The way things are heading-
they will be a series of history books...
NASA is working with a publisher to create a series of sci-fi books inspired by NASA's work. The US space agency has inked an agreement with Tor-Forge Books to work on "NASA Inspired Works of Fiction" that will contain stories relating to current and future missions and operations. NASA's space shuttle programme came to an …
While the works of NASA have added quite a bit to our tech base, it's been... ineffective the last couple of decades. An objective analysis might even find that the shuttle --in how it worked out, not dissing the basic idea here-- has actually stymied and impeded progress, for it was so expensive that it precluded alternatives from being contemplated.
So instead of coming up with cheap alternatives, they're continuing daydreaming. C'mon NASA, that isn't the right move right this moment. It's about as useful as insisting that teaching creationism in science class "teaches critical thinking". Syeah right.
Putting a man on the moon for under a million quid is what would win hearts and minds, find engineers battling for a chance to work for you, and sf writers write about you.
As with the top-down design process of the shuttle and the management living in bass ackwards crossing, this too NASA has the wrong way around.
Feynmann laid bare a lot that was wrong then. He also said "we know better now". Heck no. We could, but we choose not to.
Why yes, yes I did. And to understand why, consider: How much does each fireworks show cost, how often does it blow up, how often per year did they even try to ignite it, and how often do they succeed on the first try? Oh, and then look at how much training it costs to play passenger on one of those things.
You can't build something like Freeside with that sort of "access" to space. Nevermind exploit it. Of course, commercial exploitation of space is not NASA's job. Their job is one of trailblazing. But they can only just nip into space, and that's it. For anything more you basically have to fall back on simple big fat rockets, that you can't even get from NASA these days. There's no expansion, there's no progress.
The display might be impressive, but that's not the point. The point is to get up the well, and that should be far easier, quicker, safer, and cheaper, than the shuttle has shown to be capable of delivering. And there's no alternative from NASA. Thus, NASA is ineffective.
I'd rather this wasn't the case, but there you go. Ask not fellow ACs where the flying cars are. Ask NASA.
SiFi stories about moon landings.... is NASA trying to tell us something?
How about a love story, the shuttle pilot who has an affair with another shuttle pilot and then embarks on a cross country trip to confront her love rival?
How about a disaster story when part of the spacecraft blows up leaving the crew on disable spacecraft heading for the moon but running out of air.
I think I've read these already
Like... a story in which the International Space Station actually contributed something to science, after costing $100B? I know, I know, that is taking serious liberties with the facts.
There are plenty of _very_ useful ways to spend money on space. Few of them involve putting meat in orbit.
There is plenty of "near term" science fiction out there inspired by various space programs, or even written by Scientists involved in them.
Rather than pissing their time and money up the wall NASA should go back to doing what they are meant to do - getting people and machines in space.
Maybe they have forgotten - they currently lack a man rated launch system and are meant to be pulling their finger out for a NEO to MARs mission?
NASA has been essentially a fictional organisation since about 1973, so sponsoring sci-fi is really some sort of grim epistemic closure.
I was a few weeks away from birth when the first man set foot on the moon. I was three when the last one did. It angers me that now I have grey hairs and wrinkles and no other bugger's been back. It's not like it even costs that much, compared to the fire-hose of cash spent on welfare.
Happy Birthday mate - I too was born a few weeks after Neil and Buzz set foot on the moon. Our ages might be identical.
I've been a manned spaceflight fan all my life, but never saw a launch. Tried to, though, last November, journeying all the way down to Cape Canaveral to see the Discovery go. Unfortunately its launch was delayed to Feb as we all know, and I couldn't afford a second trip.
I've been sad for some time about NASA's lack of progress in spaceflight. And yet I'm somehow in mourning over the end of the shuttle.
I hope they don't plan on trying to peddle these for the Kindle reader on Amazon.com. I've got a book for sale on there (http://www.amazon.com/Outage-ebook/dp/B0056VBYZS) and it never sees the light of day because of the millions of others just like me that are clogging up the works. And didn't I read a story here not long ago about how some people are making a quick buck by pasting in random text from the internet and peddling the e-books to unsuspecting readers? Sad thing is they still sell more copies than I do. Depressing.
is of Dad getting me out of bed at night to watch to Armstrong and Aldrin make history on TV. I was three at the time, and it influenced my love of all things space ever since. Like you, I am royally pissed that space program has gone backwards ever since. I remember thinking that the space shuttle, when it started, was the beginning of the road to Mars; we'd been to the moon, and Mars was the logical next step, especially in view of the front-page coverage of the Viking landers that were providing spectacular photos of the Martian surface at the time. And then it all just seemed to... fizzle out, and the dream died.
One more thing: If you want to know where the money's really going, I would change just two letters of your last sentence - "It's not like it even costs that much, compared to the fire-hose of cash spent on wARfare."
NASA is finally ready to launch its unmanned Orion spacecraft and put it in the orbit of the Moon. Lift-off from Earth is now expected in late August using a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket.
This launch, a mission dubbed Artemis I, will be a vital stage in the Artemis series, which has the long-term goal of ferrying humans to the lunar surface using Orion capsules and SLS technology.
