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Lunar Base Maybe Delayed, Asteroid Landing Instead  
User currently offlinePC12Fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2431 posts, RR: 5
Posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4716 times:

Sorry, I don't have a link, but I read this in a recent AW&ST issue. Seems a lunar mission would not be as "popular" as landing on a large, near Earth asteroid. Thus making a Mars mission possible sooner. The article was in the January 21 issue.

Just fantasizing here, but I would like to see a Lunar base, along with talk of a Hubble II launched by an Ares V. I'd also support a ISS on steroids if you will, also launched by a series of Ares V rockets.

I'll just have to cash a few stock options to make this happen.  laughing 


Just when I think you've said the stupidest thing ever, you keep talkin'!
87 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4697 times:

I think once we have the Ares/Orion/Altair architecture in place, we can go pretty much wherever we want in the inner solar system with only relatively modest upgrades, so complaining about "Asteroids, not Moon!" doesn't serve a particularly useful purpose. The same hardware can more or less do either one, so let's not get bogged down in a destination battle at this early stage, let's get Ares/Orion/Altair built and then fight it out about what to do next.

The moonbase is not part of the existing program anyway, it would follow in a Phase II (or Phase III.) The first part of the program is to resume lunar exploration with four astronauts for at least one week on the moon. A moonbase would be the likely successor, but there is no reason an asteroid expedition can't be mounted alongside or in lieu of a lunar expedition.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30855 posts, RR: 86
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4670 times:
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They shouldn't go to either place, or Mars. Spend the money on robotic missions, instead. I want orbiters around Neptune and Uranus and probes under the ice of Europa a lot more then I want some folks planting a flag on Mars or motoring around the lunar surface.

User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 4612 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
They shouldn't go to either place, or Mars. Spend the money on robotic missions, instead. I want orbiters around Neptune and Uranus and probes under the ice of Europa a lot more then I want some folks planting a flag on Mars or motoring around the lunar surface.

Actually, this makes the most sense. Let's go were the water is, the moons Europa or Io.


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 4594 times:

The re-think of going back to the Moon has been underway for some time. I read an article at (IIRC) www.spaceflight.now on this in January as well. Longer-range planners are indeed talking about an asteroid mission, and then Mars, and simply by-passing the Moon. "Been there, done that."

What's also interesting is that the James Webb Space Telescope has been redesigned to include a CEV docking port, from which I conclude that NASA is thinking in terms of servicing it out at the L2 Lagrange point some time (I would think) in the 2020s.

Another idea to come out of this re-think is why bother building an enormous radio telescope on the Far Side at all ? For one thing, you have to land all the crap needed, then assemble it, etc. Putting the sucker out at L1, as an alternative, eliminates a couple of problems:

--no need to design components for shock of landing,
--no need to launch the mass of a lander, and
--no need for cable/satellite comm link to Earth

I agree robotic missions are way more cost effective, and that, as Stitch said, we should be looking for the water (Europa, Io, in particular). And underwater, independent intelligent probe that could report back periodically is an interesting challenge. However, regarding manned versus unmanned missions, one thing that can't be ignored is the vicarious journey we all take when another manned space flight takes off: we're there, every step of the way, in our own minds. That may not be the strongest argument in favour of manned missions, but I don't think you can deny that that aspect is very real.

It seems likely that Mars was pretty wet once. See recent Article
so I don't think we can ignore Mars either. It's easier to get to, technically, financially, and time-wise, and it may tell us definitively whether life has ever existed there. I don't think we should ignore that possibility.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4585 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 3):
Actually, this makes the most sense. Let's go were the water is, the moons Europa or Io.

They're uninhabitable due to enormous radiation from Jupiter. Io is also far too dangerous for a manned landing, because of volcanic activity continually resurfacing the moon. Even unmanned landings there will be extremely risky.

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 4):
Another idea to come out of this re-think is why bother building an enormous radio telescope on the Far Side at all ?

Because the moon itself is a big shield blocking all the radio noise from Earth, creating an extremely quiet environment for radio astronomy.


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4562 times:



Quoting Thorny (Reply 5):

Because the moon itself is a big shield blocking all the radio noise from Earth, creating an extremely quiet environment for radio astronomy.

That's about the only advantage it offers, and there will be technical solutions to that by the time the thing is built.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4513 times:

The Main reason NASA is going back to the Moon is the Helium 3 Pure form thats trapped in the Lunar soil that is required for the new type of Nuclear Fusion power plants that could be built if enough Helium3 was returned to Earth.

