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United States ISS NASA Space Politics

US Should Use Trampolines To Get Astronauts To the ISS Suggests Russian Official 272

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Washington Post reports that Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has lashed out again, this time at newly announced US ban on high-tech exports to Russia suggesting that 'after analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I propose the US delivers its astronauts to the ISS with a trampoline.' Rogozin does actually have a point, although his threats carry much less weight than he may hope. Russia is due to get a $457.9 million payment for its services soon and few believe that Russia would actually give it up. Plus, as Jeffrey Kluger noted at Time Magazine, Russia may not want to push the United States into the hands of SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, two private American companies that hope to be able to send passengers to the station soon. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences have already made successful unmanned resupply runs to the ISS and both are also working on upgrading their cargo vehicles to carry people. SpaceX is currently in the lead and expects to launch US astronauts, employed by SpaceX itself, into orbit by 2016. NASA is building its own heavy-lift rocket for carrying astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, but it won't be ready for anything but test flights until after 2020. 'That schedule, of course, could be accelerated considerably if Washington gave NASA the green light and the cash,' says Kluger. 'America's manned space program went from a standing start in 1961 to the surface of the moon in 1969—eight years from Al Shepard to Tranquility Base. The Soviet Union got us moving then. Perhaps Russia will do the same now.'"
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US Should Use Trampolines To Get Astronauts To the ISS Suggests Russian Official

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  • Fat Chance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shadow99_1 (86250) <theshadow99&gmail,com> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @07:15AM (#46887945)

    "The Soviet Union got us moving then. Perhaps Russia will do the same now."

    Back then those in power and the people in general cared that the Russians could do something we could not. That is no longer the case when it comes to space. Most people don't understand why space is important at all outside of things like satellites that provides communications around the planet.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by benjfowler (239527) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @07:23AM (#46887999)

    There is a huge difference between regular unmanned cargo delivery to space, and human access to space. One is absolutely vital. The other one can be seen as a bit of an optional indulgence. Most science, remote sensing, exploration, etc, can be done without humans (and expensive, fragile life support systems, and need for resupply, etc) on board.

  • Re:Sure we could. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Trepidity (597) <[delirium-slashdot] [at] [hackish.org]> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @07:33AM (#46888043)

    Did you ever play tic-tac-toe?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2014 @07:33AM (#46888053)
    And we're arguing over a comment about a failing space station.
  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shadow99_1 (86250) <theshadow99&gmail,com> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @07:55AM (#46888167)

    True to some extent, but with transmission and travel times factored in science becomes a very drawn out thing the farther we go. At some point having a 'rover' in say, the Oort cloud or on Pluto, is just to inefficient and humans will need to be closer or it will be the grand children of the original scientists analyzing the results of the vehicle launched by the grand parents. In this example it can take up to two decades to reach Pluto alone and even light can take 4 to 7 hours to get to Pluto from Earth. This would imply that we would send a command to move an inch or two and the next day get a response about that movement. This is science at a slugs pace. If we could just move the humans to the orbit of Pluto we now have real time science and the research can be sent back to Earth at a more sedate pace without issue.

    Things like ISS were meant to make things like our life support more robust and show us ways to enhanced recycling and other capabilities to extend resupply. Sadly with extremely low priorities because of the expense to run these programs they have never advanced beyond baby steps.

    Personally I can see why we favor unmanned missions, but I believe we need to reignite the spirit of exploration and actually fund manned space travel for research and development.

  • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @07:59AM (#46888185)

    Soyuz has a rock solid safety record and is much more versatile.

    If by "soyuz", you mean the manned vehicle, it has had two loss-of-crew accidents, and about ten mission failures where the crew survived. In 120 flights.

    As opposed to Shuttle's two loss-of-crew accidents and zero mission failures where the crew survived. In 135 flights.

    So, no, Soyuz does NOT have a "rock solid safety record".

    Nor is Soyuz more versatile than Dragon. Smaller payload, in both men and cargo, and lower deltaV (and lack of reusability) do not make for "more versatile".

    The only thing that Soyuz has on Dragon is that it has completed the man-rating part. Of course, with a 50 year head start, we'd expect that as a matter of course.

  • by cjameshuff (624879) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:12AM (#46888277) Homepage

    On the man-rating...the cargo Dragon is actually already man-rated. Once it's up at the ISS, people have to open the door and go inside to unload supplies and load experiments for return to Earth. What it lacks is a launch escape system. Well, and seats.

