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back to article NASA to brief on manned spaceship 'concerns'

NASA will map the future of manned spacecraft later today, following long-running rumours of possible delays to the programme and increasing worries of over-reliance on Russian technology to support the International Space Station. The US space agency will soon retire its fleet of Shuttle orbiters, after which America will have …

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IT Angle

so US will have to eat humble pie ...

... stop bullying the world and accept help from the Russians?

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Boffin

ESA

really should work on its own manned space-access system. Elevator, Rocket, balloon, some sort of large catapult... it doesn't matter. Just get it sorted and get it sorted by the Europeans for the Europeans.

Build a nuclear-powered "Valiant" style craft that hovers at Corcorde cruising altitude (or maybe a bit higher). Develop some sort of space-plane system to take off from and land on this, and another relatively standard plane to shuttle passengers to the platform and back.

You could probably even have a pair of self-supporting platforms with some sort of elevator between them (so less expensive shuttlecraft could be used).

Load capacity of the platform should be at least 3 fully-loaded transport 747s, and a rapid-swap cargo hold should be created to allow the exocraft itself to loop as much as possible. It should kill its own kinetic energy using rockets or something similar prior to re-entry- this will remove a lot of the heating problems associated with re-entry and hence make the craft more reliable and reusable.

A large space-based platform (think the Galactica or even Vader's Executioner. Big.) should be constructed and used as a space-side base from which other outer-space-only craft should be launched and which would ship down collected materials to Earth. Maybe a VASIMR powered mining craft to go extract resources from the Asteroid belt.

Yes it's expensive, but the payoff would be massive. And spread over the whole of Europe (728million people) over the whole long-winded development cycle the increase in tax wouldn't be that much.

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IT Angle

More FUD

Another attempt by the Neocon / Zionist press to trash the Russians and sideline them for political reasons.

What the hell has a South Ossetian rescue mission got to do with the space program?

No that I particularly like the Russians, but I dislike them no more than I dislike the American or Chinese or other imperialists.

Mad place, let me get out.

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Paris Hilton

Apollo

Perhaps NASA could scour the world's museums for used Apollo capsules, refurbish them, and stick them on top of a booster of some kind. There must be a dozen or so available in used and unused condition, that would be enough for a few months of launches. Or they could sneakily purchase the surviving Buran.

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Bronze badge

Ariane

@More FUD : how people would laugh if you were british,

they could save time and just make they orion capsule and use the ariane rocket

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Alert

The real problem...

is that (manned) space exploration is inherently dangerous. (basically strap humans onto/into a large container of explosive chemicals with a nozzle at the other end and ignite). People have been / do get / will continue to be killed at some stage in the process. It will NEVER be 100% safe. There will, however, always be a sufficient number of brave / foolhardy souls willing to volunteer for the privilege. The risks can only be minimised so far. This is how man got to the moon the last time round. It's most likely the approach the Chinese have (no shortage of volunteers there, I'll bet), and is the reason that the next time the USA gets a man landed on the moon, he'll need landing permission from the Chinese Lunar Authorities.

Bit the bullet.

Take the risks

Make the progression.

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Unhappy

@humble pie and FUD

What's with all the hate for America and Americans these days?

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@More FUD

You clearly have no idea how touchey and stroppy they Russians are being, or how dangorous they are at the moment.

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Black Helicopters

Whatever happen to?

Many moons ago (sorry), some bright soul from the UK appeared on Tomorrows World (yes it was in colour by this time!) with something called HOTOL powered by some clever engine he'd developed at or with BAe I think.

Said engine would allow the shuttle-esq machine to use a normal runway take-off and climb then once at optimum altitude, switch to internal oxidiser rather than use air and power off into the deep black.

If I recall HMG slapped a top secret tag on it and that was the last anyone heard of it because the chap couldn't get private funding to make it commercially viable.

Once again, British inginuity crippled by short sighted govt.

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@More FUD

"What the hell has a South Ossetian rescue mission got to do with the space program?"

NASA buys one-time-use Soyuz spaceships from Russia. They rely on congress giving them an exception from some weapon sales ban against Russia. This exception expires in 2011. Between 2010 and around 2015, NASA has no manned spaceflight system.

