Manned Space Flights
The issue of the manned space flight has been a major challenge in the history of the operations of different airlines in the global arena. A manned space flight is the kind of travel that is for the exploration of the outer space. This is usually by individuals aboard a spacecraft. Space flight is on a spacecraft, which is directly in space. Apart from manned spacecrafts, technology has aimed to come up with machine space probes, which do not require direct piloting, but controlled remotely by human beings or through automatic means onboard the spacecraft. United States is among the countries that have advanced and concentrated in manned spacecrafts and space exploration. Even though manned space flights gives United States the pride as the leading nation in space exploration, it is on constant challenges by science and has led to shutting down of manned flight programs. This poses a great threat to the nation as discussed (Tim, pg 34).
The history of manned space flights in United States.
After the Second World War, United States and Soviet Union came up with strategies to improve on the design of rockets. The United was under great challenge from the Soviet Union. This was due to the numerous and enormous space explorations by the Soviet Union that threatened the stability of the Americans in the field of space explorations. This indeed forced the US to initiate a series of robotic space missions that included Gemini, Mercury and the famous Apollo shuttles. The Americans with their Apollo shuttle landed on the moon for the first time ahead of the Russians in the year 1969.
The first human being to travel into space was Yuri Gagarin who was followed later by an American astronaut, Alan Sheppard. Upon discovering that human beings could travel into space, United States and Soviet Union ignited a competition on space exploration. However, there was some conflict of interest since United States aimed to land on the moon whereas the Soviet Union focused on scientific research. Upon landing on the moon, the government became less concerned in the space program. This led to planning of fewer missions and space programs, which were more science oriented. Since then United States has really advanced in manned spaceflight for the last ten decades. More so, the technical ability has greatly accelerated the advancements in these space explorations (Tim, pg 43).
The United States gave birth to the space shuttle that had a unique design as compared to the others in the market at that time. This surely reshaped the human space flight program in the US. It is a reusable craft, which resembles an aeroplane and has more power. Shuttle missions became the workhorse of NASA’s space program. Within the current society, NASA human space flight program is mainly a scientific resource.
On the other hand, the soviets carried out several missions to test the new spacecraft, and became the first to create space station. The Russian astronauts have gone to extent of spending time on several space stations, making new records for hours in space. They have also conducted lab tests in the same space stations and have therefore made great strides in expanding the knowledge scoop of space and medicine. In 1978, soviet started incorporating foreign astronomers in his space exploration; Americans and Russians (Reginald, 40).
NASA faces its biggest crises since its formation in 1958. Manned spacecrafts are facing a budget and design issues. Consider what happened when the former President George W Bush and NASA opted to replace the retiring shuttle, and return U.S. astronauts to the moon by 2020. Its concern was secure and soon with a design that resembled the ‘Apollo’ and resulted to a more profound shuttle booster rocket. The project was not either simple or soon and its problems ranged from cost to technical troubles such as violent shaking of the rocket. As a result, the president Barrack Obama cancelled the constellation after five years and about $13billion spent.
This seemed very normal to NASA since the agency had spent over $21billion in the previous decades on space transportation programs for instance the X-33 space plane and constellation. The leaders can also attribute the financial crises to the mismanagement (Reginald, pg 56). Another space expert, Howard Mc. Curdy, cited that the repeated failure to talk about the difficulty to keep a yearly program opposing the republicans and democrats- have varied budget priorities and industry allies. “We spend our time, redesigning the problem instead of building a space vehicle”, he said.
More so, the influence of congress has contributed to these crises. In this case, policy makers who have stakes in protecting their homes, states and industry dominate NASA. This portrays poor leadership qualities amongst the administrators of NASA. In cancelling the constellation, law makers settled on a new rocket which also protects the workers in Texas, Alabama and Florida while assisting regular NASA contractors.
The president barrack Obama therefore gutted NASA’s budget, ending the nascent moon mission and bringing to end U.S. operated space exploration. The space shuttle has been declared to have only five more missions before its retirement. Later, Americans will reach the international space station aboard Russian Soyuz capsules until 2020. Beyond this, there are no plans for United States to return to space. However, He assured the public that NASA will have enough cash to do research into bogus science and global warming (Peter, pg 120).
NASA advocates worry that this remarks will result to increased austerity in Washington meaning that NASA could get even less money in the future. Actually, Obama had taken$6billion from NASA, one third of its budget in 2009, and offered it to private companies to encourage their space initiatives. Instead of embracing pride in their countries ambition, Americans will be able to watch as Corporates run for power, acquire some tax dollars and spend it low end rockets that maximize the utility if the wealth. This is an indication that Obama does not embrace the private sector unless it benefits democrats directly.
Americans will enjoy the view as china pursues its own lunar vision since the Chinese National Space Agency has acquired the fervor Obama lacks. His opinion suppressed the motivation and vision that NASA has. In a span of less than two decades, CNSA will end up as the global leader in manned spaceflight, having achieved their goal of reaching the moon between 2020 and 2025. More so, America will lose its pride in manned space flights since they have dominated the field together with Russia. America has always aspired to be the leading space frontier. By nullifying manned spaceflights, United States will end up losing the leading world power to China and Russia. More so, United States has also failed in accomplishing the responsibility of being the first to mars and beyond (Peter, pg 120).
NASA will also be required to reuse pieces of the shuttle and constellation to build a new rocket. Therefore, the established companies will benefit directly and probably rule out competition or the use of newer technology. NASA will continue building the capsule it aimed to complete under the constellation while passing it over on a vehicle that will resemble the current space shuttle configuration apart from the plane like orbiter. Considering that NASA’s budget was cut off, the $14 billion, which has been set aside to run for the next five years, is not enough to build a rocket capable of flying to the international space station by the 2017 deadline.
