question your assertion that zero-g can be adequately simulated on earth.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (2, Informative)

solitas (916005) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551931)

>However I'd strongly question your assertion that zero-g can be adequately simulated on earth.

'Zero-gee': no, never. 'Free-fall': yes, quite well.

Witness:
http://science.nasa.gov/ssl/msad/dtf/tube.htm [nasa.gov]
(cool image: http://science.nasa.gov/ssl/msad/dtf/images/stand1.gif [nasa.gov] )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallturm_Bremen [wikipedia.org]
(additional: http://www.spaceflight.esa.int/users/index.cfm?act=default.page&level=11&page=fac-dt [esa.int] )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drop_tube [wikipedia.org]

Re:Calling Mr Tang (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552403)

>However I'd strongly question your assertion that zero-g can be adequately simulated on earth.

'Zero-gee': no, never. 'Free-fall': yes, quite well.
The sentence before the one you quoted reads:
"So how do you propose to simulate, say, just one hour of continuous zero gravity?"

"For an evacuated Tube, minimal free-fall times of 4.6 seconds produce a quiescent, micro-gravity environment."

<sarcasm> OK, 4.6 seconds is very close to an hour </sarcasm>

"in which for 4.74 seconds (with release of the drop capsule), or for over 9 seconds (with the use of a catapult, installed in 2004) weightlessness can be produced."

Yes, that's much closer to an hour ...

Nothing new in here.

Indeed, I'm surprised that you didn't come up with parabolic flights, which can give you up to about 25 seconds of continuous weightlessness.

OK, so where's that one-hour continuous weightlessness down here on earth?

Re:Calling Mr Tang (3, Interesting)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551703)

The credibility of the US is at stake here? Some needs to write Mr. Ting a memo, reminding him that since that commitment is made, not one but TWO shuttles have been blown to flinders along with their brave crews.

Just think, how many days or is it hours of Iraq does it take to fund a solution to this? Not many.

Think, for what has been spent on Iraq and Afghanistan, we could have a US space station around Mars or Jupiter, maybe both.

What would a space station around Jupiter cost? (1)

HarryCaul (25943) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552853)


In your estimation?

Just curious.

Your point? (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553003)

Imagine if Aliens came down here and GAVE us all sorts of neat new technology. Why that would be just dandy, and it would solve everything.

I myself go back and forth on this. There is NO doubt that we do not belong in Iraq (and would have been out of afghanstan had idiot boy not put us in Iraq). But the simple fact is that we are there. We do not want to leave them in a worse mess (and yes, it can get MUCH worse). So, lets get back to reality.

Re:Your point? (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554555)

I myself go back and forth on this. There is NO doubt that we do not belong in Iraq (and would have been out of afghanstan had idiot boy not put us in Iraq). But the simple fact is that we are there. We do not want to leave them in a worse mess (and yes, it can get MUCH worse). So, lets get back to reality.

I too went back and forth for a long time until I realized the middle east, the whole 9/11 thing isn't really a conventional war at all. It is about a cultural war between radical-Islamic extremest with no tolerance for the rest of the world. You can't fight a cultural war with Apaches, tanks, firearms...for we will loose. For example, the children are the offspring of the perpetrators, while the women feed, cloth and satisfy the men who do us harm. How do you fight that? It is a political nightmare.

We need to adopt some terrorist tactics, use the same hit and run approach as they do. If they do 9/11, surgically blow up the leaders and towns they reside in and get out. No dilly dally around. Just blow them up inside of 48 hours. Much like Gaddafi/Libya. It worked good putting a missile into his front door step and he got the message.

And maybe when the Saudi's get scared, let them finance the war. Let us put our resources to getting to the stars.

Re:Calling Mr Tang (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554201)

Just think, how many days or is it hours of Iraq does it take to fund a solution to this? Not many.

And only minutes if you took it from the welfare system. You could pay for dozens of the things every year just by eliminating the fraud in that system.

That ship has sailed..... (4, Insightful)

Stanislav_J (947290) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551733)

"The credibility of the United States is at stake here..."

I thought that in the last 7 years (the Bush reign), we had already pretty much lost whatever credibility we once had...

