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Nasa picks three in space contest

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posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 08:27 AM
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Nasa picks three in space contest


After reading this article on the BBC online site I felt rather deflated, while I fully understand the idea behind the New Frontiers programme, short-term, and cheap space science missions. and that "These are projects that inspire and excite young scientists" to quote Ed Weiler (associate administrator for Nasa's Science Mission Directorate) I can't help thinking these projects are a waste of money, surely the money could all be accumulated and put into a mission of greater value to us as the Human species, I mean come on, rocks from the Moon, a sample of Asteroid and the atmosphere and surface of Venus… I'm sorry but I really think the money would be better off put together and used for more substantial programs, for instance a manned mission to Mars, (that has been proposed) a probe to Europa to explore the supposed sea under the ice crust, ect ect, I know a few may shout out "it's a great short term program and stop bitching" and I'd have to agree to a certain extent that at least it keeps the space exploration business alive, but come on be honest, NASA would be much better off saving the $650m and using it for a more substantial project that could better our understanding of the solar system a bit further out than Venus….

What are your thoughts on this project? would you like to see the money go to bigger and bolder projects or do you think they have it right?




posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 09:03 AM
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I dont think I trust NASA anymore. God only knows what they have discovered from the places we've been/studied...like Mars and The Moon. The info gets filtered before we get it, Im sure.
So, no. I dont think this is a great step.

Europe's space program is sending another orbiter to mars. Thats more interesting to me. Alot of nations are jumping on the space exploration bandwagon.

I am actually waiting on the private sector to start projects. Virgin Galactic has proven that NASA doesnt own the skies anymore. There are plenty of companies out there that could afford it.
Wouldnt it be cool to see NASA take a back seat to exploration?



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 09:16 AM
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reply to post by InertiaZero
 



Thank God I'm not the only one who feels this way, yes I do think the Mars orbiter is a step forward in the right direction, but if you think about it we already have one that controls the two rovers, ok it may not do special scientific experiments like the proposed ESA project but we do still have one, a more advanced orbiter would be very beneficial.

I was having a conversation on here a little while back about the private sector getting involved in space exploration, (can't remember which thread) and I think many many people think it's the right way to go, the private sector would have a different agenda and budget to the government controlled agency's, and you never know they may even be honest with what they find and tell the general public… maybe



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 09:44 AM
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reply to post by Majestic RNA
 


theres no immidiate financial return for the private sector to conduct deep space missions.

NASA/ESA have been working together on future europa & titan missions these are outside of the new horizons program.



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 10:07 AM
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My vote would be for an atmospheric probe on Venus.

NASA has speculated on the possibilities of life in the atmosphere of Venus, and has encountered anomalous readings in the atmosphere that could point to life as one of the explanations for those readings. There are disequilibriums of chemical compounds that on Earth are only caused by life.

Here's an excerpt from a NASA paper that contains some very interesting insight as to why some scientists think there may be life in the clouds of Venus:


3.3 Present Life

Could bacterial life exist in the atmosphere of Venus today? Although this is considered unlikely, the possibility of life in the clouds or the middle atmosphere of Venus has not been ruled out by any observations made to date. While the atmosphere is both dry and acidic,extremophilic life has adapted to far more harsh conditions on Earth.

There is some evidence that the trace-gas constituents of the Venus atmosphere are not in chemical equilibrium with each other. On Earth, the primary source of disequilibrium in the atmospheric chemistry is the activities of biological processing; could disequilibrium on Venus also be a sign of life? In 1997, David Grinspoon made the suggestion that microbes in the clouds and middle atmosphere could be the source of the disequilibrium. In 2002, Dirk Schulze-Makuch independently proposed that observations of the Venus atmosphere by space probes showed signatures of possible biological activity.

As noted by Grinspoon and Schulze-Makuch, the Venus atmosphere has several trace gasses which are not in chemical equilibrium. The Venera missions and the Pioneer Venus and Magellan probes found that carbon monoxide is scarce in the planet's atmosphere, although solar radiation and lightning should produce it abundantly from carbon dioxide. Hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide, two gases which react with each other and thus should not be found together, are also both present, indicating some process (possibly biological?) is producing them. Finally, although carbonyl sulfide is difficult to produce inorganically, it is present in the Venusian atmosphere. On Earth, this gas would be considered an unambiguous indicator of biological activity. While none of these chemical combinations are in themselves an unambiguous sign of life, it is interesting enough to warrant a more careful look at the atmospheric chemistry.

Another interesting sign is the nature of the ultraviolet-absorbing aerosols that form the markings seen in UV images of the planet (figure 2). The nature of these aerosols, and whether they are biological in origin, is still unknown.

On Earth, viable microorganisms are found in clouds...


Here is the source NASA web page I got the PDF from (scroll down on the website to find the PDF link):
NASA.gov -- Astrobiology: The Case for Venus

Or, here is the direct link to the PDF file:
Source PDF -- Astrobiology: The Case for Venus

I say study the atmosphere of Venus in detail. NASA thinks it is full of very intriguing possibilities for life



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by yeti101
 



Yes your right there is no immediate financial return for the private sector at the moment, the industry is very new (Virgin Galactic springs to mind) but in time there will be, space trip to Saturn via Jupiter anyone? Once the technology is safe and their able to have fairly low cost space flights, I can imagine it being a very lucrative business that the private sector will jump at.
I guess your talking about the Europa Jupiter System Mission and the Titan Saturn System Missions yeah?? I was aware of these missions, their talking about it happening in 2026, long way off, personally I just think they should save the money they are using for the New Frontiers programme and put it to use in further away missions.



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 



Yep I agree with you that Venus does need further exploration, and thanks for all the info, If I had to choose a project I guess that would be the one I’d go for, I still can’t get the idea out of my head that nasa could use the money for more bolder projects, that’s all I’m saying here, $650m may be a drop In the ocean to nasa but it’s still a lot of money that could be put to good use further out in the solar system. To me it just seems like NASA and the ESA are not pushing the boundaries enough, if they are then they aint telling us….



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by Majestic RNA
 


the idea that virgins trips to 65 miles are a precursor to full on space tourism is somewhat misleading. www.spacenews.com...

personally im more interested in space telescopes , $650 million would buy us a space based coronograph which could identify earth like planets around other stars. But everyones interested in diffirent things i guess.

[edit on 30-12-2009 by yeti101]



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 12:20 PM
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reply to post by yeti101
 


Yeah in the near future sure, we’re not going to see full on space tourism, I did say in time though, there are ideas floating about that humans could use a space elevator to reach Earth orbit, that would solve the problem of reaching the orbital speed (& remain in orbit) of 28,000 kilometers per hour, but at the moment that’s all just ideas with no real plans to produce such an elevator, but that’s not to say in 200 years time we could have the tech to do it, space tourism is the future I think, how it’s implemented is going to be the interesting thing to follow..

I too am interested in space telescopes, and telescopes in general, a scope that could Identify Earth like planets would be a great step forward, using the transit wobble and gravitational lensing methods are fantastic and have let us discover other worlds out there, if only we could see the other planets with a scope though, wouldn’t that be amazing and more worthy of money put into it?? And your right it is each to their own with this subject, there are so many things to explore in our own solar system let alone the universe I’d love to see get put forward before moon rocks from the core….



posted on Dec, 30 2009 @ 12:39 PM
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reply to post by Majestic RNA
 


yeah the coronograph would let us see those planets and analyse the light from them. We could tell what their atmospheres are like.



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