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broncosteven
07-06-2011, 03:20 PM
Last launch of Atlantis could be delayed due to weather:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/final-atlantis-space-shuttle-launch-could-be-delayed-by-weather/2011/07/06/gIQAERT70H_story.html

Hard to comprehend that the US will not have a platform to launch men into orbit.

StugotsIII
07-06-2011, 03:31 PM
LM is working on the next generation of space craft.

Chris
07-06-2011, 03:34 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/science/space/05shuttle.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1

UberBroncoMan
07-06-2011, 03:36 PM
****ing depressing. I urn for a day when science rules.

BroncoLifer
07-06-2011, 04:04 PM
I'm a huge fan of space exploration but good riddance to that fatally compromised, over-hyped (cheap, safe, reliable....NOT!) POS that took two crews to their deaths. RIP to 14 good men and women.

OK, using POS to describe the STS is a bit strong but there was a better path available. We should have continued development of the Saturn/Apollo family and not gone down the shuttle road. The decision to build the shuttle set the cause of space exploration back big time.

broncosteven
07-06-2011, 04:19 PM
I'm a huge fan of space exploration but good riddance to that fatally compromised, over-hyped (cheap, safe, reliable....NOT!) POS that took two crews to their deaths. RIP to 14 good men and women.

OK, using POS to describe the STS is a bit strong but there was a better path available. We should have continued development of the Saturn/Apollo family and not gone down the shuttle road. The decision to build the shuttle set the cause of space exploration back big time.

I agree with you, overall the shuttle was an overpriced failure. It was never a true shuttle, it took too many man hours to turn around and the design by committee lead to flaws that contributed to the death of 14 good people.

I think they should have spent the money to develop an x-15 type craft that needed less man hours to turn around and would be safer to launch.

I think the shuttle should have been retired 10-15 years ago, the real crime is that there never was any funding for a true replacement. It was only when W was leaving office and he needed to throw a bone to his friends in TX that he "promised" a return to the moon which was lame duck as it was the 1st thing cut when Obama came in. The good thing to come from that was bringing the Apollo guys back to redesign a quick and proven method that would be much safer to land men on the moon and possibly Mars.

The Shuttle was designed in the 1960's and it's primary purpose was to build a space station and launch military/civilian payloads but after the Challenger disaster the Military backed out.

BroncoLifer
07-06-2011, 05:19 PM
I think the political blame goes way back to the Nixon era when NASA's original design was rejected as too expensive and they were instructed to come up with a design that didn't go over X billions of dollars. Penny wise, pound foolish.

Or, as Richard Feynman said, "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled".

broncosteven
07-06-2011, 06:02 PM
I think the political blame goes way back to the Nixon era when NASA's original design was rejected as too expensive and they were instructed to come up with a design that didn't go over X billions of dollars. Penny wise, pound foolish.

Or, as Richard Feynman said, "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled".

Nixon actually approved the shuttle but he did cut the last 3 Apollo missions and cut NASA's budget, he did hack at the Shuttle budget which is why the Air Force got involved which effected the the size of the shuttles payload bay but he wanted a US presence in space even if it was low Earth orbit.

That One Guy
07-06-2011, 07:26 PM
I was thinking about going to this. Anyone been to one and/or have an idea what it's like?

broncosteven
07-06-2011, 07:53 PM
I was thinking about going to this. Anyone been to one and/or have an idea what it's like?

Good luck, this is the last shuttle launch and last big launch at the Cape for a long time so it should be crowded. I would check out NASA's website for info.

I have heard that spots along the beaches are just as good as the NASA viewing sites though you might not be able to see the tower.

Miss I might know more but I haven't seen her around.

I saw a shuttle launch while we were on our way back from the keys while driving on I-75(? Not sure what the expressway that runs along the Atlantic from the Keys up to the Cape) and it was still very impressive. My in-laws have a summer place in Orlando and they have seen a couple launches from their local park.

I would go if I could.

Rock Chalk
07-07-2011, 06:13 AM
I was thinking about going to this. Anyone been to one and/or have an idea what it's like?

In a word: un****ingbelievable.

And really, that's about as good as a description as you will find. No amount of words or adjectives can describe it, its just something you have to experience to understand.

