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Thread: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    Earthly Conflicts Threaten US-Russia Space Cooperation

    Video at link: http://www.voanews.com/content/earth...-/1923643.html



    George Putic
    May 27, 2014 12:39 PM

    Angered over U.S. sanctions against Russian officials involved in the annexation of Crimea, and unrest in Eastern Ukraine, Russian deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow may retaliate by re-assessing the space cooperation between the two countries.

    If his threat becomes reality, it could affect future space explorations aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

    Russia has not formally committed to continue cooperation on the ISS until 2024, as the U.S. proposes, and now says it might pull out by 2020. But the largest and most important US-Russian space cooperative seems to be unaffected.

    Astronaut Rick Mastracchio, who recently returned to earth after more than six months in orbit, says the atmosphere on the space station is as good as ever.

    “The working relationship that we have at the person-to-person level both on board the space station and even here on the ground, we get along very well with our Russian colleagues, so there’s been no problem whatsoever working with them,” he said.

    The personal and professional relationships may be intact, but Scott Pace, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, says the political environment ‒ and the strategic reasons for continuing cooperation ‒ have come under pressure.

    “The question is, 'Is this a temporary state of affairs or is this more of a permanent watershed state of affairs which would call into question the entire range of post-Soviet cooperation that we have had with Russia?'” he said.

    NASA expects to launch the Orion capsule, to carry astronauts to the space station and beyond without Russian involvement, by 2017.

    With diminishing public support and ever-shrinking budgets for sending human crews on deep space missions, officials realize that international cooperation is a necessity.

    At a recent panel discussion on the future of space explorations at the Berlin Air and Space Show, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said his agency understands that.

    “I have to emphasize, there’s nothing on this chart that we’re doing alone,” he said.

    For instance, the power and propulsion systems for the Orion capsule are provided by the Europeans, with the bulk of construction being done in Germany. But Russian space officials did not take part in that discussion.

    Pace says Moscow wants to return to exploration of the moon, but might not have funds to support that.

    “Russia is going to have to make a decision as to what it wants to be really doing in space past 2020,” he said.

    As Pace sees it, a continued Russia-U.S. partnership would be good for international space cooperation, but that seems to be subject to political forces beyond the space program.

    Meanwhile, a fresh U.S.-Russian crew is heading to the ISS this week aboard the Russian-made space capsule Soyuz.
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS


    As NASA Seeks Next Mission, Russia Holds The Trump Card

    May 24, 2014

    As an uncommonly brisk night fell over Houston last week a tiny Russian spacecraft, bathed in blinding sunlight, re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere and plunged toward a dusty steppe in Kazakhstan.

    Of the three astronauts inside one was American, Rick Mastracchio, returning from a 188-day stay aboard the International Space Station. His arrival was closely watched in Houston, where Johnson Space Center has responsibility for U.S. human operations in space.

    Here, in mission control, photographs of astronauts old and new line long halls. They offer a palpable reminder that these people have managed every Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle flight. Houston flight directors guided the moon landings, saved Apollo 13 and repaired the Hubble Space Telescope.

    Over time, short-sleeve button-downs have given way to full dress shirts and blue blazers. Cigar chomping and fast talking have been replaced by purified air and hushed tones. And women, including the NASA flight director for Mastracchio’s return, Dina Contella, have joined the ranks.

    Yet until recently one thing had remained constant. Those within the photograph lined walls called the shots. They made the life and death decisions for astronauts soaring in the heavens above.

    No longer. During last week’s Soyuz landing, Contella could only spectate as the drama played out, in a different language, half a world away, aboard a spacecraft emblazoned with a Russian flag.

    Such is today’s space Realpolitik that, while the United States paid for most of the $140 billion space station, launched nearly all of it into orbit, and controls most of its day-to-day operations from Houston, Russia still holds the trump card: access.

    “They have us right where they want us,” said three-time NASA astronaut Mike Coats.

    The mounting Ukraine crisis has highlighted the space agency’s vulnerability, but this state of affairs is not new. Russia began embracing NASA in a bear hug right after the space shuttle retired in 2011.

    Former Johnson Space Center Director Mike Coats discusses NASA’s relationship with Russia.

    Since that time Russia has substantially hiked the price of a trip to the International Space Station, to $71 million per seat. Less well recognized is the disparity in station crews. Before the shuttle stopped flying, an equal number of American and Russian crew members lived on board. But afterwards the bear began squeezing. For every two NASA astronauts that have flown to the station, three Russians have gone.

    NASA doesn’t advertise this, of course. It’s an embarrassing reminder to the country’s political leadership of how their legislative vagaries have cast the space agency adrift.

    But that makes it no less real to those toiling in mission control. Before retiring at the end of 2012, Coats lived with this reality on a daily basis while running Johnson Space Center for seven years.

    Sitting in his stately home a few miles from the space center, Coats is immaculately dressed in a suit, his white hair trimmed as neatly as one would expect from a former astronaut, aerospace executive and Navy pilot who flew 315 Vietnam combat missions. Having landed on an aircraft carrier hundreds of times Coats isn’t easily rattled. He also doesn’t sugarcoat things.

    “Astronaut to cosmonaut, scientist to scientist, engineer to engineer, we’ve had a wonderful working relationship with the Russians,” he said. “But politically, if they see an opportunity to exercise an advantage they have to do it. It’s in their makeup. They view weakness as something to be taken advantage of.

    “It’s difficult dealing with Russians from a position of weakness, and we’re doing that.”

    "After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest to the USA to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline."

    Dmitry Rogozin - Russian deputy minister

    This weakness was amplified in April when the U.S. State Department required NASA to cut off contact with the Russian space program except for station business. Around the same time Russia’s deputy prime minister over the country’s space program, Dmitry Rogozin, was among the first seven Russians sanctioned by President Obama.

    But Rogozin holds the trump card in space, and he’s playing it. Perhaps, he said last week, Russia will no longer be interested in running the space station after 2020 as the United States wants. And if America doesn’t like it? Too bad, he told his Twitter followers earlier this month.

    “After analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I suggest to the USA to bring their astronauts to the International Space Station using a trampoline,” Rogozin tweeted in Russian.

    A taunting trampoline tweet.

    During the 1960s America taught the Soviet Union a thing or two about spaceflight, and in the process helped establish democracy as superior to totalitarianism in the global mind.

    Four decades after crushing the Soviet space program, however, the urgency reflected in the race to the moon has dissipated. Now, NASA is reduced to timidly paying Russia about $300 million annually for the privilege of flying its astronauts, packed like sardines, in cramped Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station. During their nearly three years of training for an ISS mission, U.S. astronauts now must spend as much as half that time away from home, principally in Russia.

    It didn’t have to be this way.

    NASA has had a litany of programs -- including the Shuttle-C, Orbital Space Plane, JSC Shuttle II, Delta Clipper and X-34 -- to replace the shuttle before its retirement. All failed. Space program critics inside and outside government variously blame either inadequate funding from Congress, lackluster Democratic and Republican Presidential leadership, or poor NASA management.

    During a widely hailed speech at NASA’s Washington D.C. headquarters in 2004, President George W. Bush gave the space agency a vision to go back to the moon and settle space. This became known as the Constellation Program, and called for retiring the shuttle and building a new rocket, the Ares V, and spacecraft, Orion, to carry humans deeper into the cosmos. But Constellation never got the funds it was promised and development lagged.

    Five years later, when President Obama came into office, there was already going to be a gap between the shuttle and a follow-on spacecraft for U.S. astronauts. Obama endorsed the quickest and cheapest means of filling the gap: paying U.S. companies to develop space taxis to reach the station. Obama, however, gave NASA almost no guidance on where its human program should go.

    Congress didn’t approve, so it underfunded the “commercial crew” plan advanced by Obama by more than $1 billion, and instead of having U.S. spacecraft flying astronauts to the station next year, commercial transportation won’t be available until 2017 at the earliest.

    During a subcommittee hearing earlier this month the subject of Russia’s space related sabre-rattling came up. Sen. Richard Shelby asked NASA administrator Charles Bolden whether more money could help the U.S. commercial launch industry get astronauts to the space station within a year.

    Space industry observers on Capitol Hill couldn’t help but be struck by the inherent ironies: Shelby and his brethren in Congress on both sides of the aisle, they said, have caused many of NASA’s problems by fully funding their own parochial interests, which they have turned into jobs programs for their districts and states, while neglecting the overall health of American space endeavors.

    Legendary NASA flight director Chris Kraft discusses retirement of the space shuttle without having a viable replacement.

    “It’s a good question,” Bolden said, demonstrating what undoubtedly struck many in the hearing room as the patience of Job.

