Scientists shocked as NASA cuts only moon rover

April 28, 2018 by Kerry Sheridan
A NASA picture taken by US crew commander Eugene A. Cernan during the Apollo 17 mission on December 13, 1972 shows astronaut and geologist Harrison H. Schmitt seated in the Lunar Roving Vehicle on the surface of the moon

In a move that shocked lunar scientists, NASA has cancelled the only robotic vehicle under development to explore the surface of the Moon, despite President Donald Trump's vow to return people there.

Scientists working on the Resource Prospector (RP) mission, a that had been in development for about a decade to explore a polar region of the Moon, expressed astonishment at the decision.

"We now understand RP was cancelled on 23 April 2018 and the project has been asked to close down by the end of May," said the letter dated April 26 by the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, addressed to NASA chief Jim Bridenstine and posted on the website NASAWatch.com.

"This action is viewed with both incredulity and dismay by our community," particularly because Trump's space policy "directs NASA to go to the ," the letter said.

The robotic rover was being built as the world's only vehicle aimed at exploring the of the Moon, and was expected to undergo a design review next year ahead of launching in 2022.

It would have been the first US lunar lander since Apollo 17 in 1972, and the first ever US robotic rover on the surface of the Moon.

RP was intended to be the first mission to mine the surface of the Moon, in search of volatile compounds like hydrogen, oxygen and water.

NASA responded with a statement posted online Friday which said some of the instruments aboard RP would be flown on future missions.

"NASA is developing an exploration strategy to meet the agency's expanded goals," said the statement.

"Consistent with this strategy, NASA is planning a series of progressive robotic missions to the lunar surface."

It did not specifically refer to any plans to cancel RP, but said the space agency is seeking "to evolve progressively larger landers leading to an eventual human lander capability," as part of a broader strategy to return people to the Moon for long-term exploration.

"As part of this expanded campaign, selected instruments from Resource Prospector will be landed and flown on the Moon," it said.

Bridenstine, who was confirmed this week as the new head of NASA, insisted on Twitter that the US space agency is "committed to lunar exploration."

"Resource Prospector instruments will go forward in an expanded lunar campaign. More landers. More science. More exploration. More prospectors. More commercial partners," he wrote.

In December 2017, Trump formally directed NASA to focus its efforts on returning people to the Moon as a foundation for an eventual to Mars.

Explore further: Taiwan to make lunar lander for NASA moon-mining mission

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holoman
1.3 / 5 (13) Apr 28, 2018
Hey NASA, what have you done with the Billion$ every year ?
h20dr
1.6 / 5 (14) Apr 28, 2018
NASA needs to go bye bye. Scrapped. Put those people in the private sector. Too much bureaucracy, duplicity and wasted money. Our money.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.1 / 5 (8) Apr 28, 2018
Prospecting is typically a commercial endeavor. NASA has other things to spend our money on. Its original mission was military and that is what it is best suited for.
Scolar_Visari
4.7 / 5 (12) Apr 28, 2018
@h20dr
There really isn't a private sector for the scientific research and high risk engineering that NASA does (hence why it was created in the first place), and a lot its contractors only exist because of NASA and DoD financial support. SpaceX, for example, would certainly have never survived beyond the Falcon 1 debacle had it not been for programs like Commercial Orbital Transportation Services. Heck, SpaceX's throttleable Merlin engines retain strong lineage with engines made for the Apollo program's LM.

@TheGhostofOtto1923
What on Earth would give you that impression? The 1958 National Aeronautics and Space Act made it explicitly clear that any and all military aerospace activities were to remain the responsibility of the Department of Defense; which had both control of the Air Force and the then newly created ARPA. While NASA's launch vehicles and early infrastructure had military lineage, its original mission was and remains non-military.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (5) Apr 28, 2018
NASA was created in response to a military provocation - sputnik. Recon is a military endeavor. Columbus' mission was a military one. The early astronauts were launched on ICBMs. They use military hardware to do their work like a U2. The shuttle was designed primarily to loft spysats into space. Etcetcetc .

It was never configured to turn a profit. Prospecting has always been a private, commercial endeavor meant to support industry and turn a profit. As such it is best done by private industry.

The mars rovers are recon. NASAs plans are to take and secure the moons of mars and asteroids which are strategic goals ie 'the high ground'. A base on phobos would critically threaten civilian activities on the ground. And asteroids ARE weapons which make nukes look like firecrackers.

Apparently the moon is no longer a strategic imperative.

Oh - I forgot vandenberg, the $3B emp-hardened shuttle launch facility on an airbase?

Poor Buran - never got to serve.
Scolar_Visari
4.7 / 5 (12) Apr 28, 2018
Both NASA's authorizing legislation and Eisenhower's personal views made it abundantly clear it was to be expressedly non-military. Moreover, ARPA, not NASA, was the immediate response to Sputnik's successful launch into orbit courtesy of its earlier formation. That NASA used existing military rockets made a great deal of sense, as the military had an enormous stockpile of them and was already deeply involved in their continued R&D.

