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Posted: 9/19/2005 5:38:25 AM EDT


Space.com Link


BIG SKY, Montana – NASA is set to unveil today details of its new space architecture, a "how-to" response to President George W. Bush's Moon, Mars and beyond vision speech made in January 2004.

Bush called for putting astronauts back on the Moon by 2020 and sending humans to Mars thereafter. Last week SPACE.com and Space News reported that NASA will announce today plans to send four astronauts to Moon in 2018.

More detail was provided here this weekend at a meeting of NASA officials and other space planners.

On the list: A re-usable vehicle that's safer than the shuttle; technology for extracting fuel from the destination; and an airbag landing upon return to Earth. Plans were also detailed for sending robotic scouts first.

Apollo-plus

Aspects are somewhat vintage Apollo in approach, but with numerous technical twists. For example, a four-person lunar expedition crew would make use of a Crew Exploration Vehicle that is outfitted with solar panels. The astronauts would rendezvous in Earth orbit with a pre-launched Earth Departure Stage, and then make the outbound voyage to the Moon.

Once in lunar orbit, all four crewmembers would ride down to the Moon in a lander. They would depart the Crew Exploration Vehicle, putting it in autopilot mode as they spend seven days on the lunar surface.

In comparison, six two-person teams landed at the Moon's equatorial region in the 1969-1972 timeframe as part of Project Apollo. Each expedition had an additional astronaut who remained in lunar orbit.

In NASA's new return-to-the Moon scenario, astronauts will cover much more territory than Apollo moonwalkers. A key goal is to use water ice that may be stashed within permanently shadowed craters at the Moon's poles.

Each team of Moon explorers would leave behind essential components for later use, as well as equipment that could constitute a lunar station. That base could well mirror the type of encampment now situated in Antarctica.

As a cost-saving measure, the NASA vision embraces the use of hardware and production capabilities embedded within the space shuttle program, to be closed down in 2010.

But the initiative also relies on harnessing a suite of advanced technologies: from self-diagnostic gear for boosters and sophisticated medical equipment for astronauts to on-the-spot processing hardware that churns out fuel, water and oxygen supplies from lunar resources. Down the road, the same approach would be used on Mars.

Given the green-light

"This is a go-as-you-can-afford-to-pay kind of program," said Rex Geveden, NASA Associate Administrator. Last week, the White House "green-lighted" the plan, he said, giving NASA Administrator Michael Griffin the go-ahead to proceed with rolling out details to Congress and the public.

Geveden joined current and past NASA officials, university and industry experts in the Inland Northwest Space Alliance (INSA) Space Policy Institute meeting, held here September 16-18. The Missoula-based INSA is a private group created by the University of Montana in 2003. INSA is focused on broadening space-related research and commercial applications, particularly in the inland northwest.

NASA's new space vision is one where "schedules are the independent variable," Geveden said. That's in contrast with the Apollo program where schedule was fixed and cost was variable, he said.

"We can't dial the cost here, in this case. So we've had to focus on affordability," Geveden added. Doing so means drawing upon a heritage of available hardware and workforce, he said.

For example, the still-to-be-built, post-shuttle Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is capsule-shaped and would sit atop a four-segment Solid Rocket Booster -- a space shuttle component flown 178 consecutive times with no failures, Geveden noted.

Safer craft

The CEV will be tipped by an escape tower. With that tower, the capsule could be pulled free from a troubled booster ride. That hardware provides ten times a factor of safety than the space shuttle, Geveden explained.

An Earth-returning CEV would toss off its reentry shield after its fiery plunge. A parachute system would deploy, followed by a set of airbags to cushion the craft's touchdown on land, somewhere in the American West, Geveden said. Ocean recovery – like that done in the Apollo effort – is considered a contingency mode, he said.

A heavy-lift, cargo-only booster would also be shuttle-derived. That launcher incorporates the large shuttle external tank, use of a cluster of five space shuttle main engines, straddled by two five-segment solid rocket boosters. It would toss into orbit loads of hardware, like the CEV's Earth Departure Stage.

Geveden told SPACE.com that tapping shuttle hardware does not equate to maintaining today's entire shuttle workforce. "We can't have 10,000 people on the ground at the Kennedy Space Center," he said, integrating payload and launching that system.

