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US Should Use Trampolines To Get Astronauts To the ISS Suggests Russian Official

samzenpus posted about 7 months ago | from the space-men-can't-jump dept.

United States 272

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "The Washington Post reports that Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has lashed out again, this time at newly announced US ban on high-tech exports to Russia suggesting that 'after analyzing the sanctions against our space industry, I propose the US delivers its astronauts to the ISS with a trampoline.' Rogozin does actually have a point, although his threats carry much less weight than he may hope. Russia is due to get a $457.9 million payment for its services soon and few believe that Russia would actually give it up. Plus, as Jeffrey Kluger noted at Time Magazine, Russia may not want to push the United States into the hands of SpaceX and Orbital Sciences, two private American companies that hope to be able to send passengers to the station soon. SpaceX and Orbital Sciences have already made successful unmanned resupply runs to the ISS and both are also working on upgrading their cargo vehicles to carry people. SpaceX is currently in the lead and expects to launch US astronauts, employed by SpaceX itself, into orbit by 2016. NASA is building its own heavy-lift rocket for carrying astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit, but it won't be ready for anything but test flights until after 2020. 'That schedule, of course, could be accelerated considerably if Washington gave NASA the green light and the cash,' says Kluger. 'America's manned space program went from a standing start in 1961 to the surface of the moon in 1969—eight years from Al Shepard to Tranquility Base. The Soviet Union got us moving then. Perhaps Russia will do the same now.'"

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Sure we could. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46887927)

Or we could use trampolines to bounce some multi-megaton nuclear warheads onto Moscow. It might eliminate the telltale launch signatures. Thanks!

Re:Sure we could. (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | about 7 months ago | (#46888043)

Did you ever play tic-tac-toe?

Re:Sure we could. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888131)

Did you ever play tic-tac-toe?

The first to make a move always win? tic-tac-toe is not really a strategy game.

Re:Sure we could. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888231)

First thing: whoosh.
Second thing: tic-tac-toe is not winnable. Capable players will always tie.

Re:Sure we could. (0)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 7 months ago | (#46888301)

lemme give you a hint

SHALL WE PLAY A GAME???

LETS PLAY ....

does that ring a bell??

Re:Sure we could. (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 months ago | (#46888571)

I think you need to re-watch that movie. You missed the entire point.

Re:Sure we could. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888423)

The trick to winning is to choose your opponents wisely. Drunks and small children are easy prey from my mastery of X's and O's.

Re:Sure we could. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888503)

How about a nice game of chess?

Re:Sure we could. (4, Insightful)

Archtech (159117) | about 7 months ago | (#46888371)

...and this gets modded "Insightful".

I know Slashdot is popular with a lot of folks with "a zany sense of humour". But suggesting the nuclear bombing of Moscow - or anywhere else - is not clever and it's not funny. It's wicked, and I say that with no religious agenda. If the word "wicked" has any meaning, this is a perfect example of it.

Oh good grief... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888399)

lighten up! Nobody is bombing anybody.

Re:Sure we could. (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46888447)

Actually, with Moscow in particular, it falls even more into the "retarded" category than "evil".

Re:Sure we could. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888605)

yeah, what sort of a jackass would make a joke like that? [wikipedia.org]

kids these days. they're gonna re-learn a lot of the lessons our great grandparents learned the hard way. because their parents are greedy and stupid. whooping cough, polio, financial regulation, union-busting, pollution, plutocracy...

Re:Sure we could. (1)

Greg Heller (3031971) | about 7 months ago | (#46888681)

I'll tell you what wicked is -- wicked is the former Soviet Union with the Iron Curtain and it's secret police and gulags, and people disappearing during the middle of the night. Putin was part of the secret police (KGB) in former East Germany and Russia and I believe he would like nothing better than to bring back the former Soviet Union. If we could be selective with a good old American Crowd Pleaser and take out the folks that would like nothing better than to recreate the 'Glory Days' of the former Soviet Union then I am all for it. I have nothing against the citizens of Russia and would never want to see them hurt, their government did things to them that we Westerners can't even fathom, so anyone remotely attracted to the old Soviet ways is more wicked than you can probably even imagine. Whose government is directing the flyovers of Russian bombers into UK and other countries air space once again. The quicker the world is through with individuals like Putin and Rogozin the better we will all be.

Re:Sure we could. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888445)

Threatening apocalyptic violence because a service provider is unwilling to do business? You must be beloved by the staff at McDonald's.