    The failure by the American government to prepare for the shuttle’s inevitable retirement, and to articulate a plan for what was to come next, is for Chris Kraft an unmitigated disaster. He just might know. As America’s first flight director, he is the man for whom mission control is named.

    During his nine decades Chris Kraft has observed the entire arc of U.S. and Russian history in space, from the early days of desperately trying to catch the Soviets in space, to beating them to the moon, to now hitching rides to the space station on Russian capsules and being threatened by Russian officials.

    “The cancellation of the space shuttle may be the biggest blunder ever made by the United States,” Kraft said. “It’s fairly obvious that no one in the government thought through what they were about to bring about when they made that decision.”

    Kraft isn’t alone. A Houston scientist who studies the moon, Paul Spudis, served on a Presidential Commission tasked with implementing President Bush’s vision in 2004. What has happened since then, he said, is appalling.

    “I’ve never seen such a screwed up mess in my life as the way NASA is right now,” he said.

    With the shuttles in museums, the station is NASA’s only operational piece of human spaceflight hardware, and will likely remain for at least a decade the only place for astronauts to go in space. Both Russia and the United States know that, without the station, they effectively have no human spaceflight program.

    Only this lab, then, stands between the world’s two historic space powers and obsolescence.

    The space station is the most expensive single object ever built. There are critics, many of them, who say it is a white elephant. But in many ways the station was the logical next step for NASA in the late 1990s.

    Practically, it provided meaningful work for the space shuttle, which brought pieces of the station to orbit in its payload bay. Politically, it offered President Clinton the opportunity to improve relations with post-Soviet Russia. And now that it’s fully built, the station is finally hitting its stride as a unique science laboratory.

    The station is also a useful waypoint for exploration beyond low-Earth orbit. Astronauts are working out the kinks in technologies, such as water recycling, essential for long trips from Earth. And by taking careful vital signs physicians are learning how to prepare astronauts for long duration missions in space.

    Microgravity does all kinds of mysterious things to the human body. Some are harmful, such as a flattening of the eyeballs. Spaceflight physicians are very concerned about the potential for impaired vision on long-term flights. Space also makes some astronauts as much as 1 or 2 inches taller. During his flight, using a portable machine, Mastracchio underwent ultrasounds of his spine to help doctors understand why this occurs.

    After Mastracchio returns home to his neighborhood, a subdivision in northern Clear Lake, he will return to his normal height.

    He, like NASA’s 42 other active astronauts, live scattered around Clear Lake, which was marsh and wilderness before NASA chose the site in 1961 for its new manned spaceflight center and turned it into one of Houston’s largest suburbs. Less well known than the famous Apollo moonwalkers, today’s astronauts blend into a community that celebrates their presence but does not impose on their lives.

    With fewer flight opportunities now -- there’s room for only four or five U.S. astronauts on the station in any given year compared to as many as 40 space shuttle berths a year -- the astronaut corps is shrinking. And without the station even this limited opportunity for NASA astronauts would go away. Houston’s claim as home of the astronauts is not certain to endure.

    This is one reason why NASA’s desire to extend the station’s life to at least 2024 is critical for Johnson Space Center, and why Russia’s threats to abandon it earlier are so menacing. America simply can’t operate the station on its own. For a variety of systems, such as keeping the station pointed in the right direction, there are essential pieces under separate Russian and American control.

    “The station was designed to be operational with both crews, both mission control centers, working in conjunction,” said Leroy Chiao, who commanded the space station a decade ago. “One side can’t operate the station by itself.”

    During a private exchange of e-mails in August 2012, less than a month before he died, Neil Armstrong and a handful of other Apollo vets were grumbling about NASA’s lack of a clear goals. They invoked a Yogiism describe the space agency, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might not get there.”

    After Apollo 11, Armstrong left Houston and moved back to his native Ohio. But his imprint remains here.

    Near the entrance to Johnson Space Center stands a grove of live and red oak trees planted to honor astronauts who have died, both in accidents and to natural causes.

    Last year, at the base of a particularly large oak, the space center Armstrong called from the moon placed a concrete replica of boot prints he left in the lunar soil.

    Today the breathtaking speed of the Apollo program seems almost incomprehensible. Engineers in Houston and around the country with comparatively rudimentary technology built three generations of spacecraft, a massive rocket and all of the equipment needed to explore the moon in less than a decade.

    NASA administrator Charles Bolden discusses his relationship with congress.

