Aug 24 2011
OK, did we just strand our astronauts in orbit due to mindless Obama cuts at NASA? We recently witnessed the last flight of the US Space Shuttle program and now Russia’s Progress vehicle has had an accident and may not be safe for regular flights to/from the International Space Station:
Russia may fail to fulfill its obligations in delivering crews to the International Space Station after Wednesday’s accident with Russia’s Progress M-12M space freighter, a source in Russia’s space industry said.
The space freighter fell in South Siberia’s Altai Republic on Wednesday after failing to separate from the Soyuz-U carrier rocket, the first loss of the Progress freighter in the history of Russia’s space industry. A rocket engine failure is believed to have caused the accident.
“The scheduled launches of the [Soyuz] rockets are likely to be suspended because of the space freighter accident… until the reasons [of the accident] are established,” the source said.
This means that members of the International Space Station’s crew are likely to stay at the station longer than planned and that the new crew will not be able to replace them on schedule, he said.
H/T Reader lurker9876. Only a moron would cancel America’s only transportation system to the space station which we spent billions of dollars over many decades to build. As I noted in my post regarding the last shuttle flight, technically it was illegal to cancel the follow-on to the shuttle (the Orion vehicle under the Constellation program) because it is illegal to leave any critical aspect of any US Space Program to the whims and performance of other nations. We can’t fly a sounding rocket if the entire mission has a foreign element key to the success of the mission.
But apparently the White House and Democrats in Congress weren’t too worried about the human beings now stranded in space 100’s miles into space when they axed Orion.
This is just unconscionable. It borders on the criminally negligent. We have human beings stranded in conditions akin to miners trapped in a cave or sailors trapped in a sunken submarine with no immediate way to rescue them. And this is squarely on the shoulders of the White House and Dems who decided we did not need a way to move our people to/from our space station. If there is a medical emergency up there those poor folks are in possible trouble (since I don’t believe the crew recovery vehicle is yet operational).
Like I said – morons.