Re:Sure we could. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888643)

Ah yes, "nuclear weapons" is the answer since it worked out so well in the past (and cost effectively as well).

Perhaps looking for an alternative solution then "nuclear posturing" is a more appropriate path now that it is no longer the 1950's?

ESS Ariane (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46887929)

Is the Ariane project not suitable to conversion?

Re:ESS Ariane (3, Interesting)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#46887983)

IIRC, the Ariane 5 launch rocket is man-rated (or at least built, with a view to being man-rated). This was done for the cancelled Hermes spaceplane.

Now actually getting it into the sort of shape to give Europe independent access to space, is another matter. I get the distinct impression that it's going to be very expensive, especially when the usual suspects get their snouts into the trough.

Let Me Just Point Out... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888477)

...the reason we find ourselves in this position.

1. The never ending need for social welfare spending, which pressures NASA to cut programs.
        a. The Stupid decision to end the Shuttle Program.
        b. The stupid decision to end the program to replace the Shuttle.
2. Complete mismanagement of our Foreign Policy by the amateurs in the Obama Administration.
        a. Putin claims that the U.S was involved in the political upheavals in the Ukraine and right now, given Obama's history with telling lies, I am inclined to believe him.
3. Turning NASA into political patronage Post run by pencil pushing bureaucrats.

Fat Chance (3, Insightful)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 7 months ago | (#46887945)

"The Soviet Union got us moving then. Perhaps Russia will do the same now."

Back then those in power and the people in general cared that the Russians could do something we could not. That is no longer the case when it comes to space. Most people don't understand why space is important at all outside of things like satellites that provides communications around the planet.

Re:Fat Chance (3, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#46887999)

There is a huge difference between regular unmanned cargo delivery to space, and human access to space. One is absolutely vital. The other one can be seen as a bit of an optional indulgence. Most science, remote sensing, exploration, etc, can be done without humans (and expensive, fragile life support systems, and need for resupply, etc) on board.

Re:Fat Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888129)

Looks like you've been duped, simpleton..

Re:Fat Chance (5, Insightful)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | about 7 months ago | (#46888167)

True to some extent, but with transmission and travel times factored in science becomes a very drawn out thing the farther we go. At some point having a 'rover' in say, the Oort cloud or on Pluto, is just to inefficient and humans will need to be closer or it will be the grand children of the original scientists analyzing the results of the vehicle launched by the grand parents. In this example it can take up to two decades to reach Pluto alone and even light can take 4 to 7 hours to get to Pluto from Earth. This would imply that we would send a command to move an inch or two and the next day get a response about that movement. This is science at a slugs pace. If we could just move the humans to the orbit of Pluto we now have real time science and the research can be sent back to Earth at a more sedate pace without issue.

Things like ISS were meant to make things like our life support more robust and show us ways to enhanced recycling and other capabilities to extend resupply. Sadly with extremely low priorities because of the expense to run these programs they have never advanced beyond baby steps.

Personally I can see why we favor unmanned missions, but I believe we need to reignite the spirit of exploration and actually fund manned space travel for research and development.

Re:Fat Chance (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 7 months ago | (#46888289)

The only surefire way to drastically speed up exploration of deep space, would be to find ways to move our industrial infrastructure into space. This includes obtaining and refining raw materials, manufacturing, food production, etc etc. Then there is a minimum population of people required to operate it. There are so many problems to be solved in order to pull it off, that the mind boggles.

This would be a huge undertaking. Probably achievable, but at enormous expense. It would be a colossal undertaking that would be a contemporary version of building the Pyramids.

Re:Fat Chance (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888385)

There is a huge difference between regular unmanned cargo delivery to space, and human access to space. One is absolutely vital. The other one can be seen as a bit of an optional indulgence. Most science, remote sensing, exploration, etc, can be done without humans (and expensive, fragile life support systems, and need for resupply, etc) on board.

And that, right there, is the problem the USA has: this post is at +5 Insightful, even though it could be very easily argued that developing man-rated delivery systems to space is equally critical, for more than just one reason. But thee is no will, no balls to do the hard work, and "nerds" would rather find excuses.

As much as I hate what Putin has been doing with Trans-Nistria, South Ossetia, Crimea and now East Ukraine, I have to give it to the Russians - they fucking back up their words with deeds, as corrupted as that backing up may be.

