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Planetary Society Urges Debate on NASA Authorization Bill

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posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 06:33 PM
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Planetary Society Urges Debate on NASA Authorization Bill


planetary.org

The Planetary Society is very concerned that the proposed NASA Authorization, which was only recently unveiled by the House Science and Technology committee, has taken an approach to space exploration that deviates significantly from any plan offered by NASA or any previous Administration -- one that raises many fundamental questions about the direction and sustainability of the space program.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 06:33 PM
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Hmmmm... Rushing a bill that discourages commercial space exploration and is attempting reinstate unsustainable programs.

Being that there would be zero reason for the Planetary Society to discredit NASA's aims and goals, I take their concern as founded and legitimate. That being stated, why in the world would the current Administration rush a NASA appropriations bill that would seemingly drown NASA and curb any real progress by the association?

planetary.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 07:02 PM
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What we need to do is obvious and simple.

1.Cancel ares I and the Orion capsule. It is not needed and turnnig orion into a ISS escape pod is a huge dumb waist of money. SpaceX and others can do these things long before NASA can.

2. Put more money into companys like SpaceX and even the Boeing/Bigelow partnership. These are the people that are going to provide us with transportation, if we don't support them then we will not have a way to get even to LEO. I don't understand why so many don't get this. If we don't have them then the only other option is the Russians. Period.

3. Get to work on a heavy lift rocket immediately. No need to think about it for five years. We've got plenty of ideas and concepts. Somone needs to show some leadership and pick a design and start building it. Waiting 5 years is a waist of time and money.

4. Have a clear mission. This isn't as important as the first three because by the time the heavy lift rocket is compleated Obama will be gone and the stated plan will probably be altered once again anyway. However it's just not smart to not have a clear goal or destination. Take the 6 wheeled pressurized rover thats been developed for example. If we don't go to an asteroid then we wouldn't use a pressurized rover so potentialy we have already waisted tons of time money and resorces on something that won't even be needed.

A few weeks ago I thought they almost had it, but sadly it looks like everythings going down the tubes again. They don't have a clear mission, they are talking about waiting on the HLV, they want to continue with Orion, and they want to cut the funding for private companys... basically everything we shouldn't be doing.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 07:18 PM
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reply to post by fieryjaguarpaw
 


Anytime we can say that a commercial entity can innovate quicker than our federally funded space exploration association - there is a flaw. In fact, I think you brush on the flaw in your second point - NASA's partnerships. A federal association has no partnerships, it has closed-bid contractors and that is precisely where the system is most flawed.

I strongly believe that NASA's over-apparent lack of innovation (or least lack of practical use of innovation) over the past 2 decades is due to closed bid contracts by the likes of such companies as Boeing and Lockheed.

In fact, some time back, I worked at a federal organization called SPAWAR. The San Diego SPAWAR facility was collocated with a Lockheed facility that built shuttle fuel pods - The facility was open door and could be toured at anytime by any personnel cleared to the SPAWAR campus. In fact, because I took the train to work, it was a much shorter distance to my building by actually walking through the Lockheed hangar. In 5 years at that position, I never once witnessed ANY activity within the facility (although it was continually stocked) and semi-built fuel capsules were on floor - seemingly with zero additions made during said 5 years.

Any any rate, as with almost every other federal agency/association/institution, the problem lies with lobbying and the "good ole boy" network, IMHO.



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 08:02 PM
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reply to post by misinformational
 


Don't agree. They are innovating quicker than than the government. That's not a flaw it's a fact.

What I'm saying is that SpaceX has already launched a dummy capsule and the next launch will be the real deal. Sure it will be a minute before they turn the dragon from a cargo capsule into a crewed capsule, but how long will it take NASA to do the same? The proposed orion capsule won't even be able to take people to ISS it will only be an escape pod. So in other words if we don't fund spaceX then we just simply don't go at all.

If not SpaceX then who? We need to fund these guys or we just won't have anything at all. Why is that so hard for people to understand?



posted on Jul, 29 2010 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by fieryjaguarpaw
 


Trust me, friend, I'm not advocating that independent corporations aren't innovating quicker than NASA - They are, no doubt.

I am, however, suggesting that NASA's prime contractors are just as much the problem as NASA. Especially considering the companies have ZERO competition as is reinforced within the closed bid process. It's federally backed companies such as Lockheed and Boeing that are stalling development, similar to NASA - all due to lack of competition and all in the name of the almighty dollar. The legislation referenced in the OP will only increase this apparent lack of development , ultimately by decreasing competition from such companies as Space-X and maintaining unsustainable programs as you mentioned.



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