Thrust
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Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:18 am

Basically what the question says. I've been wondering, as i'm sure many have, whether the United States has an agenda to return to the moon, and if they do, if it could be done before China or India. Personally, I don't see why not, since we've done it before. But with it being up left to the private sectors, it gives me serious doubts whether it can be accomplished. Going to the moon is expensive, any way you cut it, and I just don't see a practical way the private sector can get the necessary funds to design such a spacecraft. Although I could be mistaken. The government certainly is a handicap when it comes to traveling to other celestial bodies for prolonged periods of time, but I am extremely fearful of the implications of NASA deciding to end manned spaceflight. As far as Mars is concerned, I consider that to be a more likely prospect, but in any case, I was looking for opinions on how we could get back to the moon in 15 years before other countries did.
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aklrno
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:04 am

Sure, it could be done, but why? The Apollo project was a political show. Great achievement, but accomplished little that can't be done by robots. Let India and China give it a go. No one will be first again. First only happens once.

Manned spaceflight can certainly be done by the private sector. Remember Richard Branson? The government showed it can be done, improved the technology, and can now move on to doing other things. Unless there is a military need, no need for the government to do it.

If we hadn't spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the ISS and shuttle we could have done a lot more robotic exploration by now. Of course we could put robots on the moon. We have sent several to Mars. We have a spacecraft orbiting an asteroid today. When you find a reason to send one to the moon again then let us know and we can discuss it.
 
GDB
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:28 am

Quoting aklrno (Reply 1):
Manned spaceflight can certainly be done by the private sector. Remember Richard Branson? The government showed it can be done, improved the technology, and can now move on to doing other things. Unless there is a military need, no need for the government to do it.

I would not call a very sub orbital loop at speeds way below the levels needed to get into orbit anything to do with a space program, but then Branson has always been good at bigging things up.
And he's still some distance from a fare paying pax, with delays of the sort often (lazily?) attributed to government programs.

SpaceX are, at present, the ones to watch, so far they've achieved more than any private operator, on the path to get US crews into space again. Rather more than Ares 1 had by the time of it's cancellation, wasn't it looking like 2017 at best for a manned flight with that system at the time?

As to Apollo, with the later J missions especially, I'd question if any unmanned probes could have achieved so much, not unless you sent 100's of them perhaps.

But given the major issues gripping the US right now, is it a good time to argue, no matter how much we might like to see it, a new big NASA program?
 
redflyer
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:58 pm

The issue will not be who will be the "first" to get back to the Moon; rather, what the intentions and capabilities are once they arrive. I don't think the U.S. is in a hurry to go back, certainly not with the current crop of political leaders running the show and who have an incredibly myopic view of the space program. But if China starts to look like it's within reach and, more importantly, has concrete plans to stay there or keep going back, then I think it will jump start U.S. efforts.
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GDB
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:32 pm

Quoting redflyer (Reply 3):
But if China starts to look like it's within reach and, more importantly, has concrete plans to stay there or keep going back, then I think it will jump start U.S. efforts.

You could be right, however my gut feeling is that whatever ambitions China does have for space, they will do them at their own pace and this could be a very extended process, over decades.
After all, they don't have to worry about political cycles, including real opposition!
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:08 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 2):
As to Apollo, with the later J missions especially, I'd question if any unmanned probes could have achieved so much, not unless you sent 100's of them perhaps.

The most successfull mission was probably Apollo 17 with Harrison Schmitt, the only Apollo astronaut who was a scientist by profession (geologist). I doubt that his work could have been done by a robot.

Jan
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aklrno
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:04 am

What is the difference between him motoring about the moon in a space suit, picking up rocks and bringing them home, and having him sit at an HD TV screen on earth controlling a robotic vehicle and then having the robot bring the rocks back? Two I can think of. He will have more fun on the moon for one. The other is that he had a couple of days on the moon, and he could spend weeks or months driving robots. More science would be accomplished by robots.
 
GDB
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Fri Aug 05, 2011 6:37 pm

Quoting aklrno (Reply 6):
What is the difference between him motoring about the moon in a space suit, picking up rocks and bringing them home, and having him sit at an HD TV screen on earth controlling a robotic vehicle and then having the robot bring the rocks back?

