50th Anniversary of Apollo 11

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radarredux

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Looking back, looking forward,

Where do you thing NASA's manned space program will be on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in 2019?
 
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radarredux

Guest
OK, its been a couple of hours with no replies, so I'll take a stab at it. My vision is relatively dark, so I hope some can offer some counterbalance to this.

I predict in 10 years NASA's manned space program will be nowhere. The ISS will have been de-orbited. The first Lunar missions will be at least 2-3 years away, so there will be no manned [NASA] missions planned for 2019. Because Ares I will either have been just barely completed or not completed in time by the time ISS is de-orbited, NASA will have only made zero or at most two manned launches since the Shuttles were retired 9 years earlier. All of the Apollo astronauts will have passed away from old age, so there will not be a single person left alive who had walked on the moon.

I hope this vision isn't true, but with the way things are lining up (e.g., the constant delays in Ares I and maybe restarting with a new architecture and the current discussion of de-orbiting ISS in 2016), I think after after the Shuttles retire in about a year we are looking at a 10+ year gap until NASA starts seriously flying manned missions again. :cry:
 
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Chryseplanatia

Guest
Ow ow ow! The truth hurts. Sad view, and way too possible.

I did a talk to some inner-city school kids a few days back, and Apollo was a part of the agenda. I was surprised that there was at least a nodding awareness of the program... possible due to some coverage on Nickelodeon and Disney Channel.

But I didn't see any FIRE. I would have sold both my parents (but my sister first) to be involved as a kid... not just as an astronaut, though that would have been "groovy" (in the parlance), but just... INVOLVED.

This nation needs to get it's collective head on straight. I'm a liberal, so I'm not ranting about moral values and such (different discussion). But I've got an Apollo book out right now and I'm getting a LOT more press coverage in Europe than here, and it's clear that the Europeans are a lot more impressed with our lunar achievements than we are (as are the Indians, Japanese and Chinese, but there, it's charged with nationalistic fervor).

I just don't understand, I guess. One can make plenty o' arguments about solar power from the moon, helium3, far-side astronomy, etc etc, but there's a part me me that wants to scream: "THAT'S NOT THE POINT!"

< /END RANT >
 
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drwayne

Guest
I wonder at times if the idea of "Been there, done that, NEXT!" is representative of our societies
short attention span. Given the instant gratification nature of things today, vis'a'vis the 1960's,
and the fact that to really do something real in space is the sort of thing that takes decades,
I despair of anything really getting done.

Wayne
 
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clint_dreamer

Guest
radarredux":28hve28u said:
Looking back, looking forward,

Where do you thing NASA's manned space program will be on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in 2019?
I see the 50th anniversary playing out much like the 40th did. Little to no coverage from most media. Complaints about lack of coverage from people like us. Feel good stories, like the moon landing anniversary are not what equal ratings now and that is all that matters sadly. They would much rather report on something tragic that has happened, or invade the privacy of Hollywood's next generation of stars before reporting on something science related.

Going to the moon isn't a big deal to most people anymore, just like going to Mars will lose all appeal once it actually happens. Once the footprints are made and flag is planted, funding gets cut, and people move onto the next story. The only way space will become a daily news maker again if another tragedy happens, or we can confirm the existence of alien life. This generation has already seen Bruce Willis land on an asteroid and destroy it, and Val Kilmer walk on Mars. It's going to take something huge to get their attention
 
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missionunknown

Guest
drwayne":37d33ycb said:
I wonder at times if the idea of "Been there, done that, NEXT!" is representative of our societies
short attention span. Given the instant gratification nature of things today, vis'a'vis the 1960's,
and the fact that to really do something real in space is the sort of thing that takes decades,
I despair of anything really getting done.

Wayne
lol, well i guess its left to the people with REAL passion to do the space stuff. If you think about it you can see how some people find space boring, just look at the movie apollo 13 (my favourite movie by the way), its great but it can easily by viewed as boring were it not for the fact that that stiff ACTUALLY happened. Its hard to comprehend but i think some people just have no interest in space, not until it becomes a consumer playground anyway.
 
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drwayne

Guest
"well i guess its left to the people with REAL passion to do the space stuff."

Well, to do the work, yes. But to *pay for* the work, that is where you need broader support,
and a long committment from a broad spectrum of the country.