"That's not affordable," Geveden said. "The future workforce for launch vehicles can't be as big as it is for shuttle."

In order to become leaner in mission launch and operations, Geveden added, more automation through better software, smart sensors, and greater test and checkout technology to ready boosters for flight is critical.

However, the shuttle derivative hardware – the CEV booster and heavy-lifter – must draw upon the existing tooling and fabrication facilities, supply chains, and workers to build those components or modify them, Geveden said.

South Pole analog

The long march to Mars will be challenging.

Geveden said 500-metric tons of fuel and structure have been scoped out in the NASA plan for a projected humans-to-Mars flight.

"One of our objectives will be to put a chemical plant on Mars", Geveden said, alluding to machinery to extract rocket fuel from the martian atmosphere for a return trip. In this regard, liquid-oxygen/methane burning engines are part of the lunar piece of NASA's vision. Those engines can be used for use on the martian surface, given the local resources on the planet, he said.

In moving from lunar stays by astronauts to a humans-to-Mars outing, will the Moon become discarded real estate in the process?

"I don't think it's a foregone conclusion that you may have to abandon the Moon," Geveden told the INSA audience. "What we're headed for on the Moon is a South Pole analog…some kind of camp that we set up and sustain ourselves for months at a time, not years."

Geveden said that thousands of people-hours went into charting the new NASA Moon, Mars, and beyond architecture. "We have animations. We have a very sophisticated study with data. It's a deep analysis, he said.

"But having said that…now we need people to take this from the concept stage to the time we're actually building hardware…and getting ready to launch these systems," Geveden concluded.

Robots first, humans later

An early element of dispatching people back to the Moon is sending robots.

Scott Hubbard, Director of NASA's Ames Research Center -- located in the heart of California's Silicon Valley -- said he and colleagues have been assigned the responsibility for the robotic lunar exploration program.

The first mission in the robotic lunar cue is the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in 2008, Hubbard said. Following up on those findings are robotic landers, with Ames managing the suite of missions to assure that they are carried out successfully, he said.

"The point of the robotic lunar exploration program is engineering…technology testing and demonstrations…to prepare for human exploration," Hubbard told SPACE.com. "It's not a science program. It will get us ready to return people to the Moon."

Items like lunar processing, precision landing, integrated health monitoring and management – these are items that can benefit from technology not available in Apollo-era exploration. "The important point is that this is not developing technology for something way in the future," Hubbard said, but for getting people back on the Moon in the 2015-2020 timeframe.

"The Moon is just three-days away," Hubbard said, a distance he's already covered vicariously as the former NASA mission manager for the Lunar Prospector robot. "That means you don't have a lot of time to do operations planning and software code writing en route. You've got to be ready to go…because whatever you've got, it is going to be used three days later."

Yawn of a new era?

Selling the vision won't be a cake walk. That was one take-home message from former NASA Chief of Staff, Courtney Stadd, now President of Capitol Alliance Solutions, a management consulting services firm located in the Washington, D.C. area.

"The challenges facing successful implementation of the exploration vision are formidable," Stadd said, "ranging from budgetary to the noise-signal ratio of competing priorities facing the political system."

Stadd said that he viewed NASA's Griffin and his leadership team as "literally the best in a generation in terms of being equipped to confront these and other challenges to turning the vision from Power Point charts to reality." That talent will be central to effectively navigating through the challenges facing the new exploration initiative in the months and years ahead, particularly moving the vision through the legislative and executive branches of U.S. government, he added.

Reaction to NASA's new visionary agenda at the INSA meeting was mixed. But the feedback seemed more a matter of age.

From several university students, "where do I sign up" was common. From others more senior, "yawn of a new era" seemed to rustle through the audience. "It looks to me like the Alzheimer's program…for those that don't remember Apollo," said one participant.

Link Posted: 9/19/2005 5:53:15 AM EDT
They can't even get into orbit reliably!
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 5:55:52 AM EDT
how are we supposed to pay for this?
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:02:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
They can't even get into orbit reliably!



From the article:

For example, the still-to-be-built, post-shuttle Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) is capsule-shaped and would sit atop a four-segment Solid Rocket Booster -- a space shuttle component flown 178 consecutive times with no failures, Geveden noted.


