Sunday, August 16, 2009

NASA - stuck on rockets

The answer is simple...quit worrying about going into deep space, the moon, Mars or other planets. They look like a Chinese firedrill trying to plan for off world projects but still using childrens toys as the propulsion and energy systems.

Instead, FOCUS all space related efforts here on earth to discover new propulsion, new energy and life sustaining techniques.

It's clear that many discoveries and inventions related to our space efforts have filtered down to the private and consumer sector to make our lives better.

Now if NASA used what talent they have to come up with new propulsion and new energy, it would directly affect our dependence on oil and the introduction of efficient electrical or other energy and transport technologies.

NASA's moon plan too ambitious - "A panel reviewing NASA's current plans for human space flight will report that there is no realistic way to return to the moon by 2020 -- or even 2028.

The final list of options being explored by the Augustine group will include some variation of a lunar base down the road. But the committee is most animated by what it calls the ``Deep Space'' option, a strategy that emphasizes getting astronauts far beyond Low Earth Orbit but not necessarily plunking them down on alien worlds.

Instead, the ``Deep Space'' strategy would send them to near-Earth asteroids and to gravitationally significant points in space, known as Lagrange points, that are beyond the Earth's protective magnetosphere. Astronauts might even go all the way to Phobos, a tiny moon of Mars, where the spaceship wouldn't land so much as rendezvous, in the same way that a spacecraft docks at the International Space Station.

The Earth's moon would be a possible ``off-ramp'' of such a strategy but not a central target for exploration. Putting astronauts on the surface of Mars, and then returning them to Earth, would be prohibitively expensive, according to an analysis by the committee, which will send its report to the president by the end of this month."

Just think how much research and development could be accomplished with all the money NASA pisses away every year, but devote it to energy and new propulsion. NASA gets a bit over 17 BILLION dollars for its yearly budget.

We need to get away from primitive rockets and discover how to control gravity or use field forces to propel our spacecraft and other transport methods.

Space panel considers alternatives to NASA's plan for moon base - "Instead of trying to set up permanent moon base as Constellation envisioned, Crawley called for a phased exploration program starting with flybys and scouting missions, building up to longer visits and eventual bases.

That, he said, is more affordable and achievable.

When Constellation was conceived in 2005, NASA envisioned spending about $100 billion to return to the moon by 2020. But the program has been squeezed by congressional budget cuts, cost overruns and technical hurdles.

"It is unclear whether NASA has the funding for any scenarios that do anything important beyond low-Earth orbit prior to 2020," said Christopher Chyba, a panel member who is professor of astrophysical sciences and international affairs at Princeton University.

So the panel is trying to devise scenarios that could work with roughly $80 billion, although no price tags were put on the alternatives discussed on Thursday.

But even ideas the panel seems to support -- like extending the space station's life by about five years until 2020, or flying the shuttle into 2012 or beyond -- cost billions that NASA doesn't have.

"NASA has a chronic problem: it does not have the budget to develop new systems and operate existing ones," Chyba said."

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