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             27 November, 2020

Category:  Articles » Reference & Education » Science


Direct Launching-An Alternative Route

         Views: 1261
2007-07-07 13:31:31     
Article by Nancy Houser

With Congress lowering funding to NASA to what they need and want, along with many negative situations occurring around NASA itself, many engineers and mid-level managers inside of NASA and other related industries have come up with a second alternative launching mission-DIRECT Launching- to reach the Moon and Mars at a faster pace, plus at a savings to NASA of $19 billion in developmental costs, along with an additional savings of $16 billion in operational costs spread over the next 20 years. With these kind of savings, not only would NASA "not" be in a bad situation if Congress pulls any money from them, but also because with that kind of money other areas in NASA could be financially more stable.

DIRECT consists of replacing the separate Ares-I Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) and Ares-V Cargo Launch Vehicle (CaL V) with a cheaper, single, Universal "Jupiter" launcher, which is perfectly capable of performing both roles of the Ares missions-instead of one small launcher and one VERY LARGE launcher, the alternative would be a mid-range launcher. This new system could use what is already present, or existing, Space Transportation System (the AKA Space Shuttle), that has the facilities and hardware to lift over 48 tons to 108 tons,.counting the Upper Stage.

DIRECT launching will have many key benefits that make this alternative mission not only at a less cost, but able to use any existing NASA and contractor experience base-which makes this alternative or even another alternative system seriously question why NASA and Griffin would seek a much higher budgeted launching system to the Moon and Mars, with money issues and budget cuts, fully realizing it could not only reduce the time frame or cut down the program entirely.

NASA does not have a lot of money to be making any more bad decisions, with Griffin on the hot seat. Congress on June 18th the full House Appropriations Committee met which included the funding for NASA. About $300 million was added to NASA's overall total last week, but money was transferred from space operation to aeronautics, science, and educational programs (more attention away from NASA and to more "public smoke screens?) Unfortunately, the shuttle and station budgets were lowered because of the political decision.

But that is hardly surprising, with all the negative publicity around NASA lately...and NASA asks for a budget increase? Another ignorant and bad decision made. Recently, letters of dismissal were made for NASA IG Robert Cobb, from several newspapers, which influence Congress quite a bit to possibly transfer NASA's money to another more "favorably received" agency by the public, especially if these other agencies choose to use NASA's negative controversies to their personal advantage.

Nancy Houser, author of "A Mars Odyssey," is a freelance writer and illustrator of 30 years. Living in Central Nebraska running a dog rescue, she fills her leisurely time with 13 grandchildren and watching the skies.

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