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(MSNBC)   NASA spends 10 billion dollars to play mix and match with Apollo and Shuttle space programs, reaches milestone in development or something   (msnbc.msn.com) divider line 60
    More: Interesting, shuttle, NASA, space agencies, SLS, Apollo program, booster rockets, rockets, monsters  
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4033 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Jul 2012 at 3:44 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-28 02:01:10 PM  
and every dollar well spent.


//Now about giving my tax dollars to churches.....
 
2012-07-28 03:20:21 PM  
I just wish that they had not just fixed on a design for the space shuttle and sticking with it for 30 years. If they had kept up the design work and making a new shuttle every 5 years or so and let the design evolve as needs changed, we would still have a manned space program.
Personally I think they wasted so much money on stripping and rebuilding the shuttle after each flight that they killed themselves cost wise.

They were too stuck in a rut of trying to get their money's worth out of the shuttles we had, they couldn't really move forward.
 
2012-07-28 03:55:53 PM  
The only positive thing I've heard with SLS is the scuttlebutt that they might repurpose the F-1 engine as a booster in place of solid fuel.
If that is the case, I might have to rethink my distaste for that program.
Those engines were legendarily powerful and reliable. It should help to cut coast quite a bit.

/now if we can only get our destinations cleared up.
/because there's a perfectly good moon rover they built for this thing.
 
2012-07-28 04:14:45 PM  
WTH, subby? TFA doesn't even mention the Shuttle. And the only mention of Apollo is that the new lifter is more powerful than the Saturn V. There's no mixing and matching going on. Reading comprehension failure?

Slives: I just wish that they had not just fixed on a design for the space shuttle and sticking with it for 30 years. If they had kept up the design work and making a new shuttle every 5 years or so and let the design evolve as needs changed, we would still have a manned space program.
Personally I think they wasted so much money on stripping and rebuilding the shuttle after each flight that they killed themselves cost wise.

They were too stuck in a rut of trying to get their money's worth out of the shuttles we had, they couldn't really move forward.


Americans aren't willing to pay for a decent manned space programme. They're barely willing to pay for any space programme at all. We get what we pay for. That's all there is to this. We *could* have had a manned moonbase by now, probably been to Mars and back at least once, and who knows what else, but we weren't willing to pay for it.
 
2012-07-28 04:15:01 PM  
More like the Senate Launch System. Unnecessary boondoggle being foisted on us to keep the big aerospace companies feeding at the public teat.

/Falcon Heavy is all we need.
 
2012-07-28 04:35:06 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: WTH, subby? TFA doesn't even mention the Shuttle. And the only mention of Apollo is that the new lifter is more powerful than the Saturn V. There's no mixing and matching going on. Reading comprehension failure?


Although the article doesn't say it, there's quite a lot taken from both programs. The solid-rocket boosters are shuttle-derived, and its liquid-fueled rockets are RS-25s aka Space Shuttle Main Engines. The Core stage is basically a heavily modified shuttle external fuel tank.

The upper stage of the "evolved" version, if they ever build it, will use the J-2X engine from the Apollo program. And the overall concept- multiple stages with a crew capsule- is old school rocketry.

/not subby
 
2012-07-28 04:39:22 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: We get what we pay for.


It is a bit more complicated than that after politics gets involved.

If we could get what we paid for then we could fly to orbit for 60 million rather than the 1 billion estimated price we ended up paying.
They set up an iron triangle around the space program and made it impossible to do anything but stumble along on the edge of failure. Forced to buy specific equipment from a hand full of vendors, no competition and no outsourcing. Lots of paperwork and a heaping helping of corruption.

We ended up paying moon landing money for trips to orbit.
 
2012-07-28 04:39:57 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: WTH, subby? TFA doesn't even mention the Shuttle. And the only mention of Apollo is that the new lifter is more powerful than the Saturn V. There's no mixing and matching going on. Reading comprehension failure?