And the two governments are kind of pissed at each other.

Or you could just remain blissfully ignorant and spout off about the jews like other cousin-fucking redneck.

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Unhappy

@Paul & J Tate

Err i think we are all aware of how touchy and stroppy they Russians are being, and how dangerous they are at the moment. About the same as the Americans have been for about oh lets say 57 years. Did the US ever find those Iraqi terrorists? Or have they just managed to create more? Hmm.....

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Stop

@ AC Re "bullying"

"... stop bullying the world and accept help from the Russians?"

Believe me, we'd love to save our cash and let you all fend for yourselves, but it's not in our nature. Isolationism fails. Take some history.

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Paris Hilton

@ the cowards

“... stop bullying the world and accept help from the Russians?”

So Russia invading a small neighboring country that only recently broke free from centuries of Russian domination = the US bullying the world? Nice Logic.

“Another attempt by the Neocon / Zionist press to trash the Russians and sideline them for political reasons.

What the hell has a South Ossetian rescue mission got to do with the space program?”

I suppose now you’ll call the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 80’s and Afghan Rescue Mission?

Paris, cause anyone who thinks Russia is NOT trying to rebuild the Soviet Union is as dumb as she is.

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Dead Vulture

stop humping the laser...

I mean common... we've been doing this stuff for 40+ years. How hard is it to make a fricken manned space-craft? The shuttle was a disaster, I'm glad they're retiring it. It was dangerous and a waste of money. That notion may piss a lot of people off, but lets compare the shuttle to the average passenger plane... if 1 out of every 62 passenger flights ended in a fireball like the shuttle did, no amount of government bail-out would save the airline industry... we'd all be riding mag-lev trains.

(I have to apologize, i didn't get my adderall today, so any of my comments are likely diarrhea of the mouth... or fingertips, as it were)

Dead foul for obvious reasons...

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Bronze badge

The private Falcon programme run by Elon Musk could offer alternative astronaut lift;

The space program being put into place by my Grandad could also offer the same lift capabilities as the Falcon programme.

Unfortunatly, my Grandad has the same issues of not actually being able to get anywhere near space as the Falcon program....

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Your bear behind

Just as well the Russians "abandoned" their high power flying lasers in the '70s as the window of opportunity to evaporate the entire USA now looks more than sufficient.

Oh sorry. I forgot they decided to fold up the (first) Cold War.

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Pirate

for the records @ James Monnett

for the records it should be noted that in reply to:

"So Russia invading a small neighboring country that only recently broke free from centuries of Russian domination = the US bullying the world? Nice Logic."

no matter how one can twist the facts but

1) under the CCCP South Ossetia was an autonomous region

2) when the CCCP collapsed Georgia declared independence

and abolished the autonomy

3) The South Ossetian immediately rejected the decision and started to fight

the Georgians:South Ossetian win and Georgian lose,

arrival of an interposition force.

(same apply for Abkhazia)

bottom line:

No matter how you twist the facts but the

locals prefer to shoot at Georgian rather than being annexed,

for what regards "US bullying the world" just

substitute "South Ossetian" with "Kosovo"

and "Georgia" with "Serbia"

and make a study in contrast of the attitude

of the so called "free" western media.

in reply to:

"I suppose now you’ll call the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 80’s and Afghan Rescue Mission?"

the only problem of the Russian is that they did not call it

"operation Afghanistan freedom" or "desert storm",

also they did not have the secretary of the communist party

landing on a carrier declaring "mission accomplished"

(after all it was a "cakewalk").

I daresay it is basically a marketing problem.

in reply to:

"Paris, cause anyone who thinks Russia is NOT trying to rebuild the Soviet Union is as dumb as she is."

I wonder what would think Paris of an organization called NATO (=North Atlantic..)

involved in Afghanistan - I think she can distinguish the sea from the mountain

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If only....

