The End of Human Spaceflight?

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The End of Human Spaceflight?

Postby ryguy » Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:32 pm

I've been reading and writing a whole lot about the flight of the Shuttle Atlanta today - just launched at about 11:30 or so. Lots of talk about the end of human spaceflight and the future of NASA etc.

I have my own take on it - and it has to do with the outsourcing of America, but I realized that many people here have a very close and personal connection with aerospace and these sort of technologies in general.

What's your view of the end of this program, and where do you see NASA going in the future? Do you think it will be fully-privatized at some point, or will federal funding simply become more focused?

-Ryan
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Re: The End of Human Spaceflight?

Postby RICH-ENGLAND » Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:21 pm

im not too up to date on nasa, but (correct me if im wrong) it would seem that due to government making the decisions on funding and programs that nasa have no goal to aim for!. they cant really plan much because nobody is going to fund anything of real interest or achievement because of costs in todays economy. who is going to want to foot the bill for manned mars missions etc?.

i cant see them doing anything for a very long time until america and europe get back on a sound financial footing.

thanks

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Re: The End of Human Spaceflight?

Postby Illudium Q-36 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:23 pm

Great topic :D

It certainly wont be the end of human spaceflight, not yet anyway. Sure it's the (sad)end of an era for NASA but NASA astronauts will still be going up with the Russians in the Soyuz. Plus the Chinese have manned flights and other agencies are to explore their options in the future and of course there is the Branson who I believe is personally pioneering the future boom in sending man to space. Japan, India, Iran, the ESA and believe it or not Romania have future missions either approved, in the planning stages or as a concept for manned spaceflight.
It could be a blessing for other agencies to step up now the big player is gone and not demanding to be in charge anymore, hopefully they don't follow like normal. Like you said cost plays a big part too so for say the ESA to step up it would be a huge commitment but somebody has to stand up so to speak.
I have always maintained that it will be the private sector that really launches a new era. I hope so anyway.

Where do I see the future for NASA?
Well, NASA had some pretty grand plans and it's future was quite positive, that is until Obama swaggered in and cocked the whole thing up. I don't care about the economics of the thing(I'm not a US taxpayer though) but Obama made the wrong call here. I'm not sure whether it was just to reverse what Bush put in place or if he on a personal level see's the whole thing as frivolous but either way the only way I see NASA returning to be world leaders if there is a change in the Whitehouse.
I don't know maybe one of our US members can tell me if there are any candidates Rep/Dem/Other that have this platform?

Don't get me wrong it's not like the robotic missions won't be of value but it's not exactly Constellation, Orion or a moonbase. Maybe if others step up a future president will again make the call because lets face it, the US doesn't like coming second. Race to Mars anyone?
I think we are a long way off of a fully privatised industry but it is certainly possible but a lot will depend on the outcome and validity of Virgin Galactic. I think joint federal partnerships may be the way it will head for the foreseeable future but I'm not sure that NASA will be the forerunners anymore.
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Re: The End of Human Spaceflight?

Postby NeoOrion » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:28 am

I do not think for a second, that it's about money!
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Re: The End of Human Spaceflight?

Postby Illudium Q-36 » Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:38 pm

NeoOrion wrote:I do not think for a second, that it's about money!


Can you elaborate a bit on that please?
Surely you are suggesting there is perhaps a more sinister motive?
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Re: The End of Human Spaceflight?

Postby RICH-ENGLAND » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:50 am

i think we also need to consider that huge motivating factor of the moon missions... the cold war was pretty much the only reason american government desperately wanted a manned moon mission to show their technological prowess to russia, that motivation is long gone and so is the money.

maybe if that was still happening then american government would be more willing to fund a mars mission.

thanks

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