Military Review

The road to the stars. The crisis of modern cosmonautics


I believe, friends, caravans of rockets
Rush us forward from star to star.
On the dusty paths of distant planets
Our tracks will remain.

But NASA astronauts are at risk of getting stuck on Earth forever. Due to financial difficulties, a difficult situation has developed around the “flagship program” of the American Space Agency. The situation is complicated by the lack of a coherent strategy for space exploration at NASA: after the cessation of the “Shuttle” flights, the experts did not come to a single decision on the topic of manned space flights. Who will deliver American astronauts to orbit in the near future? Perspective Orion program, commercial projects, such as the cargo space ship "Dragon" or the elderly "Soyuzy-TMA" of Roscosmos? Or maybe it is worth to abandon manned launches altogether - objectively, at the present stage of technical development, there is no need for finding a man in space, automata cope with all tasks perfectly.

Over the years of its existence 55 NASA has managed to spend 800 billion dollars for space research, much of which went to the so-called "flagship program" (flagship). The flagship program is a reason for pride for all of humanity. Over the years, under its auspices, the Voyager missions (outer regions of the solar system), Galileo (working in Jupiter’s orbit), Cassini (research of the Saturn system) were carried out - flagship missions are complex and extremely expensive, because such launches are not more often once a decade. In recent years, the “flagship” was the heavy rover MSL (Mars Science Laboratory, aka “Curiosity”). 6 August 2012, the “jet crane” gently lowered the MSL onto the surface of the Red Planet, and NASA thought about what they should do next?

So, so ... the next year we are given 17 billions ... You can drill the ice shell of Europe to find out if there is a warm ocean with extraterrestrial life forms under the 100-kilometer layer of ice on the surface of the satellite of Jupiter. Or launch another heavy rover? And, maybe, by the end of this decade to send a mission to faraway Uranus?

The road to the stars. The crisis of modern cosmonautics

"Iridium Flare". The most beautiful astronomical phenomenon caused by the reflection of sunlight from the mirror panels of communication satellites. The brightest star flashes in the night sky and gradually fades out after 10 seconds. The position of each of the 66 devices in the Iridium system is known with high accuracy, which allows us to predict and observe flares over the entire territory of the Earth.
Forecast for the coming days:

Research enthusiasm for NASA scientists and specialists quickly cooled the appropriations committee of the House of Representatives. The leadership of the US space agency tactfully reminded that they "" are not able to enforce schedules within the allocated budget. " Most of the questions were caused by the project of the orbital observatory to them. James Webb is a space super-telescope with a composite mirror with a diameter of 6,5 meters, which is five times more distant from the Earth than the moon (in open space, he is not afraid of distortions arising from the effects of the atmosphere and thermal radiation of our planet). At the end of 90-s, it was planned that the telescope would work already in 2011 year, and its cost would be 1,6 billion dollars. According to current estimates, James Webb will be launched no earlier than 2018, and its life-cycle cost has increased to 8,7 billion dollars!

There are no means, it is impossible to close - it is with such an aphorism that one can describe the events connected with the Webb project. In the course of the heated debates, congressmen nevertheless agreed to allocate the required amount, but forced the NASA leadership to abandon the "flagship" walks along the "paths of distant planets" - you should first finish building and launch an orbital observatory. As a result, "James Webb", in fact, not being an interplanetary mission, became the "flagship project" of NASA in the coming years.

Telescope "James Webb", the successor of the famous "Hubble"

Nevertheless, NASA has two cheaper, but no less interesting programs for exploring the solar system - Discovery and New Frontiers. Every few years, NASA announces a competition for a new interplanetary mission, in which leading US universities and research centers participate. Based on the requirements of the competition (usually the cost limit and launch date are specified in advance), the participants submit their interplanetary missions projects and explain to NASA specialists the need to study the chosen celestial body. The winner gets the right to build and launch his own spacecraft into space and satisfy his curiosity.

For example, in December 2009, the launch of the New Frontier interplanetary mission was launched, tentatively assigned to 2015-2020. Three most interesting projects fought in the final: the MoonRise mission to deliver substances from the South Pole basin to the Earth - Aitken on the far side of the moon (a proposal from the University of Washington, St. Louis), OSIRIS-Rex mission to deliver substances to the Earth from an asteroid surface (101955) 1999 RQ36 (University of Arizona, Tucson) and the SAGE Venus Surface Survey Mission (University of Colorado, Boulder). The victory was awarded to the mission OSIRIS-Rex, which will go to the asteroid in 2016 year.