Why Helium3 you ask The Nuclear fusion teams around the world found that Hydrogen Fusion emits far to many Damaging Hi Engergy particles that rappidly eat into the walls of the fusion reactor.

Un-like Helium3 which generates far less Hi-Energy particles so the Fusion reactors can last a lot longer, The only problem is Helium3 is extreemly rare on Earth while it has been found that Lunar rocs returned from the Moon are loaded with Helium3 which has been deposited by Solar wind directly from the Sun.

So if we whant Clean Fusion power we need to goto the moon to get the Helium3.


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4499 times:



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 7):
So if we whant Clean Fusion power we need to goto the moon to get the Helium3.

It would be cheaper and easier IMHO to simply make the He-3 here.

Could you point me to an article regarding the problems with H-based fusion ? It's been a long time since I did any work on that topic. Thanks.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently onlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3562 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4471 times:

I just hope that they will build the Ares V in the first place. Once they have it, it will be available for many interesting missions.

I am certain that we will see an US return to the moon before any other manned mission on other places will be seriously considered.

Whether Constellation will survive in US Congress is something different, of course. I cannot comment on that, but I hope that they will bring it underway so much soon that cancelling it would be more expensive than continuing...


User currently onlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3562 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4468 times:

Additonally, I do not understand why so many people dismiss the moon base idea. To me it seems a pretty logical step. We now know how humans react after long time in earth orbit, but we do not know how 1/6 th of gravity affects humans. Also the psychological effects of living several weeks or month on another place than the earth are largely unknown.

I think this knowledge will be required for a mission to Mars. Once Ares V is built, it can later be used for a manned Mars mission.

I think no matter what Nasa does, they must go ahead with what they plan. Way too many plans have been put out and quietly put away again. Where is the will to do something new?

The moon is so close, and 6 manned missions can hardly be enough to know all about it. And I would not want to send humans to a 2 year Mars mission without knowing how they can handle this, and Moon seems to be an ideal playground for it.


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4467 times:



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 9):
Whether Constellation will survive in US Congress is something different, of course. I cannot comment on that, but I hope that they will bring it underway so much soon that cancelling it would be more expensive than continuing...

Senator Obama has indicated that if he is elected, it's No Go. Mind you, the US fiscal position may be so desperate in a few years they may abandon manned space flight altogether.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30855 posts, RR: 86
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 4449 times:
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I agree we need to be on the moon before we need to be on Mars, but I don't think we need to be on either place right now. The costs and the risks involved to send people to Mars is so great that I don't support doing it until we have a real reason to do so. So keep launching better and better probes to keep looking and building up our knowledge for now.

User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 968 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4427 times:



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 7):
The Main reason NASA is going back to the Moon is the Helium 3 Pure form thats trapped in the Lunar soil that is required for the new type of Nuclear Fusion power plants that could be built if enough Helium3 was returned to Earth.

That is not a priority of the VSE.

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 11):
Senator Obama has indicated that if he is elected, it's No Go.

Obama took all sorts of flak for those comments. His plan to divert funding from the Constellation Program to the Department of Education would likely have no measurable impact on the quality of public education, but would result in the U.S. making an extremely visible slide in leadership. It didn't take him long to back off his original statements.

Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 11):
Mind you, the US fiscal position may be so desperate in a few years they may abandon manned space flight altogether.

That is not even close to being true. With a GDP over $13 trillion dollars, there is no question the United States can pays its bills. It's not like the U.S. has never experienced a recession before. It isn't even the first time a recession has hit while a manned spaceflight program was at a critical point, the Space Shuttle was developed when the U.S. economy was in the absolute pits.

The costs of manned spaceflight are not significant to the U.S. federal budget, the results are too visible, and the benefits too great to individual members of Congress for it to be abandoned casually.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 12):
I agree we need to be on the moon before we need to be on Mars, but I don't think we need to be on either place right now. The costs and the risks involved to send people to Mars is so great that I don't support doing it until we have a real reason to do so. So keep launching better and better probes to keep looking and building up our knowledge for now.

I would like to know when anyone anticipates a "good" time for space exploration? We're never going to have cheaper and more reliable manned spacecraft unless we specifically fund their development. Unmanned probes will not help us overcome the barriers for effective manned spaceflight. Sending probes to planets well beyond our reach doesn't lead to new innovation, new industries, etc. If we don't plan on going there ourselves (sooner than later), we're just spending billions on screen savers and astrophysics dissertations.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30855 posts, RR: 86
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4417 times:
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Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 13):
I would like to know when anyone anticipates a "good" time for space exploration?