Re:Fat Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888577)

even though it could be very easily argued

Then do it instead of saying it could be done.

Re:Fat Chance (1)

Thruen (753567) | about 7 months ago | (#46888541)

My understanding was that part of it is to study the effects of life in space on people. You can't really do that remotely. I'd say it's rather important, too, but I'm also one of those crazies that thinks the earth is getting crowded and expanding would be a fantastic idea.

Re:Fat Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888051)

That can be changed quickly. Imagine the scare news networks could create over weapons of mass destruction in orbit.

Re:Fat Chance (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 7 months ago | (#46888099)

The Cold War is over. Trying to bring it back won't result in a new space race. More likely, it will just lead to WWIII and a near future where space is the least of our worries.

Re:Fat Chance (4, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about 7 months ago | (#46888379)

The Cold War is over

It is not. It may be for us, but today's Russians — after over a decade of Putin's propaganda efforts — are aching for a revanche. Drunk on the easy success of annexation of Crimea from defenseless Ukraine (approved by nearly 80% of the Russians — I doubt, US had this kind of unity since WW2), they are already joking that Alaska is called "Ice-Crimea". Compared to an average Russian, Putin today is a moderate.

Do not be fooled — if you knew Russian and read their popular web-sites, you'd know... Without that capability to check for yourself, believe me.

Re:Fat Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888433)

If you want to get an idea of what kind of people the Russians can be, ask an older person from Eastern Europe what they think of them. I don't think I've seen such hatred for a country - with the exception of non-Chinese giving their opinions of the Chinese.

Re: Fat Chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888699)

In post-Soviet Russia, authoritarianism isn't back.
It was never permitted to leave.

Re:Fat Chance (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 7 months ago | (#46888173)

"The Soviet Union got us moving then. Perhaps Russia will do the same now."

Back then those in power and the people in general cared that the Russians could do something we could not.

This. The Space Race was a dick size contest of the type that most people deplore today. It also was ultimately a sterile exercise that left a whole bunch of people convinced that space exploration is all about Boldly Going and Big Stunts - rather than the reality of exploration, which is that most of it deadly dull daily stuff. This mistaken belief has done more to hold back space exploration than any apathy of the Administration or budget cut from Congress.

Re:Fat Chance (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#46888459)

So what is left to fight our growing skepticism in everything?
While we may be out of an economic depression, the world is in a type of cultural depression, were individual feel that there isn't much future. We in essence gave up and stopped trying. Our great success stories of our age are guys who make things like Facebook, Twitter ,Angry Birds and Candy Crush. This is actually very depressing stuff. In essence escapist technology.

The Space Race, was a publicity stunt, but a damn good one that really helped America and the world. It helped make people optimistic. If you grew up in the 70's and 80's the Idea that you could be an astronaut, or working in that fancy ground control room with all those monitors, inspired people to try new things study Science and Engineering. This personal exploration often took them off the path of going into space... However it moved people in other areas.

Re:Fat Chance (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46888227)

Just wait until China gets its space station up and running, or lands a person on the moon. It will be panic mode at NASA all over again.

Re:Fat Chance (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#46888655)

Mir was 20 years ago. And Russian.

Re:Fat Chance (4, Insightful)

techsoldaten (309296) | about 7 months ago | (#46888373)

Never discount the power of nationalism to sway otherwise rational decisions.

There's a good chance SpaceX will benefit from this blockade.

Re:Fat Chance (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46888589)

Space will always be valuable to would-be superpowers here on Earth because it is the ultimate high ground. It doesn't matter if the people understand. If the Powers find it desirable to go to space, they will use the media to lead the people in that direction. Again.

So what? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46887963)

The ISS is largely symbolic and the "science" is mostly cargo cultish. It's a symbol of a decades-dead ideology. Let the thing die. There's no value in sending people into the the upper atmosphere other than an international dick-waving contest. Sure it's romantic and you have a great view, but so did the Concorde and no one gets upset over that. Time marches on, kill the damn thing and move on.

Re:So what? (3, Funny)

chuckinator (2409512) | about 7 months ago | (#46887985)

Nedd Ludd, is that you?

Re:So what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888073)

Can you name anyone who lost their job because a test pilot in a rubber suit went on a joyride? No? Then how is that comparable to Ned Ludd? You're making no sense. But then again, not much about space ever does.

Re:So what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888157)

Why is it when folks ask hard questions about technology and its effects and value, people resort to name calling?

