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Old 05-07-2010, 09:47 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Post
 Looks like a complete success...a bit late for one, but there it is.
Why a bit late? I think that despite the Ares launchers, Orion will be the Shuttle replacement in any case?
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:07 AM   #62
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 Why a bit late? I think that despite the Ares launchers, Orion will be the Shuttle replacement in any case?
Because the current talk is to have Orion launch unmanned to serve as a lifeboat for ISS. Unmanned = no launch abort system required.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:19 PM   #63
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 Because the current talk is to have Orion launch unmanned to serve as a lifeboat for ISS. Unmanned = no launch abort system required.
I think that the US space program does not end together with the ISS. In the long term their goal still is to operate beyond LEO. And Orion is a potential, actually the most likely future crew vehicle in case NASA gets the assignment again to put humans into space. Having spend already a lot of work and money on it, the abort test is a gain of knowledge for future missions I think. At least it would have been stupid not to do it just because it's all useless now.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:14 AM   #64
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/sc...et.html?ref=us
Ares I might live.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:30 AM   #65
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 Ares I might live.
That is perhaps the scariest sentence in modern spaceflight.
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Old 05-17-2010, 03:40 AM   #66
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 That is perhaps the scariest sentence in modern spaceflight.
Yes, in terms of budget i.e. operating costs. No, in terms of continuing access to space. But then, NASA would make the same mistake again: operate an expensive brick, and I think lose the ability for manned missions beyond LEO (once again).
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:17 AM   #67
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 And Orion is a potential, actually the most likely future crew vehicle in case NASA gets the assignment again to put humans into space.
I have doubts - capsules can be made by private companies, with all the limitations that Orion has. I would say, when the discussion in NASA starts again, technology and demands will have grown even more, and make a "Apollo on steroids" even less acceptable.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:04 PM   #69
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Brains, who wants brains! Rarely used! Almost as new!
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:20 PM   #70
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 Brains, who wants brains! Rarely used! Almost as new!
Well, from the article I posted, is it too late to cancel Ares I? It's either that or the Delta IV. But, at this rate, Ares V and Altair need to be re-done (or, as in the article, the Ares I can be modified).
I do prefer going to the moon, however, than having no other plans for space exploration currently.
Is it too ambitious building a moon base using Constellation? It calls for sending four people to the surface of the moon with a significantly larger LEM, lunar transportation, and a habitable module.
Though, what makes Orion so much better than the rest of the program? I've never really followed these reasons (Ares I is too far behind schedule?). It's a capsule with solar panels, more like the Soyuz.
Where is the evidence that Ares I will be much more expensive? The first trip to the moon was over-budget, especially the LEM.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:00 AM   #71
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 I have doubts - capsules can be made by private companies, with all the limitations that Orion has. I would say, when the discussion in NASA starts again, technology and demands will have grown even more, and make a "Apollo on steroids" even less acceptable.
I don't think that any company or agency would build and operate something different than capsules anytime soon. NASA is going to have Orion as a lifeboat for the ISS, and I think they'll have something similar as the basic crew vehicle after the ISS rea.

By the way, this is by far not the first time that something NASA intends to do is in doubt. Just get a beer, lean back and watch the upcoming fight. The outcome might be something almost nobody yet expects... whether if we do like it or not.

Last edited by AirSimming; 05-18-2010 at 12:06 AM.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:13 PM   #72
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 Where is the evidence that Ares I will be much more expensive? The first trip to the moon was over-budget, especially the LEM.
Some NASA reports, the findings of the Augustine commission, the budget plans of NASA for it....

Also because Apollo was so expensive, there had been only 6 manned landings on the moon. Apollo operated for a while under different rules, but when the USSR had been beaten, the reality came back. Even the Saturn IB was a close contender to the Shuttle launch costs.

Copying Apollo is the worst thing you can do if your budget is only one tenth of what it was during Apollo. You can't afford it, or you will work so painfully slow because of budget limitations, that you will always look close to failure even in the best case.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:15 PM   #73
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 Some NASA reports, the findings of the Augustine commission, the budget plans of NASA for it....

Also because Apollo was so expensive, there had been only 6 manned landings on the moon. Apollo operated for a while under different rules, but when the USSR had been beaten, the reality came back. Even the Saturn IB was a close contender to the Shuttle launch costs.

Copying Apollo is the worst thing you can do if your budget is only one tenth of what it was during Apollo. You can't afford it, or you will work so painfully slow because of budget limitations, that you will always look close to failure even in the best case.
Yep, I know. If I remember right, Apollo costed more than 150 billion in todays USD.

But you'll never know how rash they might decide something in order to keep voters and make look everything fine. I don't say they would revive Constelllation. They for sure won't. But maybe just Ares I to keep the NASA job machine busy. At least there seems to be some headwind for the Obama plans.

I doubt anyway that NASA would return to "deep" space manned anytime soon. I see them continue to stuck in LEO for decades, as usual.
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:49 PM   #74
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 But maybe just Ares I to keep the NASA job machine busy.
NASA is no "job machine" at all. 250,000 in the spaceflight industry in the whole USA sounds impressive, but NASA keeps just 85,000-95,000 people directly busy. The rest produces for private companies already. The United Space Alliance, that does all ground support for the Shuttle, has only 8,800 employees, and they are the loudest protesters.

Even if you claim the tickle-down effect, the whole projected 18 billion NASA budget does only keep 290,000 people in the whole USA employed - out of 100 million who need or have a job.

Of course we are, by the scope of the forum, closer to those who work in spaceflight, but practically, we are only talking about a small industry in trouble out of many. And if NASA would have had better management, including O'Keefe, who was doing generally a great job as NASA administrator, we wouldn't have such discussions today. You have really to say that much money got used inside NASA for no critical results. A lot of the money got spend for decorating the NTRS with reports of canceled projects.

Last edited by Urwumpe; 05-18-2010 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:17 PM   #75
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If thousands are going to lose their jobs, and if your political career somehow depends on it, you might want to try to keep those jobs. Although it is a small one to other industries, I think it is a job machine. And in comparison of other space agencies, the biggest one I guess.
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