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Bush's new Moon-Mars initiative

  1. Jan 15, 2004 #1


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    So, what do you think?

    Here are some highlights (paraphrased from his speech)...

    - Restart the shuttle program ASAP so the ISS can be completed by 2010.
    - Focus ISS research on the effects of long-term space travel on humans.
    - Retire the shuttle program in 2010.
    - Develop and test a new spacecraft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, by 2008, and to conduct the first manned mission no later than 2014 (to be used as a ferry to the ISS and also to go to the moon & Mars).
    - Return to the moon by 2020, as the launching point for missions beyond. First, a series of robotic missions to the moon no later than 2008 to research and prepare for future human exploration.
    - Do extended human missions to the moon as early as 2015, with the goal of living and working there for increasingly extended periods.
    - A human mission to Mars would take place at an unspecified time thereafter when the necessary technology is in place and financing allows.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 15, 2004 #2


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    Baby-boomers start turning 65 in 2011. It is absolutely ridiculous to think that the government will be increasing funding of any non-essential programs at that time. I would not be suprised if all non-commercial launches cease by then.

    Bush's speech was not about a moonbase or a manned mission to Mars. It was about not paying attention to the world around you now. Considering how obvious this maneuver is, I am amazed that the vast majority of people have fallen for it.

  4. Jan 15, 2004 #3


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    I haven't seen any polling data, but I have seen enough negative commentary that I doubt the vast majority of people have fallen for it. It is too obviously an election year gimmick that will get nowhere.
  5. Jan 16, 2004 #4


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    I haven't seen any polling data either, but I also haven't read or heard any mainstream media come out and call it what it is. There are many, many stories in the mainstream media that obviously swallow the ploy hook, line and sinker. For every post to a blog or BB that calls this a political ploy, there are twenty excited about going to Mars.

  6. Jan 16, 2004 #5


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    Even if it's a political ploy, if it gets funded, NASA will go and do good science.

    The Apollo moon missions were a political ploy too. Back then, competition with the USSR was the driving force. Now, we have several other countries eyeing moon missions and the U.S. not having left low Earth orbit in 30 years (except of course for many great robotic missions).

    Certainly, the question funding is a good one. So far, Congress seems to agree with the plan (that too could be a political ploy).

    Maybe we'll at least get (1) some more robotic missions & (2) a clearer purpose for the ISS.
  7. Jan 16, 2004 #6


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    Bush Sr. tried to motivate a Mars mission too back when he was in office, but it never get funded & flopped. Perhaps this is W carrying another torch for his dad?:smile:
  8. Jan 16, 2004 #7
    Is it political? A man leading in the polls with an approx 60% positive rating from the public? The democrats putting up no sensible candidate...
    Maybe Bush is a visionary who sees the value of scientific endeavours? There surely aren't many votes in VAST expenditure on NASA.
    Whatever the reason - I'm all for it! What was it Faraday said when asked what was the point of his research into electricity .......... "what point is a baby?"

    Politics, spin, deceit, visionary, whatever - I don't care.
  9. Jan 16, 2004 #8


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    On the contrary, these things would probably have to be eliminated to make funding available for the manned flight program.

  10. Jan 16, 2004 #9


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    The more I consider it, the more I believe we should not got to Mars without a specific purpose in mind. People have pointed out that we went to the moon without a real purpose. They have stated that it is in our nature to dare to do great things just for the sake of it. I agree. I think it is one of the better aspects of our nature.

    We went to the moon, primarily, to show we could do it. Some suggest we go to Mars for the same reason. I think it would be pointless. I have no doubt that we can send a man Mars. Going to the moon answered the question of whether it was possible or not. Going to Mars will answer only two questions - how long will it take, and how much money will it cost. Neil Armstrong walking on the moon was a living demonstration that the impossible was possible. Someone walking on Mars will be a living demonstration that the very difficult is very expensive. Is that worth it?

  11. Jan 16, 2004 #10


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    I tend to agree with Njorl and think there are other things within the space program that would be a better use for the money. http://origins.jpl.nasa.gov/index1.html [Broken] for example.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  12. Jan 16, 2004 #11


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    What do you think of the new idea that we should cut the cost of going to Mars by just leaving the personnel there (and resuppluing them with robot drops). The purpose of such a project would be to establish a permanent human inhabitation of Mars and to determine the human problems that woul arise from such a thing.

    I am sure that this purpose would not impress you, because you are fixed on the idea that scientific knowledge outweighs unquantifiable human aspirations. But it is still a purpose, you can't deny.
  13. Jan 16, 2004 #12


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    I just heard about this yesterday for the first time. My first reaction was shock and disbelief. Then I was rather impressed with the ambitiousness of it. It would actually outdo unmanned efforts in "bang for the buck" scientifically speaking, if we could pull it off. Keep in mind, space is unforgiving to biological organisms. Prolonged survival requires nothing serious going wrong for a long time. As we have seen in space so far, it is easier to do something magnificent in the short term than to avoid mistakes in the long term. It would also be condemning the astronauts to die on Mars many years before they would have died on Earth.
    You misunderstood me. I did not say that doing something glorious is not worthwhile. I said that sending a man to Mars is not glorious.

  14. Jan 16, 2004 #13


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    That would increase the cost by an order of magnitude (or two) even if we weren't planning on ever bringing them back or sending anyone else there to follow them. And what would we do when they turn 90 and need a pacemaker? You might be able to send some guys to Mars (its a 5 year round trip at least) in a craft the size of an RV, but if you're going to leave them there, you need it to be a lot bigger than that.

    More on what Njorl was getting at:
    I think people forget where we were technologically in 1961 when Kennedy made his speech. We had just put our first person in space several weeks before and Sputnik was only 4 years earlier. We didn't really even know if it was theoretically possible to send someone to the moon at the time. So many things had never been done - landing anything on another world, navigating in orbit (getting to orbit), navigating in deep space, rendezvous, eva, living in 0g for extended times, and lots more issues we didn't even know about. ANY of those issues could have been a party crasher and today, none of them exist. There is nothing distinctly new about sending a man to Mars, its just an extension of existing capability.

    That said, its a big extension, but we are already sure it can be done.
  15. Jan 17, 2004 #14
    got a variey of ideas in response

    "we" need better robots-not another golf course!

    Rock stars and the rich vacation on the Moon
    at the expense of the masses=forget disease
    and ignorance
    If the old folks die off quickly-saves Big money

    Put some real effort into Fusion

    and the dddd traffic jams

    it's really all a cover for "war games"=
    (surprised Gerge didn't come out and say
    we're looking for Ladin and his 'stash'...

    maybe we better get up there and put a 'real flag'
    on the Moon before the Chinese get there and
    prove Nixon was a liar!!

    check this site out, a real hoot! worth -3,2 min.

  16. Jan 17, 2004 #15


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    Just to be clear - do you actually believe that?
  17. Jan 18, 2004 #16
    russ asked above
    "Just to be clear - do you actually believe that?"

    Do I "believe" Nixon was a liar? I certainly do-quite serious about it too!!
    but to continue would be way off topic.....

    (btw,are you serious?)

    Seems the concensus here is , in spite of the 'rally round the Flag, boys,
    hip,hip hooray, let's go ' speech---no one's fallen for it......

    i remember Rev. Jesse Jackson giving a speech against the space program on
    the 'grounds' that we had too many problems here-the poor etc.
    and my response to this then was -'you're losin it'.....

    i'm for the Space program-i'm for more monies for NASA
    (in spite of the reality that it is heavily influenced by 'hawks'-
    heck,consider how many Shuttle missions are 'secret')

    and it's a good point that 'things will change' in the future-so it's
    just politics' now, but NASA will get some bucks....
    yet 'they' (powers that be) will get the bigger slice.....
    obviously i'm a little jaded.

    yeah, i'm for it but i don't believe it-trust me
    every body will lie to you!
    (insert ironic smiley face!)

    anyway,bottom line, today i think the costs of any 'manned' mission
    (heck, even a Lesbian mission) would be absurd!

    Hope i've clarified my 'position',
    and Russ_,hope you really check out
    the MOON Truth!

    btw: where did the craters on the Moon come from?
    hint: the greenest tastes best

    edit:added quote at top
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2004
  18. Jan 18, 2004 #17


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    Well, you really didn't answer the question - a simple question requires a simple yes or no answer. I think I know the answer though.

    In any case, that was a clever video - not a very good fake, but clever anyway.
  19. Jan 18, 2004 #18
    yes or no is kinda like either /or....
    life ain't that simple

    and, you obviously didn't "explore"....
    try this: take it to "dot com"-

    (guess i'll have to clarify-try "moontruth.com"
    i think you may 'really' get a better picture,
    trust me!)
    don't be scared!!

    you didn't answer my question either,btw...

  20. Jan 19, 2004 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    Mars Mission a Trojan Horse?

    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,61937,00.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  21. Jan 19, 2004 #20
    Looking ahead, a Moon base would provide a safer place to refuel nuclear space craft, such as Promethius. Launching large amounts of nuclear fuel from earth will always be a real bad idea, as one little untimely explosion might muck-up the Van Allen belt for eternity +/-.

    So, if the US, er NASA could build a nuclear mining and refining facility on the Moon, it would provide an endless supply of power for many purposes.
    And jobs...
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