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csbingel t1_j1w0s2s wrote

So, not an expert by any stretch, but my understanding is that A) that’s the idea behind SLS that the Artemis launch was part of and B) even with that, it’s still silly expensive to get material to orbit.


gbbloom OP t1_j1w1an5 wrote

It's ridiculously expensive to get off of Earth, no doubt. My thought on b) is that, the more we can send up at one time vs wasting space, don't we go for it? Obviously, the eventual hope would be to find the ability to mine and manufacture outside of Earth... but that's likely decades away (assuming it's even realistic) right? No sci-fi situations any time soon, sadly. :(


csbingel t1_j1w5w53 wrote

Again, not an expert, but volume isn’t the issue, mass is. Every gram costs fuel and infrastructure to launch. That was the benefit of SpaceX’s Falcon platform, and it’s reusable launch stages. But even with that, still beyond most non-government scale budgets to consider.


mortuus_est_iterum t1_j1w6xzk wrote

This is the answer.

But tbh I would also like to see a much larger ISS in a higher orbit.



gbbloom OP t1_j1wc8f0 wrote

Morty can we dig into why the higher orbit? That one intrigues me... is it to make it even easier to escape Earth's pull if you push off from there? Is there any reasonable way to a) expand the ISS and b) move it further out than it's current orbit?


ADSWNJ t1_j1won62 wrote

There's a couple of different issues with the ISS. one - it's at an altitude that needs regular boosting or else it would reenter. Not a big deal, but annoying that you need to add thrust to keep it at a low orbit, versus putting it out to say 1500km or 2000km alt and it could stay for centuries with no boosting. Second... the inclination of the ISS is not ideal to launch to the moon or the planets due to the plane change needed. It would be much better if the orbital apogee (highest point) were on a nodal point with the planets, and as high as possible, to minimize the Delta-V to exit the base on the right plane and trajectory.


Ruadhan2300 t1_j1wok7a wrote

The ISS is absolutely intended to be expandable, and moving it to a higher orbit is done routinely.

Basically the reason to put a bigger station in a higher orbit is to reduce the effects of atmospheric drag.

The ISS loses kilometers of altitude over a matter of months and has to be boosted regularly to compensate. A bigger station would have an even worse time of that. So putting it in a higher orbit would be worthwhile for that reason.

The ease of escaping earth's hill-sphere is a perk, but the reality is that half the work is achieving orbit. Once you're in LEO, you're halfway to anywhere. Higher or low orbit isn't a big difference compared to getting up there.


mortuus_est_iterum t1_j1ziuel wrote

The ISS orbit is low enough to be affected by atmospheric drag (which slows it down so the orbit gets lower still, increasing the drag, etc.) and it needs fairly regular boosts to keep it orbiting. There is also a truly amazing amount of junk in LEO which poses a constant threat of collision damage to the ISS. If they detect a possible collision, the ISS can be maneuvered a bit to avoid it. And yet after all the effort to keep everything safe, the current Soyuz escape capsule was damaged by a meteor collision to the cooling system.

My desire for a much higher orbit is an attempt to minimize all of those factors because I still hope the ISS can become the research center it was touted to be.



Michamus t1_j1wdd1d wrote

The rocketry equation includes cargo mass as well. If you increase the cargo of an LEO spacecraft by 100kgs, you're going to need more fuel to lift it.

The best method is to get a factory onto the Moon and then start manufacturing stuff there. All we'd need from that point is to ferry people and supplies for the journey back and forth. As you suspect, leaving the lunar surface requires a small fraction of the energy for leaving Earth. There's sufficient material, including water and oxygen, for lunar colonies to be self-sustainable and generate new craft for industrializing the solar system.

There's an old joke that basically goes: "Once you're in LEO, you're halfway to the rest of the solar system."


UniversalMomentum t1_j1x2po4 wrote

Honestly, there isn’t a big need to mine space because humans only live on a tiny fraction of the planet, called the crust, and that crossed only makes up for about one percent of the mass of the planet.

Humans haven’t even touched 99% of the resources here on earth so you know really space mining is like a fun exercise for imagination but not really useful unless you find amazingly rare minerals, that we somehow really need for something and can’t synthesize on earth, which, I doubt, because, more or less, whatever we find in space, will be able to synthesize on earth for less money than the cost of mine.