We'd kept funding HOTOL we'd have a suitable solution. Once again UK solutions binned just as they start to deliever (Blue Steel, engine design on the Isle of Wight, TSR, etc, etc)

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NASA dropped the ball

Unbelievable that after 50+ years of manned space travel, including an extraordinary effort after JFK's announcement to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, NASA dropped the ball by forgetting to plan a replacement to take up after the end of the shuttle era. Did someone stop to think and forget to start again?

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Thumb Up

re. Whatever happen to?

HOTOL was only ever an idea; no actual working technology was ever developed.

"Once again, British inginuity crippled by short sighted govt."

More like "once again the British confuse an idea with the capability of developing that into working technology"

A bit like saying Arthur C. Clarke "invented" the communications satellite; he came up with the concept, but it was the Russians and Americans who spent the money to develop the working technology.

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Joke

Did someone stop to think and forget to start again?

That'd most likely be Regan.

Or Bush Snr.

Or Dubya.

Mind you, Clinton did seem to be 'distracted' occasionally too!

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Black Helicopters

Russia can't be counted on

Keep the Space Shuttle flying until the Ares is done.

Seems logical to me... no wonder NASA can't figure it out. It's too simple.

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@ Nasa dropped the ball

Yep. After Columbia NASA seems to be locked into reorganization and such rather than moving forward.

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Paris Hilton

@ no name

"under the CCCP South Ossetia was an autonomous region"

An autonomous region which had previously been part of Georgia prior to the Russian take over several hundred years ago, and which, were it not for settlement programs introducing large numbers of ethnic Russians would probably still be unquestionably Georgian territory. Fact of the matter is, inserting your own people into conquered territory and then declaring it independant of the nation you took it from is still theft.

As for your remark about Kosovo TOTALLY different situation. Serbia was in a brutal civil war, not a minor territorial dispute. Further the known human rights violations in Serbia by the various factions in any given day outweigh those in Ossetia for a month at its worst. Apples and oranges... learn the difference.

As for your allusions to the US entry in Afghanistan being equivalent to the Soviet entry, bullshit.

The Soviets invaded with the intent of conquest. We attacked AFTER 9-11, when ALL INTELLIGENCE showed Bin Laden as being present in country, and even then only after extensive attempts to get the Taliban to extradite him. When you knowingly harbor someone who is known to have killed a few thousand of another nations innocent civilians you should logically expect that they are going to rain all over your theocratic little parade for it. If the Taliban had chosen to hand over Bin Laden, who is arguably one of the worst mass murderers of our generation, and who took "credit" for the 9-11 attacks then the Taliban would still be in power and Afghanistan wouldnt have been invaded.

Ally of my enemy, is also my enemy. Defacto.

As for referring to Desert Storm as equivalent to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Learn some History. Desert Storm Iraq invaded Kuwait and the US, Britain, and other countries pushed them OUT of Kuwait. Iraq itself was not occupied. Nice try, get the facts next time.

If on the other hand you meant operation Iraqi Freedom..... again you compare apples to oranges. In Iraqi Freedom yes Iraq was invaded and occupied, based on NUMEROUS violations of the ceasefire agreement it signed and UN sanctions, most of which the US was a primary party to, after Desert Storm. Iraq had established a decade of defiance to UN sanctions as well as more violations to the cease fire terms in a decade than the DMZ in Korea has seen in 5 times that long. Further, Iraq was obviously atleast attempting to reinstate its WMD research, as evidenced by the fact that several TONS of radioactive materials WERE recovered from hidden caches. This also is in defiance of agreements it had signed with both the UN and the US. Whether or not they were having SUCCESS is irrelevant, the fact they were trying alone and in possession of the key materials violates UN sanctions, and the cease fire agreement.

In short. Look up the FACTS and actually read them before drawing comparisons, it wont be so easy to completely destroy the credibility of the comparisons you draw. You want to US bash, go for it. But get the correct facts and bash us where we DESERVE it, such as the companies who have contracts in Iraq, not in military actions which were wholly justifiable.

Paris, do I need to explain it?

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Anonymous Coward

Dropped the ball...

That's not entirely true - the shuttle programme was intended to go on much longer than 2010 - in fact until Ares was ready. However after the Columbia disaster, the top brass got a bit nervous and decided to end shuttle flights early. I believe they saved themselves some money by not having to carry out expensive refits on at least one of the shuttles by doing this.