Slives: I just wish that they had not just fixed on a design for the space shuttle and sticking with it for 30 years. If they had kept up the design work and making a new shuttle every 5 years or so and let the design evolve as needs changed, we would still have a manned space program.
Personally I think they wasted so much money on stripping and rebuilding the shuttle after each flight that they killed themselves cost wise.

They were too stuck in a rut of trying to get their money's worth out of the shuttles we had, they couldn't really move forward.

Americans aren't willing to pay for a decent manned space programme. They're barely willing to pay for any space programme at all. We get what we pay for. That's all there is to this. We *could* have had a manned moonbase by now, probably been to Mars and back at least once, and who knows what else, but we weren't willing to pay for it.


We stopped dreaming.
 
2012-07-28 04:44:03 PM  

mark12A:

/Falcon Heavy is all we need.



FTA: The SLS rocket will be able to launch at least 70 metric tons of material into space at first, but the agency is hoping to evolve the booster to reach a launch capacity of 130 metric tons in subsequent upgrades.

From the SpaceX site: Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful rocket, represents SpaceX's entry into the heavy lift launch vehicle category. With the ability to carry satellites or interplanetary spacecraft weighing over 53 metric tons (117,000 lb) to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The Falcon Heavy doesn't even meet the minimum.
 
2012-07-28 04:54:27 PM  
Designed by committee means designed to fail.
 
2012-07-28 04:58:47 PM  
So let's take the Saturn V rocket and strap a couple of Space Shuttle boosters to the side. Brilliant!
 
2012-07-28 05:18:40 PM  
I expect this new lifter will be more economical in $ per pound than either previous system. And by more economical, I mean as expensive as both put together.
 
2012-07-28 05:27:14 PM  

FuturePastNow: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: WTH, subby? TFA doesn't even mention the Shuttle. And the only mention of Apollo is that the new lifter is more powerful than the Saturn V. There's no mixing and matching going on. Reading comprehension failure?

Although the article doesn't say it, there's quite a lot taken from both programs. The solid-rocket boosters are shuttle-derived, and its liquid-fueled rockets are RS-25s aka Space Shuttle Main Engines. The Core stage is basically a heavily modified shuttle external fuel tank.

The upper stage of the "evolved" version, if they ever build it, will use the J-2X engine from the Apollo program. And the overall concept- multiple stages with a crew capsule- is old school rocketry.

/not subby


Thanks for all the great info! I don't feel like I had some kind of stroke now and just can't see words anymore.

Everything I've read about this up to now never mentioned any of that. But I have to ask, how much is actually 'derived,' in the sense of 'never existed before that other thing,' as opposed to being merely incidental (i.e., was used in something prior but could have been used elsewhere, too)?
 
2012-07-28 05:27:29 PM  
*thoughtful*
 
2012-07-28 05:30:58 PM  

confirm.fark.com: mark12A:

/Falcon Heavy is all we need.


FTA: The SLS rocket will be able to launch at least 70 metric tons of material into space at first, but the agency is hoping to evolve the booster to reach a launch capacity of 130 metric tons in subsequent upgrades.

From the SpaceX site: Falcon Heavy, the world's most powerful rocket, represents SpaceX's entry into the heavy lift launch vehicle category. With the ability to carry satellites or interplanetary spacecraft weighing over 53 metric tons (117,000 lb) to Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The Falcon Heavy doesn't even meet the minimum.


It becomes a point of debate because, as I see it, there are two ways to go to space.
The Apollo way was to send up whole vehicles,p in one shot.
The shuttle way was to do things in segments.

Problem with the latter is that space-assembly time is expensive and dangerous. But on a cheap enough rocket, it begins to make sense.
The big rocket way is still for other things like rovers or probes that just can't be built in orbit.

NASA still hasn't properly established the mission for the big rocket tho. I can only assume that they didn't burn the constellation outline and are assembling the same set of equipment for what will be a very similar mission, under a yet to be announced name.
 