    On the versatility...apart from carrying more cargo and more crew, the Dragon is equipped with heat shielding that can handle return from lunar or Mars trajectories, and for reuse. It's even adaptable for landing on other bodies such as Mars, as in the Red Dragon proposal. It's launcher can operate in single core or three core variants, eventually with varying degrees of core reuse depending on payload/orbit requirements.

    So the OP's claim that Soyuz is "much more versatile" is really rather bizarre...

  • Re:Sure we could. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archtech (159117) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:25AM (#46888371)

    ...and this gets modded "Insightful".

    I know Slashdot is popular with a lot of folks with "a zany sense of humour". But suggesting the nuclear bombing of Moscow - or anywhere else - is not clever and it's not funny. It's wicked, and I say that with no religious agenda. If the word "wicked" has any meaning, this is a perfect example of it.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techsoldaten (309296) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:26AM (#46888373) Journal

    Never discount the power of nationalism to sway otherwise rational decisions.

    There's a good chance SpaceX will benefit from this blockade.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2015q2@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:26AM (#46888379) Homepage Journal

    The Cold War is over

    It is not. It may be for us, but today's Russians — after over a decade of Putin's propaganda efforts — are aching for a revanche. Drunk on the easy success of annexation of Crimea from defenseless Ukraine (approved by nearly 80% of the Russians — I doubt, US had this kind of unity since WW2), they are already joking that Alaska is called "Ice-Crimea". Compared to an average Russian, Putin today is a moderate.

    Do not be fooled — if you knew Russian and read their popular web-sites, you'd know... Without that capability to check for yourself, believe me.

  • Re:Sure we could. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:34AM (#46888423)

    The trick to winning is to choose your opponents wisely. Drunks and small children are easy prey from my mastery of X's and O's.

  • Re:So what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:36AM (#46888439)

    "Please explain how not sending a tiny handful of astronauts into space, at immense cost and considerable risk, will affect the survival of the race"

    If dinosaurs had advanced enough to have a space program, maybe they could of stopped the rock that hit Mexico 65 million years ago, and they would still be alive today.

    Sooner or later another rock is going to be on a collision course with the earth, and if we don't stop it, it will wipe us out.

    And there are othere problems in the long term, like the sun running out of hydrogen in a billion years...

    If we don't get off this planet, then it will be the end of mankind.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:39AM (#46888459)

    So what is left to fight our growing skepticism in everything?
    While we may be out of an economic depression, the world is in a type of cultural depression, were individual feel that there isn't much future. We in essence gave up and stopped trying. Our great success stories of our age are guys who make things like Facebook, Twitter ,Angry Birds and Candy Crush. This is actually very depressing stuff. In essence escapist technology.

    The Space Race, was a publicity stunt, but a damn good one that really helped America and the world. It helped make people optimistic. If you grew up in the 70's and 80's the Idea that you could be an astronaut, or working in that fancy ground control room with all those monitors, inspired people to try new things study Science and Engineering. This personal exploration often took them off the path of going into space... However it moved people in other areas.

  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:42AM (#46888481) Journal
    Roughly 65 million years ago a 6 mile wide asteroid crashed into what is now the Gulf of Mexico killing off just about every creature larger than a house cat. That includes almost all the dinosaurs. There is little we could do to stop it with our current space program. There is reason to believe we might never know it was coming. Right now, humanity has all it's eggs in one basket and it will only take one good sized rock to break them all. Manned space exploration with the establishment of human colonies on Luna and Mars would prevent that kind of single event extinction.

    “Dinosaurs are extinct today because they lacked opposable thumbs and the brainpower to build a space program.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

    “The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don't have a space program, it'll serve us right!” Larry Niven

    As to your follow up post, perhaps if you stopped asking questions with obvious and well-discussed answers, you wouldn't get modded down.

  • Re:So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Megane (129182) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:44AM (#46888489) Homepage
    You forgot to add "I know I'm going to get modded down for this, but..." at the start.
  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @09:00AM (#46888587) Journal
    Aside from the fact that your post is a pack of lies, we see Russia doing exactly what you say is unfavorable for Russia. The tactics being used are classic Soviet tactics, namely sending in Spetsnaz into an area to destabilize the local government then moving in to "stabilize" the area. So, let's take a look at what happened.

    Russia increased troop presence in the Red Sea area.
    Groups spring up in Crimea. Masked men take over government offices and terrorize the local populace.
    Groups consolidate and take over the local government after a sham election and then asks to become part of Russia
    Russia annex Crimea and continues to mass troops on Russia side of Ukraine/Russia border.
    Groups spring up in Eastern Ukraine. Masked men take over government offices and terrorize the local populace.

