Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

Summary: The New York Times' David Pogue reports for CBS News on NASA's future. The big debate is whether the end of the Space Shuttle era means NASA has lost its way.

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TOPICS: Nasa / Space
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The New York Times' David Pogue reports for CBS News on NASA's future. The big debate is whether the end of the Space Shuttle era means NASA has lost its way.

Here's the video and recap:

Topic: Nasa / Space

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  • End of Shuttle is symbolic of American decline

    The shuttle ending isn't the real story. Everything gets replaced eventually.

    The real story is that NASA stopped innovating after the Enterprise prototype was designed, it is was never more apparent than when Challanger was lost. What did NASA do? They basically built another clone.

    The first shuttle mission was in 1981, and I cannot believe that in 30 years new shuttles weren't in the pipeline to evolve the design. In 2011 we should have been launching Shuttles made of composite materials. By the same token, the whole liquid fuel + booster system should also have been a generation 2 or generation 3 design by now.

    And finally, the whole idea of trashing the shuttles is also questionable. It seems like they should have used a couple shuttles for an extended space mission- maybe come up with a way to refuel them in space and leave one attached to the space station. Another could have been modified to return to the moon.

    It just seems like somewhere along the way people stopped dreaming.
    croberts
    • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

      @croberts You hit the nail on the head! The days of astronouts bringing their personal laptops on board because they were more powerful that the on board computers should have sent up a huge red flag. The sad part is year after year congress extended funding in the hopes that someone in that huge organization would see the light and develop something new. It never happened.
      dshorn@...
      • When did astronouts bring their own equipment onboard

        @dshorn@...
        because they where more powerful? It appears you may not understand the workings and designs of the onboard computers on a spacecraft.

        They are designed with the purpose of reliability, redundency, operation specific and custom programing.

        You do not just install Excel or iTunes onto it them and "hope for the best".
        :|
        Tim Cook
      • Stop showing your complete ignorance

        dshorn@... Please do yourself a favor and stop posting completely ignorant and moronic statements.<br><br>For your lazy rear end information (which you could easily find on the web), there has never being any astronaut taking his/her "equipment" on board of anything. Only a complete ignorant would think that any laptop or hardware can survive in space. Any computer not rad-harden will fry on the 1st orbit near the South Atlantic Anomaly. <br> <br>When it comes to rad-hardened hardware, an Intel Pentium (and up) will never make it into space. Why? The transistor size will make the CPU too susceptible to radiation hits. The most powerful CPU in space is a RAD750 (a PowerPC). On the x86 side, a 486DX is the most powerful in space (Hubble).
        wackoae
    • Shuttle was a Cold War project, too pricy to be as comparably effective and

      @croberts: ... safe as usual docking spaceships.

      Also, USA's budget spent trillions of dollars on illegal wars, assaults and occupations around the world. If at least part of the money could be spent on developing space, we would have Shuttle 2.* spaceship flying already now even if it is commercially less effective than regular dock-able spaceships.
      DDERSSS
      • Right on, just another example of govt waste

        @denisrs NASA is mainly a PR agency for the US govt. That's why the focus is on sending humans into space instead of the more practical but boring way of sending probes out to gather information.

        One of my engineering profs used to say: "NASA: Bringing you million dollar thrills for billions of dollars!"
        otaddy
    • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

      @croberts "everything gets replaced eventually", but billions of $ were consumed by companies on 'R & D' to develop improvements and replacements but produced....nada!
      bhglennie@...
    • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

      @croberts Recently two U.S. senators flatly accused the White House of trying to sabotage the nation's human spaceflight program after a newspaper report based on leaked NASA documents said a congressionally mandated heavy-lift rocket, crew capsule and associated infrastructure could cost nearly $63 billion through 2025.
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      macdev305
  • Message has been deleted.

    kjdig@...
    • To be fair, killing Shuttle's progam was Bush's doing

      @kjdig@... Obama did not rape anyone on space-related matters.
      DDERSSS
      • Why not tell the whole story?

        <b>On January 14, 2004, President Bush gave a speech in which he announced "a new focus and vision for future exploration."

        The elements of that speech were:

        Complete the assembly of the International Space Station (ISS) by 2010, then retire the Shuttle from service.
        "... Develop and test a new spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, by 2008, and to conduct the first manned mission no later than 2014." The CEV would be used to ferry astronauts first to the ISS, and later to "beyond our orbit to other worlds."
        "... Return to the moon by 2020, as the launching point for missions beyond."
        "With the experience and knowledge gained on the moon, we will then be ready to take the next steps of space exploration: human missions to Mars and to worlds beyond."</b>
        adornoe
    • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

      @kjdig@...

      Hyperbolic much?
      josh92
      • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

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        jasonhawk
      • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

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    • I'm surprised

      @kjdig@... I would not have thought you'd put down your banjo long enough to type that post...
      happyharry_z
      • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

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    • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

      @kjdig@...

      All Obama did was cancel Constellation then essentially reinstate the same exact program and technology under a new name with less government waste and more private venture. In other words he cut wasteful spending, put the project ahead of schedule, and being ever the politician patted himself on the back for being such a genius.
      Michael Kelly
  • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

    Don't blame it on Obama. The problem existed long before he was around.
    dshorn@...
  • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

    Hello there folks! First I wish to say thanks for presenting a wonderful report regarding the space shuttle program.
    Secondly I believe Nasa will now be able to explore other more ambishes and wonderful programs of which are headed our way do to technical acomplishments which have recently taken place within our scientific communities. Thank You again ZDnet and others like you for providing this tell us what you think format
    jtynoble@...
  • RE: Does end of the Space Shuttle mean NASA lost its mojo?

    NASA lost it's mojo when Congress made them build the shuttle back in the 70s. They basically told the air force and NASA that a single craft to do "everything" had to be built no matter what the Air Force and NASA wanted. And they had to promise it would meet certain metrics or Congress would force new people into NASA who would agree.

    And we got the shuttles. Very complicated and neat technically but a disaster in terms of budget and effort to do space flight. And they, the shuttles, then sucked all of the money and then some out of every thing else that might make sense.
    raleighthings