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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: hokkaido53]
      #6252457 - 12/14/13 11:08 AM

Nasa proved that robots are far superior to humans, regarding scientific exploration, per kg of payload.
The mars rovers are superb, efficient and produce everyday their weight in scientific return. If you mention the cost now, the issue is settled.
Now what is true for the US must be true for the Chinese too. Conclusion : Science chooses robots.
To put man there, you have to use Zubrin's arguments, it's very different.


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groz
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 03/14/07

Loc: Campbell River, BC
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: Joad]
      #6252508 - 12/14/13 11:46 AM

Quote:


If you haven't noticed, every time (yes, every time) discussion of human space exploration comes up in this forum, the discussion veers away from the pure science of the matter (years ago, Groz clearly explained that a manned mission to Mars is impossible using available technologies, but the discussion keeps coming up) to socio-political disagreements.




That's why I dont participate much here anymore. Reality is, most of the discussion here is socio-political, disguised as an attempt at science. Years ago, I did exactly what you said, showed in great detail why some of these missions are impossible using todays technology, with the math to prove the point. It's all about propulsion systems, and area which I have _just a tad bit_ more than average knowledge. Altho in dreamland theory, some of these things can be done, what the dreamers dont include in the equation, is cost. Lofting a manned mission to mars today, would cost more than not just the GDP of any single nation, it would cost more than the GDP of all nations combined. That's the detail that most dreamers want to try sweep under the rug.

Over the last 7 years or so I have participated on CN, I've seen a few well informed folks show up off and on, and they all seem to fade away, for the same reason. There are a few here that have staunch opinions based outside of reality, and they are well versed in the techniques of misguiding online forums. I read an article a few days ago at a consipiracist website, a complete step by step set of directions on how to manipulate online forums, in an attempt to sweep facts and rational arguements under the rug, and displace them with the conspiracy fiction as the 'real facts'. Turns out, there are a significant number of regular posters here, that have read similar instructions, and engage in that practise regularily.

It kind of reminds me of a time, quite a while back. I was sitting in a bar, doing drinks with a couple of employees of one of my clients. Subject of lunar missions came up, and somebody suggested china and / or india were headed in that direction. Immediate response was something to the effect of 'big deal, we did that 50 years ago, it's old hat, old news'. I pointed out a minor detail, which they found quite upsetting. No, you didn't do that. Your grandparents generation did that, in the age of slide rules and vaccuum tubes. They had guts, and determination, so they got the job done. You on the other hand, just sit back and watch the television, and today, cannot even loft a man to low orbit, instead choose to outsource that task.

I really lost interest in the 'space exploration' subject as it is portrayed here on CN a few years back. Myself and somebody else that obviously studied in the field back when I did, ended up in a conversation that included the math as to why it's impossible to do many of the missions folks go on about, using chemical rockets as the propulsion mechanism. To successfully complete those missions, requires a new propulsion system, which is an order of magnitude, or two, more mass efficient than a chemical rocket. Showing that, is simple newtonian physics, based on the F=ma equation, with the limitations of a fluid / gas flowing in a nozzle.

And the whole process is ongoing again here, couple of folks are hijacking threads, displacing facts with opinion and fiction, all dressed up to present as the 'real truth', with some rather slanderous insinuations along the way, all designed to hit a few hot buttons that will stir up more folks that have a mild underlying racist bent, and get them 'on side', whilst driving away those who have informed opinions based on 'been there, done that'. And guess what, it's working. I cant be bothered to get into that kind of a discussion, there is no point. Doesn't matter how many facts one injects into that type of a discussion, somebody will dispute them with fiction dressed up to be an 'alternate fact', and the conversation goes nowhere.

Its very similar to getting into a discussion of hard science at the sub-atomic level, then somebody jumps in and de-rails factual discussion with string theory type of arguements. Injecting total fiction with no basis in fact, does a fantastic job of degenerating a discussion into a yelling match, which ends up discrediting everybody, including those with hard factual knowledge. It's all about manipulating forums, to sway the opinion of those who dont have a factual / informed base of knowledge on which to base opinion.

