Abandon Ship!

What’s I say? This is what happens when you put all your eggs in the Russian technology basket and the basket falls apart.

Space station could be abandoned in November

Astronauts may need to temporarily withdraw from the International Space Station before the end of this year if Russia is unable to resume manned flights of its Soyuz rocket after a failed cargo launch last week, according to the NASA official in charge of the outpost.

Despite a delivery of important logistics by the final space shuttle mission in July, safety concerns with landing Soyuz capsules in the middle of winter could force the space station to fly unmanned beginning in November, according to Michael Suffredini, NASA’s space station program manager.

“Logistically, we can support [operations] almost forever, but eventually if we don’t see the Soyuz spacecraft, we’ll probably going to unmanned ops before the end of the year,” Suffredini said in an interview Thursday, one day after Russia lost a Soyuz rocket with an automated Progress resupply ship bound for the space station.

See also:
Will the Space Station be Abandoned?
International Space Station might be abandoned in November
Cargo Craft Loss Prompts ISS Concerns
NASA Sets Space Station Status Update Briefing for Monday
Roscosmos smarting after Progress loss
ISS crew safe despite supply failure: Russia, US
Matt Reed: After Russian crash, turn to the F-150 of American rockets
Progress Fails To Make Progress

Okay, so the Russian rockets are turning out to be piles of junk. Why can’t we launch the Progress cargo ship or the manned Soyuz capsule on top of the highly successful, dependable workhorse, Delta IV or Atlas V rockets? Where’s that old fashioned American ingenuity?

/and what about SpaceX, they’re already planning a rendezvous mission to dock with the ISS later this year, why can’t resources be poured into that and the schedule moved up?

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Is It A Draw?

Seriously, do we have any sort of endgame plan here?

Libyan Conflict Seen as Stalemate

Both the Libyan government and rebel leaders outwardly express confidence their side will prevail. But behind the scenes, concerns are rising that the eight week conflict may be at a stalemate.

Government forces continue to besiege the western rebel city of Misrata, and remain just outside Ajdabiya, a key eastern town that has changed hands numerous times.

. . .

Whatever their popular support, the rebels have been unable to make much headway on the battlefield. Their farthest drive was under the aerial protection of a mission led by the U.S., France and Britain. Those gains have been reversed during the time NATO has been in charge of the campaign.

See also:
Gadhafi military hurt, but prospect of stalemate looms, official says
Libya stalemate could thicken fog of war for NATO
EU concern at prolonged Libyan war
US Commander Sees Libya Stalemate
US General: Libya stalemate more likely now
New Battles in Libya, Strains in NATO Campaign
NATO urged to press harder in Libya as battles continue
Will Libya stalemate force US out of its back-seat role?
U.S. Faces a Libya Stalemate, What are its Options?
Libya stalemate appears to be emerging: U.S. general
With Libya a stalemate, removing Gaddafi the fastest way to end the fighting

These have to be just about the most bizarre rules of engagement for a war, oops, sorry, I mean kinetic military action, that I’ve ever seen. What is it, exactly, that we’re trying to accomplish in Libya? If we’re trying to get rid of Gaddafi, let’s back the “rebels” all the way and get it over with. This strange maintenance of an ongoing “status quo”, where attrition is killing human beings on both sides, on a daily basis, is totally perverse.

/not to mention that this ineffective, half ass “quasi-military intervention” is wasting a lot of U.S. taxpayer money, money we don’t even have to spend, and it’ll continue to do so for as long as this standoff farce continues