Of course it does leave them rather in the lurch until Ares is ready...

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Boffin

NASA really has no options

The way the budgeting process works (from Congress, the White House, Office of Management and Budget, inside accountants, outside groups) it's amazing any programs outside of defense or national security are ever passed. NASA's problem isn't a lack of foresight, it's a lack of healthy funding. Manned space missions cost ten times (at the cheap end) as much than robotic missions which causes sticker shock to all but a few people. NASA should go ask DOD for it's space funding, but there is no way any Secretary of Defense is going to tell Congress "Send my billions of dollars to NASA where they really need the money" (FYI: DOD gets just as much money if not more than NASA for space)

Propulsion wise, nuclear is impossible outside of military operations because some group in Florida will send NASA to court and NASA is unable to guarantee 100% safety.

The shuttle was only capable of going to the space station, never beyond low earth orbit. So to go further into space (like the moon as the Apollo missions) require a new vehicle. Unfortunately the Apollo specs were lost (bad record keeping) and any parts NASA has are unusable even as a template.

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ian
Bronze badge

All your ISS are belong...

NASA management are dropping the ball again, as they have chosen to ignore existing, working technology (specifically the shuttle's SRBs and the huge external fuel tank). It wouldn't be (complicated) rocket science to put engines on the bottom of the external fuel tank and mount the capsule on top. With the SRBs attached to the sides, the payload to orbit of the stack would be enourmous. See http://jasonjeffrey.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/nasa-engineers-work-on-alternative-moon-rocket/

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Pirate

Does anyone read these comments after there are so many?

Maybe so. And I have an urge to type...

Georgia vs Serbia: The thought had crossed my mind too. One big difference is that Clinton's actions in Serbia were expressly and unequivocally against US Law (The War Powers Act). A little ditty intended to stop another Vietnam. However, laws only matter if someone will enforce them. As always when one branch of the federal government breaks the law, there was no one to call them to task on it.

Oh, and the difference? The Russian action was fully legal from the standpoint of their governmental processes. Other differences? The Russians didn't conduct indiscriminate bombing of population (er... military) centers.

---

The shuttle was a piece of crap in 1970. If Kennedy had not been shot the US probably would have never gone to the moon. Johnson despised the space program, or anything else that wasn't radical social engineering. Don't forget that the last 3 moon landings were canceled, because at least a year before the moon landing NASA's budget had completely evaporated - to pay for Johnson's little excursion in SE Asia (which btw, led to THE WAR POWERS ACT).

Nixon didn't much care about anything, NASA was high on his list of things not to care about. But there were 3 choices:

1) Close shop and end NASA. No government in modern time has ever shrunk

2) Go to Mars. This is what everyone thought was going to happen. It would have cost serious money so that didn't happen.

3) Build this shuttle thing as a way to not do 1 or 2. It was nothing more than a cheap cop out.

----

Ares is a bureaucratic pipe dream. If it flies by 2020 I'll be surprised. If it is not a pale imitation of Apollo, I'll be stunned. Personally I'm thinking Gemini only with a gender neutral 500 lb toilet for our geriatric crowd of OH SO VERY "The Wrong Stuff" politically correct astro-losers.

Of course it's hard to care, ISS is a bigger boondoggle than the shuttle even when it was grounded. And NASA has a perfect track record of NOT following through. IF Ares ever flies don't expect it to leave orbit. Maybe in the payload bay of the Chinese NERVA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NERVA)

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Go

thank goodness we have this thing called "the Private Sector"

Even though the Falcon series of boosters have failed three times (the last one mostly due to a costly miscalculation....I wonder if anyone had predicted it but were shouted down by MBA's) their track record is still better than the early USAF and NASA attempts. Once SpaceX proves the Falcon booster system is reliable, there's just scaling up to go from there to a man-rated vehicle. Scaled Composites is already probing the suborbital realm with man-rated vehicles already.

