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scottk
sage


Reged: 08/29/09

Loc: Tennessee
Will we ever go to another planet?
      #5917339 - 06/12/13 04:53 PM

Had a conversation with my cousin recently. I said yes to this question. He was adamant that we (humans) would not. Can't go faster than light... blah... blah... blah...

I thought "what a ridiculous viewpoint he has."

200 years ago two cousins were having the same conversation about using a rocket to get to the moon. One said it would happen. The other said it would not, and well... we see how that turned out.


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WaterMasterAdministrator
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Reged: 02/17/10

Loc: Southeast Idaho, USA
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scottk]
      #5917408 - 06/12/13 05:38 PM

It depends on the planet . Other planets within our solar system are certainly within our technological reach. Planets orbiting other stars are more problematic. If the idea of 'generational ships' came to fruition, there would be no need for FTL travel, so those planets are also 'within reach'.

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scottk
sage


Reged: 08/29/09

Loc: Tennessee
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5917420 - 06/12/13 05:44 PM

Yeah those are the one's I'm talking about. I should've said other solar systems.

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Pess
(Title)
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Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scottk]
      #5917455 - 06/12/13 06:01 PM

Certainly we will.

They are close to within reach right now.

If we put all our planetary resources and technical skill into the endeavor, I am willing to bet we could build a generational starship that could span the gulf to the next nearest solar system.

Whether anything would be there is another question. Aslo, since the best speed of the ship would, at best, be a couple percent of light speed our descendants might not want to disembark from the only home they ever knew for some dirtball of a planet.

But putting humans on another planet in another system is doable with close to our present technology (we'd need a crash Apollo program again).

If we could get the Big Fat Ship (BFS) up to 1% of the speed of light we could make the transit to the nearest star in 4 or 5 generations.

Pesse (Of course, it might be nice to know if anything is there first...) Mist


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Matthew Ota
Hmmm


Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Los Angeles, California
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5917502 - 06/12/13 06:37 PM

I went to a NASA seminar last year and I told them that I was tired of us going around in circles since 1973 and not going into deep space, but then again I was preaching to the choir.

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Rick Woods
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Reged: 01/27/05

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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Matthew Ota]
      #5917507 - 06/12/13 06:40 PM

I think we certainly could, one way or the other. But I don't think we have the will to make the commitment.

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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5917541 - 06/12/13 07:07 PM

We have to really want to go, as a civilization. It seems that for now, as a civilization, we aren't interested.

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Joad
Wordsmith
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Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5917687 - 06/12/13 08:43 PM

One first has to answer the question: "who is 'We'"?

If by "we" is meant the United States, then it cannot be stated often enough that the entire impetus for the US entrance into the "space age" was entirely political, an artifact of the Cold War. Once the "space race," with the Soviet Union," was "won" by a number of moon landings (and by a Soviet abdication of manned space attempts beyond earth orbit), the US saw its manned space program coopted by a Shuttle program that was driven by military needs. Science was appended to this, but the foundation was military.

This is not a denunciation; it is a simple statement of the fact.

Today, with complex military problems that are largely involved with less technological opponents, not technological equals, the impetus for state-financed manned space exploration beyond earth orbit is non-existent (I am aware of private ambitions in this regard but doubt that the necessary resources are really there). It is possible that a successful manned landing someplace by a rival nation (no need to name names) could tweak US nationalist pride into making a commitment to spending the money required for future US manned space exploration, but it would happen under very different economic conditions than those the US enjoyed in the 1950s-1970s and would be very difficult, in part because the nature of US "civilization," too, is changing rapidly from the one that entered the space age over half a century ago.


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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Joad]
      #5917748 - 06/12/13 09:16 PM

I don't disagree with any of what you wrote, Joad, but the fact that we agree *is* in large part the problem itself. The overwhelmingly political nature of space projects is not limited to the U.S. Virtually every nation that has developed a space program has done so, at least initially, for political reasons. The irony is that the technological and economic benefits of space far outweigh the value of bragging rights, yet "we" (and this is an inclusive we, not merely a jingoistic one) all too often fail to acknowledge this, and end up with the equivalent of eating the seed corn, or allowing it to all be transferred to Monsanto.

Perhaps the cold war mentality has ossified our attitudes towards space, or perhaps it's too abstract for the average person to grasp, and thus support. I don't know. But we're doing ourselves (in a global sense) a huge disservice by neglecting the opportunity for advancement that space offers.

While I agree that for now corporations like SpaceX, Bigelow, Sierra Nevada, Orbital Sciences, and even Boeing lack the resources to do any more than take small bites out of the pie, and most of these may not have the ambition to even try, my hope remains that somebody will make enough money in that business to inspire others to join.

I'm not happy that the only way "we" are likely to get excited about space again is if it becomes immediately profitable to a small cadre of organizations, and I DON'T like the approach that Jeff Bezos is taking of patenting every space flight-related item he can draw a picture of (Particularly since amid all that flurry of patenting he's still not launching anything). But if that's what it takes to get us off the planet and pushing deeper, then better that way than no way.

Hopefully, when the corporations start to succeed, the governments will come around, and maybe we'll see not only international cooperation for important explorations, but even significant budgetary commitment.

A guy can dream...

Edited by llanitedave (06/12/13 09:17 PM)


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Joad
Wordsmith
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Reged: 03/22/05

Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5917775 - 06/12/13 09:32 PM

"Is" and "ought" are different things, as you know, Dave. While I certainly have my own list of "oughts," I have also concluded that discussing "oughts" in a public forum is useless—especially before there is an agreement on what "is," and in today's globally polarized environment, agreement on even what "is" is impossible.

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WaterMasterAdministrator
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Joad]
      #5917845 - 06/12/13 10:14 PM

I think both of you have done a good job of identifying some of the primary difficulties modern society faces with respect to the challenge of space travel.

There is, I believe, a potentially stronger motivation to re-engage in our attempts to escape the gravity well. I know you've heard me say this before, but the most basic tenet of ecology is that organisms alter their environment. This is neither good nor bad, it's 'nature'. We humans are incredibly capable when it comes to garnering ever more resources to support our exponentially increasing population. So, I postulate that the need for resources is highly likely to motivate exploration.

To return to the topic, I believe it is also much more likely that long, long before we go traipsing off to an unknown, dirt ball planet, we'll return to local space in search of those resources. Add a few generations to that scenario and I suspect we'll have done a pretty good job of filling our immediate neighborhood.


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Rick Woods
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Joad]
      #5918767 - 06/13/13 01:15 PM

Quote:

One first has to answer the question: "who is 'We'"?




Given the scope of the question, I think we can safely say "We" is Mankind.
And since we know who we is, we just need to decide what us do.


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scottk
sage


Reged: 08/29/09

Loc: Tennessee
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5918810 - 06/13/13 01:35 PM

Yes. Mankind.

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scopethis
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scottk]
      #5919198 - 06/13/13 05:30 PM

it's a Cook Book!!!!!

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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Joad]
      #5919463 - 06/13/13 08:07 PM

Quote:

"Is" and "ought" are different things, as you know, Dave. While I certainly have my own list of "oughts," I have also concluded that discussing "oughts" in a public forum is useless—especially before there is an agreement on what "is," and in today's globally polarized environment, agreement on even what "is" is impossible.




Well that depends on what your definition of "is", is. (I've been waiting forever to use that one on my own behalf! )

There is the "hard - is", unchanging facts of nature, such as "The speed of light in a vacuum *is* 299,792,458 m/s", or "The mass of an electron *is* 9.10938291 × 10-31 kilograms". There is the "firm - is", facts of nature that are true as of the present time, but are likely to change as things evolve, such as "The length of a sidereal day *is* 0.99726958 that of a mean solar day", or "The airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow (European, not African) *is* roughly 11 meters per second."
There is the "Civic/Historical - is", facts of history or civilization or geography that are well established, but may change if circumstances do, such as "The capital city of Texas *is* Austin", "The southernmost point of any state of the U.S. *is* the south coast of Hawaii".