2012-07-28 05:39:27 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: FuturePastNow: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: WTH, subby? TFA doesn't even mention the Shuttle. And the only mention of Apollo is that the new lifter is more powerful than the Saturn V. There's no mixing and matching going on. Reading comprehension failure?

Although the article doesn't say it, there's quite a lot taken from both programs. The solid-rocket boosters are shuttle-derived, and its liquid-fueled rockets are RS-25s aka Space Shuttle Main Engines. The Core stage is basically a heavily modified shuttle external fuel tank.

The upper stage of the "evolved" version, if they ever build it, will use the J-2X engine from the Apollo program. And the overall concept- multiple stages with a crew capsule- is old school rocketry.

/not subby

Thanks for all the great info! I don't feel like I had some kind of stroke now and just can't see words anymore.

Everything I've read about this up to now never mentioned any of that. But I have to ask, how much is actually 'derived,' in the sense of 'never existed before that other thing,' as opposed to being merely incidental (i.e., was used in something prior but could have been used elsewhere, too)?


The bulk of main propulsion system plumbing was removed intact from Space Shuttles Atlantis and Endeavour for use in the SLS (Discovery was largely spared for technical and historical preservation reasons), and all remaining Space Shuttle Main Engines will be consumed in the SLS program, either in testing or in flight (less expensive non-reusable versions of the SSMEs will be used when the existing inventory is gone. The Space Shuttle orbiters (including Discovery) are delivered to museums with simulated main engines, consisting of refurbished scrap nozzles with nothing but attachment hardware inside. So basically, the last time you saw the space shuttle engines light up was not the last time you'll see those engines light up.
 
2012-07-28 05:43:24 PM  

SpaceBison: So let's take the Saturn V rocket and strap a couple of Space Shuttle boosters to the side. Brilliant!


Kind of like this...

The most feasible, lowest development cost improvement would have used upgraded F-1 motors, an S- IC first stage stretch, modest upgrades to the J-2 upper stage motors, and proven 120 inch solid rocket motor strap-ons. If a follow-on Saturn V production contract had ever been issued, it probably would have been for this configuration.
 
2012-07-28 05:45:47 PM  
SLS started out as senate district pork-barrel corporate welfare for the aerospace sector, but once Falcon started looking successful, Boeing and Lockmart started getting more serious about SLS. I think we do need multiple systems to access space, and no two ways about it, we are going to need some super-heavy-lift capability for the next space stations we build, as well as manned missions beyond LEO. That's not going to hurt Space-x's business, only complement it.

But you have to develop a new, government-backed space system in under 4 years or it likely will not survive the presidential succession, or the 2-year Congressional cycles.

I tell you true: NASA, if left alone with even only token funding, but a guarantee of no political interference, would have us walking on the Moon AND Mars in ten years. With congress and various presidents dicking around as they have been, more like 30 years.
 
2012-07-28 05:49:50 PM  

Any Pie Left: SLS started out as senate district pork-barrel corporate welfare for the aerospace sector,


And remains so.
 
2012-07-28 07:11:31 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: Everything I've read about this up to now never mentioned any of that. But I have to ask, how much is actually 'derived,' in the sense of 'never existed before that other thing,' as opposed to being merely incidental (i.e., was used in something prior but could have been used elsewhere, too)?


By "derived" I mean in some cases it's literally the same hardware that flew on the shuttle. The SRBs, or at least their segments, will be reused (I remember reading once that a SRB segment could be refurbished and reused 10 or 11 times). And I think the disposable rockets they're planning to use for the first test flights will actually be SSMEs pulled from the shuttles. New ones after those are gone, of course.
 
2012-07-28 07:35:21 PM  

buckler:
We stopped dreaming.


And those that continue to dream get yelled at by people. How can we go to Mars/Moon when we've starving kids in Africa? Why isn't all this money (not that its actually a lot of money) going to project X? Yadda Yadda Yadda.

Frankly I think budget items like NASA (or ESA) should just be no brainers as to something you don't cut.
 
2012-07-28 07:48:52 PM  

Vaneshi: buckler:
We stopped dreaming.

