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. AJStrata says:

    Modicum: NASA does more than fly LEO – duh. And flying LEO is still a serious challenge, you would think two Shuttle tragedies might be a clue.

    And it is not about mundane, it is about supply and demand.

    Finally, it is not the cargo that is an issue – that can be done by anyone. It is stranding our people in space because we decided to throw away our transportation edge.

    Why give up our lead and all the incredible commercial spin offs? That is short sighted stupidity to pay ESA and JAXA to do what Americans can do as well.

  2. lurker9876 says:

    JAXA and ESA are tightly interfaced with us at MCC. They are different space vehicles than commercial space vehicles whereas the commercial space companies want to have their own control centers and almost full control over their vehicles.

    NASA has little visibility and control into these space vehicles when they are docking with ISS.

    NASA is SUPPOSED to fly more than LEO AND do more than just ISS logistics and support. But Obama changed the mission statement and now everyone’s confused with little sense of direction.

    Commercial space is NOT manned space exploration. Commercial space travel is simply LEO and mostly LEO. Most of the demand is coming from ISS. Some non-ISS demand is affordable only to the wealthy. Remember Concorde? Who can afford to fly the Concorde?

    Full commercial space has nothing or little to do with the original mission statement of NASA, some of which deals with classified work.

    What most people do not get is the NASA – private industry complex that has been going on for a very long time. Private companies HAVE been involved with NASA work but all of the work done BELONGS to NASA.

    Full commercial space does NOT belong to NASA.

    Once ISS is gone, the demand avenue dies but that has nothing to do with the real and original mission statement of NASA. We’re giving up to China, Russia, and Iran.

    Looks like AJStrata gets it.

  3. lurker9876 says:

    BTW, Russia has full control over ISS. Think about it. IOW, yank the Russian modules, can ISS survive?


    That’s all Russia has to do in 2020.

    Now, that explains their public comments.

    BTW, I understand that many parts of Progress AND Soyuz are made by private company…Energia.

  4. lurker9876 says:

    For all the talk and hype by the private space companies about their “faster, better, cheaper, and reliable” vehicles…yeah, right….I heard all that back in the 70’s.

    Don’t believe it.

    Hint: In addition to supply and demand…liabilities.

  5. lurker9876 says:

    And the worse part of it all…the lack of understanding of the benefits of NASA. For example, NASA HAS been working with the Texas Medical Center for a very long time. And the stuff that they came up with…unbelievable and to our advantage.

    We may no longer see much of that over the years.

  6. lurker9876 says:

    “Finally, it is not the cargo that is an issue – that can be done by anyone. It is stranding our people in space because we decided to throw away our transportation edge.”

    Another bad Charles Bolden decision and the great misunderstanding of advocates of full commercial space development.

    Much like his selection of locations to host the retiring shuttles.

    Lots of people are furious at him.

  7. sherlock says:

    “OK, did we just strand our astronauts in orbit due to mindless Obama cuts at NASA?”

    Of course not you idiot! Only if a Republican President made those cuts would they be “mindless”! Since Obama made them, they are merely an unfortunate necessity, and even if the entire crew of the ISS were to die a horrible death of starvation and asphyxiation, it would just be one of those acts of God that nobody could have possibly foreseen, unless they were one of those omniscient, but incredibly stupid, Republicans.