The Space Shuttle

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by brett636, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    As I type this I have the NASA channel tuned in to watch the final trek of Space Shuttle Atlantis as it is prepared for its final touchdown from space. As the Space Shuttle program ends you cannot help but feel there is a void in this country as for the first time since the 1960s we will have no means to put a man into space. The only government agency that really inspires and awes people will be relegated to launching satellites and viewing space from telescopes and computer screens. I realize the space shuttle program had to end as the shuttles themselves were aging and their drawbacks even more apparent after the Columbia disaster. NASA had a new space vehicle in development that was called constellations, but the funding was cut early in the Obama Presidency. At the earliest a private entity may have a means to put a man into space by 2015, and NASA may have a some way of doing the same by 2020, but space exploration as a whole will be at a standstill until then.

    Personally I want to see space even more aggressively explored. We need to get our bearings together and learn new ways to cope with the challenges of space so that we can put men back on the moon, and maybe even start a permanent base there. I hope in my lifetime I will see a man walk on Mars and I really do hope that that man will be an American, but at this juncture its hard to say. Even the James Webb Space Telescope which is supposed to replace Hubble is now on the chopping block. The only area of the government I would like to see sustained and increased funding is NASA because they really do benefit this country in ways most people cannot imagine.

    The space coast in Florida is about to undergo a fundamental transformation as 10,000 jobs will end as a result of this space program ending. A collection of some of the greatest minds in this country will be forced to go elsewhere in order to have an income devastating the local economy and creating a brain drain vacuum the area has not ever experienced before.

    At this point all I can do is salute the men and women who made the space shuttle program possible. These shuttles were the pride of this country, and they deserve it. No other craft has put as much payload into orbit as the space shuttles have. No other craft offered the kind of flexibility the space shuttles offered. For the near term we will be buying seats aboard Russian space craft if we want to put an American into space and that my friends is a true shame. I sincerely hope we get back into the space business because at this point in the history of humanity the surface has yet to be scratched in terms of what is possible and what we can accomplish if we apply ourselves in the decades and centuries to come in space exploration.
     
  2. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    I guess I'm in the "most people " category, as I don't know what true benefits the country gets from the space program. I understand the economic impact on the communities surrounding the various NASA installations, but other than that what do you see as true benefits?

    Don't get me wrong, I have always liked the fact that the USA was the front runner in space exploration and loved it wee when took the lead from the Russians, I would call it American pride. I view the space program sort of like a hobby, something you spend your money on when you have the money to spend. I do not consider it as a life sustaining need for the country. I fully admit I am uninformed as to the true benefits the space program provides.
     
  3. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Astronaut is one less 'thing' you can be when you grow up.

    I don't claim to understand all the possibilities of exploring space. Maybe our enemies will explore like crazy and all of them will move there.
    I don't like the idea of hitching a ride into space, depending on another country. If we close our program, then why do we need to still go?

    This president doesn't see any importance in the program. The unemployment number will go up with all those lay offs and he'll wonder why.
     
  4. raceanoncr

    raceanoncr Well-Known Member

    It's the Republicans fault. It always is. Just ask TOS.
     
  5. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    Someone has to be blamed and even in that you at least are half correct!
     
  6. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    Between the two I`d happily spend billions on space exploration and it`s discoveries long before I`d spend a dollar to send our kids of to another unnecessary , except to the corporate profiteers, war.
     
  7. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    Man, I dont think there are enough boxes of tissues to hand out on this issue. OMG we wont be sending men into space (or women)!!!

    Listen, technology has changed. NASA has plenty of unmanned cargo missions planned on new top secret space vehicles that have been tested over the last 10 years. The hype about space is just that HYPE.

    The space station will continue to be replenished by UNMANNED space craft launched out of the United States. NASA said so itself today.

    Advanced technology eliminates the need for personnel. Automation is replacing the astronaut.

    The US military today is testing unmanned fighter aircraft and the PILOT will eventually be replaced as well. Drone aircraft are a huge success, and if eliminating the need for a human pilot will save lives and increase accuracy, then thats the way its going to go.

    The same applies to space. When NASA lost the two shuttles, a total of 14 astronauts lost their lives. At that point, a new direction was formed. The new space vehicles dont require a flight crew and NASA can now fly cargo missions to the space station without having to supply oxygen to human beings.

