mersenneforum.org  

Go Back   mersenneforum.org > Extra Stuff > Soap Box

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2012-06-06, 06:15   #1
Dubslow
Basketry That Evening!
 
Dubslow's Avatar
 
"Bunslow the Bold"
Jun 2011
40<A<43 -89<O<-88

722110 Posts
Default NASA Budget

Here' some more .

http://penny4nasa.org/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just click the link :)
NASA’s budget currently represents 0.5% of the US budget, and has been relatively unchanged for 25 years. We are calling for their budget to be increased to 1% of the US budget.
The following video is on the page. I signed the petition before watching it, but boy oh boy is it worth watching.

Dubslow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 02:15   #2
jasong
 
jasong's Avatar
 
"Jason Goatcher"
Mar 2005

350710 Posts
Default

I feel the amateurs of late have accomplished more than Nasa, and with significantly less money.

I say kill Nasa and focus on supporting independent private stuff when it comes to anything involving off-world travel.
jasong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 03:15   #3
Dubslow
Basketry That Evening!
 
Dubslow's Avatar
 
"Bunslow the Bold"
Jun 2011
40<A<43 -89<O<-88

3·29·83 Posts
Default

First off, what amateurs? I only see really big companies going at it. (Or Richard Branson, who only sort of counts as an amateur and whose venture only sort of counts as "off world" travel.)

Secondly, those really big companies are still only just getting in LEO, it'll be a long time until they get anywhere else. In the meantime, NASA should be and is aiming for going to other extra-terrestrial bodies (e.g. Mars).
Dubslow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 08:34   #4
fivemack
(loop (#_fork))
 
fivemack's Avatar
 
Feb 2006
Cambridge, England

22×32×179 Posts
Default

Heinlein's argument that LEO is half-way to anywhere is quite close to true; the requirements to get to anywhere in the System from LEO aren't that strenuous (in particular, you've got a lot of time to do things and don't have to do them as energetically as when you're fighting a first stage through atmosphere against 1G) though they're not requirements that SpaceX has demonstrably addressed yet.

The big question is whether NASA's job is designing big rockets to be built on fairly expensive contracts by Big US Aerospace, or sending astronauts into space, or acting as the shared-infrastructure-development and grant-awarding agency for the planetary science and astrophysics departments of the United States.

You want rather different-shaped organisations for those three tasks, and if you're trying to do the third task exclusively then you have quite a hard PR issue in saying why planetary scientists deserve funding at more than 50% of the NIH's level.

If you do the first task then the very substantial lobbying efforts of Big US Aerospace are on your side, which helps; but at the moment NASA's efforts on the first task have spent an awful lot of money without building any particularly perceptible rockets.

If you do the second task then people will ask what the astronauts achieve other than a hard-working holiday with the best views off Earth; the demonstrated science return of the Station in fields other than 'what happens to astronauts kept in a space station for significant periods' is really not very high.
fivemack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 08:43   #5
Dubslow
Basketry That Evening!
 
Dubslow's Avatar
 
"Bunslow the Bold"
Jun 2011
40<A<43 -89<O<-88

3×29×83 Posts
Default

Perhaps physically speaking, e.g. energy requirements, yes LEO is a major step. But everything else, such as 100% reliability away from Earth, long durations in tight quarters with the same few people, food, water, waste, etc. are all non-trivial problems that have yet to be solved simultaneously.

As for NASA's organization, I'd say historically the 1st is what it had done, i.e. the 1960s. Though you make a good point about not having anything to show for it, don't forget that whatever-they're-designing gets cancelled every two years.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constellation_program
Re-designed once and then cancelled altogether. In other words, they haven't been allowed to produce anything. The rockets they had planned on making were morphed into this. (Note that they at least managed to retain all the design work on the Constellation capsule, and that will be used for the SLS.

Edit: In further reading, it seems the SLS is designed to do a great many things -- I hope it doesn't go the way of the F-35.

Last fiddled with by Dubslow on 2012-06-09 at 08:45
Dubslow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 13:18   #6
fivemack
(loop (#_fork))
 
fivemack's Avatar
 
Feb 2006
Cambridge, England

22×32×179 Posts
Default

If I'm reading my history correctly, NASA basically designed two rockets: the Saturn series and the Space Shuttle. They also designed the Centaur upper stage.