THEN there is the "Soft - is", things that are true only because there is a local or temporal consensus, and can change fairly easily. This kind of *is* is, in fact, manufactured by the cultural acceptance of "oughts". A good example of this is "There *is* a lack of national or global commitment to an intensive program of space exploration".

BTW, I made up all these categories out of thin air, which *is* probably obvious to most of you. That categorization is another example of a "Soft - is", unless there's a consensus that it's wrong.

I think there's a broad agreement here that the *is* in question is that there *is* no real appetite among the general population for major national commitments to space travel. If there was, we would be doing it. So if true, according to your post above, we've already won half the battle.

That's where the "ought" comes in. Yes, most of the time there's no point in discussing "oughts" on a public forum, although if you take a sweeping survey of internet fora all over the world, I suspect you'll find that the great majority of all discussions involve exchanges of "oughts". Whether anyone's personal "oughts" ever change as a result of these discussions is debatable, but they're certainly popular. Anecdotally, I've found that a few of mine have been modified over time, and I've known a few other individuals who's opinions have changed due to informed and deep internet discussions combined with real curiosity and subsequent research.

Anyway, no amount of advocacy can change the hard or firm *is*-es. They are fixed by forces beyond our control, for the most part. However, the "Soft - is" is ripe for advocacy. And advocacy, properly managed, the skillful transfer and promotion of "oughts", has been proven time and time again to change these kinds of established facts, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. The Civil Rights movement is a perfect example of "ought-advocacy" that changed the current *is*.

Now this issue isn't anything like Civil Rights, particularly due to the fact that there are good and rational valid arguments not mired in prejudice on both sides. In a way, that also makes the discussion more interesting, and more educational for all concerned.

So yes, I have my "oughts", and a desire to change what *is*. And I think it's possible. You may with very good reason disagree with my "ought", holding that the current *is* is perfectly satisfactory. Other than by arm wrestling, this kind of issue will be resolved eventually in one way or the other, either by natural evolution of civilization, environment and technology, by catastrophe, or by a change in the public mood. I'm personally hoping to take advantage of the first, avoid the second, and be annoying about the third.


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StarWars
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scottk]
      #5919893 - 06/14/13 01:45 AM




As Ion propulsion is created for these asteroid chaser drones the most likely candidate would be mars..


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Pess
(Title)
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Reged: 09/12/07

Loc: Toledo, Ohio
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5920285 - 06/14/13 10:02 AM

Quote:

I think we certainly could, one way or the other. But I don't think we have the will to make the commitment.




It would take a planet wide effort. Perhaps if our sun was determined to go nova, or a black hole was gonna to make a close flyby or more Kardassians were going to be born....something like that.

Pesse (I bought 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy--you know, just in case) Mist


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Pess
(Title)
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Reged: 09/12/07

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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5920295 - 06/14/13 10:11 AM

Quote:

There is, I believe, a potentially stronger motivation to re-engage in our attempts to escape the gravity well. I know you've heard me say this before, but the most basic tenet of ecology is that organisms alter their environment. This is neither good nor bad, it's 'nature'. We humans are incredibly capable when it comes to garnering ever more resources to support our exponentially increasing population. So, I postulate that the need for resources is highly likely to motivate exploration.




Forgive my cynicism, but mankind is far more likely to 'prune back' its population than to expend limited resources heading off into space.

The Apollo program came out of a fear of the Soviets, not from any egalitarian notions. Exploration for the sake of exploration falls way down on the priority list. That's why we stopped sending men to the moon. No threat-no reason to go.

When technology allows relatively cheap escape from our gravity well, that will spur further reaching out. But right now, there is no overwhelming driving force or fear that will cause major resources to be committed to, say, a manned Mars mission.

I love space but I see no reason to make the huge commitment to send men to Mars right now. I mean I love large TV's, but also don't allocate the thousands for a 75" Plasma screen!

Another problem we have is legacy: Everyone wants their own. To support projects that may span a couple generations is very difficult. That's why a president may expand some grandiose mission only to see the next president trash it for his own vision.

Pesse (Mars or bust!) Mist


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groz
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5920448 - 06/14/13 11:57 AM

Quote:


There is, I believe, a potentially stronger motivation to re-engage in our attempts to escape the gravity well.





And this is the part where most folks are a little bit misled by popular conception. Everybody seems to think the earths gravity well is a huge detriment to 'going to the stars'. Reality is, earths gravity well is a difficult enough problem for current propulsion systems, but, it pales in scale compared to the REAL gravity well we have to escape.

The gravity well of our sun is many orders of magnitude larger, and a much more difficult problem, but, we dont really consider it today, because we still haven't got out of the smaller one with any sort of efficient mechanism.

A direct trajectory out of the solar system, that doesn't rely on multi year hallman trajectories and gravity assist encounters with other objects, is beyond the technology we have today.


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Skip
Starlifter Driver
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5920458 - 06/14/13 12:02 PM

Quote:

I love space but I see no reason to make the huge commitment to send men to Mars right now.




I do - but it is purely personal and selfish. I want to be alive when it happens so I can witness it!!


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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: StarWars]
      #5920524 - 06/14/13 12:34 PM

Quote:

As Ion propulsion is created for these asteroid chaser drones the most likely candidate would be mars..




Just getting to Mars faster is only half the battle. Once there, it's necessary to decelerate. The faster the approach, the longer the slow-down. Some of the Mars landers have had to make multiple elliptical orbits, barely skimming Mars' thin atmosphere on each pass, in order to slow down enough to initiate the landing sequence. The process often takes months. It's not an insurmountable problem (other issues relating to human health and safety are far more vexing), but it does prove, once again, that there's no such thing as a free lunch.


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Rudra
super member


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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5920550 - 06/14/13 12:48 PM

Why do we need to send humans to other planets? Why not send robotic missions (also sample return missions)? I am not sure what astronauts will accomplish which robotic landers cannot? The desire to have a human foot-print on the surface of another planet though exciting is not really worth the cost, risk and what could be achieved by undertaking such a mission.

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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rudra]
      #5920711 - 06/14/13 02:32 PM

Moon and Mars, that's it. Mars we could, but will we? not sure at all anymore. Probably not.

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llanitedave
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Reged: 09/26/05

Loc: Amargosa Valley, NV, USA
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rudra]
      #5921164 - 06/14/13 08:04 PM

Quote:

Why do we need to send humans to other planets? Why not send robotic missions (also sample return missions)? I am not sure what astronauts will accomplish which robotic landers cannot? The desire to have a human foot-print on the surface of another planet though exciting is not really worth the cost, risk and what could be achieved by undertaking such a mission.




What will make it worth the cost is the potential for profit. The one thing humans can possibly do on other planets that robots cannot is live, inhabit, colonize, and reproduce there.


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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5921196 - 06/14/13 08:31 PM

Quote:

What will make it worth the cost is the potential for profit.




Profit? Who would profit? And how?


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Matthew Ota
Hmmm


Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Los Angeles, California
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5921211 - 06/14/13 08:44 PM

I believe that we need a commitment to expand human presence out into the solar system, if not only to perpetuate the species.

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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5921225 - 06/14/13 08:51 PM

Quote:

Quote:

What will make it worth the cost is the potential for profit.




Profit? Who would profit? And how?




That will be up to whatever society actually does it.


