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Space Travel use to be top priority?

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#1 grif 678

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 04:42 PM

Hi

I have a wonderful book,  The Conquest of Space , from 1945, with some of the most exciting space art you can imagine, by Chesley Bonesteel. These paintings really seem so real, and the book is so exciting to read. The book describes itself as  A Preview Of the Greatest Adventure Awaiting Mankind. Drawings of the rocket, men in their spacesuits, all the planets from their moons, and pictures of the astronauts on the surfaces of these planets and their moons.

It works the rocket science back then of space travel in with the facts that we know about the planets. Reading this book, it seems that back then, mankind was more excited about traveling to Mars, Jupiter, or wherever. You get a sense that back in the 40's and 50's that man would plan to be on Mars by the late 1990's or the early 2000's. But you hardly ever hear anymore about it like you use to. I guess the troubles of the world now has interfered into everything, including space travel. But anyway, if you can find one of these books, I would suggest you get it. Just the drawings and paintings are worth the price, not to mention the exciting reading that goes along with it.


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#2 Stellar1

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 06:01 PM

I wish i was a child during those times, when after WWII the world was focussing on exploration and discovery, the space race was in its infancy and space was the new frontier.

These days, space is looked at as just someplace where NASA sends frogs and satellites, at least thats how the media plays it. We know better (us amateur's) but we are very few.


Edited by Stellar1, 08 April 2019 - 06:03 PM.


#3 brentwood

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 08:55 PM

I seem to remember that back in those Wonder Years, there were predictions that we would be on the Moon by the end of the 60s, have visited  Mars by 1984, and the satellites of Saturn by the turn of the century!

We are a little behind schedule!



#4 llanitedave

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Posted 08 April 2019 - 11:17 PM

I do believe that the idealistic and imaginative kids of today are just as intrigued and taken by the idea as we were.  But we were in a minority then, and still are.  Those kids who share our dreams are also in a minority.

 

But, there IS a generation of young, starry-eyed workers who are out to make it happen, and we're closer to making it happen now than we've ever been.

 

Don't lose yourself in mourning about what could have been.  Look up, and see what's going to be!


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#5 CounterWeight

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Posted 10 April 2019 - 10:23 AM

Thank you for the thoughtful post. I have the same book and several others if not most in the genre from the time, 'Beyond Tomorrow' and 'Across the Space Frontier' also great ones, pioneering the genre, though good copies a bit hard to find and can get expensive, there are also a few books dedicated to Chesley Bonestells (it is Bonestell correctly spelled)' artwork.  I remember these being in the library when I was a kid and have kept copies lifelong, no I did not steal from the library.  I'm still excited about it though yes it seems most folks would rather sit in a chair and mouse click these days, 'entertainment'.  I often reference these when discussing space travel with anyone.

 

The one missing it's dust jacket is 'Across the Space Frontier'.

 

astro travel books.jpg


Edited by CounterWeight, 10 April 2019 - 10:40 AM.


#6 BillP

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 07:52 PM

Reading this book, it seems that back then, mankind was more excited about traveling to Mars, Jupiter, or wherever.

 

I think it definitely was.  I recall when I was a little kid seeing 2001 A Space Odyssey in the movies and thinking to myself that I would only be in my 40's in 2000 and will want so badly to hop on a PanAm shuttle to take a vacation on the Moon!  So I waited and waited and none of it ever materialized,  It was all just Hollywood marketing hype.  We should really just focus on getting some permanent research stations and tourist stations on the Moon and in that process really learn how to practically make all the technologies for that feasible.  After a century of doing that and getting experienced, then move to possibly other planets.  Baby steps!


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#7 NinePlanets

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 08:08 PM

The book is a collectable. Hang on to it.

(Or sell it to me.)  laugh.gif


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#8 kksmith

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 05:38 AM

I do believe that the idealistic and imaginative kids of today are just as intrigued and taken by the idea as we were.  But we were in a minority then, and still are.  Those kids who share our dreams are also in a minority.

