of no fixed subtitle
September 19, 2005
has announced plans to send
astronauts to the moon by the year 2020
[in a new "spaceship"]
17 years ago
Before the end of the next decade, NASA astronauts will again explore the surface of the moon. And this time, we're going to stay, building outposts and paving the way for eventual journeys to Mars and beyond. There are echoes of the iconic images of the past, but it won't be your grandfather's moon shot.
from NASA website
And in other news...
Fastest derail ever!
Who dared to swab the planks with grease! I agree with your sentiment Zanshin, but perhaps a bit off topic? Arrr!
Poverty and space exploration are valid and necessary persuits. Perhaps the cost of armed conflict / regime change / whatever / should be getting highlighted instead. I for one think the space programme is fab. Let's do it.
Oh, I didn't knew it was elections time again! /snickers
Why is that off topic? You seem to acknowledge the connection? We could have discussed the logistics of NASA's plans for a while, but eventually, somebody would bring up the topic of it's cost and question whether or not it is truly necessary at this time in our cultural history? I'm just speeding up the process. I find your posting interesting, but I do have opinions on the necessity of space exploration. I consider them to be on topic.
Commercial activity associated with NASA SBIR technology is significant. A minimum of 612 products and services at least partially based on NASA SBIR technology have generated at least $2.28 billion of cumulative revenues in non-U.S. Government markets. By comparison, NASA’s total investment in the SBIR program over the 1983–96 period is $1.11 billion. The broad spectrum of types of products and services, as well as the corresponding industrial sectors in which NASA SBIR technology is commercially applied, suggest that commercial activity associated with NASA’s SBIR Program is pervasive in the economy. A significant amount of strategic alliance partnering by SBIR firms with other private entities regarding these ventures underscores the pervasiveness of commercial activity associated with application of NASA SBIR technology.
The incidence of commercial application of NASA SBIR technology in non-U.S. Government markets is significant. Specifically, at least 31 percent of all NASA Phase II awards have produced technology upon which ventures generating revenues in non-U.S. Government markets have been at least partially based.
NASA’s SBIR firms demonstrate significant commercial intent regarding application of NASA SBIR technology. For at least 38 percent of the Phase II awards made by NASA over the 1983–96 period, either the technology was incorporated in products and services generating revenues in non-U.S. Government markets, or the firm took significant action to develop a commercial venture at least partially based on the technology.
... and on and on. - http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/SBIR
Perhaps we're not investing enough?
Why is that off topic?
Well now, I said "perhaps a bit off topic." As I said, I agree with your sentiment, 100%. There are so many things I could easily point at (such as the other topic kitfisto mentioned), guess I was more inclined to pursue the "kid-inside-of-me-that-fantasizes-about-space-travel" route. And perhaps the other side of me that went *sigh* as my post was shot down within a minute. I'm over it... Valid point/s taken. Carry on... Arrrr!
Nasa to go
to the moon? To explore the moon
But they never got there in the first place! Yargh! 'Twas faked, says I! (Yer flamebaitey matey!) But thanks for the link, smt. Space. Pirates. Space pirates. Brilliant! Yargh!
Poverty and space exploration are valid and necessary persuits.
I've never heard poverty described as a pursuit before, let alone a valid and necessary one.
just imagine if the US's goal was space exploration, versus the WarOnTerrah(TM) i can't imagine that doesn't create skilled, decently-paying jobs. yeah, it costs a lot of money. i don't think it's an either-this-or-fixing-poverty thing, but IANAE (economist)... and we could be space cowboys, if we felt the need to be cowboys. we'll need to do it soon anyway, if we're gonna continue to not care (continue not to care?) about the environment. arr!
I say we just shoot poor people into space.
somebody would bring up the topic of it's cost and question whether or not it is truly necessary at this time in our cultural history?
Of course it's not "necessary." Neither are the NEA, public broadcasting, income tax deductions for home mortgages, baseball, the Emmys, food that's not gruel, single-family dwellings, pets, more than one change of clothes, an army, public parks, music classes, or a billion other fripperies and frivolities. All you really mean is "I don't much care for it." Well, fine. But, really, wandering into a thread about X to state nothing more than "X sucks" is kind of churlish. If it were a thread about the Ramones and your only comment was that the Ramones suck, people would rightly consider you to be harshing their buzz.
We're Monkeys. We lika da moooooon. 'nuf said.
Yargh! What'd be that about the Ramones?
*pounds fist into palm menacingly*
Don't forget, Zanshin, the DoD spends more EVERY WEEK than NASA does in a year. And that's the DoD "normal" allocation, this isn't taking into account a couple hundred billion for Iraq. It's also worth noting that the DoD's space budget alone is larger than NASA's. Methinks there are better targets for budget reallocation. Or do you think that NASA's less than a fraction of one percent of the total national annual budget is the most egregious waste of the bunch?
Also, the NASA budget is smaller than the amount of money Americans spend each year on pet toys. Pet toys.
