Where Manned Space is going or not

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Well-Known Member
Jan 5, 2009
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With ending of NASA's Constellation program the United Sates has committed to trying to fund some LEO taxis. It is interesting now to take a snapshot of wha other countries are doing.
The Europeans are going to enhance their ATV
This means by 2020 they will have their own independant LEO capability which is what Arianne V was developed for with the shut down Hermes program.
China is at present planning a moon landing by 2024. The next step for them is a manned space space station. They have manned LEO flight now and are working on a booster to put fifty tons around the moon.
India has plans to launch a manned spacecraft by 2014 but has announced no plans beyond that.
The Russians Kliper prgram was put on hold as ESA and JAXA refused to fund it. They have Soyuz though which like the bunny just keeps on going and going.
This means by 2015 unless the political winds change whch they sometimes do then the manned space club will be a good deal larger and its main thrust will have shifted from the west.
I wonder where things are going as well There are encouraging signs however, Bigelow Aerospace has some interesting plans and Richard Branson seems determined to get people into space. I like Obama's talk of orbital fuel depots and possible orbital spacecraft assembly. What really worries me is the loss of expertise that these cancellations will cause. It took Canada decades to recover from the loss of so many good engineers after the Arrow was killed. Canada's loss was NASA's gain as many of those people went to work on the Moon program. Where will the thousands of laid-off workers go this time? Ted
Its a big job getting from a suborbital shot to travelling to the ISS:) I am surprised though by the absence of satisfaction from those who have advocated NASA should lose its manned program to the private sector. I guess now we will see how well that approach does:) I have no idea where all those great folks will go. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said their loss will be bad.
Personally barring the unforseen I think the first language to be spoken on Mars will be Mandarin and if they pay for it why not.