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NASA plans capsule to take humans into deep space -

Miami (CNN) -- NASA plans a return to yesteryear by developing a space capsule that will carry humans into deep space, it announced Tuesday.

"We are committed to human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and look forward to developing the next generation of systems to take us there," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said.

The new spacecraft, to be built by Lockheed Martin, will be known as the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, or MPCV. It will carry four astronauts and be based on designs originally planned for NASA's Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, whose development was canceled by President Barack Obama.

NASA says astronauts would not fly onboard until at least 2016. NASA has not flown astronauts beyond low-Earth orbit since the Apollo program, in the 1970s.

"We hope to have test flights in this decade. We're not sure when but certainly as early as possible," said Douglas Cooke, NASA's associate administrator for exploration systems mission.

Like the Apollo spacecraft, which landed 12 men on the moon, the MPCV will splash down in the Pacific Ocean upon return to Earth. However, the new craft will be the 21st-century version: Much larger and 10 times safer to launch and land than the space shuttle, NASA says.

"We would have an abort system, all the way from sitting on the pad, to flying up, up and away. The space shuttle has never had that capability," Cooke said.

This new spacecraft is NASA's first step forward in its next great leap, as the U.S. space shuttle program heads into retirement.

Officials say this vehicle will be able to go to the moon or do a deep space mission to Mars. Any deep space mission would be accompanied by a larger compartment for the crew, Cooke said.

The MPCV is currently at Lockheed Martin's facility in Denver, undergoing testing.
NASA is hoping to start flying as soon as possible to close the gap in the U.S. manned space program. With the retirement of the space shuttle, expected in July, the U.S. will have to pay the Russian space agency to take astronauts back and forth from the station until the MPCV is ready.

NASA is also hoping that private, commercial companies will soon be able to fly astronauts to the space station in newly developed vehicles.

The original Orion spacecraft was part of NASA's Constellation program to take man back to the moon, and later, to Mars. That program was canceled.

In 2010, it was resurrected, and downsized to be used as a "lifeboat," in the event of an emergency on the space station. Five billion dollars have already been spent on Orion -- another reason to keep the design.

NASA has not yet developed a rocket powerful enough to propel this spacecraft out of Earth's atmosphere.

"As we aggressively continue our work on a heavy-lift-launch vehicle, we are moving forward with an existing contract to keep development of our new crew vehicle on track," Bolden said.

Obama has committed $3 billion for NASA to develop the heavy-lift-launch vehicle.
For the record; no, Mars is not deep space. Someday, the media will be able to be consistently reliable when reporting on science. Hopefully. I'm the eternal optimist.

Also, no, the journalist does not understand sunk costs. At least, I'm hoping it was the journalist alone who doesn't understand sunk costs.

While I think the idea is awesome, I somehow doubt that this mission will be able to retain the funding required to actually go through for the long-term plans. In the short term, maybe. But we've got a ton of stuff sitting around on Earth which was never used because it was developed, but then further funding got canceled.

But we can hope. And dream. And send CNN news articles to each other and talk about how awesome it is.

Because it's awesome, right?! :laughing:

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I find this article to be quite awesome *thumbs up*

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Слава: Glory, fame, reputation, honour

There is no scientific justification for manned spaceflight, especially in view of the advances in artificial intelligence. Why not spend a few billions to explore the conditions of human happiness? These efforts could also be immortalised by a beautiful series of postage stamps.

Human spaceflight should be funded by introverted intuitive billionaires and the entertainment industry. The tradition of experimentation with the human body under extreme conditions (German concentration camps, Unit 731, Hiroshima, Nagasaki etc.) will then be continued with volunteers. Wouldn’t this be something for lifers?

Steven Weinberg Cosmologist, University of Texas. Winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Manned missions to space are incredibly expensive and don't serve any important purpose. It isn't a good way of doing science, and funds are being drained from the real science that NASA does. Sending people to space may be a great show, so much of what you do has to be built around the necessity of keeping people safe and alive that science takes a second place. Above all, it's an incredible waste of money. For the cost of putting a few people on a very limited set of locations on Mars we could have dozens of unmanned, robotic missions roving all over Mars and still have money left over to allow the more astronomical sciences to go forward. Unmanned missions have been tremendously important in making this a golden age of astronomy.

