Soon America will have to pay Russia to go to the Space Station

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Soon America will have to pay Russia to go to the Space Station

In a monumental screwup America, which paid for and build most of the Space Station, will have to ask Russia to take them there for the years 2010 - to 2015, at the earliest.

Russia, in turn, will be able to charge whatever the like for the trip.

In 2 1/2 years, just as the station gets fully assembled, the United States will no longer have any spacecraft of its own capable of carrying astronauts and cargo to the station, in which roughly $100 billion is being invested.

The three space shuttles will be retired by then, because of their high cost and questionable safety, and NASA will have nothing ready to replace them until 2015 at the earliest.

For five years or more, the United States will be dependent on the technology of others to reach the station, which American taxpayers largely paid for.

To complicate things further, the only nation now capable of flying humans to the station is Russia, giving it a strong bargaining position to decide what it wants to charge for the flights at a time when U.S.-Russian relations are becoming increasingly testy.

The gap in American capability to reach the space station is the result of factors including the 2003 breakup of the space shuttle Columbia, the subsequent decision to retire the three remaining shuttles by September 2010 and the lack of additional funds to quickly build a replacement.

NASA has let contracts to design and test a new-generation rocket and crew capsule, but it has had to go slowly because of the high cost of operating the shuttles, which are the only spacecraft able to carry large components to the still-incomplete space station.

Griffin has testified that the replacement spacecraft could be ready in 2013 rather than 2015 if the agency had an additional $2 billion, but the administration has not asked for the funding.

More depressing stuff on the link http://www.washingtonpost.c...
By netchicken: posted on 10-3-2008

The bush administration has really screwed up the space program and many other pure science endeavors. NASA is in shambles thanks to his meddling.

Apparently the only thing that was considered of scientific values were things that could be used by the military and thus there was a massive amount of money alloted to robotic vehicles.

Hope the next president's administration streamlines NASA and puts more money into their coffers.
By IAF: posted on 10-3-2008

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