And those that continue to dream get yelled at by people. How can we go to Mars/Moon when we've starving kids in Africa? Why isn't all this money (not that its actually a lot of money) going to project X? Yadda Yadda Yadda.

Frankly I think budget items like NASA (or ESA) should just be no brainers as to something you don't cut.


We could cut the smallest fraction of our defense budget to take care of all of NASA (and those starving kids, if we wanted to). But we dare not touch the Sacred Cow.
 
2012-07-28 08:01:50 PM  
A goal is easy... NASA should maintain the national capacity for manned space travel and exploration, and nurture the private space sector. NASA should recognize the necesity of manned space travel for the ultimate preservation of the human race, and constantly push our national abilities.

Begin construction within 10 years of a permanently manned and expandable moon base. The mission of this complex will be to further the development of technology and processes needed for permanent self sustained human habitation outside of this planet. Lessons learned will be used on future manned mars missions.

International cooperation is welcome, however the US should develop and sustain the ability to complete all aspects of the program regardless of foreign contributions.
 
2012-07-28 08:22:18 PM  
buckler:

We could cut the smallest fraction of our defense budget to take care of all of NASA (and those starving kids, if we wanted to). But we dare not touch the Sacred Cow.

Hell we could even leave the sacred cow alone if we simply stopped giving direct aid to foreign countries, especially Israel, Egypt, and Pakistan. Cut off aid to those 3 countries, and you'd instantly have something like 6 billion dollars to throw at Nasa. Cut a few dozen of the HUNDREDS of overseas military bases we maintain, and I'm sure we could get that figure up to 10 billion easily. But no, apparently all geo-political goals can only be solved with barely-disguised bribes to countries that hate us.
 
2012-07-28 08:32:07 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: WTH, subby? TFA doesn't even mention the Shuttle. And the only mention of Apollo is that the new lifter is more powerful than the Saturn V. There's no mixing and matching going on. Reading comprehension failure?

Slives: I just wish that they had not just fixed on a design for the space shuttle and sticking with it for 30 years. If they had kept up the design work and making a new shuttle every 5 years or so and let the design evolve as needs changed, we would still have a manned space program.
Personally I think they wasted so much money on stripping and rebuilding the shuttle after each flight that they killed themselves cost wise.

They were too stuck in a rut of trying to get their money's worth out of the shuttles we had, they couldn't really move forward.

Americans aren't willing to pay for a decent manned space programme. They're barely willing to pay for any space programme at all. We get what we pay for. That's all there is to this. We *could* have had a manned moonbase by now, probably been to Mars and back at least once, and who knows what else, but we weren't willing to pay for it.


Hey, blowing people up on the other side of the globe costs a lot of money.

/don't worry scrote, there's a ton of tards out there living kick-ass lives.
 
2012-07-28 08:32:37 PM  

BokChoy: buckler:

We could cut the smallest fraction of our defense budget to take care of all of NASA (and those starving kids, if we wanted to). But we dare not touch the Sacred Cow.

Hell we could even leave the sacred cow alone if we simply stopped giving direct aid to foreign countries, especially Israel, Egypt, and Pakistan. Cut off aid to those 3 countries, and you'd instantly have something like 6 billion dollars to throw at Nasa. Cut a few dozen of the HUNDREDS of overseas military bases we maintain, and I'm sure we could get that figure up to 10 billion easily. But no, apparently all geo-political goals can only be solved with barely-disguised bribes to countries that hate us.


Last I checked, Defense was half the federal budget. Half. And we spend more on that than the next two dozen largest national defense budgets *combined* -- and most of those are allies. I think it's pretty obvious where we could afford to spend a little less without losing any advantage.

It's a pernicious myth that we can't afford good things. We simply refuse to stop spending on things we think we need but really don't. If how we allocate our vast national wealth is an expression of our priorities, then our fears vastly outweigh our vision.
 
2012-07-28 08:38:41 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: It's a pernicious myth that we can't afford good things.