Never discount what cannot be programmed, the intuition of trained crew.
Take perhaps the most important scientific sample (out of over 700lbs of it), the primordial 'genesis rock' found by Apollo 15.
Such a sample was a mission target, helped decide where they landed. But none were found until, almost out the corner of his eye, the Astronaut glimpsed it, investigated it.
Even a modern unmanned rover might have just trundled past. Out of the (limited) vision field by a fraction.

Over 700lbs of samples, core tubes etc, the USSR managed to bring back a few grams of surface scooped material.
With two probes, imagine how many would have been needed to get a decent fraction of Apollo's haul - from 6 separate sites.

Last year in a documentary on the unmanned missions to Mars, current and planned, when asked about the prospects for finding any evidence of past life, maybe even very primitive current organic activity, the scientists and engineers interviewed - whose careers are dedicated to developing, building and operating these probes - reckoned only a manned mission stood a real chance of this.
I was surprised, they are the experts though.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Fri Aug 05, 2011 8:50 pm

Quoting aklrno (Reply 6):
What is the difference between him motoring about the moon in a space suit, picking up rocks and bringing them home, and having him sit at an HD TV screen on earth controlling a robotic vehicle and then having the robot bring the rocks back? Two I can think of. He will have more fun on the moon for one. The other is that he had a couple of days on the moon, and he could spend weeks or months driving robots. More science would be accomplished by robots.

Not correct. Knowing how geologists work (as a boy I often accompanied my father, who was a geologist and palaeontologist on field trips), seeing the area in question with his own eyes in three dimensions will have given him a much better overview than a computer screen and he will have noticed more details.
I used to collect minerals and fossils myself. When e.g.walking through a quarry, an exposed rock formation on a hillside or through a mine you´ll unconciously will scan the whole surroundings and notice interesting specimens often "from the edge of vision" (how often did I pick up some interesting piece of rock or fossil because I noticed a gleam in my peripheral vision).
If you are there in person you will notice at the same time both the whole and the detail.

Jan
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Mortyman
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:24 pm

Wouldn't it be more interesting and a bigger achivement to be first on Mars ? I mean you have already been to the Moon ....
 
aklrno
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:57 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 8):

Quoting aklrno (Reply 6):
What is the difference between him motoring about the moon in a space suit, picking up rocks and bringing them home, and having him sit at an HD TV screen on earth controlling a robotic vehicle and then having the robot bring the rocks back? Two I can think of. He will have more fun on the moon for one. The other is that he had a couple of days on the moon, and he could spend weeks or months driving robots. More science would be accomplished by robots.

Not correct. Knowing how geologists work (as a boy I often accompanied my father, who was a geologist and palaeontologist on field trips), seeing the area in question with his own eyes in three dimensions will have given him a much better overview than a computer screen and he will have noticed more details.
I used to collect minerals and fossils myself. When e.g.walking through a quarry, an exposed rock formation on a hillside or through a mine you´ll unconciously will scan the whole surroundings and notice interesting specimens often "from the edge of vision" (how often did I pick up some interesting piece of rock or fossil because I noticed a gleam in my peripheral vision).
If you are there in person you will notice at the same time both the whole and the detail.

Jan

Given sufficiently high definition, 3D, and a 360 degree field of view it could be done from my living room. All of those things are perfectly feasible today.

take a look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_Automatic_Virtual_Environment

My living room is not quite tall enough to support this (you need TV screen above and below you) but plenty of these facilities exist today. I have been in them and they are amazing. Getting HD displays that can produce "retina displays" (look it up) is feasible, but I don't think they have any big enough today. For the cost of one moon launch (a few billion dollars) you could build all you need. It would be nice to ask some lunar scientists if they would rather have astronauts or a whole bunch of robots going everywhere.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sat Aug 06, 2011 10:44 am

Still doesn´t beat getting a personal impression. Why do you think volcanologists don protective suits to climb into craters of volcanoes to take magma samples in person, at high danger to themselves?
Or why do epidemiologists crawl into caves in the Kongo basin jungles to sample bat faeces, while wearing uncomfortable NBC suits in tropical heat to search for the origins of e.g. the virus causing Ebola disease?

Often a direct hands-on approach is required to understand things.

Just ask fellow A.netter Baroque (who is professor of geology) what he thinks about doing field work from his office via a computer screen.

