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#1 2004-03-19 14:18:27

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Physicist Steven Weinberg writes:

Perhaps because of its timing, the Hubble decision attracted great public attention, but there are other recent NASA decisions that have nothing to do with safety, and that therefore give clearer evidence of the willingness of NASA and the administration to sacrifice science to save money for manned space flight. In January 2003, after several years of scientists' making difficult decisions about their priorities, NASA announced a new initiative, called Beyond Einstein, to explore some of the more exotic phenomena predicted by Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. This includes a satellite (to be developed jointly with the Department of Energy) that would look at many more galaxies at great distances, in order to uncover the nature of the dark energy by finding whether its density has been changing as the universe expands. Equally important for cosmology, there would be another probe that would study the polarization of the cosmic microwave background to find indirect effects of gravitational waves from the early universe. (Gravitational waves bear the same relation to ordinary gravity that light waves bear to electric and magnetic fields—they are self-sustaining oscillations in the gravitational field, which propagate through empty space at the speed of light.)

Beyond Einstein also includes another satellite dedicated to searching for black holes, and two larger facilities. One is an array of X-ray telescopes called Constellation-X, which would observe matter falling into black holes. The other is called LISA, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna. This "antenna" would consist of three unmanned spacecraft in orbit around the sun, separated from each other by about three million miles. Changes in the distances between the three spacecraft would be continually measured with a precision better than a millionth of an inch by combining laser beams passing between them. These exquisite measurements would be able to reveal the presence of gravitational waves passing through the solar system. LISA would have enough sensitivity to detect gravitational waves produced by stars being torn apart as they fall into black holes or by black holes merging with each other, events we can't see with ordinary telescopes. NASA has another particularly cost-effective program called Explorer, which has supported small and mid-sized observatories like the Cosmic Background Explorer and Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe.

Alas, NASA's Office of Space Science has now announced that the Beyond Einstein and Explorer programs "do not clearly support the goals of the President's Vision for space exploration," so their funding has been severely reduced. Funding for the three smaller Einstein missions has been put off for five years; LISA will be deferred for a year or more; Explorer will be reduced in scope for the next five years; and no proposals for new Explorer missions will be considered for one or two years. None of this damage is irreparable, but spending on the President's "New Vision" has barely begun. These deferrals, along with the end of Hubble servicing, are warnings that as the moon and Mars missions absorb more and more money, the golden age of cosmology is going to be terminated, in order to provide us with the spectacle of people going into space for no particular reason.
[/quote:post_uid0][/color:post_uid0]

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#2 2004-03-19 14:23:29

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,275

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

These deferrals, along with the end of Hubble servicing, are warnings that as the moon and Mars missions absorb more and more money, the golden age of cosmology is going to be terminated, [b:post_uid0]in order to provide us with the spectacle of people going into space for no particular reason.
[/b:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]

Us, or Them. Choose.  :laugh:  big_smile[/color:post_uid0]

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#3 2004-03-19 14:29:50

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I choose, Laser Interferometer Space Antenna over Hubble. I think the existance of gravitional waves is a very important thing to verify.[/color:post_uid0]

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#4 2004-03-19 14:34:31

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,275

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]How many of you would choose some space probe or obrital observatory if it meant that any human mission to Mars is delayed by 20 years?

We want the spectacle that people like Weinberg deride. Which is why the Mars Society should stay out of the whole thing. Short term, it might make some sense, but long term, it's a mistake.[/color:post_uid0]

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#5 2004-03-19 14:40:05

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

How many of you would choose some space probe or obrital observatory if it meant that any human mission to Mars is delayed by 20 years?

We want the spectacle that people like Weinberg deride. Which is why the Mars Society should stay out of the whole thing. Short term, it might make some sense, but long term, it's a mistake.[/quote:post_uid0]
Lets see the Aldridge report. I think Weinberg's point is that we will be trading space science for viewgraphs that will never fly.

Example - look at Jeff Bell's new salvo about radiation and orbital debris. And clark, as you said the other day, no HLLV and its all pretty much just rhetoric.[/color:post_uid0]

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#6 2004-03-19 14:41:19

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]x-43-c (x-series experimental craft) and RS-84 (reusable rocket engine) projects got the axe, too...
Spacetoday

Looks like NASA doesn't believe in RLV anymore...[/color:post_uid0]


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#7 2004-03-19 14:43:08

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

x-43-c (x-series experimental craft) and RS-84 (reusable rocket engine) projects got the axe, too...
Spacetoday

Looks like NASA doesn't believe in RLV anymore...[/quote:post_uid0]

An X-43 link - - here.[/color:post_uid0]

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#8 2004-03-19 14:47:57

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,275

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I think Weinberg's (haha whine-berg...sorry) point is that cosmology science is going to the wayside.

