Author Topic: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....  (Read 6042 times)

Offline William Barton

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #20 on: 09/06/2007 01:54 PM »
I think it's useful to make a distinction between Ares I and Ares V. Ares V seems like something we desperately need, and which will be far more important in the long run than STS. Ares I... I dunno. It does seem like it's main function is to provide workforce retention and to absorb some of the development costs leading to the Ares V. If we actually get the Ares V, maybe it will turn out to have been worth the Ares I, because then we can rejoin the futureward path that was lost when we traded Saturn V for STS. If we have the national will.

Offline zerm

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #21 on: 09/06/2007 02:14 PM »
This is why I think we need to proceed at all speed with the Ares vehicles. Pride vs The Gap. Many of us went through the post Apollo gap and it was indeed a dark time. Although the shuttle was in progress it faced a very hostile congress and a pop-culture that cared less about flying in space or not. (Intrestingly, many of those who wrikled their noses at NASA, human spaceflight and the shuttle are the same people who today adore the images from Hubble.) Every time sen. Plugsmire had the whim he was more than welcomed in front of the cameras of the 3 major networks just so he could say that the shuttle needed to be "Killed." Meanwhile- at the Cape things were being torn down- it was a depressing time for us space buffs. But, IMO, that's a big part of what the 70s were about- they were, with a few exceptions such as the Bicentenial, about tearing down a lot of things that represented United States pride and strength- because pride in your country and its abilities was considered as being "uncool." Lucky- such attitudes grow thin rapidly and by 1981 the launch of STS-1 revived a lot of national and free world pride. Still- those who would call pride "uncool" keep trying to revive the 70s, and their chance may come in the next Gap.

Lastly, we hear a lot about hitching rides on Soyuz during the coming Gap. To that I have some questions for the readers here to ponder and comment on. First, (and I hate to be the one to bring this up, but I'm a career pilot and this is simply the way we think) what happens when one of the Soyuz flights goes wrong- very, very wrong? Sure it's reliable, but it is still a VERY complex launch vehicle- it is still a rocket and in the near future one of them is going to go wrong- sorry to say it, but that's the way of things that fly. With Soyuz grounded, and if that is in our gap- what becomes of the ISS? What becomes of the crew? Do they pile into another Soyuz and come home- what if the accident involved a Soyuz reentry? Now the gap seems really wide and we, the United States who put men on the moon- will have NOTHING to fly up and help. Just think about it. Our US space program goes way beyond pride in that case- we NEED these new vehicles and from my little point of view, we need them way sooner than they are currently planned.

FYI- just a note- I REALLY like the Soyuz and the Russian's long running ability to make it work safely- I wish them well and prey that the above listed situation will never happen.

Offline Jim

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #22 on: 09/06/2007 03:14 PM »
The Soyuz R-7 wouldn't stay grounded long and it still could launch progress before it is cleared for crew

Offline vt_hokie

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #23 on: 09/06/2007 05:01 PM »
Quote
zerm - 6/9/2007  10:14 AM

First, (and I hate to be the one to bring this up, but I'm a career pilot and this is simply the way we think) what happens when one of the Soyuz flights goes wrong- very, very wrong? Sure it's reliable, but it is still a VERY complex launch vehicle- it is still a rocket and in the near future one of them is going to go wrong- sorry to say it, but that's the way of things that fly. With Soyuz grounded, and if that is in our gap- what becomes of the ISS? What becomes of the crew? Do they pile into another Soyuz and come home- what if the accident involved a Soyuz reentry? Now the gap seems really wide and we, the United States who put men on the moon- will have NOTHING to fly up and help.

At what point will a spacecraft/launch vehicle failure be treated like an aircraft failure, where an investigation occurs but other aircraft of the same type keep flying in the meantime?

Offline AntiKev

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #24 on: 09/06/2007 06:15 PM »
When completely RLVs are common.  Right now everything is expended (save the Shuttle and SRBs but that's a very special case).  Until then, every vehicle is new and the problems need to be corrected before the next one is launched.

Offline Jim

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #25 on: 09/06/2007 06:15 PM »
Quote
vt_hokie - 6/9/2007  1:01 PM

At what point will a spacecraft/launch vehicle failure be treated like an aircraft failure, where an investigation occurs but other aircraft of the same type keep flying in the meantime?

When they are not serially produced and flown

Offline Antares

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #26 on: 09/06/2007 07:28 PM »
The reason America is not pushing the envelope in space is because we simply cannot afford it - within current national priorities.  And those priorities are not limited to the DoD spending as much in 11 days as NASA does in a year.  It's also about being saddled with LBJ's Great Society programs and FDR's New Deal (which wasn't supposed to be an and-on change).  Within 20 years, according to an NPR commentator a few days ago, federal revenue won't pay for all entitlements even if we zero out all discretionary spending including defense.  We didn't have all of these things when we executed Apollo, except the New Deal.