We allowed the right wing to succeed in conditioning our collective thinking that ANY tax money spent on something besides blowing up brown people or for tax cuts to the filthy rich = SOCIALISM!!
 
2012-07-28 08:41:24 PM  

SpaceBison: So let's take the Saturn V rocket and strap a couple of Space Shuttle boosters to the side. Brilliant!


It's really too bad that the Smithsonian neglected and lost all of the Saturn V blueprints that NASA turned over to them in the 70's. All that R&D money spent, and all we have are some cast-offs to try to reverse engineer from and start all over again as if it were 1959.
 
2012-07-28 08:47:03 PM  

TV's Vinnie: SpaceBison: So let's take the Saturn V rocket and strap a couple of Space Shuttle boosters to the side. Brilliant!

It's really too bad that the Smithsonian neglected and lost all of the Saturn V blueprints that NASA turned over to them in the 70's. All that R&D money spent, and all we have are some cast-offs to try to reverse engineer from and start all over again as if it were 1959.


Are you freaking kidding me? They LOST them?
 
2012-07-28 08:53:34 PM  

TV's Vinnie: SpaceBison: So let's take the Saturn V rocket and strap a couple of Space Shuttle boosters to the side. Brilliant!

It's really too bad that the Smithsonian neglected and lost all of the Saturn V blueprints that NASA turned over to them in the 70's. All that R&D money spent, and all we have are some cast-offs to try to reverse engineer from and start all over again as if it were 1959.


"Blueprints and other Saturn V plans are available on microfilm at the Marshall Space Flight Center" - Wikipedia

Urban myth?
 
2012-07-28 09:14:43 PM  

Vaneshi: TV's Vinnie: SpaceBison: So let's take the Saturn V rocket and strap a couple of Space Shuttle boosters to the side. Brilliant!

It's really too bad that the Smithsonian neglected and lost all of the Saturn V blueprints that NASA turned over to them in the 70's. All that R&D money spent, and all we have are some cast-offs to try to reverse engineer from and start all over again as if it were 1959.

"Blueprints and other Saturn V plans are available on microfilm at the Marshall Space Flight Center" - Wikipedia

Urban myth?


Seems a field trip from someone is in order.
 
2012-07-28 09:25:56 PM  
i486.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-28 10:27:32 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: BokChoy: buckler:

We could cut the smallest fraction of our defense budget to take care of all of NASA (and those starving kids, if we wanted to). But we dare not touch the Sacred Cow.

Hell we could even leave the sacred cow alone if we simply stopped giving direct aid to foreign countries, especially Israel, Egypt, and Pakistan. Cut off aid to those 3 countries, and you'd instantly have something like 6 billion dollars to throw at Nasa. Cut a few dozen of the HUNDREDS of overseas military bases we maintain, and I'm sure we could get that figure up to 10 billion easily. But no, apparently all geo-political goals can only be solved with barely-disguised bribes to countries that hate us.

Last I checked, Defense was half the federal budget. Half. And we spend more on that than the next two dozen largest national defense budgets *combined* -- and most of those are allies. I think it's pretty obvious where we could afford to spend a little less without losing any advantage.

It's a pernicious myth that we can't afford good things. We simply refuse to stop spending on things we think we need but really don't. If how we allocate our vast national wealth is an expression of our priorities, then our fears vastly outweigh our vision.


Half? Not even close. Social security alone exceeds the DoD outlays.
 
2012-07-28 11:00:31 PM  

akula: Half? Not even close. Social security alone exceeds the DoD outlays.


That is patently untrue. Show me the data.
 
2012-07-28 11:01:05 PM  
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2012-07-28 11:17:23 PM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: WTH, subby? TFA doesn't even mention the Shuttle. And the only mention of Apollo is that the new lifter is more powerful than the Saturn V. There's no mixing and matching going on. Reading comprehension failure?


