Aug 24 2011

Lost In Space: After Retiring Shuttles & Cancelling Constellation, Russian Ride To Space In Doubt

Published by at 1:27 pm under All General Discussions

OK, did we just strand our astronauts in orbit due to mindless Obama cuts at NASA? We recently witnessed the last flight of the US Space Shuttle program and now Russia’s Progress vehicle has had an accident and may not be safe for regular flights to/from the International Space Station:

Russia may fail to fulfill its obligations in delivering crews to the International Space Station after Wednesday’s accident with Russia’s Progress M-12M space freighter, a source in Russia’s space industry said.

The space freighter fell in South Siberia’s Altai Republic on Wednesday after failing to separate from the Soyuz-U carrier rocket, the first loss of the Progress freighter in the history of Russia’s space industry. A rocket engine failure is believed to have caused the accident.

“The scheduled launches of the [Soyuz] rockets are likely to be suspended because of the space freighter accident… until the reasons [of the accident] are established,” the source said.

This means that members of the International Space Station’s crew are likely to stay at the station longer than planned and that the new crew will not be able to replace them on schedule, he said.

H/T Reader lurker9876. Only a moron would cancel America’s only transportation system to the space station which we spent billions of dollars over many decades to build. As I noted in my post regarding the last shuttle flight, technically it was illegal to cancel the follow-on to the shuttle (the Orion vehicle under the Constellation program) because it is illegal to leave any critical aspect of any US Space Program to the whims and performance of other nations. We can’t fly a sounding rocket if the entire mission has a foreign element key to the success of the mission.

But apparently the White House and Democrats in Congress weren’t too worried about the human beings now stranded in space 100’s miles into space when they axed Orion.

This is just unconscionable. It borders on the criminally negligent. We have human beings stranded in conditions akin to miners trapped in a cave or sailors trapped in a sunken submarine with no immediate way to rescue them. And this is squarely on the shoulders of the White House and Dems who decided we did not need a way to move our people to/from our space station. If there is a medical emergency up there those poor folks are in possible trouble (since I don’t believe the crew recovery vehicle is yet operational).

Like I said – morons.

Addendum: Yep, looks like they forgot to make sure the lifeboats were ready.

27 responses so far

27 Responses to “Lost In Space: After Retiring Shuttles & Cancelling Constellation, Russian Ride To Space In Doubt”

  1. lurker9876 says:

    MPCV is definitely not ready. MPCV is a few months behind already. We are working to modify the current Mission Control Center software work with MPCV’s software that is being developed in Colorado. Commercial space vendors are also behind but advertising false data. There is also a thing called spaceport that’s being built in New Mexico by Virgin. NASA has approved Virgin to fly for ten minute payload experiments.

    And we’re trying to develop a brand new Mission Control Center software system with new technology based on our customer’s design. There are some serious costing issues with this project as Congress is struggling to figure out how much to fund NASA for next year…cancel James Webb or not? What to do about SLS? And???

    We also will be watching Congress fight the FY2012 CR and budgets when they come back from vacation.

    So while we are faced with some serious budget issues, Obama spends our tax money on his own vacation at Martha’s Vineyard!

    “We can’t fly a sounding rocket if the entire mission has a foreign element key to the success of the mission.”

    I wouldn’t fly a sounding rocket if NASA has a full commercial element key to the success of its own mission, where NASA does not own and control its own space vehicles. NASA has NO space vehicles of its own. And when NASA hires a commercial space company to fly to ISS, the only visibility and control NASA has over these space vehicles is trajectory data.

    This pretty much winds down NASA.

    The sad part is that NASA is not an important issue to Obama and Congress except for part that will increase the unemployment rate by just a tiny bit.

    Another off topic…did you see how Obama is violating the Jones Act with his release of oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserves?

  2. lurker9876 says:

    BTW, the biggest morons are Charles Bolden and Laurie Garver. They have absolutely no sense of direction and common sense to fight Obama to do the right thing for NASA.

  3. AJStrata says:


    Why do you think Bolden and Garver are were they are?

    I think NASA will survive this, but it should be a lesson to them to stay away from liberal policies.

    JWST and others were hacked to try and save JPSS (old NPOESS). That has been a historic disaster – and not NASA’s fault at all.

    But weather satellites are a priority and we must keep them flying. Too bad NOAA and DoD wasted a decade and pissed away billions of dollars with only NPP as the product. It’s so old at launch it won’t be up too many years now.

  4. lurker9876 says:

    Global Warming.

    But I do agree that we need to keep the weather satellites going but that needs to be separated from Global Warming and Climate Change hype.

    Something happened between Houston and Garver to the point that Garver hates Houston. Which I’m told is one of the reasons why Houston was not chosen to host one of the shuttles.

    Charles Bolden needs to be replaced as he is too much of a Yes man and he’s interested in the Muslim outreach program.

    Neither of them have been able to keep NASA on the right track (original mission statement).

    You just pointed out one of the issues that NASA faces today. NASA has not been able to advance on new technology very well.

