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Comment Re:China is now the world leader (Score 2) 88

Gutting the perpetually underfunded NASA budget? I'd see it more as Trump telling congress, "if you're not going to spend the money it takes to do the mission, you get no more money for manned flight".

Anyway, I never said there was no value post Apollo from NASA, only that manned flight has been stagnant in LEO since the mid 1970s. Most people would say that the advances and research done since then should make travel beyond LEO MORE attainable. We should be able to go back to the moon at lower cost in real dollars than it cost in 1968. Sadly, that's not the case. While we may have all kinds of amazing advances, NASA seems to feel that the only way to put men in space is still the cost is no object approach. I would suggest that in the last 3 decades, NASA has been the beneficiary of advances in materials and technology more often than it has been the catalyst.

The cutting edge at NASA is unmanned exploration. Nothing wrong with that, but you can't expect other countries with manned space flight ambitions to just sit idly until the US and NASA get around to doing something again. There's a spirit to the guys in the unmanned programs that has been lost, or killed, on the manned side.

Comment Re:China is now the world leader (Score 2) 88

And Obama declared "been there" with regards to a return to the moon. Instead he chose to give NASA a mandate to get to Mars. Something NASA knew was not feasible given current funding levels. I would prefer a lasting stepping stone on the moon to a publicity stunt on Mars. People climbing Everest have various base camps. You acclimate, you learn, you have a reasonable chance for help. Only an idiot would make a one shot attempt at Everest OR Mars, but man it sure sounds cool when the cameras are rolling.

Comment No problem (Score 2) 46

You can have that however you have to accept a few things:

1) Costs are going to go way up. You aren't going to pay $50 or $100 for a software package, it'll be 5 or 6 figures. You'll be paying for all the additional testing, certification, and risk.

2) You won't get new stuff. Everything you use will be old tech. You'll be 5-10 years out of date because of the additional time needed to test and prove things. When a new chip or whatever comes on the market it'll be a good bit of time before it has undergone all the validation it needs to be ready for such a critical use.

3) You will not be permitted to modify anything. You will sign a contract (a real paper one) up front that will specify what you can do with the solution, and what environment it must be run in. Every component will have to be certified, all software on the system, the system itself, any systems it connects to, etc. No changes on your part will be permitted, everything will have to be regression tested and verified before any change is made.

If you are ok with that, then off you go! The way I know this is how it goes is that we have shit like this, we have critical systems out there and this is the kind of shit they go through. They are expensive, inflexible, and out of date compared to the latest mass market shit. If you look at the computers that control a fighter plane or the like you'll be amazed at how "dated" they are. Well they are that way because development took a long time and once they are developed, they continue to be used, they aren't changed often.

Now if that's not ok, if you want the free wheeling environment we have now where you can buy new tech when you like, put things together in any configuration, and run whatever you want that's cool, but accept that means problems will happen. You cannot have it both ways.

Oh and also with that critical stuff:

4) There will be no FOSS. If there's liability for losses, nobody will be willing to freely distribute their work. They aren't going to accept liability for no payment, and aren't going to accept that if their code was used by someone else they might be liable.

Comment Re:China is now the world leader (Score 3, Insightful) 88

i'm not impressed with Trump, but come on. In less than 100 days he's responsible for NASA not having a vision or funding and not doing manned missions outside of LEO since Apollo? Other countries have goals in space, they've come to the realization that meeting those goals no longer HAS to involve NASA expertise. That's not a situation of Trump's making. I think you can find plenty to pin on him, but not this.

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