In addition to the “New Frontiers”, there is an even simpler and “cheap” Discovery program worth no more than 500 million dollars (for comparison, the “flagship” MarsL rover cost the US budget 2,5 billion dollars).
Most NASA research missions are performed within the framework of Discovery. For example, last summer, launches for the 2016 year were played out. In total, 28 applications were received, among which were proposals for the landing of the descent module on Titan (the largest satellite of Saturn) and the launch of a spacecraft to study the evolution of comets. Alas, the victory went to a rather “banal” and, at first glance, less interesting InSight mission — “only” another apparatus for the exploration of Mars. Americans send vehicles each year in this direction, it seems they have big plans for the Red Planet.

Interplanetary space station "Juno" for the study of Jupiter. Prelaunch preparation.

In total, as of February 2013, in the outer space and in the vicinity of other planets of the Solar System there are a pleiad of NASA 10 active missions:

- MESSENGER is exploring the environs of Mercury. Despite the apparent proximity of this planet, it took the station six years of endless gravitational maneuvers to pick up the speed of 48 km / s and finally catch up with the small elusive Mercury (for comparison: the orbital speed of the Earth is 29 km / s).

- the surface of Mars diligently picks with buckets the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers (MSL). The first just a couple of days ago celebrated the anniversary - 9 earth years on the surface of the Red Planet. During this time, Opportunity crawled across the crater-covered 36 desert for kilometers.

- communications with rovers help support the Odyssey spacecraft (11 years in Mars orbit) and the Martian orbital reconnaissance aircraft (7 years on the front lines), and the Mars-Express research station of the European Space Agency.

- In 2009, the Rassvet automatic interplanetary station passed in the vicinity of Mars, heading towards the Asteroid Belt. In 2011, her rendezvous with the dwarf planet Vesta took place. Now the machine is slowly catching up with its next target - the dwarf planet Ceres, a meeting with which is scheduled for 2015 year.

- somewhere in the black gap between Mars and Jupiter, a billion kilometers wide, the interplanetary station "Juno" rushes. The planned date of Jupiter’s orbit is 2016 year.

- Cassini interplanetary station has been plowing 15 for years (since July 2004 has been spinning in Saturn orbit, the mission has been extended to 2017 of the year).

- For many years 7 is racing in the icy emptiness of the New Horizons interplanetary probe. In 2011, he left Uranus as a stern and now is “only” at a distance of 10 astronomical units (≈150 million km, as the average distance from Earth to the Sun) from his target, the planet Pluto, arrival is scheduled for 2015 year. 9 years of flight and the entire 2 of the day for a close acquaintance with a distant cold world. What an injustice! "New Horizons" will rush past Pluto at 15 km / s and will leave the Solar System forever. Next only the stars.

- Voyager-2 spaceship. Thirty-five years of flight, behind the back - the way to 15 billion kilometers. The unit is now 100 times farther from the Sun than the Earth — Voyager radio signals traveling at 300 000 km / s require 17 hours to reach remote satellite communications antennas in the state of California. 30 August 2007 of the year, the device suddenly felt that the “solar wind” verse (the flow of charged particles from the Sun) verse around it, but the intensity of galactic radiation sharply increased. Voyager-2 has reached the limits of the solar system.

Through 40 000 years, the starship will go at a distance of 1,7 light years from the star Ross 248, and through 296 000 will reach the vicinity of Sirius. Numbers in hundreds of thousands of years do not scare "Voyager-2", because time has stopped for him forever. In a million years the corps of a starship will be bent by cosmic particles, but it will still continue its lonely journey through the galaxy. In total, according to scientists' assumptions, “Voyalzher-2” will exist in space about 1 of billion years and, probably, will remain by that moment the only monument of Human civilization.

About those who were in space first

Despite the incompatible scale of the problems, the situation in Roscosmos is exactly the same as the NASA system crisis. And it's not even a matter of losing reliability when launching spacecraft, the problem lies much deeper - no one knows why we need to fly into Space at all. Space technology for Russia is like an old suitcase without a handle: it is hard to drag and throw away.

The explanations in the style of “this is necessary to strengthen the prestige of the country” do not stand up to criticism: there are more pressing problems here on Earth, the solution of which is much more important for raising the prestige of Russia than the notorious space flights.

Commercial launches and space tourism? Also by. The annual need for commercial launches is no more than two dozen per year.
The cost of the launch vehicle and maintenance of the launch pad pays off with great difficulty.

International Space Station? I am begging you! These guys for 10 years were able to invent only new diapers. To date, a sufficient amount of knowledge of space biomedicine has been accumulated, all possible and impossible experiments have been carried out in low-Earth orbit, we have learned everything that we wanted to know. More man in earth orbit nothing to do. It is necessary to boldly go forward, but for this there are no intelligible goals, no means, no necessary technologies.