    How did it do this? Armstrong knew. He left bootprints on the moon because NASA had a razor sharp vision and the funding to match it. America was going to the moon, President Kennedy said, and it was by God going to beat the Russians there.

    NASA recognizes the importance of vision. Bolden, the agency's administrator, recites the proverb on the wall of the hearing room where he has testified before the House Science Committee: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

    For decades, stretching from Presidents Nixon to Obama, NASA’s vision has been sending humans to Mars. But like his predecessors, Obama has failed to identify a series of missions NASA would need to fly to get there, establish a timeline for those missions, and provide the funds to do so. NASA presently is building a big rocket, the Space Launch System, to reach Mars. But the rub is that the rocket costs so much NASA has no money to actually fly missions anywhere close to Mars.

    If everything goes really well, in about a decade, NASA might be able to send a robotic spacecraft to capture a small rock, tow it back to a location near the moon, and fly some astronauts to visit it. The White House wants this mission. Congress sees no value in such an exercise and has tried to block funding for it.

    “Let me be very candid,” Bolden said. “I am not baffled by opposition to anything that the President puts forward. Very blunt. Republicans don’t like the President. They have stated very clearly that will oppose anything he puts forward, that they will not allow anything to go forward that gives him credit for anything, and I think that’s very unfortunate. But that’s politics.”

    With divided masters, uncertain funding and vague goals, NASA is left to tread water. In some cases literally, such as at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab about five miles from Johnson Space Center.

    The buoyancy of water mimics the lack of gravity in space, and astronauts have trained in pools since the beginning of spaceflight. But as NASA contemplated a station none of its pools were big enough to practice the multitude of spacewalks required to build the orbiting laboratory. To build the station NASA would eventually undertake more than 150 spacewalks, more than doubling the number done to date in all of human spaceflight.

    NASA began using the 202-foot long, 40-foot deep Neutral Buoyancy Lab in 1996. And up until the shuttle’s retirement it was chock full of astronauts.

    A partial mock-up of the station remains submerged here, but with station construction complete astronauts are far less frequent visitors.

    Earlier this month NASA proudly tweeted photos of veteran astronauts Stan Love and Steve Bowen in the pool, testing tools and spacesuits that would be needed for the asteroid expedition the White House wants NASA to do. But the photos are far more revealing for what they didn’t show.

    They didn’t show the large section of the pool that’s cordoned off, which NASA has leased to oil-services companies to help keep the lights on at this historic facility. In a pool once used exclusively by astronauts, oil rig workers now practice survival techniques in the event their helicopter has to ditch in the ocean.

    A Russian space agency rescue team helps astronaut Rick Mastracchio off the capsule of the Russian Soyuz TMA-11 module shortly after landing in Kazakhstan on May 14, 2014.
    AP Photo: Dmitry Lovetsky, pool

    The photos also didn’t show the remains of party that had been held the night before. The company Tracerco used the famous pool as a backdrop for a crawfish boil to fete attendees of the Offshore Technology Conference and show off its subsea scanning technology.

    Thus NASA has its astronauts training for missions it won’t do for at least a decade, and that it probably won’t ever do. And the space agency is doing so in a pool it can’t entirely afford any more.

    Mastracchio’s unglamorous return home last week in a Soyuz capsule has been described by some veteran astronauts as akin to going over Niagara Falls, in a barrel, on fire.

    Around the world, in Houston, mission control could only watch for critical signs of success, such as parachute deployment, listen to Russian flight directors and review the data being relayed from Kazakhstan.

    When he finally reached the ground Mastracchio remained far from home, but at least it was spring, and the landing spot on. All Soyuz astronauts undergo two nights of winter survival training in case their spacecraft landing goes awry, and they’re stranded in the central Asian hinterlands for a couple of days. It’s a far cry from the handshake with the NASA administrator on a sunny Florida runway that awaited most shuttle astronauts.

    Having flown for 188 days in space, Mastracchio still had one more long flight, for the better part of a day, aboard a NASA Gulfstream III from Karaganda in Kazakhstan to home.

    Then, at last, Houston was again in charge.

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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    June 18 2014 7:30 AM
    Senate Boosts NASA Budget, But at What Cost?



    By Phil Plait







    As I wrote earlier in June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill for NASA’s funding, restoring quite a bit of money bizarrely taken out by the White House. The House then sent the bill to the Senate, which put together its own appropriations bill.

