Author Topic: Vice President Mike Pence will visit NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida  (Read 9278 times)

Offline psloss

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Many of the non-VIP versions of these tours begin with a verbal warning not to touch stuff.

There's almost always a "do not touch" stop on the tour -- if there isn't a planned one, the need arises to add it somewhere along the way.

Online Chris Bergin

To be fair he can touch whatever he wants if he gives NASA a solid costed plan via the council.

Offline Coastal Ron

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An update on V.P. Pence touching the Orion component that had a sign saying "Do Not Touch", Pence says Senator Marco Rubio dared him to touch it.

I'm sure no permanent harm was done to the part, but this Administration has a hard time explaining things in a straightforward way...

I think that was a joke. People have a hard time accepting this administration doesn't eat children three meals a day.

A simple statement from NASA saying that Pence was given the OK to touch the part by NASA since it would be cleaned later would have cleared the air quickly about this. NASA could have even tweeted it out.

Instead we have to guess if Pence was being serious or trying to be humorous with his explanation - which the reason why there is a question is that Pence is not someone known to crack jokes. But regardless, the question of "why" he touched it is still left unanswered, which is what keeps this conversation going...
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline Endeavour_01

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You can't be in the lead in a race if you are still in the pit area. But things are looking up, I agree.

The ability to put men into space is the ability to lead in the eyes of the public.

If that were the case then NASA won't be "leading" even when Commercial Crew becomes operational, since that won't be government transportation systems, but private ones. Really no different than contracting with the
Russians.

I agree that the US cannot claim the mantle of sole leadership in HSF without the ability to launch its own astronauts. I think we can say that the US is "a" leader right now in HSF given the US segment of the ISS, commercial cargo capabilities, and what we have coming down the pike. That said Ron the ISS stands for "International Space Station." The US segment is not the sum total of the station. If it was then your argument would be stronger.

I disagree that contracting with commercial companies is no different than contracting with the Russians. These companies don't exist is some nebulous international space, they are incorporated in the US. Using homegrown launchers and spacecraft (which were mostly grown with NASA contracts) is far different than contracting with a foreign country. Anybody can contract flights for their astros from another country that has spaceflight capability, but not everybody has spaceflight capability.

It may be a different form of contract than years past but NASA has always worked with US industry to develop spacecraft.
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
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Offline Coastal Ron

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I agree that the US cannot claim the mantle of sole leadership in HSF without the ability to launch its own astronauts.

Those that say the U.S. is not the HSF leader usually never say who is. Who do you think Trump & Pence think is the leader in HSF today, and why? And do you agree?

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I think we can say that the US is "a" leader right now in HSF given the US segment of the ISS, commercial cargo capabilities, and what we have coming down the pike.

I too look at the totality of capabilities, and from that I see the U.S. as the clear leader. Who is even close, and why?

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That said Ron the ISS stands for "International Space Station." The US segment is not the sum total of the station. If it was then your argument would be stronger.

By agreement the two primary partners in the ISS are the Russians and us, but based on the value we get out of the ISS versus the Russians - the amount of science output - I think it's quite clear that the U.S. is making the most of the ISS. Russia continues to be an important partner, but it's clear their best days in space are behind them at this point in history.

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I disagree that contracting with commercial companies is no different than contracting with the Russians.

The specific implication I was countering had to do with the act of being transported to LEO, and whether that was the major component of Human SpaceFlight (HSF). I don't consider moving people to/from LEO & Earth as "HSF". HSF to me is what we are DOING in space - working, living, etc.

For instance, is your work defined on how you get to work?

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It may be a different form of contract than years past but NASA has always worked with US industry to develop spacecraft.

Back in NASA's prior form, being NACA, it's goal was to help industry develop better aeronautical transportation systems. The NASA of the future would be a great asset for helping to do the same for spacecraft, but it can't be competing with U.S. industry at the same time.
« Last Edit: 07/09/2017 01:57 PM by Coastal Ron »
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Offline QuantumG

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A simple statement from NASA saying that Pence was given the OK to touch the part by NASA since it would be cleaned later would have cleared the air quickly about this. NASA could have even tweeted it out.

