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MF: Russia Bans U.S. From International Space Station: America Strikes Back


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http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/06/22/russia-bans-us-from-international-space-station-am.aspx



Russia Bans U.S. From International Space Station: America Strikes Back

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

No, it's an International Space Station. But if Russia gets its way, it's going to be off-limits to the United States soon.

For weeks now, there have been rumblings about Russia wanting to ban the United States from using the ISS while the two countries wrangled over Ukraine. While that would probably violate international law, it may be feasible from a practical perspective. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin argued that "the Russian segment [of the ISS] can exist independently from the American one. The U.S. one cannot."

Since the United States terminated its space shuttle program, we've depended on Russian rockets to carry U.S. astronauts to the ISS. NASA has a contract to continue these flights through 2016 -- at $70 million a pop. After that, Russia would be within its rights to deny U.S. astronauts seats on Soyuz rockets. If America wants to send astronauts up after the contract expires, joked Rogozin: "I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline."

It never just rains, it pours (even in space)
An even more immediate problem facing America is Russia's threat to cut off access to the RD-180 rocket engines that the United Launch Alliance (the joint venture between Boeing (NYSE: BA ) and Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT ) ) uses in its Atlas V rockets. These are the big beasts that carry U.S. military satellites into space. They're critical to national security. But we've only got enough RD-180s stockpiled to keep ULA supplied for about another 22 months.

What's to be done?
Just two weeks ago, we told you about U.S. Air Force plans to set up a public-private partnership to develop a new rocket engine capable of replacing the RD-180. In an uncharacteristic exhibition of rapid problem-tackling, ULA is already rushing to get the project under way.

On Monday, ULA confirmed that it has signed contracts with "multiple" American rocket companies to begin working up "next-generation liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon first stage propulsion concepts" that could replace the RD-180 (the RD-180 uses liquid oxygen and kerosene as its fuel sources).
....

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You mean, having the US decide to unilaterally dismantle our nation's manned space program might be a bad idea?

Who knew?

 

Right?  This was always the major roadblock in the strategy to depend on Russia for support in our Space Program.   Many said that the first time push comes to shove, we would be up a creek.   Guess it was so long since we have been on a Missouri Boat Ride, we kinda forgot what it was.  We'll remember soon enough I guess. 

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The United States can afford a continuous manned space program.. especially one which leads to trillion dollar future industries...   Telecom, Computer,  Advanced Materials, Aeronautics,  RF technology... etc..   now it seems just the engines alone will be a two trillion dollar industry for some lucky country.

 

I think the fundamental problem is we can't afford two.  One where all the exciting stuff occurs and one for window dressing.    Ever since the DoD space budget was allowed to become separate from NASA in the 1980's,  NASA has been spiraling downhill.    It's true that NASA made some poor choices with their budgets,   (i.e.  the Space Shuttle was a disaster )   It was supposed to decrease the cost and complexity of achieving orbit by an order of magnitude.   In the end it did the opposite and consumed NASA's maned space budget for nearly 3 decades while keeping NASA traveling in circles rather than reaching out beyond the moon.

 


In 2013...

  • The Department of Justice received double the funding NASA received.
  • The Department of Homeland security received three times the funding.
  • The Department of Education received four times the funding.
  • The Department of Transportation received five times the funding.
  • The Department of the Treasury received six times the funding.
  • The Department of Defense, including the ongoing efforts of the War on Terror Overseas Contingency Operation, received over 35 times the funding NASA received.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/scienceandtech/columns/forscience/11666-Is-NASA-worth-Funding

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The United States can afford a continuous manned space program.. especially one which leads to trillion dollar future industries...   Telecom, Computer,  Advanced Materials, Aeronautics,  RF technology... etc..   now it seems just the engines alone will be a two trillion dollar industry for some lucky country.

 

I think the fundamental problem is we can't afford two.  One where all the exciting stuff occurs and one for window dressing.    Ever since the DoD space budget was allowed to become separate from NASA in the 1980's,  NASA has been spiraling downhill.    It's true that NASA made some poor choices with their budgets,   (i.e.  the Space Shuttle was a disaster )   It was supposed to decrease the cost and complexity of achieving orbit by an order of magnitude.   In the end it did the opposite and consumed NASA's maned space budget for nearly 3 decades while keeping NASA traveling in circles rather than reaching out beyond the moon.

