“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chickens come home to roost - or maybe burn up


As you probably know, NASA has warned that the space station (ISS) may be "termporarily" unmanned later this year if the Ruskies can't get their act together and figure out why an Progress supply capsule launch failed recently.  Much of the same technology is used in their Soyuz manned capsules.  THESE CAPSULES ARE NOW THE ONLY WAY to move crew to and from the ISS.

Bush, Obama, and Congress are all to blame for this.  Bush prematurely set in motion the Space Shuttle retirement, Obama cancelled its replacement, and Congress does what Congress does - argue.

So now, shortly after being completed and fully staffed, a orbital complex representing the best technology and highest aspirations of our species is in jeopardy.  The ISS is designed to be unmanned - for a time - but things break and many times astronauts have performed needed on the spot repairs.  If the ISS loses its abilty to maintain stability, it will lose its solar power and if it begins to tumble will be very hard to control or ever dock with again.  Unstable, it would also experience more atmospheric drag and without the ability to reboost its orbit, could make a fiery re-entry one year soon.

A small percentage of the money we've wasted on "stimlulous" programs could have easily kept the shuttle up and running indefinitely - while "saving" real jobs.  NASA lost the funds, didn't get the replacement, and we have to pay the Russians high fees to orbit our astronauts - if they can.


david said...

One giant leap BACKWARDS for mankind!

ed said...

It's embarrassing that we're groveling to the Russians where space work is required. When Pooty-poot becomes President again, he'll certainly turn the humiliation screw as hard as he can....and we'll deserve it.

Bill said...

Thankfully, entrepreneur Egon Musk has created from scratch the company Space X which is developing a cargo resupply capsule that can be upgraded into a manned transport. All within a few years if things go well.

His Falcon series of boosters promises to make access to space far cheaper. He is to be commended.

ed said...

But nobody will give the concept of private enterprise it's just due.

Bill said...

Well, Space X and Orbital Sciences both have NASA contracts to provide supply missions to the ISS, so there is some move toward privatization.

Also, mea culpa, it's Elon Musk, not "Egon."

ed said...

But I wonder if PE will be recognized as having been the reason that it got done cheaper, faster, and more efficiently? I'm sure NASA/government toadies will take the credit.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Ed? Latest post is over a year old. Teabagger politics is still very much in vogue. We need to hear more!