Sunday, November 25, 2012

More NASA Stupidity

Remember, we used to have a decent NASA program, that was successful and productive?
Well, with the help of George Bush and P:resident Obama, NASA is pretty much dead when it comes to space travel and the few flights they do have, Russia has to be there to bail us out.
From the Orlando Sentinel: Sometime early next year, a new U.S. rocket is expected to rise from the sandy shores of eastern Virginia.
Built by Orbital Sciences of Dulles, Va., and dubbed Antares — for the bright star of the same name — the rocket represents NASA's latest attempt to break Russia's dominance of the global launch business.
The goal of the test flight is to see whether Antares can reach orbit, a steppingstone toward its ultimate mission of ferrying cargo to the International Space Station. That is a job principally handled by Russia since NASA retired the space shuttle last year.
But even if the Orbital launch is a success, it won't mean NASA will have escaped Moscow's orbit. For the twin engines powering Antares won't be American originals; instead, they are derived from the decades-old, and now defunct, Soviet moon program.
The irony highlights what some say is a critical failure of U.S. space policy: Only two American companies — Lockheed Martin and SpaceX — build the type of high-performance, liquid-fuel rocket engines that are critical to space missions. And they don't sell to rivals.
As a result, U.S. space companies big and small are forced to turn to Russia. Even Boeing — whose Atlas V rocket is a workhorse for the Pentagon and so reliable that NASA is hoping it can carry astronauts to the station in a few years — uses Russian-built engines.
"The problem goes beyond Orbital," said John Logsdon, a space expert at George Washington University. "The problem is that we [Americans] are still not investing in advanced liquid-propulsion technology.",0,4583061.story
The reason for the private companies to buy old Russian rockets is economic, but that is shameful.
The United States used to be a leader in space travel and now we are almost completely dependent on other countries for space exploration.

No comments:

Post a Comment