Prospecting has yet never been a wholly private matter, particularly in concerns to scientific research or involves public land. The United States Geological Survey, for instance, is quite involved in prospecting, and nations with state owned minerals industries (like Chile's copper mining Codelco) pursue their own prospecting. Seeing as how there's no strategic value in Mars (and may never be), it would make absolutely no sense to try and fortify it.
Scolar_Visari
4.7 / 5 (12) Apr 28, 2018
Also: Orbit-to-surface weapons don't really make a whole lot of sense (both in terms of energy and expense), and housing them on Phobos would even be less helpful given that it's tidally locked and therefore only ever facing one hemisphere of Mars.

To say nothing of how asteroids aren't actually that great of weapons, particularly since there's absolutely no way to promptly adjust their orbits for an intentional impact. A weapon system that requires years of travel time before use isn't terribly useful, and one that would have difficulty hitting a target continent is even less so. I suppose the latter would not matter much if you're aiming for an extinction event, but the amount of energy needed to perturb the few that exist as near Earth objects would be prohibitive.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (9) Apr 28, 2018
... there's no strategic value in Mars (and may never be), it would make absolutely no sense to try and fortify it.
Mars is an awfully long way away. Most people don't get the idea it's so far away Earth is only ever a morning star or an evening star. Shooting bombs at someone half a world away is child's play compared to hitting another world, never mind some small spot on that world someone calls a "nation" that you can't even see with a reasonably sized telescope (say a few thousand bucks worth).

In case someone thinks this is hyperbole consider that you can look in a reasonably sized telescope on Earth and unless you are an expert you will see nothing but dark shadows on the surface of Mars, which you will be able to identify as continent sized but not discernible as more than that, certainly not as features that can be separated from others.
jonesdave
4 / 5 (12) Apr 28, 2018
It's a fair bet that the next flag planted on the moon will be red with yellow stars. And then the U.S. will suddenly become interested again.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (4) Apr 28, 2018
Both NASA's authorizing legislation and Eisenhower's personal views made it abundantly clear it was to be expressedly non-military
- And you can't tell the difference between bullshit propaganda hype and reality.

The shuttle program is the most revealing aspect of NASAs primary mission. Rocketry after it was retired makes it abundantly clear that there were always far easier, cheaper, and safer ways if getting into space than the shuttle.

It set the space program back at least a decade. It cost far more than original estimates, like most milspec projects. And skylab showed that a much larger and more elaborate ISS could have been assembled cheaper and faster using existing vehicles and technology.
Cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (4) Apr 28, 2018
No, the shuttle was chosen expressly because of its flexibility. It could visit enemy sats and linger onstation for weeks. It could be launched from multiple, hardened launchsites and could land at many locations around the globe.

The Hubble repair missions mustve scared the crap out of the Soviets. It demonstrated that their spysats were vulnerable to sabotage and capture.

The Soviets were only a little less obvious.

"Almaz 2[2]) was a Soviet space station launched on 25 June 1974. It was the second Almaz military space station, and the first such station to be launched successfully.[2] It was included in the Salyut program to disguise its true military nature..."

-Just like ours.

"Installed on the Almaz space station in 1970s, the R-23M Kartech was derived from a powerful aircraft weapon. The original 23-millimeter cannon was designed by Aron Rikhter for the Tupolev Tu-22 Blinder supersonic bomber."

-Apparently to discourage approach by Apollo and Gemini capsules.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2018
The most ominous thing about the shuttle program were the accidents. Military vehicles and weapons are routinely tested to destruction, often by exceeding their design envelopes.

The shuttle was never meant to launch in the cold temps which caused the challengers o-rings to fail. And the fact that such a vital military vehicle was launched with a civilian - a teacher - on board, must have been an intolerable situation.

The 2 disasters redirected the program, set it back on course. Columbia illuminated a fundamental, fatal flaw in the basic configuration of the system, which they always knew was there, and which could no longer be tolerated since the cold war was over. It prompted the development of more dependable alternatives for delivering military packages to orbit.

And frivolous political gestures using military hardware ceased.
Cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2018
In the 1930s all of the obsolete battleships of the Pacific fleet was moved from San Diego to pearl where they were in reach of nipponese forces, and when attacked, all the carriers were safely out at sea.

THIS is how militaries ALWAYS work. Expendability is inherent in every technology, every tactic, every strategy, and every unit from squad to fleet and division. It is itself the most important of tactics and strategies.

Armies are meant to be expended if necessary. So are military space vehicles.

"All of war is deception." Sun tsu
"Peace is only the preparation for war." Roman general

-Therefore, all of peace is deception as well.
retrosurf
5 / 5 (9) Apr 28, 2018
NASA got about 20 billion this year: money well spent.