Re:Calling Mr Tang (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21553089)

Point well taken. But I think the scenario goes more like, you promised to take your neighbor to work, but your sister got herself knocked up, and you have to run her to the family planning clinic before she reaches the second trimester.

Do not forget CAM (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551517)

These are 2 devices that require to be in space. The CAM is the centrifuge module. It would allow us to test biologicals systems to long term exposure to low G's. For instance, what would happen with mice over the course of their life time, if exposed to 6/10 G.. This makes all the difference to us as we speak of setting up a colony on mars.

Re:Do not forget CAM (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551947)

And of course, the CAM is one of the modules that won't make it to space. When I read the title of the story, I immediately thought of the CAM not another cosmic ray detector. At least the Columbus has some small centrifuges (in the "biolab") so we'll be able to get a little low gravity information. I don't know if they can squeeze mice into those things. But even figuring out the effects of low gravity on small shrimp (for example) would be an improvement over the current best information which is medical records for a couple of days on the Moon for 12 people (from the Apollo program) as well as the endpoints, zero G and Earth gravity.

It is still possible. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552135)

keep in mind, that most of the cots will come close to the ISS and then allow an arm to park them. In addition, Spacedev HAS developed a space tug using their hybrid engine (it will form the service module for their ship, if they are funded either by cots or by bigelow). The space tug could hook up with a payload and then take it back to the ISS. So, that means that for a 100-150 million, we could get CAM. In the same fashion, we could get AMS. Depending on weights, it is possible that the 2 could go up in the same launch.

Re:Do not forget CAM (2, Informative)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552647)

Columbus has some small centrifuges (in the "biolab") so we'll be able to get a little low gravity information. I don't know if they can squeeze mice into those things.
"Hmm, let's see what happens to a mouse if we spin it for a long time at 10000 G... interesting."

"Biolab" centrifuges are usually for pelletting and separating small samples in tubes, etc. Are you sure the ones in Columbus are slow low-grav centrifuges?

Re:Do not forget CAM (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554739)

Wikipedia (whose fallibility is only in our understanding of its great wisdom) says [wikipedia.org] :

Biolab will support biological research on small plants, small invertebrates, microorganisms, animal cells, and tissue cultures. It will include an incubator equipped with centrifuges in which the preceding experimental subjects can be subjected to controlled levels of accelerations.

Wikipedia doesn't quite say "low gravity" there, but one can't imagine that they'd do, for extraordinary cost, the same sort of experiments that could be run on Earth.

Well if you're not using it... (0, Offtopic)

mfh (56) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551525)

Just sell it to someone who will. Bidding starts at 1 million dollars! That's right... 1 meeeeeeeelion dollars!

The science (2, Funny)

Daltin (1153533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551545)

I think it's fine as long as it gets done for the people who are still alive.

The government at its' finest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551555)

You people put too much faith in the government. You set your expectations so high. You expect everything to be done perfectly. And you expect a return for your almighty tax dollars.

Forget it. The government consists of politicians who can't make it doing anything else. And the politicians have bureaucrats who can't function anywhere else to run the government. Government employees are some of the most inept, brainless, spineless idiots to grace the planet. If they could do anything else, don't you think they would have left government service? I'm talking administration and policy people. The science part of NASA kicks butt. But they don't get any say in what they do, or where the money goes.

So you have a political and bureaucratic NIGHTMARE controlling one of the best scientific institutions (arguably) on earth. If NASA were private, and actually had to respond to stockholders, and had to produce science discoveries in order to stay afloat, NASA wouldn't be making stupid political decisions like this.

The sooner you realize that politics and science don't mix, you'll be much happier. We're better off with a free market than a government controlled, bureaucrat-run monopoly.

Re: The government at its' finest! (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551845)

If NASA were private, and actually had to respond to stockholders, and had to produce science discoveries in order to stay afloat, NASA wouldn't be making stupid political decisions like this.
Of course not: it would be making stupid decisions to make its next quarterly report look good instead.

Some people's faith in businesses is as naive as others' faith in governments.

Re: The government at its' finest! (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552399)

The difference is that a company which failed as badly and as often as the average government would be bankrupt in a few quarters. Governments, on the other hand, just keep on going... even when the people decide to 'vote the bastards out', 99% of the bastards keep their jobs.

