Can I ask someone to rebuttal my argument against human space flight?

Sep 7, 2022
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Hello, would someone be interested in providing arguments defending human spaceflight vs unmanned spaceflight? I'm on team unmanned. I'm leaving out difficult questions like cost and danger since these are hard to base arguments around. These are just some arguments I hear companies like NASA and SPACEX use over and over that I really want to pick into.

Argument 1: It provides the necessary PR and funding for more critical scientific mission like cassini and new horizon.
Counter 1: Lower launch cost in the future will negate high funding cost, thus negating the need for PR stunts involving humans.

Argument 2: Lot of spin-off technologies are developed in R&D like velcro
Counter 2: These technologies weren't developed by NASA, and even where they were, they do not outway the cost, and might have developed on their own. (This is a weak defense on my part since it relies on speculation)

Argument 3: Human are required for time critical task that require improvisation.
Counter 3: What time sensitive task? (This one I hear a lot, I'm not sure as to what they're getting at. If you know, could you explain it to me?)

Argument 4: Humans can improvise in the moment where machine can only use the tools it's equipped with.
Counter 4: Humans are also limited to the tools they have at hand. It also much easier just to send a second probe.

If you have more arguments for or against human spaceflight, please let me know. You can provide your own counters and counter my counters.
 
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Jan 29, 2020
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Do you have a span of decades or centuries for the assertion? New horizon was from the 90's. It could've been studied earlier, the electric rocket was from the 1970's, but to have make it manned would've required Stars Wars funding in the 1980's. I'll be looking at Sol Gel to connect nanoparticles for chain mail product parts. Unmanned radar observatories but also manned serviced on the Lunar Surface maybe 2030's. The product might be easier to make manned in space, can take radiation damage for 25 years. Oxygen affects surfaces enough eventually you need a manned lab, just to operate SPM knobs with a disc-jockey level of dexterity.
 
Sep 7, 2022
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This is why I asked on a forum, so go nuts. Like to counter, so playing devil's advocate here. Why exactly do we need disc-jockey level of dexterity for? We use probes on the bottom of the ocean, and they seem to get fine with just amateur disc-jockey levels of dexterity.
 
Jan 29, 2020
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Manufacturing to tolerances of nanoparticles stamping and assembly requires fine grained motion. IBM loses maybe still if there is a Jeopardy button stick for it to push rather than an electronic machine learning buzzer to electrically time. Look how big the Canada Arm is. It dampens vibrations being that big.
 
Sep 7, 2022
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Oh wait, I misread your post, sorry, I'm mostly asking about manned exploration, not manufacturing. Like is their a good reason to establish any human presence beyond low earth orbit. Lunar observatories are debatable. We've gotten a lot better at smoothing out noise from data in the last couple of years, hence why most ground based telescope fair better than Hubble nowadays.
 
Dec 29, 2019
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Hello, would someone be interested in providing arguments defending human spaceflight vs unmanned spaceflight? I'm on team unmanned. I'm leaving out difficult questions like cost and danger since these are hard to base arguments around. These are just some arguments I hear companies like NASA and SPACEX use over and over that I really want to pick into.

Argument 1: It provides the necessary PR and funding for more critical scientific mission like cassini and new horizon.
Counter 1: Lower launch cost in the future will negate high funding cost, thus negating the need for PR stunts involving humans.

Argument 2: Lot of spin-off technologies are developed in R&D like velcro
Counter 2: These technologies weren't developed by NASA, and even where they were, they do not outway the cost, and might have developed on their own. (This is a weak defense on my part since it relies on speculation)

Argument 3: Human are required for time critical task that require improvisation.
Counter 3: What time sensitive task? (This one I hear a lot, I'm not sure as to what they're getting at. If you know, could you explain it to me?)

Argument 4: Humans can improvise in the moment where machine can only use the tools it's equipped with.
Counter 4: Humans are also limited to the tools they have at hand. It also much easier just to send a second probe.

If you have more arguments for or against human spaceflight, please let me know. You can provide your own counters and counter my counters.
I mostly agree with you. I think there is nothing we do in space that is done better using astronauts... other than those with the specific objective of promoting and advancing human presence in space, which is circular. As soon as humans are included the life support and safety of the astronauts becomes the overriding mission priority. Missions require much greater payloads to support the astronauts - payload that could have been devoted to mission relevant equipment. They cannot be treated as disposable; return capability - at cost to mission objectives - is essential. They can't go into sleep mode and cannot reach more distant and difficult targets at all.

I do think the PR around space programs has worked well at attracting clever innovators and problem solvers and, importantly, funding. Less funding I expect had they been crewless all along but probably quicker turnaround on results, ie more successful missions. PR is a peculiar and not entirely certain thing; well promoted crewless programs might still attract popular support, ie funding. I note the popularity of the various probes, rovers, space telescopes.

Support for R&D delivers spin off results. I have strongly suspected it is not so much the R&D hothouses with specific focuses as the totality of support for R&D within advanced economies that delivers the significant results. Space R&D is a spin-off - and the peaceful, friendly face - of military R&D, which may not have had as great a talent attraction effect without it. It may well be that military technology advanced quicker by having civilian space programs than through secretive military programs, although I don't think military R&D has difficulties getting funding. Not sure, but I am not convinced that we would have missed much technological advancement by going crewless.

