Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Politics of the NEW SPACE RACE.

This week the New Space Race was hit with mishaps that were referred to as 'anomalies'.  It made me wonder how much the commercial industry involvement in the space program is really worthwhile . President Obama way back in 2011 set the stage for a NASA decline,his cancellation of the Aries -Constellation rocket ,Obama cancelled NASA's Constellation program and "then, Congress dealt another blow, by cutting the funding for the Obama plan in half." and diverting future missions of exploration of the Moon and Mars for  an (2)> non governmental "development" of new craft to replace the Shuttle Program. (1)>  This whole cutting of NASA has led to massive layoffs of experts in the field . It has become so bad for the American Space program that  we were taking our (3)>  astronauts to fly on Russian rockets to the Space Station as a "cheap alternative" that cost 7 billion per launch to give  the Russians. As of now we still have no way of getting into space , even with the cutting edge involvement of the commercial developers are far behind by decades if you want to compare with the Apollo program and the Shuttle. So buy the time the commercial developers like Virgin Galactic really catch up , it is most likely that the Chinese will have one of their own on the Moon! Where Obama dropped the ball was in failing to save manned space programs, while failing to push private manned space flights that don't really need a bureaucracy to get the work done.At the same time, Obama has kept the largely useless, and pointless NASA bureaucracy in place. Such is typical of the federal government generally, especially as envisioned by Democrats: employees on the government dole not doing anything the people really need to have done. Obama prematurely retired our Space Shuttle fleet, with our Space Shuttles having completed only about 40% of their serviceable life expectancy.  Obama has capitulated and given manned space capabilities to the Russians and Chinese.  The United States for the present has no way to put humans into space.

Virgin Galactic is not bad for a concept:

The Design of the Virgin Galactic craft
would replace the Shuttle
only if NASA could lead it's
design .
I really believe that Virgin Galactic has potential . The design for Space Ship 1 & 2 is vary intricate , it should be applied for NASA development .   The project has been a decade in development and burned through $500m, and the completion date has moved so often that Private Eye magazine has begun keeping a record, under the headline: “Beam us up, Beardie!” The latest forecast is for early 2015: on David Letterman’s television show in September, Branson announced his family would be joining him for the first flight, in “February or March of next year”.
Rocket Failure.
The Antares rocket, operated by Orbital Sciences Corp.,crashed in a large fire Tuesday night, scattering debris over a wide area. It was carrying more than 5,000 pounds of scientific instruments, food and other supplies for the astronauts aboard the space station when down with the rocket. NASA says the space station is equipped with plenty of food to last while additional resupply missions are organized. Moments after lifting off at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, the unmanned Antares rocket meant to bring cargo to the International Space Station exploded. This was to be the third commercial resupply mission by Orbital Sciences. The explosion occurred at 6:22 pm EDT on October 28, six seconds after launching. Yes, it was an expensive failure. But the benefit at the end of the tunnel is a private company (i.e. NOT the government) is developing (refining at this point, given that they've already had 2 successful launches) the ability for us to NOT spend tax dollars on space launches. Space launches are not going (and very much SHOULD not go) away. Our access to and use of space is vital and beneficial to humanity. Sure, obviously not ALL use of space is vital and beneficial, but our ACCESS to it very much is.

(1)> "The 7,000 layoffs at the space center triggered 7,000 more in the community. Unemployment has been close to 11 percent." (2)> The Orion/Ares (Constellation program) part of the VSE was failing. Obama cut Constellation, but saved and funded the Orion part (the manned capsule).  Obama has tried shifting the direction of LEO manned flight to private enterprise, but this year Congress only gave him HALF of what he asked for to fund that area of manned flight. (3)> Barack Obama’s decision to stop the development of a manned space travel capability for the United States is a leap backward of unfathomable proportions.  Obama is determined to not only destroy the image of the United States of America as the World leader but also to place us at an enormous future military disadvantage and even at the future mercy of Russia or China.

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