I say we just shoot poor people into space.
*waves hands* *uses
But it now!
feature to procure space monkey pants from eBay* *readies Ramones super mix for the journey* Arrrr!!
HEY! HO! LET'S GO!
have you seen the price of pet toys? they aren't cheap!
Space exploration might be nice, if it didn't mean cutting actual space science. That's what is happening now. Scientists who were doing lower budget space research that is more than "gee whiz, we can do that?" are now getting turned down for missions because all the money is going to manned space flight. For instance, research on the solar wind, which has direct relevence to electrical systems and satellite operations on Earth, is being passed over so we can send men to the moon or Mars. It's misguided.
have you seen the price of pet toys? they aren't cheap!
And... remember to check out
what you're buying...
Oh, this thread is geting all soiled
Ooops, looks like my kneejerk reaction generated a few more. First, let me apologize for being a contrarion so quickly. I too have young boy dreams of space travel and exploration. I grew up reading the likes of Asimov and Bradbury; however, I also grew up reading Harlan Ellison and Kurt Vonnegut -- so I can be an ornery bastard at times. Sorry about that. I guess my point is, I wish that the enthusiasm and feelings of national pride that get whipped up by space exploration could be put toward directly helping major problems of our country. As much as I dream about zipping around in outer space and petting space-kitties (heh heh), I have bigger dreams of the POTUS one day offering a speech that starts off "America has ignored the poor long enough! Let us have a country where nobody has to go without food or medical care! I declare war on poverty!" (hopefuly penned by a better speech writer than mine.) Gil Scott Heron
said it best
. Oh, and be careful what you say about the Ramones.
/pulls out brat-beating bat
Ok Zanshin, anyone who can pull out Gil Scott Heron and Vonnegut in the same comment gets an A+++ in my book. So there...
[not to mention
Beat on the Brat
I, for one, am disappointed at their lack of ambition. The moon? We've been there, done that. Let's go to Mars and start terraforming that baby or spark an interplanetary war or something. Damn, why do we always have to limit our horizons? What is so damn special about the moon other than it ain't here?
Perhaps it's about the
? After all, water is the next natural resource over which conflicts are likely to develop.
neuroshred: I've heard a lot of stuff about how manned flight cuts into scientific study, but I've never seen any documentation. Do you have articles you could point me to? And I don't mean to be snarky; I genuinely want to read about how manned flight affects NASA's other programs, because I feel that out of all the criticisms levied against announcements like this, the pure science argument is the most compelling (followed closely by the technology cascade effect from R&D poured into manned mission research).
Arrr! Sounds like a classic NASA funding and PR boondoggle, ala the International Space Station. It's like a bureaucratic Zeno's Paradox. I'm with dmn on this one. Back to the Moon? Booorrring. For what exactly? Another couple sacks of dust?
I want to be a space cowboy
There are plenty of fairly practical reasons for going to the moon before you go to Mars, not the least of which is vetting the capability of the systems. A trip back from the Moon, should something happen that requires an abort, is 3 days. Remember that whatever system we're building, it will be fairly experimental, not humdrum operations. Coming back from Mars will take several months, at the BEST times in Earth/Mars respective orbits. The Moon also has quite a lot of Helium-3, which can be fairly easily converted into fuel. There are a lot of people saying that commercial enterprise should be doing this exploration. But what people forget is that the forefront of this type of exploration and research really HAS to be in the domain of the government, for a simple reason. What publicly traded company could put billions or hundreds of billions of dollars into an activity that, though the payoff is almost certain, it's also almost certainly decades away? No company, no venture capitalist, and no entrepreneur would wait that long for a payoff.
Okay, I really don't get the whole money argument here. I mean, money doesn't disappear. It's not like they're going to stuff 100 billion dollar bills up the tailpipe of a rocket and light 'em off. That money gets
, and goes to
... who spend it
The Moon also has quite a lot of Helium-3
And you were just about to tell us you've got a working fusion engine, right?
This is distracting crap, and this is from someone who grew up in the prime of the Apollo missions and was once considering a career in planetary science. Crap on top of distracting crap. Where are the lunar rovers? Where are the lunar bases? Where is the mining for resources that would be needed to get a return on this project? What about the unneeded diversion of financial resources from unmanned missions which have, at this time, returned far, far more 'bang for their buck' than the underfunded space station missions? Let's get our priorities straight here and not go humping the leg of that sexy manned spaceflight beast. Here there be dragons. Dragons disguised as military contractors sucking up to the government and taxpayer teat and milking it dry to the detriment of society as a whole. Think of all the schools and public assistance projects and transportation projects that could be funded. We could erradicate poverty in our lifetime with these funds and still have enough left over for spaceflight. Don't go throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Of course, the decision's already been made. So while you watch that first manned launch to the moon in thirty or more years, don't forget to look around you at all the unfed and impoverished others who could have used that money to get out of that condition once and for all. Don't forget about the poor. Here and around the world. Finally, don't forget these words are from someone who was really pushing hard for that 'golden ring' of becoming an astronaut. I coulda been a contender. Then republican politics came along and crapped all over everything... Some kid from the ghettos might be that next contender. Think about that.