We (in the sense of the human civilization of the beginning of the XXI century) are flying into space on the same jet engines on which Gagarin flew, no other promising space engines have yet been created. Fashionable now ionic engines (in fact, they were used even in 60-s in the orientation systems of the Soviet satellites) have negligible traction (less than 1 Newton!) And, despite some gains when flying to distant planets, they are not able to drastically improve the situation. So far, the 1% payload of the launch mass of the rocket and space system is considered a great result! - because any talk about the industrial development of the Cosmos, as well as about the bases for the extraction of ore on the moon, does not make sense.

Military spy satellites, satellites of global positioning systems, scientific and practical devices for exploring the Earth, studying climate and the geology of our planet, commercial telecommunication satellites-repeaters ... this is probably all that we need Cosmonautics for. And, of course, the study of distant worlds. What for? Perhaps this is the purpose of humanity.

Small photo gallery:

Dashboard of the Vostok-1 spacecraft, 1961

Panorama of the crater Endeavor. Removed by Opportunity rover during the fifth wintering on the surface of the Red Planet.

Pre-launch preparation of the Opportunity Mars rover

Landing parachute of the rover "Curiosity"

Mars Explorers
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  1. ATATA
    ATATA 22 February 2013 09: 39
    It is necessary to boldly go forward, but there are no clear goals, no means, no necessary technologies.

    There are few real violent, and there are no leaders (C)
    Better than Yevgeny Primakov about modernity, I have not heard the words:
    The time of the brave has ended, the time of the brave has begun ..

    To wait for practical returns from space now, it is all too early to require a 3-year-old child to earn a living on his own.
    But I hope this will not always be the case and not everyone thinks that we do not need space and generally progress.
    The triumph of gray mediocrity will not be long.
    1. Shumer
      Shumer 22 February 2013 10: 52
      "The time of the brave is over, the time of the brave has begun .."
      1. VadimSt
        VadimSt 22 February 2013 11: 31
        Yes, the monument is a masterpiece, in the "head on a tray" style. Someone, for such masterpieces, also received awards.
    2. Ascetic
      Ascetic 22 February 2013 14: 29
      Quote: ATATA
      The time of the brave has ended, the time of the brave has begun ..

      I would say the time of enthusiasts and daring dreamers is over - the time of hucksters and "effective managers" has come. All the creativity of which lies in the ability to make suckers out of citizens and the state, Such are honored and respected, and dreamers are enthusiasts and losers .. NASA the same heyday came at a time of confrontation and rivalry with the USSR, which, in fact, was the driving force of progress (competition ). Now there is no such confrontation, but it was not possible to unite the efforts, therefore, such a monopoly inevitably leads to degradation and stagnation, which is observed now.
      Here is a good example of an "effective manager" Mikhail Prokhorov.
      E-mobile, E-party, E-biathlon. It’s especially annoying for biathlon, where we slipped from the forefront to the level of third-rate countries. Well, where is the innovation, the wise Vekselbergs from Skolkovo and Nano Chubais? Here is an example with rifles. From an interview with A. Tikhonov, head of the Russian SBR

      Prokhorov was about to transfer Russia to a domestic car. What about domestic skis and rifles? We developed weapons in conjunction with the 79th department of Kalashnikov. It was a "weapon of victory", which had no equal in the world ... Do you think that we should develop our production, I did not tell Prokhorov? Empty sound. They buy a batch of pneumatics, which after 10 workouts must be written off. Such innovations ... Or they bought ski of virtually consumer-grade quality and decided to distribute it in the regions. So Pak, who came with these skis, was simply sent to Chita. They said: “What are you, stunned! We are preparing athletes, not tourists! ” This is again to the question that everyone should do his own thing. It should be good on the ass to give all the hangers-on and drive away those who do not have a sports education. No diploma - shovel in hand and clean Moscow instead of migrant workers.
      What was a good training system in the Union? There was a pyramid, which was based on mass sport: thousands were engaged, and only a few got to the top. And if we have 10 people, then from whom to choose? Plus, an unhealthy generation is really growing in the country. I recently traveled to the Ryazan region, so in two districts I did not see a single cow ... What kind of sport to talk about if milk is powdered, meat is western genetically modified. That's what we eat! Soon we will grunt in an American way and moo in an European way ...

      That's the whole modern innovative economy about which liberals hang on our ears, headed by Prime Minister Medvedev. They don’t need a shovel in their hands, but in a box car and Magadan all together. then there will be innovations and space breakthroughs and in sport again we will be ahead of the rest.
      1. Raphael_83
        Raphael_83 22 February 2013 20: 50
        "Captain's Log:
        Stardate 15.13.1. Space. The Last Frontier. Humanity overcame it, opening the way to the stars, but we still know little about it ... "

        Oh, comrade Ascetic! My whole romantic mood was ruined by my cruel, but - needless to say - fair skepticism.
        About Prokhor: still weakly said !!! This .... male cohabitant at one time (200 ...- 2009) was a co-owner of our bank. So he, bastard, had so effectively directed that the country's largest commercial bank put on the brink of collapse. If the French had not bought us almost 100% from him back in 2010, that's it!
        And for his "yokarnye" projects of a reptile in general it is not enough to shoot. Agent of the West is not otherwise. There are no more words, only obscene ones remained ...