Afghanistan has settled to about 45 billion a year.
The total cost of the Iraq war is in the trillions.

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
TheGhostofOtto1923
2 / 5 (6) Apr 28, 2018
Make no mistake, there is always someone out there willing to arm the starving and destitute and convince them that their plight is YOUR fault. The surviving religions are configured to produce hordes of them for the purposes of outgrowing and overwhelming their enemies. It is how they have survived while their adversaries have not.

And so you had better be prepared to defend yourself unless you want to be extincted as well.

"Attack is the best defense." Sun tsu
Scolar_Visari
4.5 / 5 (8) Apr 28, 2018
The real issue here is that you're simply making things up. Why even try and accuse NASA, an agency whose budget is public knowledge, of something that multiple DoD organizations already do?

Just as well, you're gravely misunderstanding the Space Shuttle's developmental history. It was not, "chosen" because it was flexible, but it was engineered that way to make it attractive to other federal agencies in the hopes that NASA would not have to eliminate its manned space program. As T. A. Heppenheimer pointed out in The Space Shuttle Decision: "NASA needed the Air Force, the Air Force did not need NASA. That service was quite content with existing boosters such as the Titan III."
Mark Thomas
3.5 / 5 (4) Apr 28, 2018
Mars is an awfully long way away.


Yes and no. Yes, for a society too corrupt and stupid to care about space exploration, and no, because it is the nearest terraformable world by many light years. Mars is right next door and we have had a sufficient technological and economic base for reaching Mars for over 30 years. We reached the moon in 1969, but we have forgotten that it is possible and we cannot reach beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) in 2018. I am more than disappointed.
Scolar_Visari
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 28, 2018
@TheGhostofOtto1923
The Shuttles' high payload capacity was added to buy Air Force support when it was not clear that the STS' development would receive funding (NASA had to demonstrate it could fulfill all of America's launch needs), but it's rather telling that the Shuttle never did rendezvous with hostile satellites or even launch from Vandenburg.

Most importantly: The Shuttle never came close to replacing the Air Force's previous family of expendable vehicles. Only ten DoD payloads were ever launched by the STS. Amusingly, eight of those were launched after Challenger.

That Salyut 3 had a gun has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not NASA had a military agenda. The Soviet space program had an obvious military background, NASA did not. Again, the United States government has DARPA, the NRO and the Air Force for that.
ShotmanMaslo
5 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2018
There is a Commercial Lunar Payload Services program in the works. It could lead to rovers on the Moon and be significantly less expensive than Lunar Prospector.

https://www.fbo.g...ode=list

There is no need for NASA to develop its own rockets when superior commercial alternatives are available. The same will soon be true for space station modules (Bigelow) and lunar landers. Increasing economic efficiency is the key for a modern space program. Apollo age of unlimited budgets is not coming back.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
5 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2018
So I had not heard about the Resource Prospector, but it sounds like a surviving part of the 00s lunar effort. As it happens there is a comment thread on Nasaspaceflight were people who should be informed voice their opinions and insights, but not much tangible reference. So FWIW, the rumors:

The RP is an old "make do" project for superfluous staff which has made instruments, at one time quickly throwing together a rover test bed [ https://www.nasa....complete ].

So anti-scientist Bridenstein may have taken a correct decision, the instruments - and the people working on it - would have value, making the protests in _my_ opinion (yeah, not much tangible here) querulous. Pity they do not include mineral dating instruments, high priority science...

@SM: CLPS would take years to be made to lug along instruments, current commercial lunar rover projects are either small (20 kg-ish) payloads or the larger camera only lugging rover.
TrollBane
5 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2018
Scolar_Visari wrote: "Orbit-to-surface weapons don't really make a whole lot of sense (both in terms of energy and expense), and housing them on Phobos would even be less helpful given that it's tidally locked and therefore only ever facing one hemisphere of Mars."
Phobos is tidally locked to Mars (1:1 spin-orbit resonance) and observers on Mars only see one hemisphere of Phobos, but the moon does circle Mars completely. What you should have written is that "only one hemisphere of Phobos is ever facing Mars".
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Apr 29, 2018
The real issue here is that you're simply making things up
What specifucally did i make up?
Why even try and accuse NASA
Accuse? As if there was something wrong about being 'military'? The space program was too large to hide. Canaveral is not Baikonur. Sputnik was a very public provocation. It needed a very public response.

The phoney cold war did offer the possibility of a completely secret space program behind the iron curtain. The sham space race meant that both entities could justify huge budgets for national defense. The Soviets had 100s of launches from several completely secret sites. Who knows what they were for.
an agency whose budget is public knowledge
Most DoD budgets are public. Many such as skunkworks are not.
of something that multiple DoD organizations already do?
What DoD program was building a space outpost with a shuttle system?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 29, 2018
The Shuttles' high payload capacity was added to buy Air Force support
No it was designed that way from the start.