    Guess what comes next. Do you see the pattern? My best guess is you are a Russian who can't wait to visit the new acquisitions.
  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dlt074 (548126) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @09:24AM (#46888751)

    "While we may be out of an economic depression"

    we have just begun our decent into the depression. we have a very bumpy ride ahead. the house of cards is coming down.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kjella (173770) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:10AM (#46889133) Homepage

    At some point having a 'rover' in say, the Oort cloud or on Pluto, is just to inefficient and humans will need to be closer or it will be the grand children of the original scientists analyzing the results of the vehicle launched by the grand parents. In this example it can take up to two decades to reach Pluto alone and even light can take 4 to 7 hours to get to Pluto from Earth. This would imply that we would send a command to move an inch or two and the next day get a response about that movement. This is science at a slugs pace.

    Nice straw man you have there, too bad we already have autonomous systems that operate far smarter than that. The Mars rovers have a worst case 40 minute round trip (2x20 minutes) so drive-by-wire is already out of the question, they receive driving commands and instructions to use scientific instruments on points of interest once per martian day (24h 40min) and have rather advanced hazard avoidance systems to prevent it from getting stuck, its on-site generated maps are already more detailed than what can be sent back to earth. A 7 hours delay to Pluto doesn't really make any difference in how it would operate, within the solar system we're good handing out daily instructions from Earth. Outside the solar system we don't have any practical means of going with or without people, so that's a moot point right now.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by xfizik (3491039) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:17AM (#46889189)
    Do not be fooled - the Cold war was never over for you (Americans). Yes, you may have won a major battle in 1991 and had no competition for 10-20 years while Russia was recovering, but that only inflated your ambitions about world domination and eliminated all checks and balances. And nowadays, you are as antagonistic as Russians are.
    You have this totally unjustified, groundless sense of moral superiority over Russians whose sometimes questionable actions on the international scene do not bring nearly as much grief and death as any of the American war campaigns launched on the pretext of "liberating" people, "saving" the world from non-existing WMDs, "protecting" democracy, "figting" "terrorism" and so on. It's you that have military bases all over the world. It's you that have defense spending grossing to as much as the rest of the world's. And it's not like you just spend and your troops just sit at home - no, they go places and bring "democracy".
    So no, you have no moral high ground on any of the international issues, and no, we will not believe you.
  • by robot256 (1635039) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @10:55AM (#46889613)

    Troll fail:

    (1) Entitlement spending doesn't make one bit of difference. These days, NASA gets less than 0.5% of the federal budget [wikipedia.org]. The Pentagon wastes more money in a month than NASA spends in a year. The only reason Congress doesn't double or triple NASA's budget is that they see no political gain in it for themselves without earmarking the money for projects that will never be finished.

    (2) Don't know how this is relevant. We knew all along that making ourselves beholden to Russia for manned spaceflight was a bad idea, but Bush and the last Congress did it anyways. If Ukraine hadn't happened, something else probably would have sooner or later.

    (3) is flat-out wrong. If you hadn't noticed, the NASA Chief Administrator is a former astronaut himself--not some lawyer who was handed the job on a silver platter for ass-kissing. NASA managers are probably the most competent team in the whole federal government (not least because so many of them are actual rocket scientists), which is why we are able to do so many amazing projects in spite of the idiotic budget cuts that get thrown at us.

    Thud's response was far more accurate:

    (0) is an accurate characterization of the SLS-Orion project, the official successor to the shuttle and informally known as the "Senate Launch System". This is why we had to contract SpaceX to actually build a rocket, as opposed to pretend to build while distributing pork.

    (-1) is really the same thing as (0).

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @12:30PM (#46890927)

    You don't shoot the hand that feeds you.

    Sometimes you do. Exactly a century ago, in May of 1914, Britain and Germany were each others biggest trading partners. By August they were killing each other by the millions.

  • Re: Fat Chance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2015q2@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @01:23PM (#46891715) Homepage Journal

    Note how the Ukrainian unrest to oust Viktor Yanukovych was a natural popular uprising, but the pro-Russian backlash absolutely must be a Russian Psy-Op.

    That's because the participants of "pro-Russian backlash" are guided by Russians (not merely Psy-Ops, but actual fighting men acting as force-multipliers). But, of course, a Russian would deny it — or demand indisputable proof.

    But what can not be denied, is that these people are carrying Russian flags — and replace Ukrainian flags with them, whenever they capture a government building. That alone is treason. Considering, that Russia is not merely a powerful foreign country vying for influence, but an enemy of Ukraine (which it obviously is since February 27, when Russian military invaded Crimea), this particular treason is most heinous. Its goal is not to change the general direction of Ukraine's foreign policy, they endanger territorial integrity and even the entire sovereignty of their country. There are no excuses for that.