 

But, there IS a generation of young, starry-eyed workers who are out to make it happen, and we're closer to making it happen now than we've ever been.

 

Don't lose yourself in mourning about what could have been.  Look up, and see what's going to be!

I have ran across too many of the younger generation who think it was all a hoax. Even telling them I grew up watching it happen - they believe we were duped by film trickery. But of course - who can blame them - men walked on the moon for just a few years during 69 -72. We haven't been back since - especially since we no longer have the technology nor drive to do so. Even my daughters of 22 and 25 find it rather hard to believe even as college graduates preparing for graduate schools. Nothing in current US space technology proves we can even put a US astronaut into space - and we walked and drove a car on the moon???? Come on...really? And not one social woe has been improved by diverting money from the space program since the 70's. It bought x marks in Novembers instead. But I quickly digress.

 

What we do have is a few that want to build robotic probes and watch exploration unfold from a video screen - eunach explorers at best that want eat sushi and slurp a double mocha latte while entering a few computer prompts. 

Ken


Edited by kksmith, 04 May 2019 - 05:51 AM.

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#9 kksmith

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 06:01 AM

I do suggest watching the PBS documentary on Apollo 8. That mission involved big cajones all away around. So much untested technology that actually worked from the get go. From Trans Lunar Injection to relighting the LCM engine for the trip back. All done on the far side with no communication. Didn't know if any of it worked till signal reacquisition. 

And the one female in Mission Control who's job was to work out the answer to bring em home if orbital insertion failed.

 

When the Slide Rule was king.

 

Ken



#10 bitnick

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 07:46 AM

Those books look beautiful and exciting. waytogo.gif My favourite space "hard science fiction" is Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke. And I love playing Kerbal Space Program. smile.gif

But maybe people got a bit carried away with their enthusiasm back then, only seeing the possibilities and not the associated costs? The laws of physics won't be bargained with, and the fact is sending people into space (and keeping them alive!) takes immense resources.

Having bases on the moon and Mars would be awesome, but spending all those resources just for fun might not be a good idea, if we're being realistic? We get so much more bang for the bucks if we use them here, where all of us already live.

Instead of saying "the troubles of the world now has interfered into everything, including space travel" (which sounds a bit depressive), might one not just say we had a flight of fancy, but when we looked into it reality asserted itself? One can not assume all dreams will be immediately fulfilled. It's a positive thing if we can be pragmatic enough not to waste our resources!

I like to compare Mars to Antarctica. We haven't truly colonized Antarctica (I mean with cities; we have research stations and some tourism but very few people live there permanently). Compared to Mars Antarctica has easily accessible water, a breathable atmosphere, is a lot warmer, and is very, very easy to get to (and from in an emergency). If we choose not to live in Antarctica, why would we want to live on Mars? I mean, what problems would it solve that justifies spending all those resources to make it happen?

Looking at it this way, it might be a good thing space travel isn't a top priority. wink.gif


Edited by bitnick, 04 May 2019 - 07:57 AM.


#11 NinePlanets

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 08:19 AM

Whose resources are wasted, bitnick?

 

As far as I know, not a single shekel/dollar/euro/yuan/bat/ruble/rupie has been sent into space. That money is earned by engineers and technicians and mathematicians and programmers and is spent on goods and services to feed their families and the families of the people they purchase them from.

 

The spinoffs in technology from space research and space utilization are innumerable! The advances in engineering and materials and electronics and medicine alone. Do you enjoy your computer? Do you enjoy your GPS? Do you enjoy your cell phone? Do you enjoy your satellite TV? Then thank the engineers who put us on the moon because none of that would be possible without the men and women who had the drive to develop it.

 

If you don't want to invest in space, then don't. But for those who wish to invest and realize profits, not only economically but in technological spinoffs (that YOU will eventually enjoy), then more power to them. Step aside and let them get to it.