"The 'convergence or confluence' theory was confirmed later in the day by a former spacecraft designer, who declined to be named but is familiar with both programs, who confided unequivocally: "The space shuttle's payload bay was sized to accommodate the KH-9."

"The NRO launched 20 KH-9 HEXAGON satellites from California's Vandenberg AFB from June 1971 to April 1986."
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 29, 2018
NASA had to demonstrate it could fulfill all of America's launch needs)
-But it never did, either in capacity, launch frequency, cost, or delivery date. We can rightly suspect that it was never meant to, and that its commercial undependability gave the military more potential flexibility.
the Shuttle never did rendezvous with hostile satellites
How do you know that?
or even launch from Vandenburg
Right. So why was $3B spent to build it, blast- and EMP-harden it, right in the middle of an AF base? Had the cold war suddenly become hot it WOULD have been used.

More importantly it compelled the USSR to waste rubles on countermeasures which aided in eventually bankrupting it.

Because the cold war was a complete sham and the Soviet union was never intended to last.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 29, 2018
The Shuttle never came close to replacing the Air Force's previous family of expendable vehicles. Only ten DoD payloads were ever launched by the STS
It was never MEANT to. Any officer will tell you that its foolhardy to depend solely on one system, one tactic or strategy, one branch of the military. That's why we have the nuclear triad.
and housing them on Phobos would even be less helpful given that it's tidally locked and therefore only ever facing one hemisphere of Mars
That's one opinion. Our ballistic missiles go suborbital to hit targets on the other side of the planet.

Mars moons are strategically located to offer staging, observation, and control of earth-mars transit. Large facilities can be constructed there and materials stored which do not have to be lifted from the surface.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 29, 2018
That Salyut 3 had a gun has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not NASA had a military agenda
Of course it did. No other US agency was orbiting manned vehicles.
The Soviet space program had an obvious military background, NASA did not
And I've just given you a great deal of info to prove that it did.

Again, the United States government has DARPA, the NRO and the Air Force for that
-none of which had a program with the flexibility and utility of the shuttle.

But they do now. Developed by NASA of course.

"The X-37 began as a NASA project in 1999, before being transferred to the U.S. Department of Defense in 2004..."

-OBVIOUSLY a continuation of the shuttles primary mission as a military vehicle. Able to launch on short schedule from several facilities, conduct secret missions, and land most anywhere. Able to change orbit as needed and loiter for months, able to orbit (and deorbit) spysats, commsats, and even weapons.

Just like STS.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 29, 2018
I just love how every discussion about cosmos exploration ends with its military connotation. The military people essentially need the cosmic space for fights and as an evasion for their spending - nothing else
Most technology is developed in response to threat (competition). Its why the church finally embraced science during the enlightenment and stopped burning scientists like giordano bruno. It had to in order to defend itself.

So who's spending the most money on real, sensible, viable alternatives to hot fusion? The military. As your link above demonstrates.

"No tech before it's Time." -otto

"Everything is beautiful in its own Time." -god

We think alike.
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2018
Bridenstine, who was confirmed this week as the new head of NASA, insisted on Twitter that the US space agency is "committed to lunar exploration."


So, "committed to lunar exploration," means exactly what to you Mr. Bridenstine? Is lipservice that same as being "committed to lunar exploration?" We have the LRO, but the last time NASA was really "committed to lunar exploration," it delivered twelve Americans to the surface of moon.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 29, 2018
Our govt doesnt need to make us pay for programs that the private sector can do better. The moon will be developed commercially and defended from orbit.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 29, 2018
"After the Challenger disaster on Jan. 28, 1986, U.S. policy changed to allow the Department of Defense to use expendable, uncrewed rockets again. Classified shuttle flights continued with payloads that could not be shifted to the Titan IV rocket, the magazine added.

"STS-62A Discovery (Cancelled)
This mission was supposed to be the first one using the Air Force pad in Vandenberg, Calif., but it was cancelled after the Challenger explosion. Its main mission was to put Teal Ruby into orbit, according to NASASpaceflight.com."

-Carter was the one who insisted that we put all our eggs in one basket and use the shuttle exclusively, a situation that the military must have found intolerable. The shuttle had swapped dependability and safety for flexibility. Also intolerable.

And then one of them blew up, kind of like how the Maine blew up in Havana harbor.

How fortuitous.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 29, 2018
religion... drawing money from pockets of more people into pockets of less people and the arms race
And How else do you think you are going to get people to spend money to make changes they would rather not make?
It's most visible on totalitarian regimes like Russia or North Korea
You can force people to change by threatening them or you can arrange for an outside threat to do it for you.

How else were they going to develop an overwhelming nuclear capability that cost so much money? In addition to rocket and sub technology, all of which were directly applicable to colonizing the solar system?

We would not have a space program, or enough fissiles to establish bases on moons and planets, without the cold war. That's why I believe it was all a sham.