Re: The government at its' finest! (2, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552873)

That's only because you don't "vote the bastards out", you just alternate between the same bastards.

Re: The government at its' finest! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553183)

... even when the people decide to 'vote the bastards out', 99% of the bastards keep their jobs.

And that's the government's fault??? I would advise "the people" to look in the mirror before throwing stones.

Re: The government at its' finest! (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553427)

They also would have purchased mortgage-backed securities to finance their next mission, and would now be canceling it due to the credit crunch. But before Wall Street discovered the mortgages were junk, NASA management would have paid themselves huge bonuses for that extra 2% cashflow they imagined up...

Re:The government at its' finest! (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554421)

If NASA were private, they wouldn't even consider launching the AMS payload in the first place, although perhaps that could be described as an improvement on the current situation.

Instead, they'd prioritize the payload that generates the most revenue; either the one the could charge the most for, or if they weren't selling payload space, the payloads that have the most near term applied results with a high probability of being licensable.

Even then, they'd only do the launch once the technology was cheap enough that the expected NPV of the gain, at normal interests rates, was arguably at least as good as putting the money into a stock market index fund.

In a nutshell, if all NASA needed to do to be effective at research is to make the same decisions a private sector entity would, then a private sector entity would be doing that research now.

Huh? (4, Insightful)

EngrBohn (5364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551563)

From the article: "The AMS is an automated device with a specific set of scientific tasks."

Would someone please explain to me why this device must be attached to the space station? (Other than that it was built to be attached to the space station.) It seems to me that such an instrument could've been placed on its own dedicated satellite.

Or is this a case of "we'll get funding for this if we hitch it to the best funding-horse around"?

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551659)

The space shuttle has a unique launch profile (with regard to g forces, lateral acceleration, vibration, etc.) and thus this can't be launched on any other vehicle without large (and expensive) adaptation / packaging.

Once in space it will probably use a lot of power / cooling / processing power all of which is found on the ISS, not to mention communication systems and possible installation procedures (getting an astronaut to finish the wiring is cheap in comparison to bracing the wiring for the damage inccured on the launch profile)

By the time they work out what extras are needed, what modifications are required and what mass the new system is then there probably isn't a launcher generally available that will take the resulting bulk into the required orbit. It would be easier to start from scratch and build a dedicated satellite rather than juryrig the current system to free flight.

Note that according to the article they looked at other ways of getting it to the ISS and they all turned out too expensive. It's the shuttle thats the limitation in this case not the ISS.

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552059)

The option of turning AMS into a free-flyer has been explored and it is prohibitively expensive. Right now it is a precise, sophisticated instrument designed to merge with the ISS infrastructure. Adding propulsion systems, independent power generation, etc. could be done, but is not at all economical. Beyond that, it is probably best that this complicated device be accessible if some unforeseen problem arises.

Re:Huh? (2, Interesting)

bigpat (158134) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553479)

The option of turning AMS into a free-flyer has been explored and it is prohibitively expensive. Right now it is a precise, sophisticated instrument designed to merge with the ISS infrastructure. Adding propulsion systems, independent power generation, etc. could be done, but is not at all economical. Beyond that, it is probably best that this complicated device be accessible if some unforeseen problem arises.
It is not economical to put things in space. Period. The question isn't whether it is prohibitively expensive, because every launch is prohibitively expensive, yet we still keep launching things. The question is how much it costs and whether it is worth doing.

Give our soldiers in Iraq the week off and you save enough to put 5 of these in orbit. The money is there.

Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (2, Interesting)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551571)

And why does it even need the ISS?

Couldn't it be just launched with a rocket, after adding the necessary bits so that it doesn't need the ISS?

Re:Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (2, Insightful)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551637)

Maybe because one of the "necessary bits" is a human being to run it? I'm just guessing here, based on the fact it's specifically called a laboratory as opposed to a module, but if it absolutely requires human intervention to operate and can't be automated then it's the ISS or nothing. It might even be possible to get the module into orbit with an alternate launch vehicle, but even if you can get it parked alongside the ISS, overcoming the logistics of physically mounting it without the aid of the Shuttle's robot arm could easily be another show stopper.

