Re: SPACE: Why so much EVA on ISS?

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sat Mar 17 2001 - 20:01:54 MST

On Sat, 17 Mar 2001, S.J. Van Sickle wrote:

> I have asked, and never heard an reasonable explaination why intermodule
> connections were not done this way.

Well, I was under the impression (I think from Zubrin's writings)
that the ISS is a boondoggle designed to justify the Shuttle.
The shuttle is a vehicle designed to employ astronauts which
in turn justifies large numbers of support staff, shuttle prep
teams, etc. etc.

I've organized a URL (below) that distills a bunch of stuff.
The reason that this is costing so much and taking so long
is precisely because NASA needs to find something that makes
work for the astronauts and the shuttle.

So if you are going to "make work" one way to do that is
to make them put things together in space. You don't want
automated docking ("assembly"?) as the Russians have demonstrated
seems feasible. You also don't want "unpiloted" robotic
flying of the shuttle (as the Russians have also demonstrated
is feasibile).

It would have taken 6 or 7 Energia based flights to ferry up the
parts instead of the 44+ that NASA is planning for the Shuttle.
That means the parts could have been pre-assembled and tested
here on Earth and you wouldn't have all those photo-ops in space.

It seems pretty clear to me that NASA could have designed
and built a new heavy lifter and gotten the station launched
for a lot less than what this boondogle is going to cost.



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