 

I'm certainly glad people of the past decided to "waste resources" on exploring the lands across the sea rather than fretting about "not solving problems" in Europe. Screw that!

 

Let those with the grit and guts do the hard work and reap the rewards. If you want to sit in your comfy chair in "the old world" and complain about them "wasting" THEIR resources (not yours) you are free to do so. Maybe some day you can nibble on the crumbs that fall from their table.


Edited by NinePlanets, 04 May 2019 - 08:26 AM.


#12 bitnick

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Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:32 AM

Whoa, that's an interesting reaction to a post that says it's probably a good thing it's not our top priority. Does it really have to be all black or white?

Nowhere did I say people should be prevented from putting resources into this if they want to do so. I'm an engineer myself and I also know perfectly well about the positive spinoffs from the Apollo program. What I said was that maybe we should be happy people think through where they spend their resources rather than be depressed that our specific pet vision of the future hasn't come true (yet).

 

That money is earned by engineers and technicians and mathematicians and programmers and is spent on goods and services to feed their families and the families of the people they purchase them from.

Yes, and this is of course true no matter where you spend the resources. "Wasted" here is a relative thing: could you have used the resources more efficiently?

 

 

If we choose not to live in Antarctica, why would we want to live on Mars? I mean, what problems would it solve that justifies spending all those resources to make it happen?

This wasn't just a rhetorical question of mine; I think it could make an interesting discussion in line with the question in the original post.


Edited by bitnick, 04 May 2019 - 10:57 AM.


#13 CounterWeight

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 03:40 AM

I think there was a lot working in concert.  The world geophysical year 1958 was a big contributor to much that would follow.  and it wasn't just outer space, the seas and depths were subject too.  An oversimplification of mine is that the times gave us Apollo and also the Trieste 1 and 2, Alvin, Jacques Cousteau. Rachel Carson and Loren Eiseley. There was an enthusiasm about science and engineering leading the way forward into the unknown becoming known.

 

I have a few of the astonishing Mr. Science and Jimmy movies from back then (50's I think).  Hemo the Magnificent, The Unchained Goddess, and one about our Sun.

 

It's really an amazing step from all the sources to what we now know, pretty amazing!

 

In my reading about space travel and colonization there are also references to both the US Army and Air Force studying and planning for small colonization of our moon using the Apollo vehicle 50 and more years ago.  This based on the thinking at the time.

 

So I think your sentence correctly answered "yes" with emphasis on the "used to be" but only in ways.  I think the motivations for doing so and relative economics are pretty lopsided when it becomes solely a geopolitical flag waving extravaganza.  In the end it's engineering and real science and physics that make any of it possible. 

 

Engineers made it all possible. 

 

When I look at what I consider the current watershed of effort, based on different incentives it's pretty amazing how many companies have their hat in the ring from microsatellites to heavy lift.  Not only do we know, but there is a magnitude or more of what we can be certain of in every respect to space travel.

 

There has been a void in interplanetary space travel, as already posted, that makes some of the belief systems and philosophy seem suspect, but that is an aside from the engineering required to make any of it actually happen.

 

In that sense, at least in launch platforms, SpaceX imo is an impressive series of success not matched in realty by any other concern.  Honorable mention to Blue Origin, but that is all..SpaceX has and are re-writing the book, unfortunately only after lawsuit to be allowed to do so!  Reality being that they very dramatically can compete on the payload into orbit cost, this has the Boeing/Lockhead conglomerate (now called ULA) running for the trenches and has upset the 'norm'.   They collectively were the previous instrumentality in conjunction with the US Govt.

 

Microsatellites and other evolutions in LEO orbital technology vehicles offer another strata of 'necessary for the job at hand', this is altering the requirements for the lifting body and so there is also competition in that market.

 

All this to say manned space travel beyond the ISS has been severely hamstrung,  The ISS became a destination instead of being a stopover to somewhere else.


