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#1 2004-03-05 01:41:10

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,827

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Yahoo! News is running a story.

[b:post_uid0]Former Astronaut Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan[/b:post_uid0]

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - U.S. space pioneer John Glenn said on Thursday that President Bush's space exploration plan "pulls the rug out from under our scientists" and might waste too much money to ever put astronauts on Mars.

Glenn, a retired Democratic senator from Ohio and the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth, said NASA should not abandon research on the International Space Station and questioned the advisability of using the moon as a stepping stone to Mars.

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"We have projects that are planned or in the queue now, projects that people -- academics and laboratories and companies -- have spent millions of dollars to get ready," Glenn said. "That pulls the rug out from under our scientists who placed their faith in NASA, and our scientists within NASA who devoted years and years to their work."

Glenn said basic research had always been part of the human space flight program, dating back to his own three-orbit flight in 1962: "We tried to get everything we could on to every flight back in those days."

He said cutting the research component of the space station program would save only about $2.5 million.

"I think we're voluntarily stopping some of the most unique, cutting-edge research in the history of the whole world. Now we're going to let other nations do it and they'll be able to benefit from it. I just don't think that's right. I think that's a mistake. For a few bucks, we could continue this research," he said.

More at the link...
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I think that Glenn is right.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#2 2004-03-05 01:56:58

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-15
Posts: 6,056

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I think Mr. Glenn may underestimate the political issues concerning ISS (his cheif cited problem), that if they start doing some small-scale albeit a little useful research, then there will be [i:post_uid0]political[/i:post_uid0] resistance to pulling the plug.

The concept is clear, that the costs of operating ISS stand as an impediment to human exploration, the sooner we are rid of it reguardless what token usefulness it may have, the better.

As far as eliminating alot of science, well, if all Nasa does is science I fear that it will be marginalized until the agency ceases to exsist... Nasa has to GO somewhere, science comes second.[/color:post_uid0]


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#3 2004-03-05 02:10:18

Earthfirst
Member
From: Phoenix Arizona
Registered: 2002-09-25
Posts: 343

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]That glen should shut up, just because you went into space twice dont make you an expert.[/color:post_uid0]


I love plants!

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#4 2004-03-05 03:25:28

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,827

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]But that's Glenn's point. They're saying "let's continue building/operating the ISS until so and so time, but let's, you know, cut a few million that basically are all the science studies we were going to do."

The science is cheap comparatively. The science is pennies. To say that science should be scrapped because it's an "impediment" is a fallacy, imho.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#5 2004-03-05 03:33:47

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-15
Posts: 6,056

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]You must have not understood my post... permitting useful work to be done on the ISS that does not assist in getting us out of Earth orbit will risk making the ISS a more perminant fixture, and the costs associated with keeping ISS going are large enough that they ARE an impediment to getting us out of Earth orbit.

Everything should be done to [i:post_uid0]make sure[/i:post_uid0] ISS is as useless as possible, to make getting rid of it and letting its huge budget be spent elsewhere as quick and easy as possible[/color:post_uid0]


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#6 2004-03-05 03:51:31

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,827

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Um, pulling the plug on these science objectives is arguably causing the political situation that you decry; that people will come in and say "The ISS wasn't used to its full potential, so let's keep it around another 5 years to do those science objectives we didn't do."

Under Bush's guidelines the ISS is going to be worked on still, it's just that he's saving a few million (which I think undoubtedly will only get milked into other peoples pockets and will not really do anything useful) until then.

But that's not the whole of Glenn's argument.

edit: and you know, that logic simply doesn't make sense. You complete the ISS so that you [i:post_uid0]can[/i:post_uid0] do those science objectives. The less those objectives are finished, the more outcry there will be scrap something. This is why there's a push to keep the Shuttle (in some form, like Shuttle-B/C) around, because it's there already and it's not being used to its fullest potential.

I'm pretty damn sure Bush said himself that they were completing the ISS so that it can meet its science objectives.[/color:post_uid0]

Edited By Josh Cryer on 1078459032


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#7 2004-03-05 04:14:28

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-15
Posts: 6,056

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]No I think my logic makes pretty good sense, when you take into account that the US is bound by international agreement to finish ISS, which is the only reason that Bush is finishing it, other than perhaps keeping KSC people employed for a while. Spending a dime on improving its capabilities for science will make it harder to get rid of; a useless station deorbiting will make a much smaller headline than a slightly useful research platform... If nobody hears about a new breakthrough from the ISS, then nobody will care when its deorbited.

There is a risk that people will make a big deal over ISS being dumped, but I think they can be ignored considering how poor a shape it will be in by then and Shuttle retiring soon, and is worth taking that chance instead of risking dumping "everybodies favorite space object."