When a planet forms, you know the bulk of those interesting heavy materials are in the center of the planet so that’s still where most of earths minerals are and the crust we’ve been mining is just a tiny tiny sample of the real content.

Go look at a picture of the planet and book Halfin the crust really is compared to the mantle in the core and you’ll get an idea about much untapped resources. There are on earth and will remain here on earth for a long time and probably be more accessible than any type of space mining.

At the end of the day, though many people may not like it it’s still kind of hard to find good reasons to establish significant industry or colonies in space when humans are so highly evolved for earth, like conditions and earth has so much more accessible resources than anywhere else in the solar system for humans.

It’s kind of like earth is the jam of the solar system, and there isn’t much more high value targets out there around here. It would’ve been wonderful if Mars was a more earth like an habitable planet, and all we really had to do was get to it and humans could thrive, but it’s a lot more like a giant death trap than an opportunity.

The biggest real opportunities for going to the moon and mars is basically just to look at the rocks and expand our scientific understanding of solar system formation because the mars and the moon don’t have tectonic plates so much weather so the geology there has been preserved for billions of years unlike here on earth, and those are like the best records of the solar system formation, and that’s really the bulk of the value not colonizing super hostile locations and I know that’s not what everybody wants to hear but it’s kind of the same problem that we had in the 60s.


divepilot t1_j1x9jx1 wrote

I think we do need a physical frontier to push, though. We always had one and we could send the crazies there to mellow out.


StupidOrangeDragon t1_j1xat09 wrote

There is an interview with one of the project leaders on the James Webb Space Telescope which touches on this topic. He mentions that he hopes that the next space telescope is manufactured/assembled at least in part in space, the reason he gives are

  • The difficulty and complexity of testing the equipment on earth so that we can ensure it works in space.
  • The limitations on volume of the launch vehicle can impact the size of the final telescope, and in the case of JWST the complex heat shield unfolding and the systems to support that

Now as to why we don't already do this ?

  • It will take us quite some time to build this capability, there is a lot of equipment and infra we would need to get into space to do something like this, and getting things into space is ridiculously costly.
  • It will take us quite some time to learn how to do it efficiently and safely in a low gravity environment. Space just makes every step of assembly and manufacturing extremely complicated. Especially if the assembly is done outside in space walk. There is a Joe Rogan podcast with a former astronaut Garrett Reisman where they talk about how complicated space walks are. (link)

manicdee33 t1_j1w0ktj wrote

One of the plans when the ISS was conceived was to do exactly that: assemble missions to be sent on to other worlds. From the Memorandum of Understanding behind the ISS project:

> 2.3. The Space Station will enable its users to take advantage of human ingenuity in connection with its low-gravity environment, the near-perfect vacuum of space and the vantage point for observing the Earth and the rest of the Universe. Specifically, the Space Station and its evolutionary additions could provide for a variety of capabilities, for example:
> - a laboratory in space, for the conduct of science and applications and the development of new technologies; > - a permanent observatory in high-inclination orbit, from which to observe Earth, the Solar System and the rest of the Universe; > - a transportation node where payloads and vehicles are stationed, assembled, processed and deployed to their destination; > - a servicing capability from which payloads and vehicles are maintained, repaired, replenished and refurbished; > - an assembly capability from which large space structures and systems are assembled and verified; > - a research and technology capability in space, where the unique space environment enhances commercial opportunities and encourages commercial investment in space; > - a storage depot for consumables, payloads and spares; and > - a staging base for possible future missions, such as a permanent lunar base, a human mission to Mars, robotic planetary probes, a human mission to survey the asteroids, and a scientific and communications facility in geosynchronous orbit.

It was just never used that way. It turns out that simply sending missions to their destinations directly from Earth was easier than rendezvous with the ISS to assemble the mission piece by piece. To assemble missions at the ISS would require a large workshop where astronauts could routinely enter and exit the ISS, hold various components ready to be assembled, and provide the required propellant. With the heavy lift rockets entering service shortly it will be even easier to launch missions direct from Earth to other worlds. One of the main design intentions for Starship/Super Heavy is to reload propellant in orbit and carry payloads directly from Earth to Mars.