The GP brought up a valid point about the ISS and considering that the money can be spent on actual science and better technology, I think the implied Luddite insult is unfounded.

Just because someone brings up a potential problem, doesn't mean they are against technology, only that plans should be made to handle it.

Re:So what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888209)

You can't reason with Space Nutters. They seem rational and logical until you tell them the truth, then they fall apart like a kid that just found out his favorite pet died. Read the reactions to my post if you doubt it. Also watch how quickly my posts get modded down: it's almost as if Space Nutter Central Command sent out a level 1 priority code to all its synods across the world.

"We have an unbeliever in Slashdot thread 5104087! PURIFY! PURIFY!"

Look, at best sending people into the upper atmosphere is a joyride. At worst it's a cargo cult and seems to bring out the worst in techno-daydreamers and religious space doomsday cultists. Even I can't tell anymore if they're kidding. They seem awfully serious about it.

Re:So what? (2)

CRCulver (715279) | about 7 months ago | (#46888229)

Opposing space exploration does not necessarily mean opposing development of new technologies. Vernor Vinge, that science-fiction writer who has spent so much time thinking about technological singularities, has speculated that an advanced race might simply burrow deep under its planet's surface and move into a virtuality reality instead of expanding outward into space. Such a future would still involve enormous progress in technology, and lead to new discoveries in mathematics etc. There are multiple technological paths open to us.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888369)

The ISS isn't even space exploration. It's the Mile High Corporate Welfare Club. We've explored space from right here with the naked eye, telescopes and computers just fine, we don't even need LEO for that.

Oh, you meant putting test pilots in rubber suits to bounce around on the Moon for a day is "exploration"? Well, maybe, but the Russians managed a robotic sample-return mission to the Moon... 40 years ago.

Re:So what? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46888663)

Opposing space exploration does not necessarily mean opposing development of new technologies.

Not necessarily, but there's only so much we can do deep in a gravity well. Some technologies will probably require orbital manufacturing.

Vernor Vinge, that science-fiction writer who has spent so much time thinking about technological singularities, has speculated that an advanced race might simply burrow deep under its planet's surface and move into a virtuality reality instead of expanding outward into space.

That's not impossible, but such a culture is probably guaranteed to be wiped out eventually by an impactor if they don't develop their space technology. And if they want to support a large civilization they'll need lots of energy. Unless they strip-mine their atmosphere, putting the generation equipment in space will still be a good way to improve efficiency and safety.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888065)

Lol it is actually funny how deluded you are. Cutting us off from space is the worst thing we can do, and will certainly result in the end of man kind.

Re:So what? (1, Interesting)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 7 months ago | (#46888083)

ISS isn't space. It's a LEO publicity stunt. The moon is space. Mars is space. ISS is just a jobs program, and a way to justify funding.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888125)

Yes, and both are equally hostile dead rocks. Not much value there besides pictures and maybe some rock samples. Send machines. Get more pictures. Get some rocks. So what?

Re:So what? (0)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 7 months ago | (#46888463)

Because you're a moron.

Re:So what? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888085)

Yes, all 7 billion of us will die if a test pilot doesn't drink Tang in the upper atmosphere. You're right! I was delusional! There are 200000 new people on the planet every day, but the answer is surely in the upper atmosphere! Hallelujah! Oh yes, pack the Tang and the rubber underwear FOR MANKIND!!!!!

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888367)

I think you're missing the bigger picture here. Space is vital for the survival of humanity because, eventually, we're going to totally fuck up this planet. And when that happens, we need to be able to move somewhere else.

Also we need to be able to relieve population pressure eventually. Emigration and massive war have always been the traditional methods for doing that. Nowadays we don't like the idea of war, so that leaves emigration. Where the fuck are we going to emigrate to?

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888437)

Yes, all 7 billion of us will die if a test pilot doesn't drink Tang in the upper atmosphere. You're right! I was delusional! There are 200000 new people on the planet every day, but the answer is surely in the upper atmosphere! Hallelujah! Oh yes, pack the Tang and the rubber underwear FOR MANKIND!!!!!

What a strange way to be jealous.

Being in 0-g is cool enough. Many people like myself want to have the opportunity to go on such a trip. I for one would love to leave this rock and colonize another. An age of exploration is a man's romance.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888591)

What a strange way to be jealous

What a strange interpretation.

Being in 0-g is cool enough

So is flying at Mach 2.5 or going to the bottom of the ocean. So?