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ColoHank
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 06/07/07

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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5921586 - 06/15/13 01:25 AM

I hope they know how to do a cost/benefit analysis.

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scottk
sage


Reged: 08/29/09

Loc: Tennessee
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Skip]
      #5922296 - 06/15/13 01:30 PM

Yeah... It's kind of annoyig that people in 5 or 6000 years will look at our civilization as primitave and barbaric, just as we often do the ancient Egyptians.

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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scottk]
      #5922900 - 06/15/13 09:48 PM

Not annoying to me. We really are still barbaric, in a number of ways.

I do hope we grow out of it.


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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5922908 - 06/15/13 09:54 PM

Quote:

I hope they know how to do a cost/benefit analysis.




I'm sure they will. But it will be under their individual definitions of costs and benefits, not ours. These equations do change, and drastically, as technologies, opportunities, circumstances and priorities evolve. What was once a cost might later be seen as a benefit, and vice versa.

I'm relatively confident that at some time in our future history, assuming the big IF we survive the next few generations, living among the asteroids and comets will be calculated as having more benefits than costs.


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amicus sidera
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scottk]
      #5923058 - 06/15/13 11:48 PM

Will we ever go to another planet?

Considering our collective ruination of this planet, I sincerely hope not.


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OpalescentNebula
sage


Reged: 01/11/07

Loc: Calgary, Alberta, Observing so...
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5923182 - 06/16/13 03:05 AM

I would agree with Dave.

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PhilCo126
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: OpalescentNebula]
      #5923755 - 06/16/13 01:07 PM

Just check: http://i4is.org/

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InterStellarGuy
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scottk]
      #5924304 - 06/16/13 07:43 PM

Quote:

Had a conversation with my cousin recently. I said yes to this question. He was adamant that we (humans) would not. Can't go faster than light... blah... blah... blah...

I thought "what a ridiculous viewpoint he has."

200 years ago two cousins were having the same conversation about using a rocket to get to the moon. One said it would happen. The other said it would not, and well... we see how that turned out.




In the future we will have no choice. Earth won't be habitable forever. When that time comes we either move or
go extinct.


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FirstSightModerator
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5924436 - 06/16/13 09:16 PM

Quote:


If we put all our planetary resources and technical skill into the endeavor, I am willing to bet we could build a generational starship that could span the gulf to the next nearest solar system.




I can think of some people whom it would be worth the cost to put aboard such an "intergenerational" spaceship and send them far, far, away to never personally return. Whether most of the people I have in mind would actually want to go...that's beside the point.


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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5924529 - 06/16/13 10:20 PM

Isn't that how Australia was settled?

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Mister T
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 02/01/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5924936 - 06/17/13 06:59 AM

not from the Aborigines' point of view...

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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: InterStellarGuy]
      #5925231 - 06/17/13 11:02 AM

Quote:

In the future we will have no choice. Earth won't be habitable forever. When that time comes we either move or
go extinct.




That's what the dinosaurs did. Knowing that the Earth was about to be impacted by an errant asteroid, a few of them built a generational ship and headed for the stars -- some place in the constellation Draco, I think. Of course, those of them that stayed behind, the really unimaginative and short-sighted ones, didn't fare so well.

Thinking that such activity would represent salvation for the human race in the face of imminent destruction might prompt me to begin searching the heavens for the constellation Hubris (the asterism resembles a big pie in the sky).


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Pess
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5925313 - 06/17/13 11:43 AM

Quote:

In the future we will have no choice. Earth won't be habitable forever. When that time comes we either move or
go extinct.




You doubt human ingenuity. We could poison the atmosphere beyond reclamation or let runaway greenhouse effect take over...but humanity will build retreats and survive. No different than building a self-contained spaceship.

Of course, these 'specialized' redoubts will no doubt fail to hold the entire population of planet Earth so some thinning of the herd is inevitable.

Pesse (Life may become something you 'earn' as opposed to being entitled to) Mist


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scottk
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5925433 - 06/17/13 12:36 PM

Then there's the Fermi Paradox. Why are there not endless civilizations contacting us?

Perhaps they all destroyed themselves shortly after discovering how to split an atom.


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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5925469 - 06/17/13 12:50 PM

Yes, we'll build retreats. Here on Earth. In fact, we always have. That's why some of us opt to dwell in warm homes rather sleeping out in blizzards.

There's a huge difference, though, between all of us seeking to live rather then relying on a select few to perpetuate the species via transport to other worlds. The latter option, to paraphrase Aldo Leopold, would be like relegating happiness to heaven. The vast majority of us would never get there.

I'd hope that human ingenuity focuses on keeping the Earth habitable for all members of all species (except for gnats, maybe) rather than figuring that a few lucky(?) souls can jump ship when the going gets really bad. If we can anticipate that thinning of the herd is desirable, wouldn't it make more sense to consider some serious changes in family planning now in order to avert a large-scale calamity later?


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Pess
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5925529 - 06/17/13 01:20 PM

Quote:

Yes, we'll build retreats. Here on Earth. In fact, we always have. That's why some of us opt to dwell in warm homes rather sleeping out in blizzards.

There's a huge difference, though, between all of us seeking to live rather then relying on a select few to perpetuate the species via transport to other worlds. The latter option, to paraphrase Aldo Leopold, would be like relegating happiness to heaven. The vast majority of us would never get there.

I'd hope that human ingenuity focuses on keeping the Earth habitable for all members of all species (except for gnats, maybe) rather than figuring that a few lucky(?) souls can jump ship when the going gets really bad. If we can anticipate that thinning of the herd is desirable, wouldn't it make more sense to consider some serious changes in family planning now in order to avert a large-scale calamity later?





Yeah, humanity has always shown a willingness to look ahead and plan.....

But if we can, we will send out colony ships.

Remember all those pilgrams who left the nice warm fires of Europe to explore an itchy-scratchy existence in the New World?

Oh, we'll go alright.

Pesse (To Infinity & Beyond!) Mist


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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5925563 - 06/17/13 01:41 PM

Have a nice trip.

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Rudra
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5925582 - 06/17/13 01:48 PM

And how these multi-generational ships will be made self sustaining? These spaceships, how their parts, that go bad or break, will be replaced? From where would we get the replacements? I do not think Kragen's or O'reilly Auto Store will be on the way, somewhere.

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Pess
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rudra]
      #5925664 - 06/17/13 02:22 PM

Quote:

And how these multi-generational ships will be made self sustaining? These spaceships, how their parts, that go bad or break, will be replaced? From where would we get the replacements? I do not think Kragen's or O'reilly Auto Store will be on the way, somewhere.




It would definitely have to be big enough and have enough redundancy to be capable of repairs, fabrication etc enroute.

Recycling must approach almost 99.9% or the expendable depletion would be catastrophic. Even that 0.1% loss might be too much in a multigenerational ship.

Redundant, refined dependable fusion plants are required for sure as Hydrogen can be scooped in route.

Absolutely everything must be recycled...and I mean everything

Pesse (Please pass the Solyant Green and gravy) Mist


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Rick Woods
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rudra]
      #5925666 - 06/17/13 02:23 PM

The people who would go on such a trip would theoretically be the cream of the crop; People who can think and improvise their way out of any problem, handle any emergency with a cool head. Super people. And, when they colonize and start reproducing and populating this extra-solar planet, they will be the superior race we eventually contact.

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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5925835 - 06/17/13 04:01 PM

Quote:



Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And how these multi-generational ships will be made self sustaining? These spaceships, how their parts, that go bad or break, will be replaced? From where would we get the replacements? I do not think Kragen's or O'reilly Auto Store will be on the way, somewhere.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



It would definitely have to be big enough and have enough redundancy to be capable of repairs, fabrication etc enroute.