        I'm going to watch Star Trek - The Original Series and sigh at the Land of Crimson Clouds. When they were created, the situation in the industry was much more fun.
      2. Justme
        Justme 22 February 2013 22: 35
        Somewhere in October-November last year, I caught sight of documents from which it follows that half of the money in the "Diagnostics" of ROSCOSMOS, which I was involved in, simply merges into contracts for third-party scientific organizations. And since those organizations are obviously downright stupid, we write scientific reports for them. I listened to what is written there as reports - complete amateurishness - in fact, quality is not required there - the task is straightforward - a banal drain of money ..
        After the "Muscovites" frolicked and took their share of the money -
        further the field already for the local leading public ...

        From my practice, I know - well, half of the money was stolen upstairs, there isn’t much harm - after all, there is in fact excessive funding for the so-called science. But here are the figures at the level of the enterprise’s leadership and just below the bones they’ll lay down so that nothing good comes from the remaining share of financing ..
        And this is a fact ..
  2. Kubatai
    Kubatai 22 February 2013 09: 53
    Why does it seek into space if it is possible to make life (state) of space ... (((
    ps pliz add "hand-face" to the set of emoticons
  3. straiser
    straiser 22 February 2013 09: 58
    Until there are new technologies, to put it mildly, it’s foolish to spend money on the development of near-Earth orbit. Better replenished the Glanas satellite constellation
  4. avt
    avt 22 February 2013 10: 03
    “Market” economy doesn’t need space exploration. It’s just not necessary, and that’s all. It doesn’t fit into the system of coordinates of the consumer society. With the fall of the CCCP, amers have no incentive, so they are sawing money quietly and energy into the distance a little bit.
  5. Parabelum
    Parabelum 22 February 2013 10: 11
    When there was rivalry between the United States and the USSR, astronautics developed by leaps and bounds, it was a rivalry between systems. After the collapse of the USSR, there was nothing to prove. The payback of space is a matter of the distant future. "Why invest in future projects, which will then bring trillions, when you can now grab billions?" - these are the idioms of leading corporations in our time.
    1. Justme
      Justme 22 February 2013 23: 14
      Our space industry is ruining the state by the fact that it is now ready to invest and is investing billions .. Our research institute does not need to be given 2.7 billion rubles a year - it’s not worth it .. What did this lead to - a thug at the top - the son of the Mayor of Baikonur, next to Science is a thug from the locals .... around them is a leading crowd of 30-year-old boys and sexy "girls" ..
      If we talk about the layer of complex managers, these are such quiet ones - "Shura Balaganovs", who are most clearly seen only in the creation of double structures of contracts and financial statements.
      And then technical specialists go on - but don't rejoice -
      The top of them is mossy old specialists who have succeeded in what - they use the technique of undercover games - where they know well - without techies, nowhere ..
      They sniff out all the subtle moments in technology in their narrow circle ..
      And to make it convenient - the whole bottom is made of illiterate youth ..

      And everyone is comfortable - only the question is with real results ..
      And here, too, everything is solved - like at the beginning of autumn we were invited to clean up the exhibition for the leading public which was in the director’s office, There the director showed what the billions were going to ..
      I was personally shocked - most of the presented - this is an imported technique on which they hung tags - "Made by us .."
      By the way, according to the results of that exhibition, our research institute was included in the "Golden fund of the best enterprises of Russia" ..
  6. Odysseus
    Odysseus 22 February 2013 11: 25
    The study and exploration of outer space has always been a dream of mankind and, accordingly, has become one of the key tasks in the ideology of socialism. In addition, this contributes to the rapid development of technology and is of military importance. Therefore, the Soviet Union paid such attention to this issue. And for reasons of a military nature and for reasons of prestige, America was not going to lag behind.
    After the beginning of perestroika, and especially after the collapse of the USSR, astronautics literally collapsed.
    It is understandable, as already noted in the comments, from the point of view of the capitalist, the development of astronautics (except for the military) is ineffective. Why invest in something that does not bring profit? Better McDonald’s next build. crying
    PS On the technical side, the main thing is to solve the problem of traction. Anyone who does this will deserve eternal gratitude from humanity.
    1. Santa Fe
      22 February 2013 14: 42
      Quote: Odyssey
      After the beginning of perestroika, and especially after the collapse of the USSR, astronautics literally collapsed.