Many people like myself want to have the opportunity to go on such a trip.

Good for you. I want a leisure society with a 10 hour work week and a sustainable social economy.

I for one would love to leave this rock and colonize another

You realize that using "this rock" is a diagnosis in the DSM-V for Space Nuttery? How is this planet a "rock"?

An age of exploration is a man's romance.

That's all it is. We *KNOW* Mars is a dead rock. They thought we'd colonize Venus before we found out it it's a roasted Hell.

Grow up. Look at reality. No one's going anywhere, the Earth is *IT*. Escapism is fine, but it's no basis for adults to build their life around.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888671)

And if you keep sailing west from Europe you will fall off the edge of the world.

Re:So what? (2)

Archtech (159117) | about 7 months ago | (#46888245)

"Cutting us off from space is the worst thing we can do, and will certainly result in the end of man kind".

Eh? What on earth are you talking about? Please explain how not sending a tiny handful of astronauts into space, at immense cost and considerable risk, will affect the survival of the race. As far as I know no one, not even the most wildly enthusiastic advocate of space exploration, has ever said anything of the kind.

Re:So what? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888265)

I think you need to get more familiar with what I call the Space Nutters. They're more common than you think, and aren't much different from wild-eyed crazed religious folk handing out doomsday fliers in shopping malls.

Re:So what? (2)

Archtech (159117) | about 7 months ago | (#46888351)

To some extent, I suppose I am a Space Nutter myself. It must have been about 1957 that I first opened some Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke and other SF books and thrilled to the stories of galactic exploration and gigantic interstellar empires. I'm all for manned space exploration, even though I must admit that nowadays I can't entirely justify it in practical terms.

But what's this stuff about "the end of man kind"?

Re:So what? (2)

TheNastyInThePasty (2382648) | about 7 months ago | (#46888611)

Mankind extending its reach out to space is like moving out of your parent's house when you're an adult. It might not make the most sense financially but it's important for you to learn how to make it out there on your own. It's for your own good.

Re:So what? (2)

Archtech (159117) | about 7 months ago | (#46888303)

Why do people mod "Troll" or "Flamebait" when I ask them to explain what they are talking about? I'm disinclined to bandy insults in a forum that I thought was aimed at constructive discussion and debate. Maybe I should taper off reading Slashdot, and stop contributing.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

Megane (129182) | about 7 months ago | (#46888489)

You forgot to add "I know I'm going to get modded down for this, but..." at the start.

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888439)

"Please explain how not sending a tiny handful of astronauts into space, at immense cost and considerable risk, will affect the survival of the race"

If dinosaurs had advanced enough to have a space program, maybe they could of stopped the rock that hit Mexico 65 million years ago, and they would still be alive today.

Sooner or later another rock is going to be on a collision course with the earth, and if we don't stop it, it will wipe us out.

And there are othere problems in the long term, like the sun running out of hydrogen in a billion years...

If we don't get off this planet, then it will be the end of mankind.

Re:So what? (4, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46888481)

Roughly 65 million years ago a 6 mile wide asteroid crashed into what is now the Gulf of Mexico killing off just about every creature larger than a house cat. That includes almost all the dinosaurs. There is little we could do to stop it with our current space program. There is reason to believe we might never know it was coming. Right now, humanity has all it's eggs in one basket and it will only take one good sized rock to break them all. Manned space exploration with the establishment of human colonies on Luna and Mars would prevent that kind of single event extinction.

“Dinosaurs are extinct today because they lacked opposable thumbs and the brainpower to build a space program.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

“The dinosaurs became extinct because they didn't have a space program. And if we become extinct because we don't have a space program, it'll serve us right!” Larry Niven

As to your follow up post, perhaps if you stopped asking questions with obvious and well-discussed answers, you wouldn't get modded down.

Re:So what? (2)

stevew (4845) | about 7 months ago | (#46888363)

According to an article in last weeks Aviation Week and Space Technology - you are ignorant.

The value of commercial experimentation on the ISS has taken an unforseen upswing. Real companies are paying Real money to put experiments of different varieties on the ISS.There is a back-log of customers.