Recycling must approach almost 99.9% or the expendable depletion would be catastrophic. Even that 0.1% loss might be too much in a multigenerational ship.

Redundant, refined dependable fusion plants are required for sure as Hydrogen can be scooped in route.

Absolutely everything must be recycled...and I mean everything

Pesse (Please pass the Solyant Green and gravy) Mist




Better take along a healthy supply of banjos, too. By the time that multi-generational ship reaches its destination, everyone on board is going to be so in-bred they'll look like the guy on the porch in Deliverance.

But no problem. Someone is bound to chime in and say that, by then, we'll know how to alter human genetics to achieve whatever result we desire, including the creation of humans who are no longer quite human. So, is that the purpose of this fantasy, to ensure the survival of a select few people -- descendants of the so-called cream-of-the-crop -- who aren't quite human?


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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rudra]
      #5925898 - 06/17/13 04:30 PM

Quote:

And how these multi-generational ships will be made self sustaining? These spaceships, how their parts, that go bad or break, will be replaced? From where would we get the replacements? I do not think Kragen's or O'reilly Auto Store will be on the way, somewhere.




That's simple. We can contract with the folks who make the ships for those cruise lines that have been much in the news just lately. They know all about making trouble-free conveyances.

And, heaven forbid, if there's any problem, affected passengers get a $500 credit toward the next voyage.


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Classic8
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5925999 - 06/17/13 05:32 PM

We could just send the politicians. The thrust from their verbosity should be enough to accelerate the ship to near light speeds, thus eliminating long travel times. And getting them out of our hair sooner.

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Pess
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5926022 - 06/17/13 05:44 PM

Quote:

Quote:



Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And how these multi-generational ships will be made self sustaining? These spaceships, how their parts, that go bad or break, will be replaced? From where would we get the replacements? I do not think Kragen's or O'reilly Auto Store will be on the way, somewhere.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



It would definitely have to be big enough and have enough redundancy to be capable of repairs, fabrication etc enroute.

Recycling must approach almost 99.9% or the expendable depletion would be catastrophic. Even that 0.1% loss might be too much in a multigenerational ship.

Redundant, refined dependable fusion plants are required for sure as Hydrogen can be scooped in route.

Absolutely everything must be recycled...and I mean everything

Pesse (Please pass the Solyant Green and gravy) Mist




Better take along a healthy supply of banjos, too. By the time that multi-generational ship reaches its destination, everyone on board is going to be so in-bred they'll look like the guy on the porch in Deliverance.

But no problem. Someone is bound to chime in and say that, by then, we'll know how to alter human genetics to achieve whatever result we desire, including the creation of humans who are no longer quite human. So, is that the purpose of this fantasy, to ensure the survival of a select few people -- descendants of the so-called cream-of-the-crop -- who aren't quite human?




If we can have a ship big enough to carry 150 people, then we are good for 20 generations or so.

Many more if people are allowed to take multiple breeding partners....

Pesse (Hugh Hefner has created the template) Mist


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 09/30/08

Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5926319 - 06/17/13 08:44 PM

In that case frozen embryos would do better. Also, we must assume that by the time such project is launched, progress in artificial wombs allow for gestation of these embryos, or a chimp colony is set for this purpose. When approaching the nearby star, and after 'delivery' from the artificial womb, then I guess it's up to robots to take care of the human children and educate them.

A step further would be to take human dna code and synthetise the dna only when approaching destination. The 'synthetic' dna would be injected and 'fertilized' with another synthetic dna inside an ovocyte...but that's lot of trouble. The only advantage of that is that the dna has not be cryopreserved for too long and should not be dammaged.

Transporting the Dna frozen from each partners during all the journey is definitively easyer but the DNA code must be available on a durable support (like several redundant platinum dvd or hard drives) in order to compare the frozen dna and repair the genetic damages caused by thousands of years of cryoconservation.
Look at the frozen Mammoth dna found in Siberia: it's good enough for being sequenced but too damaged to be usefull for a direct fertilization.

But delivery of frozen dna is definitively doable if a hard copy of the dna code is available to repair the damages in the frozen dna, by homologous recombination for example.
Using the Mammoth dna as an example, and providing the Dna can be repaired if necessary once arrived at destination, i'd say we could easily send frozen human dna suitable for fertilization, for duration up to 30-40,000 years, and probably close to a million years, whatever the distance covered during that time.


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Rudra
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: dickbill]
      #5926696 - 06/18/13 12:33 AM

I think given the potential of technology, science and mathematics, one would not need even spaceships. Just a technology that can beam you to a distant planet in distant galaxy where you have your office and then be back on earth by dinner. Spaceships aren't needed at all.

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Brent Campbell
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5926807 - 06/18/13 03:02 AM

Quote:

The people who would go on such a trip would theoretically be the cream of the crop; People who can think and improvise their way out of any problem, handle any emergency with a cool head. Super people. And, when they colonize and start reproducing and populating this extra-solar planet, they will be the superior race we eventually contact.




Historically though that is not what colonized continents. If you are the cream of the crop you are going to have plenty of opportunities right here at home. We want the damaged people. "Our ancestors got kicked out of every decent country in the world" (Bill Murray Stripes).

The "damaged people" have little to loose by rolling the dice. And traveling to another planet is rolling the dice in a huge manner. If your life sucks at home with few prospects of improving it, then you may have nothing to loose by trying something different.


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UND_astrophysics
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Reged: 01/19/13

Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: dickbill]
      #5926815 - 06/18/13 03:17 AM

Frozen embryos are out of the question.
There is a big problem with anything that involves long term cryogenics..
-

The child, or donor must be raised from birth in a specific isolated environment that is free from all natural radioactive elements that we as humans take in during our lifetimes. Any long term cryo preservation of tissue, body, or DNA after several thousands of years will be damaged by decay of atomic particles that are in it's cells, resulting in mutation and death. The only way to avoid it is to specifically raise a generation that is somehow completely isolated and free of all naturally occurring radioactive elements, and that is an ethical dilemma, and technical problem.
-

As far as generational ships. this will require a religious type cult to sustain the purpose of the generational mission. Short of anything else, there are no guarantees there will not be a mutiny, we see it constantly in Earth's history and politics.
-

Another problem we create a generation starship that can reach another system in 40,000 years, but 500 years later we create technology that allows us to reach the same star in 1000 years. Big problem there, because we have already made the original mission worthless.
-

There are a lot of sci-fi movies and stuff out there that is just plain wrong, and I got to the point that I cannot even enjoy science fiction and "discovery channel" type shows anymore because the science is so incorrect.
-

Though I might add I sincerely wish these long term missions were as easy as some think they are.


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Mister T
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5926881 - 06/18/13 06:40 AM

The hardest part about sending humans to another planet is that we have to send humans.

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Pess
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5926977 - 06/18/13 08:15 AM

Quote:

Frozen embryos are out of the question.
There is a big problem with anything that involves long term cryogenics..




The population would have to breed throughout the journey. A few tens of thousands of frozen embryos could be taken and 'utilized' to maintain a broader gene pool. So your frozen embryos would only have to stay viable for a few hundred years or less. Freeze-thaw-grow-harvest=refreeze.

Quote:



As far as generational ships. this will require a religious type cult to sustain the purpose of the generational mission. Short of anything else, there are no guarantees there will not be a mutiny, we see it constantly in Earth's history and politics.
-




or just a really, really good constitution.

Quote:


Another problem we create a generation starship that can reach another system in 40,000 years, but 500 years later we create technology that allows us to reach the same star in 1000 years. Big problem there, because we have already made the original mission worthless.
-




Let's hope our Earth bound brethren are not real snots and maintain contact with the generational ship...and forward any new technologies that are developed.