If we are serious about going beyond Earth orbit, getting rid of ISS [i:post_uid0]is a priority[/i:post_uid0], so nothing should be done to justify its exsistance. Further, if we are really wanting to explore, we must [b:post_uid0][i:post_uid0][u:post_uid0]NOT[/u:post_uid0][/i:post_uid0][/b:post_uid0] make science the reason, that will doom the whole enterprise to robotic exploration.[/color:post_uid0]


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#8 2004-03-05 04:38:44

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,827

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]That route is a waste though. As far as I can tell, Bush is making the ISS another Skylab, that is, doing more research on the physical aspects of space travel, etc. We know this. Mir and Skylab showed us everything we ever needed to know with regards to the effects of space on humans. I do not think that there is anything more to be gained.

Bush's plan calls for completing the station and handing it off as far as I can tell. Once it's handed off, the Russians or whoever you want can deal with it. Hell, the Russians are the ones dealing with the supplying at the momment anyway. Leaving in the science doesn't impact the hand off at all.

I'm saying we can follow Bush's plan without scrapping the measley science aspect which of the overall cost is pennies. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.

It's quite frustrating to see billions being thrown at something that is ultimately going to be space garbage.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#9 2004-03-05 13:28:59

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]An opinion from Oliver Morton, who wrote "Mapping Mars" is found at Prospect on-line magazine.

If ISS is such a waste (and I am sympathetic, if not fully convinced) then go to the partners and make a deal. Kill ISS/orbiter TODAY and we will share a lunar base thereafter.[/color:post_uid0]

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#10 2004-03-05 14:53:44

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-15
Posts: 6,056

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Well of course its a waste to have built the most expensive space machine ever for little good reason, but better to waste it and whatever little science a few million could buy, remember too you have to get the stuff [i:post_uid0]up there[/i:post_uid0] too, which may make that $2.5M sum get big real quick, than to risk the utter tragedy of prolonging the life of Shuttle/ISS. "Just six more months and our $500,000 experiment will be done, or it will be for nothing"... at the cost of another >$1Bn to US taxpayers.

If the Russians want to keep ISS, by all means let them, but the US funding must largely end and Shuttle be retired if we are going to get anywhere. As for why ESA/RSA wouldn't gladly dump ISS I don't know, i'm not them, but I have my doubts that they would be permitted a large role in a Moon base, and I have my suspicions that it was enough trouble to get them to let us cut the ISS lifespan short half a decade.

A waste? Certainly... but to risk justifying keeping it up there "[i:post_uid0]just one more crew rotation[/i:post_uid0]" at the incredible expense it is now is not worth it.[/color:post_uid0]


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#11 2004-03-05 15:56:39

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]What do any of you, who recommend disgarding the ISS, intend to do to replace it (and, I assume, any follow-on LEO platforms) as the initial stopping point for routine interplanetary space travel? All you talk about is finances. Go join the Beancounter Society, where you'll be welcomed with open, grasping arms and sticky fingers.
   I'm quite prepared to debate the point with any or all of you so minded--quite apart from the irreplaceable micro-gravity bio-science research possibilities of such permanent space platform facilities--so bring it on![/color:post_uid0]

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#12 2004-03-05 17:13:54

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-15
Posts: 6,056

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Why do you need [i:post_uid0]any[/i:post_uid0] structure to assemble a spacecraft in orbit? What you need is a tug capable of getting large, modular componets from the booster upper stage to other waiting componets and dock them together. Later, if need be, send up a CEV and connect requisit hoses and wires when you have the pieces up there. The first two modules of ISS were at least connected entirely without support. A large interplanetary ship would best be assembled in a few large pieces launched by a HLV of some sort.

Now about ISS... ISS is a horrible place to get anywhere else from because of its highly inclined orbit. Its too inclined to go to Mars or NEOs, its awful high for getting to the Moon, and it induces a high mass penalty for even getting to it from Florida. This is why Nasa went through all the trouble to make a new Lithium main tank for Shuttle, the SS Freedom pieces destined for an equitorial orbit were too heavy.

ISS makes a lousy "platform" to even get science done, much less anything beyond its orbit.

Now, I simply don't hear a screeching cry for microgravity research... yes its handy for some times, but considering the expense of getting materials (ISS science racks) is probably in the neighborhood of $20,000-25,000 per pound (packing in a MPLM req'd) and the trouble/risk of getting it up to ISS, is it really worth that kind of money?[/color:post_uid0]


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#13 2004-03-05 17:55:17

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,076

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Anything that can be done on ISS can be done better by robots, or done in a similar fashion by Human astronauts on the moon.

