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08 January 2014

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oth

This also has the political benefit of kicking the "What to do next with NASA" can out a decade. It will take all of our manned budget to keep it up there.

NASA wanted to get rid of it because it's in the way of the next moonshot or marshot.

Jose

oth - The Chinese will beat us there, they have money we have ObamaCare. lol

The Twisted Genius

Thank God, indeed! With commercial space flight on the verge of really taking off (no pun intended) and the Chinese embarking on a serious effort to reach for the moon and beyond, it would have been sheer lunacy (again, I'm not trying to do this) to drop the ISS into the ocean prematurely. The fallen angels among us may sourly wail about a frivolous waste of taxpayers money, but this risen ape finds it exhilarating and well worth the costs.

BTW, the next launch of Orbital Science's Antares rocket to resupply the ISS is scheduled for tomorrow from Wallops Island. Chalk one up for Virginia.

Babak Makkinejad

You probably would want to consider building a space-station at L5 - you could fund it, at least partially, by selling subscriptions to any and all as well as governments.

It could be a great Keynesian jobs program.

US could license her technology to other countries that wish to develop independent launch capabilities; sort of like the way Russia is licensing her space technology to China.

Fred

Given our prediliction for gambling we should have an annual lottery for a 'free ride' there. I'd be happy to shell out a few dollars for a raffle ticket.

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

That is a lottery ticket I would buy. Much to SWMBO's chagrin, I would jump at the opportunity to go into space if it ever came my way.

Jose

Babak, I was once a member of the National Space Society which was based on the L-5 Society...lol

I really wish we could do it, but we are broke. Millions of people are dependent on government handouts for their survival, so it will be a long time before we can do anything big. Really wish we could have built at least one of those station stations instead we rebuilt Afghanistan, Iraq, and brought fairness to American Society. Priorities...lol

Rocketrepreneur

Oth,
Not exactly true. Last I checked, ISS is taking up about half of NASA's manned spaceflight budget: $3B goes to ISS (plus $500M going to commercial crew for ISS), and then another $3B gets spent on SLS and Orion development.

You can do manned exploration even with $3B of $6B manned spaceflight budget going to ISS--you just can't do that using the traditional technical approaches NASA has taken.

~Jon

Rocketrepreneur

Pat,
Yeah this seems like a really good deal. It gives us more time to actually use ISS as a research facility, and lets us get more bang for the buck from commercial crew and cargo. Once commercial crew is flying, we can up the number of US Operating Segment astronauts from 3 to 4, with the 4th being almost entirely dedicated to science (effectively doubling the amount of research the ISS can do). With this announcement instead of just 3 years of that high of productivity, we get 7 years, nearly doubling what we ought to be able to get out of our ISS investment.

The previous NASA administrator had wanted to splash ISS in 2016 to free up more money for NASA to fly big NASA-operated rockets. This seems like a much better use of NASA's limited funds.

Admittedly, I'm biased. My company is involved in commercial efforts involving the ISS, so having it around longer directly helps us.

~Jon

William R. Cumming

And the Chinese now exploring the MOON with a rover!

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