NASA has a place, but it's not all gloom and doom. If government fails to provide the goods, then if there's profit in it, private industry (yay capitalism!) will fill the vacuum. We do have other choices than former military hardware-which is what the whole Russian program is running off of-they'll be out of old ICBMs someday.

If American industry doesn't take it, there's always Asian or European consortiums that could choose to take the space initiative right now. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has already launched orbital and deep space probes. The French Arianne design can easily be improved by Airbus. It's just a matter of getting short sighted politicians to do something *for* the human race instead of just spreading socialist agendas and making sure they remain a "ruling class".

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Dead Vulture

some people read these comments,

Why did the Russians shell and loot Gori then? I believe "sufficiently punished Georgia" sums it up. Which is what the Georgians did to Ossetia. I think they probably deserve each other. The US sending aid to Georgia is just to keep balance with Russia aiding Ossetia. Maybe we should grant Georgians US citizenship just to cement the deal, maybe send some pilgrims. Then we can be just like the Russians.

{Ossetian} "Separatists opened fire from different locations aiming at eight Georgian villages," This is from Yahoo news before Georgia invaded Ossetia, and the Russian response. So Ossetians broke the cease fire, not Georgians. He said, she said whatever.... Also, wasn't South Osseia an atonomous region OF Georgia according to just about every country, and the previous cease fire? So Russia invaded another country, but the Georgians were just policing their country. What were the Russian "peacekeepers" doing? That's like having Iran "peacekeepers" in Gaza. This is why we need less-biased international forces in these places. Of course, there is probably a majority of people in South Ossetia that want to not be part of Georgia, so Georgia should just let go. With international mediaion of ultra precise border recognition.

(What's the best process if lets say, New Mexicans (75% of them) decide they don't want to be part of the US anymore? They will use violence if necessary. Is there an option besides civil war? Don't forget their are natural resources, land etc. owned by the federal govt and other enterprises. 25% that still want to be part of the US. If there is no bending, you're left with breaking I guess?)

According to your link, NERVA sucked...

Anyways... why so much doom and gloom? Our current tech and cosmological knowledge owes much to NASA. While a ton of $ goes to stuipd things, no country is perfect. Much of what this country does is good, and much of what it does is bad. We just do many things on a big scale, so everyone notices. Kinda like China is becomming.

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The USA is over

They're finished. Once this depression is through with them and the Chinese are running the place they'll be taught manners in school not just how to worship a piece of cloth.

The Jules Verne worked fine as a launch capsule and the Arianne is human rated. It also has the same capacity as the shuttle. The Russian solution for return to earth works, so what possible need is there for yanks with their unbelievably jingoistic racist attitudes preventing progress.

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Anonymous Coward

The problem is Iraq

Once you justify invading a sovereign territory to acquire the local resources (oil in that case) and to cement your influence over an area in which you have an interest on various counter terrorism, liberation, freedom, democracy, pre-preemptive freedom strike etc. grounds then you just look like a big bunch of fuckwit twats when you object to someone else doing it.

Also, as an aside to the points raised here if one litters one's posts with multiple instances of the word "fact" in uppercase one is basically saying "One is an idiot whose opinion is worthless, don't waste your time reading this post, just move along, nothing to see here."

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@Sean

You'd better get a dose of reality. Will the US fall? eventually yes, happens to all republics or democracies over time. Will it happen during your or my lifetime? Not likely. As for racist, look to Europe for that one, Europe seems to be having more issues or racism than the US the last decade or two, or have you forgotten this little thing in France a couple years ago?

As for the Chinese or Russians either one running us.... well, let me put it this way... SINCE THE US HAS SPENT THE LAST HALF CENTURY propping western Europe up... ya'll will go down with us if/when it happens. So if I were you, considering how little freedom you'll have under either regime... I would ferverently pray the US has atleast another 50 years in it.

Oh yah, btw our deficit, when you do the math for inflation and such? Over half of it comes from bailing out the French in Vietnam alone.