WE need a manned space program, we need something that keeps pushing technology to the limit and beyond. So many of our advances have come from the space program.

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The United States can afford a continuous manned space program.. especially one which leads to trillion dollar future industries...   Telecom, Computer,  Advanced Materials, Aeronautics,  RF technology... etc..   now it seems just the engines alone will be a two trillion dollar industry for some lucky country.

 

I think the fundamental problem is we can't afford two.  One where all the exciting stuff occurs and one for window dressing.    Ever since the DoD space budget was allowed to become separate from NASA in the 1980's,  NASA has been spiraling downhill.    It's true that NASA made some poor choices with their budgets,   (i.e.  the Space Shuttle was a disaster )   It was supposed to decrease the cost and complexity of achieving orbit by an order of magnitude.   In the end it did the opposite and consumed NASA's maned space budget for nearly 3 decades while keeping NASA traveling in circles rather than reaching out beyond the moon.

 

The split between the DoD and NASA happened long before the 80s but I understand the point you are making.   Today, a lot of the work is done by Commerce.   I think the role of just day to day payloads could continue to be serviced by the Commerce folks but the actual R&D stuff, that's a good fit for NASA.  

 

Clearly, what we have now is not going to work.

Given everytime I've been to Moscow it's either been cold, glum and raining or cold, glum and snowing; I believe you already have.

Hail.

 

 

Wasn't us, that was the Aliens.  Tunguska!

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WE need a manned space program, we need something that keeps pushing technology to the limit and beyond. So many of our advances have come from the space program.

 

 

manned flight is limiting it, welcome your AI overlords citizen.

we are the weak link

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manned flight is limiting it, welcome your AI overlords citizen.

we are the weak link

 

 

I don't know.  I get what you are saying but Man Space Flight also seems to be the catalyst for continued interest in Space Exploration and Research.   Without the one, seems as if people lose interest and support dwindles.  

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Looks like this story is way overblown. More at the link.

http://www.planetary.org/blogs/casey-dreier/2014/0520-no-russia-did-not-just-kick-the-us-out-of-the-space-station.html
 

No, Russia Did Not Just Kick the U.S. Out of the Space Station

A top Russian official announced several unexpected policy changes in a response to U.S. sanctions.

Posted by Casey Dreier

2014/05/20 23:43 UTC

Topics: Explaining Policy, Space Policy, human spaceflight, astronaut, International Space Station, Russian human spaceflight, rockets

Update 2014-05-21: Updated Rogozin's statements below with official english translation (replacing poor Google translation).

In a surprise series of statements last week, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced that Russia would stop shipments of rocket engines unless the U.S. could guarantee that they would not be used to launch military spacecraft. He also implied that the Russian space agency would not support the proposed extension of the International Space Station through 2024.

And oh man was this news seriously misreported.

"Russia is kicking NASA out of the International Space Station in 2020," hyperventilated Vox.com. "Russia Wants to Ban U.S. From the Space Station, But NASA Knows Nothing About It," according to Mashable. Even Stephen Colbert misreported the story (because he was quoting NBC Nightly News and Fox News).

Not everyone got it wrong (and, to generalize, it was mainly click-hungry news aggregators and TV news that blew it out of proportion). Pete Spotts at the Christian Science Monitor really provided excellent context for the story, as, of course, did Marcia Smith at Space Policy Online and Warren Ferster at SpaceNews.

There are two separate issues here, one relating to the engines and one relating to the space station. Let's start with the one that got most of the news this week.

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I don't know.  I get what you are saying but Man Space Flight also seems to be the catalyst for continued interest in Space Exploration and Research.   Without the one, seems as if people lose interest and support dwindles.  

 

well that is true....we are weak in many ways

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WE need a manned space program, we need something that keeps pushing technology to the limit and beyond. So many of our advances have come from the space program.

I agree, my thought is we have two. The DoD broke out their budget for space away from NASA in the late 1980's... At times since the DoD space budget has eclipsed NASA's. I think currently the DoD unclassified space program remains comparable NASA's.

I don't know.  I get what you are saying but Man Space Flight also seems to be the catalyst for continued interest in Space Exploration and Research.   Without the one, seems as if people lose interest and support dwindles.

I agree, the technological hurdle for sending a computer to orbit, the moon, or mars isn't that large.