    On June 5, the Senate passed its version. The good news is they maintained a lot of the restored budget. The details vary here and there, and I won’t worry about those; you can find details elsewhere.

    Advertisement

    What I want to point out—again—is how the Space Launch System is gumming up the works. SLS is supposed to be a heavy-lift rocket designed by NASA to replace the shuttles. I say “supposed to be” because I have been saying for quite some time that it is very likely to get bloated, over budget, and behind schedule. That’s a common circumstance for really big NASA projects (like the Space Station, the shuttle, Hubble, JWST, and others). NASA’s bureaucracy gets in the way, and as the dollar signs increase, Congress-critters start getting their own states and districts involved, muddying the situation further.

    That’s apparently what’s happening here. As has been reported by several sources, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has put his thumb on the scale. He has added language to the Senate bill that will make it a lot harder for commercial space companies—like, say SpaceX—to launch humans into space. He’s basically adding a layer of government to the requirements for commercial companies, making them account for costs and pricing.

    Phil Plait
    Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death from the Skies! Follow him on Twitter.





    Oddly, this sort of accounting is already in place with contractors like Boeing—which, shockingly, is a big player with SLS, and which has a large plant in Alabama, Shelby’s home state—but is not in place in companies like SpaceX and Sierra Nevada. This means that the newer startup companies will be put at a disadvantage against the older government contractors.

    Bottom line: Shelby’s addition makes it easier for SLS to get built, and harder for commercial companies to build their own vehicles to send humans into space (and, importantly, can do it far, far cheaper than SLS can). That means we’ll have to rely on the Russians more for the time being. That’s something we really, really need to stop doing. They’re gouging us for rides to space, and their political situation isn’t exactly the most conducive for us right now.

    As it stands right now, the first uncrewed test launch date for SLS is set for late 2017, with a crewed flight four years later; a long time from now. These things historically have rarely gotten off on time, too. SpaceX is far closer to having a working crewed vehicle, but if this budget goes through as written, it could mean we won’t have American rockets putting Americans in space again for several more years.

    And worst of all, we still don’t have a clear and sustained purpose for SLS. Our government wants to spend billions upon billions of dollars on a rocket for no defined reason. It’s maddening.

    This is getting so ridiculous that I’m starting to lean more and more toward an outright cancellation of SLS. It’s just too big and tempting a target for Congress members to avoid. President Obama canceled its predecessor, Constellation, because of cost overruns and scheduling slips. I still think it was the right thing to do; we’d have thrown billions at a rocket that we still wouldn’t have. SLS is seriously starting to feel like it’s slipping into that same groove. I’m not the only person to think so, either.

    We’ve been facing this type of nonsense now for far too long. NASA needs to be exploring, but instead we have to rely on another country just to get people into low Earth orbit … and this is four decades after we sent humans to the Moon!

    I’m starting to think we need to have a massive overhaul of how this whole system works; set up a way for there to be congressional oversight of NASA to keep costs and schedule in control, but not so much oversight that congressional (or White House) interference prevents progress as well. I have no idea how this might get done, but right now the way we’re doing things isn’t working. We take one step forward and two steps sideways.

    NASA, Congress, and the White House need to sit down and work out a set of goals for the future, decide on a set of missions to take us there, and look at the rockets we have and will have over that timescale to accomplish it all. Off the top of my head, I’d suggest a base on the Moon, one on Mars, missions to near-Earth asteroids, and building a bigger space station capable of the kinds of things we wanted to do in the 1960s, making it a stepping-stone to the entire solar system.

    I’ll take any or all of these, and we can do any or all of these if we could just free ourselves from aimless and visionless bureaucracy. Until then, our feet remain firmly mired in the mud.


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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS




    I wanted to get the moon in the background but according to a star chart, it won't be up until very late tonight. Too late to get a decent picture.

    In case you were wondering what the other side looks like...




    It's from a set of Libbey glasses from the era. There were glasses from Apollo 11, 12, and 13 as well as a decanter. I found one of the Apollo 13 glasses at a Goodwill and bought the rest of the collection with 4 glasses from each plus the decanter.

    Figured it was fitting to pour a drink into one in memorial of what we accomplished as a nation 45 years ago.

    And just in case you were wondering that is some fine Woodford Reserve in it.

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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    That there is worth something.

    Probably double with beer in it!
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    I'll have to snap a pic of the whole set. It's pretty cool.

