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View Poll Results: Fate of the space program
Keep everything as is, let NASA do it all 12 31.58%
Privatize regular space flight, and let NASA focus on the big jumps 20 52.63%
Scrap the program all together, who needs space travel? 6 15.79%
Voters: 38. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-14-2010, 06:39 PM
 
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
22,743 posts, read 16,188,147 times
Reputation: 12718

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fullback32 View Post
Well, they may have to. Obama has cut NASAs budget, especially the return to the moon.

Obama Budget: NASA Moon Program Canceled; Private Companies Launch Astronauts - ABC News
The budget wasn't cut - some of it was reallocated and some was actually increased.

FOXNews.com - Obama to Announce NASA Budget Boost

I am all for privatizing what can be privatized and letting NASA concentrate on those things that have more far-reaching impact. We've been to the moon - it's time to expand our horizons.
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Sango, TN
24,889 posts, read 21,004,271 times
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I just watched an interview with Buzz Aldrin, and he makes some good points.

The government was in charge of all flight, when that first started, then slowly scaled back to let the private sector take over, now look at where we are.

Also, There is a rocket, the atlas V, that is already run by a private company, that contracts with the Air Force to send up satellites.

Why can't that be the normal way of doing things?
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Home, Home on the Front Range
22,743 posts, read 16,188,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Memphis1979 View Post
I just watched an interview with Buzz Aldrin, and he makes some good points.

The government was in charge of all flight, when that first started, then slowly scaled back to let the private sector take over, now look at where we are.

Also, There is a rocket, the atlas V, that is already run by a private company, that contracts with the Air Force to send up satellites.

Why can't that be the normal way of doing things?
I, too, very much agree with Mr. Aldrin's position. As someone else mentioned, I believe that Richard Branson and other pioneers like him are the future of manned space flight and much progress is being made in that area:

Spaceport America

This is really exciting stuff, and, I'm not saying that because I live in southern New Mexico
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:08 AM
 
Location: MichOhioigan
1,546 posts, read 2,529,767 times
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I'm for privatization (with reasonable regulation) of space travel and letting NASA concentrate on research and exploration.

Regarding safety, isn't there always an inherent risk in travel? Nearly 40,000 people die each year in automobile accidents in the US. Air travel while statistically safer still has its share of crashes. Ships and boats sink. Trains derail.

The mere action of going from "place A" to "place B" by any means of transport, involves a certain amount of risk. By exercising caution and having reasonable safeguards in place the risks can be minimized to an acceptable level.
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Old 04-15-2010, 09:20 AM
 
32,104 posts, read 16,506,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Memphis1979 View Post
The government was in charge of all flight, when that first started, then slowly scaled back to let the private sector take over, now look at where we are.
Agreed.

The Shuttle's main shortcomings were twofold:It was sold as the cheap and simple way to get into space (it was neither), but more disturbingly, it hammered home the idea that NASA should be in charge of "routine" manned spaceflight.

NASA needs to get back into the R&D side of things. Back when they progressed in leaps and bounds, they didn't do anything by "routine" - they were one big R&D organization. They shouldd to get back onto X-craft - expensive, impractical, hand-made, cutting edge and dangerous - and get cracking on developing new knowledge out on the edge of the envelope. Also, of course, the robotic probe program. No other entity has come close to what the Mars Rovers have been doing, for instance.

But once something's well-researched (and getting humans to LEO is not new technology any more, guys), NASA needs to step back.

Quote:
Also, There is a rocket, the atlas V, that is already run by a private company, that contracts with the Air Force to send up satellites.
I am not a rocket scientist, but it's my understanding that getting the Atlas man-rated would be expensive enough that it might be simpler to just start over.

Have a look at SpaceX, though. If they get the wrinkles ironed out, the Falcon may be the platform to watch.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Sango, TN
24,889 posts, read 21,004,271 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dane_in_LA View Post
Agreed.

The Shuttle's main shortcomings were twofold:It was sold as the cheap and simple way to get into space (it was neither), but more disturbingly, it hammered home the idea that NASA should be in charge of "routine" manned spaceflight.

NASA needs to get back into the R&D side of things. Back when they progressed in leaps and bounds, they didn't do anything by "routine" - they were one big R&D organization. They shouldd to get back onto X-craft - expensive, impractical, hand-made, cutting edge and dangerous - and get cracking on developing new knowledge out on the edge of the envelope. Also, of course, the robotic probe program. No other entity has come close to what the Mars Rovers have been doing, for instance.

But once something's well-researched (and getting humans to LEO is not new technology any more, guys), NASA needs to step back.

I am not a rocket scientist, but it's my understanding that getting the Atlas man-rated would be expensive enough that it might be simpler to just start over.

Have a look at SpaceX, though. If they get the wrinkles ironed out, the Falcon may be the platform to watch.
Mr. Aldrin also made a good point, when he pointed out that landing craft back in the ocean was a step backwards, not forward.

They were doing that during the Apollo days, but we've been landing craft on runways now for over 30 years.

Space is an important step. I think NASA should focus on establishing a permanent base on the moon, and then focus on Mars. However, as you said, the day to day stuff, satellites, cargo, and manned flight to the space station should now be left to private companies. Of course, they'll be publicly funded for several years, then after demand has built up for their services, tax dollars can slow.
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:36 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,763,955 times
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The future of spaceflight rests on the ingenuity of people in their sheds and workstations, in the visions of the brilliant and imaginative. NASA has a role to fill to provide funding for these brilliant minds who may chafe under the stifling management of a large government bureaucracy. But we must also recognize that efforts to go into deep space are unimaginably difficult, needing the absolute best of the best, and are expensive. Many of those technologies are not even here yet - for example, propulsion systems that can get us to Mars and back within a reasonable timeframe (2-3 months). Therefore, for the broad, sweeping breakthroughs, NASA should provide the infrastructure and funding and be the lead systems integrators, and let private companies do the detailed design. Also, they should act as business or inventors' incubators and shield them from the political winds of the times and management. For the incremental changes and the efficiency gains that further research and development do, smaller companies are best left to do those type of work because if there is a business case for it, it will happen.

So, I, for one, welcome Obama's message this afternoon but we must see the dollar signs. I think NASA's budget should increase five-fold to fund the ambitious goals they wish to reach. Further, we need a legal, binding commitment that spans decades to achieve the goals he wants. Finally, nothing would make me happier than having an international, binding, agreement for a group of nations to pursue space opportunities, with rewards a function of their funding (i.e. technological transfer to the private sector to companies based in nations which front the most money).
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Old 04-15-2010, 07:40 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
8,151 posts, read 5,596,248 times
Reputation: 1752
now surely tea baggers are going to vote for a private company doing this.Dont let me down or give me a chance to use the "r" word
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:20 PM
 
4,608 posts, read 7,276,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enemy country View Post
now surely tea baggers are going to vote for a private company doing this.Dont let me down or give me a chance to use the "r" word
I had some thoughts I wanted to share on the topic but you just killed my interest.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:48 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
8,151 posts, read 5,596,248 times
Reputation: 1752
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillysB View Post
I had some thoughts I wanted to share on the topic but you just killed my interest.
Sorry Willy do tell
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