Message boards : Cafe LHC : The Death Of LISA
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Message 12750 - Posted: 16 Feb 2006, 0:10:33 UTC

According to a Feb 7th New Scientist article, NASA's Beyond Einstein cosmology program, featuring LISA (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna) and Constellation-X (a black hole study) is UNDER REVIEW and is INDEFINITELY DELAYED IF NOT CANCELLED.

Why? Because of cost overruns of the shuttle/space station. It turns out that keeping people in orbit (even when they're not actually doing experiments) and ferrying things/other people back and forth between them is more expensive than NASA had initially estimated.

So what have we learned in recent years thanks to the shuttle and the station? We know the shuttle is incredibly frail and vulnerable, uses 80's-era computer components purchased from EBay, and is still prohibitively expensive just to get into orbit, despite the age if it's design. In fact it's so expensive to operate and maintain that money has had to be diverted away from the development of it's replacement, the CEV, just to keep it running!

Meanwhile the ISS remains a gray area. Can you recall any great headline-making discoveries borne from the station? The most recent event (and perhaps most reported in some time) was the release of a HAM radio stuffed in a Russian space suit into orbit. Really.

Not only have we potentially lost LISA and Constellation-X to the shuttle/station combo; Keck Observatory expansion has been cancelled, the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF), a mission to detect and study Earth-like planets is delayed indefinitely, and Mars funding has been cut by a full quarter, which means cancellation of the Mars Sample Return Mission and the Mars Telecommunications Orbiter.

So what are your thoughts? Should NASA aside science to focus on the station? Is it more important to keep a couple astronauts in orbit? What would happen if you ran NASA?

"The whole world is ours; not a single creature resists us, we devastate the world, we repopulate it with new objects which, in turn, we immolate. The means to every crime is ours, and we employ them all, we multiply the horror a hundredfold."
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Profile Keck_Komputers

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Message 12754 - Posted: 16 Feb 2006, 11:25:54 UTC

I blame it more on congress than NASA. They reduce the budget all the time.

As far as my opinion on the priorities, getting people into space on a permanent basis is far and away more important than anything else NASA does.
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DerekL

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Message 12758 - Posted: 16 Feb 2006, 18:00:47 UTC - in response to Message 12750.  

Meanwhile the ISS remains a gray area. Can you recall any great headline-making discoveries borne from the station?


No, nor should you expect any in the near term.

The ISS *is still under construction*. Just like the LHC were are all here crunching away on - it will be years before any significant real science is conducted.
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Profile Atanu Maulik

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Message 14628 - Posted: 7 Sep 2006, 10:48:28 UTC - in response to Message 12750.  

These pathetic politicians will never understand the value of physics & astronomy. We find huge ammounts being allocated by the US government for defence related R&D (US$70 bn)& also for the National Institutes of Health (US$30bn) but they have very little for NASA (US$17 bn)& NSF(US$ 5 bn). US will pay dearly in the long run for neglecting physics & maths.
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Gaspode the UnDressed

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Message 14776 - Posted: 21 Sep 2006, 12:56:07 UTC - in response to Message 14628.  

These pathetic politicians will never understand the value of physics & astronomy. We find huge ammounts being allocated by the US government for defence related R&D (US$70 bn)& also for the National Institutes of Health (US$30bn) but they have very little for NASA (US$17 bn)& NSF(US$ 5 bn). US will pay dearly in the long run for neglecting physics & maths.


Since when has US$17 billion been very little money? I think I could probably manage for a year on that!


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Message 14815 - Posted: 22 Sep 2006, 3:31:24 UTC - in response to Message 14776.  

These pathetic politicians will never understand the value of physics & astronomy. We find huge ammounts being allocated by the US government for defence related R&D (US$70 bn)& also for the National Institutes of Health (US$30bn) but they have very little for NASA (US$17 bn)& NSF(US$ 5 bn). US will pay dearly in the long run for neglecting physics & maths.


Since when has US$17 billion been very little money? I think I could probably manage for a year on that!


Yeah...you could, as could I, manage a year on $17B...but then again, we're not launching ourselves out into new frontiers...nor are we providing new technology for the entire world...all I have to say is...TANG...

:)

Spanky###
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Ernesto Solis

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Message 14816 - Posted: 22 Sep 2006, 4:36:37 UTC
Last modified: 22 Sep 2006, 4:37:46 UTC

I would take all the money of all the projects and have it earn interest
for 10 years. Then thier will be plenty for:

1) Safety protocals
2) A well designed space station
3) All of Burt Rutans designes when he murges with NASA
4) Moon Base Alpha
5) Mining the moon
5) Something beyond LISA
Or should we just stick to conquring the germ!!!

Frankly, after CERN discovers Sparticals and supersymmetry, were not
going to need the above.
Then again, I'm just a rookie!
Help me out guys
Ernie S
Team Art Bell
God Bless

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