NASA said the problem began when a circuit breaker tripped on Saturday night, causing the failure of a pump that feeds an ammonia-based coolant solution to key systems and avionics instruments. Crewmembers attempted to reset the breaker and restart the pump on Sunday but the effort was not successful.
In the meantime, the ISS is a completely useless $100 billion piece of junk. They may or may not be able to fix it. ISS is slated to close up shop at the end of 2015. That’s five years. Given the current political climate, I don’t see Obama, Bolden, or whoever claims to be in charge of NASA‘s lack of direction coming up with anything beyond next week as far as planning goes. As with everything else science under Obama’s administration, it will just die. It’s just a matter of when. The argument could easily be made to just let it die now instead of wasting more money over the next five years.
However, I’ve got that special something Charles Bolden and Obama do not. I’ve got vision. Rather than simply letting it die along with the Shuttles, turn it into a Mosque where Muslim kids can go to feel good about their contributions to science. Rather than the Muslims spending millions of dollars building a Mosque in Manhatten where a LOT of people don’t want them, spend that money keeping up ISS and the Shuttles.
Win, Win, Win.
If that doesn’t fly based on separation of government and religion issues ( for some reason that doesn’t apply with NASA this year but does with other religious non-profits ), we could always lease it out to Richard Branson and Paris Hilton so they could make the first space hotel. I’m sure Richard would want to call it Virgin Space, but if Hilton’s involved, that just wouldn’t seem quite right.
And of course there’s always Plan C. Use it for science research that can not possibly be done on Earth and expand it to be a base for satellites like Hubble that need regular maintenance. However, I realize how silly that sounds under an Obama led NASA.
NASA is hoping a spacewalk will allow them to fix the problem. If not, with this administration, they may as well come home.
Originally posted at Moonage Spacedream.