And back to the subject line material, I fully expect over the next few years, there will be LOTS of bickering online between americans and others, regarding the chinese space program, lots of accusations, etc. Most of it will be designed to foster an opion of 'they just stole it from us anyways'. But, the hard facts of the matter are actually indisputable.

a) China has a manned space program today, USA does not.
b) China has the political will to direct funding toward a lunar expedition, USA does not.
c) China has the manufacturing infrastructure to build what is required, USA does not.

Paint it any way you want, you cannot overpaint those facts, but, I bet within 24 hours there will be plenty of posts here on this thread trying to do so, sweep facts under the rug, provide dis-information to make it look otherwise, etc.

And in the end, China will loft a mission to the moon, while americans sit back and watch on 72 inch 'made in china' television sets. Just remember, purchasing those television sets, finance the chinese trip to the moon. Thank You Walmart.

And with that off my chest, I'll fade away into the background again, start my clock, and wait to see how long it takes for old thread to get re-visited, to try push this one off the front page. I'm going to bet long odds, the 'intelligent design' old threads end up above this one in short order, it's part of the forum misdirection strategies.


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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
*****

Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: groz]
      #6252591 - 12/14/13 12:37 PM

That's the problem. Americans keep getting fatter, lazier, and dumber. The space race against the Soviets (and the main reason, if not the sole reason, we went to the moon was to beat the Soviets, let's be honest) brought a great deal of progress to American scientific and mathematical education. The main benefit for manned space flight is to inspire the public.

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seryddwr
Innocent Bystander
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Reged: 02/19/10

Loc: La-la land.
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: seryddwr]
      #6252609 - 12/14/13 12:44 PM

BTW, I think China's government is doing this now in part to rub it in our faces. If we could convince the politicians of that, we might have a shot to increase NASA funding.

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groz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/14/07

Loc: Campbell River, BC
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: ColoHank]
      #6252639 - 12/14/13 12:58 PM

Quote:


Please list all of those "legitimate" benefits and assess their values (in terms of dollars or whatever) so we unconvinced voters can judge for ourselves whether human space exploration is worth the expense.




Dont have to list them all, just a few will do the trick.

Have you ever walked thru the grocery store, and see all the shelves full of disposable diapers, all based on a variant of the 'stay dry lining'? The first crude 'stay dry lining' was invented for the apollo astronauts, who would be trapped in suits for periods of many hours. That spun off into an industry, that over the years, has returned enough tax dollars to various taxation coffers to recover the ENTIRE original cost of the apollo program. Disposable diapers is an industry unto it's own today, which grew from seeds planted by the apollo research and development.

In the retail world, it's all about shelf space, and how much space gets allocated to various products. Shelf space is allocated based on how much margin is available in selling the product. There are many, many stores that dedicate an entire aisle to the disposable diaper, one of the direct spin-offs of the space program. That aisle dedicated to disposable diapers is not because they are being nice to young mom, it's because the economics justify allocating all that shelf space to disposable diapers.

There are many more examples, of technology developed specifically for that program, which are regular household items today, manufactured in mass quantity, that folks just take for granted, and spend lots of money on each and every day. Every one of those dollars spent, tallies into the current economy.

The voter problem you mention, that's a whole different beast. Trying to convince voters in a 'right now, instant gratification' type of consumer society that investments today, will pay off in spades for the next generation, that's pretty much an impossible sell. It's kind of hard to discuss long term investments with a demographic that has mortgaged the childrens future, for short term instant gratification stuff. They just dont 'get it'.