    Is it possible the situation in Ukraine is too complex for sound bytes in the 24 hour news cycle

    It may have been so before February 27. Since then it is perfectly clear-cut. Russia is an invader, Ukrainians openly taking its side are traitors/collaborators, and attempts (such as yours) to paint it as "well, its complicated" are nothing but propaganda-cover for Kremlin.

    Is it possible that neither 'uprising' is directly influenced by an outside government?

    No, it is not possible. The pro-Russia uprising is most definitely orchestrated by Russian military. Ukraine's intelligence has arrested some such Russian servicemen — though clearly, not enough.

    Is it possible that BOTH 'uprisings' are directly influenced by outside governments?

    The pro-Russian uprising is, as I said, not merely "influenced" but created by Russia. It is possible, that the anti-Yanukovich revolt was so influenced, but it is unlikely — considering how unprepared "the suspects" turned out to be. Yet, even if it were directly managed by the US-embassy — as viewers of Kremlin-TV are being led to believe — that's not an equivalent to what Russia is doing and seeking to do. US is not trying to annex Ukraine or any part thereof — the last time US annexed anyone was in 19th century. Putin, on the other hand, seeks to rebuild as much of the USSR as he can — his Russia today is an enemy.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2015q2@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @01:28PM (#46891789) Homepage Journal

    You have this totally unjustified, groundless sense of moral superiority over Russians

    A simple well-tested answer to anti-Americans like yourself is thus: whatever wrong you can accuse the US of doing within the last 100 years, Russia (or China) has done on wider and deeper scale in the last 50.

    This justifies my sense of moral superiority. We aren't perfect, but we are far better than Russia.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2015q2@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @01:38PM (#46891931) Homepage Journal

    Lets be blunt, screw the Ukraine

    And thus the famous words of Kennedy Doctrine [wikipedia.org] became:

    We'll pay a bargain price, bear a reasonable burden, inconvenience ourselves a little bit, argue with friends, apologize to foes, in order to facilitate preconditions for the success of compliance.

    their continual breakdown of government

    Mostly thanks to Russian efforts to sabotage them. Yanukovich, for example — a violent felon in his past — would never have come close to being elected, had it not been for 24/7 propaganda efforts on his behalf by Kremlin-TV...

    If BBC could reach American public in the 18th century, we too would've had "continual breakdown of government" back then — possibly even reverting to British rule. Unlike Putin, King George III was a rather benign and benevolent monarch and we had nothing genuinely evil to blame Britain for.

  • Re:Fat Chance (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mi (197448) <slashdot-2015q2@virtual-estates.net> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @02:27PM (#46892549) Homepage Journal

    Kosovo, Iraq, Afganistan, Guantanamo, Libya, Syria just to name a few in the last 15 years. Tell me please, which one of those has been outdone by Russia?

    Chechnya comes immediately to mind. That's where Putin himself was ordering tanks, multiple rocket-launchers and bombers to be used against his own citizens — something he now gravely warns Ukrainians against [go.com].

    Then Afghanistan, with its over a million victims. Before that go military suppressions of popular uprisings in Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary, and support (overt and covert) for various Arab regimes in their wars against Israel.

    That takes care of military conflicts. Guantanamo is just too precious for words — an American-run prison... Do you know the conditions in Russian prisons — how easy it is to get into it and how hard it is to get out? Please, don't make me laugh.

    The Vietnam war alone took more lives than all military conflicts the U.S.S.R. had been involed in since WWII. Combined.

    I'd say you are ignorant, but these numbers are so easy to verify, you must be lying. Soviet war in Afghanistan [wikipedia.org] killed 850,000–1,500,000 civilians (plus up to 90K fighting men). The Vietnam war [wikipedia.org] killed 455,462–1,170,462. This alone deals with your "all military conflicts combined" false claim.

    But there is more — the sole reason, Vietnam war was as bloody, was USSR's support for the Viet Cong. While we were fighting the spread of Communism — the single deadliest school of thought known to man (even Hitler's heinous strand of Fascism being but a distant second) — USSR was attempting to spread it. Without it, we would've prevailed — and quickly — and Vietnam today would've been more like South Korea, instead of being more like the North.

    I know your educational system is wanting

    I grew up in USSR — my educational system was perfect (in your opinion), so that's another "oopsie" for you. Remember to logout.

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel