Aerospace Moon/Mars - just go !

  1. drag

    drag 1,341
    Science Advisor

    Greetings !

    O.K. I remember there was talk of a speech for manned
    Mars exploration last year, but this time it seems
    more likely according to the story, at least. And, because
    it's the Moon - a more modest target. Besides, the US
    presedential ellections are closer. Hopefully,
    SOMEONE with finally GO SOMEWHERE ! Even if it's
    seemingly just in our "back yard".

    Live long and prosper.
  2. jcsd
  3. Yes. Apparently Ralph Hall has convinced Bush the benefits of colonizing the moon. By actually taking ahold of the first lunar material from the moon, space stations could get supplies in a much cheaper and effecient way, develop larger spacecraft, and allow him to be an election-ready simulacrum of the great-late-JFK.

    There will be an expedition to Mars. See you there.
  4. Having been born and raised 69 miles south of Cape Kennedy(at that time)in Florida, I suppose I might be somewhat biased, given the awe of looking in the sky and seeing the Apollo rockets racing towards the moon and, later, the shuttle missions.(I was born in 1960 and lived in Ft.Pierce, Florida for 21 years and have revisited numerous times since)
    Now I live in Montana, far away from the spectacular sights afforded every few months or so in Florida.
    I fully support an aggressive space program as I know that we must, at some point, leave this home and venture outwards in order to survive, and to thrive.
  5. One has to question how sincere Bush is about the Moon and Mars missions. He didn't even mention them in his State of the Union address, although he took the time to talk about a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriages.

    The admin is concerned about the fact that the Chinese recently put people in space and said that they wish to go to the Moon by 2010, a story that the mainstream media in the U.S. practically ignored ( too busy talking about Scott Peterson).

    They are also concerned about the fact that Russia and the European union are working together to build new boosters and are also interested in going to the Moon. Those plans are seen by some in the admin as putting the U.S. in a tactical military disadvantage.

    The Bush plan calls for ending the U.S. involvement in the ISS at 2010 and using the money for a Moon/Mars mission along with technology borrowed from the Pentagon.

    Overall, the spirit of international cooperation that has been dominant in the past ten years doesn't appear in the Bush plan and seems to be taking a back burner to a Pentagon type approach. One has to wonder where the money and other needed resources are going to come from.
  6. Integral

    Integral 7,288
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    This is of course totally ignoring the fact that there is no sound scientific reason for sending men into space. There is no science that could not be done better by robotic probes and remote sensing. The fact that science can be done much cheaper and better seems to go over the head of politicians and even the general public. The goal seems to be just have man set foot on the surface of Mars, irregardless of the fact that he would be there as a tourist unable to learn or do anything of significance.

    If that is the goal then let private industry fund the missions, with the goal of building a lunar resort for low gravity golf and love making.
  7. I agree, but what can one do?
    Nobody said anything about mining asteroids yet, so- is it economical to build a gold-seeking probe, to land on an asteroid, collect gold/silver/? and fly it back to earth/earths' moon/mars colony?

    de Nice codre
  8. drag

    drag 1,341
    Science Advisor

    Hmm... why live at all ? Let's put our brains in jars
    connect them to a computer and let robots do all the work. :wink:

    Peace and long life.
  9. drag

    drag 1,341
    Science Advisor

    Not one bit, for now.
  10. ;)

    We are definitely running out of space on earth. Wherever humans wish to colonize, go for it...after all, its part of the plan in reaching civilization type I.. we try harness the energy and sources needed from another location alien to earth. Personally, i think its a very good idea...think of all the sapce and experience we can gain from this expeditions...

    From what i have heard...our moon is an empty hollow mass...
    Please prove me wrong cos if its true, it might be unstable for an actual colony living on it...
  11. The moon is neither empty nor hollow,
    it is desolate, unless you want to mine bauxite!
    It has a mantle layer and a solid crust, with no atmosphere.
    Hopefully that is cleared up.
  12. enigma

    enigma 1,809
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    Gold Member

    It won't be economical until you have a need for those minerals in space. It costs ~$6,000 - $10,000 /kg to send stuff into space. It will cost a good deal in addition to that go bring stuff from an asteroid back home. It isn't economical to mine an asteroid just to bring it back to Earth... even gold is only a few hundred per ounce. If you need it in space (manufacturing, for example), then it may be worth the expense.
  13. Integral

    Integral 7,288
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    Not sure what you mean by this or what it has to do with what I wrote. Evidently you have no clue of what a modern robot is. Guess I have a different view of a robot, since I make my living working with them.

    I believe that there are some fundamental facts of life that we must learn to live with. The quicker we catch on to these facts the better off we will be in the long run.

    1. We will never leave the solar system, in the sense of colonizing, sure we can send robotic probes but MANKIND will never leave the solar system.

    2. Mankind Will never leave the surface of the earth in large enough numbers to have any impact on the population in general.

    The message here is that we had better learn to live with what we have got. We had better learn to live with what we have SOON. We cannot error in this or we doom our descendent's to a stone age life style. There is no magic rescue by jumping off the surface of the earth into space. We have much basic science to be done before there is any hope of finding a real reason for a man to travel to another planet. If we do not do the basic science, and instead spend money and effort to send more tourists (like the ones we sent in the late '60s) to the moon or Mars we may well blow the only chance we have of ever exploiting the resources of the solar system. By devoting huge amounts of resources to sending tourists into space we well have to neglect the pure science of the solar system and the sciences of how to survive with what we now have. Thus endangering our very existence as a species. To me the whole idea of sending men into space is a waste of time and resources. We have much better ways of spending both.

    I am not saying that we should not explore the solar system, I just say that there is no need, and indeed, it is counter productive, to send men.
  14. drag

    drag 1,341
    Science Advisor

    hmm... At first, as I read this I was certain I'm gon'na
    write a long message against ALL of the above. But, you
    know, who am I to fortell history ? :wink: I just sincerely
    hope you're wrong, both about where technology and where
    human spirit will lead us. Guess blind optimists make
    the best explorers...

    Peace and long life.
  15. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Unfortunately, drag, it has nothing to do with technology(except insofar as the laws of physics put solid boundaries on technology). These are scientific realities. Gravity. F=ma. E=mc^2. The laws of physics make it pretty much impossible for Integral's #1 and #2 to be wrong.

    Maybe, but maybe its just that you never remember the names of the ones who failed and died because of it.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2004
  16. drag

    drag 1,341
    Science Advisor

    Just a century ago the "laws" of physics made MOST modern
    technology impossible. And just ten years ago I played
    single color PC games from 350K diskettes using a box
    ten of which ain't worth a 3rd generation mobile phone.
    Besides, except ingenuity we have more powerful stuff
    to keep us running - like greed.:wink:

    Live long and prosper.
  17. russ_watters

    Staff: Mentor

    Not true at all. Very common misconception. The laws of physics are unchanging (by definition). How much we know about them is all that changes. But nothing in technology today is against the known laws of physics from 100 years ago. The known laws of physics just didn't cover as much as they cover today. Despite the common belief, very little of accepted science gets thrown out because to become accepted, a theory has to match observation.
    And none of those technologies are contrary to what was known about physics 100 years ago.
  18. drag

    drag 1,341
    Science Advisor

    I didn't continue the little argument we
    had above, because it looks like a general
    theoretical and partly even philosophical
    discussion that won't lead anywhere. We'll
    just have to wait and see.
    (Besides, I know I'm right...:wink: )
    Why read the article after you see the picture ? :wink:
    It tells you ahead what you're about to read.
    This has nothing what so ever to do with space exploration
    programs and I see no reason to adress any meaning to this
    irrelevant "critisizm".

    Peace and long life.
  19. Jeeze, and I thought I was in a thread with forward thinking.
    Look, if the U.S. does not continue manned mission to space, does that mean that no other country will?
    Think again.
    Are "robotic" missions, however technologically advanced, even anywhere near the socio-political(and YES, technological) impact of human exploration?
    Not EVEN CLOSE. A human with instruments can do more in one day than Spirit and Opportunity having the same instruments could hope for in 5-months.
    And, if we, as the U.S., fail to achieve a dominant posture in space, other contries have ALREADY declared their intention to do so.
    Should we just send our robots around while other countries colonize the moon and Mars?
    Bad call. And very, very dangerous to the national security of the United States. Hello!!!!!!!!!!!
  20. Nereid

    Nereid 3,582
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    Imagine you were born in China (Russia, India, ...) and live in Beijing (Moscow, Delhi, ...) ... why do economic and national security concerns look different to you than they do to someone born in the US and living in Redmond?
    How low could we make it go (in constant$)? What are the key factors which drive up the cost?
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