Wayne
 
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SilverDart

Guest
I think it will get even less coverage, as I doubt we will still have the Big Three networks having a dinner hour news broadcast in ten years. The news media will be so splintered, that websites like this one, will be one of the few that will be recognizing that achievement. I recorded as much of the newscasts from this year, assuming this will be the last major celebration with 1960s era news media, i.e. TV, Radio, and print newspapers.

I believe the ISS will be still around for another 15 years, will be fixed up or even further modified with new modules. The COLBERT, oops, I mean Tranquility Module, has four free ports for expansion, as an example.

I noticed that private sector-based options haven't been discussed. I think we will see a lot from private industry in low Earth orbit in 10 years. Including manned flights routinely to the ISS by ships like SpaceX's Dragon doing most of the North American workload of supporting astronaut transfers to and from orbit. Also, there have been news reports in the past few years that a private Moon circumnavigation flight could be performed with only slight modifications to the current Soyuz spacecraft, so tourists might be able to circle the moon, a la Apollo 13 style (no explosions, just its trajectory), well before the 50th anniversary, yet no one will likely have walked on its surface in that time. Cost for the flight per tourist astronaut will be at least $100 million USD.

The Moon probably will still be uninhabited by humans, though it now seems more likely that China or India will get back there before NASA.

I would also say that at least half of the current surviving crop of moonwalkers will still be around for the 50th, but few or none will be around for the 60th (they'd all be in their very late 90s or centenarians by then).

The only bright spot with NASA I see is in a mission that actually by-passes the moon, and goes straight to Mars, using the ideas presented by the Mars Society. For the amount of money it seems that they will be spending on Constellation, they could go to Mars instead.

More optimistic than most views on this forum, but I do believe there will be a manned American presence in space for most of the next ten years, with a slight chance that NASA will again leave low-Earth-orbit. Oh, and that NASA will indeed still exist on the 50th Anniversary.
 
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Fomalhautian

Guest
I can see another round of even better photos of the mission sites, maybe even sectioning them off as national parks. But if they could find a way to do "Survivor Season 30: The Moon Colony", I'd love it.
 
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2001Kubrick

Guest
Here's my amateur opinion, take it with a grain of salt:

I think in 10 years things our mindset, at least in terms of space, will be drastically changed. The main driving force behind this? China. I think within the next decade we will see even more Chinese economic and military power and they will begin to assert themselves. They may do some pretty controversial things on earth, and the conservative movement of this country will demand action. There will be a new space race and we will be trailing the Chinese. I think major pressure will be put on the leadership of this country to do something before the Chinese "claim" the moon. Similar to the 60s, but with the US in a weaker position.

President Obama will likely be a 2 termer, but I think the conservatives will put major pressure on him to revitalize the space program and beat the Chinese. His successor will probably in turn be a Republican with a major part of his platform being space domination. I think this competition will be a good thing for our country and will put the fear of god into the people here.

The Chinese will have a manned probe returning to the moon before us, but the newly revitalized NASA will follow shortly. I think in 10 years we will have the foundation for a workable moon lab and plans for future manned undertakings elsewhere in the solar system.

Maybe I am being optimistic here, but I think things are lining up this way. The conservatives sure are good at whipping up a frenzy, and the space program will benefit greatly from the perception that Obama is too weak on foreign endeavors, especially since the years 2009-2016 will be his.
 
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JasonChapman

Guest
If NASA keeps being bogged down with budget cuts then 50 years of Apollo is all they'll be celebrating.
 
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BrianBoru

Guest
NASA will be primarily an earth resource/enviromental impact agency.
 
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kk434

Guest
I think that the 50'th anniversary will be an eye opener for people. 50 years is a long time, half a cenutry and the lack of progress and propably no one of the lunar astronauts around anymore can make people think about the issue. The whole apollo program may apear as great distant achievement like the Columbus voyage as most of humans in 2019 will have not seen the landings live. Hoever the ISS may be prospering, ESA ATV, Japan HTV, russian soyuz and progrress may be launcing on regular basis and makeing LEO a very busy place. Even the Chinese may join in and launch to ISS.If things go well even lots of tourist may visit the station.
 
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Yuri_Armstrong

Guest
2001Kubrick":2coi3r5t said:
Here's my amateur opinion, take it with a grain of salt:

I think in 10 years things our mindset, at least in terms of space, will be drastically changed. The main driving force behind this? China. I think within the next decade we will see even more Chinese economic and military power and they will begin to assert themselves. They may do some pretty controversial things on earth, and the conservative movement of this country will demand action. There will be a new space race and we will be trailing the Chinese. I think major pressure will be put on the leadership of this country to do something before the Chinese "claim" the moon. Similar to the 60s, but with the US in a weaker position.