    Even have a couple "Moonshot" glasses which are modeled after the Service Module but have a tumbler on top and a shot glass on bottom.

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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    lol


    I think mom collected a set of "space glasses" or cups at one time.

    I had some minted coins from Apollo, but someone stole them. Probably one of my kids.
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    Yeah, they aren't worth a ton. I think I bought all the glasses and decanter for about $45 total.

    Nonetheless, it is a cool bit of Americana from a time when all Americans had pride in their country and we had a bright future ahead of us.

    Now we have a "space program" focused on Muslim outreach.

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    Nonetheless, it is a cool bit of Americana from a time when all Americans had pride in their country and we had a bright future ahead of us.

    Days long gone................
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    Obama disses Astronaut heroes... makes sure there's no press availability

    Obama has private meeting with Apollo 11 crew





    WASHINGTON -- President Obama met with surviving members of the Apollo 11 crew at the White House Tuesday morning to commemorate the 45th anniversary of their visit to the Moon.


    Obama met in the Oval office with Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, and Carol Armstrong, the widow of Neil Armstrong, who died in 2012.



    In a written statement, Obama said the three astronauts "took the first small steps of our giant leap into the future" and "have served as testaments to American ingenuity and human achievement."


    News photographers were allowed in to the meeting briefly, but there were no reporters or television crews present.


    CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett lodged a complaint about the lack of availability, noting that the astronauts are American heroes whose space adventures were financed entirely by American taxpayers.


    "These are legitimate American heroes," Earnest replied. "On that you and I can agree," Earnest said the lack of press availability was a scheduling issue.


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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    I forgot to comment on on that above article and had wanted to...

    Just another instance of Obama being the piece of shit he is.

    Cold, hard fact is that those heroes are getting up in years. Every anniversary of the moon landing should be celebrated like it is one of their last because it well could be. I don't think, on a 5 year anniversary, a bit of a parade in D.C. would have been asking too much. Then again I suppose it would have kept Zero from hitting the links on time.



    On a lighter note here's that promised picture of the glass set:


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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    Nice picture!

    Thanks for that!

    When I was a kid, I collected baseball cards. In the early 60s - after Alan Sheppard and John Glenn (Mercury) went up in space and Glen orbited, there were a few more space flights in Gemini.

    I asked in the store where I would get baseball cards with bubble gum and they owner told me "Sorry kid, I don't know what you're talking about. They don't MAKE astronaut cards".

    So I made my own. I started with the original 7 Mercury astronauts and slowly added people who'd been into space.

    Unfortunately, I quit doing that around the time of Sky Lab... when I left home for the military, my mother tossed all those cards out, along with baseball cards that I am absolutely CERTAIN would be worth a small fortune today (they were all untouched in plastic sleeves, as I was no dummy!)

    Libertatem Prius!


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  13. #133
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS








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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
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  14. #134
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    Nasa rocket explodes seconds after lift-off

    Unmanned US rocket exploded in a massive fireball seven seconds after launch in Virginia

    By Josie Ensor, US Correspondent, and Andrew Marszal

    8:40AM GMT 29 Oct 2014

    118 Comments



    An unmanned Nasa rocket carrying supplies and secret equipment to the International Space Station has exploded seconds after lift-off from a commercial launch pad in Virginia.

    The Orbital Sciences Corp Antares rocket exploded mid-air just seven seconds after launch at 6.35pm local time on Tuesday. The cause of the accident was not immediately known, however no injuries were reported.

    The rocket blasted into the air before combusting in a massive orange fireball and smashing back into the ground.

    "We have lost the Orb-3 vehicle," said the commentator on Nasa television, after the lift-off at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, Wallops Island, Virginia.

    "At this point it appears that the damage is limited to the facility," the Nasa commentator said.

    Orbital Sciences' executive vice president Frank Culbertson advised people not to touch any potentially hazardous rocket or spacecraft debris that came down on their property or might wash ashore.

    Immediately after the explosion, the launch team was ordered to maintain all computer data for the ensuing investigation. Culbertson advised his staff not to talk to news reporters and to refrain from speculating among themselves.

    "Definitely do not talk outside of our family," said Culbertson, a former astronaut who once served on the space station.

    Nasa mission control said the accident occurred just after Orbital's unmanned Cygnus cargo ship blasted off toward ISS carrying 5,000 pounds of supplies for the six astronauts living at the research outpost.