I'm thinking the Dragon from Space-X is a nice answer to the Russian suggestion. I also think their minister needs some remedial science classes to learn about the law of gravitiy.... you can't possibly reach escape velocity with a trampoline ;-)

Re:So what? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#46888425)

When it comes to space travel, technology that isn't decades-dead has a good chance of turning itself into a cloud of dust on the launch pad.

mother russia (1)

cosm (1072588) | about 7 months ago | (#46887969)

Hey US, IN SOVIET RUSSIA ROCKET LAUNCH YOU. Sincerely, US citizens for restoring manned American space exploration.

No problem (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 7 months ago | (#46887975)

That's one helluva double-bounce. Start jumping Russia, well keep up!

Russians are neo-fascist assholes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888001)

this is news?

Tramp-o-line Theory (4, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46888007)

Any fool knows you couldn't accomplish this with one, single trampoline.

If years of Saturday morning cartooning have taught us nothing else, it's clear you would need, like, several dozen hundred trampolines to pull it off.

Yep, trampolines all the way down.

Re:Tramp-o-line Theory (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 7 months ago | (#46888111)

Any fool knows you couldn't accomplish this with one, single trampoline.

If years of Saturday morning cartooning have taught us nothing else, it's clear you would need, like, several dozen hundred trampolines to pull it off.

Also from Saturday morning cartoons, we know that all the back-and-forth threats and accusations are just a day at the office. At the end of the day, the wolf and sheepdog punch out and go home [youtube.com] , coming back for the same thing again tomorrow.

Re:Tramp-o-line Theory (3, Funny)

canadiannomad (1745008) | about 7 months ago | (#46888585)

I want to see an XKCD on this :D

We must not allow... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888015)

a trampoline gap!

Russia is invading eastern Ukraine (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888053)

And we're arguing over a comment about a failing space station.

Re:Russia is invading eastern Ukraine (-1, Flamebait)

Archtech (159117) | about 7 months ago | (#46888225)

Actually, it isn't. The USA spent $5 billion - quite openly - to foment a coup d'etat which overthrew the democratically elected government of Ukraine and replaced with an unelected bunch of foaming fascist killers. This was probably intended to provoke the Russians into invading to protect their people. That was never going to work, though; the Russians are famous for chess skill, and they more or less pioneered the art of "maskirovka" - the misleading feint, followed by an unexpected blow elsewhere. They were hardly going to fall into such an obvious bear trap.

What's more, economically and politically it would be very unfavourable for Russia to get involved in Ukraine - let alone invade or take over. Ukraine is a relatively poor nation these days, and Russia would just acquire a lot of headaches and liabilities - not to mention precipitating an extremely dangerous military confrontation with NATO.

The Russians' best course, as I am sure they are aware, is to stand back and watch Obama and his minions play their silly games. Meanwhile, they can sell their oil and gas to China and other Asian nations, and talk quietly to China, Pakistan, Iran and other countries actively threatened by US aggression. And one of these days, they will all stop using the dollar.

Re:Russia is invading eastern Ukraine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888427)

Oil is traded in a global market. If Russia sells their oil to China that just means Chinas current suppliers will need to supply someone else. US oil and gas production is forecasted to match and even eclipse Russian production. And please do a little research on the importance of Ukraine to the Russia. They provided an important naval base for Russian military ships. The pipeline pumping Russian oil and gas to the east goes right through Ukraine. And the day they stop using the dollar is the day the entire world economy goes into the shitter. US bonds and securities provide a safe and profitable investment for damn near every country on the planet and the important thing to note is the US has the cash while the foreign investors hold nothing but paper IOU's. If hostilities started what do you think the chances are that the US returns their money? The wealthy elite in every country will do everything in their power to counter any financial moves that result in reducing their wealth. When push comes to shove China will not sacrifice it's trade relations with either Europe or the US because Russia can't even come close to making up for lost market share. The recent targeted sanctions against the wealthy elite of Russia will produce more results than sanctions against the entire country ever could. So you just go ahead and shill for Russia comrade but try to remember that Russia's nuclear arsenal is the only thing guaranteeing their safety. Their military and economy is no match for the military and economic strength NATO can bring to the table.

Re:Russia is invading eastern Ukraine (5, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | about 7 months ago | (#46888587)

Aside from the fact that your post is a pack of lies, we see Russia doing exactly what you say is unfavorable for Russia. The tactics being used are classic Soviet tactics, namely sending in Spetsnaz into an area to destabilize the local government then moving in to "stabilize" the area. So, let's take a look at what happened.