Dictice, check out NASA's solution to microgravity/deepspace research. Google "Freeflyer" program.

All the science research can be done by our international partners, or we can do it later on the moon. We focus on making it safe for people to live and work in space, then we have more time, later, to do human tended science in space.

ISS isn't really useful for any Mars exploration. ISS isn't really useful for Lunar exploration. ISS really isn't useful other than as an experiement unto itself.

We need more hard data on the effects of space beyond LEO- we don't really know everything we would like to in realtion to these effects on human physiology/psychology.

We can guess, and we have a better idea than we once did, but most of it is theory. We're going to change [b:post_uid0]this[/b:post_uid0]. Which is a very, very good thing.[/color:post_uid0]

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#14 2004-03-05 23:16:56

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Let me pose a question first: If we had the optimum means of going up to the ISS and return, with the optimum number of passengers needed for any of the possible work and/or recreation-while-accumulating time in orbit . . . would you still wish to destroy it? In other words, is the tail wagging the dog, insofar as present difficulties in getting there and back through neglect of the means of doing so? Back to you-all.[/color:post_uid0]

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#15 2004-03-06 00:12:56

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-15
Posts: 6,056

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Since no such mechanism or craft exsists nor will using current or near-term hardware to move large numbers of people and large/heavy cargoes on a fairly regular basis, your question is moot.

Even if this came to pass, the cost of ISS would still be nontrivial, and hence would some degree detract from the amount available to spend on exploration. The research to be conducted that won't fly on a zero-G airplane or on an unmanned light rocket (most ISS experiments are automated anyway you know) would have to be very important to justify this expense, though its possible that it could be.

If passage to and from an ISS orbit were this simple, and that ISS is fraught with minor-to-moderate (its attitude control gyros are all shot right now, for instance) malfunctions, its lousy orbit, its somewhat arcane construction (some parts date to the 80s), and its overall silly patchwork construction... I would consider doing a new station entirely in equitorial orbit, make a copy of Node 2 and start tacking on TransHab modules and a spare CEV for escape, and make the thing right this time.[/color:post_uid0]


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#16 2004-03-06 00:38:24

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,076

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]ISS is more of a politcal experiment than an actual scientific one. It's ability to do science is limited because of politcal comprimises. It's not practical. It was a mistake to assume it could be more.

Our future is beyond LEO, not in it.[/color:post_uid0]

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#17 2004-03-06 01:41:22

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,827

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]But guess what? We're still focusing on LEO in the short term! The ISS is still being completed! Yet, our focus is disregarding (quite) comparatively low cost science objectives. It's like completing a telescope on top of a high mountian, only to leave out the lenses (the primary mirror is there, though, we're just leaving out the $500-1000 lense that focuses!).

It'd ridiciulous, and I'm sorry, I don't buy any justification for it at all.

Like Glenn said, may as well let the other countries do the science objectives. If we let our country fall behind in science, someone else will take our place. Probably China.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#18 2004-03-06 02:52:29

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]A simple question, I hope.

Define "exploration"  ???

As Thucydides wrote 2400 years ago, in times of crisis, words can change their ordinary meanings.  :;):[/color:post_uid0]

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#19 2004-03-06 04:11:43

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-15
Posts: 6,056

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]We are focused on LEO atm because...
1: We said we would to ESA/RSA/etc, we're already shorting them years of ISS duty by Nasa.
2: As nice as it would be to make Shuttle/ISS go away, simply pulling the plug is logisticly a near impossibility... politicly painful too, laying off thousands that keep Shuttle flying... Nasa will need to start narrowing down SDV designs in the mean time.

I reiterate, what little marginally useful stuff that could be done on a shoe-string risks justifying the ISS continued exsistance, and by extension the US having to spend big money keeping it up there. If it means canceling some of these smaller experiments to make [i:post_uid0]sure[/i:post_uid0] ISS is out of our hair sooner than later, so be it.

The little bit of science that can be done for that small change probably really isn't all that useful, hence why there is minimal screaming and gnashing of teeth over ISS operations being cut short by years. The cost of getting a science rack packaged, launched, and operated - which by the way can ONLY ride on Shuttle without the ESA radicly altering the ATV, which is up only - may prove to make said experiments much more expensive than the $3M price tag...[/color:post_uid0]


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#20 2004-03-06 04:19:01

Ad Astra
Member
Registered: 2003-02-02
Posts: 584

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I really think that John Glenn is stooping to the level of partisan attacks on the president's policy, and it's clouding his judgement of the value of ISS and the moon.  John Glenn would reasonably be expected to defend NASA's science program; after all, it was science that justified sending him back into space.  But the more realistic assessment of ISS from the space science community is that the science performed there isn't worth the effort.  I see ISS's value as a place to performed focused physiological research in preparations for the moon and Mars.  This is the only type of science needed to move beyond the current Shuttle-ISS program to the lunar-Mars program.[/color:post_uid0]


Who needs Michael Griffin when you can have Peter Griffin?  Catch "Family Guy" Sunday nights on FOX.

