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Old January 14th, 2004, 02:03 PM
jackleg jackleg is offline
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As I know all of you have heard the President, wants to back to moon and eventually get to Mars. Do you think this reasonable at this time? I have mixed feelings about this myself. The US economy is not what it was in the 60's, maybe this should be a joint or world effort to explore as opposed to one country.

Another tidbit, everything will have to be built from scratch. All of the equipment, documentation, programming is gone.

What is your opinion?
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Old January 14th, 2004, 02:05 PM
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I think that it should be an international effort, but probably won't be. We should encourage other countries, especially Brazil, China and the EU, to do their own if we can't get them to work with us.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 02:30 PM
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OK let me voice my two cents worth on this topic...

I believe the US government should fund the space program and greatly increase it's funding and backing, plus support. The thing people fail to see, is that the research that comes out of the space tech befits us all and increases our day to day lives. Plus lets not forget all the high tech jobs that will be created and possible new fields of tech that will be discovered and developed here because of the knowledge that is learned.

As to making it a world adventure, why should we do that? Look at the mess the space station is in, the US has all but bailed out the Russian space agency to keep them on track. That has cost the US taxpayer ALOT, it has been noted that if we didn't have to help out the Russian Space Agency that it would not have cost as much plus some key systems would have be already in place if handled and built by the US.

Ok the Russian Space agency has some very important knowledge to share, but many of their former scientists have come over to the US already and are here now working for US based and owned companies and etc.

Also why everyone wants to always make everything a "world" effort, but in the end it is always the "USA" that bails out the world? Sorry if that isn't politically correct, but to blazes with that. If we the US want to go back to the moon and etc, then lets do it for us. Lets rebuild the tech and increase our nations knowledge, lets build the high tech industries here in the US and create the High tech jobs here as well too. Lets remember and put in place once and for all, charity starts at home.

Sorry I will climb off my soap box now [img]graemlins/file_23.gif[/img] [img]graemlins/file_21.gif[/img]
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Old January 14th, 2004, 03:15 PM
FlightCommanderSolitude FlightCommanderSolitude is offline
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Originally posted by jackleg:
As I know all of you have heard the President, wants to back to moon and eventually get to Mars ... What is your opinion?
My opinion is that it won't happen - and it will put to bed both the shuttle and the space station.

I'd really rather see NASA spending more time and energy on cool stuff like these Mars landers, which are much cheaper than manned missions and getting cheaper and more ambitious. Why stop at Mars? There's got to be some other interesting places around to land a few "probots", and while we're at it, isn't there some unfinished science on the moon? How hard could it be to get some landers back there?
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Old January 14th, 2004, 04:36 PM
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i hope this soap box is plenty sturdy, it's gonna get a lot of use.

folks, the money isn't there. i don't know if anyone has taken a long, hard look at this administration's economic policy, but more and more people are saying we're on our way to bannana republicdom.

i hear a lot of talk about colonies on the moon. how are they going to make money? unless a colony is profitable, it will die. look at the ISS and space shuttle. it costs $300-$400 million for each shuttle launch. that's why satellites still use delta rockets. even when a sat. is launched from the shuttle, it needs another booster to get to orbit.

betting money says this whole initiative has less to with advancing the u.s.'s cause in space and more to do with putting his name in the history books, never mind the cost.

that, in fact, is my main problem with him. EVERYTHING he does is geared towards throwing away massive amounts of money with very little to show for it. in the meantime, he makes a massive mess out of everything he touches and then leaves others to clean up the mess.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 06:01 PM
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BetterThanLife BetterThanLife is offline
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Actually I think going back to the moon and establishing a permament base there is a great idea. The economy, contrary to what many are saying is on a definite upswing. Second, it means we will have to put money into our economy. (Can never be a bad thing.) We will also create jobs, get all sorts of neat technology to play with at home. People don't realize what we have because of the Military Budget and NASA budget. This computer that I am typing on is a direct result of the military and NASA budget. The latest Jet Liners are a result of NASA testing. The successes in Iraq, both times are a direct result of the Space Program.

