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(Chron)   Russia sends three cosmonauts up to the ISS. China is planning to launch its first space station. Even Iran's space program is planning to send a cat into space. So what is NASA doing next? They're going to launch a 3D printer into space   (chron.com ) divider line
    More: Fail, International Space Station, NASA, Russia, Moffett Field, small satellite, extreme temperatures, Ames Research Center, Space Agency  
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713 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Sep 2013 at 2:51 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-29 12:31:43 PM  
4 votes:
While I want NASA's budget to increase by a bare minimum of 10X I have to point out a couple things....

1) we have a probe orbiting Saturn and Mars
2) We have probes visiting Ceres, Mercury and Pluto.
3) We have two rovers on Mars
4) We have a plethora of orbiting telescopes and physics projects
5) We are getting ready to launch the James Webb Telescope.
2013-09-29 03:01:01 PM  
3 votes:
So much butthurt in this thread ... lets read the actual article.

FTFA NASA is preparing to launch a 3-D printer into space next year, a toaster-sized game changer that greatly reduces the need for astronauts to load up with every tool, spare part or supply they might ever need.

Wow ... something useful for our astronauts to use ...
2013-09-29 03:15:06 PM  
2 votes:
For the love of crap. They're sending the astronauts a 3D printer so they can make tools and make repairs on the ISS without having to wait six months for a resupply ship or whatever. They're also testing how to make 3D printing work in microgravity so that future ships and outposts away from easy resupply can do that too. They're not just launching the damn thing into a rocket to say we did it.
2013-09-30 02:12:58 AM  
1 vote:
Let me fix that for you Subby.

Russia sends two cosmonauts & one American astronaut up to the ISS. China is planning to launch its first space station by 2023. Even Iran's space program is planning to photoshop a cat into space. So what is the United States doing?

- Developing capabilities to mine asteroids & crowd-sourcing space telescopes to pay for it.
- Developing launch vehicles that are reusable. IE: Space X may preform the first reusable first stage recovery flight as early as February 2014.
- Developing two heavy lift vehicles. SLS & Falcon Heavy.
- Developing at least four manned orbital spaceflight alternatives to increase capability.
- Exiting the solar system with the first interstellar spacecraft.
- Developing a 100 year road map towards a manned interstellar spacecraft.
- Currently Exploring: Mercury, the moon, Saturn & its moons, the sun, Mars (with two rovers/two orbiters), the earth, asteroids, the universe
- Future Exploring Missions: Pluto, Jupiter, exoplanets
- Developing the first US moon lander, admittedly an unmanned one at that and probably after the unmanned Chang 3 lander.
- Developing techniques that will help future astronauts become truly sustainable without the need for regular cargo runs from earth. IE: 3D printers & growing veggies to sustain the crew. Yes, it isn't exactly a replicator from Star Trek, but you have to start somewhere don't'cha?

So what is the US doing in spite of having a political system that is broken? Plenty.
2013-09-29 09:16:15 PM  
1 vote:

Mad_Radhu: b2theory: While I want NASA's budget to increase by a bare minimum of 10X I have to point out a couple things....

1) we have a probe orbiting Saturn and Mars
2) We have probes visiting Ceres, Mercury and Pluto.
3) We have two rovers on Mars
4) We have a plethora of orbiting telescopes and physics projects
5) We are getting ready to launch the James Webb Telescope.

Yeah, sending meatbags into orbit is kind if overrated. The robots are out there doing the real science.


