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The Space Shuttle and the Intl Space Station are Wastes of $

Posted by: DigitalNova - Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:31 pm
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The Space Shuttle and the Intl Space Station are Wastes of $ 

Should the Space Station demonstrate measurable scientific progress on a periodic basis?
Poll ended at Sat Sep 16, 2006 4:31 pm
yes 75%  75%  [ 6 ]
No 25%  25%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 8

The Space Shuttle and the Intl Space Station are Wastes of $ 
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Post The Space Shuttle and the Intl Space Station are Wastes of $   Posted on: Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:31 pm
Nothing of scientific value have come from these incredibly costly programs. The oft cited 'velcro' or 'digital watches' that are supposedly indirect benefits of the space program can not justify the incredible costs that drove them.

The quest for 'better ball bearings' 'better crystals' has failed! What is that incredible boondoggle doing up there other than sapping funds and risking people's lives!?

Then this talk of a manned mission to Mars? Ludicrous! There is nothing a a human can do on that trip that cant be accomplished with robots. Some people simply state that the trip to mars is the 'next step'. The next step to where? All the planets are inhospitable and the speed of light restriction holds us to our own solar system forever. There is no place we can go after Mars! It's not a stepping stone, its a dead end.


Last edited by DigitalNova on Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:37 pm
I votes yes, the ISS should demonstrate scientific progress. But I disagree with the underlying assumption that it is not doing so now.

It is.

We are learning a lot by flying the Shuttle and building the space station. What we are learning is how to fly in space. Lessons are being learned all the time. They are boring engineering lessons being learned at high cost, but that is to be expected with something as difficult as space flight and using the notoriously inefficient government to do it.


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Post 'new' advances?   Posted on: Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:42 pm
What engineering lessons are being generated that werent gained in the previous space programs?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:56 pm
Some big picture items are:
How to assemble large structures in space.
How the human body responds to the space environment.
How to recycle CO2 back into Oxygen.

But I am thinking of more engineering detail, like why do bubbles keep forming in the oxygen generator and how much oscillation results in the robot arm when an astronaut does something at the end of it, and how many man hours of maintenance are really needed to keep a space craft operating, and what do you really do if there is an air leak, and how long does a space suit last before it is worn out, and a million little things that you just do not think about on Earth and may seem silly and cheap but were never though of before the ISS flew and could doom a Mars bound crew or make a paying space tourist very unhappy or whatever.

I mean, if you just think space flight in general is a waste of money, nothing is going to change you into space enthusiast. If you don't want to visit the moon and don't care if anyone else does, I cannot imagine anything I say changing your mind.


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:01 pm
I voted no, because I just think people are too negative to see what we've actually gotten from the ISS project, not just technical achievements, but also political...

However, without the ISS, we would be even further behind than what we are now. Yes, you can argue that they might have done this the wrong way, but at least they did it!

Science and progress doesn't show up on a timely basis, it comes in sudden leaps!


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:14 pm
IrquiM wrote:
Science and progress doesn't show up on a timely basis, it comes in sudden leaps!


and normally comes about as a result of a lot of people doing small steps first.

The ISS should have targets set to achieve specific goals that can be measured. It doesnt matter that it might fail to achieve a particular task because then it has shown the reasons behind the failure and the next attempt can be made with more information on what not to do. But the important thing is trying new things out and documenting what works and what doesn't. I'm sure the ISS has been used to find out lots of ways of doing things but most people are not aware of what goes on and what has been achieved, better reporting is required to generate more support.

The ISS is a prototype tool and should be used as such, so that its short-comings as well as its triumphs are reported on. People who support it just because it is a space artifact are not enough to keep it going and get it completed it needs to gain general recognition for what it has achieved and will do in the future. More importantly we need to learn from its mistakes so that future endeavours do not repeat them.

