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US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

Posted August 25, 2008 10:05 AM

From Yahoo! News: Science News:

AFP - The chill left on US-Russian relations by Moscow's military incursion into Georgia could spell problems for future US access to the International Space Station, US experts said. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration will become dependent on flights to the ISS by Russia's Soyuz spacecraft when it retires the shuttle fleet that has long ferried US astronauts into space in 2010.

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#1

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/25/2008 12:08 PM

According to the article:

"Because the ISS needs someone aboard all the time to keep it going, the situation, Nelson said, would mean leaving the station to "degrade and burn up on rentry, or with us ceding it to those who can get there."

So...what?...there's 1 guy constantly swerving the steering wheel & working the pedals that flap the wings? There's no provision for ground-based control? Seems like that would have been pretty high up the on the ol' chalkboard when the eggheads made out the first "Stuff Our Station Needs" list.

Somehow I doubt Russia would just let it fall where it may. Bad publicity.

And I similarly doubt they'd declare it a suburb of Moscow. I'm not sure they can afford to keep it aloft on their own. Although...if anybody could band-aid it into years of operation they could.

I can however see them gloating aplenty. "Tch. You poor dear Americans. Here, let us take you in our fabulous working rocket ships to the ISS. When boarding, please walk 5 paces behind us and be sure to smile and wave to the international press when you thank us for the ride."

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/25/2008 2:03 PM

I agree that Russia would be foolish to not let the U.S. foot the bill, as we seemingly are always so willing to do.

But beyond that, does anyone else think it is idiotic to retire the entire fleet of shuttles without the Orion being available for FIVE YEARS at the EARLIEST? Lest we forget that the U.S. Gov't track record for anything being on time is rare.

I don't know about you, but if I need to commute to work, I don't sell the old clunker if I can't get something else to ride in for five years. Makes getting there a bit of a problem, even if a neighbor agrees to give me a ride.

At least leave it in the driveway for when that neighbor is sick. Or when he wants wants to engage in an armed military incursion into the yard of another neighbor.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/25/2008 3:07 PM

I would prefer you be right regarding to "would be foolish".

As you could recollect Apollo-Soyuz project was completely politic motivated show. No-one waited its continuation.

ISS project was conceived as project which could produce scientific/business profit for all participants. I think also that a share of political [controversial] profit couldn't be disregarded.

Therefore, what will be happen to ISS depends upon what a share [politics or common sense] will overweigh for participants [mostly likely for Russians].

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/25/2008 3:12 PM

Caramba,

I agree. I think the benefits of space collaboration have been and could be great. But to count 100% on any other country when there is a history of volatile politics present just seems to be foolish.

It is always wise to have a back up plan.

It also gives the country in charge of the situation (in this case, Russia) the temptation of using it's advantage. If there isn't a great advantage to be had, playing that card is not as much of an incentive because of the hostility it would create.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/25/2008 3:33 PM

I do agree with you that here's nothing what you very politely called as advantage especially great one. Hope it won't happen.

I'm sure if would engineers staffed the world governments, the date 8 August of 2008 should be noticed the only significant event --- Olympic openning ceremony.

I'm so so sorry of what happened in reality, but I hope for good at all.

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#6
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Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/25/2008 3:36 PM

These things happen. As world citizens, all we can do is voice our opinions and work towards peace and non-aggression.

The fact that Georgian and Russian athletes congratulated each other at the Olympic Games shows that there is hope, after all.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/25/2008 3:48 PM

Common people have nothing here [former SU] to devide. I can't believe and shocked for now. But what is true common people so often are very naive and do not want think its own thoughts [over the world as well] so they are very good object for manipulating.

I would prefer to mark this comment as off-topic.

And yes you're right next time for your NASA leadership staff would be more properly to secure additional options how to deliver austronauts to space then voicing out what not happened yet.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/26/2008 1:29 PM

Good time of day ShakespeareTheEngineer,

It seems to be policy makers do not so care of ours hopes. Non the less I am remaining in hope for better outcome not only for ISS.

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#10
In reply to #8

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/26/2008 2:07 PM

Agreed, Caramba. Agreed.

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/26/2008 1:46 PM

But to count 100% on any other country when there is a history of volatile politics present just seems to be foolish.

One have to remember at the time Russia was quite abit more advanced and experienced in spacestation design than all other countries put together.

And it is wise to have plan "B".

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/26/2008 2:31 PM

Volatile politics, volatile weather, volatile life. Sometimes I'm stunned when people use the same words and notions but its then were turned out to absolutely opposite senses. Is it happened due to values/cultural gap? Maybe. But do not rely so upon such a notions as "it's foolish" either profit dealing with us.

Maybe I'm idealist but I think the only profitable goal for Russians engineers involved in ISS project in late 199s were an opportunity to save its profession as Russian ecnomics at the time and unfortunatelly up to now really does not need the "profit" of space researches. I can't say and really don't want any more talk for politics.

Country is losing or even has lost applied science and engineering as unbreakable part of culture. Sometimes I feel myself as being inside time machine going at past.

Therefore not only plan B but C and D wouldn't be a bad option.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/26/2008 2:44 PM

The old Russian contemparies may not like to heard this, but capitalism thrives on competition. Communism does'nt. oops politics

Therefore not only plan B but C and D wouldn't be a bad option

Lets not get too carried away, let draw the backup plans to stop at Q17.

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#13
In reply to #12

Re: US-Russia Chill Threatens NASA Space Program

08/26/2008 8:35 PM

Commy Ru boys like their toys. Therefore here's a hope for ISS.

Yes, Lets, agreed.

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