I'm not going to be holding my breath on this one, quite frankly.

Re:Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (1)

DaleGlass (1068434) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551823)

I thought that the device NASA might leave behind was the AMS, which doesn't look habitable [ams.cern.ch]

Re:Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552035)

The article says that it's an automated module designed to be attached to the outside of the ISS, but that doesn't necessarily mean it could be made to operate fully autonomously of the ISS. It could still require some degree of manual intervention from the crew onboard the ISS to enable it to perform any meaningful experiments. True, you could possibly do that remotely via a comms link, but there could be any number of things it's currently dependent on the ISS for; power, cooling and communications being three fairly obvious ones.

Re:Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (1)

fraudrogic (562826) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552951)

It was designed to be placed in the shuttle bay. The designers are saying it is too late in the game to redesign it to fit on top of a rocket. The Orlando Sentinel [orlandosentinel.com] has a decent write up.

"Another idea is launching the spectrometer aboard an expendable rocket, at a cost estimated last year at $254 million to $564 million. That would also require a redesign of the spectrometer, which was custom-designed by NASA to fit the shuttle's payload bay at a cost so far of about $65 million.

Ting dismissed the idea.

"It's a bit late to put it on a rocket," he said."

If I were to make a software analogy from the designers point of view, I would imagine it would be like writing a piece of software for say, Windows, ready to be deployed and then the customer says "Sorry, I want that in linux".

If I were to make a software analogy from NASA's point of view, I would probably be typing way too long and I don't really care that much.

Re:Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553955)

I would imagine it would be like writing a piece of software for say, Windows, ready to be deployed and then the customer says "Sorry, I want that in Linux".

If your customer has a good reason for such a change (like in this case) then I would estimate what it would take (money, time, people, etc.) to do the conversion. I definitely will not dismiss the possibility out of hand.

Re:Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (1)

fraudrogic (562826) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554587)

Well that goes without saying. Given enough Money, Time, and People, sure you can do anything right? I guess NASA has gotten the shaft from congress so many times they they are putting the onus on them to continue the project by coming up with the funds instead of diverting funds from other equally important NASA projects.

Re:Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (1)

john.r.strohm (586791) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554425)

OK, so it will cost somewhere between a quarter billion and half a billion to put it on an expendable.

Back around 1990, when Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) twisted NASA's arm to get them to disclose the actual costs, it turned out that a single Shuttle flight cost right around one billion dollars. That was some fifteen years ago. You can bet your second-best piggy bank that the costs have NOT gone down, given that the cost is determined PRIMARILY by the size of the standing army that must be paid whether the birds are flying or not.

So we would SAVE somewhere between half a billion and three quarters of a billion dollars by putting this thing on an expendable. Or more.

Re:Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (1)

fraudrogic (562826) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554631)

Agreed. Michael Griffin is telling Congress "Don't screw with our 'budgetary allocations' just to get this bloated science project off the ground, come up with the funding some other way". And by using your argument, ADDING a shuttle flight to the schedule would be cost prohibitive. If Sen Nelson is going to whine about it, he should put up or shutup.

Re:Why does it need to be launched with a shuttle? (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553229)

...after adding the necessary bits...

Well, we could launch it and build a new space station around it. Kinda like that old hillbilly joke, What does he do when the truck breaks down? Build an outhouse.

Easy solution : (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21551577)

Send both of them. Isn't one of the perks of the ISS that it is build up of modules which can interconnect more or less like LEGO-blocks?

Oh yeah I forget there's this thing called a budget which exists to balance the need for omni-beneficial science with the need for keeping military presence in order to cover ones political ass.

A pity for physicists, perhaps but . . (3, Insightful)

thaig (415462) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551589)

Why do the rest of us care one iota about dark matter? It may answer fundamental questions etc and could eventually have some positive effect for the people who have to pay for it but surely if our discoveries have to wait 10 years for the next opportunity to put a similar instrument up it's no immediate tragedy?

On the other hand any biological experiments on Columbus might have a far more immediate effect on us e.g. understanding salmonella is important because all of us are at some degree of risk from it.