    Do you really think that the commercial space vendors can make their vehicles cheaper and reliable?

  5. lurker9876 says:

    I think NASA will survive in some way, shape, and form. The question is how and how much….and of course, based on which mission statement…

  6. dbostan says:

    One of the very few, actually I see only this point, is that private companies in this market SPACE are seeing a possible breaking point for them.
    I do not enough about these matters, but my hunch is usually right.

  7. lurker9876 says:

    I don’t see a possible breaking point. The reason is the debt issue that we face today. There’s not enough money for the private companies. They are going to have to fund themselves if they want to make it a go.

  8. WWS says:

    I saw today that while NASA isn’t going to do any *actual* space exploration anymore, they will try to sponsor some sci-fi stories.

    Looks like fantasy is all they have left. How about a sci-fi story about a President that actually supports space exploration? Naah, too unrealistic.

  9. lurker9876 says:

    I read at NASA watch (one comment) that indicated Russia is planning on building a space Hotel … to be completed by 2016! So…the question is…who will be able to afford going to the space hotel?

    In the meantime, China is building its own space vehicles. Iran is planning on something.

    So we’re now allowing other countries to take over from us? Thanks, Obama!

  10. lurker9876 says:

    Oh, further clarification…while NASA may still exist, JSC may not in a few short years.

  11. lurker9876 says:

    Just read Rand Simpson. He’s wrong. And Rohrbacher is wrong. There is no money to divert from the James Webb Project and SLS to commercial space industry. No money or not enough. They’re trying to cancel the James Webb Project (no money) and delay the SLS project (no money), reduced the NASA budget from 19 to 16, already subsidized lots of money to the commercial space industry (four companies). There are already plans to launch two or three unmanned private space vehicles in a few months.

    Commercial space industry is not quite the same as China, Russia, and Iran’s taking over the space from us. We’ve already given that up even with commercial.

  12. lurker9876 says:

    Off topic…again..

    Did you read this??? And why an increase in the number of seizures leading to bankruptcy of private owners?

    The Wall Street Journal published a disturbing article earlier this week entitled “Federal Asset Seizures Rise, Netting Innocent With Guilty.”

    You can already imagine the crux of the article.

    In the United States, there are hundreds of regulations which authorize dozens federal agencies to confiscate private property– homes, cars, bank accounts, gold, company shares, and even personal effects.

    Ironically, most Americans still think that they live in a country where you’re innocent until proven guilty. Nothing could be further from the truth, and it’s just another clear example of how the US Constitution has become a worthless piece of toilet paper for the federal government.

    The Fifth Amendment states that “No person shall be… deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” Tell that James Lieto, a New York businessman who was relieved of $392,000 when the armored car company used by his check-cashing firm was taken down by the FBI.

    Lieto was innocent and not implicated in any wrongdoing, but the FBI took his money regardless as it just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Last October, another businessman named Raul Stio was suspected of wrongdoing by the Treasury Department. The government seized over $150,000 from his account, yet in the 10-months that followed, Stio has still not been charged with a crime.

    According to Justice Department statistics, the total value of confiscated property exceeded $2.5 billion in 2010, more than double from five years ago. The average take per case? $166,000… and the vast majority of cases were non-criminal.

    It’s truly staggering to think about how much can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye, all without any judicial oversight or right to a hearing.

    The reason could be anything. Maybe you violated some arcane, meaningless regulation among the hundreds of thousands of pages of US Code (ignorance of the law is NOT an excuse!). Maybe you were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Or maybe they had no real reason at all other than mere suspicion.

    One minute you have money, the next you’re completely locked out of your wealth and livelihood. They force YOU to prove to them that you aren’t guilty, but they take away any means you had to defend yourself.

    Look, this is the new reality in America. The entire country has become a nation of criminals– there isn’t a single man, woman, or child alive who is not in violation of some obscure regulation or cannot be ‘suspected’ of wrongdoing.

    This is really just a form of cannibalism– a government feeding on its own citizens in order to keep the party going just a little bit longer. They’ll raise taxes, seize assets, take over pension funds, erode freedoms, start wars and send people to die– whatever it takes to maintain the status quo.

    I’ve long advocated for an internationalization strategy: diversifying various assets and interests overseas so that no one single government has total control over your livelihood.

    Store your gold in Switzerland. Open a bank account in Hong Kong. Register your company in the BVI. Establish a ‘backup’ residency in Chile. Expand your business in Brazil. Get a better job in Singapore. Obtain a second passport in Malta. Open a brokerage account in the Cayman Islands.

  13. lurker9876 says:

    Look at Orbital…it had a recent failure.

  14. sjreidhead says:

    Just love all that commercialization of space. Let’s have a group hug, sing Kum-By-Ya and how’s that hopeinchange workin’ out for you?

    I’ve spent most of my life fighting for the cause of human exploration of space. I stay so upset about what is going on that I can’t even write about it on The Pink Flamingo.

    The Dems do it every time. The blasted losertarians and their demands for absolute commercialization of space aren’t helping.