In my view, when the robotic probes have accumulated enough information to justify the more capable human ones being sent to follow-up.

We don't need to send humans to see if there was water on Mars or where it flowed or how recently. But once the probes have found that water was present and where it was and when it was and if that data means life was likely, then send the humans to see if it really did happen because they are more adaptable.


User currently offlineThorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 4406 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 14):
In my view, when the robotic probes have accumulated enough information to justify the more capable human ones being sent to follow-up.

That is the current working plan. No one is talking about going to Mars in 2013. It will be 2030 at the absolute earliest. Between now and then we'll have Phoenix landing in May, MSL in 2010, at least one more Mars Scout in 2012-13, and then the Mars Sample Return Mission (probably in partnership with Europe) kicks in during the latter half of the next decade. Together with existing spacecraft and Europe's Exomars, that should fill in all the blanks needed for human exploration to commence.

In the meantime, we're building the manned infrastructure to allow that: the ISS to teach us how to operate huge, complex spacecraft for long periods of time and how humans can better handle the trip, Ares/Orion to give us the foundations of the Mars mission, and lunar exploration to get us back into the mindset of working beyond safe abort distances from Earth.


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4360 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 13):
Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 11):
Mind you, the US fiscal position may be so desperate in a few years they may abandon manned space flight altogether.

That is not even close to being true. With a GDP over $13 trillion dollars, there is no question the United States can pays its bills. It's not like the U.S. has never experienced a recession before. It isn't even the first time a recession has hit while a manned spaceflight program was at a critical point, the Space Shuttle was developed when the U.S. economy was in the absolute pits.

Apologies. I'm referring more to America's ability to finance its' debt, which will result in either a) big spike in interest rates, which will hammer the economy big time since so many Americans are in hock up to their eyeballs (as opposed to almost everyone else) or b) the dollar collapses on the world market -- again impacting the economy.

The global economy is more important now to America than at any time in its' history and will have bigger impacts than ever before. America is no longer an island economy, with most trade being internal.

But I do hope the space programme continues.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 4265 times:

Hi connies4ever

I watched a BBC TV science Program on The return to the Moon, In the US they are known as NOVA and it explained all the problems of Hydrogen Fusion against Helium3 fusion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/prog...mes/horizon/broadband/tx/moonsale/

Also it seems from watching the program that a special kind of Helium 3 is required that is very hard top find down here on Earth Making it may well be possible as its possible to make almost anything.


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 4224 times:

Hello Black -

Did a little reading of some older reports this afternoon (it was a slow day anyway) so I could refresh myself regarding fusion (did a little work on laser inertial confinement back around 1980).

OK, typically we're looking at a D-T (deuterium - tritium) reaction driving the fusion reaction, 'fusion ash' being He-4 and an energetic neutron. The neutron carries an energy of ~14 MeV and the He nucleus has a kinetic energy from recoil of about 3.5 MeV (millions of electron volts, sorry, no other way to describe it), for a total of ~17.5 MeV. This neutron is _very_ energetic and is of the type that could cause tissue damage if a person encountered a stream of them. Whether or not the neutron gets past the fusion chamber walls is another issue, but it would slowly cause activation of the chamber through n-p interactions. D-T reactions have high 'neutronicity' (% of energy released in neutrons) and so have highest potential to irradiate the container and/or cause biological problems. Ignition temps for this type of reaction are in the 100M deg C range.

He3-D reactions don't have some of the above problems. The reaction can go 3 three:
- about half of the reactions produce stable He4, a proton and a neutron, and yield about 12 MeV;
- a little less than half produce He4, deuterium, and yield around 14 MeV;
- a small fraction produces He4, also a proton and a neutron, but is a little more energetic at about 14.5 MeV.

The middle reaction has about zero neutronicity, so that makes it very attractive from an operational viewpoint, and even the mixture has a much lower neutronicity than the straightforward D-T reaction, so it wins on that count. The total fusion energy of the He3-D reactions is a little lower than D-T, so it loses on that count, although the difference is not huge.

The big problem with He3-D reactions is they have a significantly higher ignition temperature, IIRC at least double (due to higher electrstatic repulsion as the nuclei approach one another), and therefore a) require much tighter magnetic confinement, and b) need to operate at higher plasma temperatures and pressures, therefore requiring a much stronger vessel.

