Near-term goal dispute stalls NASA’s plans

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posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:26 PM
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Near-term goal dispute stalls NASA’s plans




There's disagreement over the destination for the next manned exploratory mission en route to planned Mars orbit in 2035 — an asteroid, favored by President Barack Obama's team at NASA, or the moon, favored by some House Republicans.



The disagreements threaten a bipartisan consensus forged three years ago by then-Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida. Their deal helped the Obama administration smooth the transition from retirement of the shuttle fleet to simultaneously subsidizing development of fee-for-flight commercial spacecraft to service the orbiting space station and building a government-owned monster rocket and state-of-the-art crew capsule for deep space exploration for the next generation.



The House and Senate face budget deadlines after Labor Day to reach agreed instructions for NASA for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.


All of this bickering is so familiar and so are the challenges that NASA faces today in the grips of such budget scrunity.


“Everyone agrees on the need to get to Mars,” says a Smith staffer speaking on condition of anonymity. “We think preserving the option of going to the moon is the best way to get to Mars.”


Interesting to note, as I was not aware...

Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano nearly drowned from a fluid leak into his helmet during a 92-minute space walk before American astronaut Chris Cassidy maneuvered his imperiled colleague back inside the International Space Station.



The life-threatening emergency last month barely got attention back on Earth — the latest sign that manned space flight and the accompanying dangers just don't command the attention they once did.


NASA Dispute and Stall




posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:34 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 

I guess business, especially primary producers – mining companies, Big Oil and the rest – see the Moon as a better short-term bet than some asteroid. Science vs. Commerce.



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:43 PM
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I think children learn to crawl, then kinda stumble, then walk and only then...run.

I think we're in the stumbling stage, moving to the walking phase. The Moon would give us a place to learn to walk with humans and at least close enough to have some hope if things go wrong. Trial and Error will certainly characterize the early years of the first colony or presence on anything, right? Better to make it closer than 6 months away.

Besides.... Earth's gravity well is a real bitch. If we could get established on the moon's surface for a full assembly and launch point, wouldn't everything ..and really EVERYTHING about going beyond it become about 10x's easier?



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
reply to post by Cosmic911
 

I guess business, especially primary producers – mining companies, Big Oil and the rest – see the Moon as a better short-term bet than some asteroid. Science vs. Commerce.


And since its looking like private enterprises will get us "There" sooner than NASA, these primary producers will most likely win out. It might be more favorable for NASA, in the eyes of the public, to achieve some less-spectacular and shorter term goals before charging full steam ahead. The moon might just be that goal.

Thanks for the input!



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 12:48 PM
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Better to make it closer than 6 months away.

I agree 100%. It makes the most sense.




I think children learn to crawl, then kinda stumble, then walk and only then...run.

It'll be awhile until we're running in space but you're right. It's a great analogy. I think the lessons learned on the moon will be invaluable in future endeavors.

Thanks for chiming in Wrabbit!
edit on 18-8-2013 by Cosmic911 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2013 @ 01:21 PM
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Disagreements aside, I'm thinking of feasiblility of landing and EVA-ing on an asteroid. Asteroids have miniscule gravity, a tiny fraction of Earth's. For example, gravity on Vesta (second largest asteroid in Solar System) is only 0.025 g. Imagine trying to walk or hop in such gravity; it would take a very long time to touch down after pushing off. I wonder how much productive activity can be done in such conditions, without the hand rails or anything to hold on to.

I say we send robotic probes and rovers to asteroids, and go to the Moon ourselves. The Moon is a good environment to teach us how to live in low gravity and almost pure vacuum, with all the hazards of the open space, but also the with the benefit of resources and being relatively close to Earth.

Besides, we need to document the Apollo landing sites, to put the hoax theory to rest once and for all.

Many ATSers here would welcome other questions resolved, such as concerning the colours of the Moon, how much light there is from the Sun, and whether one can see stars during the lunar day.



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 04:50 AM
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It would be really good to get to the Moon and I really cannot understand why we have gone to Mars with rovers for the last 40+ years. Anyway, thats another topic. Yes, I also think that things would be much easier if we established some kind of base on the Moon and it would renew everyone's interest if we could all see something was being done nearer home. It may also renew faith in NASA - depending on what happened there of course. If commercial spacecraft get there as well or instead, then that would open the can for all to see (the worms) inside.

I would welcome some other companies apart from NASA taking the initiative for a change and maybe we would get more countries clubbing together to get to the Moon too.

I know that China has plans to get to land on the Moon soon, so do the US really want to lose out to the Chinese who are the new kid on the space block? The US can claim they were the first to get a man there, but they dont want to win that one and lose the real prize of commercially developing it.



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 05:36 AM
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Well, a lot of people think it's wasted resources spending all that money on space, when folks at home on Earth could use it more or put into renewable technology to make things sustainable instead of saying whelp we screwed this one up maybe we can try again somewhere else.

Then many younger people are so materialistic and seem to care about what middle aged adults consider trivial things, but can't get time to teach them that because both parents are typically working to stay afloat, or too distracted with their own problems.

But if they want to garner more interest in space exploration etc. sadly they would have to slap a space helmet on the Biebs singing about pulling fat stacks out of the moon.

Fortunately, there is a opposite movement away from the idocracy, that is more science and technology based. Kids are realizing that chasing empty fads can leave you homeless in prison or flipping burgers. That it won't lead to fame and a mansion like it is presented on TV... "reality" shows haven't helped human progress, unless the dumbing down of America is progress to someone's agenda.

I spoke with a political TV show host once which I will not name, and he said he was astounded that we waste so many billions on non productive things, he said why we don't give every kid a free college education made no sense... I said you know that's rational but not ideal to our economy, who is going to work the registers and flip the burgers? If everyone has a degree and in a career. Failure of education needs to be in it to work.

Sorry for getting a bit off on a tangent, more chatty than normal this morning. But, I suppose the debate comes down too... seeing something we have already seen and been on several times or visiting an asteroid to get a better understanding of them.

Option moon, might be for some unknown plan of a moon outpost or trying to harvest resources off of it. Option Asteroid could be some unknown plan of how to possibly, harvest their resources. We could get a quick sling shot around the moon to Mars so there's an upside to that, not sure the specifics of the asteroid if it's mass is dense enough we could get a slingshot off of that too.



posted on Aug, 19 2013 @ 09:39 AM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 


Dear Congress,

If you would increase NASA's budget to a level which is commensurate with the resources we have, we could do both and then some. I know this would mean we would need to cut spending so may I suggest we start by slashing the amount of pay government workers get. Then we can move onto the military and reign in their budget. Inversely we could always force the DoD in allowing use of their advanced space vehicles. Either way there are plents of areas we can cut spending in in order to increase NASA's budget.


'Cause it's next. 'Cause we came out of the cave, and we looked over the hill and we saw fire; and we crossed the ocean and we pioneered the west, and we took to the sky. The history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration and this is what's next.






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