In the future it might make sense to build these missions in orbit using materials mined from asteroids or the Moon, but we're a long way from that possibility at this point in time.


perrochon t1_j1w2fcy wrote

Fuels is a big part of weight, and any Mars bound craft will not carry it's fuel up from Earth. It will get to orbit (or be assembled there) and other ships will bring up fuel to orbit and transfer to the Mars bound craft. Then those other ships will go back down to get more fuel and supplies.

SpaceX is changing the economics of rockets drastically. Starship has so much capacity and power at low cost that it opens up more flexibility. Spaceship is lifted off earth on a booster. Then gets refuled by more Starships. But it is designed to take off from Mars or Moon on it's own (after refueling). There is a graph here:

One big topic for discussion is whether we should go to the Moon first, and then from there to Mars, or straight to Mars. If we could lift fuel from the Moon, it might be more efficient. But with Starship, that discussion is less critical. We can do both :-)

Rocket Science has never been more interesting. Your daughter gets it :-)


gbbloom OP t1_j1wbzae wrote

My daughter is so into it. She's a bit young to talk "career" but I think she'd love to have something to do with space one day. I actually just remembered that I said she could have a new telescope for Hanukkah... so we'll call that the "bonus" present.

This is utterly fascinating. Wondering if picking up fuel from the moon is viable... if there are other things we could use for fuel beyond what we've always considered, if we don't have to escape Earth's gravity well first.

So, I'll challenge you: what if we headed for, say, Ceres first, and then on to Mars?


ADSWNJ t1_j1wqdu0 wrote

This is where Musk and SpaceX have been planning for years. Where other rockets have used space grade kerosene (RP1) and liquid oxygen, or liquid hydrogen + oxygen, Musk knew he wanted to refuel natively from the Martian atmosphere, which is CO2 rich, then the best fuel would be methane and oxygen. Hence the new raptor engine burns methane amd oxygen. Plus the Starships can be configured as fuel browsers, freighters, human-rated travel or as "Pez" dispensers fir hundreds of Starlink satellites per launch. The goal is to fund interplanetary missions from massive commercial benefits of launching satellites around Earth, then to build a fleet of vehicles capable of hundreds of trips each ship, then refuel in Earth orbit to allow much bigger missions to Mars than could launch direct from Earth. And so on... its incredible really.


Brbcan t1_j1wbv9e wrote

Get manufacturing up and running in space, and a new Industrial Revolution will kick off.


gbbloom OP t1_j1wf7wq wrote

This is something my buddy and I have discussed for years. It might be the end of unemployment. Sure, it'd bring a host of new issues, but one thing at a time!


Brbcan t1_j1x2qym wrote

The company that can make mining our moon and nearby asteroids feasible will be the next milestone, imho. So far, we've only been able to generate 'data' from our efforts in space.

If we can harvest raw materials and manufacture good in orbit, we've truly entered a new era.


andmewithoutmytowel t1_j1wncb4 wrote

I read something years ago (and I wish my recall was better) about a plan with a geosynchronous space elevator near the equator (west coast of Africa) that used maglev technology to get people/materials into space, then used a solar-powered rail-gun inspired design, to shoot packages to the moon and mars. Deceleration was accomplished with thrusters and gravity, then a lander ferried people up/down.


gbbloom OP t1_j1wounb wrote

That would be absolutely incredible!! Was it theoretical or was someone hoping to fund it?


KIrkwillrule t1_j1wtcbn wrote

We don't have a material with the tensile strength yet. Space elevator will likely replace much of the rockets used for putting stuff in space, but first we need something strong enough to whip around that fast without shredding itself.


DStaal t1_j1wyhg1 wrote

I believe carbon nanotubes are barely strong enough in theory - so you just have to make a cable of a reasonable thickness out of them long enough to reach past geostationary orbit without any flaws in any of the nanotubes that make it up - each of which has to reach the entire way. Currently I think we can probably produce them in lengths of maybe as much as a foot? Probably less, maybe much less.

And then you have to make sure there’s no issues with it, as it falling down would cause a global catastrophe.

They’d actually be much easier to build on the Moon or Mars, and could be very useful there.


