31
   

Should NASA go to Mars or back to the Moon?

 
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 11:40 am
If NASA were to exert itself in a new attempt to land on either Mars or on our Moon, which should it be first?

To me, the answer to this question comes down to whether you think we should choose to explore primarily for functional reasons, or for adventurous reasons. And in this case I think we should do the more adventurous thing rather than the more functional thing.

Each landing target offers both functionality and adventure, but in my opinion Mars offers a far greater sense of adventure while also providing functional knowledge of discovery.

I think what our culture needs today is not just functional results and study, but a brand new sense of adventure to inspire another generation, and I think Mars is it (more so than the Moon).

(also, before I die, I'm hoping to know whether Mars ever had life on it... )

What do you think?
 
Reyn
 
  3  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 12:45 pm
@rosborne979,
Neither, in my opinion. Right now, they should concentrate their resources on getting the space station operational, which could have good benefits, in the short run.

In these uncertain economic times, I don't think another trip to the moon, or to Mars makes sense, at the moment.

If a trip to Mars were planned, no doubt it would be a non-manned one.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:01 pm
Neither, because America will not support the effort. We have spent $100+ billion on the space station, it has not done hardly any science to date, and it will only been doing science for five years before we get rid of it. This is skylab all over again, this time the boondoggle is ten times worse. We do not have the ability to properly plan and fund manned space exploration, and until the public gets excited about space and is again willing to pay for it we need to wind down our efforts. It is time to end NASA, and let the Air Force take over the bits that are kept.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:10 pm
@hawkeye10,
Well hawkeye10 we can do it or see Chine seize the future using 0ur money as we move all our manufactoring muscles off shore.

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:26 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Well hawkeye10 we can do it or see Chine seize the future using 0ur money as we move all our manufactoring muscles off shore.



Interesting that you mention china, as someone I read a few days ago sarcastically said that if Congress will not fund the space station past 2015 then we "should give the damn thing to the Chinese and let them support it".

America is in decline, China is ascending, this dynamic will be seen in space exploration as it is in every other way. China having a space station and we not having one is not a far fetched vision, it is the likely future.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:31 pm
@rosborne979,
Should NASA go to Mars or back to the Moon?

It can do, it shud do and it will do both.



David
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:39 pm
@hawkeye10,
Well China had a man space program with men having been place in orbit and strangely you hear almost nothing about the subject.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:39 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
Quote:
It can do


What is your evidence that America has the ability to put together a successful manned mission to Mars? Apollo was almost 50 years ago, and NASA has done very little well since that program.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:49 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Well China had a man space program with men having been place in orbit and strangely you hear almost nothing about the subject


Strange how? Americans care very little about manned flight, no matter who is doing it. Also, Americans have very little care about China or understanding of the world in general, so this kind of news does not sell. America media sells news now, it does not report what is important.....

On the serious thinker front till now Chinese space has not gotten much notice because it was assumed that the Chinese could not pull it off, that they had too little knowledge, too much corruption, and did not have enough trained people to get over the hump. It keeps getting forgotten that the Chinese are very active and very good at the technology theft game, or failing that buying technology from Europe, Russia or even the Americans. I assume that there are a bunch of Russians in China behind the scenes working to help guide the Chinese effort. The Chinese have every chance of being successful, and we need to take them seriously.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:54 pm
@Reyn,
Quote:
Right now, they should concentrate their resources on getting the space station operational, which could have good benefits, in the short run.


This is a sensible response. You have to walk before you can run. On that same basis, once there is a functional space station, then it would be time to return to the moon, to create a permanent base there. There is little reason to, and many good reasons not to, go to Mars right now.

In any of these cases--the space station, the moon or Mars--the only justification would have to based upon a commitment to go further and further into space, in this star system and beyond. It's no longer a case that we need to put men into space so that we can develop rocket systems to match or surpass those 0f Russia, with a view to making reliable ICBMs, rather than going anywhere in particular.
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 02:56 pm
More than likely Mars currently has life on it! Sizable amounts of methane have been seen spewing forth from some of the open vents. There is considerable evidence of recent water flowing down the sides of hills. And there are icebergs (or, possibly, vast unfrozen oceans) beneath the ground which appear to b the size of Los Angeles!
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:12 pm
@hawkeye10,
What is your evidence that America has the ability to put together a successful manned mission to Mars? Apollo was almost 50 years ago, and NASA has done very little well since that program.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We placed 12 men on the moon with mainly 1950s technology with some 1960s technology thrown in so going to Mars with 60 years of further technology seem not to be too great a task.

In space it is not distance but delta V that is the important factor and I am not at home so I do not have access to my notes about total delta V of a moon mission compare to a Mars mission but off hand it is not all that must greater.

At least no that must greater given 60 years of technology.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:15 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
At least no that must greater given 60 years of technology.


we have the technology to keep the shuttles away from catastrophic failure as well, we just have not executed. Technology is not the problem, the inability to run major programs in a sound manor is.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:23 pm
@hawkeye10,
Running large scale programs is hardly an ability we lost and the shuttle program was an on the cheap 1970s technology program where the odds of having a failure that would end up with losing a shuttle was known to be one in 200 missions from it start and had proven to be right on the mark.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:34 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Running large scale programs is hardly an ability we lost and the shuttle program was an on the cheap 1970s technology program where the odds of having a failure that would end up with losing a shuttle was known to be one in 200 missions from it start and had proven to be right on the mark.


were did you learn to count? We have lost 2 out of appox 130, making the odds one in sixty five.
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:40 pm
@Setanta,
Set, I'm thinking, too, that the space station may have huge implications for various things, like improved weather reporting, communications, viewing space from above the earth, etc., and may be more practical in the short run to improve things on this planet.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:45 pm
@Reyn,
Quote:
Set, I'm thinking, too, that the space station may have huge implications for various things, like improved weather reporting, communications, viewing space from above the earth, etc., and may be more practical in the short run to improve things on this planet.


what about the implications for the value of the word of the Americans, and their value as a partner??? A lot of other nations have put serious money into the space station, and now we are going to decide on our own to burn it up almost as soon as it is finished? Now that is some serious typical American bullshit right there!
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:49 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:
[...] a lot of other nations have put serious money into the space station, and now we are going to decide on our own to burn it up almost as soon as it is finished? [...]

Sorry, I'm not up on all the latest details on the space station. I was just giving a general opinion.

I'd be interested to read a story that says it will be destroyed. Do you have a link?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:58 pm
@Reyn,
Quote:
The International Space Station has been a colossal undertaking among five space agencies whose final price tag will likely be in the vicinity of $100 billion dollars. (The U.S. construction costs alone are estimated to be $31 billion.) Just this year the station finally reached its full capacity of six crew members, but it is still under construction"space shuttle Endeavour sits at the ready today to deliver to the ISS pieces of a Japanese experiment module.

But the ISS program manager for NASA is warning that without a change in policy, all that work will go plunging into the ocean in 2016, just six years after the scheduled completion of the station. "In the first quarter of 2016, we'll prep and deorbit the spacecraft," Michael Suffredini told the Washington Post. The ISS's long-term funding from NASA terminates in 2015, the newspaper notes.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=international-space-station-still-u-2009-07-13
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 04:04 pm
@hawkeye10,
If the Americans want to back out of the space station, well what can you expect from Americans, how typical. But America can not be allowed to destroy the groups product. The other nations should be allowed to either run it themselves or sell it to the Chinese...for maybe 1 Euro...
0 Replies
 
 

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