Edited by groz (12/14/13 01:00 PM)


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The Mighty Mo
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/12/13

Loc: South of North, North of South...
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: groz]
      #6252657 - 12/14/13 01:10 PM

You certainly make some very good points. Unfortunately, I think much of exploration is socio-political, so we unfortunately often do have to get into the discussions of the "why" and "how". If it were strictly about science and learning, then unmanned missions can teach us far, far, more for much, much, less. And this, the unmanned (science) vs manned (exploration and beyond science) is itself a socio-political motivated argument.

In this case and the Chinese space program, you are absolutely right Groz. And the reason for your a, b, and c list of China's capability and our outsourcing to China, are the socio-political result of why we are behind and don't have any manned spaceflight capability. And as you say, funding and budget concerns play a HUGE part, so that adds in. Not to mention, as you say, a need for a different type of propulsion, and the socio-political arguments of how to get the "fuel" for those into orbit.

Basically, I'm afraid we'll always have to have these discussions every time threads about these missions come up. I fear it's unavoidable. I am curious though, can you post a link to the website you mention with those instructions? Or PM me if you don't feel comfortable posting them here. I'd like a good laugh for the day.


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: groz]
      #6252705 - 12/14/13 01:42 PM

Quote:



Quote:


Please list all of those "legitimate" benefits and assess their values (in terms of dollars or whatever) so we unconvinced voters can judge for ourselves whether human space exploration is worth the expense.




Dont have to list them all, just a few will do the trick.

Have you ever walked thru the grocery store, and see all the shelves full of disposable diapers, all based on a variant of the 'stay dry lining'?




Yes, I have. I've also seen a lot of used disposable diapers discarded in parking lots and, in one very windy and rather impoverished part of the country where I once lived, even piled up against fences. In places, they combined with Budweiser cans to form drifts. Thankfully, folks who are more thoughtful ensure that their used disposables eventually reach a landfill, but then that creates its own set of challenges for local governments. One diaper in a landfill isn't a big stressor; tens of millions of them are.

Now, I have to admit that I'm old enough to have kids who used disposables for their own kids and wouldn't have had it any other way. I suppose for them it was a convenience, and I'm fine with that. I'm also old enough to know what great rags our repurposed cloth diapers became after our little ones (all now in their forties) were potty trained. Of course, that was before cloth-diaper manufacturers began stitching extra padding and a shape into their products.

When I posed the original question, I guess I was seeking evidence of lasting benefits more noble (at least in my opinion) than disposable diapers.


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groz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/14/07

Loc: Campbell River, BC
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: The Mighty Mo]
      #6252780 - 12/14/13 02:25 PM

Quote:

I am curious though, can you post a link to the website you mention with those instructions?




I didnt make a bookmark when I followed a link to it, thought it would be easy to find back. I originally wanted to put it in the original post, but couldn't find it at the time.

I dug thru browser history now, and here it is.

http://endthelie.com/books-and-reading-material/the-gentlepersons-guide-to-fo...


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The Mighty Mo
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/12/13

Loc: South of North, North of South...
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: groz]
      #6252793 - 12/14/13 02:32 PM

Thx, off to some entertaining afternoon reading. LOL.

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groz
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/14/07

Loc: Campbell River, BC
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: ColoHank]
      #6252828 - 12/14/13 02:47 PM

Quote:


When I posed the original question, I guess I was seeking evidence of lasting benefits more noble (at least in my opinion) than disposable diapers.




No, actually you asked specifically for 'in terms of dollars', which implies 'in terms of economic benefits'. Wether you like the product or not, doesn't matter. It generates jobs in the manufacture, distribution, and sales of the product. All of those jobs translate into food on the table for somebody, along with various tax slices as the product winds thru the system. Tally up all of those tax slices from start to delivered product, over the 40 years those products have been on the shelf, and it's a LOT of money that has fed directly back onto the government coffers that originally financed the development, not to mention all the food on various tables over the years.

