Previous repairs and upgrades involved replacing parts that were designed
from the beginning to be replaced (plug-ins essentially).
The stuff going on this time involves components that were expected to
last for the life of Hubble and so now they are actually having to remove
screws and such to make the repairs. That hardware can get away from
them and become space debris that could be harmful (now or in the future).
One mission lost a tool/bag/wrench (?) at ISS.
This mission is said that one component requires the removal 117
screws. Work better left on the ground.
An STS had been hit with a paint chip, traveling at 17 thousand MPH
(reported by experts). It looked like bullet hole in your windshield.
Thin as a paint chip, but had it been hit by a grain of sand - more
damage in that case
Damage to the space shuttle:
look at the Mars rovers;designed for 3 months,still working after 5 years.
I have a light bulb in a bathroom light fixture that's lasted 23
years,gets daily use.
I'm sure that's well beyond its "design life".
It's a 130V "contractors" bulb. 40W.
The contingency plan on all shuttle missions after Columbia is that if
they reach orbit and find tile/hull damage they could dock at the ISS
and wait for a ride back. Hubble is in a higher and different
inclination orbit than the ISS. Atlantis needs to achieve the same
orbit as Hubble for the Hubble service mission (STS-125). After doing so
they have no way to get to the ISS if they discover tile/hull damage.
Then the only way home is for Endeavour to be launched on STS-400 into a
similar orbit as Atlantis where they can rendezvous and move the
Atlantis crew onto Endeavour.
Keep your fingers crossed. If they lose another one, even if they save
the crew somehow, US manned space flight is likely over. I'm expecting
our new prez to pull the plug on Bush's somewhat silly son-of-Apollo
moon/Mars program anyway, and the current financial crisis plus another
lost ship, would be the perfect excuse to say 'Maybe someday, but not
right now'. And once they stop, and the team gets laid off, the odds of
it all starting back up are slim and none.
(I'm not a big fan of son-of-Apollo concept. Yes, expendables will
likely be cheaper per launch that the mismanaged Shuttle program. But
IMHO, it is a step backwards, to old technology. We need to find a cheap
reliable way to boost reusables to orbit.)
For my money, they could lose the entire manned space-exploration thingie.
It's a tremendous waste of resources (and, it turns out, human life as
well). Nothing that needs done can't be done by remotely-controlled
spacecraft. I'm all for space exploration, just not the macho national
chest-expanding style we have now.
And totally against the militarization of space as well. We need a
binding international treaty banning weapons in space.
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism
Robots versus wetware have pluses and minuses on both sides, and it is a
valid discussion. But it isn't national chest-expanding I am concerned
with. It is for the species as a whole, to keep exploring. Not many
unexplored places left on earth. I think once humans stop exploring, it
will all begin to seem kind of pointless. Is this all there is, etc?
And as to dreams about making space a DMZ- just exactly how would you
enforce such a treaty? By the time you realize somebody has violated it,
they already have the high ground. There is no such thing as a binding
treaty, if there is no way to make it painful and expensive to violate
it. I can't slam the military too hard- without them, neither man nor
robot would be in space.
That's the MOST STUPID statement;
once ICBMs are launched,they TRAVEL THRU SPACE to reach their targets.
They will also be guided by orbital satellites like GLONASS and GPS.
Space is ALREADY "militarized".
about as well as the agreement North Korea made to not launch ballistic
missiles,or Iran with it's Non-Proliferation Treaty violations and nuclear
weapons programs.IOW,not at all.
Taking a long term view, though, there's no way we can continue as a
species without either a) much stricter population controls than we have
now or b) colonization of some other planets (either in our solar system
there's already too damn many people on the planet now, and it's
starting to show.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
Certainly a small percentage are (were) housed at the two places you
mentioned. But I suspect we don't have enough facilities for them all.
Probably have to kill them in situ.
For an overview of the issue, check an essay by Thomas Barnett in today's
While the article is about the futility of a "nuclear-free" world, many of
the observations apply to space-based weapons as well.
Barnett wrote "The Pentagon's New Map" which changed the way a lot of
people - including me - think about future wars. In it, he divides the world
into "The Core" and "The Gap." The "Core" includes countries with a
relatively high standard of living, rule of law, democracy (or close to it),
international trade, long life-expectancy, content citizenry, etc. The "Gap"
countries lack almost all these attributes.
Core countries don't initiate wars; Gap countries do.
For example, there is zero chance China, an emergin Core country, would
initiate war with anybody over almost anything, including Taiwan.
But, to assuage the concerns of some, we don't really tactically need
"space-based" weapons - other than the ones we already have (GPS is a
space-based weapon, or at least spaced-based support of weapons). A
spaced-based weapon's utility - like nuclear - is primarily the pucker
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