President Obama will likely be a 2 termer, but I think the conservatives will put major pressure on him to revitalize the space program and beat the Chinese. His successor will probably in turn be a Republican with a major part of his platform being space domination. I think this competition will be a good thing for our country and will put the fear of god into the people here.

The Chinese will have a manned probe returning to the moon before us, but the newly revitalized NASA will follow shortly. I think in 10 years we will have the foundation for a workable moon lab and plans for future manned undertakings elsewhere in the solar system.

Maybe I am being optimistic here, but I think things are lining up this way. The conservatives sure are good at whipping up a frenzy, and the space program will benefit greatly from the perception that Obama is too weak on foreign endeavors, especially since the years 2009-2016 will be his.
Yeah, it looks like the only way we're going to see major progress is through a second space race. Keep in mind though that space exploration is an apolitical issue, people from both sides support it. I wish Obama would put more emphasis and funding into the space program, and I hope the president that succeeds him will want to be a "space president".

On the 50th anniversary we will see the other major space agencies of the world taking some big steps, like unmanned probes to other planets and Japan's robotic moon base. The ISS will likely still be there, probably with a few more modules. NASA probably won't have done any manned missions beyond LEO, unless it is by a joint venture with other space agencies. And finally, space tourism will have grown a lot more than it is today.
 
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ZenGalacticore

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radarredux":2soq4dpt said:
OK, its been a couple of hours with no replies...
A couple of hours with no replies? How long have you been here?

This isn't 1999, old fella. :(
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Maybe there will be more interest in the 50th Anniversery in about 8 years... :lol:
 
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CAllenDoudna

Guest
Whether you're positive or negative about the Future of the Space Program depends on whether you're thinking of a Government Program or Private Business. To hold that NASA is not subject to politics is to ignore Reality.

In the 1920s and 1930s no Government could possibly have considered a Space Program as something they ought to be involved in. It was the time for hobbyists like Goddard and Von Braun.

As War loomed, the Military was suddenly interested in rockets as a means of delivering bombs. It wasn't exactly a Space Program--but it was the only way to advance beyond what a hobbyist could fund out of pocket change and scrap metal. It was War that gave us serious rocketry: The V-2, rocket planes, and a paper--and possibly a mock-up--of the Saenger antepodal bomber which, along with rocket planes, eventually gave rise to the X-15, the Space Shuttle, and the yet-to-be-built scramjet Space Plane. The Space Race was largely a continuation of Military Programs. (Here's what our rockets can do--so you better think about that.) Science was just a cover and as the Cold War ended so did funding for Space Science.

If you want to re-ignite enthusiasm you're going to have to look to the Private Sector. You're going to have to pander to Millionaires who've got a couple hundred thousand dollars they can plop down for a ticket into orbit and a couple hundred thousand more for a hotel room in orbit. After Private Spacelines are rolling in money from taking millionaires into orbit they can afford a second generation of spaceplane that can haul 25-50 people to orbit for around $25,000 with a week in an orbiting hotel at around $5,000. That's where I think we'll be by 2025.

By 2035 $200,000 will get you a week on the Moon while a trip into orbit will be down to about $1,000.

By 2050 a trip to the Moon will be as common as a trip across the ocean is today and where you go beyond that will be more a matter of having the time than having the money.
 
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raptorborealis

Guest
There are some generalizations in many of the above predictions.

Best, however, not to confuse interest in space with 'mannned' space flight.

I find space exploration through Hubble. landers, probes, cosmology, Seti etc. fascinating
...whereas I find the Shuttle and ISS a colossal bore....a double bore when it comes to 'what did the astronauts have for breakfast'...'let's all listen to a lesson from a teacher in space' and ...YAWN.

There are many scientists who don't need the 'big flag waving event' to find amazement in science. Most of my paleontology colleagues wouldn't even know what 'ISS' stands for...but they can get excited over some microscopic minutia that most scientists at Nasa wouldn't have a clue about....and they do their science with a thousandth the budget of the Space Shuttle. We need to be careful being critical of 'average folks' not knowing about space technology when we ourselves are woefully ignorant of what most sciences are actually all about.

bottom line...science is more than 'me, me, me...look what we humans can do'... the trappings of technology. The 50th anniversay of Apollo moon landing will come and go with little more than fluffy sayings borrowed from Star Trek...and will be largely an American event.