That One Guy
07-07-2011, 07:46 AM
It kinda sucks... there's only a 30% chance of it flying so there's no telling if a trip would be a waste. It's a two hour drive but I'm afraid that by the time we'd know for sure if it's flying, it could be too late to go. If I can find out in time and still make it up, I'll go check it out. Aint got anything better to do on a lazy Friday than watch history.

That One Guy
07-08-2011, 06:21 AM
An estimated 750,000 people are expected to jam Cape Canaveral and surrounding towns for this final shuttle launch, reminiscent of the crowds that gathered for the Apollo moon shots.

By 6 a.m., cars and RV were packed into almost every available space along U.S. 1 in Titusville, with cameras already trained on the launch pad in the hazy clouds across the Indian River. Many had planted chairs and staked out viewing locations just feet from the water. Some were still cocooned in sleeping bags as the sun rose.

http://news.yahoo.com/atlantis-astronauts-ready-weather-maybe-not-112126819.html

Well, it would've been great to be able to see but it was probably as bad as was warned. I wasn't able to go camp out and that seems like it'd have been necessary. If it gets cancelled, we're talking about going and doing a weekend in Orlando so we can catch it but if they can get 750k people on a Friday, how many can they get on a Saturday or Sunday?

shovelpass#30
07-08-2011, 06:54 AM
I might well not be available outside of the UK, but the BBC ran an excellent documentary here last night about the US space programme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00llgs8/The_Horizon_Guide_Moon/

It was great to see the authentic Apollo 13 footage (about 47 minutes in) - although you know the outcome, the tension on the faces makes it gripping even now

ColoradoDarin
07-08-2011, 06:55 AM
Some friends of ours are down there, they stopped at our house overnight (from Savannah) since we're only about a 90 min drive. They left here at 5 am, the kids and I are watching on TV.

Bronco Yoda
07-08-2011, 09:56 AM
I really wanted to take the fam to this launching. Everything conspired against this. I was counting on a delay but I guess the weather cooperated. Glad to see everything went off without a hitch.

Miss I.
07-08-2011, 10:05 AM
Good luck, this is the last shuttle launch and last big launch at the Cape for a long time so it should be crowded. I would check out NASA's website for info.

I have heard that spots along the beaches are just as good as the NASA viewing sites though you might not be able to see the tower.

Miss I might know more but I haven't seen her around.

I saw a shuttle launch while we were on our way back from the keys while driving on I-75(? Not sure what the expressway that runs along the Atlantic from the Keys up to the Cape) and it was still very impressive. My in-laws have a summer place in Orlando and they have seen a couple launches from their local park.

I would go if I could.

I am very sad. while I agree the Shuttle program should've been retired long ago. It was never intended to be around this long, I am still sad to see my childhood manned space program end. As I understand there are several programs underway to get us back into manned space, but the earliest I saw was 2015 before we have our own manned space program, but I've been off the space stuff since I moved to the UK. I did see a Delta rocket launch before I left, but alas never a space shuttle launch (though I did get to do a back lot tour of Kennedy and walk under and around the Endeavor).

Delta was/is a fairly small rocket for lifting satellites so while pretty cool to watch, not as explosive or large as watching a shuttle launch. As I understand it, the Shuttle can be seen for quite a distance. I do have a friend from my former office who is down there now for the launch and getting the VIP tour so to speak, watching (when it does go), from the Cape, where basically the families, the government guys, all watch from. I am a tad bit jealous to be honest, but I get to travel to Amsterdam and Belgium and Germany for work so it's all good.

Smiling Assassin27
07-08-2011, 10:13 AM
I still remember 1982 vividly, when Columbia actually landed its 3rd mission at White Sands. Man, what a rush to be a 13 year old kid from NM watching that.

dbfan21
07-08-2011, 10:14 AM
I was thinking about going to this. Anyone been to one and/or have an idea what it's like?

I stepped outside my front door and watched from the lawn. Always a treat when I get to see it go up. Hope this mission is safe for everyone.

dbfan21
07-08-2011, 10:20 AM
In a word: un****ingbelievable.

And really, that's about as good as a description as you will find. No amount of words or adjectives can describe it, its just something you have to experience to understand.