I think sending a man into orbit, or to the moon is what captured the imagination of the country in the 50's and 60's. It's harder, and that makes it more meaningful. It is also what inspires NASA to create new technologies in order to support the heftier technological burden.

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I think getting people into space has to be the long-term goal.

I have no problem with robots being the first step.

(Have I mentioned Space Colonization, lately?) :)

I think sending a man into orbit, or to the moon is what captured the imagination of the country in the 50's and 60's. It's harder, and that makes it more meaningful.

"We chose to go to the Moon, and do these other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

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The split between the DoD and NASA happened long before the 80s but I understand the point you are making.   Today, a lot of the work is done by Commerce.   I think the role of just day to day payloads could continue to be serviced by the Commerce folks but the actual R&D stuff, that's a good fit for NASA.  

 

Clearly, what we have now is not going to work.

There is a long history of collaboration between the civilian NASA , it's predecessors; and the Military.   Chuck Yeager's Bell X-1 (Glamorous Glenis) for example was a collaboration between the military and the civilian predecessor to NASA.   That was the first plane to famously break the sound barrier.  The mercury, Gemini, and Apollo launch platforms were the results of a military civilian collaboration....   

 

Even, the space shuttle was developed collaboratively between the DoD and NASA.   The DoD design demands made this project much more expensive to engineer, build, and operate.    Then in 1986  when the  Challenger Shuttle accident occurred,  The entire space shuttle fleet was grounded for nearly 3 years ( 32 months ).   That's when the DoD decided that the NASA run shuttle program was too risky to depend upon and stopped using NASA/Shuttle to launch its national security payloads and turned solely to expendable rockets.

 

When Obama first came into office he had a very interesting initiative to reverse this trend and get the two agencies to continue there long and fruitful history of working together.   This is when I first read about this topic.  At the time, there was a lot of fuss made in the press in favor of this move but ultimately it didn't go forward;  presumable due to DoD objections.

 

That's what I was thinking of.   What where you thinking of ?..

 

 

See Overview..

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-108hhrg92514/html/CHRG-108hhrg92514.htm

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"We chose to go to the Moon, and do these other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

 

 

Nice supporting quote....    Yep, back when our leaders had vision...

 

 

I agree with your point though that unmanned programs give a good low cost way to precede or follow manned missions.   I think we also agree they aren't a substitute for a robust manned space program...

 

Heck man,  I think NASA should be empowered to develop that Warp spacecraft they have on the drawing board.    Do that and double my taxes and I won't complain.

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I would sell NASA to some private interest.  The future of space lies in private individuals.

 

The only thing the government should be doing space wise, is military related.

 

 

I'm sure that DeathStar is orbiting nearby; cloaked of course.

 

 

Yeah the problem with that is the government must go first...

 

I mean look at what occurred when Europe was settling the new world.     First you had Governments like Spain and England sending military explorers over here to prove it could be accomplished...    Only then did you have commercial companies like the East India company sending private dollars to fund colonies.

 

So it will be with Space...   We need the government to lead the way, before stepping out of the way in favor of private enterprise...

 

Although we are getting a lot closer.

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The next problem is that Congress is trying to do to private space business what it did to NASA...

 

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-23/spacex-versus-senator-shelby-s-rocket-to-nowehere

 

Should Elon Musk and the engineers at Space Exploration Technologies Corp., do more paperwork? Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, thinks so. He has inserted language into a Senate appropriations bill to force private space entrepreneurs such as Musk to navigate the kind of red tape that has transformed NASA into a directionless, sclerotic bureaucracy. Even worse, the provision guarantees to perpetuate U.S. dependence on Russian rockets to deliver Americans into space at a cost of $70 million per astronaut.

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Actually, I'm recalling another column I read, decades ago, back when the Sci Fi community was debating whether further space exploration should be done by governments or corporations.

The author claimed (I have no clue whether his history was accurate or not) that, if you look at the colonization efforts in the New World, that most of the government-run colonies succeeded, whereas the corporate ones were almost entirely failures.

He said that both the government and private ones started out equally well funded and well planned. But that, once the flag was planted, so to speak, the government colonies got follow up missions and support, when they needed them. Whereas the corporate ones were denied follow up missions, and were instead met with demands that they must immediately begin returning a profit.

Again. Not sure how accurate it was. Nor how much of an apples to apples comparison it was. Nor how useful it is, as a parallel, to today.

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You mean, having the US decide to unilaterally dismantle our nation's manned space program might be a bad idea?

