Post by Panno Zhai
It is said that NASA will retire shuttles by 2010, but they will not be
able to create a new alternative space ship. So that NASA will have to
by the services of the Russians to deliver loads to the space,
http://www.gazeta.ru/lastnews.shtml . (Some information can be glanced
in English from a general article e.g.
I think this is what is happening. The the US government/NASA do not
run rigorous space projects were the staff develops the skills
necessary to develop space ships from scratch. And they retired almost
all of the engineers who were capable top create spaceships from
scratch. There are only pockets of expertise left, but the
administration has no devotion to invest into training/preparation of
the new generation of the equally-skilled engineers. I think the US
space program is doomed... alongside with the science-intensive
NASA's manned spaceflight effort has been lacking in direction ever
since Skylab 4 splashed down. The space shuttle was a solution in
search of a problem, but it never fulfilled its original promise.
At the same time, the general public became bored with it, possibly
because there wasn't enough "Oooh!" and "Aaah!" or it wasn't more like
"Star Trek". A few hours after Huygens landed on Titan last year, I
mentioned to a young sales clerk what had happened that day and her
reaction was a blank look. I doubt she even knew what I talked about.
Similarly, whenever there was a lunar eclipse visible where I live, I
liked to go outside and set up my telescope. Whenever someone passed
by, I invited them to take a look. There were a lot of people, sadly,
who were unaware of what was happening up in the sky and couldn't have
cared less. Those who were interested, however, were quite thrilled at
the sight, particularly when they could see it in greater detail through
It's not surprising, then, that NASA receives little support as the
general public simply doesn't see the point in space exploration.