People are no longer keen to worship at the altar of technology and that isn't all a bad thing
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
These last few posts have moved the discussion kind of far afield from the Forum Topic, so I moved the thread to SB&T, since that's where they seem to belong.

Wayne
 
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Yuri_Armstrong

Guest
raptorborealis":2ue8zpys said:
There are some generalizations in many of the above predictions.

Best, however, not to confuse interest in space with 'mannned' space flight.

I find space exploration through Hubble. landers, probes, cosmology, Seti etc. fascinating
...whereas I find the Shuttle and ISS a colossal bore....a double bore when it comes to 'what did the astronauts have for breakfast'...'let's all listen to a lesson from a teacher in space' and ...YAWN.

There are many scientists who don't need the 'big flag waving event' to find amazement in science. Most of my paleontology colleagues wouldn't even know what 'ISS' stands for...but they can get excited over some microscopic minutia that most scientists at Nasa wouldn't have a clue about....and they do their science with a thousandth the budget of the Space Shuttle. We need to be careful being critical of 'average folks' not knowing about space technology when we ourselves are woefully ignorant of what most sciences are actually all about.

bottom line...science is more than 'me, me, me...look what we humans can do'... the trappings of technology. The 50th anniversay of Apollo moon landing will come and go with little more than fluffy sayings borrowed from Star Trek...and will be largely an American event.

People are no longer keen to worship at the altar of technology and that isn't all a bad thing
You're ignoring the many benefits of manned spaceflight to science because some government programs were mismanaged and underfunded. The hubble and other space telescopes would not be able to do what they do without manned space flight. A lot of the technology that we use today is a direct result of the space race. If we did send manned missions to other moons and asteroids and planets, then we would get a lot of science work done and learn a lot about these worlds, their geology and possible biology. Yet instead we take the easy-cheap route and send robots that do not really send back that much data.

The Hayabuse probe, for example, returned a few bits of dust from an asteroid. A manned mission could return whole canisters filled with asteroid material, and they could deploy a lot more science experiments. Manned missions to Europa, Titan, Mars, could all gather lots of data on the possible biology or fossils on those worlds. If our politicians supported manned spaceflight to other celestial bodies then we could learn a LOT about our solar system.

Nothing would be more appropriate than for us to make a return to the moon on July 20th, 2019 and honor those brave astronauts who changed the world. If not the moon, then an asteroid, or the moons of mars, or Mars itself.

What politicians don't seem to understand is that if you want to go to Mars, Phobos, Deimos, Ceres, wherever, you need to have a program that gets it done in 10 years. Otherwise instead of people actually doing work you have endless debates, squabbling, and budget cuts until the program is finally cut. The Apollo program was already being torn to pieces by Nixon after 8 years of planning.

I was kind of hoping president Obama would understand that when he made his speech. Predictions and vague calls for an asteroid landing in 15 years aren't really going to lead to anything. We need serious political support and funding so we can visit the many fascinating worlds of our solar system.

Unless something major happens, I do not think any important manned spaceflight event will happen by July 20th, 2019. We will probably be using Orion to go back and forth from the space station, and there will probably be a commercial space hotel up by then. But we will still be stuck in LEO, for 50 years we will have been in LEO when we could have been doing so much more.
 
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raptorborealis

Guest
Yuri_Armstrong":3jmjdavm said:
[quote


Nothing would be more appropriate than for us to make a return to the moon on July 20th, 2019 and honor those brave astronauts who changed the world. If not the moon, then an asteroid, or the moons of mars, or Mars itself.

What politicians don't seem to understand is that if you want to go to Mars, Phobos, Deimos, Ceres, wherever, you need to have a program that gets it done in 10 years. Otherwise instead of people actually doing work you have endless debates, squabbling, and budget cuts until the program is finally cut. The Apollo program was already being torn to pieces by Nixon after 8 years of planning.

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huh? 'Nothing more appropriate..' sure there is. The last thing needed is tens and hundreds of billions of dollars spent 'to honor those brave astronauts'. As a scientist I'm not really into spending a good chunk of science dollars on honoring anyone.