I know it's a matter of semantics, but lately the problem hasn't been getting into orbit, it's been getting out of orbit. This is why it's called space exploration. Every flight is a test flight.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:03:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Fourays2:
how are we supposed to pay for this?

E-mail tax.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:05:06 AM EDT

NASA to announce plans to return to Moon within 15 years.


Blah, how about we return the budget to a state of balance instead.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:16:41 AM EDT
How can I possibly contain my excitement? Wooopty-fuckin-dooooo! A man on the moon..... again. So much benefit for mankind that a few of us get to walk around on a low gravity rock that has no atmosphere.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:18:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Orwell84:
Blah, how about we return the budget to a state of balance instead.

That's not NASA's charge. NASA is responsible for advancing America's presence in space. Would you rather we just outsource our space program to China?


Dear Queen Isabella:

I am writing to protest the continues funding of efforts to establish a shorter trade route to the Idies. I'm perfectly happy with the way things are now, and see no benefit to a shorter route. Besides, I read on the Internet that the whole "New World" thing was faked.

Yr hmble nd obdnt srvnt,
Doubting Thomas
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:20:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DuBri:
How can I possibly contain my excitement? Wooopty-fuckin-dooooo! A man on the moon..... again. So much benefit for mankind that a few of us get to walk around on a low gravity rock that has no atmosphere.



Gotta (re)start somewhere. You just want us to continue sitting on our asses while everyone else goes to space and leaves us behind?

Nick
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:21:09 AM EDT
I'd go in a heart beat, if given the chance.

Kharn
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:24:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 6:24:25 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:

, but lately the problem hasn't been getting into orbit, it's been getting out of orbit. This is why it's called space exploration. Every flight is a test flight.





Do you remember the CHALLENGER?????????????????????


Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:26:00 AM EDT
A permanent base on the moon? For what purpose?


At least in Antarctica they can look at penguins...
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:27:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
A permanent base on the moon? For what purpose?
At least in Antarctica they can look at penguins...

Moon cheese is better than government cheese.

Kharn
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:27:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1Andy2:
A permanent base on the moon? For what purpose?


At least in Antarctica they can look at penguins...



Do you remember how we got to Japan in WW2? It wasn't all in one shot-we went island by island-same principle.

Nick
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:29:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:

, but lately the problem hasn't been getting into orbit, it's been getting out of orbit. This is why it's called space exploration. Every flight is a test flight.





Do you remember the CHALLENGER?????????????????????


www.aerospaceweb.org/question/investigations/challenger/challenger5.jpg



yes. I do. I was barely old enough to understand what was going on at the time, but I watched live as 7 of the bravest and smartest people in the country met their maker doing what they loved and doing what they did best.

It was sad. It was a setback. It was also overcome. How many perfectly fine shuttle missions were between Challenger and Columbia's last? hundreds, IIRC.

Need I mention Apollo 1, Apollo 13 (which fortunately they survived, thanks to a lot of duct tape), or a handful of other accidents?

It IS rocket science, folks, and there're bound to be problems, but that doesn't mean we don't push forward. I think the letter to Queen Isabella above sums up my thoughts nicely, so I won't try to articulate more.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:29:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Commando_Guy:

Originally Posted By DuBri:
How can I possibly contain my excitement? Wooopty-fuckin-dooooo! A man on the moon..... again. So much benefit for mankind that a few of us get to walk around on a low gravity rock that has no atmosphere.



Gotta (re)start somewhere. You just want us to continue sitting on our asses while everyone else goes to space and leaves us behind?

Nick


leave us behind where?
where is everyone else going? Mars?

why go? because it's hard? just something to do?

i am tired of paying for others to have toys and do things.
i want to retire and have the SOC bennies i am paying for.
not do stupid things like go to a moon that can't help us get anywhere else.

now if we want to look at new drive technology that will let us go where and when we please i am all for that. but no more of this sling shot shit.

Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:30:33 AM EDT
Why?

I can see some merit in going to Mars, but there is no reason to stop at the moon. That just means you have to escape orbit three times instead of twice.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:34:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By green-grizzly:
Why?

I can see some merit in going to Mars, but there is no reason to stop at the moon. That just means you have to escape orbit three times instead of twice.



Orbit is easier to escape from the Moon.