    This new direction will save money. Money that we dont have in the first place.

    AS for MARS. Who cares. We have robots who visited and saw N O T H I N G so why risk human lives and billions of dollars just to say "we did it".

    Peace.
     
  8. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    NASA is required by law to make the technologies it develops available to the people. There are many consumer items that have come directly from the space program. Too many to try to list here. As we push ourselves to go into places that are hostile to life in general such as space we develop technologies that can benefit people living right here in the comfortable confines of earths atmosphere. There is also the foreign relation aspect where we need to cooperate with other countries to build and maintain the ISS along with other space related projects. Also one can't ignore the kids that are inspired by such programs who go on to study math and science and become future scientists, doctors, and mathematicians. Finally the pride that the space program brings to our nation when we go where no other man has gone before.

    The space program has many benefits, and the budget of NASA is miniscule compared to the budget of much less effective agencies like the department of energy or the department of education both of which receives hundreds of billions of tax payer dollars and has done nothing to really benefit this nation as a whole like the space program has. The problem NASA has is that it is a government agency so it is forced to abide by the whims of its political leaders who keeps changing its goals so they can become the next JFK. We do now have private space entities who are actively working to have a space vehicle that can put men into orbit, and perhaps if they are able to prove sustainable will reach much greater heights than what NASA could ever dream of. Only time will tell though.

    http://www.spacex.com

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTwRxtmQ9IY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p6EruPdoXY

    Its humorous to see you make the same arguments against space exploration as the Europeans were making in Christopher Columbus's day regarding exploration. "There is nothing on the other side of the ocean, besides you will just fall off the edge of the earth anyway!"

    Look, I get it, you would rather pay welfare moms to spit out babies and watch Jerry Springer all day than advance humanity. The space program is a point of national pride and by your very nature you despise anything that shines a positive light on this country because your ultimate goal is to see to the destruction of this nation as a whole. Just remember that your illogical rantings on this subject are in the minority, and most Americans would like to see us push our boundaries in space and beyond. Until we go to places like Mars by way of a manned mission we will never fully understand what is out there and what can benefit humanity as a whole. I'm certain you will not be happy to learn that there are private entities now that are working to do the same stuff NASA was doing only at a fraction of the cost because again and again we see that private industry is more efficient than government could ever hope to be. You can wallow in your little world of ignorance regarding the space program as a whole, but those in the know would disagree with your assumptions. I sincerely hope that with every American achievement in space your blood pressure goes up just a little because that is money not being spent to create a generation of government dependent sheep that you so wish you could be apart of. Have a nice day!
     
  9. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    We've already spend billions and more and we are still fighting wars. Having one will not cancel the other. It would suit me just fine if we never fought another war.
     
  10. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    : Buzz Aldrin punches out a reporter.

    [TABLE="class: yiv1365284994ecxMsoNormalTable"]
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    Calling a war pilot, with 66 combat missions, including 2 aerial victories (Mig-15s, Korea), as well as the Distinguished Flying Cross, a coward? Please. That may be the best punch from a 74 year old geezer ever! I just wish the camera would've kept recording to show the jerk's busted nose .....bleeding like a stuck pig. Buzz Aldrin punches out a pushy newsman who says he never walked on moon. http://dailybail.com/home/must-see-video-74-year-old-former-astronaut-buzz-aldrin-punc.html


    [/TD]
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  11. trplnkl

    trplnkl 555

    That was awesome.
     
  12. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    WOW....

    How long did you practice that? Look its simple. Space? -YES, Astronauts -NO. Technology is replacing the buzz aldrins. Computers can do it all now. Dont like it? Complain to science. Back then , astronauts were the monkeys with brains. When space exploration started, monkeys without brains did all the hardwork.

    Todays science no longer needs to endanger lives in space. We can land on asteroids and get all the vital info we need without risking a single persons life. Thats the future. If you want to live in the 60's, then go for it, I for one want to enjoy the 21st century and can only wonder what the 22 century will bring to space travel and discoveries.

    Overreactionaries motivated by cable news stories and sad tales of the astronaut disappearing motivates only those who truly dont understand science.

    We as a nation lead the world in technology, and we will continue to lead the world in unmanned space vehicles. I have family here in so cal who WORK for skunk works and know more about whats coming then any one of you on this board.

    Wipe you eyes, stop the flow of tears, there are plenty of space vehicles on the books for generations to come.