Very often the case is made that putting people into space pushes technology and that's good for technology on earth. I think that's nonsense. The kind of technological stimulus we would get from unmanned space exploration is much greater. It would involve developing robotics and computer programs that could deal with things in real time without people around. That's the sort of thing that's tremendously useful on earth. The only thing you learn by developing the technology to put people into space, is how to put people into space

I've spoken to high officials in NASA and they are quite frank. They do not defend the manned missions on the basis of science. They feel that putting people into space has an independent or spiritual value that transcends anything purely practical. I don't think that the public realizes that what they are getting is kind of a spiritual exercise rather than a program for the development of science and technology.


Karl Schlögel, Year of Adventures, 1937: A Soviet Icarus

The young Stepan Podlubnyi noted in his diary on 18 March 1938:

As I pen these lines, large orchestras play over the radio, voices greeting the team on its return after its conquest of the North Pole. They are th first people to have arrived at the Pole and then drifted over 2,000 km to the shores of Greenland. Preparations for a triumphal procession for them are now under way. Papanin (the station leader), Krenkel (radio operator), Shirshov and Fedorov. An unprecedented fuss is being made about them, supported by all the propaganda tricks of the media. The public is excited; the names of the Papanin team are on everyone’s lips … The artificially generated fuss about the Papanin team, I don’t know, perhaps they deserve it, but it distracts people from thinking politically. The day before yesterday the group around Bukharin, Rykov, Iagoda and Krestinskii were shot. The Papanin team are a splendid device to distract attention from the recent trial and its consequences.

For an alert contemporary like Podlubnyi, the son of a Ukrainian ‘kulak’, who had gone underground in Moscow, there was an obvious connection between the enthusiasm for the conquest of the North Pole and the acquiescence in the death sentences passed on representatives of the old Bolshevik leadership. Since 27 May 1937, when the expedition had been deposited at the North Pole, the entire country had followed its progress with bated breath, day by day and week by week, anxiously awaiting news of the polar station drifting southwards on an ice floe. The entire nation knew their names and knew all the details of their background, their development, their personal likes and dislikes, and about Veselyi, the dog accompanying them. Modern technology, the radio and the newspapers had made it possible to follow developments ‘live’.

However, the Papanin expedition was only the longest expedition of 1937. Between 1932 and 1938, Soviet pilots had set sixty-two world flying records, and the most sensational flights took place in 1937. 1937 was a year of adventures, of advances into hitherto unknown territories, a year of pioneers and lonely heroes on frontiers that the twentieth century was setting out to expand – and not just in Russia. Nowhere perhaps was the yearning and the readiness to overcome the inertia of time and space in one fell swoop greater than in Russia, with all its backwardness – and all this during a year in which the love of adventure coincided with an orgy of killing.

Karl Schlögel: [Terror and Dream.] Moscow 1937 (2008)

“I called him after that,” Jim Bridenstine, the NASA administrator, told me of the president. “And I was very clear, ‘I want to be sure we’re in alignment.’ And he was very clear with me: ‘I know you’ve got to go to the moon to go to Mars, but you need to talk about Mars.’”

Mars is the “generational achievement that will inspire all of America,” Bridenstine said Trump told him. In his tweet, Trump seemed to acknowledge that the moon matters when it comes to making it to Mars—“of which the moon is a part.” But Mars, it seems, is a better sell.


The Soviet Space Program Was Not Woke

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All funding to N.A.S.A. and any attempts to try to go to another planet should be halted because the Chinese people created a bioweapon called the coronavirus that is killing people. The last thing that needs to happen is stupid astronauts spreading the coronavirus to other planets and causing aliens from other planets or galaxies to be potentially infected by the coronavirus, too.

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All funding to N.A.S.A. and any attempts to try to go to another planet should be halted because the Chinese people created a bioweapon called the coronavirus that is killing people. The last thing that needs to happen is stupid astronauts spreading the coronavirus to other planets and causing aliens from other planets or galaxies to be potentially infected by the coronavirus, too.
Wait until the virus coincidently happen to come from Iceland then
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