posted on Aug, 19 2003 @ 01:36 AM
For a board about frontier (often pseudo-) science and thinking about the future, there is a remarkable abscence of discussion, here, about manned
space programs.... And all while several private groups are about to launch the first non government owned spacecraft... and China prepares to send
its first crew into orbit with its Shenzou program.
So, consider this a catch-all thread about manned spaceflight. When the details about my debate tourny prize are forwarded to me, I hope to set-up a
webpage that will include info on proposals for the future exploration of the solar system... Until then, however, I'd like to start a little
So, how do you think space exploration will go for the next century... and how do you WISH it would develop? Or, dare I ask, do you think manned
space exploration should occur at all?
What type of missions should be planned? Should the goal be colonization of the Moon/Mars/Europa, etc, or should we not bother to plant anything
larger than science camps up there? What philosophy should missions and designs follow? Should we go for multi-use craft, basic turnaround frames
that can be modularly reconfigured, or should we use an entirely expendable design mantra? Should we stay with traditional chemical rockets or use
the nuclear option (under which, for the sake of discussion, we should include Ion-Electric rockets ((Not to be confused with the electro-kinetic
drives of ATS lore)) )?
And, finally, should our long term goal be to make humanity a multi-world species... that is, should the mission be to have substantial populations,
one day, on other planets.. a terraformed Mars, for instance?
..And, I know a lot of you will use the ATS lifeline and just say, "the aliens gave us anti-gravity" or "tesla invented anti-gravity" or whatever,
but (and I hate to rope you off), please answer with only KNOWN or THEORETICALLY POSSIBLE concepts in mind. Yes, I know many of you believe the USAF
has electrokinetic craft... But, personally, I doubt that those things can make it into space, as they require tremendous energy to work... which, in
turn, requires lifting an atomic reactor up with the frame... and, when you do the cost-benefit analysis, I can't see how a fleet of Electrokinetic
lifters would be more cost-effective, and strategically valuable, than the Titan 4Bs the USAF openly uses to lift assets into space. Remember, a
spacecraft needs to achieve a certain velocity to reach orbit, and a greater velocity to break orbit and explore the solar system... It flies,
essentially, by changing orbital orientation in regards to a specific object (a ship en route to Mars is orbitting the Sun in such a way that its
orbit intersects with Earth at one end and mars at the other -- no straight path is involved)... So, no really great 'flying' technology can help a
craft out if that tech cannot provide the raw velocity needed (never d any 'hover' capability). ..So, to get back to my point, try to reply to this
thread with the laws of physics, and celestial navigation, in mind.