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#14 bobhen

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 06:59 AM

Going to the moon and staying or mounting a mission to Mars needs “serious government backing”. Private companies will not be willing to risk the initial development on their own without a reasonable guarantee of a somewhat quick return on their investment.

 

But unlike JFK’s call to action about “doing the hard things” today we (as in our elected leaders) would rather give tax breaks to people that don’t need the money rather than invest in something that would be sure to inspire a generation, generate a positive nationalistic feeling of pride toward the country, develop a variety of new technologies that would benefit us all and actually position the country as a science, engineering, social and political frontrunner.

 

If people haven’t seen the documentary film Apollo 11 I would suggest going to see the film. You will walk out of the theater feeling proud to be an American. That pride “in doing the hard things” can easily be captured again, there is plenty of money and talented and brave people today – all it takes is leadership that inspires.

 

Reading The Conquest of Space, watching those early Mercury and Gemini missions and then seeing the rover bounce around on the moon, by this time I too thought we would have a lunar base and a flag on mars. Instead we have tax breaks, yachts, mansions and private jets for the one-percent and billions for a “wall”. 50-years from now no one will be going to watch a film about those particular American achievements.

 

Bob



#15 kksmith

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 04:50 AM

instead we have tax breaks, yachts, mansions and private jets for the one-percent and billions for a “wall”. 50-years from now no one will be going to watch a film about those particular American achievements.

 

Bob

What does the results of 2017 have to do the loss of this country's ability to put an astronaut into low Earth orbit or our loss of manned space exploration? That loss is from before then. More money has been poured into social handouts than anything else. Entire generations have been stripped of the incentive to excel, gain an education, or be productive members of society through social handouts - our tax dollars at work. Pretty much an entire group of people have been subjugated to poverty by free hand outs. It should have been a hand up, but some found hand outs keep people exactly where some want them - dependent on others who hand out tax dollars. 

 

We had a War on Drugs, but we have a bigger drug problem than before. We had a War on Poverty - but more live in poverty than be for.  You would think by now, all those social problems of the 70's would have been fixed, but they've been exacerbated by some who realized as long as people are kept hostage by free handouts - they will keep you in charge of handing out the money to them. Actually it is a crime against humanity - robbing people of the desire to prosper by their own hands.

 

Ken


Edited by kksmith, 07 May 2019 - 04:57 AM.

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#16 bobhen

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 07:56 AM

What does the results of 2017 have to do the loss of this country's ability to put an astronaut into low Earth orbit or our loss of manned space exploration? That loss is from before then. More money has been poured into social handouts than anything else. Entire generations have been stripped of the incentive to excel, gain an education, or be productive members of society through social handouts - our tax dollars at work. Pretty much an entire group of people have been subjugated to poverty by free hand outs. It should have been a hand up, but some found hand outs keep people exactly where some want them - dependent on others who hand out tax dollars. 

 

We had a War on Drugs, but we have a bigger drug problem than before. We had a War on Poverty - but more live in poverty than be for.  You would think by now, all those social problems of the 70's would have been fixed, but they've been exacerbated by some who realized as long as people are kept hostage by free handouts - they will keep you in charge of handing out the money to them. Actually it is a crime against humanity - robbing people of the desire to prosper by their own hands.

 

Ken

Some have posted that "money is an issue". I was pointing out that there is plenty of money available – if it is reallocated. 

 

Your arguments about social problems all come back to our economic system of unbridled capitalism not government policy per se – except the lack of policy.

 

For example: the recent jump in drug use is because of pharmaceutical companies buying congress and then flooding the market with highly addictive drugs – all in the name of profit. The tobacco companies denying that smoking causes cancer – all in the name of profit. The food industry producing unhealthy, fattening foods – all in the name of profit. The oil industry buying congress and getting trillions to keep gas prices low stopping or slowing the development of alternative energy sources – all in the name of profit. An insurance industry that drops people when they get seriously sick – all in the name of profit. These and “many” other examples of unbridled capitalism are the “main” cause of social problems and personal bankruptcy.

