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Is this the end for human space flight?

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posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 02:51 PM
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It is not the end for HUMAN space flight, but it does signify an end to the dominance of US & NASA space flight.

The Chinese, the Japanese, the European Union, the Hindis, and the Russian Commonwealth all have very active and growing Space Programs. Heck, even the Iranians and North Koreans have growing Space Programs!

And let's not forget the Amateur and Private Sectors, both of which are making significant inroads towards Space Exploration due to the X-Prize Competitions and NASA outsourcing for many of it's traditional needs.

The US government failed to keep JFK's vision alive, and NASA might as well be next to dead. However, Human Space Flight is leaving it's infancy as the common man has found that it is within their grasp to have a 4 person vehicle lift off into space and return safely to the ground (Thank you John Carmack!). The common man now has the technology to no longer have to join the Air Force to see Space. So long as there is a will there is a way. (And so long as you have a stack of pens too as there is precisely 666lbs of Paperwork you have to file with the government to get approval for your launch...I kid you not!)




posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 

Actually the US fulfilled Kennedy's mandate.


First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.


The problem was once they did it the public got kind of bored and said,
"Well, what do you want to do now?"
"I dunno, what do you want to do?"
"I dunno."

He did talk about a spending $30million on developing a nuclear rocket but that didn't get too far.



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 03:25 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
The problem was once they did it the public got kind of bored and said,
"Well, what do you want to do now?"
"I dunno, what do you want to do?"
"I dunno."

He did talk about a spending $30million on developing a nuclear rocket but that didn't get too far.


I know I would much sooner jump on board a Tax Increase to supplement Space Exploration than I would a Tax Increase to supplement the War Effort in Afghanistan and Iraq, or to bail-out Bankers that got us into the economic mess we are in. I know I would gladly hand over a third of my income if I knew it was going towards the dream of exploring Space and settling other planets.

I know that I am not alone either. Every child that grew up watching Lost in Space, Space 1999, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and such, has always shared the dream and desire to go amongst the stars.

I don't think it was ever a matter of "I dunno, what do you wanna do?" as much as it was every Senator either wanting to put their own 2 cents worth into the direction NASA was to go next, or bickering over every 2 cent expense on the ledgers. You know what they say about too many cooks stirring the pot.

Personally, I think NASA suffered from lack of leadership and a cohesive Mission Statement and direction, allowing them to be pulled in every direction by every Senator with an opinion. Canning the X Program for the Shuttle Program was the turning point for NASA in my book. Things might have turned out very differently had they gone with the former instead of the later.

However, I think the next chapter for Space needs to be in the hands of private individuals, private Corporations, and anyone who desires to go there. It shouldn't be reserved for Military personnel or for Government Agencies only. I think the decline of NASA, and the rise of private Space Exploration is long overdue. Granted, it will take the private sector a while to catch up to NASA, not having the funding or resources NASA has enjoyed the past four decades and counting, not to mention the lack of experience, but they have something NASA has been short on for quite some time now...ingenuity. It doesn't have to cost 50-100 million dollars to launch something into Low Orbit even if that is what it costs NASA to do such. With enough ingenuity, it can be done for a couple hundred dollars...although you are going to lose a lot of bowling balls in the process of trying to achieve that.

Since the accomplishment of the Reaction Research Society in November of 1996, civilian amateurs have been making one leap-frog step after another into Space. On May 17th 2004 the Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT) finally reached that goal. Even Armadillo Aerospace with a $3.5 million dollars spent over the course of 8 years has been able to achieve VTOL Rocket, and a Lunar Lander that has achieved success in tests and competition.

People know what they want to do in Space and where to go, it's just that we all of different ideas of what that may be. The sky is no longer the limit though, and as people realize that it can be done and can be done by amateurs and on the cheap, we'll be seeing the civilian sector surpassing NASA within the next decade or two.



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 03:29 PM
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I know I would much sooner jump on board a Tax Increase to supplement Space Exploration than I would a Tax Increase to supplement the War Effort in Afghanistan and Iraq, or to bail-out Bankers that got us into the economic mess we are in. I know I would gladly hand over a third of my income if I knew it was going towards the dream of exploring Space and settling other planets.

Flaterforum I am with you on this, I am tired of supporting the Military Industrial Complex.



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 03:40 PM
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reply to post by fraterormus
 

Politics are always a part of it and NASA depends on the funds that the politicians eke out but who elects the politicians?

It's not just NASA and it's not just politics. The trouble is those kids weren't voting quite yet and when they were there was a particularly nasty war going on that kind of took precedence. I know it happened to me. When Voyager and Viking showed us what Mars looks like it was kind of a downer and made it seem like getting there was not quite so exciting. Of course, we have much better information now and Mars looks pretty good.

Private enterprise is a good possibility but it's going to take someone who is willing to take a long view because no matter what establishing a presence on the Moon or landing a Man on Mars is going to be a long term operation. Where's DD Harriman when we need him?


[edit on 12/1/2009 by Phage]



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 03:42 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
When Voyager and Viking showed us what Mars looks like it was kind of a downer and made it seem like getting there was not quite so exciting.


I don't know man, when I saw these pix, I wanted to die there :p



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 03:44 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Phage, I agree with you. I think that we will see a continuation of manned space flight. Regardless of politics, the human need to explore will prevail in the end.

More to the point though. No matter what you say, just looking at your avatar makes me believe whatever you say. I mean seriously, how can you argue against Dr. Who (btw, the most serious looking Dr. Who I have seen)? The man is a space-time-farer extraordinaire, he has braved nearly 47 years worth of adventures spanning countless, countless centuries and he always comes out ahead...looking completely different sometimes, but always ahead.
Honestly, just thinking about your avatar gives me the willies and the "MMMMM's" all at the same time. It reminds me of that time I was in Cuba and we went to this cool little jazz club that was in the basement and the entrance looked like a old-style phone booth or "Tardis" and I said to my wife: "Dude, this jazz club is in the basement of the Tardis" and she just looked at me like I was an idiot and ordered herself another mojito.

anyhoo...See ya later. :-)



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 03:45 PM
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reply to post by Aquarius1
 


The uncomfortable truth is that spending on space exploration and the military industrial complex are more closely linked than most people realise. The technology needed to put a man into orbit and return him safely, is pretty much the same technology needed to accurately deliver a hydrogen bomb half way around the world.

The whole space race was pretty much the US and the USSR trying to intimidate each other with their advances in rocket technology. Even today when the N. Koreans want to show off their mid range missiles, they call them "satellite launches".



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 05:49 PM
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reply to post by Tamale_214
 


...and by Dr. Who, I clearly mean that guy from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai across the 8th Dimension, who I have absolutely no idea who he is.



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by Tamale_214
 


Ah, Dr. Emilio Lizardo... or is it Lord John Whorfin?

WHERE are we going?



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 10:23 PM
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reply to post by Saint Exupery
 

Doesn't really matter because no matter where you go...



posted on Dec, 1 2009 @ 11:29 PM
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Sure, rub it in

stomp stomp stomp stomp stomp...*door slams*



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