And politicians understand very well. It is the allocation of limited funds they deal with . There is no ground swell by citizens to go to Mars, Phobos....certainly not an asteroid....and Nixon was ELECTED. As one who remembers Apollo 12,13, etc. there was almost zero interest by the citizens in spending more dollars on the Moon. After apollo 12 or so the public (citizens as in 'We the People') decided.

What is called endless debates, squabbling, etc. is really a silly little thing called democracy in which leaders need to be accountable to the electorate next election and not to an electorate that existed a decade previously. The talk of 'locking in a Nasa budget' to Mars, etc. is not going to happen in a democracy regardless of how much manned space buffs whine about it. The USA is not going to put democracy aside. Any American can go out and make the case for or against funding a Mars mission or whatever.
 
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CAllenDoudna

Guest
raptorborealis":ucvy3rj4 said:
Best, however, not to confuse interest in space with 'mannned' space flight.
Money comes from people and people like dealing with people. People are annoyed when they call someplace and a recording says, "Press 1 for. . . " "If you want to . . . press 4" "To leave a message press. . ."

If you want money for a Space Program you need a Salesman people can relate to. Sure, the Astronauts get 80% of that funding--but it will be ten times what you'd have without them and that means the unmanned projects get twice as much money as they had without austronauts.

Funds are voted by Congress. Congress is elected by voters who also happen to be taxpayers. Voters are people and people don't get all that excited about machines. If that Congressman expects to get re-elected he has to vote for things the voters want. Voters want either more money in their pockets or they want to know their money goes for things they get excited about. They're NOT excited about machines but they might vote for a Congressman who voted to CUT FUNDING for those machines. Whether you like it or not, if you want a well-funded Space Program you need a manned componet. The fleas come with the dog.
 
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highwayman

Guest
On July 20th, 2019, there will probably be an announcement or headline,"oh, by the way, in case you don't remember, the United States first landed on the moon, 50 years ago today."

Remember that those original missions were conducted with computers programmed with the calculating power of a digital watch. With the computer technology we have today, a mission to the moon should be much easier. While the ISS and space shuttle missions are providing answers (and maybe more questions) to long term space flight and space work, if we are going to travel to Mars, we need to develop and test ways of sustaining ourselves once we get there. The moon is a good place to try new technology that we are told is being developed or has been developed. We should have been doing that by now.

Also, if a trip to Mars takes a year or so, plus being so far away, we don't want to have to deal with another Apollo 13 disaster if it happens. Once you'd get past the moon, you'd be pretty much on your own if something went wrong. So testing spacecraft by going to the moon and back might be wise.

The way things are here on earth today, sooner or later we will be forced to venture away from this planet. If we don't figure out how to do it and survive now, we won't be able to when it becomes necessary.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
CAllenDoudna":156fmok6 said:
Money comes from people and people like dealing with people. People are annoyed when they call someplace and a recording says, "Press 1 for. . . " "If you want to . . . press 4" "To leave a message press. . ."

If you want money for a Space Program you need a Salesman people can relate to. Sure, the Astronauts get 80% of that funding--but it will be ten times what you'd have without them and that means the unmanned projects get twice as much money as they had without austronauts.

Funds are voted by Congress. Congress is elected by voters who also happen to be taxpayers. Voters are people and people don't get all that excited about machines. If that Congressman expects to get re-elected he has to vote for things the voters want. Voters want either more money in their pockets or they want to know their money goes for things they get excited about. They're NOT excited about machines but they might vote for a Congressman who voted to CUT FUNDING for those machines. Whether you like it or not, if you want a well-funded Space Program you need a manned componet. The fleas come with the dog.
CAllenDoudna they are not excited about humans either.

The fact of the matter is that people's support for human spaceflight does not stem from a desire to watch pictures of a few government astronauts on some far off location. If that is the objective then send robots because they can stay much longer to do detailed mapping at a faction of the cost. Honestly you people seem to have learned nothing from Apollo. There is not the will nor is there going to be the will to spend hundreds of billions of dollar just to send humans for no reason except to send humans.

The enthusiasm for human spaceflight comes from humanity's dream of one day moving into space, of having a space economy, and space colonization and etc. You talk to school children and you ask them what they would like to be many say astronauts. They do not say they want to watch astronauts on the TV. Watching people on TV is no better than watching robots.
 
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Yuri_Armstrong

Guest
DarkenedOne, do you have any opinion polls to support that statement?
 
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