Skip to comments.Bush's New Space Plan Excites Russia
Posted on 01/15/2004 12:50:40 PM PST by Paradox
MOSCOW (AP) -- U.S. President George W. Bush's new plan to send men to the moon, Mars and beyond excited Russian space officials and designers, who voiced quick hopes Thursday for winning a lucrative share in the U.S. program and boosting the sagging status of Russia's space program.
NASA has already sent its proposals concerning cooperation in moon and Mars missions to the Russian Aerospace Agency, said deputy chief Nikolai Moiseyev, acording to the ITAR-Tass news agency. Moiseyev did not give details of the U.S. proposals, but said that Russia has plentiful know-how to share.
Bush's plan could be a chance for the beleaguered Russian space program to get much-needed cash and to revive its prestige. The Soviet Union sent the first satllite and first human into orbit, but the Russian space program fell on hard times after the 1991 Soviet collapse.
The program gained new prominence when, after the suspension of the U.S. space shuttle program following the Columbia disaster, Russian Soyuz craft became the only way to send astronauts to and from the International Space Station. But severe funding problems persist.
Despite the money shortage, its scientists have done a lot of new research on the future interplanetary missions, said space agency spokesman Vyacheslav Mikhailichenko.
"Even though our space engineers lacked money to build new hardware, they have done a lot of prospective design work," Mikhailichenko told The Associated Press. "We have preserved and developed our scientific potential."
Like other Russian space officials, Mikhailichenko held out hope that the United States will tap Russian know-how while building future spacecraft. "It would be unfeasible to do such work alone," he said.
Mikhailichenko said Russia's giant Energiya booster rocket, with a payload of about 100 metric tons (110 tons), could be useful for moon and interpleanetary missions. The Energiya program has been dormant in recent years due to the money crunch and the lack of suitable mission.
Mikhailichenko said Energiya launching facilities have been preserved at Baikonur, Russia's launching base for manned space flights.
Meanwhile, Russian space designers said they could quickly develop spacecraft for both moon and Mars missions if they have money.
Roald Kremnev, a deputy head of NPO Lavochkin company which built the Soviet Lunokhod rover that traipsed across the moon in 1970, said it could build its successor in mere two or three years for just 600 million rubles (US$21 million), ITAR-Tass reported.
Kremnev said that his company could make spacecraft capable of flying automatic missions to the moon, including robots capable of building temporary housing on the Moon.
Another space designer, Leonid Gorshkov of the RKK Energiya company that builds Soyuz and Progress spacecraft, says it has designed a spacecraft which can carry a crew to Mars as early as 2014 for US$15 billion.
Gorshkov told ITAR-Tass that the 70-metric ton (77-ton) spacecraft modelled on the Russian Zvezda module for the ISS could be assembled in orbit from components delivered by Proton booster rockets.
Increased involvement with NASA could divert Russia from working with China's advancing manned space program. Russia has sold space technology to China and trained two Chinese air force pilots at the Star City cosmonaut training center outside Moscow.
Meanwhile, Russian space officials have remained unperturbed about the U.S. plans to shift the emphasis from the space station to moon and interplanetary missions and retire its shuttle fleet at around 2010.
Mikhail Sinelshchikov, the head of Russia's manned space program, told the Interfax news agency that the United States had pledged to fulfill all its obligations under the 16-nation project. "The program and plans are still valid, the commitments are the same for the international partners," Sinelshchikov said.
Turning to future Mars missions, Russian designers are already thinking about the make-up of the crew. Gorshkov said that it would likely consist of four to six cosmonauts, but was hesitant about including women.
"On the one hand, she may become an element of psychological imbalance on the male crew. On the other hand, women respond to emergencies better," Gorshkov told the ITAR-Tass.
Russia gets excited about Levi jeans, too.
His only argument was "President Bush is for it, so it must be wrong!"
Then I challenged him on his scientific knowledge about Mars.
This morning, I was watching "Fox and Friends" and they did even not know that Mars had an atmosphere.
They never noticed that this robotic mission to Mars used a parachute?
Dust storms lasting over 6 months and obliterating all but the highest volcanoes, dust devils leaving dark streaks along the landscape and sand dunes all over the place. Nope, no weather there.
Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade and E.D. Hill were tying to tell us this morning that Mars did not an atmospher or any weather.
This is why exploration of space is so vital - education!
Seriously, there is absolutely no excuse for any American adult today, to not know that Mars has an atmosphere with active weather.
Space exporation is expensive? Absolutly!
E.D Hill, please explain to us what benifits a telivision station is to us humans?
AOL Time Warner Inc. (nyse: AOL - news - people ) is expected to write off several billion dollars -- on top of the record $54 billion charge it took last year -- increasing the strain on its balance sheet, analysts and investors say.
Not $54 billion invested towards the advancement of humans, but LOST because of poor choices.
Tell us once again why telivision is so much important and worth the LOSS of $54 billion?
Inquiring minds would like to know....
"Quickly developed" (space)craft?! Thank you but no, thank you.
I wonder, how quickly the Kursk vessel was developed...
But would you ware excitedly sewn Levis "Made in Russia"?
Yeah, I hear you. And I would travel to Mars in a "quickly developed" Russsian spacecraft even less.
Unfeasible, no. We've undertaking manned missions to another world without any help, as we've proven numerous times. .....The only country to have done so, in fact. But Russian help would sure be appreciated.
No, it doesn't. The company just buys cheap Russian labour, that's all.
What every so called sweat shop country - China, the Philippines, Russia, Cambodia and so on - "exports" is its low standard of life, not Levi's jeans or "Nike" shoes.
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