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#21 2004-03-06 05:24:06

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,827

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Bill White, whichever definitions we accept, if it winds up being "exploration" in the vain of Apollo, then I would rather like a more long term presence. One that looks at science, and the things we can gain from being in space, not one that magically thinks we can work in space without the aide of science.

GCNRevenger, I think Bill White has made quite well the argument to change the Shuttle to Shuttle-B/C. I think that route could indeed have us get rid of the Shuttle, and it wouldn't impact the overall status of the ISS, but it would give us a Earth to Mars/Moon ability.

Don't worry, we can do it your guys' way, but as Glenn said, we'd just be giving the other countries the opportunity to do these experiments. In the end it's no biggie, really.

Ad Astra, I honestly think we know everything really about human presence in space. At least to the extent of actually, you know, being able to do something about it. I think we're just going to be learning what we already know, and we won't be able to find some cure or anything for space related ills.

But LEO will have very good properties for years to come. Anti-gravity is precisely what we need for experiments. Aero-gel, for example (which I want to start making some day), grows transparently in 0g. A 0g presence will always be around for the scientific value. The question is really who gets to own it. If the Bush admin wants to let everyone else have it, so be it.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#22 2004-03-06 15:49:20

GCNRevenger
Member
From: Earth
Registered: 2003-10-15
Posts: 6,056

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Transparent aerogel? Surely there is somthing more important to be done up there than making "transparent aluminum." I bet this could also be done on a Russian Voskod (sp?) capsule launched on a small rocket for alot less than shipping it up on a >$500M Shuttle shot... oh and you won't be risking any people on the most complex flying machine ever.

The trouble with Shuttle-C or other derivitives is last-mile guidance, that is getting the cargo from the spent Centaur upper stage or Shuttle-OMS cluster actually to the station. Keep in mind that Shuttle-C won't have a robot arm needed to move station componets nor will it carry crew rotations.

Zero-G is nice and all, but there simply isn't that much vital science to justify the extreme cost of using manned platforms and spacecraft. Even the current justification would become almost irrelivent if we get our heads screwed on straight and build advanced nuclear engines, so we can limit the time in Zero-G/Cosmic Rays of a Mars trip.[/color:post_uid0]


"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw

The glass is at 50% of capacity

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#23 2004-03-06 17:55:36

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]There is a lot of usefull science that can be done in zero g. However, there is alot of usefull science that can be done on earth. It is just a matter of doing things in the right order.[/color:post_uid0]

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#24 2004-03-06 23:58:51

dicktice
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2002-11-01
Posts: 1,764

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Great! But since it is the only one we have in orbit, given an admittedly moot question regarding getting there and back routinely, what needful long-term experiments that only it can provide a pltform for can one imagine. Top of my head: Microgravity plant seedling sprout/root direction guidance methods leading to space voyaging sustenance. Ditto regarding muscle and bone deterioration countering methods. Solar sail deployment, launching and steering methods. Orbital energy exchange tether launching and/or de-orbiting methods. Space telescope assembly, launching, placement, retrieval and refurbishing methods. Centrifuge feet-out sleeping methods. Stuff like that. It's all been proposed elsewhere, but not even one of these things has been tried on the ISS (for reasons we all know and appreciate) but which are feasible only because of its existance. How about ignoring the moot transportation question for a moment, and imagining the potential for practical application experimentation which we would be giving up, if we allowed it to die. Besides, starting all over from square one, would not happen again in our lifetimes, what with the world in the shape it's in at the moment. Cherish it, my friends and colleagues--it's all we've got![/color:post_uid0]

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#25 2004-03-07 00:13:05

Dennis Gutknecht
Member
From: Milwaukee
Registered: 2004-02-18
Posts: 10

Re: Glenn Criticizes Bush Space Plan - says direct-to-Mars is the way to go

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

That glen should shut up, just because you went into space twice dont make you an expert.[/quote:post_uid0]

It's interesting that you set aside so easily two trip's into space. That, my friend, may not make him an expert, but it certainly makes him far more experienced in the field of space exploration than anybody else on this forum I would imagine (setting aside the idea that many of you are astronauts  ). :;):[/color:post_uid0]

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