Who in their right minds would actually plan for mutual annihilation?

As you know I believe in a hidden Empire, a tribe of Leaders established centuries ago solely to prevent that sort of thing from happening.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2018
Why pearl harbor? Why Israel, a bridgehead and a garrison state in the midst of Islam, meant to initiate hostilities rather than end them? The threat is that if phobos is not commandeered, an enemy will be free to commandeer it. And if that enemy doesnt exist, the Empire will create one.

Why did north Korea want nukes? Why indeed? Why was it the best reason for maintaining an allied military presence in the region and a budget to support it?

Why was Korea divided for the sole purpose of initiating a phoney war which established who the new superpower enemies were going to be, and set the stage for the coming cold war?

Ww2 was over. People were demanding that military budgets be slashed and standing armies be disbanded. But the People in Charge understood that this was still a very dangerous world. Much work yet to be done, obsolete religionist cultures left to destroy, technological progress yet to be made.

So wars continued to be staged and fought. Enemies concocted.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2018
If we could generate energy on demand, no military force would be ever necessary - but also no people would get money for "protection of the rest"
And despite our previous discussions you never got that our tropical reproductive rate always creates overpopulation, which always makes conflict inevitable.

Always always always.

This has been obvious to Leaders for at least 2 millennia.

And the fact is, every technological advance only increases the growth rate, which only increases the severity and frequency of conflict.

Why is this not obvious to you?

In related news

"Archaeologists in Peru have found evidence of the biggest-ever sacrifice of children, uncovering the remains of more than 140 youngsters who were slain alongside 200 llamas as part of a ritual offering some 550 years ago, National Geographic announced on April 26."

- An example of some of the more draconian lengths people will go to to reduce pop growth. I bet most of those were babymakers.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2018
Only if it would be economically advantageous for some people
What GOOD is money if the system that gives it value, COLLAPSES?? Much more important things to fight for in this world.
Of course not - because piece got more advantageous for this region as a whole
No, because the threat was no longer necessary. That regime is as phoney as any other. Purpose-built. Mission-specific.
Because frequency and severity of conflicts actually DECREASES with technological advance of countries?
Of course it doesnt. The industrial revolution created all the conditions which made the world wars inevitable. Evidence says that preparations began generations in advance.

And growth rates were so acute that despite the millions who died in the first one, a mere generation later there were more than enough to fight an even bigger one.
you actually just replaced it for another one
You're the guy who is refusing to consider evidence, not me. As usual.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2018
once the human civilization would get poor and sparse again, then these principles will gain credit again
No Bering land bridges left on this world. Only place for pioneers to go is space.
Do we really want to have Leaders who only think of wars
The Empire has engineered wars for millenia to create conditions in which wars will never have to be fought again.

We finally have the technology and the supporting culture to control growth. Because of the emancipation of women, family planning, and specifically ABORTION to the tune of perhaps one quarter of the world's population, we can look at a world that is finally done with conflict.

But there are still obsolete cultures designed to maximize growth for the purposes of outgrowing and overwhelming. These religions were designed by the Empire to spread stability and enable controlled progress.

But they will not end by themselves. They never do. And they can escape this world.

Perhaps that is their Mission.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2018
If the concerted effort continues to prevent the caliphate then the obvious effort is for it to move into space.

The ottoman Empire was an obvious artifice, meant to control and limit the spread of Islam. It was destroyed once it's mission was complete.

A caliphate suited for space colonization would be easy to engineer, as easy as the baath party was constructed to install sadaam Hussein or the muslim brotherhood created bin Laden.

Competition and a threat from space may be needed to justify a military presence in space and the associated technologies to support it.

These 'obsolete cultures' cannot and will not stop growing until they are ended. If they can't grow here they will have their exodus to another world. Their holy pilgrimage to mars or the moon.

And jihadis will be far more willing to suffer and die in the effort than NASA colonists or muskian tourists and joy riders, just like the early cosmonauts, which will enable us to take risks and suffer losses.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2018
Whatsamatter zypper you run out of words and only have 1/5s left? Can't lose with grace? So sad.

You should be happy with peace on earth and war in space. We don't need LENR here if we drastically limit growth here which we will absolutely do.

But we will need it for power and propulsion and weapons in space.

"GREATER THAN TNT
"Based on the shockwave propagation velocity and the corresponding over pressure, the high-current ignition of water in a silver matrix was measured to produce a shock wave that was 10 times greater than an equivalent weight of TNT." (From the brilliant light power website)
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2018
Islamists have spread throughout the middle east and the world. They prompted the arab spring and toppled governments. The only reason Pakistan hasn't fallen is because they are exporting young islamists an masse to die in droves in Afghanistan.

Many middle east countries, including Pakistan and Iran, have space programs. Those regimes could still fall.

A fundamentalist space presence in space is certainly possible especially if it is necessary to force us to do the same. And because of their growth rate it could happen overnight.