Definitely agree. A couple years ago, I got to go to the closest site permissable for civilians to watch a launch. The rumble was so cool and, since it was a night launch, the light from the booster rockets lit up the sky like nothing I have seen before! I have several friends who work for NASA and the Cape. Some have already been laid off, which totally stinks. On a happier note, one of my buddies who worked at NASA was casted as an extra in the new Transformers movie and played one of LaBouf's FBI bodyguards. I haven;t seen the movie yet, but plan to soon.

That One Guy
07-08-2011, 10:56 AM
I stepped outside my front door and watched from the lawn. Always a treat when I get to see it go up. Hope this mission is safe for everyone.

Wow. That's awesome. It seems like the answer was an overnight campout. Too bad it'll be a while before it happens again.

cutthemdown
07-08-2011, 12:23 PM
End of an era. Can't say I am upset about it because the technology needs to be improved for our manned space flights. Still though we grew up with the Space Shuttle and it sucks we no longer can get our own astronauts into space.

Bronco Yoda
07-08-2011, 12:51 PM
I wonder if the private sector can really bridge this gap like NASA is throwing out there. We'll see.

cutthemdown
07-08-2011, 01:18 PM
Well NASA got butchered by Obama. It's more Obama saying that then NASA. I'm sure if you asked NASA they would have rather gotten 500 billion of the stimulus and done it all themselves. Actually that would have been a better use of the money then what Obama did with the recovery act.

DivineLegion
07-08-2011, 02:15 PM
We wont have to wait very long to see whats coming next considering the James Webb is supposed to be operational in 2013.

Dutch
07-08-2011, 03:36 PM
We wont have to wait very long to see whats coming next considering the James Webb is supposed to be operational in 2013.

2015 now.

DivineLegion
07-08-2011, 06:04 PM
2015 now.

Lame, I guess they don't have a plan after all.

DivineLegion
07-08-2011, 06:37 PM
Check that Webb won't be active until 2018, and thats only if these Jackass politicians decide its worth while. Politics, Religion, and Science should never intermengle.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388293,00.asp

Broncochica
07-08-2011, 08:10 PM
I stepped outside my front door and watched from the lawn. Always a treat when I get to see it go up. Hope this mission is safe for everyone.

LOL Ahh, lucky! I watched with teary eyes as it went up, so sad it's over. I do agree we need to improve/advance our space program... never the less sad. :(

broncosteven
07-08-2011, 08:54 PM
I just hope the private sector can fill the void, I don't see the government green lighting anything space related anytime soon.

Broncochica
07-08-2011, 09:01 PM
I just hope the private sector can fill the void, I don't see the government green lighting anything space related anytime soon.

That's what's concerning, the enthusiam for space exploration is not what it use to be...so sad!

cutthemdown
07-08-2011, 09:32 PM
Check that Webb won't be active until 2018, and thats only if these Jackass politicians decide its worth while. Politics, Religion, and Science should never intermengle.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2388293,00.asp

Between the wars Bush got us into, the wars Obama kept going, the 700 billion dollar stimulus, there just isn't any money left for things like NASA. It could be a decade before they funding come back and i am almost certain they won't finish you telescope on time. You never know though maybe a NASA friendly president comes along soon. It ain't Obama though he gutted them.

cutthemdown
07-08-2011, 09:34 PM
I just hope the private sector can fill the void, I don't see the government green lighting anything space related anytime soon.

I guess there is money to made transporting govt astronauts to space. For sure there is in satellite launching. But I sort of fail to see the big money in stuff like building a space telescope, going to another planet, getting back to the moon, sending off the sort of probes like STARDUSTER that my dad worked on. Stuff like exploration doesn't usually make money. The private sector will never care to go where no man has gone before, unless there is a pile of money to be had will they?

broncosteven
07-08-2011, 09:56 PM
I guess there is money to made transporting govt astronauts to space. For sure there is in satellite launching. But I sort of fail to see the big money in stuff like building a space telescope, going to another planet, getting back to the moon, sending off the sort of probes like STARDUSTER that my dad worked on. Stuff like exploration doesn't usually make money. The private sector will never care to go where no man has gone before, unless there is a pile of money to be had will they?

I don't know anymore, I am too frustrated right now.

I don't see academia not driving some exploration requests with stuff like the Hubble replacement (Webb) or ability to send men to the space station for experiments.

Where will the advances come from without some sort of goal?