Jan
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par13del
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:22 pm

What's on the moon, would it have been better to build a station on the moon versus in orbit, would you be able to use materials that would last longer?
Getting it there would be no picnic but I'm thinking buildings could last much longer on the moon and provide a much more longer term lab for low gravity experiments versus a space station.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:31 pm

Quoting Mortyman (Reply 9):
Wouldn't it be more interesting and a bigger achivement to be first on Mars ? I mean you have already been to the Moon ....

For sure it would, as long as you're willing to invest probably 10 times what Apollo cost (about $100B in current dollars).

As for going back to the Moon, not sure what it does for humankind. We got a very good idea about the Moon from the Apollo missions, it's morphology, geohistory, etc. Robotic missions as follow-ups can fine-tune this understanding I believe w/o any risk to human life and at a much lower cost.

Given the existing economic climate and prospects over the next several years, we need to remain in the realm of realism.
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comorin
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:27 am

The real point of manned spaceflight is manned spaceflight! I don't want robots out there - the science is less important than providing Man with the ability to journey into space. I'm OK with robots helping with that mission. As a taxpayer and a member of the human race, I will support the exploration of new frontiers by Man, and hasten the day we can set out on these cosmic voyages. Ever since we came to be in Africa, we have been going 'where no man has gone before'. Christopher Columbus would be happy if we kept up the good work.
 
Oroka
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:19 am

Depends on how deeper in debt the US wants to go.
 
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:38 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 15):
Depends on how deeper in debt the US wants to go.

NASA's total budget is less then 1% of U.S Government spending, as it was during the Apollo missions. From that investment, technologies were literally changed overnight... Solid state electronics and microprocessors were developed, the software and countless other things that we take for granted, are directly traceable to the U.S manned space program in general and the Apollo program in particular.
Discretionary spending, of which NASA's budget is derived, is a small part of U.S. government spending. It's Entitlements that are by far the biggest issue facing America, as it is in those countries in Europe who are facing even greater immediate peril.
A manned mission to the moon is something I personally believe is what NASA should be focused on. Unfortunately, that belief is not shared by the current Administration, and is one of their major mistakes IMHO.
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comorin
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:28 pm

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 16):
A manned mission to the moon is something I personally believe is what NASA should be focused on. Unfortunately, that belief is not shared by the current Administration, and is one of their major mistakes IMHO.

  100% agree, and it needs to be sold to the American people. People are confused today between expenses, expenditures and investment. Every dollar spent on aerospace by the taxpayer has been a multiplier for the US economy, creating jobs and technological leadership. Those who go on and on about private enterprise don't realize that the structure of private industry today does not lend itself to this type of investment. The only way to grow ourselves out of the 14 trillion dollar debt hole is through new tech, with attendant massive changes in productivity and new ways to fuel ourselves.
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:34 pm

Quoting comorin (Reply 17):
100% agree, and it needs to be sold to the American people.

Exactly. The number one issue with NASA today is their public relations people (or lack thereof). If they made a big effort to sell the public on doing things with spaceflight, I think many more people would be willing to fund going places with it. But, it appears that basically NASA doesn't care about what people think anymore.

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par13del
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:43 pm

Quoting comorin (Reply 17):
Every dollar spent on aerospace by the taxpayer has been a multiplier for the US economy, creating jobs and technological leadership.

Maybe years ago, but not since the bean counters took over. Let's just look at the Shuttle program, the thousands of persons who were involved in that program, the best replacement they could come up with after decades of flying that fleet is nothing.
No one in 20+ years could not think of a cheaper way to get the ship into orbit, they proved that an unpowered descent was viable, so what's the true story? Everyone else is still using rockets to get folk into orbit, no cheaper rockets for a shuttle, whether bigger or smaller?
There was some versatility to the craft, hard to figure out why they just sat on their funding and never tried to make the program more modern or affordable, definately no progress in technology on that front.
 
GDB
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:40 pm

It's not a if there are a huge amount of places in the Solar System where crews could go.
The Moon, Mars, Asteroids.
(Since there is no propulsion system in the works that could get a ship to the outer planets in a reasonable timeframe, let's stick to the inner zone of the Solar System. Enticing as some of Jupiter's

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 16):
Discretionary spending, of which NASA's budget is derived, is a small part of U.S. government spending. It's Entitlements that are by far the biggest issue facing America, as it is in those countries in Europe who are facing even greater immediate peril.
A manned mission to the moon is something I personally believe is what NASA should be focused on. Unfortunately, that belief is not shared by the current Administration, and is one of their major mistakes IMHO.