I am sorry for the people who see their great efforts at risk of being wasted - but not that sorry, because I know that the practitioners of every discipline think that theirs is the most fundamental and important to mankind in some way and all of them are wrong, because everything is important.

Re:A pity for physicists, perhaps but . . (3, Insightful)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551687)

Why do the rest of us care one iota about dark matter? It may answer fundamental questions etc and could eventually have some positive effect for the people who have to pay for it but surely if our discoveries have to wait 10 years for the next opportunity to put a similar instrument up it's no immediate tragedy?

On the other hand any biological experiments on Columbus might have a far more immediate effect on us e.g. understanding salmonella is important because all of us are at some degree of risk from it....
Just consider that people would have posed the same argument about quantum mechanics, particle physics, etc. etc. a hundred years ago. Yet technologies based on the understanding of these theories fundamentally enables most of modern medicine today.
No reason to be short-sighted here. The point is that you simply cannot perform a higher level science like biology or medicine in a vacuum, or you will very quickly stagnate. Just imagine trying to do modern biology or medicine with equipment from a century back! A better understanding of how our universe works will let us design new, better, and cooler gadgets for the people working on your salmonella to play with!

Re:A pity for physicists, perhaps but . . (1)

skynexus (778600) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553263)

The point is that you simply cannot perform a higher level science like biology or medicine in a vacuum [...]

No pun intended I presume? :-)

Re:A pity for physicists, perhaps but . . (1)

El Yanqui (1111145) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552089)

I care about dark matter, and so should you. Based on the research of a Dr. Hubert Farnsworth, I have used it to create an engine that moves the entire universe around my car. This allows me to travel to any location in an instant.

It has noticeably reduced my commute.

Uses for dark matter (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553005)

Based on the research of a Dr. Hubert Farnsworth, I have used it to create an engine that moves the entire universe around my car. This allows me to travel to any location in an instant. It has noticeably reduced my commute.

You think on a terribly small scale. Moving the universe - just this one? Based on the research of Dr. Grumman, and using a steampunk version of the HAARP array and a child sacrifice, a gateway to a parallel universe has been opened in the Arctic. And I'm hearing good things about Dr. Malone's work on a dark-matter powered psychic sentient oracular semi-divine computer. And we'd be getting clean away with it too if it weren't for those meddling kids.

Switched horses in mid stream (2, Informative)

ptbob (737777) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551639)

This whole mess can be blamed on our IDIOT president. We had a project in progress, the ISS, and now we have to change our priorities to satisfy W's ego. Yes it's going to waste a ton of money. Yes it's going to piss off all the people that spent years developing the AMS detector. But obviously Bush doesn't care. Can't wait till he's gone.

Re:Switched horses in mid stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552311)

Yea, and I can't wait for another piece of shit to take his place. They are all shits. We haven't had a decent president since Kennedy, when being a good president apparently became verboten.

Re:Switched horses in mid stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21553603)

At this rate, I think we'd be happy to have Nixon back.

Re:Switched horses in mid stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21554351)

Wow! Who would have thought that a slashdot poster would blame Bush? It obviously has nothing to do with the fact that the shuttles keep blowing up, that they can't handle more than a couple of launches each year, and that they are aging and pieces keep falling off.

Nope, non of that matters, because Bush decided to fight terrorism. We shoul have done as Billy did, and just blow up a few empty buildings. That worked really really well, since after doing that they only blew up a few embasies, the World Trade Center, the pentagon, ...

Yup, since Bush took the fight to them, they've attacked Americans at ...., uh, ...., whell obviously it's much worse now.

Bring back Clinton so we will see the same level of attacks on Americans as before, not all these attacks in our cities like ... ??? well, anyway it's much worse now. Oh, and we need to make sure all Americans are not allowed to have any weapons, including the evil police and more evil military people (who we support completely). We need to get those stupid, lasy, homophobic, raping, torturing, murdering soldiers (who we give our full trust to) out of harms way and back into the nurturing arms of their poor mothers.

These poor babies never knew that joining the military might involve fighting! Why would anyone ever think that a soldier might have to shoot at someone? Shouldn't they put this fact imto some type of pamphlet, or something?