 

The social problems you mention will never be fixed with an economic system that is driven by pure profit without regard to the environment, people’s health, or lifting people from poverty with a living wage. Would you like to go back to pre 1930? You forget that unbridled capitalism resulted in child labor, extremely unsafe workplaces, and poverty for the old and extremely low wages, 6-day workweeks, 10-hour work days and with no safety net like unemployment insurance.

 

Only government programs like Social Security and Medicare have freed the old from poverty. And universal health care and 2-years of free trade school or college education would do the same to help lift people from poverty, as it has in other countries with a lot fewer resources than the USA. Other countries do just fine with those programs.

 

I would suggest reading A Christmas Carol if you want a little slice of what unbridled capitalism was like back in the day. The Cratchits didn’t have health insurance or unemployment insurance or Social Security or Medicare or a wage that would ever lift them from poverty no matter how many hours or how hard Bob Cratchit worked. Tiny Tim, like so many, would have lived a short, uneducated life in filth and poverty and then died in his teens or before. Is that your idea of utopia?

 

We have the money to do all of these things AND to send men to Mars and beyond, if we as a society, regardless of party or president, reallocate resources and priorities. 

 

“But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,' faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself. Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. "Mankind was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business.

 

Bob



#17 llanitedave

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 10:08 AM

I agree with you, Bob, but we need to be careful not to take this thread in a more broadly political direction.

The money is there, it’s up to us as a society to prioritize it. You’re right, though, we CAN put funds into an expanded space exploration effort without hurting other goals—unless of course those goals are the typical corrupt ambitions of socializing risk while privatizing profits.

So the question becomes how do government and private industry work together for the benefit of both? Sooner or later space is going to have to produce a profit, or else there’s no reason for business to get involved in it. There’s plenty of wealth to be gained out there. We need to find a way to access it, and more importantly ensure that all of society benefits from it.

#18 bobhen

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 10:56 AM

I agree with you, Bob, but we need to be careful not to take this thread in a more broadly political direction.

The money is there, it’s up to us as a society to prioritize it. You’re right, though, we CAN put funds into an expanded space exploration effort without hurting other goals—unless of course those goals are the typical corrupt ambitions of socializing risk while privatizing profits.

So the question becomes how do government and private industry work together for the benefit of both? Sooner or later space is going to have to produce a profit, or else there’s no reason for business to get involved in it. There’s plenty of wealth to be gained out there. We need to find a way to access it, and more importantly ensure that all of society benefits from it.

Right now I believe we have to think of human space travel as a research project (and a very expensive research project) not a profit-making enterprise. That’s why the big programs like moon landings and Mars missions, etc. will need to be government backed or fully funded. Until human space flight, in some form (tourist, low earth orbit payloads, etc.), is considered to be a reasonably profitable enterprise, it will be up to governments to fund the big programs.

 

Governments have to think that those types of programs are worth funding. The reasons FOR funding like: spinoff technologies and new industries along with the inspirational aspect have been well proven.

 

Although NASA is moving forward, if slowly, at some point in the future I would think that some government will deem human space travel to be an important enterprise to prioritize and fund in a big way. I just hope it’s the USA.

 

Bob


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#19 BillP

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 01:15 PM

Having bases on the moon and Mars would be awesome, but spending all those resources just for fun might not be a good idea, if we're being realistic? We get so much more bang for the bucks if we use them here, where all of us already live.

