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Ed Cesnalis

Has NASA lost its way?

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http://gizmodo.com/5942634/nasa-starts-development-of-real-life-star-trek-warp-drive

 

I almost applaud NASA for pursuing, yes, A real warp drive, Scotty as opposed to Muslim outreach, multi-million dollar busy work projects and billionaire's vacation subsidizing.

 

But warp drive? Really?

 

Since it warps space time and the spaceship doesn't actually move, in theory if we know the coordinates on a distant planet with suitable atmosphere and gravity, we could install this on our CTs and warp to another planet and fly around, without even needing any "space" gear.  A CT fly-in on Epsilon Indi III, anyone?

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"NASA spokesman David Weaver said "NASA is working aggressively to return human spaceflight launch to American soil, and end our sole reliance on Russia to get into space." He added that later this year the agency plans to select the American companies that will transport its astronauts to the space station beginning in 2017."

 

Monumental miscalculation.

 

Cheers

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Who knows, maybe we will partner with the Europeans and China on a new space station.

 

Well it looks like our relationship with Russia , for the transport of astronauts to the space station is about to become problematic. Of course time will tell. However this is tangible evidence that the cancellation of the "Constellation" rocket boosters coupled with the premature deactivation of the Shuttle Program was a Monumental miscalculation.

 

Cheers

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In my view, a nation which cannot put a man in space without the help of others has slipped to the second tier of scientific exploration and discovery.

 

And on last night news was the forecast that China will surpass the US as the worlds largest economic player, possibly within a year.

 

Nothing lasts forever, I suppose.

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A friend of mine who is an exchange student has a father who was in the central legislature of China. It says something when he paid for his son's engineering degree and tries to tell him to try to stay in the US. Basically, his father is "uncertain" about China's future.

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In my view, a nation which cannot put a man in space without the help of others has slipped to the second tier of scientific exploration and discovery.

 

And on last night news was the forecast that China will surpass the US as the worlds largest economic player, possibly within a year.

 

Nothing lasts forever, I suppose.

 

There is no doubt the USA has the *ability* to put men in space.  We have the resources and the technical base to make it happen if we choose to.  What we don't have right now is a program with specific hardware to do so.  I tend to agree with you that a robust space program is a mark of top-tier nations, but there is a difference between a nation that doesn't put men in space and one that simply cannot.

 

IMO, if we had managed our space program well after the Apollo program, we'd have a permanent colony on Mars by now.

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I think the military took precedence. The return on low earth orbit has been decreasing.

I do think that putting money into low return (or speculative return) space exploration than burning it up as weaponry makes more sense.

Which program would we cut ? I think, better yet if we stop spending Millions or Billions of dollars in failed companies like Solindra and the likes, we could afford a robust space program ?

 

Cheers

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Cost a lot less than looking for non-existent WMDs in Iraq.

 

Peace

(Is it OK to respond in kind?)

We are talking about now , not the past, the above is a cheap political shot not relevant to current events.

 

Cheers

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How long has Solindra been out of business? Why don't we keep it to the present and leave political jabs to the professionals? :)

About a year but there are others, right now. It all comes down to philosophy doesn't it. Spend billions in solar panel and windmill companies, that affect wildlife and aviation negatively, not to talk about how ugly they are. Take a trip to Germany, there are ugly windmills all over. Or spend the money in an outward/space looking technology. It is all about priorities and philosophy. Not political , reality. The Bush administration, started the premature retirement of the shuttle program,(wrong headed) , but at least they had the Constellation progam in development, which was cancelled by the current administration. So you see I blame both Republicans and Democrats, the previous and the current administration. You just want to make this discussion political. I do not.

 

Cheers

 

PS  http://news.yahoo.com/4-dead-plane-crashes-south-dakota-wind-farm-210445584.html

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You only mentioned Solindra, and you mentioned it first - that's not political?

I've been to Germany and disagree about the ugliness of them and I would bet they wish they had more with Russia looking to shut off the natural gas.

No , the general use of Federal funds to promote private industry, especially in  non competitive technologies is folly. I would much rather see this spent in a goverment institution called NASA.  I'm sure my Republican friends would get heartburn over this.

 

Cheers

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Unfortunately , the current state of affairs, (sadly), is that when you disagree with anything this current administration does, (Philosophically speaking) , you are immediately accused of being a political hack, no matter whether the criticism is substantive or not. Validity of argument seems to be of little importance. Then discussions become instantly political, instead of substantive. Anybody can have a different opinion from mine, and I will respect that, on the merits. However,  allude to politics, and you change the subject and contribute nothing to the discussion over priorities. I think that is intellectual lazyness.

 

Cheers

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OK, sounded like a political comment to me, forgive me if that was not the intent. Names become labels and labels often bring about emotional responses. Some people understand this and use them to elicit responses, others may use them without understanding the nuances.

I will assume you are in the latter category.

Apologies accepted. I understand  what you are saying. Unfortunately emotions cloud the intelect sometimes, we are all human.

 

Cheers

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My opinion, instead of pie  in the sky, maned visit to an asteroid or planning a Mars mission, NASA should set a goal to build and sustain a Lunar base/dwelling, before planning 1 year in transit, possibly no return, Mars mission. Not that a Mars mission would be unworthy, just that we should we should cut our teeth on something closer to earth rather than such a distant goal. Also we could reap the benefits of technology development much sooner.

 

Cheers

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Some great photos from the comet here

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30034060

 

though it appears success may be a little short lived - as the probe landed on the comet it's anchor harpoons failed to fire so with the very low gravity it bounced off, apparently about 1 kilometer upwards, then landed again and bounced again and finally settled on it's third bounce (a bit like some of my landings LOL) - but it settled in a titled position under the shade of some large rock formation so there is no sunlight on its solar cells and the on board battery is only going to last for a couple of days.

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Is the comet rotating? I though the fact that it was made the landing difficult. If so, should not the solar panels periodically be in sunlight regardless?

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I guess that if it is rotating then the axis of rotation is such that the panels are shaded from the sun.

 

I was watching a news conference earlier from the mission HQ in Darmstadt and they said they were going to consider where to try and fire the anchor system again which might "bounce" the lander into a better position - but the danger was that it could equally make things worse!!

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