For the above reasons, and others which are fairly (OK, really) technical, I do not foresee He3-D style fusion reactors in my lifetime. I'm not even sure a working D-T fusion reactor will be ahcieved by the time they plant me.

Don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but those are the facts, ma'am.

Mods: I know this is way off thread topic, but I thought Black asked a decent question that needed a decent response.



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4169 times:

Hi Connies you have Just Spoken an Aliean Language to me as I watch interesting TV Programs but when it comes to the Interesting bits that make it Possible for tiny bits of Matter to get together and Prpduce Light Heat and Radiation I start turning into Squirrel Food very fast.

If it dosent come to pass that we have Fusion re-actoes popping up all over the place by the time im Pushing up the Daisees I whont be supprised as the Culham Labs http://www.fusion.org.uk/ have been trying to get Fusion to work for decades and still can not quite get it to work properly.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8464 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4149 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 14):
then send the humans to see if it really did happen because they are more adaptable.

Of course you are right. But on the other hand, a dead human is not very useful to anybody. Keeping humans alive makes the mission at least 5 times as expensive and complex. Maybe 50 times.

Plus, humans could "pollute" the environment there with their cells. what if we left one behind...

I am not sure we have the technology to have human planetary missions make any sense... too slow, dangerous, etc...

maybe in 30 years, but for now i don't see the point. Contrary to those who say we are standing still since Apollo, our technology has grown by leaps and bounds since 1969. But we still aren't ready for mars imo.


User currently onlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3562 posts, RR: 29
Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4124 times:



Quoting Flighty (Reply 20):
maybe in 30 years, but for now i don't see the point. Contrary to those who say we are standing still since Apollo, our technology has grown by leaps and bounds since 1969. But we still aren't ready for mars imo.

And that is why we should go to Moon instead. Just not "land, put flag, get rocks and fly back", but stay there for a longer period.

Another thing I think which should be investigated before sending someone to Mars is the fact of how humans adopt to 1/6th of gravity if they stay on such a surface for months. We know how it is to be one year around earth, but we do not know how it is to be on the Moon for longer periods of time. I think this is quite important, as well, because if we send humans to Mars, they will first live without gravity for months, then live for 1/3rd of gravity for some time, then live without gravity again, and then suddenly adapt to life on Earth again.

To me this sounds pretty challenging, and I think there is lot of potential to be taken from a manned moon landing before we move on.

Another thing, of course, is the fact that I was born in 1982. I want to see a moon mission in my lifetime. I am still fascinated by a Shuttle launch. A moon landing will be much more interesting.


User currently offlineConnies4ever From Canada, joined Feb 2006, 4066 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4117 times:



Quoting BlackProjects (Reply 19):
Hi Connies you have Just Spoken an Aliean Language to me as I watch interesting TV Programs but when it comes to the Interesting bits that make it Possible for tiny bits of Matter to get together and Prpduce Light Heat and Radiation I start turning into Squirrel Food very fast.

Sorry about that, BlackProjects. It's pretty much unavoidable when discussing fusion. I tried to keep it basic.

When I started in this business, it was simply accepted that fusion would be a commercial reality within 20-30 years, i.e., it would be a reality now. The 'accepted wisdom' now is that it MIGHT be a reality by 2050 or so. Now _that's_ progress !

But on the general topic of deep(er) manned space flight, I don't see fusion being a player for a long time (in human terms) but fission can be a game-changer. If we can develop a nuclear propulsion system, (perhaps like VASIMIR - you can Google it, or simply mass acceleration using H2 slush as the reaction mass) then we have the potential to cut transit/wait times to periods where the crew is not going to a) go stir crazy, and b) not become possibly incapacitated due to cosmic rays, white cell depletion, bone mass loss, etc. In a situation like that, mars is very much within reach, as, potentially, would be Europa (Jupiter) and Enceladus (Saturn), and of course the asteroids.

That would be exciting !



Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
User currently offlineBlackProjects From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 756 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4096 times:

Jupiter would not be my fave destination as its a bit iffy if your radiotion sheilding is not up to the job as you would end up with a NASTY Dose of Radiation Poisoning in a short amount of time.

Saturn could be quite fun although even saturn would be a risky venture.

Still some day in the futture some brave soles will venture out into the outer part of the Solar system I wish them well who ever they may be.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30855 posts, RR: 86
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4095 times:
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Quoting Connies4ever (Reply 22):
If we can develop a nuclear propulsion system, (perhaps like VASIMIR - you can Google it, or simply mass acceleration using H2 slush as the reaction mass) then we have the potential to cut transit/wait times to periods where the crew is not going to a) go stir crazy, and b) not become possibly incapacitated due to cosmic rays, white cell depletion, bone mass loss, etc.