 

Although what you say would surely be an unpopular opinion given the space-crazy community we all are here, in the end IMO it is very much correct.  waytogo.gif  Scientific research and exploration are always exciting things, but I often think what the world would be like if all the resources we spent on cosmology research, space research, space exploration were instead given to the sciences and engineering disciplines to tackle the more important global needs first what the world would be like -- i.e., like healthcare, improvement of food and water for everyone, better stewardship of the environment, elimination of the major diseases, reduction of conflict and war through reward for peaceful solutions, moving away from the antisocial and sometimes destructive stovepipes of nationalisms to more of a unified global humanity way of thinking, etc.  I have no doubt it would be a much better place as these would benefit real the real needs of humanity.  And the redirection of efforts into these fruitful areas would yield the same side effect benefits like the many new technologies that we gained through the space program.  Basically any visionary effort yields those unexpected side benefits so not unique to what came out of the space program.

 

Another way of looking at it is we can't even effectively manage our own behaviors and home world and we want to take that immaturity and chaos now to other worlds!!  I think that is clearly putting the cart before the horse.  The behaviors I see of humanity on the global scale is really akin to what I see from toddlers and pre-teens.  We are clearly not anywhere near ready to venture out anywhere.


Edited by BillP, 07 May 2019 - 01:20 PM.


#20 CounterWeight

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 08:19 PM

As I posted earlier, we are not 'space travelling' and I want to add a 'yet', though it is a very healthy environment - much more so than in recent decade or more.  I don't want to take anything away from that. 

 

As far as geopolitics though it's a part of the current times, imo the TOS here prohibits that.  Not that I have a single answer there. 

 

Engineering imo another story entirely, and lets remember to give credit where it's due.  Engineering wise we can do this.

 

With respect to engineering, nothing that cannot be done several different ways. I remember someone here had in their sigline a phrase maybe applicable?, it went along the lines of 'the early bird get's the worm, but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese'.

 

IMO the financial hit is only at the beginning, as folks will very quickly learn with all the technology available in micro -scale where to go for solutions. We don't need to send 200 tons of test and measurement gear when we can get meaningful and useful broad spectrum data with maybe just 5 tons now days.

 

I've no idea what it takes 'all in' to keep the ISS vs. a moon base as there is no moon base so pure conjecture.  The ISS could be configured or extended or modified to assist with space travel, there are huge potential benefits there but it would take more $.  That also goes to advocating  a more component level approach.  You don't need huge lifting bodies to loft large completed / outfitted space ships with crews, you just need a relatively economical one like the current SpaceX to send parts of it at a time. Assemble in orbit.

 

This is a huge re-arrangement in thinking about the entire effort.


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#21 llanitedave

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 09:08 PM

As I posted earlier, we are not 'space travelling' and I want to add a 'yet', though it is a very healthy environment - much more so than in recent decade or more.  I don't want to take anything away from that. 

 

As far as geopolitics though it's a part of the current times, imo the TOS here prohibits that.  Not that I have a single answer there. 

 

Engineering imo another story entirely, and lets remember to give credit where it's due.  Engineering wise we can do this.

 

With respect to engineering, nothing that cannot be done several different ways. I remember someone here had in their sigline a phrase maybe applicable?, it went along the lines of 'the early bird get's the worm, but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese'.

 

IMO the financial hit is only at the beginning, as folks will very quickly learn with all the technology available in micro -scale where to go for solutions. We don't need to send 200 tons of test and measurement gear when we can get meaningful and useful broad spectrum data with maybe just 5 tons now days.

 

I've no idea what it takes 'all in' to keep the ISS vs. a moon base as there is no moon base so pure conjecture.  The ISS could be configured or extended or modified to assist with space travel, there are huge potential benefits there but it would take more $.  That also goes to advocating  a more component level approach.  You don't need huge lifting bodies to loft large completed / outfitted space ships with crews, you just need a relatively economical one like the current SpaceX to send parts of it at a time. Assemble in orbit.

 

This is a huge re-arrangement in thinking about the entire effort.

I'm not a big fan of the "Lunar Gateway", but the ISS is not a very good base for deep space operations either.  It's in the wrong orbit.  When "Space Station Freedom" was envisioned (late 1980's?) the idea of using it to service, launch, and recover other missions was part of its justification, but when it morphed into the ISS in order to accommodate Russia, it's orbit was steepened so that any missions to the Moon or planets launching from there would have to make a fuel-wasting dog-leg to get back on the right trajectory.

