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What NASA actually lacks?

Posted by: 8900 - Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:17 pm
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What NASA actually lacks? 
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Post    Posted on: Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:34 am
I think NASA is so terrified of failure that it lacks the will to try. The "failure is not an option" mentality has caused them to resist trying new things and continue in the business as ususal mode that has served them for the last 30 years. Even when they do try new things and they look promising NASA tends to abandon them before they bare fruit (X43, HL-20). People may point to the various shuttle replacements that have been tried in the past, all have been turned into jobs programs that appear to go nowhere.

Further more not only is NASA afraid of failure but they seem to be more afraid of others succeeding and go out of their way to make it difficult for companies who would achieve what they wont/cant. In the end a private initiative will succeed in putting someone in orbit and that will mean that NASA will be out of the human space flight business.

I am a space enthusiast but if I were an American citizen I would not be lobbying for more money for NASA and would be upset how my tax money was being blown off.

NASA is not what it once was and I do not see any discernable change in attitude that would indicate that it is trying to change. :cry:

I'm sorry if the above seems a little over harsh but thats how I see things, I wish it were different.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:34 pm
Well, i can still remember the Burt Rutan speech of i think 2004 or 2005 which yoy can see on google that he said that NASA should be a research agency. It's tasks should not include to teach kids, but to inspire them by doing proper research.

In other word, NASA should be restructured on every (management)leverl in order to do what it should do: space-related research.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:41 pm
I think that one of the problems is that NASA is to large and tries to cover to wide a range of endevours. It makes it possible for every senator to earmark money for their own pet projects, often only loosely space related.

If constellation fails then perhaps it might be a good idea to create a separate entity with its own budget that is not controlled by NASA purely for the purpose of human spaceflight. By narrowing its focus it maks it harder for it to be raided by individuals whos prime concern is not getting people into space.

A separate entity would also not be able to syphon money from other parts of NASA.

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Post    Posted on: Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:19 pm
I can agree with you but I even would go further.

I would say that NASA ended its ambitions in the late 1960s. Since then the main goal was only to maintain either a status quo with e.g. the Soviet Union or to finish already started/planned projects (Skylab, Space Shuttle).

Even with the Space Shuttle the decline started towards the end of the Apollo program didn't stop. They had the Shuttle but nothing else and every new project was abandonded with the smallest sign of difficulties.

The list is long: Liquid-Flyback Boosters for the Shuttle, several next generation RLVs and programs, development projects for cheap space access like the X34 or the DC-X. Even the space station program was restarted several times and still remains on the edge of abandoning.

Indeed the X-43 was the last and I think the last for a long time (or forever) of America's civilian X projects (of course there are military X projects, mainly unmanned combat craft).

Where is the spirit to explore new things and cross the frontiers?

Now the Constellation program faces the same cutbacks. First flights are delayed further and further. The robotic lunar exploration was cancelled these days. Development of future propulsion systems run if at all at smallest budget levels.

It's not NASA's fault alone. It's the society (not only in the US). Today's society isn't any longer exploration- and future-friendly. A loss of a spacecraft is of course very tragic and bad (and of course there are unnecessary faults) BUT only that way crossing new frontiers is possible. What if in the 1920s or 1930s flight would have been cancelled because a test plane crashed? Or the Comet passanger aircrafts, that fall from the skys like dead flies? In that times that led to new knowledge and the correction of faults, today that would lead to cancellations.

And the most ironic thing is: If today an airliner crashes, people read the news, shrug with their shoulders and enter the next day an airliner that carry them to their vacation island. But if some new technology fails then it's the pure evil. I could list dozens of examples, most of them illogical in the argumentation of its foes.

I think I stop for now. I could write thousands of pages about that.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:54 pm
Another thing that NASA is missing is a shuttle that doesn't take months and months to get ready for launch.

cant believe Atlantis is probably not going to launch until june now.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/content/?cid=5066

3 shuttles and they cant get any one of them to fly in a 6 month period. I would have thought that after a 2 year break they would all be ready to fly.

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