KIrkwillrule t1_j20v4dm wrote

What a job that will be. Integrity testing of the first space elevator will definitely be done by a robot, but I'd love to be the guy in charge of watching the robot lolol


andmewithoutmytowel t1_j1wrzvt wrote

No, this was either a theory I read or part of a science fiction book. I’m trying to recall it.


spiderborland t1_j1wp2e0 wrote

I was wondering when someone was gonna mention a space elevator. I’m starting to think that it’s not plausible considering no one really brought it up.


andmewithoutmytowel t1_j1wrt8b wrote

I’ve seen some shows on the concept, but don’t know the math and it would certainly be unfathomably expensive


Uxiro t1_j1zhtyn wrote

It's perfectly doable, we just can't mass produce anything strong and light enough for it. It's also much easier to make it in orbit/on the moon and lower it to Earth iirc, so it's another chicken and egg thing of it making establishing space industry easier, but it's easier to do when you already have space industry.


bigloser42 t1_j1w2ggr wrote

Rockets have issues all the time, the more rockets you need to launch to assemble/refuel your ship in orbit the greater the odds that one will fail/get delayed, which will then delay your entire mission. Once you stage something in orbit you are now committed to waiting for the next launch(es) to actually leave.

The window to launch to Mars is only open for 2 weeks every 2ish years. If you get enough of a delay that you miss your window, you have to wait 2 more years. It's better to launch everything at once on a single rocket to minimize points of failure.

Having said that, most of the Mars missions profiles are effectively staging on Mars, then launching Humans in the next transfer window. As for the Moon, that's close enough that staging in Earth orbit isn't really necessary.


gbbloom OP t1_j1walni wrote

Well, that's one heck of an answer to "Why not" and makes an enormous amount of sense. I'm actually going to bring this one up the next time my daughter and I start in on it!


ADSWNJ t1_j1wqytc wrote

Actually, I think it's better to have a fleet of say 20, 50, or even 100 starship to launch at the same time as a fleet. In this way, even losing 1 or 2 would still allow you to complete the mission. This is the same idea as the rocket array on the Falcon 9, where the rocket can lose an en engine and still have redundancy to complete the mission.


madewithgarageband t1_j1wbres wrote

The spaceX plans for mars include putting a half-fueled starship in low earth orbit, and then launching 4-5 more consecutive starships to ferry fuel up to fill the tanks.

Problem is you need to burn fuel just to transport fuel into low Earth orbit, and kg for kg this kind of mission would use more fuel overall than a single large rocket. Would not even be practical without reusable rockets

Ofc no rocket is big enough to directly launch starship into Mars orbit so with current technology, this is the best solution - unless you wanted to use a smaller final stage


ADSWNJ t1_j1wtbis wrote

My congratulations to you and your daughter for thinking big thoughts. I hope it inspires her to take up a career in aerospace or space sciences. If you want to see some eye-opening videos, go to YouTube and search for Gateway Spaceport LLC to watch together. I would dearly love to see this firm build a working prototype of this technology up on orbit. As to "why bother when we can launch from Earth", well just look at the scale that this firm is working at, and you figure out immediately that they are designing structures at orders of magnitude bigger than can be directly launched.


fail-deadly- t1_j1wuwno wrote

Big thing is nobody has tested transferring cryogenic fuel in microgravity, and the testing on the monopropellants have just been small scale. In order for SpaceX’s starship to work it will have to prove this can work to some extent.

Also, about half the propellant used on a mission is getting to low Earth orbit. Here is a map that shows how much delta V a mission needs to get to places in the solar system.


jiminy_cricks t1_j1w1tc4 wrote

My understanding and two cents.Because there isn't enough interest in space anymore. Sure we have a few companies who want to use space for profit, day trips, hotels, etc.. no one cares about exploring our solar system with anything but probes, except Elon. Now if someone discovered a huge lithium or other valuable mineral deposit that could make a significant impact here on earth then perhaps the mindset would change. But humans do something that grand just for the sake of doing it? Good luck getting that kind of cooperation.


gbbloom OP t1_j1w2999 wrote

It's really sad to read this... not that I think it's wrong. More that, yeah, maybe that's why we are were we are right now. A far cry from the Kennedy challenge, after all. Kind of a bummer.


jiminy_cricks t1_j1w3lsg wrote

I think about this a lot. I love The Expanse (highly recommend) and it got me thinking about colonizing our solar system years ago. We'll never get to that level but if we get a lofty goal of something like colonizing Mars, like truly colonizing it (which may also never be truly realized) we would progress so much as a society. But think about it, if that's the goal we're going to need significant advance in most areas of life that could all be applied here on earth.