    In less than 20 years, there will be NO FIGHTER pilots in the skies as computer pilots will replace them as well. Currently, the us navy has successfully tested unmanned fighter jets that can land themselves on the deck of a pitching aircraft carrier at sea.

    I can wait to break out the tissues when this becomes the rule and not a dream.

    pEaCe.
     
  13. ajblakejr

    ajblakejr Age quod agis

    I applaud Brett for starting this thread.

    I recall my grandfather, taping the TV with his new movie camera on my birthday, July 16th, 1969.

    He was an intelligent man and a sly fox, since that movie camera's story followed me my entire childhood. Gramp's conned the old lady by saying the camera was for taping my birthday.

    I can't recall a time when there wasn't a Space Program.
    I am also starting to resent, with bitter contempt, people that look at NASA as a Republican based industry.

    We should be discussing everything the Space Program brought to our blessed life on Earth.

    I am grateful for the CAT scan that found the internal bleeding after I crashed my Harley.

    And did you know that a CAT scan can image my brain but it can't see the black holes left by the demyelinating process in my brain called MS.
    They developed something called an MRI for that purpose.

    The Space Program made a difference in my life.
     
  14. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    WOW....

    How long did you practice that? Look its simple. Space? -YES, Astronauts -NO. Technology is replacing the buzz aldrins. Computers can do it all now. Dont like it? Complain to science. Back then , astronauts were the monkeys with brains. When space exploration started, monkeys without brains did all the hardwork.

    Todays science no longer needs to endanger lives in space. We can land on asteroids and get all the vital info we need without risking a single persons life. Thats the future. If you want to live in the 60's, then go for it, I for one want to enjoy the 21st century and can only wonder what the 22 century will bring to space travel and discoveries.

    Overreactionaries motivated by cable news stories and sad tales of the astronaut disappearing motivates only those who truly dont understand science.

    We as a nation lead the world in technology, and we will continue to lead the world in unmanned space vehicles. I have family here in so cal who WORK for skunk works and know more about whats coming then any one of you on this board.

    Wipe you eyes, stop the flow of tears, there are plenty of space vehicles on the books for generations to come.

    In less than 20 years, there will be NO FIGHTER pilots in the skies as computer pilots will replace them as well. Currently, the us navy has successfully tested unmanned fighter jets that can land themselves on the deck of a pitching aircraft carrier at sea.

    I can wait to break out the tissues when this becomes the rule and not a dream.

    pEaCe.[/QUOTE]

    Allow me to clue you in on just how assinine your post is. If what you state is true, and we don't need astronauts in space then why do we have people in the international space station at all? According to you they can do everything remotely, but yet we still have humans in space. If you think because they are not in any danger aboard the ISS you obviously know little about the dangers of space, especially the danger of low earth orbit.

    The difference between a war plane and a spacecraft is one is designed to kill and the other to explore. You send a war plane into combat and hope it comes back, but there is a real possibility it won't because it operates in an environment of kill or be killed. A spacecraft is going into harsh environments but those environments can be measured, controlled, and overcome where a war environment is one where you do not know what you will encounter till you get there. It makes sense to remove the human element for a war plane, but that does not translate into the same for space exploration. The only reason we have not put a human on mars is because we have not overcome all the technical aspects of it. If remotely operated robots are the future of space then why is Russia and China both actively pursuing putting their people on the moon and mars? It's because manned missions into space are the future of space exploration, and we will get there ourselves thanks to private enterprise. I know that has to kill you a little inside, but I do fully enjoy exposing you for the fool that you are.
     
  15. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    Brett,

    the fool is the one who wants to live like its 1960. Astronauts are a thing of the past. Robots, computers, drones and something called "droids" will be our childrens pioneers. Risking the human life isnt necessary any longer. Get over it.

    Robots can land on planets and conduct the same experiments man can do without the need to supply oxygen the whole way. If you recall, apollo 13 had an oxygen problem. Capacity and storage of a vital component (OXYGEN) will always be the hinderance of man.

    I dont care how you describe the wonders of man flying through space traveling the solar system like buck rodgers, the prevention will always be OXYGEN. Maybe you think battlestar gallactica was real? Like something that big could be built, flown and travel through space.

    Eliminating oxygen from the equation extends mans ability to explore the universe.