But that's the whole thing, when dealing with opinions, what is worthy in one persons opinion, is unworthy in anothers opinion. This discrepancy has LOTS of examples availabe. But, if you define 'worthy' as 'economic benefit', then it becomes much simpler to define. Gross sales is the economic benefit, and the margins generated by those gross sales, filter directly into other areas of the economy. That is measurable, whereas opinions are like ***holes, everybody has one.

But, it is actually fairly easy to quantify the question in this case. There seems to be a lot of opinion here on CN, that space exploration is worth doing. My experience in conversation with most folks, is they want to see it done, but, they dont want to pay for it, would rather that somebody else paid the bills. So, I'll ask the question, bluntly.

If it meant a 2% increase in your personal tax rate, and that money flowed directly to manned space exploration R&D, would you vote for, or against the increase?

I'm willing to bet, more than half the proponents of more expenditures in the space program, will quantify that as 'by re-directing funds from elsewhere', and come up with lots of arguements to justify why they support the program, but, wont support a tax increase to pay for it. And that translates directly to 'want it, but want somebody else to pay for it'.


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choran
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: groz]
      #6252888 - 12/14/13 03:29 PM

Good points, Groz. During the Kennedy presidency when we were going full bore, tax cuts resulted in increased revenues to the treasury. We had not yet devolved into the entitlement society we have become, with more and more of our revenues locked in to various programs, and with less of the pie remaining for discretionary spending. Sure I'd give 2% extra if I could be assured it would go toward space exploration. Would I bet two cents that it would? Nope. Without raising taxes, one might also ask if people would give up a portion of their government benefits, be it medicaid, medicare, or a host of others. Of course, the answer is most probably would not agree do so. Entitlements, once in place, are rarely if ever cut back or eliminated. "Ask not what your country can do for you…" sounds terribly naive in this day and age. I certainly miss that attitude.

Back in the 50s and 60s it was imperative, in my view, that we beat the Russians to the moon, for a number of reasons. The program was a huge success in every way I can think of, truly. We have now allowed ourselves to become a society that may never again lead in this area. That is tragic, in my view. I can only hope that the next generation does a lot better than we have done in the past 50 years in getting our financial house in order so that the space program might once again thrive. Given the difficulty of the federal government undertaking large projects, this will not happen in my remaining years, I'm sure. It would take a change in the present national character, a total commitment and national unification around the goal, and risk taking. It would probably require a relaxing of environmental laws, labor laws, federal hiring laws, union labor requirements on federal projects, etc. Much would be required other than a 2% tax increase earmarked for space.

Edited by choran (12/14/13 03:36 PM)


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The Mighty Mo
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/12/13

Loc: South of North, North of South...
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: choran]
      #6252898 - 12/14/13 03:35 PM

Choran, without taking this too much further for fear of locking the thread, I'll also just say that I think a paradigm shift is about to take place in the industry, with the private sector taking over many of these functions, especially for NEO missions, which will result in a realignment of priorities and perhaps relaxation of funding for more advanced or longer range missions. I'm starting to think we (every spacefaring nation) are at the cusp of a drastic change, and the way things have been done the last 50 years is about to be turned on its head.

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choran
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: The Mighty Mo]
      #6252912 - 12/14/13 03:42 PM

Could be, Mo. I am nostalgic for the days when we were the undisputed pioneers in space travel. I'm just finishing up a good book called "Surrounded by Thunder", a very inspirational book about the early days of the space program starting with our efforts after the Russians put up sputnik. It centers on a guy named Darrell Loan, a rocket guy who was there for much of if. I tell you, we have lost so much of what we had. Let's hope things change.

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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: groz]
      #6252932 - 12/14/13 03:50 PM

Quote:


If it meant a 2% increase in your personal tax rate, and that money flowed directly to manned space exploration R&D, would you vote for, or against the increase?





That's the 64 billion dollar question, and worthy of a thread and poll of its own.

I'd pay it in a heartbeat.