      Cosmonautics collapsed in Russia in the early 2000s. In the 90s, everything went perfectly - the Mir station flew, the last modules were attached in 1995 and 1996. The Angara launch vehicle was being developed. There was an attempt to send the AMS to Mars, alas, as always unsuccessful (all Soviet and Russian Martian stations failed the mission). Mars-96 burned up in the Earth's atmosphere. But this is not the point - astronautics in the 90s developed quite successfully.
      Quote: Odyssey
      and America was not going to lag.

      Here you still need to see who is behind whom
      Quote: Odyssey
      from the point of view of the capitalist, the development of astronautics (other than military) is ineffective. Why invest in something that does not make a profit?

      The cargo ship "Dragon" from the private company SpaceX

      Reasoning: SpaceX is not a private company, SpaceX receives money and technology from NASA - all this reasoning is complete nonsense. The SpaceX budget is 100 times less than the budget of Gazprom. The most common medium-sized technical company, of which there are millions in the world.

      1. Odysseus
        Odysseus 23 February 2013 12: 46
        Quote: SWEET_SIXTEEN
        Cosmonautics collapsed in Russia in the early 2000s. In the 90s, everything went fine

        By inertia, some programs continued, first of all, of course, those that were interesting to foreigners. But all these programs (except for the Angara) come from the 80s. Despite the huge experience in designing launch vehicles for 20 years now, the hangar has not been able to bring to mind. Gradually the old programs were closed, the staff left. Well, and came to the current state ....
        Quote: SWEET_SIXTEEN
        Here you still need to see who is behind whom

        I don’t argue, the Americans when they were actively engaged in space exploration were in perfect order. Which is not surprising. The richest country uses personnel from all over the world.
        Quote: SWEET_SIXTEEN
        The cargo ship "Dragon" from the private company SpaceX

        Well, this company operates under a contract with NASA. Undoubtedly, if there is a firm contract with the state that provides a private company with an interesting rate of return, this company will work in the space sector.
    2. Corsair
      Corsair 24 February 2013 21: 26
      Star boy.
  7. biglow
    biglow 22 February 2013 12: 22
    Now there is a natural stagnation before the next breakthrough in technology. During periods of economic stagnation, scientists always theorize a lot, it’s cheap, and then they will do everything in iron.
    They’ll finish the atomic engine for rockets, there will be materials for building bases on the moon and Mars, and a new space race will begin
    1. Psyjoker
      Psyjoker 22 February 2013 13: 06
      Emnip, the technology of a pulsed nuclear engine is already available, there are problems with the pusher screen, which does not survive pulses. So the engine will be finished very soon if financing is not removed as always smile
      1. wartruk
        wartruk 22 February 2013 21: 30
        I don’t know about the pulse atomic engine. But then I know that this year the admission to the Mozhaisk Academy of Space Forces was increased by a factor of 10. And does that mean anything?
        Eh ... survive to a manned flight to Mars at least)
  8. Iraclius
    Iraclius 22 February 2013 12: 35
    Everything is much more complicated and sadder. You can say goodbye to childhood dreams of flying to the stars. The article is titled "Unreachable Starfrontier" by Charles Strauss. Do not be lazy to read, everything is written there clearly and with an arrangement. The main reason is enormous distances, colossal energies and time. People will not fly to the stars, alas. request
    1. Odysseus
      Odysseus 22 February 2013 13: 49
      Quote: Iraclius
      The article is titled "Unreachable Starfrontier" by Charles Strauss.

      Stross, despite being a "science fiction writer", is a typical English petty bourgeois by his way of thinking. He is all busy calculating the "cost and profitability" of space travel.
      Meanwhile, this calculating "science fiction writer" cleverly "does not notice" the fact that his country only in 2012 spent $ 60 billion on the army, and the main owner of the capital of the United States spent $ 660 billion!
      In total, over the past 10 years, only these 2 countries per army, i.e. creating and maintaining a system of killing people spent more than 7 trillion dollars !!
      If all this money and all efforts spent on the creation of weapons were directed to the development of astronautics, then the entire Solar system would have been colonized long ago. And deep space exploration would have made significant progress.
      1. Iraclius
        Iraclius 22 February 2013 17: 20
        I understand that you read the article. But then why didn’t they see the forests behind the trees? wink Economy is an economy, a lot depends on it. You also forgot that Russian Space is the result of an arms race, and not a consequence of naked altruism. The point is that since the middle of the last century, through the efforts of science fiction writers, including in the minds of people, the idea that the Cosmos is the Ocean, which has only to swim across, as on the other "shore" we will be awaited with open arms. Which shores? Who will be waiting? The Cosmos itself is inert matter and gigantic, unthinkable distances. The cosmos is alien and hostile to man by definition. This is not a living, warm Ocean breathing life. No technological advances will make it possible to overcome these abysses of space, even to the nearest star outside the solar system, because it is useless. What's the practical point? Or is the universe teeming with terrestrial planets? The very course of technological progress suggests that the next stage of human evolution will be a different, non-biological one, which is now being closely studied by transhumanists. And if anyone flies to the stars, it is not a person, but something else. yes
        1. Odysseus
          Odysseus 22 February 2013 20: 27
          Quote: Iraclius
          But then why didn’t they see the forests behind the trees?

