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Aug6-08, 01:03 AM
P: 74
Quote Quote by Mech_Engineer View Post
That is ovbiously a gross oversimplification of an historic achievement. While the driving force behind the space race may have been politically motivated, the technical advancements during the projects were staggering in scope, and have gone unmatched into the present day. Flying three men to the moon in a "tin can" is an extraordinary achievement, by any measure.

Not only is this a pie-in-the-sky utopian view of a "scientific expdition," the technical feasability of such a project is beyond our technical capabilities even today, let alone in the 1960's.
Three men to the moon in a "tin-can" a great achievement by any measure? Excuse me but the trip to the moon is more like the Vikings sailing to the American continent. Small ship, not much creature comforts. Now let's go back centuries before any Europeans could ever make ships that sailed the Vikings to America. When the Chinese decided to sail across vast oceans there were no examples of larger ships comparable for the task they imagined. But they could take the principles of the ships they had developed to build big ships. And they did build big ships before any Europeans.

So my point here is there are and were principles and methods know then and now that would make a more robust exploration of the moon. For instance; utilizing multiple launchings to airlift systems for the mission. To clarify: Something like skylab that could carry many more crew members and for longer durations would have been more ideal. This would mean that the Staturn V would be used as the large cargo lifter that would place in orbit the heavy gear and fuel. Now you only need to place a skylab like ship in orbit once after that it's a matter of air lifting fuel for any future missions. A Saturn 1b is used just to airlift a capsule carrying the crew intended to fly to the moon. The capsule does not fly to the moon but remains in earth orbit until the crew return from the moon. So the skylab size ship carries the crew in style to the moon. Now you may argue what about the lander and the moon cart! Yes, yes I haven't forgotten those parts. As I mentioned earlier the Saturn V is the heavy lifter, it could be used to air lift the lander or landers depending on the complexity of the mission into orbit seperately and then landers dock with the skylab ship in earth orbit.

The scenario I describe above was very possible at the time and would have been a much more robust exploration of the moon.

Quote Quote by Mech_Engineer View Post
A scientific project does not require the entire team to go to the location; sending three men to the moon at a time (2 to the surface) and collecting samples and placing instruments that can then be controlled and analyzed on Earth at the scientists' leisure is a realistic and efficient solution. Only 12 men have ever walked on the Moon, but how many tens of thousands of scientists have scrutinized samples and data collected by those 12 men?.
And such a task can be performed by a machine, which by the way is how the Russians brought back rocks from the moon. This approach is by far much more economical. While some may argue the point to sending men to the moon was to develop technologies for humans to survive in space. Low earth orbit missions, skylab, russian space station, etc have done far more productive work to understanding the problems of survival in space than any moon mission.

Quote Quote by Mech_Engineer View Post
All I can say to this is there has to be a first step SOMEWHERE. You have to crawl before you can walk, and you have to walk before you can even think about running. What you're proposing is creating a permanent scientific facility on Mars, but you can't skip the necessary intermediate steps to get there.
No you're wrong...We should have the abilty to do backward flips by the time we decide to take on a mission to Mars....