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NASA - Mission Statement Changes

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posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 11:25 AM
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I found this a little odd and it may not be important today, but things are changing. Good or less good - I'm not sure. The short story is the part of the NASA mission statement to do with "understanding and protecting the home planet" has been relagated to the "round file". Struck completely from the mission statement. Those with an interest in this perhaps fundamental shift may wish to read what Dem and Rep Senators had to say in "concern". The story is at SpaceRef here:

www.spaceref.com...

But wait there's more...

Also the ISS that is being "completed" is not going to have ANY US space science budget for fiscal 2007 - not one cent for the US science that ISS was ostensibly created for. cmdrkeenkid, may have a story on that in the not too distant future.

To me it seems that NASA is being run by the beancounters exclusively as even Astrobiology is gone and Senate and Congress (through the committees) had to force NASA to start the critical infrastrucrure upgrades on the Deep Space Network (DSN) which is NOT on track for support of Constellation as it is strapped for bandwidth now. NASA needs a leader and a budget with "grunt"- not a vampire ninja accountant overseer.

Victor K.

[edit on 4-8-2006 by V Kaminski]




posted on Aug, 11 2006 @ 03:06 PM
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I tend to agree that NASA needs better funding. Space exploration is an investment into the future of mankind. All this money being shelled out for the war on terror and crap like that could be better spent improving NASA.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 10:06 AM
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The problem is that NASA is VERY INEFFICIENT with their money. When your main concern is SAFETY, you are just a cash hog. Safety should NOT be the concern of a group that could once boast that they were the bleeding edge of technology.

I don't think NASA has what it takes anymore. The public runs their heart, but they are supposed to a be a semi-government funded PRIVATE organization. Their loyalties lie within their pocket books... which is as it should be. People have to get paid. I know I do.

Back to the public thingie. In order to avoid further bad press, they say, "Hey, let's make this giant combustable rocket safe." NO WAY! You can't do it. You can try to make it reasonably safe, but arguing over WHAT FOAM SHOULD WE USE ON THE WINGS is just asinine. Rockets explode!! All the time! If you put people in it, they explode too!

Wow, what a shocker. Not really. A high risk job demands that you take responsiblity for the risk and not hide behind some false illusion of SAFETY and NON-RISK. That's like telling NASCAR to drive the speed limit on the race track. Bullsh**.

Let the brilliant scientists do the work. Let the thrill seekers be in the cockpit. Make them sign a waiver that says that they MIGHT BLOWUP. NOW, channel money into making better vehicles, not just safer ones. Let the public know that people WILL DIE and no matter how much of a tragedy it is for people to die, THEY KNEW THE RISK.

How many people out there have a dream to fly into space that would sign that waiver in second? At least a MILLION I'd say.

It's hard to go on TV and tell a greiving wife and children that their daddy just had the greatest death of all time.

END RANT



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 09:42 PM
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Imagine something big, real big, the size of a stadium traveling around and being able to orbit.

The cause of the ineficency is size, if people can build a stadium on earth why not build one in space? why stay glued to the idea of small little craft with people that are strugling inside of it.

To build a craft in space big as a stadium.
An idea.
1
First get light materials in space to build a superficial body that would sustain life in orbit similar to the previos space stations but much biger, it would take time but it would be worth it.

2
Seting up living conditions in the space station
Because it would be big living conditions would be easier to provide, like plants , trees and water on it for recicling the air.


3
Build on the space station a factory, so all parts would be suplied by the space station it's self such as engines , reinforced walls , that way you would not have to cary havy components in space.


4
Upgrades.
The craft could be all the time upgraded easy, simply because it would have it's own factory, so even if it's in space it could upgrade by it's self.


5
Start the jurney of space exploration with a maned craft that has the advantage of being big and that can host alot of people like scientists, engeniers, astronomists and I'm sure many of you would know what to add further more, like research labs and so on.

I dont think this project would be imposible to complete.

I know the idea is not complete but maybe some of you can add more to the idea.



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 09:50 PM
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Do you realize how much fuel it would take to move a stadium sized space station to just a few inches per second per second acceleration?


If we somehow manage to conjure up some majical techno-voodoo that somehow reduces mass below 0, then I'd be willing to take your idea seriously, but until that day, such craft will remain in the realm of Science Fiction and for now the best we can do is progress our technology while crawling out of our cradle at a snails pace...

