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United States ISS NASA Space Politics

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

Posted by samzenpus
from the space-men-can't-jump dept.
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@NOsPAm.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:Fat Chance (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Shadow99_1 (86250) <theshadow99@NOsPAm.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.

        • The only surefire way to drastically speed up exploration of deep space, would be to find ways to move our industrial infrastructure into space. This includes obtaining and refining raw materials, manufacturing, food production, etc etc. Then there is a minimum population of people required to operate it. There are so many problems to be solved in order to pull it off, that the mind boggles.

          This would be a huge undertaking. Probably achievable, but at enormous expense. It would be a colossal undertaking tha

        • 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.

      • by Thruen (753567)
        My understanding was that part of it is to study the effects of life in space on people. You can't really do that remotely. I'd say it's rather important, too, but I'm also one of those crazies that thinks the earth is getting crowded and expanding would be a fantastic idea.
    • by NotDrWho (3543773)

      The Cold War is over. Trying to bring it back won't result in a new space race. More likely, it will just lead to WWIII and a near future where space is the least of our worries.

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

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

        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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by xfizik (3491039)
          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
          • by Grishnakh (216268)

            "saving" the world from non-existing WMDs, "protecting" democracy, "figting" "terrorism" and so on.

            You forgot to put "democracy" in quotes. What we have in America isn't democracy, it's oligarchy.

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

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

            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.

        • by Type44Q (1233630)

          they are already joking that Alaska is called "Ice-Crimea"

          What was that quote that was famously misattributed to Admiral Yamamoto?

          "You cannot invade Alaska. There would be a high-powered rifle behind every drunken indigenous person."

          I think it went something like that...

        • by rtb61 (674572)

          Lets be blunt, screw the Ukraine and the screaming about world war three, their continual breakdown of government and oligarchs strip mining the economy, pretending to be pro-Russian or pro-European, nationalists or socialist, fascists or communists, all the while only caring about lining their own pockets and in the process destabilising the whole country. First and foremost, Ukraine can keep its own bullshit within the Ukraine, the rest of the world will not be playing world war three or even pretend to.

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

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

            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.

      • by rwise2112 (648849)
        Regarding your sig:

        Copernicus wasn't the first to discover Heliocentrism. He was the first with the balls to publicly advocate for it.

        . That's not really true at all. From wikipedia:

        Some time before 1514 Copernicus made available to friends his "Commentariolus" ("Little Commentary"), a forty-page manuscript describing his ideas about the heliocentric hypothesis.[e] It contained seven basic assumptions (detailed below).[60] Thereafter he continued gathering data for a more detailed work. About 1532 Copernicus had basically completed his work on the manuscript of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium; but despite urging by his closest friends, he resisted openly publishing his views, not wishing—as he confessed—to risk the scorn "to which he would expose himself on account of the novelty and incomprehensibility of his theses.

        • by NotDrWho (3543773)

          You forgot this sentence which followed:

          Copernicus finally agreed to give De revolutionibus to his close friend, Tiedemann Giese, bishop of Chemno (Kulm), to be delivered to Rheticus for printing by the German printer Johannes Petreius at Nuremberg (Nürnberg)

    • "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.

      This. The Space Race was a dick size contest of the type that most people deplore today. It also was ultimately a sterile exercise that left a whole bunch of people convinced that space exploration is all about Boldly Going and Big Stunts - rather than the reality of exploration, which is that most of it deadly dull daily stuf

      • 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: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.

        • The Space Race, was a publicity stunt, but a damn good one that really helped America and the world. It helped make people optimistic.

          A belief strongly held by the Space Cadets - but one for which there isn't one single shred of evidence to support. In fact, all the evidence runs the other way, the general public didn't particularly support the Space Race and didn't care much one way or another. Most escapist literature in fact got it's start in the 60's and 70's...

          If you grew up in the 70's and 8

      • by Rei (128717)

        It's easy to think about it that way, but try to put yourself in the average American situation at the beginning of the space race: Russia was shooting up satellites full of god-knows what capabilities flying straight over American cities half a dozen times a day and could launch weapons at the US from the other side of the world in under an hour, and the US had no response. Can you imagine how helpless many people felt about that and how strongly they wanted to change the situation? The obvious US response

        • by arth1 (260657)

          Of course, eventually the tables evened out, the addition of newer capabilities stopped being as big of an issue, etc. The moon race was sort of the jumping the shark moment. I mean, it's not like people were going to start shooting Saturn Vs or N1s at each other.

          Why not? Those were improvements on the German V-2 canal-crossing rockets, and developed by the same people.

          "Once the rockets are up
          who cares where they come down
          that's not my department,"
          says Wernher von Braun.

          -- Tom Lehrer

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

      by AmiMoJo (196126) * <{ten.3dlrow} {ta} {ojom}> on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:03AM (#46888227) Homepage

      Just wait until China gets its space station up and running, or lands a person on the moon. It will be panic mode at NASA all over again.

      • Mir was 20 years ago. And Russian.

      • Just wait until China gets its space station up and running, or lands a person on the moon. It will be panic mode at NASA all over again.

        Highly unlikely. The Soviet Union had ICBMs targeted at American cities, armored divisions in Germany, and a leader who said "We will bury you." [wikipedia.org] It was legitimately seen as a threat. China makes the toys we buy at Wal-Mart.

