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SCI/TECH: U.S. May Lose Ride to Space Station

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posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 09:33 AM
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The US policy of preventing Russia exporting any nuclear, chemical or biological knowhow to Iran is not only seriously threatening the future of the International Space Station, but also President Bush's desire to send humans back to the Moon. Unless Russia obtains certification from the US that it is not aiding Iran with nuclear chemical or biological knowledge or materials, it will not be able to receive payment from the US for any services performed for the US, such as flying US astronauts to the ISS.
 



www.indystar.com


WASHINGTON -- A 2000 law restricting U.S. purchases of Russian technology has put America's future on the international space station in doubt.

The law prohibits NASA from paying Russia to fly astronauts to the orbiting laboratory, and Russian space officials insist they cannot afford to carry the Americans for free after they fulfill an agreement to provide 11 free trips.

The dilemma could cripple President Bush's initiative to send humans back to the moon and eventually to Mars, because NASA couldn't use the station to study the effects of prolonged weightlessness.

Congress has questioned NASA about how it plans to escape the impasse, but the space agency has offered no solutions. NASA officials said they're studying whether a pre-existing bilateral agreement may allow the agency to obtain Russian equipment without running afoul of the law.

The restrictions imposed under the Iran Nonproliferation Act of 2000 forbid the United States from buying anything from Russia for the space station unless the U.S. president certifies that Russia is not exporting nuclear, chemical or biological warfare technology or know-how to Iran.

Until recently, however, it was largely ignored. Russia, under a 1996 bilateral "balance agreement," must provide 11 Soyuz spacecraft to ferry U.S. astronauts and Russian cosmonauts between Earth and the station at no cost.

The 11th free Soyuz is scheduled for liftoff in October 2005, with a planned return to Earth in April 2006. After that, Russia intends to have only paying passengers.

"This is a situation where America's very valid concerns about Iran are ending up having a dramatic impact on the space station program," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., chairman of the subcommittee on space and aeronautics. He's the author of the law's space station


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This problem puts the US in a very awkward position. It has to decide whether it's manned space flight programme takes precedence over it's concerns of Iran's NBC proliferation.
This situation could be easily solved if the Space Shuttle, and it's successor, prove to be safe and reliable in the future.

[edit on 8-29-2004 by Valhall]




posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 09:39 AM
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Just a point of clarification on this. The Russians have provided nothing for free on the ISS. We've footed their portion of the ISS. And they've blackmailed and exploited us every inch of the way.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 10:17 AM
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Although this started out as a US project, there are sixteen space agencies around the world contributing to this space station.
United Sates
Canada
Japan
Russia
11 members of the European Space Agency
Brazil

The Indystar article says the US has spent $33.5 billion since 1985
This Canadian article (link) says Canada has spent $1.4 billion.

I'm still strying to find out who else invested how much into this.

[edit on 29-8-2004 by AceOfBase]



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 10:22 AM
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You're missing Italy.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 10:30 AM
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OK, this isn't the best site out there but it lists some of the contributions of the International pertners:


ISS Alpha
- Europe has budgeted $4.6 billion dollars for the development, building and launching of the Columbus Orbital Facility, the Automated Transfer Vehicles and contribution to any U.S. crew transfer vehicle. Additional costs for regular operations have still not been determined. They will also foot the bill for the 2 additional Node modules at $115 million each.
- Japan has budgeted $2.8 billion dollars for the development of the their experiment modules and their H-IIA Transfer Vehicle. I still have not found a solid number concerning the cost of the Centrifuge Accommodation Module.
- Japan has also estimated yearly costs of $650 million (maintaining the module and launching two HTV's to ISS). Between 2008 and 2015 (7 times $650 million) this costs comes out to $4.55 billion.
- Canada has budgeted $900 million for ISS with their Canadarm2 and Canada Hand.
On the Russian side, Yuri Koptev, Director of Russian Aerospace Agency (Rosaviakosmos) recently stated that it costs $23 million to build and launch one Progress M/1 spacecraft and $130 million to build and launch 3 Progress M/1 and 2 Soyuz TM/A spacecraft in a given year.
- Through the end of 2003 Russia will have launched 12 Progres and 7 Soyuz TM/A spacecraft to ISS bring up that costs to $489.5 million dollars.
- The costs of the building and launching the Zvezda Servuce Module was $3.05 billion.
- The launch of the Zarya Functional Cargo Block (since the U.S. paid the $220 million for its construction) was $50 million.
- The cost of the development of the Pirs Docking Comparment-1 and its launch adds up to $32 million (Thanks to Alex from his Russia ISS website for the info.)