If Hitler had won there would already be colonies on mars. A caliph with an unlimited budget and a nuclear-armed empire stretching from syria to Pakistan could certainly make it happen.

Use your imagination.

Space tech is advancing at breathtaking rates. Musk and bezos weren't even players 20 years ago - who could have imagined it?

Reckless and committed state-sponsored efforts could progress even faster.
Scolar_Visari
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2018
@TheGhostofOtto1923
Your entire claim that NASA's, "original mission was military and that is what it is best suited for" is entirely made up, and your idea that its non-military nature was, "propaganda hype" is as well. We have clear evidence that NASA is not and never has been military in nature, and whether or not it would be, "wrong" if it were true completely irrelevant.

But you've made up more: "The Soviets had 100s of launches from several completely secret sites". Orbital launch sites are not and cannot be secret, and neither were early and very vulnerable ICBM launch sites. The Soviet space program, however, still has nothing to do with whether or not NASA was non-military in nature.
Scolar_Visari
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2018
"What DoD program was building a space outpost with a shuttle system?"
As a matter of fact, the USAF actually did have a space outpost in the works: The Gemini using Manned Orbiting Laboratory; a program which bore close similarities to the original conception of the Almaz space stations. Prior to that, the Air Force also attempted to develop the X-20 space plane.
Scolar_Visari
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2018
Once more: the STS was not designed from the start for facilitating spy satellites. Your unreferenced copy-paste doesn't actually support your claim, but several years of technical documentation and NASA proposals completely refute it. The original STS demands were for a much smaller payload capacity both volume and mass wise, but these changed when NASA had to secure DoD support for funding. John McLucas, former Director of the NRO from 1969-1973, actually has a book ("Reflections of a Technocrat: Managing Defense, Air, and Space Programs during the Cold War") which directly mentions that:

"After considering future military spacecraft requirements, we told NASA that the shuttle would need a cargo bay 60 feet [18.3 meters] long by 15 feet [4.6 meters] in diameter. NASA leaders agreed, so in effect we determined the ultimate size of the shuttle, which originally had been planned with a cargo bay about 40 feet [12.2 meters] long by 12 feet [3.7 meters] in diameter."
Scolar_Visari
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2018
This decision had the eventual effect of making NASA's fully reusable two stage STS impractical, as the already massive Orbiter and flyback booster concepts were already under severe weight gain limitations as it was.

That the Shuttle never did fulfill all the country's launch needs ignores the fact that its funding was completely dependent on that. The STS needed to have an extraordinarily high launch tempo to break even cost wise, and the USAF was correctly afraid from the very beginning that this was never going to occur. Far from consider it as a vital military asset, the USAF feared the Shuttle would be a liability that they only reluctantly supported.
Scolar_Visari
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2018
The reason I know that the Shuttle never rendezvoused with hostile satellites is because their missions are well documented and, being a rather large space vehicle, third parties were able to easily observe every mission with the naked eye alone. Not launching on high inclination and high orbit missions, of course, it would've been unable to rendezvous with the most interesting satellites. Heck, I can look up the orbit of any NRO satellite right now.

And no, Vandenburg was not going to be suddenly used for Space Shuttle launches without years of advance warning. Aside from the great deal of time required to physically ship the Shuttle stack, prepare it and integrate the payload, SLC-6 was physically incapable of launching a Shuttle after 1988 and at the height of the Cold War.

I'm going to hazard a guess and say you don't actually have any evidence that SLC-6 was hardened against EMP, or that it would've mattered during an all out war.
Scolar_Visari
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 29, 2018
The X-37B is only a direct continuation of the STS if you know absolutely nothing about either. The X-37B has an inferior payload capacity but has greater orbital endurance and orbit change capabilities, and it can (at boast) haul tactical observation gear and minor testbeds. It is only like the Orbiter in that it was a space plane.

And no, it can't launch on a short schedule. Atlas Vs of all configurations take months and years to prepare, and this is true for any liquid fuel launch vehicle. This is precisely why DARPA and the USAF have shown interest in developing lighter, cheaper and easier to launch LVs with low payload capacities.
Scolar_Visari
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 29, 2018
And now we're finally done with the pretense that you're not anything more than another completely worthless conspiracy theorist in the exact same mold as Mackita/Zephyr, Cantdrive, etc.

When a person, such as yourself, must resort to referencing an Illuminati-esque, "Empire" (capital E yours) that has done things like secretly, "engineered wars for millenia" and that made the Cold War, "sham", we can conclude that things like evidence and logic aren't going to really matter.

Yes, let's not bother considering things like nuance, human agency and irrationality. It's all the result of a shadowy cartel from, "the People in Charge" to combat, "obsolete cultures". I suppose it's just as well that you're seriously afraid that said cultures are going to conquer the Mars and/or the Moon.