    Virginia-based Orbital Sciences is one of two companies hired by Nasa to fly cargo to the station after the space shuttles were retired. Tuesday's planned flight was to be the third of eight under the company's $1.9 billion contract with Nasa.

    The second US supply line to the station is run by privately owned Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, which is preparing for its fourth flight under a separate, $1.6 billion Nasa contract.

    Outfitted with a new, more powerful upper-stage engine, the Antares rocket launched on Tuesday carried a Cygnus spacecraft packed with 5,055 pounds of supplies, science experiments and equipment, a 15 percent increase over previous missions.

    Cygnus was to loiter in orbit until Nov. 2, then fly itself to the station so astronauts can use a robotic crane to snare the capsule and attach it to a berthing port. The station, a $100 billion research laboratory owned and operated by 15 nations, flies about 260 miles above Earth.

    In addition to food, supplies and equipment, the Cygnus spacecraft was loaded with more than 1,600 pounds of science experiments, including an investigation to chemically analyse meteors as they burn up in Earth's atmosphere.

    Russia has offered to help the United States with deliveries to the International Space Station following the disaster.

    "If a request is made for the urgent delivery of any American supplies to the ISS with the help of our vessels then we will satisfy the request," Russian space agency official Alexei Krasnov told state-run RIA Novosti news agency, adding that NASA had not yet asked for assistance.

    The rocket was supposed to launch on Monday night, but was cancelled at the last minute because of a boat that was too close to the range of take-off.

    "It is far too early to know the details of what happened," Frank Culbertson, Orbital executive vice president, said in a statement. “As we begin to gather information, our primary concern lies with the ongoing safety and security of those involved in our response and recovery operations.

    "We will conduct a thorough investigation immediately to determine the cause of this failure and what steps can be taken to avoid a repeat of this incident. As soon as we understand the cause we will begin the necessary work to return to flight to support our customers and the nation’s space program."

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We値l so weaken your
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    until you値l
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  15. #135
    Postman vector7's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS


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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won稚 accept
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We値l so weaken your
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    until you値l
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  16. #136
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    I heard this morning a destruct message was sent to the rocket.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS


  18. #138
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    SABOTAGE? NASA’s Unmanned Antares Rocket Explodes on Launch – NASA TV (Video) (Video) Startling Capture!

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014 7:36



    SABOTAGE? NASA’s Unmanned Antares Rocket Explodes on Launch

    Oct 29 2014

    An unmanned Antares rocket explodes seconds after lift off from a commercial launch pad in Virginia, as NASA TV broadcast shows. This was a supplky rocket heading for the space station.

    ATLANTIC, Va. (AP) — An unmanned commercial supply rocket bound for the International Space Station exploded moments after liftoff Tuesday evening, with debris falling in flames over the launch site in Virginia. No injuries were reported following the first catastrophic launch in NASA’s commercial spaceflight effort.

    The accident was sure to draw criticism over the space agency’s growing reliance on private U.S. companies in this post-shuttle era. NASA is paying billions of dollars to Orbital Sciences and the SpaceX company to make station deliveries, and it’s counting on SpaceX and Boeing to start flying U.S. astronauts to the orbiting lab as early as 2017.

    This was the fourth flight by Orbital Sciences to the orbiting lab.

    The Orbital Sciences’ Antares rocket blew up over the beachside launch complex at Wallops Island. The company said everyone at the site had been accounted for, and the damage appeared to be limited to the facilities. And nothing on the lost flight was urgently needed by the six people living on the 260-mile-high space station, officials said.

    Flames could be seen shooting into the sky as the sun set.

    Orbital Sciences’ executive vice president Frank Culbertson said things began to go wrong 10 to 12 seconds into the flight and it was all over in 20 seconds when what was left of the rocket came crashing down. He said he believes the range-safety staff sent a destruct signal before it hit the ground. Read more


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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    添ou Americans are so gullible.
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    outright, but we値l keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you値l finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



  19. #139
    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    Maybe I'm missing it but where is the believed sabotage?

    The article doesn't say anything and the video and screen shot look just like the regular video.

    I think this was just a case of simple failure. After all, they were using 40+ year old Russian engines.

  20. #140
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    Default Re: The United States is OUT OF THE SPACE BUSINESS

    I don't think this was sabotage unless the Russians did it with a rocket engine they sent. Or someone inside pressed the detonate button.

    I heard that a destruct signal was sent.
    Libertatem Prius!


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