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ISS NASA Space United States Politics Science

Getting the Most Out of the Space Station (Before It's Too Late) 155

Posted by Soulskill
from the remember-when-we-let-our-space-program-die dept.
bmahersciwriter writes: NASA administrators are strategizing a push to do more science on the International Space Station in the coming years. The pressure is on, given the rapidly cooling relations between the U.S. and Russia, whose deputy prime minister recently suggested that U.S. astronauts use a trampoline if they want to get into orbit. Aiding in the push for more research is the development of two-way cargo ships by SpaceX, which should allow for return of research materials (formerly a hurdle to doing useful experiments). NASA soon aims to send new earth-monitoring equipment to the station and expanded rodent facilities. And geneLAB will send a range of model organisms like fruit flies and nematodes into space for months at a time.
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Getting the Most Out of the Space Station (Before It's Too Late)

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @03:28PM (#47206123)

    Ukraine had a government sympathetic to Russia until Obama fomented a rebellion that ousted it. Remember the "Fuck the EU" comment []? That was about the EU not wanting to destabilize Ukraine because they weren't willing to go to war over it. Obama fomented the rebellion anyway.

    Imagine Russia blatantly intervening in Canadian politics - for example in Quebec, getting English-speakers kicked out into the US and the rest of Canada - and what that would do to US attitudes towards Russia.

    Of course, in another perfect example of "smart power", after fomenting rebellion and damn near starting a war with a nuclear power - a crisis that's still simmering to this day - we got hashtags from the Obama admin. #RedLine.

    I guess Obama must have promised the Russians that if they liked the original Ukrainian government they could keep it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @03:31PM (#47206155)

    It never was really a science project, it was a diplomatic venture. Precisely because of the cold relations between the USA and Russia, the ISS was to showcase how antagonistic nations could set aside their differences to work together for the good of humanity. The ideal was that such a display would encourage other nations and tribes to see their personal conflicts as a little less important in the grand scheme of life. As an observation of wars since the launch of the ISS can show you, it didn't have much of an effect outside the nations that were already getting sick of open warfare.

    If Russia goes through with effectively confiscating the whole project, the RSS (too bad they're not claiming the title "Soviet" like before, "SSS" has a fun ring to it) will change from a sign of cooperation to a sign of Russian ascendency and peerlessness. What, if anything, that changes on the ground is hard to guess at. I'm not even sure most nations or people would notice, it would just be mentioned whenever someone thinks it can be used to shame an opponent in an argument (debate hasn't been the rule of politics in quite some time).

  • by Ellis D. Tripp (755736) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @04:03PM (#47206417) Homepage

    the fault of the USAF!

    The USAF demanded the ability to launch, retrieve/deploy a payload, and return to earth in a single orbit. They also wanted the ability to get into a polar orbit, which required a huge cross-range capability not in the original design.

    After forcing all this crap into the design (and sinking billions on a shuttle launch/landing facility at Vandenberg AFB), they gave up on the project entirely, leaving NASA stuck with a vehicle that was no longer optimized for what NASA wanted to do with it.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun