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News Sights are off the moon, and maybe put away for good.

  1. Jan 28, 2010 #1
    Obama aims to ax moon mission

    NASA's plans to return astronauts to the moon are dead. So are the rockets being designed to take them there — that is, if President Barack Obama gets his way.

    When the White House releases his budget proposal Monday, there will be no money for the Constellation program that was supposed to return humans to the moon by 2020. The troubled and expensive Ares I rocket that was to replace the space shuttle to ferry humans to space will be gone, along with money for its bigger brother, the Ares V cargo rocket that was to launch the fuel and supplies needed to take humans back to the moon.



    More: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/...,2770904.story [Broken]


    Comments?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Jan 28, 2010 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Couldn't he have just announced ambitious plans to visit the places but not funded them - then he is both a visionary and fiscally sound?
     
  4. Jan 28, 2010 #3
    There's another great move by our wonderful president.:mad:
     
  5. Jan 28, 2010 #4

    turbo

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    Hmm... Sounds like a recent president who said that the US should fund trips to Mars, and promptly cancelled the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion project that might possibly have made interplanetary human travel possible.
     
  6. Jan 28, 2010 #5
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jan 28, 2010 #6

    Ivan Seeking

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    We have had this discussion here many times before: Robotic exploration of the solar system by far makes the most sense. As for the moon, or Mars for that matter, what's the point in sending people? We can barely operate a low-orbit space station. Are we going to send people to live on the moon?
     
  8. Jan 28, 2010 #7

    DaveC426913

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    Let me turn your question on its head.

    Are we going to spend the rest of our existence in the solar system doing nothing but testing soil samples?
     
  9. Jan 28, 2010 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    What would you like to do, and why? What can a person do that a robot can't?
    http://robonaut.jsc.nasa.gov/

    Why inhibit legitimate research by overspending on unnecessary human cargo?
     
  10. Jan 28, 2010 #9

    DaveC426913

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    Develop technology.
    Experiment with habitation.

    I'll generalize it: robots may be good for pure science research, but not so good for tech development and engineering.
     
  11. Jan 28, 2010 #10
    Sure you can send a robot anywhere. But what about that human element of being there. Besides rovers get stuck (just like the one that has been declared stuck for good on mars) Humans have the ingenuity to think on the spot and be able to analyze the situation.

    Why shouldn't humans go to the moon and to mars? Why should we leave that experience to the robots. Wouldn't you like to go to the moon or mars and stay for a month or two in a moon hotel? I for sure know I would.
     
  12. Jan 28, 2010 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    Why does this depend on a moon mission?

    Same question.

    The robots relay information to scientists and engineers here on earth. Again, I don't see where this depends on putting people at extreme risk for an exotically expensive venture [esp Mars] that yields little to no practical benefits.

    How we do justify taking money away from legitimate research? It's not like saying the space program has no value, it is a statement about what sort of space program has the greatest value.

    Spinoff technologies: technology related to highly advanced robots. Low-cost propulsion systems, like the ion drive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2010
  13. Jan 28, 2010 #12
    How do you know a Human trip to Mars wouldn't have massive amounts of technology flowing into the civilian sector? What about the first manned mission to the moon, we sure as heck got a lot from that which we didn't expect. You will never know until you try.
     
  14. Jan 28, 2010 #13
    I agree. The benefit to cost ratio is way too small to justify any space exploration yet. I'd much prefer hundreds of billions more be channeled into R&D than having astronauts riding chemical propulsion rockets. We need cheaper ways to launch things into orbit, develop new propulsion drives like the VASIMIR, better energy storage, and some kind of nuclear reactor in space.
     
  15. Jan 28, 2010 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    The same would be true of money spent on a massive energy program intended to end our reliance on imported oil. And not only would we get the spinoff technologies, we would also reduce our trade deficit by nearly half a trillion dollars a year.

    The fallacy is that there is some kind of magic related to space exploration. If the government spends mass quantities of money on credible research of many kinds, we will reap the benefits. And again, we can always spend more on the development of engines that make interplanetary travel much cheaper, and practical. But we don't have to go to Mars in order to start - a classic problem of having cart but no good horse.
     
  16. Jan 28, 2010 #15

    DaveC426913

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    I'm not talking about rocket technology, I'm talking about developing Moon technology. i.e in prep for setting up a base - for mining, manufacturing, manned habitation, etc.

    We've got to leave Earth some time.


    How we do justify taking money away from legitimate research?[/QUOTE]
    But you are thinking only in terms of research. You are not considering expanding humankind's turf.
     
  17. Jan 28, 2010 #16

    D H

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    Yes, we've had this discussion many times before. Scientists can be dense.
     
  18. Jan 28, 2010 #17
    I've heard the main reason (financial) for the new moon missions is helium-3 mining or other high value exotic materials.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helium-3

    Personally I think we've done a poor job stewarding the energy and resources of Earth so far. If we were my children and I was God/Creator, I would not allow us to inhabit a new planet until we learn to care for the one given to us as a gift! Translation: solve real problems on Earth before engaging the fantasy of fixing problems by populating the heavens.
     
  19. Jan 28, 2010 #18
    See this is the thing. Once we get to the moon and build a credible base there that is able to launch spacecraft, the amount of rocket fuel needed will go down drastically. You don't need to travel through an atmosphere and beat gravity on the moon. That is where all that rocket fuel goes. As soon as we get to the moon everything will become far easier because of that pesky thing known as atmosphere.

    We can't stay on earth forever, no matter how well we protect her. There will soon be overpopulation (there really already is) and the earth just won't hold everyone. We can't just start killing people off, so we have to expand. Why not start now?

    Why should space exploration cost money? Why should money even matter? Shouldn't we put everything into this and go for the gold?
     
  20. Jan 28, 2010 #19

    turbo

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    Once we get to the moon... What makes you think that if we put more more personnel on the moon, we would gain any advantage over the laws of physics?

    Please catch a clue.
     
  21. Jan 28, 2010 #20

    DaveC426913

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    Well, the downside is that it is a purely altruistic goal. Not just for us, but for our children and grandchildren. No one who is born before the middle of the 21st century will be going off-planet for any length of time except as part of a research mission.

    So, we do have to mete out how much money we put toward the future that has no benefit in the present.
     
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