For Mercury and Gemini, NASA defined the ways in which pre-existing ICBMs had to be updated before they were willing to launch humans on them, but basically what was used were Convair Atlas or Martin Titan missiles.

I think I agree quite strongly with Congressman Tom McClintock's argument that the Congressional mandates forcing NASA to use Space Shuttle components for SLS 'amount to a de-facto non-competitive, single source requirement assuring contracts to existing shuttle suppliers'; it all seems much more like corporate welfare for Big Aerospace than like the cheapest available route to get astronauts to interesting places.

Last fiddled with by fivemack on 2012-06-09 at 13:25
fivemack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 13:46   #7
Dubslow
Basketry That Evening!
 
Dubslow's Avatar
 
"Bunslow the Bold"
Jun 2011
40<A<43 -89<O<-88

722110 Posts
Default

Once Constellation was cancelled, I gave up on keeping close tabs on things.
Dubslow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 13:48   #8
Uncwilly
6809 > 6502
 
Uncwilly's Avatar
 
"""""""""""""""""""
Aug 2003
101×103 Posts

235628 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fivemack View Post
Heinlein's argument that LEO is half-way to anywhere is quite close to true; the requirements to get to anywhere in the System from LEO aren't that strenuous (in particular, you've got a lot of time to do things and don't have to do them as energetically as when you're fighting a first stage through atmosphere against 1G) though they're not requirements that SpaceX has demonstrably addressed yet.
Space-X's Falcon Heavy is working toward that end. It is a 2 and a half stage rocket that acts more like a 3 stage (by virtue of cross feeding). It has the ability to loft more than double the weight to LEO of anything else recently flying. First launch is slated for end of 2012 (IIRC).
Uncwilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 18:53   #9
ewmayer
2ω=0
 
ewmayer's Avatar
 
Sep 2002
República de California

32×1,297 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fivemack View Post
I think I agree quite strongly with Congressman Tom McClintock's argument that the Congressional mandates forcing NASA to use Space Shuttle components for SLS 'amount to a de-facto non-competitive, single source requirement assuring contracts to existing shuttle suppliers'; it all seems much more like corporate welfare for Big Aerospace than like the cheapest available route to get astronauts to interesting places.
This argument would carry more weight with me if the amounts in question were not utterly dwarfed by the ongoing Wall Street bailouts. AIG, anyone? How much did Wall Street pay out in bonuses last year?

(Note that to his credit, McClintock did not vote for TARP).
ewmayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 22:18   #10
Dubslow
Basketry That Evening!
 
Dubslow's Avatar
 
"Bunslow the Bold"
Jun 2011
40<A<43 -89<O<-88

3×29×83 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
This argument would carry more weight with me if the amounts in question were not utterly dwarfed by the ongoing Wall Street bailouts. AIG, anyone? How much did Wall Street pay out in bonuses last year?
Heh, the video in the link in OP has NdGT saying something like "the $700B bank bailout was more money than NASA's entire budget across its whole history".
Dubslow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2012-06-09, 22:37   #11
fivemack
(loop (#_fork))
 
fivemack's Avatar
 
Feb 2006
Cambridge, England

22×32×179 Posts
Default

Isn't that the argument that got Americans into trouble in the first place - that if they'd spent an enormous amount on solving one serious problem, they might as well spend some substantially smaller sum on something much more frivolous? That having borrowed to buy the expensive house, they might as well borrow to buy the extravagant car.

Spending a few million dollars to keep one engineer in a job at Boeing Space Widgets when he'd be reasonably likely to end up with a perfectly acceptable job at some medical-device manufacturer after a short period of unemployment is a pretty awful use of public money.
fivemack is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
memory for budget machine wildrabbitt Hardware 65 2015-08-09 04:21
help nasa... firejuggler Programming 0 2013-01-24 18:22
Live NASA Webcast of Venus Solar Transit Dubslow Lounge 4 2012-06-13 19:28
Budget PC Throughput Rodrigo Hardware 14 2011-09-26 10:16
NASA's Deep Impact... ixfd64 Lounge 5 2005-07-06 13:46

All times are UTC. The time now is 12:25.


Sun Nov 28 12:25:54 UTC 2021 up 128 days, 6:54, 0 users, load averages: 0.97, 1.14, 1.13

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum has received and complied with 0 (zero) government requests for information.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.
A copy of the license is included in the FAQ.