 

Since I like beating dead horses, a better solution would have been to forget the Space Shuttle, keep the Saturn V, use it as an unmanned workhorse heavy lift vehicle, and launch multiple Skylab-style modules, which could be assembled into a very spacious space station in the right orbit to do some real work.  The Saturn V could have been upgraded as much as necessary, and served us well until the introduction of re-usable boosters.

 

I'd still prefer to use Earth orbit as the transfer station, but I do worry about the buildup of space debris since those days.


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#22 llanitedave

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Posted 07 May 2019 - 09:13 PM

Although what you say would surely be an unpopular opinion given the space-crazy community we all are here, in the end IMO it is very much correct.  waytogo.gif  Scientific research and exploration are always exciting things, but I often think what the world would be like if all the resources we spent on cosmology research, space research, space exploration were instead given to the sciences and engineering disciplines to tackle the more important global needs first what the world would be like -- i.e., like healthcare, improvement of food and water for everyone, better stewardship of the environment, elimination of the major diseases, reduction of conflict and war through reward for peaceful solutions, moving away from the antisocial and sometimes destructive stovepipes of nationalisms to more of a unified global humanity way of thinking, etc.  I have no doubt it would be a much better place as these would benefit real the real needs of humanity.  And the redirection of efforts into these fruitful areas would yield the same side effect benefits like the many new technologies that we gained through the space program.  Basically any visionary effort yields those unexpected side benefits so not unique to what came out of the space program.

 

Another way of looking at it is we can't even effectively manage our own behaviors and home world and we want to take that immaturity and chaos now to other worlds!!  I think that is clearly putting the cart before the horse.  The behaviors I see of humanity on the global scale is really akin to what I see from toddlers and pre-teens.  We are clearly not anywhere near ready to venture out anywhere.

There is no cart, and there is no horse.  Humanity is what it is, we can't just sit around and wait for it to get better before we do anything.  It won't work.

 

We either embrace progress in all areas, and work to get better as we go, or we give up and accept our inevitable extinction with a smile.  Which of your offspring do you wish the extinction on?


  • City Kid and NinePlanets like this

#23 bobhen

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Posted 08 May 2019 - 07:21 AM

 

Since I like beating dead horses, a better solution would have been to forget the Space Shuttle, keep the Saturn V, use it as an unmanned workhorse heavy lift vehicle, and launch multiple Skylab-style modules, which could be assembled into a very spacious space station in the right orbit to do some real work.  The Saturn V could have been upgraded as much as necessary, and served us well until the introduction of re-usable boosters.

 

Back in the day, I, and I’m sure many others interested in the space program, thought along those lines as well. But with reduced budgets (dictated by congress) NASA was under pressure to make launches cheaper. NASA’s answer was the shuttle, which as we know never lived up to that promise and probably never could have.

 

In the movie Apollo 13, after Apollo 11 has landed on the moon, Jim Lovell (played by Tom Hanks) and his wife are both staring up at the moon. Lovell (Hanks) turns to his wife and says: “It’s not a miracle. We just decided to go.”

 

Political will is what shapes the world – not budgets or engineering.

 

Bob


Edited by bobhen, 08 May 2019 - 07:22 AM.


#24 kksmith

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 05:03 AM

Perhaps this time, instead of racing back to the moon, it could be a joint venture between willing nations. Pooling technology/finances would not drain a single nation's budget. After all - it's about humanity going out and not a single nation's pride. 

 

Ken


Edited by kksmith, 09 May 2019 - 05:04 AM.


#25 NinePlanets

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 06:41 AM

Let private enterprise handle it. Cheaper. Better. Faster. More profitable.

Keep the governments in the slow lane where they belong, or performing the services they are meant to. i.e. Defense. As soon as anyone goes anywhere, the pirates are sure to follow.




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