          Because he is not there. smile
          The whole pathos of the second part of Strauss's article is based on the fact that the development of the Solar system is possible, but unprofitable. This is a direct refutation - over the past 10 years, the UK and the USA have spent over 7 trillion dollars on frankly harmful purposes. That is, spend 7 trillions. on the murder weapon is normal, but is their space unprofitable?
          As far as "deep space" is concerned, of course the technical difficulties are enormous.
          But under a lying stone, water does not flow We have to work. In the end, back in the early 20th century, space flights also seemed unrealistic fiction.
          Quote: Iraclius
          You also forgot that Russian Cosmos is the result of an arms race, and not the result of naked altruism

          Both that and another. The idea of ​​space exploration lies at the very core of the doctrine of Russian socialism. No wonder Bogdanov (one of the key members of the Central Committee of the Bolsheviks of the first composition) in 1911 wrote a novel about a flight to Mars.
          Quote: Iraclius
          What is the practical meaning?

          The Earth (at least in its current capitalist form) has a bunch of practically unsolvable problems — endless wars, poor ecology, overpopulation. It is clear that they need to be addressed. But if we find and get to the Earth-type planet, humanity will have a chance to start all over again.
          Quote: Iraclius
          Cosmos itself is inert matter and gigantic, unthinkable distances. Space is alien and hostile to man by definition. This is not a living, warm Ocean, breathing life. No technological advances will allow us to overcome these abysses of space, even to the nearest star outside the solar system, because this is useless.

          Digging deeply)) You practically paraphrased Pascal- "The eternal silence of these endless spaces terrifies me"
          And here is closer to me the ancient understanding of the Cosmos, as the best, perfect
          a shannee work of art.
          That is, what you wrote is simply an expression of your own, personal worldview
          1. Iraclius
            Iraclius 23 February 2013 09: 41
            In addition to the economy, there are other, even more serious reasons. For example, the laws of physics.
            I do not consider the options for what you believe in the tale that C is not a constant, and there is a world ether and good green men from Mars. yes
            So, the realization of the fact that superlight speeds are impossible, and near-light speeds are unattainable and intolerable for living organisms, it is this, and not my worldview and C. Strauss, that puts a fat cross on the colonization of Cosmos.
            The rationalism of the restless old Descartes is closer to me. for that matter ... wink
    2. bask
      bask 23 February 2013 08: 21
      People to zezda still will not fly soon.
  9. Psyjoker
    Psyjoker 22 February 2013 13: 02
    Because people - go * oty They did a lot of stupid things: they came up with costumes for dogs, the position of an advertising manager and things like the iPhone, having received in return nothing but a sour aftertaste. But if we developed science, mastered the Moon, Mars, Venus ... Who knows what the world would be like then? Mankind has been given the opportunity to surf the cosmos, but it wants to engage in consumption: drink beer and watch TV shows

    Ray Bradbury smile
    1. Santa Fe
      22 February 2013 14: 25
      Quote: Psyjoker
      came up with costumes for dogs, the position of an advertising manager and things like the iPhone

      Endless managers and costumes for dogs - it certainly delivers
      But why did they drag an iPhone here?

      The ingenious technology for controlling images with gestures, microelectronics, support for new communication protocols ... useful in every sense, microelectronics is an important condition on the path to the stars. In the USA, there are 100 bucks (+ a two-year contract with a condition to spend $ 30 per month, includes communication and wireless Internet).
      The fact that in Russia they made a totemic idol from him and sell for a piece of bucks is no longer a problem for iPhone.