Across several trips to the moon one could concievably take enough equipment, fuel, and parts to build a launch vehicle that'd either be too big to be launched from earth, or have too dangerous a drive system. Think how we built the ISS, piece by piece.

Leaving from the moon requires a lot less fuel to overcome Earth's gravity, and gravity on the moon is negligible by comparison.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:39:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Commando_Guy:


Do you remember how we got to Japan in WW2? It wasn't all in one shot-we went island by island-same principle.

Nick




Incorrect analogy.


Any planetary body, including the moon, can be considered a gravity well. Gravity wells are like traps - they require a lot of energy to overcome.


We'd be FAR FAR FAR better off going to the asteroid belt. Everything we need to live and work in space is there - minerals and water, so building supplies and fuel.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:41:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PsychoI3oy:

Originally Posted By green-grizzly:
Why?

I can see some merit in going to Mars, but there is no reason to stop at the moon. That just means you have to escape orbit three times instead of twice.



Orbit is easier to escape from the Moon.

Across several trips to the moon one could concievably take enough equipment, fuel, and parts to build a launch vehicle that'd either be too big to be launched from earth, or have too dangerous a drive system. Think how we built the ISS, piece by piece.

Leaving from the moon requires a lot less fuel to overcome Earth's gravity, and gravity on the moon is negligible by comparison.




you are nuts.
we build a base on the moon with launch pads, cranes and all the other crap to staff a full Mill base so we can launch a few rockets? what's wrong with building it in orbit where there is no gravety? just because the moon may have water is not a reason to go to the expense of a base.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:41:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 6:45:15 AM EDT by highwayman]
We never went the first time, we certainly won't this time. MJD
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:43:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:

, but lately the problem hasn't been getting into orbit, it's been getting out of orbit. This is why it's called space exploration. Every flight is a test flight.





Do you remember the CHALLENGER?

Yes. I remember it well. It was almost 20 years ago. My 286 clone I had at the time crashed every hour. That hasn't stopped me from using computers. Flaws were discovered in the system, and the result was an improved vehicle. Same as after Apollo 1, Apoll0 13, Skylab, Columbia, and the myriad lesser failures throughout the space program. Even NASA's policies and procedures regarding proficiency and publicity flights were overhauled after the deaths of Elliot See and Charles Bassett.

Improve and move forward. It's the American way!
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:44:47 AM EDT
I took 8 years the first time. What a country.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 6:51:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By Commando_Guy:


Do you remember how we got to Japan in WW2? It wasn't all in one shot-we went island by island-same principle.

Nick




Incorrect analogy.


Any planetary body, including the moon, can be considered a gravity well. Gravity wells are like traps - they require a lot of energy to overcome.


We'd be FAR FAR FAR better off going to the asteroid belt. Everything we need to live and work in space is there - minerals and water, so building supplies and fuel.



How do we got to the asteroid belt? You gotta start somewhere. We made it to the moon once. We can do it agian. From there, the knowledge we gained in the moon base construction and operation will be applied to the much longer goal of reaching the asteroid belt.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 7:11:39 AM EDT
Proof that GWB is loing his mind,IMO. There's nothing for us on the moon or Mars. No need to go.

Can the human body even survive in space without riding on a stationary bike for who know how long before the bones start to atrophy?

Why not take Nasa's money and use it to fight America's enemies or mine/protect our borders?

If GWB stays on the path he's chosen, liberals will own the white house again very soon. The "need to explore" argument comes off as a bunch of Star Trek-type talk.

Scott

Link Posted: 9/19/2005 7:11:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By hk940:

Originally Posted By PsychoI3oy:

Originally Posted By green-grizzly:
Why?

I can see some merit in going to Mars, but there is no reason to stop at the moon. That just means you have to escape orbit three times instead of twice.



Orbit is easier to escape from the Moon.

Across several trips to the moon one could concievably take enough equipment, fuel, and parts to build a launch vehicle that'd either be too big to be launched from earth, or have too dangerous a drive system. Think how we built the ISS, piece by piece.

Leaving from the moon requires a lot less fuel to overcome Earth's gravity, and gravity on the moon is negligible by comparison.




you are nuts.
we build a base on the moon with launch pads, cranes and all the other crap to staff a full Mill base so we can launch a few rockets? what's wrong with building it in orbit where there is no gravety? just because the moon may have water is not a reason to go to the expense of a base.