Quote:


There are a lot of sci-fi movies and stuff out there that is just plain wrong, and I got to the point that I cannot even enjoy science fiction and "discovery channel" type shows anymore because the science is so incorrect.
-




Yeah, I cringe when Star trek ship crew 'beam' right to a planet without consideration of pressure differences. Don't they ever get the bends??!!

Quote:


Though I might add I sincerely wish these long term missions were as easy as some think they are.




Pesse (me too) Mist


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dickbill
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rudra]
      #5927099 - 06/18/13 09:35 AM

Quote:

I think given the potential of technology, science and mathematics, one would not need even spaceships. Just a technology that can beam you to a distant planet in distant galaxy where you have your office and then be back on earth by dinner. Spaceships aren't needed at all.




Good point, providing we find an extraterrestrial civilization somewhere, with the technology to synthezise dna, we could just beam our dna code to them.
A technicaly advanced civilization would probably ask for this information anyway, as part of the exchange of other informations we would have with them. What would they do with our dna code?

Also, human embryos (that is a fertilized egg at the minimum ) would suffer from long period of cryoconservation even if there were no radiations (i assume they would be shielded from it anyways) that's why it's better to send frozen dna, which would still be degraded but could be repaired, IF the purpose was to set a human colony on another planet. Needless to say, extremely efficient robots are absolutely necessary for this project.
Alternatively, we could go the 'Prometheus' way (the movies): send primitive dna, from early species of chordates, plants and bacterias etc, a let them recapitulate evolution with no garanties it will produce a human being.


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CounterWeight
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: dickbill]
      #5927309 - 06/18/13 11:27 AM

I think starting with small steps is the answer. Calculated effort and perceived difficulty and benefits vs. actual - you just don't know for certain until you do it. Start with a base or three on Luna, see what really happens. Then off to mars and it's moons, then to the asteroid belt, then past the belt. Taking small steps we are forced to do what we can with what we have. The technology 'leap frog' should not be huge, though learning from the process itself is possible too. But to not do it at all and relegate the effort to star-trek and Hollywood and sci-fi fantasy we are stuck in the perception stage of it all. I've often thought the difficulty in this 'Luna first' thinking is that it is politically 'too close' and we could just take our 'issues' out there and be hamstrung or worse. But then too, maybe not - or at least the issues might somehow evolve along with the effort.

At the end of the day, maybe we would be more thoughtful about the ideal space ship for the species we already inhabit.

There could be so much done WRT 'proof of concept' and discovery just making a moon base I don't see any good reason not to do it. I'd rather go through the discovery part of it with the relatively short distance first rather than need to somehow come up with miracles later.


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Ptarmigan
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scottk]
      #5927342 - 06/18/13 11:41 AM

I think we will go to another planet in the future. Most likely Mars.

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groz
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5927391 - 06/18/13 12:02 PM

Quote:


There could be so much done WRT 'proof of concept' and discovery just making a moon base I don't see any good reason not to do it.





Here is a good reason. The cost of keeping 3 to 6 humans in a low orbit situation, is already beyond the capability of a single national economy, requires co-operation of multiple nations.

Expand the travel to include a second gravity well on an airless chunk of rock, and the cost to maintain that base just went beyond the capability of the entire planet. And that's just for a handful of folks, nowhere near a count that has potential to become self sustaining.

Then again, if some form of threat showed up, which could be mitigated with a lunar base, then it would possibly happen. If the majority of defense spending by all countries was diverted to a lunar presence, that would possibly result in enough resource allocation to get the job done.

Not going to happen in my lifetime. The public today is more interested in building walls around various countries than it is in expanding our footprint to the solar system. It happened in the eastern bloc decades ago, and it's ongoing in the west today.

On the bright side, history has a lesson for us. Walls patrolled by armed guards and helicopters, ultimately bankrupt the countries building them, and cause changes in the politics. It's happened before, and it will happen again. Eventually, out of that will come a society tired of diverting resources in that direction, and start diverting them elsewhere. By then, maybe the technology of propulsion will allow for an economical way of moving outward, and things will truely change.

But, I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.


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Rick Woods
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Brent Campbell]
      #5927423 - 06/18/13 12:25 PM

Quote:

Quote:

The people who would go on such a trip would theoretically be the cream of the crop; People who can think and improvise their way out of any problem, handle any emergency with a cool head. Super people. And, when they colonize and start reproducing and populating this extra-solar planet, they will be the superior race we eventually contact.




Historically though that is not what colonized continents. If you are the cream of the crop you are going to have plenty of opportunities right here at home. We want the damaged people. "Our ancestors got kicked out of every decent country in the world" (Bill Murray Stripes).

The "damaged people" have little to loose by rolling the dice. And traveling to another planet is rolling the dice in a huge manner. If your life sucks at home with few prospects of improving it, then you may have nothing to loose by trying something different.




Brent,

Historically, you're correct, of course. But there's an order or two of magnitude difference between the skills required to be passengers on a sailing ship, and those required to maintain a massive piece of technology like an interstellar craft. In the past, the people fled their home countries on vessels that were common and easily available. A starship would be a slightly different matter.
And, I guarantee there would be a long waiting line of qualified people wanting to be included in the crew. If any dice rolling is done, it would be to see who wins a berth. The winners, not the losers, would be the ones to go.


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dickbill
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Ptarmigan]
      #5927424 - 06/18/13 12:25 PM

Quote:

I think we will go to another planet in the future. Most likely Mars.




yes but Mars doesn't really count. It's in our solar system. The question is for extrasolar planets.


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Mxplx2
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: dickbill]
      #5927665 - 06/18/13 02:34 PM

Will we ever go to another planet? Let's turn it around and ask if we came from another planet, religious beliefs aside. Our progenitors might have trashed their home planet and passed that trait onto us.

I think it was a crash landing in the Garden of Eden with only two survivors.

Edited by Mxplx2 (06/18/13 04:08 PM)


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scopethis
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Mxplx2]
      #5927876 - 06/18/13 04:24 PM

yep. that's what happens when naked people fly spaceships....

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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5928303 - 06/18/13 09:34 PM

Quote:

I think starting with small steps is the answer. Calculated effort and perceived difficulty and benefits vs. actual - you just don't know for certain until you do it. Start with a base or three on Luna, see what really happens. Then off to mars and it's moons, then to the asteroid belt, then past the belt. Taking small steps we are forced to do what we can with what we have. The technology 'leap frog' should not be huge, though learning from the process itself is possible too. But to not do it at all and relegate the effort to star-trek and Hollywood and sci-fi fantasy we are stuck in the perception stage of it all. I've often thought the difficulty in this 'Luna first' thinking is that it is politically 'too close' and we could just take our 'issues' out there and be hamstrung or worse. But then too, maybe not - or at least the issues might somehow evolve along with the effort.

At the end of the day, maybe we would be more thoughtful about the ideal space ship for the species we already inhabit.

There could be so much done WRT 'proof of concept' and discovery just making a moon base I don't see any good reason not to do it. I'd rather go through the discovery part of it with the relatively short distance first rather than need to somehow come up with miracles later.