And this could be the very beginning of those self-replicating space probes, which is apparently what the really advanced spacefaring civilizations do.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-replicating_spacecraft

Meanwhile China, Russia, and Iran are doing stuff we have already accomplished decades ago.
2013-09-29 08:24:37 PM  
1 vote:
The research and work NASA is doing is what future generations will rely on to advance space exploration.  Showboating by putting humans is space is passe.  As always we're the ones who put the hard work and dedication into the less attractive tasks that everyone else will use.
2013-09-29 07:22:53 PM  
1 vote:

OnlyM3: NASA has new priorities these days:


God damn, you're still flogging that old chestnut? You should be ashamed of yourself. Go look long and hard in a mirror and ask yourself if you should just give up now.
2013-09-29 04:58:38 PM  
1 vote:

Great Janitor: Given that space is huge, mostly empty and we really haven't found anywhere that humans can live outside of Earth, why is it bad that the U.S. space program is done now mostly with robots?  Robots need less supplies that humans, will work longer and can go farther.  Until we develop things like warp drive and have the ability to exploit the materials on other planets to build starships large enough to contain farms to raise animals and grow food on, the manned space mission is going to be very limited.


I think it's more telling that 'other nations reach for the technological boundaries to match the US' is read as 'OMG AMERICA IS DEAD AND USELESS' by submitter.

Spaceflight isn't simple, but more and more countries are reaching the technological and financial points where they can do it, and it's a massive achievement. It also means they can launch their own spy, commercial, etc. satellites.

Hell, the private sector has reached that point, it makes sense for countries to.
2013-09-29 04:48:21 PM  
1 vote:
Russia sends three cosmonauts up to the ISS. So fraking what?  We've already done that.
China is planning to launch its first space station.So fraking what?  We've already done that.
Even Iran's space program is planning to send a cat into space.So fraking what?  We've already done that with various animals and with plenty of humans.
So what is NASA doing next? They're going to launch a 3D printer into space.  Okay, name one country that has done this already.

Sending a cat up into space is somehow more important than trying to solve for some of the problems illustrated in Apollo 13?

(Okay, maybe without power, they wouldn't have been able to print whatever tool they wanted, but you get the point.)
2013-09-29 03:35:38 PM  
1 vote:
Brilliant! The biggest expense is the cost of lifting a kilo to orbit.  Instead of lifting thousands of kilos habitat, life support, water, food etc you lift one 3d printer and print habitat, life support etc.

/just remember to keep printing more printer ink
//print a few photon torpedos incase China or Iran have nicer stations
2013-09-29 03:12:22 PM  
1 vote:
Given that space is huge, mostly empty and we really haven't found anywhere that humans can live outside of Earth, why is it bad that the U.S. space program is done now mostly with robots?  Robots need less supplies that humans, will work longer and can go farther.  Until we develop things like warp drive and have the ability to exploit the materials on other planets to build starships large enough to contain farms to raise animals and grow food on, the manned space mission is going to be very limited.
2013-09-29 03:09:12 PM  
1 vote:

sheep snorter: Rightwing Christians hate NASA and therefor NASA must be mothballed into the pit of doom.


at least we've still got our wars in the middle east tho, right?
2013-09-29 03:06:28 PM  
1 vote:
Rightwing Christians hate NASA and therefor NASA must be mothballed into the pit of doom.

/For some reason christians think that strapping a rocket to your ass is just like suicide.
//But suicide is mostly painless.
///It brings about many changes.
////And you can take or leave it if you try.
2013-09-29 03:05:24 PM  
1 vote:

gingerjet: So much butthurt in this thread ... lets read the actual article.

FTFA NASA is preparing to launch a 3-D printer into space next year, a toaster-sized game changer that greatly reduces the need for astronauts to load up with every tool, spare part or supply they might ever need.

Wow ... something useful for our astronauts to use ...


I was wondering if the fail tag was for the printer or for the cat being launched into space.  As you point out, that printer has a purpose in space, the cat really doesn't.
2013-09-29 01:19:40 PM  
1 vote:
I thought the private sector was going to start building galaxy star cruisers?
2013-09-29 12:28:43 PM  
1 vote:
May that printer outlive its purpose and all the astronauts who use it to enhance their own.
2013-09-29 11:54:00 AM  
1 vote:
Yeah, but we did give rich folks some awesome tax breaks.
2013-09-29 11:44:21 AM  
1 vote:
Well, you could make an argument that governments of Russia, China and Iran all see the space programs as a matter of national pride. The US government treats NASA like it is barely worthy to pick the scraps out of the dumpster behind Congress.
 
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