31
   

Should NASA go to Mars or back to the Moon?

 
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 04:06 pm
@hawkeye10,
were did you learn to count? We have lost 2 out of appox 130, making the odds one in sixty five.
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You are right for some reason I was under the impression that there was more total shuttle missions.

Guess I was going with the old target for the total missions being in the hundreds for the life time of the program with over 130 missions just for the space station construction.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 04:08 pm
@hawkeye10,
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!
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Hmm and what is your nation?
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 04:09 pm
Neither! America should focus on colonizing Near Earth Orbit, with stations at Lagrange points, and on harvesting asteroids from the asteroid belt; it's a waste of our time mucking around in foreign gravity wells.

Cycloptichorn
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 04:14 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
Hmm and what is your nation?


Commonly the use of the word "our" and "we" would signify that I am an American....
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 04:16 pm
@hawkeye10,
A self hater?
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 04:26 pm
@hawkeye10,
Thanks for the link.

Why are they going to de-orbit the station? Is it a further funding issue? Seems to me, it's still worth going on with it.

I don't get it.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 04:33 pm
@Reyn,
Nasa is only planning on getting a small pot of money, and they want to use it on other things. The space station was only ever an excuse for the shuttle program, to give the shuttle something to do. We are killing the shuttle, thus the station no longer has a purpose. The science rational for the station was always a sham, but NASA can't admit that so they are letting the station live for a couple of years doing whatever science it can do. The main science experiment was killed years ago for budget reasons though, so I don't know what of value will get done. Enterprising scientists will I am sure figure something out.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 04:45 pm
@hawkeye10,
I should point out that all along those who are interested in science claimed that the station was a poor way to go about it, they always wanted what ever money that was available for science to go to unmanned missions. NASA argued up and down that a manned station was the way to go for science benefit.......what a crock.....
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 07:02 pm
Artificial intelligence might be reaching the singularity in a decade or two. Then intelligent robots could go to mars, the moon, etc., etc., without the deleterious effects of weightlessness on the bodies of humans.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 07:21 pm
@Foofie,
Come on Foofie there is zero indication that computers will become self aware anytime soon and that what you would need to even think about replacing humans.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 07:32 pm
@BillRM,
one of my best university chums during the mid Eighties was doing post grad artificial intelligence work, we used to sit around getting stoned with him telling stories of how success was just around the corner....not.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 07:52 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Neither! America should focus on colonizing Near Earth Orbit, with stations at Lagrange points, and on harvesting asteroids from the asteroid belt; it's a waste of our time mucking around in foreign gravity wells.
Cycloptichorn
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Come on we are going to jump from our current technology to building large scale Lagrange points settlements and moving large asteroids around the solar system without first setting up moon bases and mass drivers on the moon and plants to break moon water up for rocket fuel?

Yes if we would go with the 1950s Orion concept, it might be possible however the environments nuts now go crazy when we launch a space probe with a few kilograms of radioactive elements for electric power so I can just picture them rolling over if we planned to launch space crafts weighting more then an aircraft carrier using a few hundred small nuclear bombs to do so!
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:02 pm
@hawkeye10,
The station is still a great way to study long term effect of micro-gravity on humans to start with.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 08:07 pm
@BillRM,
Quote:
The station is still a great way to study long term effect of micro-gravity on humans to start with.


My understanding is that the Russians have already learned all that needs to be learned. They had a huge amount of human hours aboard MIR.
0 Replies
 
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 11:32 pm
My deepist conviction says that we came from Mars and other than for historical reasons we should keep moving until we find another habital piece of dirt because we are destroying the earth's viability as a planet.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 12:05 am
Here we are in the middle of a galaxy of a couple of hundred billion stars (suns), which is one of about the same number of galaxies in the cosmos. It strikes me as ludicrous to debate whether it's worthwhile to look around and explore. It's like being a cave man when humans occupied only a small area in Africa and debating whether it's advisable to explore what's beyond the next hill. Of course it is. To paraphrase Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, a baby can't live in its cradle forever. Interstellar travel is probably centuries away, but it will take forever if we don't even try. Man should make an effort to explore space. In 1969, we landed on the moon, and 40 years later, not only have we not established a settlement there, but we lack the means even to go back. It's time for us to get busy.

We should move radially outward, gradually building up the technological infrastructure as we go. We've done a space station, and should continue to have a presence in Earth orbit. Next we should colonize the Moon and put something in the Earth-sun Lagrange points. Mars is a logical next step. I think Man's destiny is to explore space.

We should also be exploring propulsion systems with a better specific impulse than chemical propulsion. NASA already uses ionic propulsion for satellite station-keeping and attitude control. It has a better specific impulse than chemical propulsion, but cannot develop much thrust. We static tested a nuclear heat exchange engine in the 50s and early 60s. Maybe we should re-visit that.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 12:09 am
@Brandon9000,
Quote:
Man should make an effort to explore space


I don't necessarily disagree with you, but why should we? What is in it for us? How does knowing what is out their make our lives better? The conventional wisdom is that it does not, that space is a waste of energy and money, that only science geeks care. What is your counter argument?
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 12:16 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
Man should make an effort to explore space


I don't necessarily disagree with you, but why should we? What is in it for us? How does knowing what is out their make our lives better? The conventional wisdom is that it does not, that space is a waste of energy and money, that only science geeks care. What is your counter argument?

My counter argument is a question. Man evolved somewhere in Africa. Now, at some point in our early history, when we occupied only one little bit of Africa, what was the point of exploring the surrounding areas and spreading out? What was the point of Columbus's voyages? What was to be gained by spending all that money when there was poverty and things that needed doing in Portugal and Spain? Geez, that's like asking what civilization is good for.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 12:27 am
@Brandon9000,
in zen we say that it is enough to know that we are here now, that not knowing were we come from and where we go does not keep us from making the most of our time alive. Focusing on the knowing origins and destinations keeps us apart from knowing who we are right now, from gaining harmony with the cosmos right now, that the need to know is born out of a mutated ego that is very full of itself.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Sat 18 Jul, 2009 12:29 am
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

in zen we say that it is enough to know that we are here now, that not knowing were we come from and where we go does not keep us from making the most of our time alive. Focusing on the knowing origins and destinations keeps us apart from knowing who we are right now, from gaining harmony with the cosmos right now, that the need to know is born out of a mutated ego that is very full of itself.

Fine for you if you like. I don't want to stay locked in the closet forever.
 

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