Bring back Project Orion.


25 Post contains links and images Connies4ever : Geez, Stitch, who's going to write the Environmental Impact Statement on that one ? Anyone who is interested in historical and current nuclear space
26 MCIGuy : Much as I want to see a moon base in my lifetime, I guess protecting our species from falling rocks is more important. Every time we land on a comet o
27 Post contains links BlackProjects : I remember Orion Its Nuclear Propulsion The US tested some Nuclear Rocket Engines out in the Weapons effects range along way from the General public.
28 Gigneil : The thing is, we know how to terraform Mars. We could do it today if we wanted to spend the money. Getting people living up there gives us a good bas
29 GDB : We were less prepared to go to the Moon in 1961, at JFK's announcement, than we are to get to Mars now. But of course, no one is talking of a Manhatta
30 Connies4ever : Lots of serious scientific people advocate going (either directly or merely in an evolutionary way) to He3-D type fusion systems. Yes, from the waste
31 GDB : Thanks for the illuminating reply Connies4ever, one vulnerability to doing a Moon Base, assuming we mean permanent manning, for activities beyond expl
32 Thorny : That's relative, though. The largest supertanker on the high seas carries 564,000 tons of oil. 6-7 tons (a typical Shuttle flight comes back with tha
33 Post contains images Connies4ever : Good points indeed, GDB. I agree the 1st lunar base will perforce be akin to a remote Arctic/Antarctic science station, with austere living condition
34 Connies4ever : Thorny - Forgot to include in last post that, AFAICS, there is a large plurality of people in the USA who really believe the government is incapable o
35 Gigneil : I was reading the current reference mission just last night, its a few years old to be sure, but within NASA the talk remains a 180 day trip with 500
36 GDB : Thanks for correcting my faulty memory on the 'Zubrin' mission.
37 Gigneil : Zubrin's mission may well have been exactly the numbers you mentioned... the 180+500 is "Reference Design 3.0" which is certainly based on, but is not
38 Stitch : "Mars Rising" was also a very good recent series on the hurdles that face our first manned mission to the Red Planet.
39 Thorny : Of course not, but they'd only have to lift perhaps 2 tons out of the lunar gravity field... 1/6 that of Earth's. This is totally feasible. That woul
40 Cloudy : Because Helium 3 does not directly replace oil. Neither does deuterium. Or Wind power. Or plane ol' fission and hydro. Or anything we use to GENERATE
41 Thorny : I fully agree with you on the need for improved energy storage and transmission technology. It is coming, slowly but surely. But this does not ease o
42 Post contains images Gigneil : I fully believe that all space exploration should be multinational. (United Earth Space Agency, anyone that remembers the first few TOS episodes befo
43 Connies4ever : Actually, a problem that is equally as big as _generating_ the electricity is __delivering_ it (reliably). America, and to a somewhat lesser extent C
44 Thorny : Actually Enterprise did mention UESPA several times. (You left out the P for "Probe" in UESPA) It was not the same thing as Starfleet, though. UESPA
45 Post contains images Cloudy : If its a choice between accepting nukes and environmental disaster, people will accept the nukes. Millions may have to die from China's coal fired pl
46 Cloudy : This is not the case. There are all sorts of "clean coal" efforts at the DOE, including efforts to sequester CO2 away from the atmosphere. In polluta
47 GDB : I myself don't have a problem with politically or nationalistic inspired space exploration, though of course I'm glad that the Cold War conflict that
48 TheSonntag : I think it will always be a combination of factors. Power and prestige is important and needed, and it is good to "sell" a project to the institution
49 Post contains links Connies4ever : This is only a snippet of an article, but worth a quick look.
50 Nomadd22 : I've always had a little trouble believing how many otherwise intelligent people have fallen for the Helium 3 thing. Building a working tritium/deuter
51 TheSonntag : So true. And when you look at how much we all spend for military (30 billion EUR in Germany, more than 10 times as much in the US if I am not mistake
52 Wvsuperhornet : Please do so I don't have to waste my tax dollars on some more NASA Pork.
53 Gigneil : What would you prefer they be spent on? NS
54 PC12Fan : Oh, OK, how about billions upon billions spent on a foreign policy episode that was a complete failure. Or, an education policy that is a joke, or -
55 Thorny : Or the least impressive front-line fighter the U.S. Navy has fielded since the Brewster Buffalo...
56 Wvsuperhornet : And landing on an asteroid is going to help solve anything how????? I have several items but I doubt they would be appropriate in this forum. When was