The moon has more than just water, but water in and of itself is a potential source of fuel that doesn't need to be lifted off earth... Basically, NASA sees the whole moon-thing as a place to test whatever gidgets and gadgets they need to go to Mars... Given their luck with mars robots, I'd feel much better about sending men to mars if they 'Played Mars on the Moon' first....

The next one to wonder about Mars is 'How will we get a vehicle large enough to carry an exploration team plus equipment through the asteroid belt without getting perforated by debris?"

Link Posted: 9/19/2005 7:16:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DzlBenz:

Originally Posted By Orwell84:
Blah, how about we return the budget to a state of balance instead.

That's not NASA's charge. NASA is responsible for advancing America's presence in space. Would you rather we just outsource our space program to China?


Dear Queen Isabella:

I am writing to protest the continues funding of efforts to establish a shorter trade route to the Idies. I'm perfectly happy with the way things are now, and see no benefit to a shorter route. Besides, I read on the Internet that the whole "New World" thing was faked.

Yr hmble nd obdnt srvnt,
Doubting Thomas



Good post!
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 7:16:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By notso:

How do we got to the asteroid belt? You gotta start somewhere. We made it to the moon once. We can do it agian. From there, the knowledge we gained in the moon base construction and operation will be applied to the much longer goal of reaching the asteroid belt.




We do it from an orbital station.


What's the POINT of going to the moon? What is there? Nothing.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 7:18:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By notso:

How do we got to the asteroid belt? You gotta start somewhere. We made it to the moon once. We can do it agian. From there, the knowledge we gained in the moon base construction and operation will be applied to the much longer goal of reaching the asteroid belt.




We do it from an orbital station.


What's the POINT of going to the moon? What is there? Nothing.



No class three laws on the moon!
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 7:24:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 7:24:27 AM EDT by Admiral_Crunch]

Originally Posted By Dave_A:
The next one to wonder about Mars is 'How will we get a vehicle large enough to carry an exploration team plus equipment through the asteroid belt without getting perforated by debris?"



The asteroid belt is between Mars and Jupiter, not Earth and Mars.

I'm all in favor of manned trips to the Moon and Mars -- once we have a budget surplus and have reduced the National Debt by at least 75%. I think that'll happen sometime in the 2240's.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 7:24:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By notso:

How do we got to the asteroid belt? You gotta start somewhere. We made it to the moon once. We can do it agian. From there, the knowledge we gained in the moon base construction and operation will be applied to the much longer goal of reaching the asteroid belt.




We do it from an orbital station.


What's the POINT of going to the moon? What is there? Nothing.



True, we could go from an orbital station. But we have no experence with a large scale, long distange construction project/station opertaion. It would provide practice as well as a possible source of raw materials for construction.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 7:38:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 7:40:18 AM EDT by out-a-ammo]

Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By hk940:

Originally Posted By PsychoI3oy:

Originally Posted By green-grizzly:
Why?

I can see some merit in going to Mars, but there is no reason to stop at the moon. That just means you have to escape orbit three times instead of twice.



Orbit is easier to escape from the Moon.

Across several trips to the moon one could concievably take enough equipment, fuel, and parts to build a launch vehicle that'd either be too big to be launched from earth, or have too dangerous a drive system. Think how we built the ISS, piece by piece.

Leaving from the moon requires a lot less fuel to overcome Earth's gravity, and gravity on the moon is negligible by comparison.




you are nuts.
we build a base on the moon with launch pads, cranes and all the other crap to staff a full Mill base so we can launch a few rockets? what's wrong with building it in orbit where there is no gravety? just because the moon may have water is not a reason to go to the expense of a base.



The moon has more than just water, but water in and of itself is a potential source of fuel that doesn't need to be lifted off earth... Basically, NASA sees the whole moon-thing as a place to test whatever gidgets and gadgets they need to go to Mars... Given their luck with mars robots, I'd feel much better about sending men to mars if they 'Played Mars on the Moon' first....

The next one to wonder about Mars is 'How will we get a vehicle large enough to carry an exploration team plus equipment through the asteroid belt without getting perforated by debris?"





The Asteroid belt is on the other side of Mars.


Edit: I see someone already pointed that out.

