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NASA, Vision Required. ATS members apply!

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posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 04:20 AM
As more and more reports of the foam problem resurfacing on the shuttle start to come in Im beginning to think that NASA simply can't cut it anymore. It has become a huge organisation struggling under its own weight in paper and is thus inefficient, which is in turn smothering creativity. While it has access to fantastic technologies and brilliant scientists Im am starting to think that its organisational model and management goals need a drastic restructure.

I believe in order to survive NASA needs to concentrate on the big picture. Decide what it is it wants to do in space and damn well do it.

This is my vision of NASA and what I would do with it if I was in charge

1) Srcap the scuttle, er I mean shuttle
. Resurrect the X-33 program to give the US a manned space plane fleet. Capsuals are in my opinion, wastfull. Set up a task force which will look at ways to drive down the cost of manufacture. Get the material scientists on board and look at ways in which the X-33 can be modified so that it can reach the moon.
2) A msssive drive into the research of carbon nono tubes with the goal of producing an operational space elevator at some stage in the future once the technology becomes available. This would identify all the things that need to be achieved in order to create such a device.
3) Scrap the idea of a space station in orbit around earth. At this stage it is simply not needed and is in fact a liability. Instead focus on how a moonbase can be created that mines the moon for its resources. A space station can't mine anything and needs to be resupplied. The moon has ice (for water and oxygen and hydrogen) helium (for fusion reactors should they become available) and rocks for shielding against radiation. The ground can also be tunnled and these tunnles can be made habitable and food can be grown.
4) Heavily research Fusion drives, i.e. nuclear plasma rockets with a goal to making this the primary propulsion method in space. Forget antimatter, solar sails and everything else because this is the one technology the is achievable and reliable, i.e. can be throttled up or down and doesn't required a ship to carry tonnes of highly explosive fuel. ( I know hydrogen is explosive, but it pails in comparrision when you look at just how deadly antimatter is!).
5) Once we have perfected these technologies we can take on Mars, because at the moment we don't even stand a snowfalkes chance in hell of getting there. We need more experience in space and the moon is the perfect place for us to find our feet.

This is my vision, what yours? Im interested in hearing all opinions. How would you run NASA?

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 04:59 AM
1. Fast-track the CEV. Set a goal of first test flight to 2008, scuttle the Shuttle shortly after the CEV enters service.

1.a. The CEV model should be completely re-usable and should not have any wings! If anything it should be a Two-stage to LEO ala White Knight style(Mothership), we shouldn't be so worried about landing like an Airplane at this moment in time IMHO, as long as all parts safely retrievable than

2. Complete the ISS! We have need of Microgravity research which we cannot do on Earth or the Moon. If anything it should be put up into a more stable orbit so it doesn't take as much fuel to keep it at the same height.

3. Start Involving start-ups into the mix, we need different schools of thought and more private investment

4. Privatize any redundant parts of NASA immediately.

5. NASA should help form a Space Industry Lobbying Group whose sole purpose is to increase the profile of the embryonic industry in governments.

6. NASA should forge stronger ties with Hollywood, try to get it back to the good old days of the 60s.

7. All Non-essential buerocrats are to be catapulted back to Washington where they won't cause so much monetary damage.

8. Start sending paying tourist's up when possible. Maybe not on the Shuttle or the CEV but that should be an important part of the Public Relations strategy.

9. Long term goal of NASA should now be to setup a permanent manned base on Mars and the Moon, and to help them grow and prosper.

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 05:45 AM

2. Complete the ISS! We have need of Microgravity research which we cannot do

Excuse my ignorance. What is microgravity research and why is it so important. Could there not be a single module up in the sky aka skylab style? Do we really need such a big station?

I like your idea of start ups and private investment. Sticking NASA into a business environment would definately be a good thing! It would get rid of some of he paper work and a drive would be towards efficiency so that profits could be achieved.

The govermental lobby group is another excellent idea. I wouldn't have though up that one. I know that if it existed, I would contribute to it and I live in the UK!

The celebraties thing is great. People love to know what they are up to (god know why?) having them involved with the space program would be an excellent way to boost its profile.

I just wish a politician would set a date, a concrete timetable for a set of goals and stick to them whatever the cost. NASA needs to do this as well. It goals should be listed on a single page, no ifs or buts!