I share your sentiments, though I'd caution on 'troubled European countries', there are financial / economic problems there, but that in most cases the political system, from where sorting this out has to come, are rather less dysfunctional than the US has. Even, incredibly, Italy.

However, it should be admitted that the Ares/Constellation program was in deep trouble.
No US manned launch before 2017, (which others like SpaceX and now Boeing should beat), the reality of a '2019/2020' lunar mission looking more like the latter half of the 2020's, in other words never.
Why NASA did not adapt say a Delta-4 (Heavy?) for putting Constellation in LEO is beyond me.
It was always going to be faster and cheaper, though man rating it would not be for free, it would have allowed more resources to go to the most important element, the Ares 5.
(Though that will be likely resurrected under a different name, like the Constellation).

When the financial meltdown in 2007/2008 happened, (NOT predicted by a certain rating agency), the thought did cross my find that this would likely subdue NASA's ambitions.
With the decision to end the Shuttle taken in 2004, with it's costs spiralling and with no great support for carrying on with it after ISS completion, the Augustine report which has shaped NASA in this administration, was bound to recommend another way of keeping US crewed spaceflights going.

NASA always being in the manned spaceflight game has never been inevitable. The vote to approve funding the Space Shuttle was a close run thing, prior to DoD interest, had it gone the other way, manned NASA flight would have ended, for a long time, maybe forever, with Apollo-Soyuz in 1975.
Beating the Russians to the Moon quenched the thirst for manned spaceflight with a significant proportion of the US electorate, notice how they soon got bored then angry at the costs, of the whole enterprise after Apollo 11.

I suspect the Shuttle got a lot of popularity with the ideas of 'routine/airliner style', access to space. When that dimmed, they had the ruse (well the President did) of putting non astronauts on board, starting with a teacher....

Many will just say about the Moon, 'been there, done that'.
(Though starting with a landing on the far side might have helped a bit, after a couple of basic, robust Comsats were put in Lunar orbit. Then to the poles).
As it is, having asteroids as a manned target to get back into beyond LEO might be a shrewder move PR wise.
Horrible to say 'PR wise' with such great adventures, however the US is a democracy, if there were a lot of votes in it (not just a few states with a lot of NASA facilities) no doubt your lawmakers would be more keen.
 
comorin
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:24 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 19):
Maybe years ago, but not since the bean counters took over. Let's just look at the Shuttle program, the thousands of persons who were involved in that program, the best replacement they could come up with after decades of flying that fleet is nothing.
No one in 20+ years could not think of a cheaper way to get the ship into orbit, they proved that an unpowered descent was viable, so what's the true story? Everyone else is still using rockets to get folk into orbit, no cheaper rockets for a shuttle, whether bigger or smaller?
There was some versatility to the craft, hard to figure out why they just sat on their funding and never tried to make the program more modern or affordable, definately no progress in technology on that front.

Very good point; perhaps NASA had become a follower instead of a leader. They need a new vision that captures the public imagination.

Quoting GDB (Reply 20):
suspect the Shuttle got a lot of popularity with the ideas of 'routine/airliner style', access to space

Dang! Kubrick promised us the PanAm Shuttle to the Orbiter Hilton.

Quoting GDB (Reply 20):
Many will just say about the Moon, 'been there, done that'.

Do you think a Moon Base Alpha would capture the public imagination? Mankind has a deep seated need to find new habitats...
 
rwessel
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:44 am

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 16):
NASA's total budget is less then 1% of U.S Government spending, as it was during the Apollo missions.

While the current NASA budget is around .5% of the total federal budget, at the height of Apollo it was over 4.4%.

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 16):
From that investment, technologies were literally changed overnight... Solid state electronics and microprocessors were developed, the software and countless other things that we take for granted, are directly traceable to the U.S manned space program in general and the Apollo program in particular.

Except, of course, that those technologies are *not* traceable to the manned space program. They are, however, traceable to the USAF's ICBM missile programs.

While the considerable funding of the manned programs undoubtedly helped those along, the manned programs were pretty conservative in a lot of technological areas, not least in electronics.
 
zanl188
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:11 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 20):
I share your sentiments, though I'd caution on 'troubled European countries', there are financial / economic problems there, but that in most cases the political system, from where sorting this out has to come, are rather less dysfunctional than the US has. Even, incredibly, Italy.

