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Reply #49


Response to LongTomH (Original post)

Fri Jan 27, 2012, 12:15 AM

49. A final thought for this thread!

I really don't expect the US to embark on another Apollo type mission in the current environment and that's really not what I was asking for. In many ways, we're in a dark age right now; funding for science and space have been cut back sharply over the past decades. Science funding is a target for cuts by the GOP-controlled House. Hopefully though, we can begin laying the groundwork for a future renaissance of space in coming decades.

What I want to see now is research and development, by NASA, by private industry, and non-profits like The Space Studies Institute and The Mars Society.

Lowering the price of getting into orbit should be a major priority. The Falcon family of launch vehicles from Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) promise lowered cost to orbit with mass production of simple, all liquid-fuel spacecraft. Contrast their designs with the expensive Constellation series proposed by NASA, which seem designed mainly to provide contracts with ATK (formerly Morton-Thiokol), makers of the SRBs for the space shuttle. Those SRBs were not only responsible for the Challenger disaster; they were a major fact in making the shuttle more expensive than existing expendable launchers.

The space elevator mentioned in a previous comment would be another major step forward.

And yes, we do need to make the mega-rich pay their fair share again. That played a major role in making both the Apollo project and the War on Poverty possible in the same decade.

In closing, I'd just like to remind you that today, 26 Jan, is NASA's Day of Remembrance for the astronauts of Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia. Remember them!


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LongTomH Jan 2012 OP
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sudopod Jan 2012 #37
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