Earlier this week NASA held a wet dress rehearsal (WDR) for the SLS vehicle – fueling it and getting within 10 seconds of launch. The test uncovered 13 problems, including a hydrogen fuel leak in the main booster, though NASA has declared that everything's fine for a launch next month.
NASA has chosen the three companies it will fund to develop a nuclear fission reactor ready to test on the Moon by the end of the decade.
This power plant is set to be a vital component of Artemis, the American space agency's most ambitious human spaceflight mission to date. This is a large-scale project to put the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, and establish a long-term presence on Earth's natural satellite.
NASA envisions [PDF] astronauts living in a lunar base camp, bombing around in rovers, and using it as a launchpad to explore further out into the Solar System. In order for this to happen, it'll need to figure out how to generate a decent amount of power somehow.
Sadly for NASA's mission to take samples from the asteroid Psyche, software problems mean the spacecraft is going to miss its 2022 launch window.
The US space agency made the announcement on Friday: "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11."
While it appears the software and testbeds are now working, there just isn't enough time to get everything done before a SpaceX Falcon Heavy sends the spacecraft to study a metallic-rich asteroid of the same name.
Rocket Lab has sent NASA's Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) spacecraft on its way to the Moon atop an Electron rocket launched from New Zealand.
The launch had been subject to a number of delays, but at 09.55 UTC today, the Electron lifted off from Rocket Lab's Launch Complex 1 on the Mahia Peninsula of New Zealand.
Pic When space junk crashed into the Moon earlier this year, it made not one but two craters on the lunar surface, judging from images revealed by NASA on Friday.
Astronomers predicted a mysterious object would hit the Moon on March 4 after tracking the debris for months. The object was large, and believed to be a spent rocket booster from the Chinese National Space Administration's Long March 3C vehicle that launched the Chang'e 5-T1 spacecraft in 2014.
The details are fuzzy. Space agencies tend to monitor junk closer to home, and don't really keep an eye on what might be littering other planetary objects. It was difficult to confirm the nature of the crash; experts reckoned it would probably leave behind a crater. Now, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has spied telltale signs of an impact at the surface. Pictures taken by the probe reveal an odd hole shaped like a peanut shell on the surface of the Moon, presumably caused by the Chinese junk.
NASA engineers had to work fast to avoid another leak affecting the latest Artemis dry run, just hours after an attempt to reboost the International Space Station (ISS) via the Cygnus freighter was aborted following a few short seconds.
The US space agency on Monday rolled the huge Artemis I stack back to its Florida launchpad having worked through the leaks and problems that had beset its previous attempt at fueling the beast in April for an earlier dress rehearsal of the final countdown.
As propellant was loaded into the rocket, controllers noted a hydrogen leak in the quick-disconnect that attaches an umbilical from the tail service mast on the mobile launcher to the core stage of the rocket.
The SOFIA aircraft has returned to New Zealand for a final time ahead of the mission's conclusion later this year.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft, designed to carry a 2.7-meter reflecting telescope into the stratosphere, above much of Earth's infrared-blocking atmosphere.
A collaboration between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), development began on the project in 1996. SOFIA saw first light in 2010 and achieved full operational capability in 2014. Its prime mission was completed in 2019 and earlier this year, it was decided that SOFIA would be grounded for budgetary reasons. Operations end "no later than" September 30, 2022, followed by an "orderly shutdown."
Pondering what services to switch off to keep your laptop going just that bit longer? NASA engineers can relate, having decided the Mars InSight lander will go out on a high: they plan to burn through the remaining power to keep the science flowing until the bitter end.
The InSight lander is in a precarious position regarding power. A build-up of dust has meant the spacecraft's solar panels are no longer generating anywhere near enough power to keep the batteries charged. The result is an automatic shutdown of the payload, although there is a chance InSight might still be able to keep communicating until the end of the year.
Almost all of InSight's instruments have already been powered down, but the seismometer remains active and able to detect seismic activity on Mars (such as Marsquakes.) The seismometer was expected to be active until the end of June, at which point it too would be shut-down in order to eke out the lander's dwindling supply of power just a little longer.
Over recent years, Uncle Sam has loosened its tight-lipped if not dismissive stance on UFOs, or "unidentified aerial phenomena", lest anyone think we're talking about aliens. Now, NASA is the latest body to get in on the act.
In a statement released June 9, the space agency announced it would be commissioning a study team, starting work in the fall, to examine unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs, which it defined as "observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena."
NASA emphasized that the study would be from a "scientific perspective" – because "that's what we do" – and focus on "identifying available data, how best to collect future data, and how NASA can use that data to move the scientific understanding of UAPs forward."
An asteroid predicted to hit Earth in 2052 has, for now, been removed from the European Space Agency's list of rocks to be worried about.
Asteroid 2021 QM1 was described by ESA as "the riskiest asteroid known to humankind," at least among asteroids discovered in the past year. QM1 was spotted in August 2021 by Arizona-based Mount Lemmon observatory, and additional observations only made its path appear more threatening.
"We could see its future paths around the Sun, and in 2052 it could come dangerously close to Earth. The more the asteroid was observed, the greater that risk became," said ESA Head of Planetary Defense Richard Moissl.
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