Until we have a serious national debate on what we really want to do with our money, it won't change.  Given what came out of Apollo, I think there is no investment that can have greater benefits over a greater spectrum of industries than space exploration.

Keep a broad perspective and it's easy to stay above Ares bashing.
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Offline Dana

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #27 on: 09/06/2007 11:02 PM »
Quote
vt_hokie - 6/9/2007  10:01 AM

Quote
zerm - 6/9/2007  10:14 AM

First, (and I hate to be the one to bring this up, but I'm a career pilot and this is simply the way we think) what happens when one of the Soyuz flights goes wrong- very, very wrong? Sure it's reliable, but it is still a VERY complex launch vehicle- it is still a rocket and in the near future one of them is going to go wrong- sorry to say it, but that's the way of things that fly. With Soyuz grounded, and if that is in our gap- what becomes of the ISS? What becomes of the crew? Do they pile into another Soyuz and come home- what if the accident involved a Soyuz reentry? Now the gap seems really wide and we, the United States who put men on the moon- will have NOTHING to fly up and help.

At what point will a spacecraft/launch vehicle failure be treated like an aircraft failure, where an investigation occurs but other aircraft of the same type keep flying in the meantime?

That does not always happen with aircraft accidents though. There have been occasions when an accident occurs and the whole fleet of those aircraft were grounded, the DC-10 being the first example that comes to mind; also the Comet and the Concorde.
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Offline BigRIJoe

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #28 on: 09/06/2007 11:29 PM »
Quote
Antares - 6/9/2007  2:28 PM

 It's also about being saddled with LBJ's Great Society programs and FDR's New Deal (which wasn't supposed to be an and-on change).  Within 20 years, according to an NPR commentator a few days ago, federal revenue won't pay for all entitlements even if we zero out all discretionary spending including defense.  We didn't have all of these things when we executed Apollo, except the New Deal.

Until we have a serious national debate on what we really want to do with our money, it won't change.  Given what came out of Apollo, I think there is no investment that can have greater benefits over a greater spectrum of industries than space exploration.

Keep a broad perspective and it's easy to stay above Ares bashing.

So let me guess. The solution is to eliminate Medicare along with Social Security, which incidently has been financed largely by the Boomers for the last 40 years, and  fly in space. Trust me, there was hardly a whimper over the manned spaceflight hiatus between the time  of the ATSP Apollo command module spacedown and the launch of STS-1 . Even more telling is the lack of concern when China orbited it's first taikonaut. People simply don't look at technological achievement as the basis for national and international prestige as they once did. Incidently, you can forget cutting "entitlement" programs like Medicare and SS to fund VSE. Boomers vote; Gen Xers don't, and you can be damned sure that the generation that has gotten what it wanted from the cradle, wil continue getting what it want until it reaches the grave. :laugh:

Offline CommercialSpaceFan

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #29 on: 09/07/2007 12:05 PM »

I have to completely disagree, lack of financing has nothing to do with it. Even significantly increased budgets couldn't get Ares I flying much sooner. The real issue is lack of direction at NASA. What is NASA's real charter? Keep all the shuttle folks employed launching rockets, or close the American crew gap and explore??? OSP was further along when it got canceled 3 years ago than Orion/Ares I are today. If it had been continued we would not have a gap, and the funding was nothing compared to what exploration is spending today. Orion was originally on contract to fly in 2011. That was pushed to 2014 to wait for Ares I. Orion can easily fly on either EELV, and NASA could save the $10B & 8 years it is spending developing Ares I. NASA's current budget is plenty sufficient to enable a robust ISS program and lunar exploration, choices just have to be made that are affordable.

And just to keep on the theme of pride, I think the end result, learning from ISS science, ISS construction/operation, a lunar base, etc are what will truly rekindle American pride in the human space program.  Whether Orion is launched on Ares I, Atlas, Delta, Falcon, does the American public really care?


Offline William Barton

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Re: Ares I and V: Not about abilities, but pride....
« Reply #30 on: 09/07/2007 12:21 PM »
The notion that we can't afford to fly in space because entitlements and/or military budgets exist is merely the flip side of the earlier argument that we couldn't afford to fly in space because entitlements and/or military budgets needed to be larger. "We need to spend that money on problems down here!" is a rallying cry as old as the space program, and it's no different. Fact is, as fact was, NASA's budget is a teacup in the ocean. It would have to be increased at least fivefold before it would even begin to have an impact on the Federal budget. Twenty years ago, after Challenger, I made some issue of pointing out in various public fora that NASA's budget was approximately equal to the separate budgets of the IRS and FHA, and that it was considerably less than the Pentagon spent every year evaluating weapons systems that it subsequently decides not to buy. I don't know if those things are still true, but the point is still true. If we took ten billion dollars a year out of either SSA or DoD and gave it to NASA, it wouldn't much affect either one, but would have a big effect on NASA. Whether NASA could make effective use of the money is an entirely different question.

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