      In science fiction novels of the 50's, an astronaut could call to Earth from Mars, spinning the phone’s disk. Or remember how in the Andromeda Nebula: Erg Noor sat down for levers of the calculating machine
      Here's a story, progress went a little different way than the science fiction writers of the mid-20th century

      1. Psyjoker
        Psyjoker 22 February 2013 14: 56
        What am I doing? This is a quote from Ray Bradbury, he would be asked if he was alive recourse
        1. fern
          fern 22 February 2013 20: 41
          so you can say about everything. humanity has no other meaning of life, except for reproduction and consumption, unfortunately. We would fly somewhere - it would be the same consumption (resource extraction, etc.) From the exploration of the moon we will get a bunch of helium-3 (so that the advertising manager charges his iPhone, where you can order a costume for the dog laughing )
  10. Black
    Black 22 February 2013 13: 04
    IMHO Humanity has reached a certain threshold of its capabilities at this level of technology and technology. A breakthrough to a new level is probably not possible very soon. (maybe - curb gravitational forces, maybe - we will learn to "change" the space-time continuum ... but this is still fantasy)

    America is respect for the development of extraterrestrial astronomy.
    TSOOBER 22 February 2013 13: 11
    People will fly to the stars !!!! People will fly to the stars when Empires appear! When the rulers think about the future and not about the momentary, when in the world the slogan "what did you leave to descendants" will be relevant. And the theme of space, in my opinion, echoes the theme of family and descendants, because if there are no children then we live one day and what is space
    1. fern
      fern 22 February 2013 20: 42
      When the borders of countries fall and everyone becomes one - humanity, then something may come out. And for this, we need to meet with an unearthly civilization
  12. nnz226
    nnz226 22 February 2013 13: 15
    There was an incentive in the space race in 50's 60's, whose system is better. In 1991, one of the systems disappeared. Who to compete with? since all are the same and there are no ideas
    but there is only money and their counting. When none of the parties competed, money for space did not count ... It was necessary to be the first even where and at any cost, but now ??? So there are reductions everywhere ... According to VI Lenin: "An IDEA only then becomes a material force when it takes over the masses!" Where are the ideas for the conquest and exploration of space now ?! Dumb! So, "May, maybe ..."
  13. viruskvartirus
    viruskvartirus 22 February 2013 13: 47
    Well, the article is pessimistic to raise optimism):
    1. A fundamentally new propulsion system for space missions is being created in Russia.
    The dream of Sergei Korolev, Werner von Braun and their predecessors - to get powerful energy for space flights and long-term work in orbit - will soon come true.
    2. Looming thermonuclear engine-http: //
    3. Solar Sail - Soviet scientists invented a radiation-gravitational stabilization scheme for a spacecraft based on the use of a solar sail. The first deployment of the solar sail in space was carried out on the Russian spacecraft Progress 4 on February 1993 as part of the Banner project. Solar sail is the most promising and realistic version of a spaceship today.
    1. Santa Fe
      22 February 2013 14: 12
      Quote: viruskvartirus
      Solar sail is the most promising and realistic version of a spaceship today.

      I liked the joke.
      How will thrust be created in interstellar space?

      The use of a solar sail is possible only in the inner regions of the solar system; with distance from the star, the thrust drops sharply to zero. The idea of ​​"pumping" a sail from afar with a Mega-laser is as utopian as a "thermonuclear rocket engine" (they still cannot hold back the reaction even in laboratory conditions).

      Quote: viruskvartirus
      1. A fundamentally new propulsion system for space missions is being created in Russia.

      Two portraits hang in the assembly hall: Academician Ivanov, who invented the steam locomotive, steamboat and airplane, and Academician Petrov, who invented the academician Ivanov

      The illustration shows the process of the appearance of "Iridium Flares"
      1. viruskvartirus
        viruskvartirus 22 February 2013 14: 43
        ))) "thrust in interstellar space" you are already going further without getting used to the solar system, and for these purposes the sail is the very thing ... and interstellar space is the most real TNRD on the reaction of deuterium-helium-3 (due to the lack of a neutron yield) ...
        "There are two portraits in the assembly hall: Academician Ivanov, who invented a steam locomotive, a steamer and an airplane, and Academician Petrov, who invented Academician Ivanov" I don't quite understand the sarcasm ... there is nothing fundamentally impossible in such an engine ... about Iridium confuse white with square ...
        "This project is being implemented with might and main. Work is already underway on fuel. Testing has begun on a number of fuel types," Denis Kovalevich, head of the Skolkovo Foundation's nuclear technology cluster, told Interfax-AVN on Wednesday.
        According to him, the development of the nuclear power plant is proceeding without delay. "For the third year in a row, money will be allocated for this project. Work on it is moving forward," D. Kovalevich said.
        He recalled that ground testing of the installation should begin in the 2014 year, and in the 2017 year the installation should be ready for launch into space.
        "I believe that we are implementing this project. It is another matter to what extent and when the space industry will be able to use this facility, but this question needs to be addressed to them. We will make the nuclear part, a megawatt-class power plant," said the head of the cluster nuclear technology.
        He also said that the development of a nuclear power plant is being carried out without the involvement of foreign specialists, since there are many dual technologies there. "This is a Russian project," D. Kovalevich said.
  14. sashka
    sashka 22 February 2013 14: 02
    Well, the ISS flies in orbit, Progress carry water .. Someone explained what they are doing there?
    1. Ascetic
      Ascetic 22 February 2013 14: 42

