8
   

SOMETHING WORTH DOING IN SPACE

 
 
Setanta
 
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 01:40 pm
If you click here, you can read about the Dawn spacecraft. This is JPL's site for the Dawn mission to the asteroid belt. The craft is headed for Vesta, the second largest object in the asteroid belt, considerably more than 300 miles in diameter. A commentator on the radio has described the space craft as an automated "geologist." I've still to read the JPL web page, so i'll know more when i've done that.

Several of us have discussed the future of space flight in various threads here, and among that number are those who consider the asteroid belt as the best candidate for current exploration. I've said that it's probably the best shot at getting corporate funding for space flight. This is perfect for automated space craft, and perhaps some day for von Neumann machines

Whaddayathink, goys and birls?
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:01 pm
@Setanta,
Teapots?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:03 pm
You got a thing for teapots, don't ya . . .
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:04 pm
@Setanta,
And here I thought this was gonna be a topic about the light-year high club.

PS I saw that article, too. Hey, whatever it takes. Let's get out there. This planet won't last forever.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:06 pm
@jespah,
Uhm . . . are you trying to get into that club?

Wait . . . i don't wanna know . . .
0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:12 pm
@Setanta,
I'm excited about anything that will let us start doing more than being errand-runners for the space station. If we can't get to Mars anytime relatively soon, the belt's the next best thing in my book.

Like Jespah said, let's get out there and do something already.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:16 pm
@Setanta,
Thank u, Setanta. I put the JPL Website on my desktop.





David
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:16 pm
@Setanta,
To be honest I'm interested in this, and I wanted it to appear on myposts so, as the subject of teapots and space had already come up I used to to keep track. All Englishmen have a thing about teapots.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:22 pm

izzythepush wrote:
To be honest I'm interested in this, and I wanted it to appear on myposts so, as the subject of teapots and space had already come up I used to to keep track. All Englishmen have a thing about teapots.
OmSigDAVID wrote:
R u gonna blow up Vesta b4 the police can arrive ??????





David
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:31 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
You bet . . . JPL is a fascinating place . . .
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:32 pm
@Questioner,
I really don't see any good reason to go to Mars . . . at least not anytime in the immediate future.
Cycloptichorn
 
  3  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:33 pm
@Setanta,
Yes x 100. This is exactly, exactly what we should be doing.

Very exciting news, thanks.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:46 pm
@Setanta,
I've always seen Mars as the next real milestone for space 'exploration'. In terms of space 'exploitation' yes, the potential resources there don't yet outweigh the costs involved in getting to them and getting them back.
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:52 pm
@Questioner,
Sorry, Manned mission to Mars as the next real milestone.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:58 pm
@Questioner,
Questioner wrote:

Sorry, Manned mission to Mars as the next real milestone.


Other than to say 'we went there,' what's the benefit of going there?

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 02:59 pm
@Questioner,
And money is the problem . . . if there is a reasonable possibility of profit from the asteroid belt, then corporate funding might be found. If a large-scale corporate operation were underway in the asteroid belt, then we might be able to stir up some corporate interest in Mars, as it would be "in the neighborhood." Right now, going to Mars is just an exercise in conceit. There is currently no practical reason for it.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 03:01 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

And money is the problem . . . if there is a reasonable possibility of profit from the asteroid belt, then corporate funding might be found. If a large-scale corporate operation were underway in the asteroid belt, then we might be able to stir up some corporate interest in Mars, as it would be "in the neighborhood." Right now, going to Mars is just an exercise in conceit. There is currently no practical reason for it.


Absolutely right. At the end of the day, it's just another Gravity Well. The real action is in moving past our reflexive urge to go from one straight to another.

Cycloptichorn
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 03:06 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

Questioner wrote:

Sorry, Manned mission to Mars as the next real milestone.


Other than to say 'we went there,' what's the benefit of going there?

Cycloptichorn


I'm one of those scifi junkies that thinks colonization could actually happen at some point. Is there a monetary point in going? Absolutely not. At least not yet. From a purely daydreamesque standpoint, I'd like to see a man place a boot on red soil.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 03:08 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:
At the end of the day, it's just another Gravity Well.


That's a very important consideration that i think a lot of people don't consider. The mother well here is 90% of the cost of sending out missions, by which i mean the "unmanned" missions. Mars could become an attactive alternative site when there's enough commercial activity in the asteroid belt, because it's only 36% of our gravity. However, the most commercially feasible operational doctrine would be von Neumann machines, out of any significant gravity well. I've got some ideas on just how it should be done, but i'll save that for later.
0 Replies
 
Questioner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 21 Jul, 2011 03:08 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

And money is the problem . . . if there is a reasonable possibility of profit from the asteroid belt, then corporate funding might be found. If a large-scale corporate operation were underway in the asteroid belt, then we might be able to stir up some corporate interest in Mars, as it would be "in the neighborhood." Right now, going to Mars is just an exercise in conceit. There is currently no practical reason for it.


Agreed, which is why I stated that going to the belt is the 'next best thing' in my book. Just to be trying something new and getting something done and profiting off of it in some way, either monetarily or scientifically.

 

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