Well Mr. Obama, NASA has a problem, due in large part to your administration's lack of vision, or a lack of planning for the what "IF" factor. What happens to the "ISS" and our astronauts and the Russians cosmonauts. "IF" the Progress ROCKET that the United States has access to, just decides to "BLOW UP" one lazy afternoon, what you are going to hear at first from the Russians is Bot AebMO translated to (oh shit). Yes sir, that is what you would hear from me. Leaving the ISS should not be an issue, because the Russians have a couple of Soyuz capsules docked on station as escape vehicles for emergencies from the ISS in case of an emergency.
What does the USA have? Absolutely nothing, we have to rely on our Russian friends to get us home safely. To depend on someone else to get our astronauts home is A first for for NASA. We have never depended on anyone but the United States. I am embarrassed, to say that our great nation has to depend on another country to get our men and women home. It is just not right.
However, if we are going to leave the ISS, the astronauts and cosmonauts need to leave sometime in November because of the cold Russian winters. In addition to the weather, the Soyuz space capsules have a shelf life of 210 days, and that also comes into play.
I would say we have a problem. Partially due to the retirement of our Shuttle fleets. I will also place some blame on the Obama for being too quick to make cuts in the program with absolutely no planning for the "WHAT IF'S". To me it would not be to difficult to plan for "a what if the Russian rocket blows up." That would have been one of the first what "IF'S" that should have been thought of as well.
Well the "what if" happened, the unmanned Russian Progress M-12M cargo ship was blown to "smithereens" on 24 August 2011, 325 seconds after blasting off with 2.5 tons of oxygen, food,and fuel for the six astronauts and cosmonauts on station at the ISS. Apparently it was the third stage that caused the failure. The problem IS, since it was decided to retire the Space Shuttle, we (USA) have to depend on the Russian's for delivery of supplies and for bringing our astronauts and cosmonauts back to earth. Now the Russians, for safety issues must shut down the rocket and find out what caused the explosion. The Russian Space engineers are good at what they do, and I am confident they, along with NASA, will find out what happened to the Progress rocket.
I am not sure if anyone thought about a possible explosion, the Russian Progress rockets have been so reliable in the past. The problem is traveling to and from the ISS has become so routine. In space flight, ABSOLUTELY not one thing should become routine. The Challenger and the Columbia accidents has taught NASA, as they do not take anything as just routine. Apparently not. I am not blaming NASA 100% but they should have had a backup plan other than just depending on Russia. NASA thrives on contingency plans;NASA has a backup for the backup's backup. Hopefully this mess gets worked out. I say this because In the very near future, China will be attempting to build its very own space Station and we will be sitting, and watching from the sideline.
So again, this brings me back to complaining about cutting NASA's budget, strickly because the Chinese will be building there own. Knowing the Chinese, their intentions may not be just FRIENDLY EXPERIMENTS, if you get my drift.
China to me at is bothersome, they have agenda, period, and that agenda is not United States friendly. Plus they have us by the short and curlies. At last count, I believe the United States owes China $1.4 Trillion dollars, more of less.
China's military is growing, like I said in my previous post, China has an agenda, and one agenda involves Taiwan, to me that is why they are expanding their naval forces. So to add what the USA needs to monitor is their eagerness to expand to the final frontier. China no doubt has the money, and plenty of it. While we wallow in cutbacks in our space program, China is expanding globally, and now in space, which they have all the rights to do, provided that it is just research and exploration, LMFAO. The United States has had a lock on space exploration and I am sure that even now we are still way ahead. To to stay there, we must invest in NASA. Private companies in space exploration is good for our economy, but any company starting up, is light years behind the United States and the Russians and now the Chinese.
The unmanned Tiangong-1 or the Heavenly test module is in the final preparation at China's Jinquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China, according to a reportin the Wuhan Evening News.
The 8.5 ton module, whose launch has been long awaited as a badge of China's ascendant national and technological ambitions, will form the test-bed for a larger 60 ton space station which is China wants to have in orbit by the early 2020's. citing sources at the launch center, the paper said the launch of the Tiangong-spacelab could take place "in the first 10 days of Septembem" earlier than previously anticipated and ahead of China's National Day celebrations on October 1 2011.
Their it is, again it is China, right on our heels, they are heading forward, we are lagging behind, and Obama has hs not helped, he has no, plan and a lack of vision for the space program, nothing like our former President, John F. Kennedy, now that man had a vision, and it was accomplished. If this President wants to make a splash, his opportunity is now, not tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow is just too late.
Be safe and keep your powder dry.