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 06/07/07

Loc: western Colorado
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: choran]
      #6252944 - 12/14/13 03:57 PM

Just because the manufacture and sale of something generates dollars doesn't make it beneficial. Cocaine sales generate income. Tobacco sales generate income. Prostitution generates income. Blood diamonds generate income. Auto theft generates income. The harvesting of "new" ivory generates income. All of those dollars are fungible, so they work their way through the economy just like dollars from every other source. But most folks would probably agree that the products and activities that generate them aren't beneficial.

Disposable diapers may be useful, and their sale may produce income that moves through the economy, but they also have negative effects on the environment which are costly not only in terms of dollars but in terms of adverse impacts to environment and public health and safety. In 2006, they accounted for 2.1% of all landfill deposits in the U.S., and their manufacture has been intensely damaging to some ecosystems. Tally up those costs, compare them with the so-called economic benefits, and get back to me.


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The Mighty Mo
professor emeritus


Reged: 10/12/13

Loc: South of North, North of South...
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6252946 - 12/14/13 03:59 PM

I wouldn't Dave, for the very reason Groz proposes. Everytime something like this comes up, and we vote for this or that (whatever it is), very seldom does the money go where it's supposed to. And it often costs more than 2-3x what it should or was agreed to. And when the program is supposed to end, the tax is most often never canceled, just rediverted to another "need".

All this is why I'm looking forward to companies like SpaceX and others to take the lead.


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: The Mighty Mo]
      #6253044 - 12/14/13 05:12 PM

Well, as long as we're talking hypotheticals, the hypothetical here is that we would know and be able to verify that the funds are actually going where they are intended.

I know how diversion works, I was a professional victim of it for many years.

As you can tell from the other thread, I'm a big fan of SpaceX and privatized space commerce myself. But they don't have the same mandate that NASA does, and they can't do the things that NASA is mandated to do. NASA, I think, will always have to take the lead.

The only reason SpaceX is doing what it's doing is because Elon Musk is a mad genius. Most private companies will not be willing to take that same level of risk. NASA, in my perfect fantasy world, should be the one taking the risks and breaking new ground. That's what can justify their higher costs.

And finally -- sorry, my bad -- this thread should be about China's space program, which is very impressive. I'll try to stick to that from here on out.


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choran
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 12/28/12

Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: llanitedave]
      #6253079 - 12/14/13 05:41 PM

Dave, the thread is not only about China's program. Here is the Original Post:

"China is beefing up their manned space program, to include voyages to the moon and Mars.

Here are some details:
http://www.exploremars.org/msl-picture-of-the-day-t-14-days-eyes-on-mars-china

Questions for discussion:

Shouldn't the U.S. being doing likewise?
Why isn't the U.S. doing likewise?"

Edited by choran (12/14/13 05:43 PM)


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llanitedave
Humble Megalomaniac
*****

Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: choran]
      #6253264 - 12/14/13 07:24 PM

Right-o!

I do think the US should be conducting an integrated manned + robotic program of systematic exploration. I also think we should do it in partnership with the EU, with Russia, India, South Korea, and Japan. (And at some point, China too).

As for politics, I think such partnerships themselves, and our contributions to them, should be matters of national pride. And to further the pipe dream, I think we should not only fund our own share adequately, but encourage those other partners to hold up their ends.

We aren't doing any of that, and about all I can hope for is that China's success may trigger some sort of national shame that we aren't.

For that reason, and simply because I want to see knowledge progress, I applaud China's efforts.


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hokkaido53
sage


Reged: 05/07/12

Loc: New Mexico
Re: China is seriously working on manned space voyages new [Re: seryddwr]
      #6253646 - 12/14/13 11:48 PM

Quote:

BTW, I think China's government is doing this now in part to rub it in our faces. If we could convince the politicians of that, we might have a shot to increase NASA funding.



Also, the Chinese government remains essentially a dictatorship. If they decided the country should go to Mars, the citizenry would have no say in the matter: China would go to Mars.

- Roy


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