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Post Re: The Space Shuttle and the Intl Space Station are Wastes   Posted on: Thu Jul 20, 2006 7:04 am
DigitalNova wrote:
Nothing of scientific value have come from these incredibly costly programs. The oft cited 'velcro' or 'digital watches' that are supposedly indirect benefits of the space program can not justify the incredible costs that drove them.

As compared to the amazing scientific discoveries from the much, much larger amounts of money spent by Hollywood, Network TV, professional sports, gambling & pet psychology? :lol:
There is a large amount of materials, electronic & other science generated from these programs that can't easily be pointed to in commercial products, but has significantly advanced our quality of life.

And all that money is spent here on Earth, "There are no shops in Space!"


On the other hand I agree that the ISS (& shuttle) are a waste of time and money in terms of advancing space exploration. They could do so much more with the money.

DigitalNova wrote:
Then this talk of a manned mission to Mars? Ludicrous! There is nothing a a human can do on that trip that cant be accomplished with robots.

An engineer on a rover design team once timed how long it took a person to do what the rover did in 12 hours. The answer: 4 minutes! Even if a manned mission costs 10 times as much, you get 100's of times the value, and much more flexibility.

DigitalNova wrote:
Some people simply state that the trip to mars is the 'next step'. The next step to where? All the planets are inhospitable and the speed of light restriction holds us to our own solar system forever. There is no place we can go after Mars! It's not a stepping stone, its a dead end.

The Moon
Phobos & Deimos
Near Earth Asteroids
Main Belt Asteroids
The solar system is a really big place with a lot of resources.

Slowboats to other solar systems
Fractional c trips to nearby systems using fixed base power sources (i.e. large lasers), solar sails, anti-matter etc.

Who knows what may be possible as our understanding of physics develops. It may one day be possible to manipulate gravity so that a spaceship and its contents are accelerated at hundreds of G's.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 04, 2006 6:47 pm
IrquiM wrote:
I voted no, because I just think people are too negative to see what we've actually gotten from the ISS project, not just technical achievements, but also political...

However, without the ISS, we would be even further behind than what we are now. Yes, you can argue that they might have done this the wrong way, but at least they did it!

Science and progress doesn't show up on a timely basis, it comes in sudden leaps!


I agree with that. No one ever started to cross the Atlantic by first trying to swin it-then using a canoe. Build a big ship or stay home.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:01 pm
Sounds a lot like " If man was meant to fly god would have given him wings"

Do you think that the Wright Brothers thought that building an airplane was a dead end?

Go read a few fictional books that are about space and then say that it is a dead end. I recommend Ben Bova's stuff. He creates a future that explains all the benefits that can come from space flight that are very realistic.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:17 pm
Hello, SGTalon,

what about looking at it another way? The ISS is a space station - not a science-oriented space station.

It seems to be designed for science but Europe is interested to see european companies working there plus moviemakers etc. And there is at least one german Chamber of Industry and Trade - an agency ruled by companies that is given governmental tasks by the government and the parliament(s) and has its own parliament also - at least one such agency that calls upon companies to do as desired. Most of the members of such a Chamber are small- to middle.sized and so don't do that much science.

To do as ESA would like to see to be done these small to middle-sized companies need cheap small vehicles merely than large and heavy ones - in particular since the european section(s) of the ISS can't be home to a large number of employees of several companies in parallel.

...



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:25 pm
We have yet to scratch the surface. As an engineer, the knowledge and milestones that the ISS makes is invaluable for the design and planning of future manned missions.

Space is a hard sell though. Most people can't see much farther ahead than the next election, let alone the next decade, or next century. However, humanity will have some serious challenges in the coming decades (energy depletion, overpopulation, stagnation, impact, etc.) and space offers some solutions.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:56 pm
ISS is a failure (not because space research is a failure) but because the assembly has taken far too lang due to inferior throw-weight of the shuttle as designed. Has the US built Energiya Buran--five Poylus sized payloads---

---and ISS would have been done.

Or with one Sea Dragon launch.


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