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The U.S. used to only compete with Russia, but now has multiple other nations to deal with

The U.S. is losing ground to competing space agencies as Europe, China, Russia and Japan continue to make progress in their space programs.  Even though the U.S. still has the most military satellites monitoring Earth, both commercial and civilian space initiatives are severely lacking when compared to its international counterparts.

There are several contributing factors into the decline of the U.S. space agency, though immediate fixes are not evident.  Even though NASA has a long string of success, the unfortunate shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, budget issues, and the looming 2010 retirement of the current generation of space shuttles are all complicating matters.

"We spent many tens of billions of dollars during the Apollo era to purchase a commanding lead in space over all nations on Earth," NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said.  "We've been living off the fruit of that purchase for 40 years and have not ... chosen to invest at a level that would preserve that commanding lead."

Although Russia has been a long-time competitor to NASA, the Chinese space agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have continued to make steady progress with its intended goals.

Along with multiple missions to Mars, China is preparing for stage two of a three-part mission to the moon.  The first step in the plan, which is ongoing, included sending a satellite to orbit the moon.  The second step proposes launching a lunar lander before 2010, and the third step involves collecting soil samples from the moon in the next 12 years.

The Chinese space program also has its first spacewalk scheduled for October. Griffin admits China will likely beat the U.S. and other nations back to the moon.

India also has a developing space program that may not have the type of budget of larger space programs, but the country still has had success launching smaller missions that have shown good results.  Its most recent success was a satellite launch in which 10 satellites launched into orbit aboard one rocket.

The U.S. space agency does have its own mission outline for the next 12 years, but may struggle to meet its goals if the Orion crew vehicle is not completed on time in 2015.

NASA used to be responsible for sending other nations' satellites into orbit, but now Russia, India, and China are the three main nations responsible for helping Israel, Brazil, Singapore and the ESA launch satellites into space.

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RE: What do Americans realistically expect?
By borismkv on 7/12/2008 4:43:08 PM , Rating: 5
The work at CERN developed HTTP and HTML. The Internet "as we know it" is made up of a great deal more than a single protocol. While HTTP is the most commonly used protocol on the Internet, it is far from the only one in daily use. The email protocols were developed more than ten years before HTTP and are still in use today. FTP has existed for decades.

The only thing the development of HTTP did was allow better presentation of images, text, and other media. CERN's development was extremely important for the acceptance of Internet usage for the masses, but to say that the Internet as we know it was Invented by CERN is both technically and factually inaccurate.

By borismkv on 7/12/2008 5:03:03 PM , Rating: 4
To be more specific, HTTP is a small function of the TCP/IP suite. TCP/IP was developed under contracts funded by DARPA in the mid 80's and it *IS* the "Internet as we know it". So I'm sorry, but the Internet as we know it was most certainly developed by the US.

RE: What do Americans realistically expect?
By Strunf on 7/12/08, Rating: 0
RE: What do Americans realistically expect?
By borismkv on 7/12/2008 8:33:16 PM , Rating: 4

Okay look. HTTP could not have existed without the work done by DARPA. It is more widely used than other protocols simply because its used for presentation of data. But there are numerous protocols that HTTP relies on to do its job. The fact that you don't realize that show how little you actually know about the subject. And if there's one thing the Internet has no shortage of it's people who talk when they don't have a damn clue about what they're saying. So stop adding to that surplus. Learn how it all works before you start worshiping HTTP and CERN.

By Ringold on 7/12/2008 8:48:30 PM , Rating: 3
You're all wrong.

Al Gore invented the internet. Case closed.


RE: What do Americans realistically expect?
By Strunf on 7/13/08, Rating: 0
RE: What do Americans realistically expect?
By borismkv on 7/13/2008 1:53:09 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, I'm not trying to undermine it's importance. But it's a gigantic stretch to say that what CERN invented was "The internet as we know it," and you, sir, are greatly over-exaggerating the importance of HTTP. Instance messaging, peer 2 peer file transfers, music download services, *none* of this uses HTTP. Even this forum is not a part of the original work done by CERN. The web today is a great deal different than it was when CERN threw it into the public domain. And HTTP straight up would not have existed without all of the underlying protocols and standards that were created before it. Yes, CERN's work was very important. But the work that went into creating the standards that came before it is much more important.

By BarkHumbug on 7/15/2008 8:14:38 AM , Rating: 1
While I don't intend to argue for either side in this pissing-content of yours (USA vs The World as usual) I don't think you can over-exaggerate the importance of HTTP? Without it how would anything ever get on the Internet, or be seen by others for that matter? I beg you to find one company today that would survive on the Internet without HTML over HTTP, and if you could provide a link I'd appreciate it.

RE: What do Americans realistically expect?
By jmunjr on 7/13/2008 7:49:56 PM , Rating: 3
Wow that's like saying the USA invented national highways rather than the Germans because Henry Ford pioneered mass production of automobiles.. HTTP would never had existed were it not for the Arpanet - period.

Also take a look at Gopher, Veronica, Archie.. Http just happened to be the protocol that won out, nothing more.

The Internet is a whole lot more than just a protocol..

By MrPoletski on 7/15/2008 12:20:42 PM , Rating: 2
Cough, Sir Tim Berners Lee cough

By pixelslave on 7/16/2008 1:29:49 PM , Rating: 3
The HTTP it's not just one more protocol it's THE protocol, it's the one that is more widely used and it's the one that change our habits and basically started the information age...

Wow. Big claim ... so apparently HTTP is used to resolve domain names, manage IP assignment, send e-mails, receive e-mails, monitor network devices, upload files, even download files thru BT, right?

Let's just focus on two non-HTTP protocol. Without DHCP, most people won't even have an IP. Without DNS, you can't reach a website even if you have an IP. So, how is HTTP THE protocol. The bottomline is, without HTTP, the internet continues to survive. You can still check mails, upload/download files, use your favorite IM and P2P apps. Yes, you will lose the web, but the internet will still be here. Without DHCP and DNS, chances are you will lose all those alternative services mentioned above.

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