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Published:September 17th, 2011 19:06 EST
America's Space Program Not Down For the Count: There's a New Kid in Town

America's Space Program Not Down For the Count: There's a New Kid in Town

By Ron G Anselm

Just recently on the news we watched how the Space Shuttle which was in its time the model for new and improved space exploration finally retired its number as it made one last approach to land at Kennedy Space Center. Many people who worked for that NASA project for many years were laid off and suddenly thrown into the mix of the many that are still unemployed in this country.

Even local business(s) in and around Kennedy Space Center that flourished for so long in that area and once racked in the massive profits from tourists and locals living in the area that worked for the Space Shuttle project were now polishing up their resumes to move onto something else as the owners of those local businesses talked about the drop in business and the certainty of having to close shop now that the town in and around Kennedy Space Center is looking like a California ghost town.

Also, lots of Americans including myself felt the sting as our country was once the bold leader in space exploration and travel and now with the shuttle retired we all were thinking what`s next for our country when it comes to space exploration? I even heard if we wanted to travel into space and maybe once again go to the moon or wherever we would have to hit up the Russians for a ride. Unbelievable!

But not so fast...

NASA which has been in the shadows and behind the scenes since the Space Shuttle was no more is now building a new Heavy-Lift Rocket that will take humans farther into space that ever imagined before. The new rocket system seems like it will turn out once completed to be the silver bullet that once again puts our country in the lead around the world of space exploration, create jobs, and send astronauts further into space than any comet can go. It is the cornerstone for America`s future human space exploration efforts.

President Obama challenged NASA to think out of the box "and dream big " on the next vehicle America will use to travel to space and to boost America back into the lead when it comes to space travel and exploration. President Obama signed the 2010 NASA Authorization Act last year which is the key behind this project. This new booster rocket will be the most powerful that has ever been manufactured by our country and will prove to be a huge asset for our space program in the future.

Some of the characteristics of the new rocket include a capsule named the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, will use liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen fuel, will have a core propulsion and the J2X engine and is still in the process through the engineering stage as to other characteristics that will complete the build of materials used in the new rocket system. One fact that shows you the power of this new rocket is the lift capacity. The heavy-lift rocket`s early flights will be capable of lifting 70-100 metric tons before evolving to a lift capacity of 130 metric tons.

The deep space exploration program is now starting to gain light with this new rocket and future plans for our country in the space program. Lori Garver who is NASA`s Deputy Administrator had this to say, "NASA has been making steady progress toward realizing the president`s goal of deep space exploration, while doing so in a more affordable way," "We have been driving down the costs on the Space Launch System and Orion contracts by adopting new ways of doing business and project hundreds of millions of dollars of savings each year." (Garver, L., 2011) This is a good thing because first of all we all cannot afford any more tax hikes to pay for Government programs, second since our government cannot even agree upon and get a jobs bill approved ASAP and we don`t want to over burden Congress who seems like they are always on vacation despite our country in the tank right now.

Anyway, back to more positive things and our future space program. This new rocket system should prove to be a very positive asset to our country`s space program and will propel our space travel to reach the ends of every part of the universe.

Although the new rocket will not take the place of the essence of the Space Shuttle it is the model for future technology and should become a foundation for even greater technology in many years to come.

Reference

Garver, L., NASA ANNOUNCES DESIGN FOR NEW DEEP SPACE EXPLORATION SYSTEM

(http://go.nasa.gov/newlaunchsystem) Retrieved 2011.