Russia increased troop presence in the Red Sea area.
Groups spring up in Crimea. Masked men take over government offices and terrorize the local populace.
Groups consolidate and take over the local government after a sham election and then asks to become part of Russia
Russia annex Crimea and continues to mass troops on Russia side of Ukraine/Russia border.
Groups spring up in Eastern Ukraine. Masked men take over government offices and terrorize the local populace.

Guess what comes next. Do you see the pattern? My best guess is you are a Russian who can't wait to visit the new acquisitions.

All the more reason ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888061)

... why the private sector needs to be more involved in space exploration instead of the toddlers currently in charge of the governments of the world.

Re:All the more reason ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888259)

You prefer psycho-antisocial-money-making-machines instead of toddlers. Hard choice... I want neither.

SpaceX isn't ready (1)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 7 months ago | (#46888075)

I know that's an unpopular viewpoint on Slashdot (where Elon Musk is a god who can do no wrong). But SpaceX isn't ready to just "take over." Soyuz has a rock solid safety record and is much more versatile. SpaceX's design is still largely untested, particularly with human cargo.

If they try to push too hard too soon, people are going to get killed.

Re:SpaceX isn't ready (4, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46888185)

Soyuz has a rock solid safety record and is much more versatile.

If by "soyuz", you mean the manned vehicle, it has had two loss-of-crew accidents, and about ten mission failures where the crew survived. In 120 flights.

As opposed to Shuttle's two loss-of-crew accidents and zero mission failures where the crew survived. In 135 flights.

So, no, Soyuz does NOT have a "rock solid safety record".

Nor is Soyuz more versatile than Dragon. Smaller payload, in both men and cargo, and lower deltaV (and lack of reusability) do not make for "more versatile".

The only thing that Soyuz has on Dragon is that it has completed the man-rating part. Of course, with a 50 year head start, we'd expect that as a matter of course.

Re:SpaceX isn't ready (4, Insightful)

cjameshuff (624879) | about 7 months ago | (#46888277)

On the man-rating...the cargo Dragon is actually already man-rated. Once it's up at the ISS, people have to open the door and go inside to unload supplies and load experiments for return to Earth. What it lacks is a launch escape system. Well, and seats.

On the versatility...apart from carrying more cargo and more crew, the Dragon is equipped with heat shielding that can handle return from lunar or Mars trajectories, and for reuse. It's even adaptable for landing on other bodies such as Mars, as in the Red Dragon proposal. It's launcher can operate in single core or three core variants, eventually with varying degrees of core reuse depending on payload/orbit requirements.

So the OP's claim that Soyuz is "much more versatile" is really rather bizarre...

Re:SpaceX isn't ready (1)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#46888599)

There is one more part missing, the avionics and flight controls necessary to dock Dragon without assistance from personnel inside the station. With the supply missions, there is no need to have Dragon dock itself. With a manned mission, it's vital that Dragon be able to do so. They may have this done already; but, it needs to be tested.

Re:SpaceX isn't ready (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888285)

exactly, it's like in JFK's original speech "I propose that in the next decade we built and begin 40 years of testing on a spacecraft with the ultimate goal of putting a man on the moon!" And The united states did just that in 1989...

America thinks a mere half billion is important? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888105)

When SpaceX and Orbital have the ability to take people then the Russians are likely to lose business anyway, so strike this as a reason.

A mere 400 Million is nothing to the Russians. Their GDP exceeds this many times over. They don't really the Americans, they are just doing you a favour.

Right now America's hands are tied. You have decided the military is more important than space, and over the last few decades cut NASA into the ground and worse, failed to educate your next generation. The USA has fallen out of the space faring nations well behind China who has developed their own capabilities and India who can launch state funded rockets. The French have of course been superior for a long time. The USA is now at the level of Canada, Japan, and New Zealand in space capability.

There are no two ways about this, until South Africa's SpaceX can take passengers America relies on Russia because they have the know-how, the capability and equipment - and because they are not Chinese. America fears communism too much to ever pay the Chinese to carry your people.

Better to not try to police the world to your standards eh? Just pay your dollars to Russia, cap in hand and nod "Yes Sir" to them as Russia reams you. You used to have aleading space program but you let it decay. This is the cost of that.

Re:America thinks a mere half billion is important (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46888279)

The U.S. has rovers on the surface of Mars.

Simply because the Americans have temporarily abandoned a focus on manned missions in favor of autonomous exploration, you couldn't be more wrong.

Re:America thinks a mere half billion is important (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888419)

The U.S. has rovers on the surface of Mars.