57 TheSonntag : Vietnam war? At least their Migs had guns. Sorry, couldn't resist. Since I am not an US taxpayer, I can only speak about Nasa funding from the outsid
58 Thorny : Beats me. But the next time will be the first time the F-18E goes into combat against anything newer than a MiG-29.
59 Stitch : I think some humanitarian and "infrastructure improvement" projects around the world could generate more positive PR for the United States then landi
60 TheSonntag : Nice point, and very important, as well, but I still wanna see people on Mars in my lifetime. To me, while robotic exploration is great, I think huma
61 Connies4ever : I think a large part of the fascination/interest people have in manned spaceflight is the vicarious thrill we get from it. It's almost a "Gee whiz, I
62 Thorny : No, they're the cheap alternative. Like buying a Cessna 172 instead of an Airbus A320. Both do the same job, but the Cessna is a lot slower, takes a
63 GDB : The 'money is better spent on Earth' reasoning, (even though of course the hardware is made on Earth), is attractive at first. However, look at preced
64 TheSonntag : In any case, I like the new programme as it finally plans to leave earth again. The Space Shuttle has certainly brought lots of scientific value, but
65 Wvsuperhornet : yeah ok!!!!! You really think that and F-18E with a naval pilot and all the resources he or she has at their call can't handle a mig-29 or anything n
66 Wvsuperhornet : I was meaning the US Navy in General, yes but once they re-added the gun pods underneath it changed.
67 Thorny : Yes, that's what I think. Even Australia, which is buying the plane, admits that the Rhino isn't the equal of the regional threats, they're just depe
68 Nomadd22 : Unless they're going to use F-35s to defend asteroids I'm lost.
69 Wvsuperhornet : same could be said of yours. Oh don't owrry you will get use to it in here.
70 Gigneil : Stephen Hawking disagrees with the notion as well... he and his daughter have been making quite the rounds lately, at least in the US, with interesti
71 Cloudy : Interesting that he tends to pitch it to people spending other people's money (governments) rather than people spending their own money(Businesses, V
72 Nomadd22 : Neither I or anyone I've ever met who was in favor of manned spaceflight has ever said anything to belittle robotic missions or implied that they sho
73 Thorny : The risk is simply too great for private industry to go it alone. Governments, solo or together, will have to lead the way. This was basically the ge
74 DL021 : Bottom line. Eventually we're going to run out of room here, and the math involved in the utilization of Earths resources dictates that we will eventu
75 GDB : Space exploration, of all kinds, is a way of advancing technology done without, quite bluntly, developing systems that kill other human beings. Not to
76 TheSonntag : Do not underestimate the "magnetic" effect the US space programme has. Whether you care or not, the image of the US outside is not really the best. Th
77 GDB : The Sonntag raises some pertinent points, never underestimate the positive effect the Space Programme has had for the US in the world. Forget the odd
78 Cloudy : I love manned spaceflight and am fascinated by it. If what we spend on manned spaceflight really had a greater return per dollar than other science p
79 Rwessel : I agree, and I've said it in the past. So long as manned spaceflight has such a limited scientific return, and it's being funded out of the (already
80 Thorny : There really is not a lot of justification for the "manned spaceflight robs real science of funding" argument. It very much appears that as manned sp
81 Thorny : There is absolutely no supporting evidence for this statement. None whatsoever. And a huge library full of evidence to the contrary. That is the sad
82 TheSonntag : To use this post and maybe get a little bit back on topic, is there any realistic new forecast when Orion will be operational? How is the development
83 DfwRevolution : There is no short answer, I would suggest starting a new topic for that specific question.
84 Cloudy : You are talking about the public that counts in terms of FUNDING. I am talking about the public that counts in terms of PROGRESS, that is future scie
85 TheSonntag : With all due respect, but I completely disagree. Certainly, as a state driven programme it has some bureaucratic downsides, but Nasa is well respecte
86 GDB : I do not belive that the 'America Haters' (who are they? Al Queda? Disgruntled Russians who miss the USSR? Jumped up goat herders like the one current
87 Cloudy : By "America Haters" I was refering to leftists in the "western" world, particularily a particular class of leftists that exibits a knee-jerk hatred of
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