Monday, May 4, 2009

Extending Shuttle?

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2009/05/nasa-present-two-shuttle-extension-options-to-lawmakers/

As many of you may know I work with the Shuttle Program, so this might seem self serving at first, but rest assured that I do believe that at some point the Shuttle needs to be put to pasture.

My concern with retiring the Shuttle has always been doing it too early and leaving this ridiculous gap between when Shuttle is retired and Ares becomes fully operational. It's bad enough that we didn't advance the Shuttle design for the 21st Century and make a better one, regressing back to some dad blasted capsule design, but that's another topic.

Ares is already delayed and over budget, no shocker, so to assume that the gap would be only 5 years is naive. I'm also not thrilled with the alternative of hitching rides on other systems from our global partners, especially when specific ones, like Russia, don't always behave in a manner that befits an honorable superpower.

I am all for global cooperation, but not at the expense of eliminating our ability to do our own thing. At least then we have leverage so as not to get screwed. Independence is kind of one of the biggest cornerstones to the American way of life. Our space pursuits are no different. We need to ensure that our replacement takes over right away, not some uncertain date after the fact, so the Shuttle needs to remain operational until such time.

If the government is willing to throw billions of dollars at failed businesses, then why can't they consider "propping up" our national space program, which offers thousands of hi-tech, highly educated jobs? We threw money at Chrysler and they went bankrupt anyway, which is what all of the autos should have done so they could clean house and start over, without the millstone of legacy costs around their necks.

The space industry provides a far greater service to humanity than the auto industry does, for without the space program many of the technologies you take for granted every day would not exist. The Shuttle is part of that and deserves to be extended such that when it does retire, the replacement is ready to go.

2 comments:

Norman Copeland said...

My opinion about the American space programme infrastructure developement and possible agenda is that the emerging economies of larger countries {number of enhabitants} may see what is obviously an oportunity and direct neccessity to develope their LEO space portal capacities in order to maintain momentum with with communications and future technologies developments i.e. GPS systems and ultrasonic radar technologies.

I believe that It would be an economically astute move to let these countries start to develope their own facilities based upon the fact that America has 'taken the foot off the gas'. It would serve to strengthen what will one day probably be an international fleet of space faring vehicles.


India is a developing space faring nation with very credible scientific accomplishments and scientists that may contribute to the buildiing of an international space fleet of vessels.

I believe that south America which is a 'sleeping giant' may have a role to play, but, the neccessary circumstances perhaps have not presented themselves for the development of such yet.

The governing factor of what I believe the George Bush plan is that the CIA move to another country {Kazakstan would be a good choice} and operate as a governing global organisation representing the planet and taking more of a back seat approach to administration as opposed to front line political ascent.


I believe it would be a step towards the right direction to not confront international development based upon singular national identity ascent, but, as I have seen many, many times the George Bush nurturing profiling apparatus.

Jerry M. Weikle said...

The old leaders do want there Cadallics, as the entire economy revolved around the auto industry. From the "Impressive" Johnson era National Highway and Interstate system of the 1960's being the only solution to Mass-transit throught the country.

Development of "Futuristic High Speed Bullet Trains".....that is futuristic.
Development of "Kennedys vision" beyond a 'footprint on the Moon"...that is futuristic.

Who were the major investors in the Auto Industry over the last 50 years, and what functional role did they occupy and whom did they influence to develop technology at supported the growth of one industry?

Electronics....send that to Asian, the chemicals used are toxic to the environment.

Development of Nuclear Technology....our power plants will last 25-30 years...that is a future goal for a futuristic society. Besides, nuclear engines in space vehicles would cause an international "Issue of Concern"--were in the mist of the Cold War.

Honestly, the world is running out of oil reserves. The 'motor industry' has played a vital part, lets support giving a "good show and bluff" only to allow it to collapse. Then another 'developing nation can absorb the American loss' and then we can start major investments elsewhere but that will require seeking further funding and further raising taxes.

Yeah, Yeah, that is a good plan.

Oh, wait a minute. Our people don't have the education to be skilled workers in the "New Economy" were going to develop? Humm...

Oh, Billions go to support Education.

Yeah, Yeah, that is a good Plan too!

But we don't have a plan that incorporates standards in education that provide everyone with the same knowledge and skills.

Oh, we need a Plan. Do other nations have a plan, the English, the British, the Russians, the Chinese, the Indian Government?

Here it is, NCLB Act provides "Standards, and Technology" and we can fund it (course government kick backs through raising taxes). That will provide knowledge and skills to everyone and no one will be left out.

Oh, educators are teaching to the tests and why is people still dropping out of school?

Can we develop a new Plan? Make another Reform Plan to improve the Existing Plan.

Dog chases tail.

Because developing the future takes time, and radical changes to the existing Plans (being concieved over 40 years ago) takes further time to test and evaluate.

Had they scrapped the Auto Industry in 1972, in the 20th Century, switched over to investing in space technology and pumped the Trillions of Dollars into the Space industries for peaceful purposes instead of being oversaw by the funding allocations directed towards the Department of Defense, and subsequent 'technological innovations'.

Humans would be living on the Moon, and the colonization of Mars could be occuring. That thinking were too "futuristic" to occur, but can occur in "Theater/Movie" to achieve international social enginerring of a world society for the 21st Century.

(alternative reality, concept)

It is a world issue, integrated and interrelated. Yeah, Yeah, that is a good Plan! Let someone else try to solve it.

"YES WE CAN".

Parody of "May one live in Interesting Times..."