We're going to need an atmosphere or means to provide oxygen. Advances here could help us clean up our atmosphere and mitigate global warming.

We'll need lightweight but durable housing that could be used to provide affordable housing to everyone.

Means of transportation and construction will have to be battery powered until means of refining fuel is created on Mars. Guess who uses batteries on earth, everyone.

Agriculture and water systems will have to be completely redesigned. We could use a more economical means of providing food for people on earth.

The list goes on. But here we are selfish and small minded, focusing on putting out fires instead of true growth.


gbbloom OP t1_j1w8ocr wrote

What you're saying makes a massive amount of sense. It's something I've thought about for years, actually, and feeds into the "how do we overcome the selfishness" that you referenced. It was always about "what technology could apply here" based loosely around concepts like velcro.

What items would have profitable application on Earth. Or what could we find in terms of mining capabilities out there that would be lucrative enough for people to invest in. That seems like it could be enough to entice people to invest in setting up shop on Luna. The question is, is it lucrative enough.


jiminy_cricks t1_j1wbizo wrote

"is it lucrative enough". Isn't that the question of the ages. It could be if done correctly. Thinking about housing, if a company develops the perfect housing for Mars, modular, lightweight, cheap, recyclable, they don't need to wait until the full project is complete to make money. Maybe they just developed the perfect window, patent it and get selling. Now they are making money to find the rest of the development. Obviously it's not that simple and getting the ball rolling on this mindset is the real issue. But every small innovation along the way could be applied and sold domestically.

We've lost our collective purpose along the way, it's all me me me, our country vs yours. Keep your individually but we're one species on one planet. Let's act like it and do great things.


ByEthanFox t1_j1w35fe wrote

My understanding is that so much sci-fi, for good reason, just ignores harmful solar radiation. Like this is part of the reason.


skittlebog t1_j1wf3ul wrote

This has been the premise of a number of Science Fiction novels over the years. It would be a viable idea IF we could get over the issues of getting the parts and fuel up to that space platform in the first place. Mining asteroids and space manufacturing are often part of the equation. Alternative fuel sources or different types of power supplies would be helpful too. We may someday get there, but there are a lot of questions to answer first.


Lethalfurball t1_j1wkzn7 wrote

If we launch stuff from stations in orbit, the thrust used to launch the rocket will also launch the station backwards in the opposite direction, likely leading to collision with other satellites and a chain reaction of debris hitting satellites which then make more debris to hit more satelites and possibly getting pushed out of orbit and crashing into something and destroying everything in orbit with the aforementioned chain reaction

I think (im not entirely sure, but think) it would be less of a logistical nightmare to launch from earth where we wont have to worry about destroying a bunch of carefully placed satellites than it would be to plan out where the launch platform would be pushed to and how to stop it from hitting other things and destroying the iss in the resulting chain reaction of destruction so we could launch safely


gbbloom OP t1_j1wp2qo wrote

You have more expertise than I, so I have to ask... how does it currently work when something docs with the ISS and then has to leave? Why can't we do that?


Semaphore-Slim t1_j1wxm6b wrote

Disclaimer: Not a rocket scientist, nor do I play one on TV. But I do play Kerbal Space Program.

Think of this as a delta-v problem. What's the cheapest to execute?

  • A delta-v burn that allows you to hit escape velocity while simultaneously putting you on a intercept vector for your target celestial body?
  • A delta-v burn to hit escape velocity, while targeting an intermediary body (like the moon), orbit, land, re-launch, escape orbital velocity, and then follow up with a burn to intercept the target body?

Today, it's the first. By a lot. Give humanity a hundred years or so to build a some outer space gas stations, and *maybe* that'll all change.

I play Kerbal Space Program a lot. I suggest getting a copy and play with it on sandbox mode. It'll help understand these kinds of problems


gbbloom OP t1_j1x2kio wrote

Wait wait wait wait... what's Kerbal Space Program? This sounds cool. App or computer?


jgzman t1_j1wz4ud wrote

Having played KSP, I'll tell you the answer: it takes a lot of fuel to get a little fuel to orbit. If we could find a way of generating fuel outside the gravity well, like the H2 they claim to have found in the Lunar regolith, that would be so much easier.

But whatever we launch has to be dragged out of our gravity well, weather we do it in bulk, or IKEA style. And doing it in multiple launches is multiple opportunities for accidents to happen.