The program looks like a Saturn V rocket with two SRBs from the shuttle program strapped to the side. That's pretty mix and match if you ask me. SRBs are good in the sense that they provide pound for pound more heavy lift than liquid fuels. I am happy to see that they are working harder to get a program that isn't low Earth Orbit, but I am frustrated to no end that they managed to create a timeline that is far longer than the original Apollo program just to get to a testing phase. I would love to see more done and would gladly pay $100 to $1000 more a year in taxes just to advance the cause of the space program as long as I knew that 100% of that money was going to the space program and no politician's or contractor's pocket with little return.
 
2012-07-28 11:20:34 PM  

buckler: akula: Half? Not even close. Social security alone exceeds the DoD outlays.

That is patently untrue. Show me the data.


According to this, Defense spending is more, but not by much.
US Federal Budget Analyst

FY2012 Defense: $902.2 Billion
FY2012 Social Security: $778.6 Billion (under Pensions > Old Age)

By FY2012, Social Security is more than Defense spending and the gap continues to widen.
FY2017 Defense: $808.3B
FY2017 Social Security: $1032.9B
 
2012-07-28 11:21:30 PM  
Oops, meant to type by FY2014, SS is more than DoD.
 
2012-07-28 11:31:58 PM  

buckler: akula: Half? Not even close. Social security alone exceeds the DoD outlays.

That is patently untrue. Show me the data.



Looks like Saturn5 got it done.

In terms of defense representing FAR less than 50% of the budget, that certainly is true. You probably were confusing the discretionary budget with the full budget including mandatory expenditures. As I recall, defense is more than 50% of the discretionary budget. But I'll leave it up to others to debate whether or not that is any kind of important distinction.

I say this as someone who believes we spend way, way too much on defense. (And on other things as well.)
 
2012-07-28 11:35:19 PM  

mrjah: buckler: akula: Half? Not even close. Social security alone exceeds the DoD outlays.

That is patently untrue. Show me the data.


Looks like Saturn5 got it done.

In terms of defense representing FAR less than 50% of the budget, that certainly is true. You probably were confusing the discretionary budget with the full budget including mandatory expenditures. As I recall, defense is more than 50% of the discretionary budget. But I'll leave it up to others to debate whether or not that is any kind of important distinction.

I say this as someone who believes we spend way, way too much on defense. (And on other things as well.)


I know that in any real sense, defense is certainly not less than SS.
 
2012-07-28 11:36:01 PM  
(sorry, need to do more than skim, damn me).
 
2012-07-28 11:39:08 PM  
Akula, if I'm wrong, let me be the first to apologize. Anyone who's known me long enough here knows I'm the first to own up to a mistake (and I've made plenty). I'll still need time to take a look at it.
 
2012-07-29 12:30:10 AM  
"Americans aren't willing to pay for a decent manned space programme. They're barely willing to pay for any space programme at all. We get what we pay for. That's all there is to this. We *could* have had a manned moonbase by now, probably been to Mars and back at least once, and who knows what else, but we weren't willing to pay for it."

Imagine if NASA and the aerospace industry had the lobbyists that the military-industrial complex has buying Congress we would be on Mars instead of the Middle East.
 
2012-07-29 12:31:25 AM  
I am still in awe that this managed to get greenlit. I will remember to put less thought into headlines in the future.
 
2012-07-29 12:32:49 AM  

Snarky Acronym: "Americans aren't willing to pay for a decent manned space programme. They're barely willing to pay for any space programme at all. We get what we pay for. That's all there is to this. We *could* have had a manned moonbase by now, probably been to Mars and back at least once, and who knows what else, but we weren't willing to pay for it."

Imagine if NASA and the aerospace industry had the lobbyists that the military-industrial complex has buying Congress we would be on Mars instead of the Middle East.


Don't tell the military that there is an infinite supply of oil on Mars... Shhh...
 
2012-07-29 12:34:22 AM  

akula: Sylvia_Bandersnatch: BokChoy: buckler:

We could cut the smallest fraction of our defense budget to take care of all of NASA (and those starving kids, if we wanted to). But we dare not touch the Sacred Cow.

