The pathetic decline of the glorious american space agency
February 16, 2010

After 50 years of BIG successes (like Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, Space Shuttle, ISS, Hubble, Cassini, Spirit, Opportunity, etc.) and some mistakes (like X-33, DC-X, HL-20, ESAS plan, 5-segments SRB, Ares-1, etc.) NASA is now close to retire its last giant vehicle this year with the final four Shuttle missions... then, thanks to a new "commercial space" plan, in the next five years, the glorious american space agency will enter a long and pathetic decline, that, in 2016 (+ delays) after burning over $10 billion (+ costs overruns) in "new.space" contracts... will finally give it (if lucky and everything goes well) an amazing, incredible, fantastic, smaller-than-Soyuz Pepsi-sized capsule able to send seven unlucky astronauts (compressed like sardines and with few days of life support) to the ISS, where a robot arm "should" help it dock... a "bright" future clearly shown in this animation...

 

 

In 2005, on my website and on some space forums, I've already warned, that, scrapping the Space Shuttle and following the wrong and very expensive way proposed in the ESAS plan, the result would be to see, in 2025, something like this...

 

 

And now that the insanely expensive $200+ billion Constellation program has been deleted, it's abosolutely SURE that China will WIN the new "commercial" Moon race, so, in 2030, when the american astronauts will (finaly) walk again on the Moon (thanks to a chinese space-ferry...) could find something like this...

 

 

As a consequence of all these mistakes and delays, NASA, USA and the US spaceflight programs have already lost or WILL LOSE...

2 years (2004 and 2005) between the Bush's VSE announcement and the release of the wrong ESAS plan...

3 years (2006 to 2008) to develop the wrong and expensive 5-segments SRB and the Ares-1...

1 year (2009) to change the NASA administrator and to start, finish, discuss the wrong and useless Augutine Commission's Report...

1 year (2010) to finish the ISS and to end the Space Shuttle program...

5 years (2011 to 2015) to follow the wrong and weak "commercial space" program, to (finally) have (in 2016) only a Pepsi-sized capsule...

5 years (2016-2020) or more to develop (assuming NASA will receive enough funds) an HLV for beyond-LEO missions...

10 years (2021-2030) to (finally) come back to the Moon with an Apollo-like mission...

However, if the first moonwalk of new Moon missions will happen exactly in July 21, 2029 the new-LM's crew could celebrate on the Moon (together with all the chinese, russian, indian, korean, japanese, european, brazilian, canadian, iranian, israelian, iraqis, cubans, egyptian, australian astronauts, already on the Moon from 2025) the 60th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and lunar exploration... :)

 

 




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