Broncochica
07-08-2011, 10:53 PM
Between the wars Bush got us into, the wars Obama kept going, the 700 billion dollar stimulus, there just isn't any money left for things like NASA. It could be a decade before they funding come back and i am almost certain they won't finish you telescope on time. You never know though maybe a NASA friendly president comes along soon. It ain't Obama though he gutted them.


That's my hope, we need a new NASA friendly president! :)

DivineLegion
07-08-2011, 11:10 PM
I guess there is money to made transporting govt astronauts to space. For sure there is in satellite launching. But I sort of fail to see the big money in stuff like building a space telescope, going to another planet, getting back to the moon, sending off the sort of probes like STARDUSTER that my dad worked on. Stuff like exploration doesn't usually make money. The private sector will never care to go where no man has gone before, unless there is a pile of money to be had will they?

We have no idea what kind of resources are available on other planets. Iron is abundant on Mars, silicon is bound be present on one of the terestrial planets, really the possiblities are endless. The data gained from our numerous probes scouring these barron terains is going to really dictate what the private sector does with the space program. The first group to isolate a resource is going to gain substantial amounts of wealth.

cutthemdown
07-08-2011, 11:46 PM
We have no idea what kind of resources are available on other planets. Iron is abundant on Mars, silicon is bound be present on one of the terestrial planets, really the possiblities are endless. The data gained from our numerous probes scouring these barron terains is going to really dictate what the private sector does with the space program. The first group to isolate a resource is going to gain substantial amounts of wealth.

Wow space mining? IMO you won't see something like that for another 200 yrs if ever. Just throwing that number out there but could you imagine the costs of trying to get those minerals back to earth? For it to be feasible it would have to be some ultra rare mineral, that was super valuable in even small quantities. Is there something like that? I have no idea. I think the value is exploring is what we learn, the advancement of human achievement. Not sure it will ever be cost effective or profitable. The only real money will be in the space plane, or a space station hotel. Very cool, don't get me wrong, but not exactly science.

Miss I.
07-09-2011, 01:36 AM
Let's get at least one thing straight, Obama didn't destroy the space program, the USG has been down scaling NASA for the past 30 years. Yes, he put an end in part to the shuttle launches, so manned space will be limited. But the shuttle should've been retired long before Obama took office, but due to the fact that NASA's budget has been scaled back long before this administration, they never did develop an alternative. Here's a look at NASAs Budget over the years and the % of the budget it makes up
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget

As for destroying the budget in general, Congress held the USG hostage on Continuing resolution for over 6 months (and really longer since they had the budget since February 2010). They are looking to do so again in FY2012. If you want to blame someone for the end of the shuttle at least share the blame, Obama had really very little to do with it. NASA has been gutted for many years as more and more of the budget goes to military and defense (which right now most of our space stuff is developed by the Air Force and NASA piggybacks on their budget).

ANd if you look at the budget on that link, the biggest recent cuts were under George and it appears that under Obama the budget is going to increase IF it passes through Congress (and that's a big IF giving their inability to pass FY11 budget).

You want to blame Obama for something at least pick the right thing. What is happening to NASA has been happening for a long time and is NOT on Obama. He may be wrong about other things, but this is not one of them.

At any rate, the important thing now is to look forward and get ourselves a manned program of our own again. We will again, I have faith one way or the other we are gettin back up there. Sometimes in desperate times, it forces innovation, here's to hoping.

Safe journeys to our astronauts up there right now and many thanks to the amazing men and women who've made manned space program possible for the US.

Archer81
07-09-2011, 01:41 AM
Let's get at least one thing straight, Obama didn't destroy the space program, the USG has been down scaling NASA for the past 30 years. Yes, he put an end in part to the shuttle launches, so manned space will be limited. But the shuttle should've been retired long before Obama took office, but due to the fact that NASA's budget has been scaled back long before this administration, they never did develop an alternative. Here's a look at NASAs Budget over the years and the % of the budget it makes up
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Budget

As for destroying the budget in general, Congress held the USG hostage on Continuing resolution for over 6 months (and really longer since they had the budget since February 2010). They are looking to do so again in FY2012. If you want to blame someone for the end of the shuttle at least share the blame, Obama had really very little to do with it. NASA has been gutted for many years as more and more of the budget goes to military and defense (which right now most of our space stuff is developed by the Air Force and NASA piggybacks on their budget).

ANd if you look at the budget on that link, the biggest recent cuts were under George and it appears that under Obama the budget is going to increase IF it passes through Congress (and that's a big IF giving their inability to pass FY11 budget).

You want to blame Obama for something at least pick the right thing. What is happening to NASA has been happening for a long time and is NOT on Obama. He may be wrong about other things, but this is not one of them.

At any rate, the important thing now is to look forward and get ourselves a manned program of our own again. We will again, I have faith one way or the other we are gettin back up there. Sometimes in desperate times, it forces innovation, here's to hoping.

Safe journeys to our astronauts up there right now and many thanks to the amazing men and women who've made manned space program possible for the US.


I dont think we have completely abandoned space. Nasa might not be the driving force anymore but the AF and Navy will come out with things sooner or later. The shuttle program is over. Something else will replace it; albeit under military jurisdiction.

:Broncos:

cutthemdown
07-09-2011, 02:02 AM
Meh Obama came in and cancelled programs we had already spent 9-10 billion working on. He is no friend to NASA but Miss I is right NASA has not recently been a big part of the budget. Under 1% for a long time.

Rock Chalk
07-09-2011, 08:04 AM
I guess there is money to made transporting govt astronauts to space. For sure there is in satellite launching. But I sort of fail to see the big money in stuff like building a space telescope, going to another planet, getting back to the moon, sending off the sort of probes like STARDUSTER that my dad worked on. Stuff like exploration doesn't usually make money. The private sector will never care to go where no man has gone before, unless there is a pile of money to be had will they?

You couldn't be more wrong.

The money is in resources. THe technology isn't there yet but there has to be research, funding and progress made in the technology in order for money to be made but the amount of money to be made by the private sector exceeds all the money to be made on Earth from all the countries combined.

Helium-3 is the big one, and can be found in huge quantities on the moon. If they can efficiently mine it and get it back to earth it will lead to fusion energy and that is worth trillions of dollars.

That's just one resource. Iron, nickle, rare-earth's are in such high abundance in the solar system that a single asteroid has the potential to fill all of our metallic needs for centuries.

There is money out there, its just not feasible now. Research has to be done and the private sector has on many occasions, funded research for the possibility to make loads of money. A good example of this is the oil industry which spends billions of dollars every year on research looking for new ways to extract oil and looking for new places to get oil.

cutthemdown
07-09-2011, 11:07 AM
You couldn't be more wrong.

The money is in resources. THe technology isn't there yet but there has to be research, funding and progress made in the technology in order for money to be made but the amount of money to be made by the private sector exceeds all the money to be made on Earth from all the countries combined.

Helium-3 is the big one, and can be found in huge quantities on the moon. If they can efficiently mine it and get it back to earth it will lead to fusion energy and that is worth trillions of dollars.

That's just one resource. Iron, nickle, rare-earth's are in such high abundance in the solar system that a single asteroid has the potential to fill all of our metallic needs for centuries.

There is money out there, its just not feasible now. Research has to be done and the private sector has on many occasions, funded research for the possibility to make loads of money. A good example of this is the oil industry which spends billions of dollars every year on research looking for new ways to extract oil and looking for new places to get oil.

I have heard of helium 3 on the moon before but it is my understanding we don't yet have a use for it. I'm not saying that mining on the moon might not occur someday. But mining on any of our solar systems planets IMO probably won't. I think it is too far and the spaceships will never be big enough to carry things like Iron or nickel. Also they say there are tons of rare earth elements on the ocean floor so i think that will be more viable to mine rare earth elements. The day we have mining ship like star trek probably 200 yrs away, I can't get into it. Maybe a small craft to the moon to bring back helium 3 though, i could see that. I grew up around space exploration. My dad built a lot of stuff for JPL. NASA, etc etc. All the engineers I know laugh at the prospect of space mining on other planets. Not saying in hundreds of yrs it won't happen, but it probably won't. If we wait around for the private sector to explore space you can forget about it happening for a long time other then what i laid out. Space planes and space station hotels. WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE.

cutthemdown
07-09-2011, 11:09 AM
Just got off the phone with a dear friend of my dads last night. Top notch engineer. I asked him could we ever send spacecraft to other planets to mine minerals. He answered maybe in 1000 years. So rock I think my statement stands that you won't see the private sector do much outside of things the general public would want to buy. Space flights and space hotels.