Link Posted: 9/19/2005 7:46:11 AM EDT
Jumpin' Jesus, I can't believe you guys! If nothing else, do it for national pride! Do you REALLY want tthe ChiComs sitting on the Moon while we give billions to the "poor"? I sure as hell don't!

And for the arguements about going to the Moon, the Moon is three days away. Mars is 6+ MONTHS away. I'd much rather have Astronauts practice stuff on the Moon, where's there's at least a remote chance at a rescue mission, than have to learn on/enroute to Mars where, if they fuck up, we get to watch them decompress, suffocate, freeze to death or all three at once on prime-time.

Money? No problem, Discontinue the social programs that seem to breed generations of leeches. We'd have enough money to go to the Moon and Mars, reinforce the border and wipe out the Natl Debt. Myself, I'd rather see my money going to space exploration than to letting NOLA refugees go to tittie bars any day!

Bub
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:06:48 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:29:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 8:30:31 AM EDT by fight4yourrights]

Originally Posted By bub75:

on the Moon, where's there's at least a remote chance at a rescue mission,

Bub




Rescue with WHAT? The "spare" ship? Something we cobble together from an old Titan missle and a VW?
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:31:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 8:32:44 AM EDT by Alien]
Wow. I don’t think I’ve seen this much narrowmindedness on the board in a long time. You people do realize that at the rate the people of this planet are reproducing, eventually we are going to reach a critical point at which we cannot sustain the population with terrestrial means right? There simply won’t be enough natural resources, food/water, and room. We have to expand into space or eventually we’ll strangle ourselves. The universe doesn’t end after you pass away. Some people will still be alive after you die. Think of your children and your children’s children and their children.

And some of you people are fucking ignorant. NASA’s budget PALES in comparison to the money we throw away year after year after year on social programs, foreign aid, and other pet project spending. Open your eyes! If you want to reduce government spending, look elsewhere. Does somebody need to remind you of the wonderful everyday technologies that we use that are a direct result of the space program? It sounds like if it were up to some of you people, we wouldn’t even have a United States of America today. The brave men and women that settled this country would never have left their home countries.

Maybe one day there will be a need to form a new United States on another planet to escape oppression here at home...

If it were up to some of you though, the Chinese would have us by the balls.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:33:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:
Rescue with WHAT? The "spare" ship? Something we cobble together from an old Titan missle and a VW?

Pfft. Easy. Just call a Space Taxi!

Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:33:56 AM EDT
I bet those of you complaining about the cost would be to bitch when the Chinese land on the moon.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:33:59 AM EDT
Get rid of the education department (which educates no one), and you'll be able to pay for it AND with new technology.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:36:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

I bet those of you complaining about the cost would be to bitch when the Chinese land on the moon.




I'll just laugh - we've been there, done that, got the t-shirt



So the ChiComs use their Walmart profits to go play golf on the Moon. So friggin what?
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:38:03 AM EDT
RIIIIIIIIIGHT! Let's go to space instead of Helping the poor! Not to highjack the thread and turn it into something else but those so-called "leech" programs only make up a small amount of the budget (6%) And a lot of that goes to children. (yeah yeah i know, fucking rugrats should starve to decrease the surplus population of the earth.) If we excersiced fiscal disipline we could elminate Net interest (which is 10%) and free up 10% of monies to go to whatever we wanted.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:38:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By notso:

How do we got to the asteroid belt? You gotta start somewhere. We made it to the moon once. We can do it agian. From there, the knowledge we gained in the moon base construction and operation will be applied to the much longer goal of reaching the asteroid belt.




We do it from an orbital station.


What's the POINT of going to the moon? What is there? Nothing.


Hydrogen. It's nice to have for rocket fuel. That's the purpose of a moon base. You have a place where you can manufacture rocket fuel, so you don't have to escape the earth's gravity well with a huge fuel load. Remember, you can take off from the moon with 6 times the load than you can with the same engine from the earth. A orbital station lacks the hydrogen.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:42:09 AM EDT
I call dibs on the cheese!!!
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:43:18 AM EDT
I gave up with NASA setting up a base on the moon when the broke 1980's proposed date.


NASA is not going to do it unless Congress gives the all the money.. NASA is all talk on the subject. Blahh. Blahh. Blahh..