I've got nothing of the kind,
, but considering that fusion is an extraordinarily hot process and He-3 is a highly efficient and low-byproduct fuel for fission, I think that outer space would be a good place to have a fusion reactor, considerably safer than on Earth. If fusion energy is going to be viable, the Moon or perhaps the L1 point would be good places to do that, and have nice big radiators to dissipate the heat energy that doesn't get converted into a usable microwave transmission beam. These things are possible, and in the long term, I'm pretty optimistic about the engineering to make it practicable, considering we went from the steam engine to fission generators in just a century.
We live in the future where where we were promised jet-packs, flying cars, and orbital space farms. Anything less than intergalactic war with another species shows a distinct lack of amibition on our part. I think we should do away with SETI and start broadcasting Yo Alien Mama jokes far and wide to see if we can start an intergalactic beef.
drivingmenuts Why yes, you have it right there! We must lie our worldly nuts on the table and invite extraterrestrials from the galaxy over to smash them! For by offering said nuts, and having no response at all this will prove to the naysayers out there that we have the biggest and most powerful nuts of all! Gaze on our nuts! Are they not most radiant and splendid! Don't you wish you could have nuts as wonderful and splendiferous as these? Gaze upon them, lesser beings and envy the absolute power and potency of our nuts! Tremble and submit before the great and awful splendor of our nuts lest we force them upon you! Submit, damn you lesser beings! Submit!
At last! I have been waiting for this since I was five years old. Zanshin, chimaera, there are various economical aspects for sending people to space, but let's imagine things for a second: Let's assume that there is indeed a material for the space elevator, and it finally gets built, at a cost of only 5 billion dollars. That's viable business for a lot of F100 corporations. And there's the energy market, so there is indeed a product that would make this an enterprise with returns. Let's assume that they need skilled labor, but one that won't balk much at being fried by radiation. Let's assume that work in space uses the same or similar standards that are used here at ground level. Then it follows that poor people are going to be the first ones going to space. As cheap labor. OK, after fanning the flames, when are the projected dates for the space elevator and the private enterprises such as X1? NASA is not doing anything that answering government-style to all those competitors that it suddenly has. And seriously, 20 years is a lot of time. We can't predict what is going to happen ten years from now in technology, much less know whether space travel is going to be a reality once more. And I want to be an astronaut, even if I have to pay a million dollars for the trip.
It's about damn time we went to the moon! We've had the technology for at least five years!
Camilo, if you have a million dollars, you should give it to me to invest, 'cause I know of a surefire investment. Can't give you much in the way of business-plan details right now, but the product is going to be called Cunty Mints, and they're going to be packaged in a clamshell-like container. It's a much safer investment than these wacky "lasers" you all are talking about. You sci-fi types have such
Do they come in any other
Do they come in any other
HWingo, Cunty Mints will sell like xrazy! Imagine the market, the possibilities! Both giver and receiver will be oh so pleased! But we do need a distribution channel.
I don't like the idea of manned space flight. I'd rather send the robots. Send Asimo and Aibo. They could dance in between digging for the valuable moon minerals.
Mmmh, I wouldn't trust those two together... who knows what they would
get up to?
NSFW robotic activities
Speaking strictly from a selfish point of view, I'd love to see the NASA budget all spent on robotic exploration. Can you imagine the potential of next-generation Mars Rover-type projects for Places like Europa, Titan, Triton, or even Venus? Or a highly ramped-up Terrestrial Planet Finder program? The (3 decades off, probably) Planet Imager project? These sorts of projects have a very high likelihood of making what would arguably be the single greatest discovery in the history of humanity: conclusive proof that life is out there, all over. However, I think that, considering that we should not abandon the manned exploration program, I think that this is the best, and most likely to succeed program NASA has ever had. Apollo was about a race. The Space Shuttle was about building an archipelago of LEO space stations. While Apollo was a resounding success, it was also hamstrung by congress having a Mission Accomplished feeling and cutting funding for expanded and more permanent exploration. I think this plan is well thought out (and to the people who are saying it's just Apollo all over again with the capsule, just because it is an old idea doesn't mean it's not a good one, or even arguably, the best one for transporting people), and balances ambition with achievability.
I've got your "distribution channel" right here, in my pants.
Flag, if that's what's going to happen, i say we increase the robotic space travel budget by a factor of ten. Imagine the entertainment value and franchise spinoffs.
However, I think that, considering that we should not abandon the manned exploration program
Why shouldn't we? Couldn't we achieve the same exploration/exploitation goals with robots at half the cost? For one thing we wouldn't have to spend the fuel to bring them back...
StoryBored: But then we'd have to get involved in the cost of developing robots. Let's just send all the
But me likey robots! Want robots now!
...preferably ones with little rubber feet so they don't make so much noise when they clump around...