[edit on 31-7-2005 by enslaved83]

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 06:16 AM

Excuse my ignorance. What is microgravity research and why is it so important. Could there not be a single module up in the sky aka skylab style?

Researching the effect of near zero gravity on substances and people. Quite important to actually send them to mars. We gotta know the health effects. Also things like combustion, and plant growth works totally different in near zero gravity. We could make some amazing discoveries if the original mandate of the ISS were carried through. Imagine having 7 scientists up thier working mostly on science projects in microgravity, no we have 2 people up there conducting around the clock maintanance and very little science. The ISS really needs to get back to its original mandate and have all funding restored to that project ASAP including cancelled modules. Once we have a moon base setup and orbital facilities could theoretically be supplied from a moon base set up near the lunar ice cap.

Do we really need such a big station?

We need a bigger station then we current got... I would have gone with the ring made out of spent fuel tanks model and have it spun up to 30 rpm to create gravity.

LEO To the Moon, then on from the Moon to Mars. Hopefully we'll have the foresight to create a always running taxi service, multiple craft at different stages and orbital trajectories to continually shuttle people and supplies to a Marsian colony.

[edit on 31-7-2005 by sardion2000]

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 07:52 AM
Dun forget NASA needs extra fundings! And X-33 is nice...

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 08:23 AM
First NASA should plot their goasl for the next 50 years..
On the basis of that one can choose/design the most efficient configuration..
Shortage of ideas does not exist.. Only the ability to gauge the relevance of these ideas to the near future(50 years)..

Are we looking at a totally orbital oriented Earth-Moon-Mars approach or a more versatile view..

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 09:21 AM
Naah, they jsut don't have enough money... Think about it, the rockets are 25 years old... Do you have an electronic thing in your home that's so old... Don't think so...


posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 11:39 AM

Originally posted by sardion2000
7. All Non-essential buerocrats are to be catapulted back to Washington where they won't cause so much monetary damage.
I would prefer catapulting them over the coast to ocean...
With all their politician buddies!

Last number of astronomical association's member magazine had one article about two Finns working for NASA, other is working in SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) which is combined joint project of NASA and German Aerospace Center and building of it has been "privatized" to USRA (Universities Space Research Association) with operating of it for at least first ten years so guess what that means?
NASA has more bureaucrats, consults and supervisors in keeping eye of project than USRA has scientist and engineers in it!

First thing to do would be getting rid of all these high payed useless bums in political "sheltered works".

[edit on 31-7-2005 by E_T]

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 02:44 PM
That would be another thing I would do. Get rid of the paper pushers. Yes some are needed, but at the moment it looks like there is this massive paper system just to keep people in jobs.

I am a software engineer by trade and at the moment me and a buddy are working for this company which has a massive paper system. Now with a little thought, we have designed a simple system which is going to cut their work load down by about 75% and probably more. It is going to save them so much time it is unreal! Why can't NASA do something like this. Its like I always say to my buddy, small is beautifull because you can always outmaneuver your larger opponents.

I agree with the need for long term goals where the technologies are matched to what suits the goals best but this required forsight, something that political class are not good at!

I find NASA so exciting yet so frustrating at the same time. They could do sooooo much more than what they are doing at the moment. They just need to invest in the right areas.

Now heres another question. America has a huge black budget. Many of the technologies I mentioned in my origional post are not that far away in terms of development. Now let us assume that America has a covert space program. Would the mountains of paper exists with all the pen pushers of would the program be more streamlined. What technologies would they be likely to use and I wonder, what would be their long term goals. Any suggestions?

[edit on 31-7-2005 by enslaved83]

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 07:44 PM
When I used to work for Nortronics Inc. we made recording heads for
the in flight recorders and black boxes on airliners and we plasma sprayed the ceramic on to the recording heads.

This same technology could be applied to the shuttle and it would make the ceramic tiles obsolete.

That is my 2 cent's worth.

Mitch kc0jfy

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 07:56 PM

Originally posted by enslaved83
.... small is beautifull because you can always outmaneuver your larger opponents.
[edit on 31-7-2005 by enslaved83]

And thats the problem. NASA is a monopoly. They have no opponents in the US.

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 08:03 PM
Nasa is obsolete. They spend billions on beurocracy (sp) and are getting nowhere fast.

Free enterprise is entering the space race. It has finally become the new frontier. Within 100 years we will have hotels, motels and cheap diners circling this planet we call home and to get there will be nothing more then calling a taxi to take you there.