Simply because the Americans have temporarily abandoned a focus on manned missions in favor of autonomous exploration, you couldn't be more wrong.

So you are saying that the ting to do is pay several orders of magnitude more money, to send people to mars, to do essentially the same thing the rovers are doing, just so you can have a nationalist orgasm over Americans being the first to set a foot on Mars?

Re:America thinks a mere half billion is important (1)

Sarius64 (880298) | about 7 months ago | (#46888491)

No, the thing to do is establish colonies on the Moon and Mars, perform fission experimentation in space vice the Earth's atmosphere, and mine some asteroids.

Re:America thinks a mere half billion is important (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 7 months ago | (#46888703)

No, the thing to do is establish colonies on the Moon and Mars, perform fission experimentation in space vice the Earth's atmosphere, and mine some asteroids.

It would make a lot more sense to kick off a few more Mars missions and learn more about the place before we actually sent humans. Maybe build a better communications infrastructure between the two, first, so that there's always contact. Can't do anything about transmission time, can do something about bandwidth and coverage. A colony on the moon is a really good idea, though. It's nearby, so we could feasibly make a withdrawal plan. Mars is a one-way trip in case of failure. You maybe could bring people back, but not in a hurry, or probably in a timely fashion.

Also, I'd like to see some missions to asteroids which are on the level of this Mars mission, with some kind of rover. Let's get a clearer idea of what asteroid mining is going to look like. If we're really going to get development and exploration of space kicked off, we're going to need to do our heavy manufacturing in space anyway.

Re:America thinks a mere half billion is important (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888523)

Apparently reading comprehension is not your forté.

US Space Program is over (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888121)

We're finished as a country and on the decline. It's time for a new growing economy to take our place (China). Hopefully, they will reach farther than we did.

Re:US Space Program is over (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888141)

China has already passed America as the most powerful economy on Earth, so yes, America is on the decline.

I got inspired (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888195)

http://imgur.com/P7x32KY

Sad but true... (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | about 7 months ago | (#46888211)

The glory days of Russian trampoline champions are gone forever. Time for a US resurgence. Move over China, you're about to get bounced. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T... [wikipedia.org]

Injunction against ULA getting more RD-180s (5, Informative)

Megane (129182) | about 7 months ago | (#46888343)

The U.S. Court of Federal Claims has issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits United Launch Alliance from buying NPO Energomash RD-180 engines from Russia.

http://spaceksc.blogspot.com/2... [blogspot.com]

Won't work ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888365)

... as the US are lacking the proper Nazis for the job: https://xkcd.com/984/ [xkcd.com]

Is this a joke? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 7 months ago | (#46888415)

It's May 1, not April 1.

Re:Is this a joke? (1)

confused one (671304) | about 7 months ago | (#46888615)

Unfortunately, it's not. Deputy Prime Minister in Russia actually said that. So, the rhetoric heats up...

Gentlemen... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46888449)

We must not allow a trampoline gap!

Introducing SpaceX's new rocket ship... (2)

penguinoid (724646) | about 7 months ago | (#46888467)

the Trampoline!

The ISS was a mistake (-1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 7 months ago | (#46888511)

It was a huge waste of resources and the supposed diplomatic gains from the expense clearly were an illusion.

For the same money we spent on the ISS we could have put a base on the moon. I'm not saying we should have put a base on the moon... just saying we could have done that for the same money.

Wind the ISS down. Sell it if anyone wants to buy it. And then take the money NASA now has open in their budget to do something worthwhile.

We have the trampolines (2)

paulfjeld (641367) | about 7 months ago | (#46888545)

In any combination of Boeing, Sierra Nevada, SpaceX, or Lockheed Martin vehicles, we'll get up there with people fairly soon and in modern spacecraft that will be able to do useful things for the next few decades. What we do with them then and how much it will cost is the key question. The NASA program is stuck in pork that traps its potential so we may well lose the Space Station. Not many really care about it anyway, other than those who work on it. Those companies that are innovating for cost, certainly SpaceX, perhaps Sierra Nevada and Boeing, could make the NASA program moot. The Russian problem of access to the ISS might accelerate the non-NASA New Space regime slightly, but it will happen. If our national space program can take advantage of this new capability, if the politics of supporting old players dies, we could be in for an exciting future of human space exploration. That might still happen if human spaceflight becomes a mostly private affair. We'll know in a few years.
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