Hell we could even leave the sacred cow alone if we simply stopped giving direct aid to foreign countries, especially Israel, Egypt, and Pakistan. Cut off aid to those 3 countries, and you'd instantly have something like 6 billion dollars to throw at Nasa. Cut a few dozen of the HUNDREDS of overseas military bases we maintain, and I'm sure we could get that figure up to 10 billion easily. But no, apparently all geo-political goals can only be solved with barely-disguised bribes to countries that hate us.

Last I checked, Defense was half the federal budget. Half. And we spend more on that than the next two dozen largest national defense budgets *combined* -- and most of those are allies. I think it's pretty obvious where we could afford to spend a little less without losing any advantage.

It's a pernicious myth that we can't afford good things. We simply refuse to stop spending on things we think we need but really don't. If how we allocate our vast national wealth is an expression of our priorities, then our fears vastly outweigh our vision.

Half? Not even close. Social security alone exceeds the DoD outlays.


You're right. I meant to say it's the largest *discretionary* spending category. As for 'not even close,' I'd say that's a bit subjective. Mandatory spending as a whole in FY11 was 44%; SS was 20% by itself. Defense was 19%. So, yes, SS was 1% bigger than Defense. I also found, when I checked last year's numbers, that Defense remains the largest discretionary category, but only nudges out other categories, as a whole, by a very small amount, less than 1%. It may or may not be worth mentioning that that other amount includes *all* non-Defense discretionary funding other than administrative costs and interest -- education, social programmes, everything. So it depends to some extend how you look at it. 'Defense' can be broken down a lot of ways, and so can everything else. But however you look at it, we still spend a tremendous amount on it, and far, far more than any other nation in the world does.
 
2012-07-29 12:40:47 AM  

Snarky Acronym: "Americans aren't willing to pay for a decent manned space programme. They're barely willing to pay for any space programme at all. We get what we pay for. That's all there is to this. We *could* have had a manned moonbase by now, probably been to Mars and back at least once, and who knows what else, but we weren't willing to pay for it."

Imagine if NASA and the aerospace industry had the lobbyists that the military-industrial complex has buying Congress we would be on Mars instead of the Middle East.


A famous GOP President tried to warn us about this.
 
2012-07-29 12:45:32 AM  

nucrash: I am still in awe that this managed to get greenlit. I will remember to put less thought into headlines in the future.


Given that your current average is one greenlight every four and a half years, I have to assume you mean the thought you put into *other* people's headlines.
 
2012-07-29 12:50:31 AM  

Vaneshi: TV's Vinnie: SpaceBison: So let's take the Saturn V rocket and strap a couple of Space Shuttle boosters to the side. Brilliant!

It's really too bad that the Smithsonian neglected and lost all of the Saturn V blueprints that NASA turned over to them in the 70's. All that R&D money spent, and all we have are some cast-offs to try to reverse engineer from and start all over again as if it were 1959.

"Blueprints and other Saturn V plans are available on microfilm at the Marshall Space Flight Center" - Wikipedia

Urban myth?


Sorry, but not an urban myth. I used to know a couple of higher-ups at the Kansas Cosmosphere, and they mentioned how some engineers came to examine the hardware in their archives. Seems some pinheads at the Smith decided to "misplace" the blueprints for critical parts of the Saturn V and Apollo systems.
 
2012-07-29 12:59:34 AM  

Sylvia_Bandersnatch: nucrash: I am still in awe that this managed to get greenlit. I will remember to put less thought into headlines in the future.

Given that your current average is one greenlight every four and a half years, I have to assume you mean the thought you put into *other* people's headlines.


No, I used used to submit headlines that would get rejected constantly, usually something that required a bit of thought. Then I managed to crap one out like a Hollywood movie directed by Michael Bay or something like that, then this piece of crap. Either that or becoming a total farker has pretty much given me the right to put out crap. Good jorb mods, good jorb.
 
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