Italy? Really?? ... but that's for another thread...

Quoting GDB (Reply 20):
Why NASA did not adapt say a Delta-4 (Heavy?) for putting Constellation in LEO is beyond me.

Seems to me you have a good handle on why NASA did not go with Delta IV. See your next paragraph:

Quoting GDB (Reply 20):
however the US is a democracy, if there were a lot of votes in it (not just a few states with a lot of NASA facilities) no doubt your lawmakers would be more keen.

Exactly! Lawmakers wanted to keep shuttle facilities employed so the replacement had to be shuttle derived, i.e. AREs.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 22):
Except, of course, that those technologies are *not* traceable to the manned space program. They are, however, traceable to the USAF's ICBM missile programs.

  

Proof that NASA PR is fairly effective when it wants to be.
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Thrust
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:57 pm

My personal belief is that before we ever even think of going to Mars or an asteroid, we have to practice on celestial bodies we have already explored. It's been almost 39 years since Apollo 17, and we are rusty in terms of manned space flight beyond lunar earth orbit. I kind of view it as like a musician that hasn't played his instrument in a long time. If he or she wants to play better than before, the first thing they do is refine and practice what they've already learned/done. We need to have fresh technology that is proven to be capable of putting humans on the moon before we can even think of venturing out into space on missions that could take at least a year minimum. Now, obviously, if we had the technology to go to the moon in the late '60s and early '70s, we certainly have it now. But the technology was vastly different from what we have now, so different that IMO it warrants a return to the moon. I see the moon as practice for Mars.
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gigneil
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:11 am

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 16):
A manned mission to the moon is something I personally believe is what NASA should be focused on. Unfortunately, that belief is not shared by the current Administration, and is one of their major mistakes IMHO.

Our administration is focused on beyond the Moon. A sentiment I think most Americans, myself included, share.

The moon is been there, done that. Beyond the Moon - that's useful.

NS
 
Oroka
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:53 am

Would I love to see a moon base? Heck yeah! Problem is, what is its value? With the way NASA does things, a whole NEW launcher system would have to be developed, and a new crew module, then modular base sections, pre built on earth and hefted to the moon at great cost.

NASA lost the innovation mindset decades ago. Need some new tech these days, throw piles of cash at engineers who will design the guts out of the requirement rather than coming up with something creative and new.


If I was to do things... use Delta IVs. Put a space habitat in orbit for the trip to the moon, like a space bus. Get to orbit in a Soyuz (just buy them from the Russians) with some extra fuel and supplies, ride the 'bus' to the moon, meet up with the reuseable landing module, go to the surface. Repeat in reverse for the trip home. The moon base would be made up of Bigalow Aerospace inflated modules, buried in lunar sand. Every new crew brings a new section for the base. Eventually a method of making concrete on the moon using locally sourced materials would be developed, and a contour crafting system could do the hard work.
 
Burkhard
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:11 am

It can be done, yes, but for what purpose? China as example has a vast desert, making up half of its country, completely unpopulated, which is far easier to reach and even has an atmosphere. Nothing to get there, only a lot of money and ressources to waste, OK we waste still more on useless military stuff anyways.

Automatisation has reached a level since long that there is no rational reason left for manned spacecraft. Even the "scientific" results of the ISS are mediocre, and limited to learning more about humans, animals and plants on spacecraft.
 
hotplane
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 11, 2011 4:15 pm

Quoting aklrno (Reply 1):
No one will be first again.

But nobody has been to the moon yet.
?
 
Thrust
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:55 pm

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 27):

I don't agree with that. Robots are for data-gathering strictly. It is important to use manned spacecraft not only for data-gathering, but also for taking further steps toward technology that could eventually be able to get us to other habitable planets should they exist. The Earth is not going to a habitable place forever, and nobody knows precisely how much time it has left. It's also much different to experience something in person as opposed to something just sending back pictures to you.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
Thrust
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 11, 2011 6:00 pm

Quoting Oroka (Reply 26):

What we honestly need right now, IMO, for a mission to Mars or to the moon to reliably take place, is for NASA to be given an unlimited budget like it was in the early 1960's. Unless I'm wrong and the private sectors can find a cheaper way. That was what enabled the Saturn V to be developed in less than a decade...an unlimited budget. Sadly, with the state of the economy, I doubt we're going to see that again for a very long time.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:06 pm

Quoting Thrust (Thread starter):
I don't see why not, since we've done it before.