You could've saved everybody some time by just mentioning the Illuminati stuff at the beginning.
humy
not rated yet Apr 29, 2018
I have insufficient knowledge about the robotic vehicle to have an opinion on that but I think President Donald Trump's vow to return people there is probably idiotic as I completely fail to see what the huge expense of sending people there yet again rather than sticking to sending the much cheaper and cost-effective (for science) probes/robotic vehicles would do for science.
Thorium Boy
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
They squandered $150 billion on that worthless ISS. What do people expect?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
"I would say that right now the space plane is probably more responsive in terms of meeting a war fighter [operationally responsive space] need than anything else we have," Weeden said. "But that depends a lot on the turnaround time."

"Finally, the space plane has a possible time advantage over a satellite launch mission in terms of preparations, Weeden said. Each satellite design has a unique way of "mating" with the booster rocket that carries it into orbit, which can become a time issue on short notice.

"Air Force officials might bypass that issue during an emergency by simply sticking whatever sensor payload into the standard body of the X-37B."

-Faster turnaround than the sts or rocket. Days.

Per your bizarre liquid fuel launch vehicle comment, engines today are designed to start and stop multiple times. Musks mars vehicle will be refueled in orbit. His existing rocket "its 24-hour turnaround window for used Falcon 9 rockets sometime next year..."
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
aside from the great deal of time required to physically ship the Shuttle stack, prepare it and integrate the payload, SLC-6 was physically incapable of launching a Shuttle after 1988 and at the height of the Cold War
But I posted a quote of the first scheduled Vandenburg launch which was only cancelled after the shuttle disaster. And no, shuttles could be prepared and staged beforehand to be launched at arbitrary times. This is what is meant by 'short schedule'.
X-37B has an inferior payload capacity
-because military payloads including spysats are a lot smaller nowadays. And because the sts config was unreliable, so it had to fit on top of a rocket.
but has greater orbital endurance
-because it's robotic. Crew no longer necessary. Duh.
And now we're finally done with the pretense
And now we're finally done with the futile efforts to discredit the obvious, you resort to bitchy name calling and ad hom attacks.

Whatsamatter? Daddy die on challenger?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
any and all military aerospace activities were to remain the responsibility of the Department of Defense
Youre naive. About washington politics and public perception.
The original STS demands were for a much smaller payload capacity both volume and mass wise, but these changed when NASA had to secure DoD support for funding
-see first comment. And the fact that spysat designs were evolving.
their missions are well documented
-except for the several secret ones that werent.
Not launching on high inclination and high orbit missions, of course, it would've been unable to rendezvous with the most interesting satellites
"STS-62-A was a planned Space Shuttle mission to deliver a reconnaissance payload (Teal Ruby) into polar orbit. ... It would have been the first manned launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base"

-Polar orbit.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
ARPA, not NASA, was the immediate response to Sputnik
The public never heard of ARPA. Sputnik was on all the news programs. They were told the next step would be nukes from space.

So the US, being the peaceful and war-hating nation that it was (see 1965 world's fair) would respond to the evil empires threats with a civilian program that would get to the moon before the Soviets. Which it did.

But meanwhile X15 tests were proceeding with the intent of building a flexible cargo ship able to usurp Soviet military activity in orbit and force them to bankruptcy.

BTW all the early astronauts were military officers did you know it?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
Quoting from the original NASA Charter:

PROPERTY RIGHTS IN INVENTIONS
Sec. 305...(i)'NASA shall be considered a defense agency of the USA for the purpose of Chapter 17, title 35 of the United States Code'

-Meaning that, whatever the charter declared about it being a civilian agency, in reality the material generated and machinery developed was all military in nature, and subject to the same restrictions as any other military agency.
434a
5 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2018


Meaning that, whatever the charter declared about it being a civilian agency, in reality the material generated and machinery developed was all military in nature, and subject to the same restrictions as any other military agency.


I'm not sure that means what you think it means.

305 i is a sub clause of (h)

(h) The Administrator is authorized to take all suitable and necessary steps to protect any invention or discovery to which he has title, and to require that contractors or persons who retain title to inventions or discoveries under this section protect the inventions or discoveries to which the Administration has or may acquire a license or use.


This is from the following document including your quote.

https://history.n...act.html

Cont..
434a
5 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2018
And the clause of interest in Chapter 17: 35 of the US code.

https://www.law.c...t/35/188

The Atomic Energy Commission, the Secretary of a defense department,
the chief officer of any other department or agency of the Government designated by the President as a **defense agency** of the United States,
and the Secretary of Commerce, may separately issue rules and regulations to enable the respective department or agency to carry out the provisions of this chapter,
and may delegate any power conferred by this chapter.


Basically, by conferring the title of defense agency on NASA, NASA is able to use the statutes laid out in title 35 to protect its research as it is mandated to do in (h).