UniversalMomentum t1_j1x0ld4 wrote

It’s a simple answer is because humans are super squishy in space and Mars at its closest orbital proximity is about as far as we think we could actually get and not murder the astronauts. All the extra effort is just to shorten the trip a little bit because humans are that bad at being in space for extended periods of time and you’re talking about a lot of the months just in zero G transit with no rescue likely. When they do down to Mars gravity we don’t yet know how well they can function after months in zero G. It’s still an engineering problem, but most of the engineering is around, trying to figure out how to preserve humans evolved from earth in completely different conditions.

The asteroid belt may as well be a different solar system. It’s so far away humans cannot survive the journey and live launching from the moon or even Mars doesn’t change that much. The only reason it matter with Mars is because Mars is just close enough to be a viable target to send humans vs just probes and rovers.

As it stands now, most exploration will have to be done by machines and not humans because we don’t have anything close to artificial gravity.

If it weren’t for that, we could sail over there and not worry about shaving off a few months here and there. Its not like you slow down in space so you’ll get there eventually but what condition will the humans be in by then.

All the effort to shorten the trip it’s just about reducing the impacts on the humans that you hope to deliver to a new planet and at the very least say you did it. How much there is to really do on Mars is an entirely different question and we may find that our need to be there is rather limited because people only value their lives more and more and I don’t see how life on Mars will ever be anything but hostile.


gbbloom OP t1_j1x2555 wrote

I fully admit that I screwed up on one of the replies to a comment. While I know that the Asteroid Belt comes AFTER Mars... I suggested going to Ceres before Mars. Yeah, sorry about that.


divepilot t1_j1x8j5a wrote

The man who knew the way to the moon covered this.

Summary: Von Braun and the senior gang wanted an orbital staging platform and essentially milk the moon project for funding to do that because then you can go further with the same investment. However, the rockets needed were not available, and new rocket systems are rocket science, so you could not get to the moon by the time JFK wanted it. The lunar orbiter was the only thing that would likely work in the timeframe.

So they did the minimalistic moon project, funding dried up, and nobody built a good staging platform after because of lack of money.

John C Houbolt (NASA, Wiki) may be good starting points too.

Another for your Daughter's reading list: An astronaut's guide to life. And maybe in a few years, Project Paperclip, to keep hero worship in check.
Maybe also Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman, for general interest.


Futurology-ModTeam t1_j1xc6zd wrote

Your post was removed.

Appears more like an r/askreddit post


JaggedMetalOs t1_j1xg3vx wrote

"Manufacturing" in orbit doesn't reallyv make sense, you'd need to launch not only 100% the weight of the spacecraft (so already you've not saved any money) but also the weight of the equipment to build the spacecraft and possibly even more weight of extra material for any waste in the manufacturing process.

What would make sense is if you have a spacecraft larger than a single launch you can launch in multiple parts and connect them in orbit, or setting up manufacturing on the moon where you have access to lots of raw materials so don't have the launch cost of those.


rexregisanimi t1_j1w2csj wrote

Launching stuff from earth to a halfway point and then on to the destination costs as much in fuel as just launching straight to the destination. There's no real cost savings by staging from an orbital platform. Construction would work well in orbit for larger objects (and may even be necessary for things such as the ISS and such).

The "middle stop" needs to have a purpose and there aren't many reasons to use one.

Edit: why is this being downvoted?


Liquidwombat t1_j1wau1p wrote

I’m not smart enough to know the answers. Why we’re still not doing it. But the root cause is Kennedy and his stupid to the moon and back speech. Up until that point this was absolutely NASA‘s plan but Kennedy’s stupid speech meant that there was no way they would have enough time to implement that plan so they just went balls to the wall with a program to get onto the moon and absolutely no continuing benefit after that. If they are stuck to the original plan which is what you’re proposing, they probably wouldn’t have gotten to the moon until the mid to late 70s but we would almost certainly be on Mars right now.


ADSWNJ t1_j1wsjpn wrote

I guess (seeing your Ukraine flag!) you can blame the Russians for that 1960's Space Race. Couching that goal to get to the Moon (and safely back again) made space a national priority the likes of which it would not have seen on a pure-science budget. Arguably the Apollo-Soyuz era, leading to the ISS era was critical in the detante between the US and the USSR back then.