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Insights Test Your NASA Knowledge - Comments

  1. Jan 12, 2017 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2017 #2

    Bandersnatch

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    :H I am Jon Snow.
     
  4. Jan 13, 2017 #3

    mfb

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    I'm as good as random guessing!
     
  5. Jan 13, 2017 #4

    Borg

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    6 of 11. I would have done a lot better if I hadn't second-guessed myself so much.
     
  6. Jan 13, 2017 #5

    Drakkith

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    4 of 11! And even the correct answers were just random luck! :frown:
     
  7. Jan 13, 2017 #6
    I also got 4 out of 11. Only two I knew, the rest I guessed.
     
  8. Jan 14, 2017 #7

    Charles Link

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    I got 2 of 11=(or 3 out of 12)=my version had 12 questions. I knew the "Ed White" spacewalk question and I was pretty sure of the Alan Shepard golf ball question. I also got the NASA motto question right=I guessed correctly="For the benefit of all". Otherwise, I got wrong guesses on all the others. A lot of fun, but too difficult to get a high score.
     
  9. Jan 14, 2017 #8
    Judging difficulty is tough for this community. I lean towards too difficult over too easy.
     
  10. Jan 14, 2017 #9

    Drakkith

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    Fine by me.
     
  11. Jan 17, 2017 #10

    Chronos

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    7, but, I'm filing a protest. Q4 - Gemini 3 was called the Molly Brown, not Gemini 1 and the correct answer to Q1 is not listed [1958]
     
  12. Jan 17, 2017 #11
    Fixed, thanks!
     
  13. Jan 18, 2017 #12
    Hmmm I'm being told I got 5 out of 11 but actually got 6 out of 12 ?:)
     
  14. Jan 24, 2017 #13
    Got 9 points out of 11 points total, although I only knew 1,6,7,9, and 11. I guessed the rest.
     
  15. Jan 30, 2017 #14
    NASA is a very good case in the study of government failure mechanisms.

    The case is so good, in particular, because it's a prestigious organization full of clever people, most of whom genuinely want space program to succeed. And yet, in some areas NASA performance in nothing short of abysmal: specifically, human spaceflight and launch vehicle development. Despite tens of billions of dollars spent every decade, in the first case, progress is glacially slow; in the second, it is absent altogether.

    Most of the time, hearing this, space cadets get so angry that they fail to realize that by saying this, I'm not attacking NASA - I'm not "NASA hater".

    I, too, want space program to succeed. If success remains elusive after 50 years of efforts since last Moon landing, it's important to frankly look at failures. Pretending they do not exist is not helping.
     
  16. Jan 30, 2017 #15

    mfb

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    What do you define as "success"? NASA achieved a lot in the last 50 years. Could it have done more with the given budget? Probably. They outsource more of the rocketry now, a good approach I think.
     
  17. Jan 30, 2017 #16
    Not subbornly using The Most Expensive Launch System In History for 40 years straight would be a start.

    Definitely. I'm particularly impressed by unmanned spaceflight program, both planetary missions and telescopes.
     
  18. Jan 30, 2017 #17

    mfb

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    Only 4 classes of spacecraft have ever launched humans to space:
    - Vostok/Soyuz
    - Mercury/Gemini/Apollo
    - Space Shuttle
    - Shenzhou (Soyuz-derived)

    Compare this to more than 20 that got cancelled, some from the US after the Shuttle existed. Sending humans to space is hard. Soyuz was cheaper than the Shuttle, sure, but we wouldn't have the large ISS modules without the space shuttle, for example.
     
  19. Jan 30, 2017 #18
    So is launching billion-plus apiece NRO and USAF payloads. And yet, ULA launch vehicles, which launch them, had not a single failure in decades. Last Atlas failure was in nineties, IIRC it has now 60+ launch successes in a row. Current version, Atlas V, never failed. Delta IV is more expensive and flies less, but so far it also never failed.

    They are generally considered uncompetitively expensive for commercial launches and that's why SpaceX is gaining market share, but they are excellent reliable LVs, and, here is the crucial part - even being "overpriced", they are from 4 to 8 times cheaper than Shuttle! (On a "cost of one kg in LEO" metric, that is)

    There is no any sane reason why Shuttle was used for 40 years. It was a financial disaster, a vampire sucking blood out of NASA human spaceflight program in order to prolong its pointless existence. (Well, we can retroactively decide that the point of Shuttle was to experimentally show how to NOT build launch vehicles).

    I don't think so. Heaviest version of Delta IV lifts more than Shuttle.
     
  20. Jan 31, 2017 #19

    mfb

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    ULA follows the same concept as the Space Shuttle program - launch the old and expensive rocket types over and over again. And they never got their rockets man-rated. I'm sure they would have done that if they saw a financial incentive for that.

    The Shuttle had a longer payload bay and probably a larger useful interior diameter as well. The Shuttle also had the capability to deliver it safely to the ISS, without an additional propulsion and RCS module hanging around. And it brought the crew to install the module with the same flight. It is not just about mass.
     
  21. Jan 31, 2017 #20
    NASA never gave any hope they would consider using EELVs as launchers for manned vehicles. For example, Michael Griffin as NASA admin fought tooth and nail against this - and "won", giving us stillborn Constellation program (a.k.a. "Cancellation program"). At the very least, $10B spent on it with absolutely no results. If in two years SpaceX will be already flying their Falcon Heavy with $200m/flight and 50 tons to LEO, there is a chance the last vestige of "Cancellation", the SLS, will also be cancelled, along with its astounding price tag of more than a billion dollars per launch. One can hope...

    Another shocking story is that there was a "DIRECT group" - a group of NASA engineers who predicted that Constellation is a disaster, and proposed a broadly similar, but in details much more logical plan, the DIRECT launcher. Griffin spent ~3 years fighting them (for example, by ordering a "study" and fudging its results so as to make DIRECT look bad). Instead of using this more healthy part of the organization to actually make something not totally dumb, for a change!

    The sad part of this story is that Michael Griffin is one of the saner participants in this whole trainwreck. He is not like some politicians which not care one iota whether anything useful is done, their only concern is funneling Federal money to their districts.

    Delta IV is 5.1 m diameter. All ISS modules are narrower than this.
    Zarya: 4.11
    Zvezda: 4.35
    Unity: 4.57
    Destiny: 4.2
    Harmony: 4.4
    Tranquility: 4.48
    Kibo: 4.39
    If a wider payload neds to be launched, hammerhead fairings +2 meters are generally not difficult, so lofting 7m wide payloads on DIV would be relatively easy. You know, *if* NASA HSF would actually try to do something not stupid.

    ...At x4 the cost.
    Sane engineering approach would be to develop an orbital maneuvering stage (essentially, a part of any comsat bus which handles maneuvering) and use "off-the-shelf" launch vehicles. NASA human spaceflight program logic and "sane" parted ways since Apollo.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017
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