Are you sure about that, just seems strange we could do it supposible in the 60's and 70's and havent been back since whatever!!!
 
Oroka
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:33 am

Quoting Thrust (Reply 30):
What we honestly need right now, IMO, for a mission to Mars or to the moon to reliably take place, is for NASA to be given an unlimited budget like it was in the early 1960's.

That is unrealistic and would be irresponsible. It really is time to let the commercial sector take over. NASA mission statement is "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research." They did that in space, and commercial space systems are starting to come to maturity. NASA contracts out to launch satellites... why not bringing up Astronauts, or runs to the moon? First manned flight of Boeings human rated system will be flown by Boeing employees, not NASA Astronauts. SpaceX wont be too far behind.
 
Thrust
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:18 am

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 31):

We've sent a few unmanned vehicles to the moon. We've never gone back to the moon because it lost public support and the cost was staggering. It wasn't sustainable. Not to mention, the budget to go to the moon is one that's never been given to NASA since. Going to the moon always will be very expensive. A lot of factors had to come together to get us to the moon. I really hope you aren't questing whether or not we went. There is really no debating that we did. THere have even been photos taken recently by either satellites or these spacecraft that traveled to the moon which show the Apollo landing sites clearly. There's also not a whole lot left to learn about the moon per se. THe Apollo missions gave us most of our info. In my opinion, going to the moon would be more about practice and getting ourselves re-familiarized with celestial bodies, as well as a political statement. I would view it as "practice" for Mars.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 32):

If that's so, I'm questioning how Boeing is going to be able to develop a spacecraft capable of going to the moon all by itself unless outside financial help is given to them.
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Oroka
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:30 am

Quoting Thrust (Reply 33):
If that's so, I'm questioning how Boeing is going to be able to develop a spacecraft capable of going to the moon all by itself unless outside financial help is given to them.

Well, they need to find a way to make it profitable, just like any other contract. NASA wants to pay Boeing to send some Astronauts to the moon... it is up to Boeing keep it reasonably priced.

It was since released that NASA has contracted SpaceX to send a module up to the ISS in November.

NASA is also looking at allowing Bigelow Aerospace to send a station module up to the ISS for testing. Such a module would add the footage of 3 standard ISS modules.


Companies are seeing that there is money to be made in space. I look forward to the day a SpaceX capsule hauls a load of people up to a Bigelow owned and operated station for a space vacation, none of this spaceship 2 crap of Virgin Galactic.
 
Max Q
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:59 am

No point in going back to the moon.



Mercury / Gemini and Apollo were truly NASA's finest hour, the incredible advances made in such a short time were achieved by the setting of a goal that seemed impossible by a visionary President.



But none of this would have worked without the incredible and totally dedicated talent that NASA attracted, from the Astronauts down to the lowliest Janitor the dedication was extraordinary.



There were so many amazing moments, Apollo 11 of course, but A 13 was really an incredible achievement.



As was said in the movie, it was their finest hour.




The Shuttle was amazing in it's own way as well, a truly incredible vehicle, I will miss it on a sentimental level.



More importantly it's capability will be sorely missed and I predict problems for the ISS because of this.





Time for a multinational mission to Mars, we have the capability to do it ourselves but not the money.
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wvsuperhornet
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:55 am

Quoting Thrust (Reply 33):
I really hope you aren't questing whether or not we went. There is really no debating that we did.

While I am not into conspiricey theories I am going to debate this one. If we got up there the first time why is it being so dificult to develop an aircraft to go back. Sorry I am just not buying it. Not saying we havent been to the moon but a manned space craft to me that is still an open debate sorry. If we have been there I can understand updating and adding newer safety features but to me it seems like the people building these things are starting from scratch and seem clueless or they are over charging us it could go either way.
 
Thrust
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:18 pm

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 36):

NASA hasn't been given the necessary funding to develop a manned spacecraft capable of going to the moon since, that's why. It also hasn't had its objective set towards the moon for decades. Public interest in going to the moon rapidly waned after it was accomplished, and took a long time to get renewed. Why does it seem like we're starting from scratch? Because the technology today is radically different from what was in place in the 1960s, and we've been out of the practice of developing manned spacecraft beyond LEO for over 40 years. Many of the people that built and designed the Saturn V are now dead. Believe what you want to, but there is solid evidence we went to the moon, including the spacesuits of the astronauts. Look up all the crazy moon hoax theories and you'll see there is a reasonable explanation for every single one. I'm not going to burn up my day trying to convince you. You can't just expect a 40 year time gap to disappear overnight.
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connies4ever
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:47 pm

Quoting Thrust (Reply 37):
Believe what you want to, but there is solid evidence we went to the moon, including the spacesuits of the astronauts.

Best evidence there is re actually going to the Moon is the corner reflectors left there by Apollo astronauts, which can still be used to bounce laser beams back to Earth by anyone interested who has a decent laser. Oh, yes, the rocks ...   
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:08 pm

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 36):
While I am not into conspiricey theories I am going to debate this one.

The best proof that we actually went to the Moon is... that our mortal enemy, our sworn object of hate and derision, did not dispute it. It was the height of the cold war, we are in a space race with unyeilding zeal on both sides, and both nations are pouring unfathomable money time and resources to beat the other to the goal, and you think if we 'faked it' that the USSR wouldn't call our bluff? We tracked each others satellites and every movement, yet not once did they even jokingly accuse us of not actually being there.

I never doubted that we went to the moon, and I've wasted my breath on hoax believers before, but I'll take the Soviet Unions implied consent that we went there over any doubters misgivings, any day.

  
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GDB
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:10 pm

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 36):

While I am not into conspiricey theories I am going to debate this one. If we got up there the first time why is it being so dificult to develop an aircraft to go back.

Are you going to reckon in years to come that civil airline pax never could cross the Atlantic at Mach 2, taking three and a half hours?
We don't now, don't have the aircraft to do it and it might be decades, if ever, that it could be done again.
Same 'logic' after all.
I know I did it several times.

To expand on the point of the USSR, you do know that they accepted some Apollo samples? In return for a sample of the small amounts two of their unmanned probes managed to bring back.
Plenty of other nations too, after all, over 700lbs were returned, samples that had never known an atmosphere, water erosion.
Enough peer reviewed science papers from Apollo have been written, still are written, that if piled up could probably reach space, are all these scientists, worldwide, most not NASA employees, 'in on it' too?
Veering into the same territory as Holocaust Denial, don't be offended, but it's the same 'logic' again, same spurious 'proof' of a hoax by those with an axe to grind.

Plus the idea that over 400,000 people could be 'in on it' with no, in all the time since, proof of a hoax.
Hell, Watergate involved what? A dozen people, that got out in around the same period.
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:43 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 40):
Veering into the same territory as Holocaust Denial, don't be offended, but it's the same 'logic' again, same spurious 'proof' of a hoax by those with an axe to grind.

Too ironic, I had actually typed out a sentence "Of course some people don't believe in the Holocaust either...    ", at the end of my previous post but then deleted the words because I thought it might prompt either a flame war or admin action. But it was my sentiments exactly while typing my USSR bit.

[Edited 2011-08-18 14:44:54]
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Thrust
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:46 pm

Quoting connies4ever (Reply 38):

Right. I just didn't feel like listing every single detail. I mentioned the spacesuits because obviously they are all covered in moon dust, the amounts of which I'd be willing to guess are more than any lunar material that naturally arrived on the Earth.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:09 pm

Quoting GDB (Reply 40):
Are you going to reckon in years to come that civil airline pax never could cross the Atlantic at Mach 2, taking three and a half hours?

Nope !!

Quoting GDB (Reply 40):
To expand on the point of the USSR, you do know that they accepted some Apollo samples? In return for a sample of the small amounts two of their unmanned probes managed to bring back.

Never said we didnt have something on the moon everything described could have been done with an un-manned craft, sorry but there are more important things to argue have we been to the moon I say probably have we had a manned space craft on the moon I am doubting it. Sorry 1960's technology wasnt that great.

Quoting GDB (Reply 40):
Plus the idea that over 400,000 people could be 'in on it' with no, in all the time since, proof of a hoax.Hell, Watergate involved what? A dozen people, that got out in around the same period.

Stranger things have happened and it wouldnt take 400,000 to cover up I would say about 100 people with some very good "bs" skills could pull it off.

Sorry didnt want to turn this into the usual dicussion argument board so I wont post on this subject again I just dont believe it but I do think space exploration is very important if its on the moon then fine I hope they get there if not some other planets would be ok. Just hope they dont waste our money on something not worth while.
 
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:16 pm

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 43):

Somebody obviously refuses to admit defeat. They would have had to keep far more than 100 people quiet...they would have had to keep not only all of NASA quiet, but the entire U.S. government, the designers that built the Saturn V, etc. And moreover...why fake it 7 times? I'll never understand conspiracists. Just because we haven't sent a manned spacecraft back in 40 years doesn't mean we didn't go.
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Thrust
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:18 am

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 43):


Again, believe what you want to, but you've got a lot of other experts contesting you...100 people could never have sold an idea like this and sustained it for that period of time. 1960's technology not capable? Based on what? Your opinion? I never thought I would run into a hoaxer on a.net. I guess there's one in many.
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GDB
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:42 am

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 43):
Stranger things have happened and it wouldnt take 400,000 to cover up I would say about 100 people with some very good "bs" skills could pull it off.

You are right, because allowing for staff turnover way more than 400,000 would have had to have been 'in on it'. Even without the foreign dimensions I mentioned
In any case, I don't see you answering any of the points raised.

Do you want to be put in the same bracket as Holocaust Deniers and those '9/11 Truthers', because like it or not, being into 'Apollo was hoaxed/ means you are, since it's the same 'logic', same methods, often in fact, the same people.
 
wvsuperhornet
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:59 am

Quoting GDB (Reply 46):
Do you want to be put in the same bracket as Holocaust Deniers and those '9/11 Truthers', because like it or not, being into 'Apollo was hoaxed/ means you are, since it's the same 'logic', same methods, often in fact, the same people.

Nope never have denied the holocaust or that 9-11 was a terrorist attack , or do I think big foot exists or green aliens run the planet (although I do have my doubts about congress sometimes j/k) I am just not a firm believer that we have had a man on the moon.

Quoting Thrust (Reply 45):
Again, believe what you want to, but you've got a lot of other experts contesting you...100 people could never have sold an idea like this and sustained it for that period of time. 1960's technology not capable? Based on what? Your opinion? I never thought I would run into a hoaxer on a.net. I guess there's one in many.

Alot of people call themselves experts I see them every day talking on the news doesnt mean I take every word they say as the truth, with all the so called financial experts out there how did the economy tank so bad? Its very easy the general public can be manipulated and sorry but none of you can deny that isnt true. Like i said before I dont believe it and i have seen probably what most of you had about the moon landing or landings, I find it very interesting along with manned space flight, but I am not convinced it is all true. While I trust and for the most part believe some of the facts and figures posted by other members on here I would stop short of calling most of them experts if you study anything long enough you will become knowledgable in the field. I am not a hoaxer I just dont believe all the hype on moon landings in the past. What I am basing my theories on 1960's technology is compared with todays I am not sure if anyone has studied the development of the F-15 but it was started around the same time and the modern day toaster has more computer in it than the early f-15A's did. So do I think it was capable of navagating a space craft to the moon, landing another on the moon and coming back ummmmmmmm not sure. I hope one day I am totally proven wrong but until that day comes I am sorry I am not totally sold.

Quoting Thrust (Reply 44):
Somebody obviously refuses to admit

I would be more than happy to admit defeat, when we get to the moon or someone else does first and I actually see the vehicle they drove around in and the flag planted I will gladly admit that.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:03 am

I don't really understand the, 'been there, done that' sentiment regarding the moon. The same argument could be used for earth oceans, mountains, rain forests and deserts...pick up a few rocks, take some pictures...nope...nothing there, and bugger off. We didn't do that and look at the knowledge and rewards gained.

Continuing to explore where at first there seemed nothing of interest or value has resulted in nothing less than civilization.

Humans got to be humans by exploring. How else did primitive mankind inhabit every corner of the planet with technology as sophisticated as the foot.

We explore because when we do, we learn. What could we learn by going back to the moon? Well, I don't know...because we haven't been back to the moon.
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RE: Can The U.S. Be First To The Moon Again?

Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:43 pm

I agree with you Joe. The United States should return to the moon first. Establish some kind of presence there. I'd like to see Canadian participation as well. Mars is overly aggressive, without even considering the financial and technical challenges involved.
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