    If we don’t learn how to get along, stop behaving like spoiled toddlers, and do what is best for this country, we’re going to lose everything. I swear if GWB hadn’t pushed Orion the Dems would be supporting it.

    The Pink Flamingo

  15. WWS says:

    I’ve thought about what’s happening in space exploration, and it’s occurred to me that it may be similar to what happened when the “new world” was discovered.

    in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, but Jamestown wasn’t founded until 1607, and Plymouth in 1620. And in the meantime, governments got bored with exploration and started doing other things closer to home.

    So, if we’re following that timeline, real expansion into space won’t take off until 2100 or so, and it will be mostly private. Bad news for our generation.

  16. lurker9876 says:

    Even Wayne Hale (google him) predicts that JSC will turn into a national park within five years. JSC is already undergoing some changes.

    The government is interested only in commercial space travel in LEO and transfer to ISS using various commercial competitors.

    As for anything beyond LEO is at the whims of the politicians. Of course, Falcon advertised a heavy duty rocket that will take space vehicles beyond LEO but that’s years away.

    “Landing on an asteroid” is merely an attempt to “tether” around a huge asteroid. There are not many huge asteroids in LEO so we will be required to go beyond LEO to target a huge asteroid. To tether an asteroid, the vehicle is going to have to “orbit” around something to tether with.

    The purpose of “landing on an asteroid” is to practice landing so that we can land on Mars. The pre-Obama plan was to practice landing on the moon for Mars landing. “Landing on an asteroid” defeats the purpose of landing on Mars.

    So all that’s left from here on out are LEO space travel. There will be no more manned exploration programs – both LEO and beyond – led by NASA. And Defense won’t do it either.

    As for commercial space travel, NASA and Defense will be the major customers for LEO travel only.

  17. Layman says:

    Keep your eyes on Nov. 30th. SpaceX is supposed to launch its first fully operational Falcon 9/Dragon flight to the International Space Station. Its a cargo flight only but will open the doors for further launches and a man-rating for Dragon is in the works.

    With enough funding its still a couple years away – but with this Russian fiasco maybe they can find a few million to advance the timeline.

    As for Orbital (I’m an ex-employee) their vehicle is supposed to test launch in December and makes its first flight in January. I’m not optomistic about success. It relies on old Soviet engines… rela hot rods but totally unreliable.

    Botton line is we should know by Feb. or March if the commercial launch to LEO is real or a pipedream.

  18. WWS says:

    In other Texas news today, Kinky Friedman endorsed Rick Perry today. This is a bigger deal than those who don’t know him (or about him) may think. I’ve met him, like him a lot, and am really amazed and pleased to see him do this.

    Why this is important: The biggest knock on Perry is that he’s too far right, that he can’t win the Independant vote. But Kinky is one of the biggest Independants out there, he’s almost emblematic of that sector. If Perry can attract him, he can take the independants, and with them, the election.

    His article is a great read, especially for the reason that Kinky supports him (and why other independants will, too)

    Not because of any of his policy positions – but because of the type of man he is, and the type of accomplishments he can show. Nobody else in the race has the record that Perry has – not even Romney.

    Kinky’s far from being rightwing – to know about him is to know what a joke that idea is! But he’s always been deadly honest, even when he’s telling jokes, and he freely admits that Obama is a disaster who has to be voted out of office.

    in his own words:

    “So would I support Rick Perry for president? Hell, yes! As the last nail that hasn’t been hammered down in this country, I agree with Rick that there are already too damn many laws, taxes, regulations, panels, committees, and bureaucrats. While Obama is busy putting the hyphen between “anal” and “retentive” Rick will be rolling up his sleeves and getting to work.”

  19. lurker9876 says:

    I know who Kinky is. He’s also a very good friend with Willie Nelson. He’s the one with the “Texas Longhorn” car.

    I found it amusing that Kinky is supporting Perry.

    BTW, ISS is good for what? Til 2020…since commercial is good for LEO only, what’s left after ISS is decommissioned? NASA has no real plans after ISS and if NASA is the only viable customer with big bucks to use commercial….NASA won’t be around much for real space travel.

    There seems to be some real but not serious debates on rocket designs…just as much as there are on the space vehicles.

    But there is that one debate that’s missing…China, Russia, and Iran space exploration. What’s really missing there? That’s the original mission statement that Obama yanked out, which will eventually destroy NASA over time, especially if Obama gets re-elected.

  20. ModicumofThought says:

    “I wouldn’t fly a sounding rocket if NASA has a full commercial element key to the success of its own mission, where NASA does not own and control its own space vehicles. NASA has NO space vehicles of its own. And when NASA hires a commercial space company to fly to ISS, the only visibility and control NASA has over these space vehicles is trajectory data.”

    So why you fly on commercial airplanes you need to “own and control” the vehicle? So the JAXA and ESA cargo carriers are bad? What is wrong with having the more mundane tasks (like ISS cargo delivery & return) provided by commercial entities?

    Seems like you just want NASA to keep doing what it was doing for the last 30+ years – going around in circles at LEO.