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no Human Space Flight Plans Committee thread here?

Posted by: gaetanomarano - Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:26 am
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no Human Space Flight Plans Committee thread here? 
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Post Re: no Human Space Flight Plans Committee thread here?   Posted on: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:52 pm
That depends on whether there is a market for it. If NASA alone isn't a big enough market to keep the ISS running, and there is no one else, then the external company will just shut it down, and NASA won't be able to do research.

In your analogy, you're forgetting that NASA isn't just the building firm, and the bus service, it's also the lenders. And the lenders are asked to pay for the library, together (at least where I live) with a large amount of public money being spent on it.

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Post Re: no Human Space Flight Plans Committee thread here?   Posted on: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:50 pm
Lourens wrote:
That depends on whether there is a market for it. If NASA alone isn't a big enough market to keep the ISS running, and there is no one else, then the external company will just shut it down, and NASA won't be able to do research.


I would have thought the other international partners would help support it (much like they do at the moment) , add in private industry using it or sending their own people as well as space tourists and I think it could be run in isolation to NASA.


Lourens wrote:
In your analogy, you're forgetting that NASA isn't just the building firm, and the bus service, it's also the lenders. And the lenders are asked to pay for the library, together (at least where I live) with a large amount of public money being spent on it.


What have they lent? The money that they spent was used to keep a US jobs program going and maintaining a US space capability on Earth. They were paid by the US government to help construct the ISS like any other construction company.

They let contracts to build the components to US industry and paid for them with money from government. Any designing done by NASA can be seen the same as a construction company having its own architects, project managers and civil engineers.

And the Bus service is looking for new destinations and new operators are looking to take over the current route as soon as they can. Why not pay NASA to run the Bus service untila new operator takes over.

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Post Re: no Human Space Flight Plans Committee thread here?   Posted on: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:27 pm
Sorry, in my somewhat sleep deprived state I wrote lenders, while I meant borrowers, which made my post rather confusing. My point was that NASA didn't just help build the ISS, and doesn't just ferry people there, it also employs those people that do science up there. Outsourcing upkeep and ferrying doesn't (necessarily, let's not get into a discussion about libertarianism here) change the cost or increase the number of users.

In other words, you write "If the ISS was run by a separate entity then NASA could buy time on it for experimentation as and when needed, this would remove the burden from NASA of having to find the cash to keep it going". If NASA decided to not buy any slots for a while, the separate entity could very well decide that ISS wasn't profitable (enough) any more, and deorbit it, thus depriving NASA of the opportunity to do on-orbit research.

Keeping that from happening may well still require government investment. Yes, NASA would be out of the loop, but I bet it would still be the same appropriations committees that would make the same decision, they'd just be spreading the money across two organisations, rather than giving it all to one and earmarking it for two purposes.

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Post Re: no Human Space Flight Plans Committee thread here?   Posted on: Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:31 pm
Yes you are probably right that it would still require government money (at least for the present) but my point is the ISS needs to be developed to have its potential used to the fullest amount possible and I dont think NASA can do that when it looks on it as a problem soaking up resources or a cash cow that it can raid funds from.

As for people not using it I think that unlikely even if NASA were to reduce the amount of use other parners or tourists would probably increase theirs. When SpaceX and Orbital get their ferry service going there is going to be more than enough people wanting to visit and work on the ISS. It going to need another node and a cluster of Biggelow inflatables added.

I dont think it would be politically a good idea to allow the ISS to die before anyone has had a chance to use it and if that were to happen the chances of getting intenational cooperation on future ventures will be that much harder. I think the Augustine commission has said much the same in the question and answer section on their website.

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