One other thing, the Chinese are planning a manned mission to the moon. Do you think they are willing to share and play nice? The whole reason to go to the moon inthe first place was to grab the "high ground" when it came to dealing with the Soviet Union.

As for being economically viable? How many things does this government do that isn't economically viable in the first place? (Especially those programs that work out inthe end.) What makes you think that there is no benefit from full exploration of the moon? No minerals that we could use? No benefit from devising long term economic power plants on the moon would be useful here? Besides if you want to explore the rest of the Solar System or Galaxy for that matter it is easier to build, provided there are minerals there that are useable there) a space craft in a vaccuum and it is easier to launch from the Moon's gravity well than the Earth's. (Even better would be involving Brazil and building a Stationary Station with an elevator and building and launching from there.)

There are all sorts of resources out there for us to go get. And forthe environmentalists, we could stop taking stuff out of the ground and poluting the air and the water if we get our material and refine it etc in space. TO get to the Asteroid belt, to unlock these riches the place to start is a permament base closer to home.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 07:47 PM
FlightCommanderSolitude FlightCommanderSolitude is offline
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Nobody said, "Trash the space program entirely." The issue here is sending people as opposed to machinery. Yes, the defense and aerospace industries are a source of commercial technology; that doesn't mean putting people into orbit to study the effects of microgravity on soybeans is going to produce a similar hitech bounty.


However, I agree that there are political reasons for the US to send people to Mars before everyone else; those reasons certainly trumped the scientific or economic rationale for the Lunar program.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 11:35 PM
Richard Saunders Richard Saunders is offline
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Just so everyone will know my stand "yes we should go to space (yesterday would have been good".
I'm shore that the people of the old world said "theres nothing there" meaning the new world three hundred years ago, what do we need trees for the Russians will cut them down for use, it's not economical to ship them from north america, theres no minerals or wealth in america.
How wrong where they.
Yes at the moment colonies on the moon are a waist of money, just like the colonies in america where or australia for that matter.
Some people say we dont have the money, we should spend it on welfare or the poor or hospitals or research into weather left handed lesbians (insert favorite group (not hate group just favourite))are gay (as in happy).
Lets face it if the government had the money they would buy every vote with a grant.
More industry = more jobs = less welfare = less poor = less money needed for them = less tax yeh right.
Every war down through history has been followed by a down turn in the economy, why didnt the world economy follow this after the second world war (because it realy never finished it just changed enemies), industry stayed at high production and slowly changed to civilian production, the Soviet union didn't have the capacity or will to change.
People will put up with a lot in war or peace but they must feel it's worth it in the long run the russians lost this feeling and gave up.
Americans feel unhappy that the rest of the world dosn't love them, back when Britania ruled the waves the Americans called them imperialistic warmongers what comes around goes around, if the USA wants to be the policeman of the world learn to live with being called names, i'm shore most people in the USA dont call the police sir or mamm more likely pig or barstards or some other nasty name except when they need them (just like the rest of the world).
RIGHT i think i'v digresed enough.
If the USA dosn't go back into space dont wingge when your staring down the barrel of their nuclear weapons from space.
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Old January 14th, 2004, 11:39 PM
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wa11eye wa11eye is offline
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It is an election year bush could be saying things just to get re elected.
Take the iron, shed the blood and taste the wrath. Then you will live to be honored.
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Old January 15th, 2004, 03:44 AM
kaladorn kaladorn is offline
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I'll use the same soapbox, it seems to be warmed up.

1. Going to space is a good idea, if for no other reason than it fires the human imagination. It gives us hope for something more. And if we're ever going to spread out enough to avoid an ELE (like a big mother rock), we need to get moving on the project.

2. Not all technology from the prior work has been lost. Some has, some has not. But the vast body of science is still there. And the capability to go to space is no longer just solely vested in NASA. There are other people learning about it, including small frys like John Carmack. This is a good trend, since the commoditization and commercialization of space is vital to our global long term prospects, I figure.