      All details about research and monitoring programs can be viewed

      Program execution results and their progress in detail here
  15. djon3volta
    djon3volta 22 February 2013 14: 12
    But it could be so if ...
  16. Jurkovs
    Jurkovs 22 February 2013 15: 34
    We lost deep space, but NASA is at the limit of its capabilities, based on the availability of launch systems. A breakthrough project should be a spaceplane, takeoff and landing on an airplane, and launching a cheap cargo into low orbit. The task of creating a spaceplane is very serious, new materials, new engines. Can anyone explain why a shuttle-style landing is better than full orbital deceleration by the engine and a vertical drop, while the speed is at an altitude of 30 km. no more than 3 swings.
    1. cyberandr
      cyberandr 22 February 2013 15: 56
      what do you mean lost? Scored soon :)
    2. Petrix
      Petrix 22 February 2013 16: 14
      Quote: Jurkovs
      why a shuttle landing is better than full orbital deceleration and vertical drop

      Because for the braking engine you need to carry fuel with you, and if you slow down the entire descent trajectory, then most likely one tank car will not be enough.
  17. Petrix
    Petrix 22 February 2013 16: 41
    Progress will never stop. Like the whole world, it moves in waves. The rise is a crisis.
    Prediction can be based on analogies. Why did people living compactly in the areas of the origin of civilizations settle in uninhabited territories?
    - life becomes crowded, competition is growing;
    - The ruling elite establishes unbearable laws;
    - natural disasters and environmental pollution;
    - beckon untouched resources, the thirst to get raw materials cheaper;
    - militarily from outer space, you can surround the enemy.
    - Etc.

    I am sure everything necessary for the jump has already been invented, but it is kept under the cloth to make money on the good old oil. Here in China, all production brought, and why? Cheaper. And in space, with a vacuum and the absence of gravity, without limiting the size of solar panels, without polluting nature, it will be cheaper to produce something. And the further the more.

    The elite is afraid of losing control. And you want and prick. Here everyone can be driven into a megacity, and it’s hard to control in 2-dimensional space, and then in 3-dimensional? But, if there is no artificial apocalypse, then we will fly. How many countries are already there? Technology is getting cheaper. There will be a jump, it will certainly be.
    1. daxed
      daxed 22 February 2013 18: 52
      "I'm sure everything you need to jump has already been invented, but it is under the shelter."

      Why under the cloth? - everything is in the open press -
  18. SHOGUN
    SHOGUN 22 February 2013 17: 52
    Quote: Petrix
    The explanations in the style of “this is necessary to strengthen the prestige of the country” do not stand up to criticism: there are more pressing problems here on Earth, the solution of which is much more important for raising the prestige of Russia than the notorious space flights.

    What does the author suggest? He, as I see it, has his own, special opinion. And if not? Why voice alien, decadent thoughts? Based on this logic, can all scientific projects be closed? There are matters more important than the notorious flights into space, and other areas of science, due to which, for example: the author has the opportunity to write his own articles.
  19. Setrac
    Setrac 22 February 2013 21: 44
    Humanity is not ready for space exploration, and I'm not talking about rockets and spacecraft, I'm talking about creating at least partially autonomous settlements. What needs to be done to develop the necessary technology? The first is to create the state of Antarctica - closed cities, difficult working conditions, so when this state becomes self-sufficient, you can go to the second phase. The second is to create the state of Atlantis - under water, to achieve a high degree of self-sufficiency. And only then we will approach the creation of the state of Selena. By that time, they will just create a fairly reliable nuclear engine, and possibly a thermonuclear power station (as the reason for the exploration of the moon).
    1. lemal
      lemal 22 February 2013 22: 08
      Exactly !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 111
  20. sprut
    sprut 22 February 2013 22: 27
    Space is needed! We are one of the leaders. We won it so hard, and quit. Need a breakthrough !!!!!
  21. uhjpysq1
    uhjpysq1 23 February 2013 07: 29
    Antarctica as a sovereign state !!! It would be interesting to inflate this topic !!! new utopia ?!
    1. Setrac
      Setrac 23 February 2013 14: 32
      The export potential of Antarctica is colossal, among other minerals that are not easy to get from under the ice, Antarctica's reserves are fresh water in the form of ice, 80% of the planetary water reserves.
      With the development of shale gas production, the cost of water will increase faster.
  22. busido4561
    busido4561 23 February 2013 08: 25
    All happy holiday Defender of the Fatherland Day! soldier
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