The crew exploration vehicle Essay
The crew exploration vehicle
Bush’s vision is an echo of a similar dream by his father in 1989, which did not come to fruition because the cost estimates ballooned up to $400 billion (Lane, 2004). Working on the premise that the desire to explore is part of human character, Bush said that his dream is to build space vehicles that could travel far beyond the capacity of the space shuttle, which only reaches 386 miles (Lane, 2004). Bush thus announced his plans to develop a new spacecraft called the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). This vehicle would be the first to take man to outer space since the Apollo spaceships (BBC News).
The CEV is expected to be a versatile crewed vehicle that could carry American teams in a mission projected to be undertaken in 2014 or 2015. The CEV is expected to begin flight tests by the year 2008 (Lane, 2004). The CEV’s look is designed to look similarly with the bullet-like style of the Apollo-style command module (Lane, 2004). Aside from the design, however, NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe says that no design has yet been approved regarding the way of keeping the CEV boosted in the air (Lane, 2004). Robots in Space
It is believed by some that robotic exploration is more beneficial than human exploration, since the former is less expensive (The Washington Post Writers Group, 2007). Moreover, Professor Robert Park of the University of Maryland claim that robots have less physical limitations than humans, which means robots have better chances of discovering scientific finds over humans (BBC News). Even other countries that spend resources on space explorations, such as China and Russia, are encouraged to use robots in such ventures (BBC News).
There are current efforts using robots in space exploration. Just recently, the United States celebrated the successful landing of its robot rover Spirit on Mars (BBC News). Budgetary Constraints Since the previous space plans formulated by Bush’s father failed because of budgetary constraints (Lane, 2004), Bush is careful to get around the same drawback. Naturally, huge projects such as space explorations would cost loads of money and other resources. Thus, Bush’s ambitious new vision would entail modifications on the current budget of the NASA.
The NASA currently has a five-year budget plan. However, Bush requests a $1 billion boost on this budget (Lane, 2004). This means that additional $200 million per year would be allotted for the project (Lane, 2004). This amounts to a 5% yearly increase to NASA’s current budget, which amounts to $15. 4 billion per year (BBC News). A rise of another 1% after the first three years is also requested by the U. S. President (BBC News). It is reported that Bush wants that $11 billion from the existing budget be earmarked for his new vision (Lane, 2004).
The exact cost of the vision was not given (BBC News), but one thing is certain: the budget would have to be approved by Congress. (Lane, 2004). The White House, however, maintains that a “sustained focus over time” would help keep the budget for the exploration in check (Lane, 2004). There is also a need to reorient the current programs of NASA, so that NASA would not exceed its current spending, which only amounts to less than 1 percent of the federal budget, despite the additional goal (Lane, 2004).
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 17 May 2017