Don't belive me? Fine.

Just look at where we've come since 1905. 100 years ago there was no television, radio, computers, satalites, moonwalks, anti-biotics, airplanes, electricity, we had cars, but they were pulled by horses because we didn't have gas, There was no disco (thank god it died) and no rock and roll.

100 years from now free enterprise will make a joke of the daring adventures our astronauts are dying for now.

I cannot wait to reincarnate.

Love and light,


posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 08:44 PM
Restructuring any thing takes big bucks!! So do you want to siphon money away from our wars? Raise taxes? Cut back on Homeland security?

Call me old fashion, but wouldn't it be prudent to figure out how you are going to pay for your grandious scheme First.

NASAs track record isn't great right now; I'm inclined to believe congress is just going to appropriate enough money to keep The beaureaucy afloat. It's a shame but in this administration the freedom crusade with it's attendant corporate welfare, trumps all scientific investegations. It's a brave new world, maybe we could clone JFK, the last president that really cared about space exploration.

edit sp.

[edit on 31-7-2005 by whaaa]

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 08:46 PM
I was in Oshkosh Wisconsin this past weekend at the world's greatest aviation event and Spaceship One plus the Global Flyer were there.

I saw them both fly yesterday and it got me to start thinking about NASA's problems.

The people we need to be paying attention to are Burt Rutan,Steve Faucett and Paul Allan.

The designs they have come up with have been both novel an elegant.

NASA has a mind set that is malignant to the whole program.

The only two space shuttles we ever lost were caused by bad management calls and that's the root cause.

It was a breakdown in the system that caused both! and the technology is about 20 years old now.

NASA needs an enema and it's time for them to get there crap together and start flying a safer ship or let the private groups take over.

Now I'm up to my 4 cents worth.

Regards, Mitch kc0jfy

posted on Jul, 31 2005 @ 09:18 PM
I agree, why use outdated shuttles when we could have newer stuff? Why use them at all if they have such problems? NASA should start getting newer equipment or they won't be able to act on their dreams.

posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 02:19 AM

Originally posted by Lifeadventurer
I agree, why use outdated shuttles when we could have newer stuff? Why use them at all if they have such problems? NASA should start getting newer equipment or they won't be able to act on their dreams.

I guess the problem is there is no desire to update the shuttle. There is a pro shuttle lobby within NASA. A lot of peoples jobs depend on it. The X33 was supposed to be simpler and easier to operate and drastically cheaper. That can mean only one, thing people would loose their job. Some tought calls need to be made. Will this CEV be ready and will it cut it? Or do we need a shuttle and thus the X33. Heck, in an ideal worl I would have both!

posted on Aug, 1 2005 @ 04:46 AM

The people we need to be paying attention to are Burt Rutan,Steve Faucett and Paul Allan.

You forgot the team leader of one of the other top contenders in the X-Prize Brian Feeney of the DaVinci Project.
He's teamed up with

Or the Canadian Arrow(Based on a V-2 rocket lol once used for the Nazi war machine now being used to potentially send people up into space)

Personally I think the Canadian Arrow wins hands down for best looking private rocket
It was only a few years ago now Canadian Arrow entered the X PRIZE race in an attempt to capture the prize. We started with only two plastic models and a set of blueprints drawn from years of research into the V-2 rocket. Our competition ranged from small companies like ourselves to well entrenched competitors with years of experience and notoriety in the aerospace industry. We may have entered the race but our goal was more than just a trophy and a prize, we wanted a business that could lead an industry. If one was to take a look at the events and strategies we applied during the race it would become clear we were doing more than just building a rocket.

The Canadian Arrow has made business partners with some American investors already, the X-Prize and SS1 really improved the survival prospects of a number of these programs.

There will be future ones starting at the end of this year called the X-Prize Cup!

These are the types of people NASA should be supporting and working with. Small Startups are usually allot better at avoiding things like Beurocratic Bloat that bigger more experienced operations are(cough cough Nasa and it's current subcontractor setup)

I say as part of the new NASA they should start a 1 Billion dollar prize for the first company to Land people on the moon. I betcha some company will take the prize within a decade and all NASA has todo is orginize the competition. Save Billions of dollars while creating a new industry!

[edit on 1-8-2005 by sardion2000]

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