Re:Switched horses in mid stream (1)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554603)

Print some more money, or sell some bonds to the Chinese. It is not that they don't have you guys firmly by the balls already.
Yes this is a troll.

Private Enterprise? (3, Interesting)

Cycloid Torus (645618) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551677)

Article states, "Griffin initiated a study last year into alternative ways to deliver the AMS to the station, but they proved to be prohibitively expensive."

Does anyone know if this includes any of the nascent commercial carriers?

If they could get this into a slightly higher orbit, could it be delivered later with a small amount of reaction mass?

Perhaps they should re-open this for bids.

Re:Private Enterprise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552503)

Hmm looks like the Europeans need the Americans once again to accomplish something.

Guess that space shuttle isn't the worst thing as many made it out to be
Hey maybe the Russians can launch it.... ohh wait nevermind.

Isn't it obvious that it's all wrong?!? (2, Funny)

dpilot (134227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21551755)

This is Slashdot.

We're talking about NASA.

So of course it's wrong, by definition. NASA can do no right, on Slashdot.

Re:Isn't it obvious that it's all wrong?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21552267)

Not to mention that Europe is forcing its inferior technology on America again - and NASA is complicit! Thanks for nothing, Europe!

(And just in case today's Slashdot moderators have been lobotomised again: this was sarcasm, so please, do not mod me Insightful.)

Re:Isn't it obvious that it's all wrong?!? (1)

Auraiken (862386) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554303)

Not A Slashdot Association

Results (0, Flamebait)

BigBadBus (653823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552133)

Why would it produce "more significant results"? Oh yes, of course. Its American.

International disgrace? (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552281)

If this is a truly an international disgrace and a great launch to science why don't ESA or the Russians launch it? They have the vehicles. I personally am counting the days when they deorbit ISS and move on to project Constellation.

Re:International disgrace? (1)

mean pun (717227) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552843)

If this is a truly an international disgrace and a great launch to science why don't ESA or the Russians launch it?

Although I am not at all familiar with this particular launch, the usual answer is that it would be too expensive to adapt the payload to another launch vehicle. That doesn't mean the other launch vehicles are inferior; it just means conversion isn't practical.

Note that resupply or crew rotation missions are much less problematic, because they consist of a set of smaller payloads, and the exact set can easily be adjusted to the available vehicle. Not so for one big payload.

Re:International disgrace? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553921)

it just means conversion isn't practical

There is a very high limit on practicality when the other option is to scrap the $1B, perfectly good hardware. In management terms, "do what you need to launch it on any vehicle available."

Besides, a Shuttle launch costs about $400M, but a Proton launch costs from $100M to $200M, and Ariane 5 launch costs about $200M. That's a lot of cash that is suddenly freed up to spend on refitting the payload.

Share-ware (2, Interesting)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21552375)

I remember working in a DoD shop, and we FREQUENTLY built shelf-ware. You'd get involved in the project, and do to the water-fall nature of the requirements, things would change so much (or get finished in time for a better tool to be built). And it went on the shelf. The worst part was you usually found out it was going on a shelf before you completed it, but you HAD to complete it to finish the contract and get some other task that would replace it... it was all very silly.

A museum piece? (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553341)

What about EBay?

An international disgrace? (2, Insightful)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553747)

I think we've got a pretty good head start in that category already. Another one isn't really going to matter.

Whatever it is - open source it (1)

freeasinrealale (928218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21553779)

As systems guy from the 60's to 2005, I've had plenty of projects cancelled (yes - some were even due to mismanagement on my part). It's devastating on people - mostly those involved in project. One of most fundamental reasons for cancelling was bean-counter input along with cohorts in top management - mostly marketing types. So after I swore revenge for such dastardly deeds, I began to open source my projects. Or was it I wished I had? I think I may have started the open source movement. Hmmm. Anyhow the open source movement is now becoming the 'New Paradigm'. Software - hardware - telecomms - the legal profession - the oldest profession - the list is endless... So I propose all open source types get in on this project - buy the thing - whatever it is and launch it - buy the space station... Arghhhh..

Russia may come to the rescue (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21554573)

Russia could use the opportunity to embarrass the US and build a launcher for it.
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