3. When pointing out the flaws in the ISS, NASA had better step in and take some of the blame. The thing had been grossly critised by plenty of the science intelligentsia before politcial hacks got at it, and NASA right along there. And as far as wasting money goes, NASA has pissed away a few dollars in its time too. The idea that NASA has either the only or best or most cost effective way of getting to space is dubious.

4. Unmanned probes are nice, but if I see a man walk on Mars, it is a much more powerful symbol than seeing an escape from my Lego Mindstorm kit do the same. Yes, lots of good science can be done more cheaply this way. But it lacks symbolic value, which gives political and popular impetus and support. So that's why it has to be done, not to mention the potential strategic ramifications.

5. As to international preparation: Canada has already said it will be sending its own probes to Mars regardless of what the US does. But you can bet if you guy shave any intiative going, we'll be in there trying to help out. We've done a fair bit to aide the shuttle and ISS programs and contributed a fair bit to climate science and other areas or space-related science. Maybe you don't need the whole world, just a coalition of the willing, if you take my drift.

6. Space is an interesting economic problem. It has a huge buy-in cost, and it is projected, at some point, to have huge returns. But they buy in is *VAST* and the environment truly hostile. And the benefits..... we've seen some potent trickle-down, but it is contestible that the same money spent on terrestrial research for non-military or non-space means may have produced as many (or more) worthy breakthroughs. Not necessarily the same, but perhaps as profound. But uncertainty is a fact of life and space might well have a lot of payoffs... if for no other reason than it offers us a change to go somewhere, to see our world from the outside (which is a good perspective), and a challenge to the intellect and the spirit and to human ingenuity. There shouldn't be much man can't manage - why climb the mountain? Because it is there.

7. Poverty exists the world over. More than half the world's population hasn't made a phone call. in that light, the investment is ludicrious. Except. Except that the money we don't spend on space wouldn't be used to cure this problem. It would go into pork barrelling, buying more bombs for people from other places, buying more prevalent police presence and abridging more liberties and rights, hiring more lawyers and judges, or doling more out to the marginal members of society in some cases to no good end. So given that the problems of the world won't be solved anyway (realistically), then we might ask if the money devoted to space can at least be considered a semi-benign use of it? I'd have to say so.

8. As to the US 'saving the world'... let's just say that sometimes the world needs saving from the USA. No one likes the top dog, rightly or wrongly (the Romans could have attested to that) and to stay top dog, you do things that make you unpleasant and unliked (the Romans could speak to that too, as could the British and French and other Imperial powers). Half the time, it is US efforts to 'save the world' on their own terms that gets everyone up in arms. I'm not going to make any reference to current particular events and the feeble attempts to retroactively justify them or to somehow explain the failed PR strategies involved, save to say I mostly support US actions (if not their diplomatic conduct) and so could in no way be called anti-US. But when I hear one of my southern neighbours get up on the 'saving the world' theme, I can't help but wince. It's the attitude that makes people want to either wince and turn away or get P.O.'d and smack the speaker with a stick, depending. If the USA made as great an attempt to tolerate and understand (and be educated about!) the rest of the world as they have to about the USA (out of simple self interest, if for no other reason), then such comments might come off sounding rather different or might not occur... being phrased in stead some other way.

I'd like to conclude by hoping I've offended no-one. It was not my intention. At the very least, the campaign to conquer space is a spur to the imagination and spirit of humanity, something which can be a rallying point for those who would like something other than the strife of this world to focus on, and like it or not, the gateway to the stars starts on the Moon, then Mars, then further out.

And really, how can anyone on this board who plays Traveller really not want to go out there, as a human, and see what there is to see and see if we have any company, even if all we find are Samurai Cats, Piratical Dogs, and a creature that looks like it should be in a big seafood gumbo?
"Tell them, that from this place we will deliver notice to the parliaments of conquerors that a line has been drawn against the darkness. And we will hold that line, .. no matter the cost." -- Cpt. Sheridan "The Long, Twilight Struggle"
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