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(Popular Mechanics)   One small problem if we sanction Russia: They're the USA's only ride into space   ( popularmechanics.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Russia, Russian Soyuz, International Space Station, human spaceflight programs, U.S., individual mandate, Space Launch System, Russian Federal Space Agency  
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944 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Mar 2014 at 7:20 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-03-05 07:25:41 AM  
2 votes:
Congratulations, America. We spend more on boner pills and dubious statins than on space.

Just as well. A human colony on a remote body would never make a profit for the investors on earth.
2014-03-05 11:35:15 AM  
1 vote:

MindStalker: I hope your kidding, he was floating in a balloon with 0 relative surface velocity. Do you have any idea the speeds that the ISS is orbiting at? We don't have a suit that would survive re-entry at orbital velocities.

Actually, we *COULD* do that:   Paracone

I would expect that with modern materials, it would be even easier to do today, and the system could be packed into a smaller undeployed volume.  Seems to me that would be something we could gin up and test relatively cheaply (by spaceflight standards), and it would make a decent back-up emergency evacuation method.  Not something you'd do as a matter of course, but if you had no other choice.
2014-03-05 10:55:31 AM  
1 vote:

Peter von Nostrand: It's not a problem if you don't care

Not caring is the problem.
2014-03-05 10:47:07 AM  
1 vote:

Pick: Don't worry, that Virgin Mobile guy will go get them for us for free. He is a kind hearted guy, that does stuff like this out of the kindness of his heart.

His "spaceship" gets to space. Just. Orbit is a whole other ball game. That's like going for a five minute swim off Cape Cod and then saying you could swim the Atlantic. You can swim in the Atlantic. You can't swim the Atlantic.
2014-03-05 08:43:02 AM  
1 vote:

Chris Ween: I'm not saying the shuttle program didn't deserve to die.  I'm just saying that maybe you have a better back up plan than hitching a ride with a major world power/opponent that you often side against in world politics.

Unfortunately it doesn't work that way - if the shuttle was still alive today, there would be less money available for development of next-generation rockets, and the CRS/COTS, and CCDev/CCiCap programs which are all actively developing American crew and cargo transportation to space, and are probably about 3 years out from flying people from American soil again.  I think that these programs are doing much more for the space program than people give them credit for just because they cant "see" the effects yet (essentially because they haven't transported a human to space yet), and, in my opinion, are a lot more valuable to NASA than the shuttle was in it's latter years.  That being said, I know how space enthusiasts (myself included) would like things to go, and yes, it is essentially the very logical route that you have outlined.  Given the state of the politics involved with funding NASA programs, though, you have to put pressure NASA and Congress (because lets not forget, they write the check) to do anything different, and the best way is direct slap in the face - otherwise it would have just been more next-gen vaporware featured in Popular Science which would replace the shuttles "within 10 years" and which would be abruptly cancelled with the next administration, rinsed and repeated for an additional 30 years.

NASA needed to be visibly shaken up for the general public to start paying attention - taking away their symbol for the last three decades and giving the business to Russia was the best way to do it.
2014-03-05 08:42:28 AM  
1 vote:

LoneDoggie: [texasgopvote.com image 203x385]

/maybe the Nobel Peace Prize has suborbital capabilities we aren't aware of.

Much as I'm no fan of the man, this is a situation long in the making.

Personally, I would be well chuffed if the Russians locked us out.
I hope they evict us, take our keys, change the locks, and send all our astronauts home on the slowest fishing boat they can find.
I greatly desire this because it would be a terrible and public rebuke for the idiots who thought we could trust someone else to give us a ride to a hundred billion dollar outpost. It would make voters realize that the home ground capability for science and exploration is still important, and it can't be shoved to a back burner by renting time on other peoples rockets.
Maybe it would make them give NASA a budget hike for a change, so it wouldn't have to pick its favorite children for survival (RIP, SOFIA).

/Of course the Russians know what the consequences would be, so they'd never do this.
/Keeping us dependent means they always have the upper hand.
2014-03-05 08:29:58 AM  
1 vote:
texasgopvote.comView Full Size

/maybe the Nobel Peace Prize has suborbital capabilities we aren't aware of.
2014-03-05 08:18:59 AM  
1 vote:
Actually, if it came down to it, we could probably man-rate the Dragon spacecraft from SpaceX rather quickly, because pretty much all the development is done already and it has already flown (unmanned) to the ISS, at least until the Orion spacecraft comes on line.
2014-03-05 07:59:09 AM  
1 vote:
Yeah, so NASA doesn't have some overpriced shuttle anymore, Isn't SpaceX is going into launching people up this year or next? Yeah, let's just ignore all that cause we need to write an article.
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