        • The Soviet Union had ICBMs targeted at American cities

          You seriously think China doesn't? China has the capability and I'm sure both China and the USA have some nukes with the other's name on them. It's not as tense as the cold war was (I'm old enough to have lived through a good bit of the cold war) but any time you have two large nation states there is always the possibility of military conflict.

          I'm not hugely worried about getting into a shooting war with China but it's hardly inconceivable. Most likely source would be Taiwan. Also could be issues with J

          • Any time you have two large nation states there is always the possibility of military conflict.

            Sure, conflict with China is possible, but with the USSR it was seen as almost inevitable. The USSR had a goal of global communism, and a view for the future of the world very much in conflict with the West. China has no territorial claims outside of Taiwan (which both the US and Taiwan itself acknowledge to be part of China) and a handful of disputed islands. They have no significant ideological differences with the rest of the world, and certainly no ideology that they are trying to push on others. I

    • 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.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Space will always be valuable to would-be superpowers here on Earth because it is the ultimate high ground. It doesn't matter if the people understand. If the Powers find it desirable to go to space, they will use the media to lead the people in that direction. Again.

    • by loony (37622)

      Not just that - back then we had skills and drive - now we have outsourcing and lawyers sueing everyone who does anything just a tiny bit non-standard...

    • Russia isn't what it used to be...it's anarchy now...basically a gas station that also acts as a front for criminal activities

      On a map the country looks big...that's about all they have going for them...that and their oil and illegal activities

      The thing is, I agree that most people don't care about Russia being able to do something we cannot...because its temporary and Russia is just a noisy lapdog for international criminals and illuminati

    • by l0ungeb0y (442022)

      Maybe we should plant some "lost" Gospels on the Moon, maybe on golden tablets which are nice and shiny and prevents carbon dating etc.
      If I know my fellow Americans, setting up a permanent base the Moon will be made America's Priority number 1 with every Cletus and Bubba in the Bible Belt demanding the right to colonize and claim moon property.

  • Hey US, IN SOVIET RUSSIA ROCKET LAUNCH YOU. Sincerely, US citizens for restoring manned American space exploration.
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @07:21AM (#46887975) Homepage

    That's one helluva double-bounce. Start jumping Russia, well keep up!

  • by rmdingler (1955220) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @07:25AM (#46888007)
    Any fool knows you couldn't accomplish this with one, single trampoline.

    If years of Saturday morning cartooning have taught us nothing else, it's clear you would need, like, several dozen hundred trampolines to pull it off.

    Yep, trampolines all the way down.

  • I know that's an unpopular viewpoint on Slashdot (where Elon Musk is a god who can do no wrong). But SpaceX isn't ready to just "take over." Soyuz has a rock solid safety record and is much more versatile. SpaceX's design is still largely untested, particularly with human cargo.

    If they try to push too hard too soon, people are going to get killed.

    • 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...

        • There is one more part missing, the avionics and flight controls necessary to dock Dragon without assistance from personnel inside the station. With the supply missions, there is no need to have Dragon dock itself. With a manned mission, it's vital that Dragon be able to do so. They may have this done already; but, it needs to be tested.
      • by NotDrWho (3543773)

        If by "soyuz", you mean the manned vehicle, it has had two loss-of-crew accidents

        The most recent of which was over 40 years ago. Not a single Cosmonaut lost since.

        Remind me again how many men and women NASA has lost since then? And even the Space Shuttle was better tested than the SpaceX's vehicle.

        But if you want to keep on being a typical arrogant American cocksucker, who thinks your shit doesn't stink and everything with a fucking American flag on it must be the GREATEST GODDAMNED THING IN THE FUCKING WORLD, then be my guest. Just don't be surprised when everyone who isn't American sp

  • The glory days of Russian trampoline champions are gone forever. Time for a US resurgence. Move over China, you're about to get bounced. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]
  • by Megane (129182) on Thursday May 01, 2014 @08:21AM (#46888343) Homepage

    The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits United Launch Alliance from buying NPO Energomash RD-180 engines from Russia.

    http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2... [blogspot.com]

  • It's May 1, not April 1.
    • Unfortunately, it's not. Deputy Prime Minister in Russia actually said that. So, the rhetoric heats up...
    • by bkmoore (1910118)
      It's got to be a very large trampoline. If we drop a huge mass on to a trampoline with the right timing, maybe we could propel a small mass into orbit. Time to break out the HP calculator and an old envelope.
  • In any combination of Boeing, Sierra Nevada, SpaceX, or Lockheed Martin vehicles, we'll get up there with people fairly soon and in modern spacecraft that will be able to do useful things for the next few decades. What we do with them then and how much it will cost is the key question. The NASA program is stuck in pork that traps its potential so we may well lose the Space Station. Not many really care about it anyway, other than those who work on it. Those companies that are innovating for cost, certainly
  • ... a rail gun up the side of a tall mountain as a sort of first-stage booster stands a better chance of, ahem, taking off. (All puns intended.)
  • I think this is just another example of how badly the US has slipped in the world standings in just the last decade.

    The US now can't even get people up to the space station that just 15 years ago they were taking a lead position in creating.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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