The only way your vision will happen in the near future is if something dire were to happen on Earth or Overpopulation just becomes such a hazard and strain on the food supply.

I'm not saying it's impossible, just highly improbable for at least the next century.

[edit on 12-8-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 09:57 PM
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actually not as much as u think. bring it up im pieces put it together in space . an then it wont need huge amount of fuel. once it gets moving things like sprits of co2 can keep it facing the right way



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 10:02 PM
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Originally posted by DalairTheGreat
actually not as much as u think. bring it up im pieces put it together in space . an then it wont need huge amount of fuel. once it gets moving things like sprits of co2 can keep it facing the right way

Yes , the hard part is geting started, once you advance it gets easyer and easyer, that is the beauty of size, it gives you room to manuver, the hardest part is geting the light materials in space to asemble the shell.
As for propultion a nuclear reactor would do the job.
All the tecnology to build such a thing is availible, there only needs to be will.
I wanted to think of a project like that, from srach to the end just for the fun of it.



[edit on 12-8-2006 by pepsi78]



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 10:22 PM
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The elimination of "to understand and protect our home planet" from the mission statement probably has far more to do with the US governments reluctance to deal with global warming than it has to do with the threat from little green men.

To protect Earth would first of all mean protecting it from Earthmen.


[edit on 12-8-2006 by kegs]



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 10:31 PM
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I disagree. It is not within our technological know-how to build a vehicle like you describe. Here is a list of the problems I foresee.

1. Cheap, Small and Powerful energy source. I favor Ground based lasers personally as it doesn't require you to haul heavy, complex and potentially dangerous reactors on board.

2. Devising a way of manufacturing and refining in Zero-gravity vacuum environments. This will be needed as such a large wessel will have to be built in orbit. This would force us to re-invent the wheel in many instances because we just don't have the know-how.

3. Efficient transport of Materials to the Space "Dry Dock." The best way to do this is Lunar mining using rudimentary maglev slingshot to deliver refined ore payloads to the building site. Again this will require us to invent a whole new host of technologies to deal with the problem at hand.

4. Devising a way of creating uniform artificial gravity. Centrifugal force is not enough and creates G imbalances throughout your body which could be detrimental to the health of the "Colony Ship."

5. Space. There is a lot of it and in order to traverse it, we will need to develop a way to either Pass the time or Make it so that the time is not experienced at all(You go to sleep when you takeoff and you wake up a moment later at your destination no matter the travel time).



posted on Aug, 12 2006 @ 11:47 PM
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1. Cheap, Small and Powerful energy source. I favor Ground based lasers personally as it doesn't require you to haul heavy, complex and potentially dangerous reactors on board.

I dont know how lasers would make propultion work, I only chose nuclear power because it would be a soulution for the propultion as well as a solution of powering the whole ship, remember it's a big ship.



2. Devising a way of manufacturing and refining in Zero-gravity vacuum environments.

Can there be a way to reduce zero gravity effect ? or a solution like magnetic boots.



This will be needed as such a large wessel will have to be built in orbit.

I agree, that is the only way it can be done.


This would force us to re-invent the wheel in many instances because we just don't have the know-how.

Not really , if it's such a big place then why not make componets for it on the ship.
Being a big place would permit the implementation of a asembling factory.



3. Efficient transport of Materials to the Space "Dry Dock." The best way to do this is Lunar mining using rudimentary maglev slingshot to deliver refined ore payloads to the building site.

I dont think that would work, the shell of the ship would be in orbit, how do you plan on going to the moon and mining for days with all that radiation around you, I would agree if there would be unmaned space flights to the moon , an automatic program.


Again this will require us to invent a whole new host of technologies to deal with the problem at hand.

The shell, and only the shell can be built out of the fuel container from the space shuttle, it dumps it any way , so why not use it, you would have material every time a space shutle go's in space.
some one would need to glue them every time a shuttle go's in space, one at the time, just glue the containers toghether until they add up ,I would design a new container more flat that nassa can cary fuel in it and once it dumps it then use it for the building of the shell, so nasa would not have to carry extra stuff at least for this fase.
next fase would be to build artificial life suport inside the shell, now that can be done it 2 diferent ways , either you cary plants and little trees or even one medium tree at a time can fit in the space shuttle, or you can grow them by planting seeds inside the shell.
I think it would be a good idea to just take them from here and get them up there, I think 3 meeter trees would fit in the space shuttle, this can be done each time nasa go's up.
Next would be the asembly of a small factory inside the shell once life suport is present, if nasa can cary satelites inside it's shuttle then I dont see the problem of carying such things one by one to asemble something automated up there.
The part that I dont know would be what materials are used to build engines, and what kind of materials would be needed to produce reinforced walls for the ship dep space travel to protect against radiation.
If they can make a factory inside the shell then maybe the other material can be caryed by the space shutle to be procesed on the space station, to cary a hole engine with a space shuttle is imposible but to cary the matterial for it I think it can be done.




4. Devising a way of creating uniform artificial gravity. Centrifugal force is not enough and creates G imbalances throughout your body which could be detrimental to the health of the "Colony Ship."

That would be a problem, isnt there any other way?, like I said before magnetic boots.



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 12:25 AM
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Originally posted by pepsi78
I dont know how lasers would make propultion work, I only chose nuclear power because it would be a soulution for the propultion as well as a solution of powering the whole ship, remember it's a big ship.


Nuclear Reactors are huge MASSive devices. The more mass you add to the ship, the more fuel it requires to achieve an arbitrary constant acceleration. Using a Solar Sail propelled by a ground based(and maybeg space based) laser can propell a spacecraft to significant velocities exceeding 1/10th the speed of light. Such a Laser would need to be powered by Fusion Reactors. Many of them for long periods of time in order to make the closest stars reachable.



Can there be a way to reduce zero gravity effect ? or a solution like magnetic boots.


Wasn't my point. It can and probably will be a completely automated process. Reduces the Human Error factor and increases safety by a wide margin.



Not really , if it's such a big place then why not make componets for it on the ship.
Being a big place would permit the implementation of a asembling factory.


How do you propose to accomplish that with current technology? Manufacuring in an Artificial Gravity or Zero Gravity environment needs specialized equipment(which doesn't exist as of yet).

The place where it is to be built is a very necessary consideration as well. The Lagrangian points are not very large places so we will have to use that resource as efficiently as possible.



I dont think that would work, the shell of the ship would be in orbit, how do you plan on going to the moon and mining for days with all that radiation around you, I would agree if there would be unmaned space flights to the moon , an automatic program.


The Entire Construction process will have to be an automated process with overseers nearby in heavily shielded spacecraft designed for long stays outside the protective atmosphere and magnetic field of the earth. Of course these overseer spacecraft will be equipped with spacewalking capabilities as well as the ability to do ad-hoc repairs and improvisation as is necessary but that is it. A crew of maybe 7-10 would be all that is needed. They could be based on the moon in an underground facility killing two birds in one stone so to speak.

It would be much cheaper to mine, refine and possibly manufacture components on the surface of the moon and then ship them up via Maglev slingshot in a tragectory which will have it intercept the "Drydock" facility at a managable speed. Gravity is really usefull in manufacturing processes as it saves energy(letting the gravity do the work for you is drummed into you in first year engineering school
).



The shell, and only the shell can be built out of the fuel container from the space shuttle, it dumps it any way , so why not use it, you would have material every time a space shutle go's in space.


The shuttle tanks are made of aluminum-lithium, it is one percent lithium, four percent copper, 0.4 percent silver, 0.4 percent magnesium, with the remainder being aluminum. Good for a fuel tank and possibly some internal components, bad for the outer shell. It would go with a multi layered skin designed to be self-healing to prevent escaping air from a micrometorite impact. Design it to also possibly absorb certain sizes as well at certain speeds and angles. Outer skin in my mind should be made up of a substance that can pipe heat out of the ship as fast as possible as overheating will pose a problem especially when in direct sunlight. The ability to change the color of the skin would be a plus as well(especially if you can get a boost from solar light). Underneath this functional outer skin will be the first armor hardener made out of a 2 dimensional substance that is sprayed on in the main factories on the Moon and hardens under UV light into a crystaline structure(very much like artificial diamond but hopefully stronger) Next will come a carbon based honycomb structure to impede and store outer skin repair fluid that will immediately rush out and dry once exposed to vacuum(not sure if this is possible, hopefully it is). After the honycomb will come another layer of hardened crystaline armor which is then followed by another honycomb, this time in more of a membrane structure designed to hold water, and then after that more armor and then additional radiation shielding like lead, etc. Such an advances hull would have to be developed within a gravity well and the Moon looks like the best bet.