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how meny lifes is it worth

this is a real question How meny lifes is the tech worth??

this is the reasion that it seames in war time we make more advaces that in war time the cost of life is reduced but it is allways somthing we should concider yes doing these things is risky but I think it should be done even if it is just for the sake of doing it after all you have to die of somthing to die in the attempt to make progress is the best epitaff I can think off

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Thumb Up

@James Monnett

"...bailing out the French in Vietnam.."

Priceless :) You really showed those Vietnamese. And you are still paying for it you say? Hilarious.

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Stop

@ James Monnett

Propping up western europe?

You mean interfering and manipulating western europe to ensure US dominance?

Bailing out the French in Vietnam, yes, good job you did there too, 1 million dead vietnamese and 58 thousand dead americans, and what did you gain there ? (other than insight into why it tends not to be a good idea getting in between the vietnamese who have been fighting for hundreds of years.

Your attitude to America my freind is very common, flag worshiping hand on heart fanatical partiotism gone too far - it;s the reason why the rest of the world hate you, yes, everybody, we all hate you, not just for the way you conduct yourselves in world politics but for the way you culture works

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Pirate

for the records the Ossetes speak an Iranian Language @ James Monnett

in reply to:

"An autonomous region which had previously been part of Georgia prior to the Russian take over several hundred years ago, and which, were it not for settlement programs introducing large numbers of ethnic Russians would probably still be unquestionably Georgian territory. "

Stop right there, you are commenting something that you do not know,

the Ossetes are "Caucasian people speaking an eastern Iranian Language"

(quote from Britannica, not wikipedia) - about large number of ethnic

Russian I do not have evidence (Britannica says that the second group,

I suppose before the start of the war, was Georgians).

The history of the Ossetes is also interesting, actually the whole history of that region is fascinating, and in a nutshell they have their quite distinct

identity which - the records shows - in the CCCP was respected

and in Georgia (better, with the attempted takeover of the Georgian)

it was not. That's a fact.

in reply to:

"Fact of the matter is, inserting your own people into conquered territory and then declaring it independent of the nation you took it from is still theft."

you are talking of Stalin then - himself a Georgian - who draw the

border of Georgia which the Georgian are trying to claim as theirs

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@ AC's again (if one has the courage of their convictions why be anon?)

Yes PROPPING UP western Europe as in rescuing it from Nazi occupation, then proceeding to be the ONLY thing that stopped Russia from rolling over Western Europe in the 50's and 60's (and right up till the Soviet Union collapsed).

Our intervention in Vietnam came at the request of the French... who wanted out and couldnt get themselves out. We should have been smart enough to say no.. but helping Europeans out is a mistake we seem to just keep making.

As for me worshipping America? Wrong answer. I've lived in Europe as well (mostly England and France) and appreciate locations for what they have to offer. In the case of America its strength, freedom, and MOSTLY decent people. In England it was fun conversations at the pub and freedom (mostly) wonderful weather and rich culture. In France it was decent wine, wonderful art, HALF decent food, and women who REALLY needed to shave/bathe a bit more. Germany (at the time West Germany) had some wonderful scenery, and good natured people who from what I saw worked their asses off but knew how to relax too. Each country I have ever been to had its own charms and strengths, granted the French strength is in having the best white flags.. but its still a strength.

for the second AC....

"Stop right there, you are commenting something that you do not know,"

Assuming what someone else knows, or doesn't know is rather foolish. Historically speaking Ossetia was a part of Georgia prior to the Russian take over. They got along before the Russians as well as any two ethnic groups sharing the same country did in the middle ages, and would likely get along now without Russian immigrants, and Russian politics fanning every little flame. Yes they had their own identity, but they were part of Georgia none the less, and that dual or plural identity for citizens of the same country was quite common in Eastern and Central Europe in the Middle ages, and in MOST cases barring outside interference was worked out in one way or another. the main cases where it's BEEN a problem in recent years are former Soviet states where things never got worked out because the central government in Moscow had the power, whereas the regional governments which is where such things NEEDED to be addressed were powerLESS. Now those same regional governments are National Goverments in their own right fully and those nations more established should, barring truly horrific problems let them have the time it takes to work through things.