This exploration plan has a bit more weight to it than a few astronauts and ticker tape parades.

Lunar probes, martian probes. New emphasis on radiation and bio-medical sciences. All have very real applications for here on earth. For more people too.

Now, coreect me if I am wrong, dosen't NASA keep mentioning HLLV or SDV plans for the future? It's not like they're afraid of talking about it, so I am less inclined to believe the worst case scenerio's.

If orbital debris becomes a major issue, we'll invest in the laser technology to clean it up. We've been working on that for decades now, and I'm sure the military (NORAD) would be happy.[/color:post_uid0]

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#9 2004-03-19 14:48:22

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]The canceling of the RLV program may be a sign that there is not enough money to do everything outlined. I say this because I thought it was part of the bush plan to research cheaper ways to get into space.[/color:post_uid0]

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#10 2004-03-19 14:49:31

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,275

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Does Shuttle C, HLLV or CEV need any of these technolgies?[/color:post_uid0]

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#11 2004-03-19 14:51:15

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Off thread, but a fascinating wrinkle on the orbital debris angle snagged from a comment at Rand Simberg's site by a fellow named Eric:

One problem I've not heard too much about, though, is that many of the man-made materials cluttering up LEO might just be pyrophoric under the conditions of bursting rudely into the interior of a space station module. Luckily, the resulting fire and any toxic combustion products will be taken care of by the resulting decompression... ;-)
[/quote:post_uid0][/color:post_uid0]

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#12 2004-03-19 15:04:05

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#8D38C9:post_uid0]Astronaut who has performed Hubble repairs

--Cindy[/color:post_uid0]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#13 2004-03-19 15:26:06

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,445
Website

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]X-43C got the axe! That's striking too close to home. The X-43A is absolutely necessary if future launch vehicles are to reduce the cost of access to space. The X-43C was a variation, turbine based instead of ram-jet based. If we ever hope to make it affordable to send humans to Mars, the Moon, or anywhere else in space, we will have to develop air breathing engine technology for a reusable launch vehicle. X-43A is a 12-foot UAV, it is inexpensive and really the bare minimum.[/color:post_uid0]

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#14 2004-03-19 15:31:05

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid12]X-43C got the axe! That's striking too close to home. The X-43A is absolutely necessary if future launch vehicles are to reduce the cost of access to space. The X-43C was a variation, turbine based instead of ram-jet based. If we ever hope to make it affordable to send humans to Mars, the Moon, or anywhere else in space, we will have to develop air breathing engine technology for a reusable launch vehicle. X-43A is a 12-foot UAV, it is inexpensive and really the bare minimum.[/color:post_uid12][/quote:post_uid12]
[color=#8D38C9:post_uid12]*My god. 

What the hell is going on??[/color:post_uid12]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#15 2004-03-19 16:01:39

RobertDyck
Moderator
From: Winnipeg, Canada
Registered: 2002-08-20
Posts: 6,445
Website

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I suppose the X-43A and X-43C could be considered redundant. The announcement doesn't say they cancelled X-43A, so they kept the one that is less expensive and has more promise. But the Airforce could have used the mach 6 turbine engine and airframe for its next generation fighter jet. I guess the Airforce is now on their own. I suppose re-focusing NASA is necessary, but I feel strongly that they [b:post_uid0]better[/b:post_uid0] keep the X-43A.[/color:post_uid0]

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#16 2004-03-20 11:01:31

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Its not just Hubble - Dana Rohrbacher wants to cancel the climate studies satellites as well - - despite results like these.[/color:post_uid0]

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#17 2004-03-20 12:29:41

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Its not just Hubble - other NASA cuts

[color=#000000:post_uid8]Its not just Hubble - Dana Rohrbacher wants to cancel the climate studies satellites as well - - despite results like these.[/color:post_uid8][/quote:post_uid8]
[color=#8D38C9:post_uid8]:down:

*Gosh...why don't we just cancel EVERYTHING and go back to living like cavemen?

I guess we can share messages via chisels and stone tablets.

--Cindy (aka Wilma Flintstone)[/color:post_uid8]


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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