some one would need to glue them every time a shuttle go's in space, one at the time, just glue the containers toghether until they add up ,I would design a new container more flat that nassa can cary fuel in it and once it dumps it then use it for the building of the shell, so nasa would not have to carry extra stuff at least for this fase.


Nasa should build a maglev slingshot on earth solely for the purpose of slinging up unmanned payloads.



next fase would be to build artificial life suport inside the shell, now that can be done it 2 diferent ways , either you cary plants and little trees or even one medium tree at a time can fit in the space shuttle, or you can grow them by planting seeds inside the shell.


Artificial Life Support will not be sustainable for a long haul journey to another solar system.


I think it would be a good idea to just take them from here and get them up there, I think 3 meeter trees would fit in the space shuttle, this can be done each time nasa go's up.


You can't just plant trees up in a colony ship and expect it to provide for us. All of our efforts to achieve this feat on Earth have all met with failure. Natural Life Support is still too primitive to attempt. Look up the Bio-Sphere projects. A Third project is needed soon though just to see if we can create a self-sustaining biosphere here on earth first. We have yet to do that you know...



Next would be the asembly of a small factory inside the shell once life suport is present, if nasa can cary satelites inside it's shuttle then I dont see the problem of carying such things one by one to asemble something automated up there.


A small factory working in an artificial gravity well will be problematic at best. That is why the Moon remains a better deal then the Earth or Lagrangian Orbit.



That would be a problem, isnt there any other way?, like I said before magnetic boots.


Magnetic boots won't pull help you excersize muscles and bones. Magnetic boots would help for ease of travel, the only other way is centrifugal force, and as I said before, that doesn't provide even gravity fields. On a centrifugal bycicle on the ISS, they've measures G in excess of 1.5 near the feet and 0.3 near the head(the feet were pointing outwards). On earth, it's 1.0 from head to toe at sea level.

[edit on 13-8-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 12:59 AM
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How do you propose to accomplish that with current technology? Manufacuring in an Artificial Gravity or Zero Gravity environment needs specialized equipment(which doesn't exist as of yet).

We are talking about ship plating, can a forge work in space, as for the engine you dont neserarly have to construct it, asembeling the parts caryed on the station and building them on the station is diferent.
Anything as esential parts can be taken on the space station and asembled there, people fix things while they moon walk.



It would be much cheaper to mine, refine and possibly manufacture components on the surface of the moon and then ship them up via Maglev slingshot in a tragectory which will have it intercept the "Drydock" facility at a managable speed. Gravity is really usefull in manufacturing processes as it saves energy(letting the gravity do the work for you is drummed into you in first year engineering school
).

Even making a simple moon base on the moon with out mining is a serios problem, I have been over this, it's simply imposible to protect against gamma on the moon, we are talking about months on the moon, nasa has it's own issues witht the moon, but I would agree if it were posible.
You cant stay there for more than a few days, if that is even posible
here
science.nasa.gov...



The shuttle tanks are made of aluminum-lithium, it is one percent lithium, four percent copper, 0.4 percent silver, 0.4 percent magnesium, with the remainder being aluminum. Good for a fuel tank and possibly some internal components, bad for the outer shell.

previos space stations were build from this material, they were build from fuel tanks and they lasted for a long time, the idea is that it wont have to be in motion while it has only that type of shell, the station would be stationary , the idea is to be able to host people in orbit , further ship plating would be reqired in orther for it to travel and to become a ship.
this would be the start the first fase.




Artificial Life Support will not be sustainable for a long haul journey to another solar system.

it does not even matter we dont have the tec to go out of the solar sistem, no viable propulsion sistem, if it can get us on mars, it would be something, see the other plantets in the solar sistem, check out europa , check out mars and the other planets , maybe we could fint other tipe of resurses on other planets that can open up dors, the solar sistem that we live in has alot to show, the first step is to start traveling at least to closer planets.