They show that the US paid $220 million for construction of Russia's Zarya Cargo Block but it seems like Russia is picking up the tab for many of the other items.

I'm still not too sure though.

If anyone has a better site that lists International contributions, please post it.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 10:33 AM
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We basically ended up paying a huge part of the construction of the SM (Service Module) as well as the FGB (cargo block). Don't know where to send you to find that out. I know this personally.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 10:43 AM
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I can't believe we have come to a point in time where the U.S. space program is so far behind and underfunded that we are now dependant on the Russians to get men into space. This is a shame and an outrage!

The U.S. hitching a ride to the space station.. please.


Maybe we can borrow a North Korean rocket for the mission to the moon Bush wants??.. Perhaps in exchange for rice??


Gazz



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by UM_Gazz
I can't believe we have come to a point in time where the U.S. space program is so far behind and underfunded that we are now dependant on the Russians to get men into space. This is a shame and an outrage!

The U.S. hitching a ride to the space station.. please.


Maybe we can borrow a North Korean rocket for the mission to the moon Bush wants??.. Perhaps in exchange for rice??


Gazz


Rice, what rice?

Condoleezza?



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by UM_Gazz
I can't believe we have come to a point in time where the U.S. space program is so far behind and underfunded that we are now dependant on the Russians to get men into space. This is a shame and an outrage!

The U.S. hitching a ride to the space station.. please.


Gazz


While I do think NASA is underfunded out of all the space agencies of the world it is the best funded. Its not like we have fallen behind in tech we can go up there right now if we wanted too. It more of a safety issue right now with the Shuttle we dont want to use it again until we are sure what went wrong and have made sure we have fixed it.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 10:15 PM
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I don't think that the U.S. governemnt would EVER allow itself to be surpassed in ANY space program of ANY kind. Just because most funding for NASA was pulled after the moon landing, doesn't mean that money isn't still being spent on space programs of a more secretive nature. Although our "civilian" space agency has dropped the ball many many times (insuring slow progress) I'd be surprised to find out that there were no signifigantly more advanced military space programs. Other nations may indeed reach certain areas of space exploration before the American people... but not before our military lol.



posted on Aug, 29 2004 @ 11:54 PM
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If things do get sticky, we can just leave the men on the station until we launch our space shuttle. They just got a russian cargo supply ship like a week or two ago so they have enough that they could ration it to stay up there another 6 months. Until Discovery lifts off in March.



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 12:58 AM
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What was the original cost of the space station "supposed" to be?

Anyone remember?

NASA's 'culture' hasn't changed even after two disasters, why do people think it will change now?

Goldin changed nothing but the symbol


Went from the NASA "worm" back to the old "meat-ball." Goldin was a contractor pimp and O'Keefe is ineffective.

NASA prostituteds the Soviets (back when) using MIR like a mid-point waste can. 15 years!

Russia has a solid and proven missle ability that no nation on earth can match.

The US won the moon-race!

O.K.- what next?

USSR fell apart and the US fumbled any lead it had in the space program. With out the Russians the space station would be so much space debris.

I've always wondered if there were some master plane by Boeing to miraculously come up with a shuttle replacement.

Boeing virtually owns many NASA buildings- rent free of course and gets paid for failures as much as they do success


Cost+award fee contracting by the government has always been suspect, NASA has taken it to new heights.
2001
fairly good report on costs
NASA "summary" don't laugh

In summary:
NASA has no (zero) idea how much anything currently under contract will cost when finished- it is all guess work. The space station started out @ $870 million- even the costs as reported are in excess of what? $30 billion ?

That is a lot of moeny and the station still doesn't do what it should. Skylab and MIR were far more cost effective.

Bush calls for going to the moon, yet cuts NASA's budget ?



posted on Aug, 30 2004 @ 11:56 AM
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Hmm

Maby soon it will be a global effort into space as ever country seems to be "lacking" something to actualy make a foothold in space anymore (Space station is only one i can think of that can be manned and be perminent outside of the actual earth)

We are already contributing resorces and money to eachother so why not put make it an offical global attempt as a collective

I hear that China (in around 20-30 years) will be the main economic power on earth if it keeps growing as it is doing now



posted on Aug, 31 2004 @ 12:23 AM
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NASAs Space.com puts a tentative launch for Endeavor in March 2005 if upgrades are met on schedule.



posted on Aug, 31 2004 @ 03:44 AM
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Funny how some americans seem to think this is some sort of race.
Whoever gets people on mars first wins!

Would be great to make a TV show out of it.



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