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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm typing this right now as the shuttle has less than 20 minutes to launch, but for any who read this let's just pray that everything goes smoothly with the launch today.

I live in Florida, and I know some others like Fergy on here will probably be watching it outside as it goes up today. We can only hope though that this shuttle crew goes up safely and returns back to Earth without any problems. We don't want another problem like Columbia :(

So keep your fingers crossed everyone. Besides, the low activity with the shuttle launches is hurting Florida's economy here... give us some help ;)
 

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CAUTION: Rant to Follow.

Shuttle is spectacular and very, very cool....but ultimately incredibly inefficient, barely capable, gold plated, and a waste of money.

In other words, a typical government program.

Before anyone flames me, I worked on the bleeding edge of aerospace for 13 years. I'm a complete and total aerogeek. I've helped develop and build a commercial manned spacecraft. I've worked with astronauts. I've seen Columbia up close and personal, before the tragic loss of her crew. It's a mindblowing piece of 1970s technology, be sure.

However, now the shuttles are operating far beyond their intended lifespan, and their age is showing. They have become unnecesssarily dangerous. Recently, I spoke to a very well known ex-NASA shuttle astronaut, a man who I respect greatly as someone who is off-the-charts intelligent and with cajones to match. I asked him about how he feels NASA handled the post Columbia accident.

"Poorly," he said. "They put the butterfly in front of the bullet. It's just stupid."

NASA needs to get out of near-earth space entirely and leave it to industry to fill the needs. Their job should be to streamline commercial access to space, not hinder it as they do now. They should also focus on missions that have no immediate commercial applications- planetary exploration and space-based astronomy, for example.

Sadly, Shuttle's time has come and gone. The real tragedy is how we have lacked the political will / backbone to subsidize and develop a viable commercial manned orbital capability.

That being said, Godspeed to Discovery and her crew. Looks like all is going well. I hope NASA ditches it's risk-adverse ways and decides to task Shuttle with a job only it can do....repair Hubble before it goes irretrievably dead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree. I don't really care how much I would cost to create a newer, safer, more efficient space vehichle. With the amount of money tax-payers are dishing out to repair everything that goes wrong with the current model, and to then re-check everything 10 more times I think there could easily be another efficient shuttle out right now.
Did anyone here about the day before the original intended launch date for Discovery? How one of the windows (not sure if it was in the cockpit or just near that area of the shuttle) just kind of "fell" out. This was the day before the shuttle had the fuel gauge failer that delayed the launch til today. Anyway, this window just "fell" out of place all some 200 feet down the shuttle's body, and smashed into 2 out of 3 of the massive heat tiles that protect the left engine, completely damaging them and needing them to be replaced.

It was funny because NASA seemed so embarassed and unable to explain how this happened that they just got the news to hush-up about it and almost no one heard that it happened.

With pathetic screw-ups like this, I'd definately agree NASA needs to get on the ball. I'm just hoping for the crews safety over anything because they're the ones riding the bullet.
 

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I was in awe of this morning's launch and wish the crew a successful, and, above all, safe mission.

That said, the Shuttle needs to be scuttled. It's no different than the Block One capsule that killed the ****** One astronauts. That incident led to the realization that the Block One was a step in the wrong direction. NASA scrapped it -- and came back with a design that was far superior.

The Shuttle? It was designed in the 70's. The 70's. When Smokey and the Bandit was considered entertainment. It was originally supposed to be a small craft for science-related projects -- then the military got wind of it and changed the specs entirely. That made an already complex vehicle even more so -- to the point where the two crews we've lost are considered by the actuaries to be unbelieveably low.

The Shuttle is a truly amazing craft -- but it's time to move on. We can do the same, or better with cargo rockets and manned capsules like the Russians use. Maybe the payload of the Shuttle is so great that it is needed to keep the ISS afloat -- but I doubt it. At this point, we're just throwing good money after bad.
 

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Nasa

Let me share with you the type of people NASA is hiring. Back in the 80's thru the mid 90's my wife worked for an outfit called International Signal and Control. They were a defense contractor for the government. They made components for the military such as circuitry for harpoon tomahawk missiles, defense ballistics, circuitry for aircraft such as the B-1B Bombers etc... High Tech and clearance level work. If you recall, back then private enterprise that did this type of work was banned from doing business with certain countries for security reasons.....At any rate, the top Brass there were caught being dirty. The founder of the company and his henchmen were caught selling, and smuggling illegal firearms to South Africa. Many of those firearms found their way into the bodies of our military personnel during the 1st Gulf war. Too make a long story short.... The founder was sentenced to ONLY 15 yrs at a minimum security prison. His subordinates were given lesser sentences... Just before he was caught being dirty, the Founder sold the business to a defense contractor from Britain called Ferranti International. They had to go belly up because the founder of International Signal Control inflated the price of stock to make the sale lucrative and inviting. Anyway because of the deceit, and the illegal business ventures, Ferranti (which was unaware of the illegal wrangling's ) folded and my wife along with over 1,000 workers ended up losing their jobs. In the hierarchy of International Signal and Control there was a man named Tom Jasin. He calimed he was innocent, like they all do. He avoided prison for 10 yrs until his luck ran out....He did only 18 months until his lawyers got him out. The Federal Government decided they spent enough money and resources on that case to retry him even though they had enough evidence on him to do so..Well just recently NASA hired him to be in charge of their lunar exploration. A KNOWN FELON and CONVICTED ARMS SMUGGLER. They claim that because of his expertise in that particular field he would be a good fit for them. I wrote NASA a letter detailing his history as made mentioned in a local newspaper write up about him when he was appointed. Many facts about the history of that case resurfaced in a newspaper article about him putting his life back together. I know this was a bit lengthy, but since some of you guy are interested in the Space program...I thought I'd share a brief overview of 1 instance of NASA hiring a convicted arms smuggler who in some small way had a hand in the slaughter of some of our servicemen in the Gulf War. If NASA hired one that I know of, I wonder how many they hired WE don't know of. Good, Bad, or Indifferent, the point is... as sensitive as the government is, and NASA, about our security, it makes no sense to me to trust someone in a prominent role such as this, that had a hand in smuggling illegal arms for self profit... I had to get that off my chest. :willy:
 

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Per the July Flight Plan Review regarding General Aviation :

" Other news on the GA front, on August 22 we’ll be issuing the first experimental aircraft certificate for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flying in the NAS. This means that newer types of lighter and unmanned aircraft will be able to fly safely in our airspace. That will be a huge milestone. "

Regarding NASA : If you are interested in viewing what NASA is doing with the "outdated" shuttle to the International Space Station - rent or see the New IMAX film "Space Station" . Any we think we are gearheads...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, there's definately some built up tension about NASA's decisions here.

Let's move on to Stage 2 - where we burn an effigy of some sort and sit around it chanting negative things of NASA. Who wants to bring the goat to be sacrificed? :rolleyes: :willy: ;)
 
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