Who knew?

Yeah, never saw this coming....<------this BTW is my new sarcasm font.

We have become a nation of out-sourcing, and we apparently never gave any thought to the fact that one day we might actually piss off the people who we pay to make our stuff more than they care about the money we pay them.

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The next problem is that Congress is trying to do to private space business what it did to NASA...

 

http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-23/spacex-versus-senator-shelby-s-rocket-to-nowehere

 

Should Elon Musk and the engineers at Space Exploration Technologies Corp., do more paperwork? Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, thinks so. He has inserted language into a Senate appropriations bill to force private space entrepreneurs such as Musk to navigate the kind of red tape that has transformed NASA into a directionless, sclerotic bureaucracy. Even worse, the provision guarantees to perpetuate U.S. dependence on Russian rockets to deliver Americans into space at a cost of $70 million per astronaut.

 

This is just the beginning of a years-long offensive by SLA (Boeing, Lockheed Martin) and its paid Congressional lackeys to try and choke out SpaceX before SpaceX earns the right to do SLA's job in many arenas, just better and at lower cost.

 

I am already seeing friends who work for SLA in Colorado near-simultaneously hitting social media to complain that SpaceX is somehow leveraging its political connections to get ahead.  This despite the fact that Boeing and Lockheed Martin are each in the top 15 lobbyist spenders in the nation, while SpaceX's most successful lobbying effort to date has been its successful track record and growing list of firsts -- at SLA's expense, of course.  Elon Musk did support Obama during his run for office -- due in large part to Musk's correct suspicion that (not-so-) ironically, Obama would be supportive of true private-sector efforts in the space tech industry instead of forcing all development efforts to run through the least efficient, apparently least-capable bureaucracy-choked channels available.  But SLA's political spending absolutely dwarfs that of SpaceX, making the SLA crybaby antics look absurd and dishonest.

 

Meanwhile, the big-boy hacks are insinuating that SpaceX is somehow "cutting corners" because they know that will prick up regulators' ears and unspool the tape, while giving bought-and-paid-for legislators a buzz phrase to hide behind while they pass legislation to toss bear traps in front of an actual next-gen innovator.  Perhaps when seen from the bloated hallways of defense contractors, rational spending on beautiful and capable tech does look like "cutting corners."  But in reality, SpaceX is the only company seriously invested in keeping space less astronomically expensive, which lays bare SLA's actual goal: protecting their golden calf and the too-wide stream of taxpayer money constantly fattening it up.

 

The resistance to SpaceX's impressive and expanding list of successes, and SLA's receipt of no-bid contracts worth billions of dollars, sure does look like a bloated collectivist anti-competitive job killing boondoggle aimed at needlessly over-regulating yet another emerging sector of American industry.  I guess Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) doesn't mind all that so much.  It will be interesting to see what the Senators in SpaceX's new spaceport locations have to say about his and SLA's horse**** blubbering.

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Actually, I'm recalling another column I read, decades ago, back when the Sci Fi community was debating whether further space exploration should be done by governments or corporations.

The author claimed (I have no clue whether his history was accurate or not) that, if you look at the colonization efforts in the New World, that most of the government-run colonies succeeded, whereas the corporate ones were almost entirely failures.

He said that both the government and private ones started out equally well funded and well planned. But that, once the flag was planted, so to speak, the government colonies got follow up missions and support, when they needed them. Whereas the corporate ones were denied follow up missions, and were instead met with demands that they must immediately begin returning a profit.

Again. Not sure how accurate it was. Nor how much of an apples to apples comparison it was. Nor how useful it is, as a parallel, to today.

 

Well Let's see...   I don't believe that's accurate...   Columbus discovers the new world in 1492...   then you have 20 or 30 military and private groups follow him over the next hundred years... all fail to establish a permanent settlement....   most are explorers or treasure hunters...

 

 

Then in the 17th century you have two failed french collonies before Jamestown... 

The first sucessful colony was a private.    The Virginia Company establishes Jamestown  May 14, 1607....   quickly followed by  a half dozen failed collonies by the French, English and Dutch which fail until we get to the private The Plymoth Coloney in 1620,  sponsored by the London Virginia Company, and the Merchant Adventurers.     Both of these two early sucessful colonies were private ventures  a hundred years after Columbus...

 

 

Here are a list of the earliest 17 century settlements.....

 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_colonization_of_North_America

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