Thursday, January 25, 2018

NASA Funding for Space Station May End by 2025

The Trump administration is preparing to end support for the International Space Station program by 2025, according to a draft budget proposal reviewed by The Verge. Without the ISS, American astronauts could be grounded on Earth for years with no destination in space until NASA develops new vehicles for its deep space travel plans. ... [C]anceling the ISS too early without a viable replacement could lead to a gap of human activities in lower Earth orbit. A similar scenario played out in 2011, when the Space Shuttle program ended. The Obama administration had canceled NASA's initiative to return to the Moon, known as the Constellation program, leaving the space agency without a way to get its astronauts into space.

Comments

ISS, as of right now is only slated to last until 2028. Countries in the ISS program are working towards the lunar orbit Deep Space Gateway in 2022, with the habitation module for that installed on 2024. All of that hardware is flying on the unfathomably expensive Space Launch System. It doesn't really make sense. Falcon 4 Heavy can put the DSG in lunar orbit for a hell of a lot cheaper and fund ISS for 3 more years, but Congress is never going to let go of the big rocket pork project. Too many jobs in too many states.

#1 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-25 02:29 PM

Congress is never going to let go of the big rocket pork project. Too many jobs in too many states.

#1 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG AT 2018-01-25 02:29 PM

Currently we pay Russia to get our stuff into space.

The SLS system money is almost all budgeted towards the crew capsule with only a pittance going to the rocket underneath.

The big money eater right now is figuring out how to sustain a human crew on a multi-year mission with limited weight capacity.

we spent $28 Billion in 1972 dollars on the Apollo project but only appropriates $175 million 2018 dollars for a mission to Europa in 2022

#2 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-25 03:24 PM

Technically we only pay the Russians for human cargo. SpaceX is flying ISS re-supply.

The SLS budget is $10 billion for the rocket, $6 billion for the capsules, $2 billion in launch pad upgrades. It's on track to cost $35 billion, and it only puts 6 more tons in Martian orbit than the Falcon 9 Heavy. $500 million to fly SLS, $90 million to fly F9H. At least the static firings looked cool, but it won't surprise me if SLS never flies.

#3 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-25 05:08 PM

and the sustainable multi-year mission groundwork is supposed to fly on SLS, starting with the Deep Space Gateway components.. but they could be flown a lot cheaper on an F9H and be put in the same places, which is what I think will eventually happen.

#4 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-25 05:09 PM

They'll kill the space station but never come up with funding for anything else. After all, rich people have to get their tax cuts. Then with no space station and no deep space project they can kill NASA and all that tacky science stuff they keep coming up with. So Rs win another round.

#5 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2018-01-25 06:22 PM

If, in our lifetime, we see regular space travel and get inundated with space billboards...all of us are witnessing the reason why. Not saying it's a good or bad thing but I always like to know when I'm in the era that directly impacts how something amazing will be fashioned in the future.

#6 | Posted by humtake at 2018-01-26 12:27 PM

The problem with the conservatives is they demand immediate results.

They don't understand the concept of basic research. Sometimes research is about how to make research more efficient or effective.

Sometimes a person can spend a lifetime in scientific research and have nothing immediately visible as a gain from it until years or even decades later It becomes the groundwork for someone elses research that produces a breakthrough.

Modern researchers don't have to redo the basic research and can use the results as a starting point.

There is a lot of basic research that needs to be done which means it needs to be funded to get from just building a bigger rocket to a new propulsion system that doesn't need to add 30 pounds of fuel for every ounce of cargo

#7 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-26 01:22 PM

Why would we when can pay the Russians twice as much, right comrade....I mean...friendly American neighbor?...

#8 | Posted by Sycophant at 2018-01-26 02:56 PM

Never do it yourself when you can pay a rich person twice as much to hire the same people you would have

#9 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2018-01-26 04:30 PM

NASA funding may end on Feb 8th the way we are going.

just saying...

#10 | Posted by donnerboy at 2018-01-26 07:52 PM

The problem with the conservatives is they demand immediate results.

Which, ironically, is the exact opposite of true Conservative philosophy.

#11 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2018-01-26 08:02 PM

It took Edison 1,000 attempts to get a successful incandescent lamp. In today's corporate world, they'd have killed the project long before it got that far.

#12 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2018-01-26 08:06 PM

Well, it depends on the underlying asset value.

As in, there have been more than a thousand failed attempts to cure cancer, and a handful of successes.

And, plenty of those attempts were made under artificial light. Very nearly all of them, I'd wager.

#13 | Posted by snoofy at 2018-01-26 08:42 PM

Considering our track record to date, humans are probably the least desirable lifeform to be 'spreading out' in the universe.

Nobody sane would want this.

#14 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2018-01-26 10:24 PM

#3 | POSTED BY SITZKRIEG

The thing I never understood about the SLS is that it's basically shuttle components strapped to a modified external shuttle fuel tank in stack formation. Why it would cost so much is beyond me as R&D is nearly non-existent (I would assume) and one would think parts in existence and manufacturing protocols optimized.

It boggles my mind that an existing, tried and true system is supposedly 5x more expensive than a system flying a newly designed and optimized engine X27

It also makes me a bit curios why we're going with clustered configurations utilizing a large number of engines when we successfully flew Saturn V after Saturn V in the 60s with comparable lift capabilities in a "simpler" vehicle.

and it only puts 6 more tons in Martian orbit than the Falcon 9 Heavy

Only six more tons... LOL

#15 | Posted by jpw at 2018-01-26 11:59 PM

Only six more tons... LOL

#15 | POSTED BY JPW AT 2018-01-26 11:59 PM | FLAG:

Yes it's a lot more DeltaV, but it's a lot more than the DSG component mass requirements at over 500% more launch costs, and SpaceX has a rocket on the pad right now that can fly the scheduled SLS missions.

The reason it's so expensive is because of the congressional order to re-use shuttle components. It's marketed as a money saver, but that's a political lie. It forces the program into legacy, cost+ contracts distributed through many states to ensure bi-partisan congressional support. It's a classic pork project built the same way the Pentagon distributes their contracts.

#16 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-27 08:12 AM

The problem with the conservatives

#7 | POSTED BY HATTER5183 AT 2018-01-26 01:22 PM | FLAG:

Considering our track record to date, humans are probably the least desirable lifeform to be 'spreading out' in the universe.
Nobody sane would want this.

#14 | POSTED BY SHEEPLESCHISM AT 2018-01-26 10:24 PM | FLAG:

You both vote the same. Reconcile this.

Fight! Fight! Fight!

#17 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2018-01-27 08:14 AM

but it's a lot more than the DSG component mass requirements at over 500% more launch costs

Well now that's a different story.

I just thought it funny to say only six more tons in Mars orbit.

The reason it's so expensive is because of the congressional order to re-use shuttle components. It's marketed as a money saver, but that's a political lie. It forces the program into legacy, cost+ contracts distributed through many states to ensure bi-partisan congressional support. It's a classic pork project built the same way the Pentagon distributes their contracts.

Clearly a pork project.

I always wondered why they were trying to make this a slice and diced shuttle in stack formation when we have heavy lift technology that could probably be improved with modernization.

#18 | Posted by jpw at 2018-01-27 01:02 PM

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