Get real.. It won't happen from NASA.

If you want it done . You have to have companies like Hilton, McDonalds, Microsoft, Coca Cola, and Donald Trump have Fed- X get it there. Then it will happen.

Don't depend on the government to get it done right, or even at all.

Link Posted: 9/19/2005 8:48:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By t-stox:
RIIIIIIIIIGHT! Let's go to space instead of Helping the poor! Not to highjack the thread and turn it into something else but those so-called "leech" programs only make up a small amount of the budget (6%) And a lot of that goes to children. (yeah yeah i know, fucking rugrats should starve to decrease the surplus population of the earth.) If we excersiced fiscal disipline we could elminate Net interest (which is 10%) and free up 10% of monies to go to whatever we wanted.




You can thank LBJ's Great Society program that killed the Space Program, Military, and Social Secrurity lock box.. What is it up to now? About $20 trillion+ by now of lost money.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 9:07:52 AM EDT
Space exploration is probably the best investment technology wise that this country has ever made, and will continue to be.

Trust me if the chinese ever get to the point where they can go to Mars and we can not international politics will be a moot point as they WILL as a result have the technology to make us go "Yes sir" when they want something done on Earth.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 9:55:39 AM EDT
Military and Space research have accounted for almost all of the modern conveniences we have now. Even the "plastic" used on the first AR's resulted from space research.

I am all for setting up a permanent Moon base and eventually a permanent human presence on Mars. I for one would gladly go.

The moon will provide all the raw materials needed for flights to Mars and beyond.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 10:08:15 AM EDT


That's not NASA's charge. NASA is responsible for advancing America's presence in space. Would you rather we just outsource our space program to China?


Space exploration should be left in the private sector where it belongs, tax payers should not be forced to fit the bill. You want our government to be in charge of space exploration? The same government that can’t build a damn tunnel without getting conned for millions and the end result is a tunnel that is leaking? Seriously, NASA got schooled by Spaceship One, the private sector is a million times more efficient at handling these types of things. If there is economic reason to go to the moon and mars then it will be done, and for far less than the government could and it won’t be at the tax payers expense.

Link Posted: 9/19/2005 10:20:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/19/2005 10:22:52 AM EDT by Spade]
I'm just ticked it took so long. There's no reason we couldn't have done this 20 years ago. And we should be doing it sooner than 2018.


Originally Posted By fight4yourrights:

Originally Posted By dport:

I bet those of you complaining about the cost would be to bitch when the Chinese land on the moon.



I'll just laugh - we've been there, done that, got the t-shirt

So the ChiComs use their Walmart profits to go play golf on the Moon. So friggin what?



Because the Chinese could, just as we could, establish a permanent base there. Probably faster than we can, as they don't mind killing their own people.

The Chinese Communists, living at the top edge of our gravity well. GRREEATT idea. Heinlein was right. You don't need a nuke if you've got a base on the moon. You just need a rock coming down the well. You can't shoot down a rock. Basically, it's called "taking the high ground".

This, of course, excludes whatever new tech, and there will be a lot as usual, that spirals out of such projects. And moving on to planets, asteroids.

Remember, all China is is one big Military Industrial Complex. If they're going to the moon, it sure as shit isn't to play golf.


Also, the private sector needs to be brought into it. It's totally necissary. However, the private sector is still at a Mercury Project level. They will catch up, of course, much faster than it took NASA since the groundwork is all there with better tech. They just won't catch up fast enough for the current geo-political world. Maybe. Things could be different in 2018.
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 10:32:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Fourays2:
how are we supposed to pay for this?



Well, all those people we've saved from New Orleans, who we're going to give free land, free housing, free food and God knows what else, well, they're going to become productive citizens generating increased economic power. This in turn will drive our nation as a whole to a better trade relationship overseas and we're gonna tax all the increased revenue. This will help pay for the space exploration.

So you see, you're not wasting billions on those poor devils we almost left behind in New Orleans. You know, the ones who shoot at us, loot our stores and bitch about their handouts. Their gonna get us back to the moon!!!
Link Posted: 9/19/2005 10:41:38 AM EDT
Anyone who thinks the moon is necessary for the military seriously has no clue, you honestly think that china is going to chuck boulders at us from the moon? hah!
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