As for Stalin, yes he was Georgian by birth, but heart and soul he was Soviet Communist, and firmly believed in the Soviet dreams of Empire by Nature. Imperialists dont necessarily care about their home nation, so much as their dreams of empire. Further relocation programs which Stalin was notious for, continued LONG after his death and most Premiers after him weren't Georgian.

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Stop

Time - the healer

Amazing, all the hate bashing ON BOTH SIDES. All of Europe hates all of the USA, eh? And same back ? Nonsence. And, let us not forget that most countries have had times when their culture and national outlook conflicted with eachothers. I seem to recall a few wars, empire building, imperial ruling, etc that were all sourced straight from Europe, for hundreds of years, right on up to a few decades ago. But now all of Europe is all one happy Ubercountry .... well, not really. The USA is no saint either. But time will continue to change thing. Hey we all like Dr Who, and pizza's and that marvel of inventions like movies and A/C power.

As for NASA.. Shuttle was in planning before Apollo 16 was launched, as was Skylab. NASA had only had 3 more missions planned anyway. Why not go back to that design. Apollo would not have the power to lift all that we will wanna lift, and it was a pain to make, and none of it was reusable. Can Shuttle be extended, sure, if congress gives more $ to NASA to do it.

STOP, as in stop the silly who hates who the most.

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Coat

NASA = Joke

First, I am a US citizen. Born and raised. Raised in the 70s and 80s on past glories of moon landings and shuttle launches.

Is the shuttle out dated? Absolutely.

Does it make sense to take a HUGE ASS leap backwards and use fire and forget rockets and capsules to recover? Hell no.

Scaled Composites has it in the bag. While NASA takes a GIANT step backwards for man kind, SC is taking steps towards a truely economical and intelligent space craft launch and recovery system. I don't know the exact nubmers, but a very large percentage of the fuel in that big ass tank under the shuttle is used just to get its sorry ass off the ground. So, you spend tons of fuel to get it moving, then once it is up to speed, you ditch the gigantic torches. Same thing with the current idea for the moon rocket.

Now here you have SC re-visiting an idea that worked during the early years of supersonic flight testing: use something else to get it up to speed, then launch from a high altitude. What a novel concept!

Can't wait for SC to show NASA (and the rest of the world) how it's done and put their own lander on the moon in time - and for a profit too!

Mine is the one with the moon dust on it...

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Pirate

for the records @ James Monnett

in reply to:

"@ AC's again (if one has the courage of their convictions why be anon?) "

nowday one never knows what it takes to land in a no-fly list and its interesting catch that one you land there you cannot be taken off

in reply to:

""Stop right there, you are commenting something that you do not know, Assuming what someone else knows, or doesn't know is rather foolish. "

I do not assume, I read what you write and compare with the facts

in reply to:

"Historically speaking Ossetia was a part of Georgia prior to the Russian take over. They got along before the Russians as well as any two ethnic groups sharing the same country did in the middle ages, and would likely get along "

stop, are you talking about Georgia? the one under Arab rule (sec VII) and the invaded by Mongols in sec XIV and later ruled by Turks sec. XVII-VIII?

for that reason the "Georgian" asked to be under the protection of the Russian Empire? Please check a history handbook that reports only date and what happened by yourself.

"now without Russian immigrants, and Russian politics fanning every little flame. Yes they had their own identity, but they were part of Georgia none the"

Stop again, are you talking of Russian? or are you mixing Ossetes (Iranian descent, claim also being the descendor of the Alans), currently ostly muslim by the way, with Russian ??

in reply to

"Now those same regional governments are National Goverments in their own right fully and those nations more established should, barring truly horrific problems let them have the time it takes to work through things."

in fact Ossetes (valid also for Abhkazia) started to fight from day one to be free form the Georgian, I think we have a clear point here.

Let me make a simple question:

do you believe that X has the right to self-determination?

Answer for X=Ossetes and X=Kosovars

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Flame

@ James Monnett

re “An autonomous region which had previously been part of Georgia prior to the Russian take over several hundred years ago”

Really. This would have been Czarist russia, not the USSR; and if you’re going to talk of that kind of timescale then perhaps we ought to discuss the genocide perpetuated by the US on the indigenous population....

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