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THIS USED TO BE THE FUTURE: Proto-space shuttles

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Yesterday we talked about the abandoned Soviet lunar program. Today we'll talk about a needlessly-abandoned American space project. There's tons more interesting info under the jump, so stick with me. Now, contrary to popular belief, the Space Shutte is *not* the first reusable space craft. That honor and distinction go to the X-15, but you need to click through the jump to find out more.

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THIS USED TO BE THE FUTURE: Ruskies on the Moon

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Everyone remembers the space race, and everyone knows *we* won, but it's not really a race if there's only one side, right? So what were the soviets working on? There's a glance at their lunar lander, and there's tons more info after the jump:

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REALSPACE: What I neglected to consider...

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Not too long ago, I wrote a little article online here about how our Space Program is screwed, since Obama seems to oppose it. (That article http://www.republibot.com/content/realspace-things-are-looking-really-ba... ) Project Constellation is, of course, our attempt to get rid of this guilded turd that the Nixon administration saddled us with, and which we've been pointlessly flying - and killing people with - for very nearly a generation now (1981-2009).

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REALSPACE: Things Are Looking Really Bad For The Space Program

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I’m not one to reflexively attack our president simply because he’s a Democrat. In fact, I’m not one to reflexively attack our president at all. Love him or hate him, he’s the president, after all, and deserving of our respect. And I’ll confess that while I flagrantly disagree with his economic policies, I am actually proud to have lived to see our first black president, which, let’s face it, is a huge step forward in the cultural evolution of our nation, the kind of thing that would have been unthinkable only twenty years ago. And he’s even surprised me on occasion.

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BOOK REVIEW: “For Spacious Skies: The Uncommon Journey of a Mercury Astronaut” by Scott Carpenter and Kris Stoever (2002)

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One of the unsung problems about biographies about astronauts - particularly the early ones - is that they’re all essentially supermen. It’s sometimes hard for audiences to fully identify with these people simply because they were, to a man, better, stronger, faster, smarter, and luckier than damn near everyone who ever lived. And they were specifically chosen for these qualities.

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REALSPACE: Buzz Aldrin, 2nd Man on the Moon, says NASA is "on the wrong track..."

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Buzz Aldrin, Apollo astronaut, Moonwalker, and veteran of the Gemini Program, has issued a lengthy statement criticizing NASA for being on "The wrong track" and essentially the wrong side of a whole heaping big pile of issues. You can read it here http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/air_space/4322647.html?page=1 but in gist,

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BREAKING NEWS: NASA admits Global Warming probably has nothing to do with air pollution, or humans at all

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We here at Republibot have long gone on record as being dubious about this whole "Global Warming" thing. Our individual opinions vary from outright disbelief that the phenomenon is actually happening to a grudging admission that something is going on, but we're unsure whether or not it has anything to do with us stupid humans. All three of us agree, however, that fear of Global Warming has been shamefully used to scare people out of their money and their votes. And it's been highly effective at that.

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REAL SPACE: NASA’s ongoing PR Problem

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It’s looking bad for the possibility of life on Mars. Our rapidly-increasing pool of information has produced not one single iota of evidence of past life, and has shown that the Martian Ocean was perhaps as much as 100 TIMES more saline than the Earth’s oceans are. http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2008/529/1?rss=1 On a personal note, I love this kind of stuff. Why? Well, because NASA has got it in their heads that the only way the government will fund space exploration is if they find evidence of life, and that “That will make it relevant to the common man.”

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REAL SPACE: The Drake Equation: There’s Life In Them Thar’ Hills, or A Sad Case Of Wishful Thinking?

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Are you familiar with the drake equation? It’s a piece of complete horse crap masquerading as science cranked out in the 60s to get an idea how many sentient species there are in space. Despite the fact that it was regarded as utter horse-crap by many from the outset (Too many variables, too little info to base those variables on), it became Holy Writ in science fiction and (worse) among people who can’t tell the difference between Science and Science Fiction (There’s a depressing lot of those).

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EDITORIAL: Why are we turning our backs on space?

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Republicans started the American Space Program (Eisenhower, specifically), but I realize the Democrats (Kennedy, specifically) really started the space race going, and the Republicans (Nixon, specifically) ended it, but have you noticed a trend since then?

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