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Status quo won't get you to Mars - new NASA chief

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posted on Jul, 23 2009 @ 01:15 PM

Originally posted by yeti101
im not a big fan of manned spaceflight. Far too expensive considering the science return we get is almost zero.

Proper science missions are getting canned left , right & center to spend $50+ billion on going to the moon. And for what? so we can watch them hit golf balls around on it? No thanks

We can do the science at these places using robotic probes for a fraction of the cost. No need for people to be there.

The stated reason for going to the Moon is to learn how to live on the Moon as experience for a Manned Mars mission -- not just to simply "go to" the Moon. To simply go to the Moon to say "we're here" was Apollo's short-sighted goal.

I realize you say you are not a fan of manned space mission, but I think a manned mission to Mars is very important -- and not just from the science gained ON Mars, but all of the scientific knowledge we gain by TRYING to go to Mars. If it wasn't for the public excitement Apollo program of the 1960s, I think we would have far the less of the engineers and scientists today and in the 1980s that made some of the great technological leaps of our generation. Apollo got the brightest children of the 1960s interested in engineering and science -- and that was a great thing.

The Constellation Program's own logo shows "three worlds" -- The Earth, the Moon, and Mars. So Mars is definitely the overall goal of Constellation. However, it seems that the new NASA administrator (Charles Bolden) thinks this plan is too ambitious and can't be done for the relatively small budget that NASA is given. I worry , though that if Bolden creates a streamline and cheap way of getting to Mars, it will be very much like the old Apollo short-sighted mission of "going for the sake of going".

Like I said in my other post, I don't want humans to go to Mars simply to wave and say "we're here", and I'm afraid that's what Mr. Bolden's 'cost-effective' mission to Mars has in store.

[edit on 7/23/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]

posted on Jul, 23 2009 @ 01:28 PM
Here's one potential reason;

If it goes smoothly citizens will visit the moon before Nasa's astronauts

posted on Jul, 23 2009 @ 01:42 PM
reply to post by broli

Yeah -- that's nice if he can demonstrate his propulsion methods next year, like he says -- and if he could provide some details for the life support capabilities of his habitats and space craft(air, water, etc.), and -- very importantly -- details for how he will provide a safe re-entry back to Earth of his Moon craft (i.e., what kind of heat shield is he planning to use?)

Until then, I'll remain neutral on this idea. I'm not necessarily going to believe him just because he says he can do it.

posted on Jul, 23 2009 @ 01:50 PM
You should dive in it more. The reactor creates a magnetosphere around the space craft. Anything inside is shielded from outside. This includes air friction or even water pressure. So there's no need for a heat shield. Also light speed is not a limit to this because light is a byproduct of a higher process which he is tapping directly.

The patent holds much more mind boggling aspects of this technology.

[edit on 23-7-2009 by broli]

posted on Jul, 23 2009 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by LiveForever8

lol funny i was thinking the exact same thing!! cool fransis rossi is going to take us to mars on a thirty year old telecaster!!!!!.....

posted on Jul, 23 2009 @ 02:09 PM
reply to post by rocksolidbrain

NASA has to find a mission that takes advantage of its unique combination of new technology development, and systems testing. NASA is really good at basic research. It is not very effective at doing what is most important for our long term remaining in space; the ability to build, launch, and maintain the capacity to put equipment and people into orbit in a regular and inexpensive way. I see private space launch and industrial companies as the bread-and-butter future. NASA needs to serve as a tecnological "clearing house" to aid private companies where and when needed. Industry also needs to get to the moon and beyond. NASA can help. But let private industry under safety supervision do what it does best; make money.

The whole point in going into space is to harness raw materials, which include the sun. Raw materials from the moon and near by asteroids can be used to build space stations and a moon base of mind boggling proportions. The concept of a station (more correctly a colony) at a gravitationely stable point between the Earth and the moon, what we would call an L-1,L-2,L-3, depending on location point. These "LaGrange" point stations would be at a gravitational point where the Earths-and-Moons gravity cancel each other out. This idea goes back to the 1970's, and is possible now. The key is getting back up there and staying there permenently. Industry plans for many years, the government the next fiscal year. Also consider political winds, and a change of the Executive. There is no question NASA will remain for the most part with the capacity to augment our military space critical to our national security.

It makes me sick that with Bush we spent at least $1 trillion dollars in Iraq, yet NASA has to get on it's needs for the most basic funding. Having NASA, with hefty contracts as the reward sponsor the needed incremental steps to get back there, and offer the potential of space-resources as quite a carrot is one way. We currently have a couple dozen private launch companies that are drooling at the possibilities. They need the initial push.

The latest and very, very interesting propullsion system from NASA is the radio frquenced pumped (boosted) plasma arc rocket. This can generate the level of heat seen at the center of the sun. Heat means lots of energy that can be translated into kinetic energy. You can use such propullsion for among other things Earth-to-Mars in only 39 days, but also Earth-to-Moon and in its proximity. Limiting exposure to space limits cosmic ray exposure, always a good idea. As for the size of the "L" colony (complete with very heavy shielding) how does a mile across grab you for starters? This concept is 1970's technology. We should do better. Also, bigger colony the more resistant it is to cosmic rays, as well as heavy impacts. You can, I would, incorporate an asteroid deflection technology.

The goal at first would to use bases of operation that "collect" lunar material, you use a magnetic accelerator to send it to the colony. You then use the material to build geosync, Earth orbital solar satalites that would transmit the electric power 24 hours a day via diffuse microwaves to Earths surface> The Pentagon and Japanese are running tests on this technology as we speak. This is the time when we have a perfect economic opportunity. This original project would establish us as a space faring race permenently. We can not afford to be second in this. The "high ground" is still as important now as thousands of years ago.

posted on Jul, 23 2009 @ 02:36 PM
reply to post by Soylent Green Is People

Im well aware what the objectives of constellation are. (moon base then mars) i just dont see the point to do it now or in the next 20 years. Especially as it costs so much.

the arguement the manned space mission advocates make about discoveries or developmets we make by trying to get to the moon or mars are easily countered by saying : its a damned expensive way to make those discoveries. All those things people blab on about like non stick frying pans etc could have and would have been developed anyway without a mission to the moon or mars.

same answer for "getting people interested". By the time apollo 13 launched people were bored rigid by it. I think we can make it far cheaper & better if we wait and do it once things like nanotech are developed more.

theres only really 1 arguement that makes me think manned spaceflight is a necessary evil. That is we will likely need to mine the solar system for resources in the future. But how many centuries are we away from needing to do that?

[edit on 23-7-2009 by yeti101]

posted on Aug, 13 2009 @ 11:51 PM
Both of the recent huge bank bailouts could have purchased the equivalent of 16 International Space Stations.

Could have replaced the Shuttle with whatever we want.

Could have been used to build a Moon base.

Could have gotten humans to Mars and back.

While the bankers will just fritter it away on stupid Sports cars and Rolex watches.

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