I'm certain that's what will happen. There will be no epic mission from this planet to some extra-solar planet. There will be mobile habitats within the solar system, starting in the asteroid belt, then gradually extending outward to the Kuiper belt, and finally the Oort cloud. These habitats will be extracting resources off the small icy bodies there, away from strong gravitational fields and the need to travel at high speeds. When a habitat gets crowded, all the resources to build another are right there at their fingertips (or perhaps their tentacle-tips, depending on how they've evolved). Only when traveling leisurely from one frozen comet to another a few tens of A.U. away, probably using some sort of efficient ion propulsion powered by a fusion generator (or maybe an advanced E-CAT device, if we're dealing with the HMS Rossi ) will it seem like a natural thing to slip beyond the sphere of the Sun's gravitational influence, almost without noticing, and set a course for another mundane icy body that happens to be (barely) within the gravitational sphere of the next star out. Do this a few billion times, over a few million years, and our descendants have colonized the entire galaxy without even realizing it, and without ever setting foot on a large rocky planet.


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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5928316 - 06/18/13 09:44 PM

Sounds like a pretty sterile and confining existence to me. Think I'll go for a hike in the desert.

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Rick Woods
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5928329 - 06/18/13 09:51 PM

Quote:

Sounds like a pretty sterile and confining existence to me. Think I'll go for a hike in the desert.




Ditto.
Sorry, Dave, your Oort-cloud-denizen future sounds kind of awful to me. Make mine gravity - I like my bones.


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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5928339 - 06/18/13 10:00 PM

Hiking in the desert is where I get a lot of these crazy ideas.

Thing is, a huge percentage of the members of western civilization already live, quite happily perhaps, under conditions that I would already consider sterile and confining. Every time my wife and I have to make a trip to Las Vegas, we look at each other as we hit the first set of ugly boxes and repeat to each other our mutual gratitude that we no longer live in that environment. If for some reason I had to return to urban or even suburban living, I fear my life expectancy would become very nasty, brutish, and short. (Kind of like Danny DeVito).

But people jostle for the opportunity to acquire those places -- they consider living in them a sign of having "made it".

An intercometary habitat doesn't have to be a small tin can, it can be as fancy and diverse as its residents want to make it, within the limits of their imagination and resources. And as rich as comets are in raw resources, I don't consider the desire to build a fairly luxurious space city to be much of a problem. Once the population is large enough, and people consider it home, then quality of life is something they can create and define for themselves.

In my experience, most (not all, but most) human beings desire social status over freedom and even material widgets, and as long as there are plenty of other people to live with and in opposition to, they'll carry with them all the values they need to be happy, or to make each other miserable. I don't see it as being any different than living in Las Vegas.

You and I wouldn't be able to abide it. But neither you nor I constitutes the future of humanity. We're anachronisms, for better or worse.


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Pess
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: groz]
      #5928751 - 06/19/13 07:35 AM

Quote:




Here is a good reason. The cost of keeping 3 to 6 humans in a low orbit situation, is already beyond the capability of a single national economy, requires co-operation of multiple nations.

Expand the travel to include a second gravity well on an airless chunk of rock, and the cost to maintain that base just went beyond the capability of the entire planet. And that's just for a handful of folks, nowhere near a count that has potential to become self sustaining.

Then again, if some form of threat showed up, which could be mitigated with a lunar base, then it would possibly happen. If the majority of defense spending by all countries was diverted to a lunar presence, that would possibly result in enough resource allocation to get the job done.

Not going to happen in my lifetime. The public today is more interested in building walls around various countries than it is in expanding our footprint to the solar system. It happened in the eastern bloc decades ago, and it's ongoing in the west today.

On the bright side, history has a lesson for us. Walls patrolled by armed guards and helicopters, ultimately bankrupt the countries building them, and cause changes in the politics. It's happened before, and it will happen again. Eventually, out of that will come a society tired of diverting resources in that direction, and start diverting them elsewhere. By then, maybe the technology of propulsion will allow for an economical way of moving outward, and things will truely change.

But, I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.




Pesse (Very well said) Mist


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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5928757 - 06/19/13 07:44 AM

Quote:

Quote:

Sounds like a pretty sterile and confining existence to me. Think I'll go for a hike in the desert.




Ditto.
Sorry, Dave, your Oort-cloud-denizen future sounds kind of awful to me. Make mine gravity - I like my bones.




On the contrary, echoing what Dave said, my expectation is that generational ships may become so much 'Home' that they fly right by perfectly good planets and set up resdience in the Ort clouds of Solar systems. Then, when things get too crowded in the neighborhood, additional generational ships are made from the handy resources and set out to explore in another direction....but then that brings us right back to the paradox of why aliens are not here already? Certainly enough time has passed for them to setup in most hospitable solar systems.....

...my thought is they have, they just see no reason to come deep into the systems gravity well just to say hello.

And, again as our desert addled moderator suggests , The aliens may have adapted themselves to spaceflight so well that gravity kills.

Pesse (The utilizable space of a ship goes up geometrically if you are not confined to a 'floor') Mist


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UND_astrophysics
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5928857 - 06/19/13 09:35 AM

Von Neumann universal constructors, and no reason to.

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CounterWeight
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5929111 - 06/19/13 12:11 PM

Well our congress (USA) is soon to release the next funding cycle and depending on the exact flavor and language that eventually get approved, it is back to the moon and then mars via the moon effort. I am glad to see something so sensible. Interesting to see how it might unfold, ISS to Luna... I wonder if the transit and supply vehicles could be assembled and fueled from materials in orbit. Also am curious if the idea of using the 'space elevator' concept on Luna would eventually find merit?

As to the point of what brought up earlier, I do remember something about a certain country that made it to the moon (and back) several times while there was a lot of civil unrest over an unpopular war (and much else), I'll let it go at that.

Edited by CounterWeight (06/19/13 02:19 PM)


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hm insulators
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Classic8]
      #5929317 - 06/19/13 01:54 PM

Quote:

We could just send the politicians. The thrust from their verbosity should be enough to accelerate the ship to near light speeds, thus eliminating long travel times. And getting them out of our hair sooner.




Hear! Hear!


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hm insulators
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5929321 - 06/19/13 01:58 PM

Quote:

Quote:



Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------











Better take along a healthy supply of banjos, too. By the time that multi-generational ship reaches its destination, everyone on board is going to be so in-bred they'll look like the guy on the porch in Deliverance.






No problem!



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hm insulators
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rudra]
      #5929325 - 06/19/13 01:59 PM

Quote:

And how these multi-generational ships will be made self sustaining? These spaceships, how their parts, that go bad or break, will be replaced? From where would we get the replacements? I do not think Kragen's or O'reilly Auto Store will be on the way, somewhere.




The Handyman's Secret Weapon: Duct tape.


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hm insulators
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Mister T]
      #5929332 - 06/19/13 02:03 PM

Quote:

The hardest part about sending humans to another planet is that we have to send humans.




Good point.


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Rick Woods
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5929429 - 06/19/13 02:39 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Sounds like a pretty sterile and confining existence to me. Think I'll go for a hike in the desert.




Ditto.
Sorry, Dave, your Oort-cloud-denizen future sounds kind of awful to me. Make mine gravity - I like my bones.




On the contrary, echoing what Dave said, my expectation is that generational ships may become so much 'Home' that they fly right by perfectly good planets and set up resdience in the Ort clouds of Solar systems. Then, when things get too crowded in the neighborhood, additional generational ships are made from the handy resources and set out to explore in another direction....but then that brings us right back to the paradox of why aliens are not here already? Certainly enough time has passed for them to setup in most hospitable solar systems.....

...my thought is they have, they just see no reason to come deep into the systems gravity well just to say hello.

And, again as our desert addled moderator suggests , The aliens may have adapted themselves to spaceflight so well that gravity kills.

Pesse (The utilizable space of a ship goes up geometrically if you are not confined to a 'floor') Mist




Still sounds awful. But hey - to each his own!


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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5929471 - 06/19/13 02:55 PM

Quote:

Still sounds awful. But hey - to each his own!




Pesse (Everything is relative. To a Dolphin, a desert sounds a little gritty...) Mist


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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5929502 - 06/19/13 03:10 PM

Quote:

I wonder if the transit and supply vehicles could be assembled and fueled from materials in orbit.




Of course they could. All we'd have to do is duplicate all of the extractive, refining, processing, and manufacturing capabilities which are employed for similar tasks here on Earth. Any idea how many specialized contractors and subcontractors (companies, not individual workers) have been involved in one way or another with the creation of the ISS?

Thousands? Tens of thousands?


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Pess
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5929522 - 06/19/13 03:20 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I wonder if the transit and supply vehicles could be assembled and fueled from materials in orbit.




Of course they could. All we'd have to do is duplicate all of the extractive, refining, processing, and manufacturing capabilities which are employed for similar tasks here on Earth. Any idea how many specialized contractors and subcontractors (companies, not individual workers) have been involved in one way or another with the creation of the ISS?

Thousands? Tens of thousands?




I agree. I think we are a very long way from affording as well as possessing the technology to sustain a colony on the moon.

I also feel the same way about a manned mission to Mars.

Heck, we couldn't even maintain a closed system on Earth. Remember the Biosphere experiment?

The idea that we have the technology to allow moon or Mars astronauts to survive for even moderate stays just doesn't exist yet.

Pesse (When we invent a Mars or Lunar bull dozer that can move dirt around in those environments, come back and talk to me. ) Mist


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scopethis
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5929727 - 06/19/13 05:23 PM

why not drop all the spacecraft designs and invest more on teleportation....beaming our way around the Universe...

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Pess
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scopethis]
      #5929777 - 06/19/13 05:51 PM

Quote:

why not drop all the spacecraft designs and invest more on teleportation....beaming our way around the Universe...




The number one problem associated with exploration of the Universe and nearby planets can be summed up in one word 'power'.

We need lots & lots of it and we need some sort of storage system that can hold lots & Lots of it.

Pesse (If Pons and Fleischmann had really discovered what they thought they discovered...we'd be on our way!...of course, they have never 'retracted' their claim....) Mist


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UND_astrophysics
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scopethis]
      #5929787 - 06/19/13 05:56 PM


I have to say That Pesse is right. Mars would be a death sentence even if we could return the astronauts. It took a national priority to get to the Moon, it would take the will of Nations to get to Mars anytime soon. There is no possibility at the present for the kind of technical challenges that would need to be solved, especially with the anti-science attitude so prevalent in the United States right now. There would need to be an international coalitions of governments, Space-X is not going to cut it no matter how many want to hoorah private enterprise. Fast Short term large economic returns are needed for a private mission, and Science does not do that.


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ColoHank
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scopethis]
      #5929835 - 06/19/13 06:24 PM

Quote:

why not drop all the spacecraft designs and invest more on teleportation....beaming our way around the Universe...




Pick one:

(A) Because it doesn't work.

(B) Because we can get there faster riding on unicorns.

(C) Because it requires a satellite TV contract.


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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Pess]
      #5929859 - 06/19/13 06:45 PM

Quote:


And, again as our desert addled moderator suggests




*EX* moderator. They've got the professionals in there now.


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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5929883 - 06/19/13 06:59 PM

Quote:

Quote:

We could just send the politicians. The thrust from their verbosity should be enough to accelerate the ship to near light speeds, thus eliminating long travel times. And getting them out of our hair sooner.




Hear! Hear!




Problem is, to get measurable net thrust, the verbosity would all have to be aligned in the same direction. With the current exhaust arrangement, we just spin in place until one blows up.


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Rick Woods
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5930078 - 06/19/13 09:18 PM

Quote:


I have to say That Pesse is right. Mars would be a death sentence even if we could return the astronauts. It took a national priority to get to the Moon, it would take the will of Nations to get to Mars anytime soon. There is no possibility at the present for the kind of technical challenges that would need to be solved, especially with the anti-science attitude so prevalent in the United States right now. There would need to be an international coalitions of governments, Space-X is not going to cut it no matter how many want to hoorah private enterprise. Fast Short term large economic returns are needed for a private mission, and Science does not do that.




Not necessarily. China has a powerhouse economy that could fuel the mission, and a form of government that can accomplish these things merely by commanding that they be done. If anyone is going to do either of those things in the next 50 years or so, it'll be them.
Unless something happens to shut them down economically.


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Joad
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5930115 - 06/19/13 09:38 PM

China has enormous financial liabilities that most Americans are not aware of. Just today a Marketwatch.com column noted how the Chinese government has to undertake a massive socio-economic reorganization in order to satisfy a growing, linked-up middle class that is getting impatient with the way that Chinese wealth is mostly going now to a handful of billionaires and to state-run industries.

China is also going to have enormous costs associated with an air pollution problem that makes Los Angeles's air look pristine.

Global climate change is also likely to hit China hard and expensively.

Finally, in what I think is an unprecedented historical development, China has the very expensive task of paying for the deficit spending of the United States. The Chinese aren't buying trillions of dollars worth of T-Bills at almost no interest because they are such a great investment; they are doing so because they know that if they didn't, the US economy would be thrown into recession (or worse), and so the huge US market for Chinese goods would dry up, or, at least, diminish. And this is crucial to China because without the huge economic growth rates made possible by American consumption of Chinese goods, the unelected government would be unable to keep the world's largest population under control. And that population has been getting restless for quite some time.

So, China has a lot of big problems to cope with before undertaking a race for space. I see a few smallish missions for the sake of national pride, but nothing on the order of serious space exploration.


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dickbill
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Joad]
      #5931045 - 06/20/13 10:44 AM

Quote:

...I see a few smallish missions for the sake of national pride, but nothing on the order of serious space exploration.




How would you call a 'flyby' around Mars, or even an asteroid?


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scottk
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: ColoHank]
      #5931126 - 06/20/13 11:30 AM

I have to disagree with your (b.) problem. These are not turbo-powered unicorns.

Edited by scottk (06/20/13 11:31 AM)


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Joad
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: dickbill]
      #5931252 - 06/20/13 01:03 PM

Quote:

Quote:

...I see a few smallish missions for the sake of national pride, but nothing on the order of serious space exploration.




How would you call a 'flyby' around Mars, or even an asteroid?




I would call those smallish missions—in relation to the theme of this thread, which concerns human landings on planets both in this solar system and outside it.


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Rick Woods
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Joad]
      #5931395 - 06/20/13 02:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

...I see a few smallish missions for the sake of national pride, but nothing on the order of serious space exploration.




How would you call a 'flyby' around Mars, or even an asteroid?




I would call those smallish missions—in relation to the theme of this thread, which concerns human landings on planets both in this solar system and outside it.




I'm not sure I agree. Sending humans on a flyby mission to Mars, sans landing, would still entail solving all the big obstacles that confront us now; namely, those concerned with keeping humans alive and healthy in space for multi-year voyages. We already have viable landing and takeoff technologies. So, orbiting humans around Mars would be only slightly less difficult than landing them. Nothing small there!

(I'm assuming you were referring to orbiting humans, although you didn't actually say that.)


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CounterWeight
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Joad]
      #5931490 - 06/20/13 03:15 PM

Not in response to any one person musing about what is small.

I wouldn't call any of this small, especially considering the obvious obstacles of repeating the efforts today. Why the need to minimize such a great achievement as going to our moon and returning? It was great effort and great minds and people that took us there, and minimizing that I see as not just small but tiny minded at best. Though at this point all the people I personally knew or worked with have passed on - they were better and put out far more than you are giving them credit for. What part of "We came in peace for all mankind" could anyone have a problem with? Getting to the moon and back was the result of a huge amount of smaller programs (and people) that were each pushed to the limit. I doubt any of it was without duplication of effort, waste, inefficiency, non-ideal conditions and all the rest. So let's think about not minimizing it all here because we don't live in a perfect world today. (whatever folks perceive that to be) That IMO is what helped kill of the program back in the 70's.

Not an issue of can we get to Mars (of course we could), just do we really want to do what it takes, and do we want the folks to come back. Would we be in a good position to do anything at all if there was a problem. Would we be in a position to do it more than once...

I don't see any of it as too small or too large. The momentum and effort required to regain it and successfully continue it may appear daunting and here too minimizing any of it is hazardous. There have been significant advances in some areas that could optimize some aspects, chief among these I feel is the ISS. Locating a base on the moon that might have some capability to get water and produce foodstuffs would be another step. Like that old joke about eating an elephant, the only way is one bite at a time. The eventual benefits and/or payoff of creating an infrastructure off our planet surface may seem like a bunch of tradeoffs and I'm certain that is correct, at some point I think some of the inflection points would favor the lower gravity and redundancy.

I'm avoiding anything other than the Luna / Mars issue as it seems like wanting to ace a senior college level math exam having no previous math courses, or desire to take them. There is a lot of great Sci-Fi / Fantasy out about other worlds and interstellar travel already.


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Joad
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5931556 - 06/20/13 03:53 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

...I see a few smallish missions for the sake of national pride, but nothing on the order of serious space exploration.




How would you call a 'flyby' around Mars, or even an asteroid?




I would call those smallish missions—in relation to the theme of this thread, which concerns human landings on planets both in this solar system and outside it.




I'm not sure I agree. Sending humans on a flyby mission to Mars, sans landing, would still entail solving all the big obstacles that confront us now; namely, those concerned with keeping humans alive and healthy in space for multi-year voyages. We already have viable landing and takeoff technologies. So, orbiting humans around Mars would be only slightly less difficult than landing them. Nothing small there!

(I'm assuming you were referring to orbiting humans, although you didn't actually say that.)




You assumed wrongly. I wasn't referring to orbiting humans. The Chinese are not going to do that.


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Otto Piechowski
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: scottk]
      #5931618 - 06/20/13 04:33 PM

Back to the Opening Post; probably it has been said, but I would suspect we will only be going to another planet if (1) we identify a planet on which humans can live, (2) within the distance of human propulsion technologies, and then (3) if we have received some indisputable evidence of sentient (intelligent) life elsewhere in the universe.

I see all there of these as necessary, but (3) is the conditio sine qua non and raison d'être of travel to another world.


I do not see travel to another world possible without political consensus.


It is remotely possible that travel to other worlds could be the result of a spiritual or religious motivation. I'm thinking here of the author of Dune speaking of space travel as the new religion, and I am thinking of the middle ages when the church was the supporter and patron of massive artistic expenditures. However, for the latter to happen, there would have to first be a separate political consensus because the historical condition of modernity (today) is just not the same as the historical conditions of the medieval period.


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llanitedave
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Otto Piechowski]
      #5932445 - 06/21/13 01:53 AM

I don't see travel to the local convenience store possible without political consequences.

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UND_astrophysics
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: llanitedave]
      #5932533 - 06/21/13 05:49 AM


There will be no great plans in the current geopolitical environment. Until Humans come to a consensus and dispose of ideas of "National pride" and who goes where first, I do not see any reason in even worrying about long term space and interplanetary missions. Science is not the realm of a political or economic ideology. While they may make some short term benefits, in reality it is wasteful and a symptom of what is wrong with humanity now. Once people get the dogma that they were born and conditioned with out of their brains only then can humanity make great strides in space exploration. Until then, we will keep wasting money on counterproductive enterprises such as weapons development and warfare against fellow humans, instead of spending resources on things that benefit humanity.


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Rick Woods
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Joad]
      #5933834 - 06/21/13 10:29 PM

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

Quote:

...I see a few smallish missions for the sake of national pride, but nothing on the order of serious space exploration.




How would you call a 'flyby' around Mars, or even an asteroid?




I would call those smallish missions—in relation to the theme of this thread, which concerns human landings on planets both in this solar system and outside it.




I'm not sure I agree. Sending humans on a flyby mission to Mars, sans landing, would still entail solving all the big obstacles that confront us now; namely, those concerned with keeping humans alive and healthy in space for multi-year voyages. We already have viable landing and takeoff technologies. So, orbiting humans around Mars would be only slightly less difficult than landing them. Nothing small there!

(I'm assuming you were referring to orbiting humans, although you didn't actually say that.)




You assumed wrongly. I wasn't referring to orbiting humans. The Chinese are not going to do that.




Actually, my (unfortunately poorly-worded) assumption was about Dickbill's comment about a flyby. Are you speaking for him? And by extension, since human travel to other planets (not what the Chinese are doing) is the subject of this thread, I assumed your response to his comment was also about human travel, rather than being a non-sequitur.
That was, indeed, an incorrect assumption.


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dickbill
scholastic sledgehammer


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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5934261 - 06/22/13 09:16 AM

Well, to me a 'flyby' to Mars is indeed a small endeavor, and we can do better, we can land on Mars.
The sooner the better because the world is heading to stagnation, most likely recession et possibly worse.
The period 2020-2060 +/- 20 will be tough moment in human history. With demographic, social and natural events coalitioned against what will be seen as completely unnecessary fancy projects. So, in my very personnal view of our immediate future, either we (i.e the US mainly) land a foot to Mars in the next 10-20 years, or it's postponed until 2070 and later.


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great lesson
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: UND_astrophysics]
      #5934302 - 06/22/13 09:46 AM

Quote:


There will be no great plans in the current geopolitical environment. Until Humans come to a consensus and dispose of ideas of "National pride" and who goes where first, I do not see any reason in even worrying about long term space and interplanetary missions. Science is not the realm of a political or economic ideology. While they may make some short term benefits, in reality it is wasteful and a symptom of what is wrong with humanity now. Once people get the dogma that they were born and conditioned with out of their brains only then can humanity make great strides in space exploration. Until then, we will keep wasting money on counterproductive enterprises such as weapons development and warfare against fellow humans, instead of spending resources on things that benefit humanity.



thank you stating that ..you beat me to it


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WaterMasterAdministrator
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: great lesson]
      #5934550 - 06/22/13 12:33 PM

After 6 pages of discussion I believe we've found the answer to the OP:

Maybe, maybe not, and definitely not tomorrow.


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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: WaterMaster]
      #5935523 - 06/22/13 10:53 PM

Many years ago at a Moody Blues concert one of the band members made a joke about 'so you finally made it', referring 'I think' to some sort of alternative method of transport popular back then?

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mistyridge
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5939108 - 06/25/13 02:59 AM

We are already traveling to other parts of the galaxy as the sun and planets takes its multi million year tour of the galaxy. Only problem, we have not figured out how to change directons or stop when we find some other solar system we want to investigate.

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Kon Dealer
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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: hm insulators]
      #5957141 - 07/06/13 06:27 AM

Quote:

Quote:

And how these multi-generational ships will be made self sustaining? These spaceships, how their parts, that go bad or break, will be replaced? From where would we get the replacements? I do not think Kragen's or O'reilly Auto Store will be on the way, somewhere.




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http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2013/01/11/3d-printing-what%E2%80%99s-out-there-...


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Rick Woods
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Reged: 01/27/05

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Re: Will we ever go to another planet? new [Re: Kon Dealer]
      #5958074 - 07/06/13 07:26 PM

And they probably won't think to carry a spare dilithium crystal with them.

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