It's a pragmatic use of existing legislation that could have been done with a signature rather than a protracted round of legislative changes to include NASA as a named party like the AEC.

TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
And how does this differ from regs governing the DoD and their contractors?

Nothing in any arguments above to disprove the obvious - NASA is and always has been a de facto military agency which does civilian work, not the other way around.

Had the cold war heated up this would have become obvious. All the elements there and operational to perform as such. Including delivering weapons to space and placing them in custom orbits to address moving targets.
434a
5 / 5 (4) Apr 30, 2018
And how does this differ from regs governing the DoD and their contractors?


They weren't given the powers because they were a defense agency as you suggest. They were given the status of a defence agency so that they had access to the legislation that the status would entitle them to.

There is a clear and obvious difference between the two positions.

It was merely good use of existing legislation that would prevent the transfer of technology out of the hands of NASA without express permission. Given the huge numbers of people involved, circ 400,000 people and 20,000 contractors in the apollo era, it reduced the bureaucratic overhead and made enforcement a simpler proposition if court action were needed.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
Well I disagree. I believe it reveals their true nature despite the political expedient of deeming them a peaceful civilian agency.

I can imagine the soviets had a good laugh over that one. Nervous but hardy.

We're columbus' voyages civilian or only recon and recce? What about Magellan and the others? What followed, the military or the settlers?
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
Most obvious are the shuttle disasters. Carter made the fatal mistake of insisting that the shuttle be the only option for both military and civilian missions. So a couple of them were launched outside their design parameters and they blew up.

The message was clear; we are not going to tolerate the dependence of national security on a single, mission-specific, flawed launch system.

Before ww2 the old guard continued to build Graf Spees and Hoods, insisting that battleships were impervious to little planes with their little bombs. So the US put all theirs in a pen and invited them to be sunk. And the Hood went down in a few minutes.

The same happened with zeppelins and cruise ships. The necessity of creating a dependability in transocianic flight was so great that the Hindenburg was torched and the titanic was scuttled along with the lusitania. Wolf pack Uboats began prowling the US coast and debris washed up on jersey shores.

This is how the military gets it's way.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Apr 30, 2018
'Blew up' - suffered catastrophic failure but I ran out of characters.

"...fly chocolate cake across the atlantic..."
https://youtu.be/z0cQKKE03kk
jyro
not rated yet May 01, 2018
mars rover for man is already built, use one of those
jyro
not rated yet May 01, 2018
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2018
Yep, that's the problem of yours - you're watching too many military movies... A retired unemployed soldier, huh?
Well this influences my opinions a lot

"Human Evolution and the Origin of War: a Darwinian Heritage"
by J.M.G. van der Dennen; Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
http://rint.recht...rid2.htm

-If you ignore war you can't explain anything.
A retired unemployed soldier, huh?
I do enjoy this channel
https://youtu.be/QuDuBwAhRa4
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet May 02, 2018
BTW
And no, it can't launch on a short schedule. Atlas Vs of all configurations take months and years to prepare, and this is true for any liquid fuel launch vehicle
"Atlas [F, ICBM] modified to be stored in a vertical position inside underground concrete and steel silos. When stored, the Atlas F sat atop an elevator. If a missile was placed on alert, it was fueled with RP-1 (kerosene) liquid fuel, which could be stored inside the missile for extended periods. If a decision was made to launch the missile, it was fueled with liquid oxygen. Once the liquid oxygen fueling was complete, the elevator raised the missile to the surface for launching.

"This method of storage allowed the Atlas F to be launched in about ten minutes..."

-Baboom! goes the troll
Johnothan
4 / 5 (4) May 03, 2018
Another anti-Trump hit piece... I'm no Trump fan, but it is easy to spot Trump Derangement Syndrome. There is only an extremely understated acknowledgement that NASA is changing strategy to speed up its schedule to go to the moon by several years. The understatement is crafted to distract from the truth. If you go to NASA's website you can find out what is really going on...

"The agency released a draft Request for Proposals April 27, encouraging the U.S. commercial space industry to introduce new technologies to deliver payloads to the Moon. This request for Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) will further expand efforts to support development and partnership opportunities on the lunar surface. Using these services, the agency will accelerate a robotic return to Moon, with upcoming missions targeted for two to three years earlier than previously planned..."
Tuxford
1 / 5 (4) May 05, 2018
NASA needs to go bye bye. Scrapped. Put those people in the private sector. Too much bureaucracy, duplicity and wasted money. Our money.

This is quite predictable. The moon is already occupied, and we are not welcome. That is why Apollo was cut short.

NASA is a PR agency, since Apollo. Meant to keep the scientists appeased and the public confused. Think, deep state is actually in control of this knowledge. Only this state is very very deep. LOL.
jimsecor
not rated yet May 12, 2018
What?! There's still someone around who believes Trump's promises? This cut will be the first of many. . .and in the end prove the flat earthers correct, despite Washington Irving's joke.

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