    I am not interested in relics like Buzz Aldrin, or Neil Armstrong, they served their purpose in history, but in our future, they are as relevant to space travel as the Wright bros and their "Wright Flyer".

    Peace.
     
  16. brett636

    brett636 Well-Known Member

    There you go spouting off on a subject you don't understand. Most NASA scientists will tell you that future space exploration will include manned missions to other celestial bodies. You see, this was one of the drawbacks of the Shuttle is that all it was capable of was orbiting the earth and returning. The space craft being designed for the future will include the space and technologies necessary to bring Americans into low earth orbit, onto the moon, and even onto Mars. The robots, probes, and satellites are only there to help pave the path that man will walk on when he is ready to travel to these places. They aren't the end all be all of space exploration as they were never intended to be so. The 21st century and beyond will most definitely include manned missions to other places in our solar system, and as we overcome the technical difficulties of getting a man there we will make those journeys.

    BTW, have you ever heard of an oxygen generator? Its been used since the 1960s to provide oxygen to men in space. Do you really think the International Space station has loads of oxygen bottles that it uses to keep the air fresh for the astronauts that live there months at a time? Talk about being ignorant. In fact it was never oxygen which kept us from going far from earth it was water. We needed to bring huge amounts of water with us which was heavy and expensive to bring into outer space. Notice I said needed as in the past tense. On board the International space station today is a water filtration system that collects and filters all the water aboard the station. Every drop from the water in your breath when you exhale to your sweat and even urine is recycled. Just another technical achievement to push us closer to sending men further than any human has ever dreamed.
     
  17. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    Disrespectful regardless of how you feel. I suppose you feel that way about WWII vets also?

    " Nazis, Smazis. You guys are relics. Off the the veterans home so you can gum some jello til you die."

    Please let us know when you`ve accomplished something that contributes to society.
     
  18. cachsux

    cachsux Wah

    My post was not " one will cancel the other". My post was a remark about where, of the two, money deserves to go.
     
  19. The Other Side

    The Other Side Well-Known Troll Troll

    My point was simple. TECHNOLOGY is changing the world.

    Every decade, technology has replaced man in some aspect of science. The space program is no different. The cost to the goverment for the loss of 14 astronauts killed on two shuttle missions demonstrated that a new means of space travel (unmanned) was the future.

    Its cheaper, more efficient and gets the U.S. more bang for the buck. The cost of supplying the means of survival for astronauts for journeys into the vast reaches of outer space is TOOO HIGH for a nation that has no money left to spend.

    The cry's for smaller goverment were heard, NASA is a goverment funded program and it was cut, just like everyone asked for.

    The only way for them to survive on the budget that remains is to create space vehicles that dont require humans. IN fact, even though the shuttles had "pilots", they really didnt fly the thing. Its all computer programed. The "pilots" were merely backups to the flight as new equiptment was tested. The shuttle lands itself, the pilot is just along for the ride. This is technology and advancement.

    Dreams of space stations on the moon and the inherent cost to maintain them is "crazytalk" by scientists. Setting foot on Mars by an american just for the sake of saying so (IMO) is not worth the 100's of billions of dollars it will cost to do it. There are people who dont want high speed rail to be built cause it will cost a couple of billion to build, yet they would spend 100's of billions of dollars of tax payer money to go to a planet with no NET gain on a one time ride with no guarantees of success.

    This makes no sense.

    If a private company wants to build a spacecraft, put astronauts on it, fly it to mars, land, take some pictures, grab some dirt, lift off and return home all without one single dime of taxpayer money associated with it, then i say GO FOR IT.

    But our goverment funded space program isnt going to do that.

    The new unmanned cargo shuttles are less expensive, more efficient and can stay in space for MONTHS.

    This is the future.

    With respect to what I said about former astronauts, try to get the message without the emotion, they served their purpose in history, and all americans can be thankful, but tomorrows astronauts who will make history will have to be recharged every now and then.

    Peace.
     
  20. moreluck

    moreluck golden ticket member

    Maybe I'm not the book of knowledge like you. I can only observe technology in "my world." It seems like every store I go to is getting self check-outs. At first, I thought they were taking a real person's job away, but actually more people are employed because of the technology. Some guy comes to clean them and oil them. Another person has to fill them with money. Another person has to come and help customers when the machine acts up. Lots of people employed to tend to those technological sheep!!