NASA Administrator, Charlie Bolden says that for NASA to get to Mars, there are some scientific weaknesses that must be addressed. It then becomes very hard to approach the and to accomplish the critical goals and objectives having being allocated minimal funds. He expressed optimism that NASA is on its way, with a manned mission to the Red Planet steadfastly. The initiative has greatly hindered the vision and mission of NASA. The NASA’s mission statement has been to be the leader in space exploration, scientific discovery as well as aeronautics research. However, the financial and political obligation hinders the progress in accomplishing this. Considering that, the agency is relying on Russian rockets to astronauts to and from the space station. NASA is also moving ahead with the development of its space launch system and Orion multipurpose crew vehicles. More so, the agency is designing a booster and a chamber to carry astronauts on future mission to an asteroid and mars. It is therefore very cumbersome for NASA to conduct its strategies and attain accomplish its mission (Peter, pg 123).
Adventure and Excitement
Nullification of manned space flights poses this great disadvantage to the Americans. Bearing in mind that adventure and competition greatly influenced space exploration in United States, it therefore ends up losing the meaning. Robotic space probes only serve in scientific research but do not really have the excitement when dealing with them. When Alan Sheppard landed on the moon, his adventure and exposure was the pride of the United States. The feeling that America has already landed into the moon excited every American by then. More so, news, journals and photographs of people that are taken in space insight curiosity and pride. Contrary, satellite and robotic space probes emphasize technological advancement and scientific concepts. The initiative will therefore result to loss of America’s sense of adventure and excitement.
Jim Lovell expresses his sentiments towards the flight and revealed that much interest was not the science behind it. He found no mystery but appreciated all that he saw and experiences that he had. He feels better by having an opportunity to grow up in a fascination period in history. He considers space cowboys to be his heroes (Jim, pg70).
In a special joint session of congress, John F. Kennedy said that United States as a nation should commit itself to achieving the goal of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth before that decade came to end. ‘No single space project in this era that will be more exciting to mankind or more significant in the long-term space exploration and not even one will be easy to accomplish. It clearly shows that manned space flights were an adventuring activity that created national pride and some sense of power. When we shut down manned spaceflights, the space exploration does not only lose the meaning but also the originality.
Many Americans will definitely find the pride when the first moon landings were made more powerful than many of the wasteful research programs (Jim, pg 77). The programs, which Obama advocated for, focus on saving money and other resources as well as giving NASA another responsibility. He created the constellation program and Americans started adventuring. Actually he aimed to reach the surface of the moon’s surface by 2020.Obama’s administration is laying strategies that will give a way for private companies to provide transportation services to NASA . In short, unlike Washington and Kennedy who have adventuring mind, Obama is business oriented.
Solution and views
According to the strategies that NASA has, the two parties-the government and NASA- ought to come to consensus and deliberate on the demands and expectations of NASA. In consideration of the availability of funds, NASA is being subjected to less of space exploration to global warming. The duty withdrawal and assigning ought to consider the importance and urgency as well as the responsibilities. Though the funds have been misused, directing them to another field may not be a suitable solution if the need they were meant to cater for has not been accomplished (Jim, pg 78).
NASA’s administrator, Charlie Bolden, addressed a challenge- working within such a difficult fiscal climate yet without a clearly established budget. Just like many other federal agencies, NASA has been forced to cost cut across a wide variety of programs. This favors the recently upcoming commercial forms of spaceflight. Private companies have sprung and are building spacecrafts with a goal of creating space tourism. The government’s idea of supplying NASA with transportation services through a private company is economically effective to the government, but limits the agency from effective and independent operation.
More so, not all benefits from space activity are tangible. The principle benefits from human space flight are intangible, but nevertheless substantial and very crucial even in scientific studies. On Apollo’s project John Kennedy comments that the exploration of space will go ahead, whether Americans join it or not. He also added that for a nation to be the leader among other nations should stay behind in the race for space (Jenkins & Dennis, pg 32). This is one of the concept he used in ensuring the United States become the super power today. Americans did not go to the moon and do other things because it was easy in that time, but it served to organize and evaluate the best of their energy and skills. International prestige and national pride sustained Apollo and they remain relevant America till today. Space exploration symbolizes America’s global leadership and this is why United States should not give up in exploration.
Concerning the private investors, they should be left alone to proceed with their businesses as long as they do not endanger the lives of the rest. Many issues that arise when we use manned space exploration-to be funded by public funds, organized and monitored by federal employees, economic flexibility, its social purpose and also the public health. All this challenges the use of manned spaceflight. More so, it is a universal principle in science that anything that a human being can perform can also be done by unmanned machinery at a relatively very small cost (Bergin & Chris, pg 40). Evolvement of new technologies will not only make long distance space travel cheaper but also faster, hence it will enable astronaut trips to the moon, asteroids and mars possible in the future. More so manned space flights risk the life of a human being. The reason why some parties opt for unmanned flights is because the comeback trip- which is not guarantee- is not important for unmanned machinery.
In conclusion, the purpose and rights of NASA should not be undermined. Cutting off the manned space flights should be economical and ethnical. To retain the identity of United States, the pride and national heritage, I recommend manned space flights to be retained. After all America has always done it for adventure and not for scientific research. The administration of NASA ought to be re-structured to avoid mishandling of funds. The agency operations can be altered – which includes restructured governance- but we ought to respect the objective and mission statement. More so, since it was established in 1958 the government has funded it all through. If withdrawing some funds from its budget and incorporating private sectors affects its operations, it needs to be addressed accordingly (Bergin & Brian, pg 45).