You can't just plant trees up in a colony ship and expect it to provide for us.
All of our efforts to achieve this feat on Earth have all met with failure

That is because it has not been tried on a larger scale


Natural Life Support is still too primitive to attempt. Look up the Bio-Sphere projects. A Third project is needed soon though just to see if we can create a self-sustaining biosphere here on earth first. We have yet to do that you know...

I'm not talking about 100% life suport from the plants, just makig it last a bit more, a solutuion for traveling in our solar sistem, something that would extend life suport for a while.
While there is no way yet for sustaining life with a bio sistem, there is proof that it will sustain it to an amount of procent making it last longer.


Magnetic boots won't pull help you excersize muscles and bones. Magnetic boots would help for ease of travel, the only other way is centrifugal force, and as I said before, that doesn't provide even gravity fields. On a centrifugal bycicle on the ISS, they've measures G in excess of 1.5 near the feet and 0.3 near the head(the feet were pointing outwards). On earth, it's 1.0 from head to toe at sea level.


then no matter what ship we send small or big, it would face the same problem, if astronauts spent around an year on space stations then why not pull out of the bag a trip to mars and back.

[edit on 13-8-2006 by pepsi78]



posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 01:24 AM
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We are talking about ship plating, can a forge work in space,

Forges rely on gravity and oxygen.



as for the engine you dont neserarly have to construct it, asembeling the parts caryed on the station and building them on the station is diferent.
Anything as esential parts can be taken on the space station and asembled there, people fix things while they moon walk.


A laser sail is extremely light. A reactor powering an engine is extremely massive.


Even making a simple moon base on the moon with out mining is a serios problem, I have been over this, it's simply imposible to protect against gamma on the moon, we are talking about months on the moon, nasa has it's own issues witht the moon, but I would agree if it were posible.


There is confirmed ice on the moon. A proposal to build a base under the ice is feasible. You have everything you need at that location. Water, Hydrogen(from water, to power fusion reactors powering various factories and slingshots). Water blocks and deflects lots of types of radiation. Add in Thorium and Lead, and you got very hearty rad-shielding.


previos space stations were build from this material, they were build from fuel tanks and they lasted for a long time, the idea is that it wont have to be in motion while it has only that type of shell, the station would be stationary , the idea is to be able to host people in orbit , further ship plating would be reqired in orther for it to travel and to become a ship.


That would add mass to the ship. Too much mass IMO.




it does not even matter we dont have the tec to go out of the solar sistem, no viable propulsion sistem, if it can get us on mars, it would be something, see the other plantets in the solar sistem, check out europa , check out mars and the other planets , maybe we could fint other tipe of resurses on other planets that can open up dors, the solar sistem that we live in has alot to show, the first step is to start traveling at least to closer planets.


What is the point of that? We can easily do that with unmanned probes for now. We should only go when we are ready to stay, I do not want another Apallo Space Race PR stunt.


That is because it has not been tried on a larger scale


Actually it has. Biosphere 2 is a Stadium sized building completely dedicated to support a small population of a handful of humans. This was in the mid-90s. It Failed. MAJOR STUMBLING BLOCK.



I'm not talking about 100% life suport from the plants, just makig it last a bit more, a solutuion for traveling in our solar sistem, something that would extend life suport for a while.
While there is no way yet for sustaining life with a bio sistem, there is proof that it will sustain it to an amount of procent making it last longer.


We don't really need it for inter-solarsystem travel and in fact, would unnecessarily complicate the matter. Recycling technologies have come a long way and the ISS is gonna even be able to get Air from urine soon. For Intersolarsystem manned trips you would need to bring twice as much water as you would need to use for two reasons. First is Radiation shielding, second is for Emergency Fuel(hydrogen), Emergency Air, etc. in case of any containment breaches.


then no matter what ship we send small or big, it would face the same problem, if astronauts spent around an year on space stations then why not pull out of the bag a trip to mars and back


The only way I would support that is if we went to stay. Such a ship would have to be primarily for colonization and beh the last part of a long effort to colonize the planet. I would want to have accomidations already setup before I even got there.


[edit on 13-8-2006 by sardion2000]

[edit on 13-8-2006 by sardion2000]




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