That's exactly what NASA did... and people still think they know better, or that the NASA spokesperson is covering for the boss, or whatever. Once something becomes political no amount of facts matter.
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Offline Endeavour_01

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Those that say the U.S. is not the HSF leader usually never say who is. Who do you think Trump & Pence think is the leader in HSF today, and why? And do you agree?

Honestly I don't think there is any sole leader at this moment when HSF is concerned. Russia has launch capability, resupply capability, and a space station segment but science done on that segment is lacking (compared to the US segment) and they are cutting their space funding. China has launch capability and their space station is about to come online, but their progress is slow and will likely be outpaced by the US once new systems come online.

The US doesn't have the ability to launch humans into space right now but it has a successful space station segment, resupply capabilities, and will soon have systems that will launch people into LEO and BLEO. If you take a snapshot of this particular moment I think it is valid to say that the US isn't the sole leader in HSF. Once we get a little farther into the future I think the US will be the obvious leader in HSF.

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The specific implication I was countering had to do with the act of being transported to LEO, and whether that was the major component of Human SpaceFlight (HSF). I don't consider moving people to/from LEO & Earth as "HSF". HSF to me is what we are DOING in space - working, living, etc.

It is "a" major component but not "the" major component. I think you are getting into semantics here by saying "moving people from Earth to LEO doesn't count as HSF." Human space flight means humans flying in space. They don't just beam to the ISS. The transport counts as spaceflight. Would you consider a 6 month flight to Mars as "not HSF" because they haven't reached their destination yet?

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Back in NASA's prior form, being NACA, it's goal was to help industry develop better aeronautical transportation systems. The NASA of the future would be a great asset for helping to do the same for spacecraft, but it can't be competing with U.S. industry at the same time.

So far there isn't any "competing" going on between NASA and private industry. In fact leaders from both camps have been emphasizing cooperation and an all of the above approach. Maybe that will change in the future but for right now NASA and private industry have been doing a great job of complementing rather than competing.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 02:42 AM by Endeavour_01 »
I cheer for both NASA and commercial space. For SLS, Orion, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, Starliner, Cygnus and all the rest!
I was blessed to see the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-99. The launch was beyond amazing. My 8-year old mind was blown. I remember the noise and seeing the exhaust pour out of the shuttle as it lifted off. I remember staring and watching it soar while it was visible in the clear blue sky. It was one of the greatest moments of my life and I will never forget it.

Offline clongton

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The subtext here is that America has fallen far behind in space—

It depends on what one means by "fallen behind in space".
In terms of robotic activity in space, America is the clear leader.
In terms of human activity in space, America is the clear leader.
In terms of human transportation to space:

....The Chinese are transporting their astronauts into space on Chinese rockets.
....The Russians are transporting everyone else's astronauts (except the Chinese) into space on Russian rockets.
....America used to transport American astronauts into space on American rockets - but not anymore.
....The Americans threw away their human transportation system - TWICE!
....In terms of human transportation into space America is clearly *not* the leader, future plans notwithstanding.
« Last Edit: 07/10/2017 04:31 PM by clongton »
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Offline QuantumG

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In terms of robotic activity in space, America is the clear leader.

Things actually done in space.

Quote from: clongton
In terms of human activity in space, America is the clear leader.

Things actually done in space.

Quote from: clongton
In terms of human transportation to space:

Not actually things done in space.

Personally I think that commercial, government and military satellites are a more important indicator of who is the "leader" in space. Not "science". Not national prestige. Not even launch. These are side shows. The US is the clear winner, with Russia and Europe nipping at the heels.
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Offline zubenelgenubi

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Repeating my question...Does anyone know which Dragon craft was used?
Thank you.

Space News article on the visit.

http://spacenews.com/pence-says-nasa-to-reorient-towards-human-spaceflight/

Does anyone know WHICH Dragon capsule?
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The backdrop to his speech included a flown SpaceX Dragon capsule and a mockup of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner commercial crew vehicle, as well as the Orion capsule that flew on a brief December 2014 test flight.
« Last Edit: 07/11/2017 07:41 PM by zubenelgenubi »
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