Improvising - is what missions that are not well planned and prepared for have to do. Space missions don't tolerate unreliability very well.

And if reliability is beneficial to un-crewed missions how much more essential for crewed ones? It is easy to suggest having an astronaut on hand could fix problems but having astronauts on hand is a much bigger challenge - and will face much greater, as in life and death important, challenges as well as just more of them, because there will be more equipment needed, with more that can go wrong. They could only fix relatively minor problems; any kind of serious repairs require well equipped workshops, parts, materials to make parts, payload sacrifices to provide those - when making things that work reliably in the first place is a much better approach.

Apart from the near Earth possibilities where commercial viability is not about space resources but about Earth resources there are no commercial opportunities. Currently the biggest commercial opportunities for space launch companies is bidding for taxpayer funded contracts. Even ones like asteroid mining are - in my view - more likely to be attempted without astronauts. For the sake of reducing costs and enhancing the potential for profitability I expect any company attempting it will go to great lengths to avoid any requirement for astronauts to be on hand.

Space is - for the foreseeable future - better explored without astronauts.
 
Aug 14, 2020
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The way I see your argument, life sparked in a mudhole of early Earth and should never have developed, grown and expanded beyond that mudhole. A child sparks to life in the womb and should never develop and grow and expand beyond the womb (should never birth). Life on Earth should never develop, grow, and expand beyond the Earth (life should never birth from the Earth into the outside Frontier universe).

What is the future of energetic life that can never, does never, leave the nest in a due time of birthing or hatching as it, and its needs and wants, will not keep growing in every dimensionality and the nest, correspondingly, keeps shrinking in its dimensions, its ability, to supply those growing needs and wants. We've reached the point of war. War to breakout into a then opening frontier system, or wars of a very different kind inside a closing system.
 
Jan 29, 2020
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I mentioned timeline as synthetic biology will be a risk around 2090. It is similar to epidemic risks often measured against space progress and space society visions. By then a couple of colonies are needed.
Micron scale machines can be made to perform a single task. The parts, 200x smaller than fine hair, can be made to move in configurations like the hovering battleship in Terminator 4. Communications and sensors of different wavelengths can be made with the same parts assembled differently. Walls can be re-arranged. Armour can be customized to angle of meteorites or radiation. If someone were to attempt to remove a part or reverse engineer it, a broken machine is all that may be left over. This manufacturing enables the life support, and Q-of-L in space. I agree, too much is spent now up there on repair and maintenance and understand the argument for robotics.
Alumina oxides have stronger bonds than do metals, atom to atom. Metals are tougher, meteorite impact especially is a ripping motion stopped by hardness. This (alpha) oxide is harder. It is more resistant to wear than are metals, which go brittle and adsorb hydrogen...Even for hair sized objects, surface forces keep defects to the core. Building metals out of nanoparticle chain-mail has strength benefits. The factory is alumina mostly. Robots now are mostly metal motors. The factory uses magnets (made by conventional industry) that assemble lock in key. Robots are mostly too heavy to use these magnets and their servos shake enough to ruin a clean room nano environment. I'm guessing UHV nanoparticle making becomes easier in space than on Earth in the 2040's, I'm planning an UHV shed around then in Edm to test ice fracture. The metal robots get hacked and repurposed whereas if you hack mature nanotech you are left with shards of crystal. For that reason, a college student on Triton orbit station in 2060 can bunk beside a nano service shed whereas a robot shed might trigger a Tet offensive locally, if he were a hacker. Things like whether you want an ecosystem to be coral or kelp, and if fishing crustacaens is fun for tourists obviously need manned feedback.
 
Dec 29, 2019
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The way I see your argument, life sparked in a mudhole of early Earth and should never have developed, grown and expanded beyond that mudhole. A child sparks to life in the womb and should never develop and grow and expand beyond the womb (should never birth). Life on Earth should never develop, grow, and expand beyond the Earth (life should never birth from the Earth into the outside Frontier universe).

What is the future of energetic life that can never, does never, leave the nest in a due time of birthing or hatching as it, and its needs and wants, will not keep growing in every dimensionality and the nest, correspondingly, keeps shrinking in its dimensions, its ability, to supply those growing needs and wants. We've reached the point of war. War to breakout into a then opening frontier system, or wars of a very different kind inside a closing system.
Nonsense. When the machines find real, achievable opportunities for people out there people will go out there and the selfless sacrifices of those machines will be honored. As long as there aren't opportunities for people out there no amount of putting people in space first will create them.

It is like urging people making dugout canoes with stone tools to make ships that can cross oceans. Except there really were new lands with vast opportunities just waiting to be found. In space there is not - we've sent machines to look. What they find is inhospitable and the abundance of resources, though real, are uneconomic - seriously badly uneconomic - to make use of.

Until those real opportunities can be found a quasi-religious faith in eternal expansion and growth as human destiny will have to suffice.
 
Jan 29, 2020
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Last decade USA was 1st in robotics, nanotech should afford a similar tech level. The Wild Wild West sugar cube machinery for communications can be a NY State hub. A smaller Canada Arm was rejected on Orion. The payload savings might be enough to garner moveable waveguides on a future spacecraft. Space genetic food is a good hub for Washington, it compliments BC's exobiology; I expect different health hubs to compete for very advanced biology R+D latter 21st century. A university drawing from NY maybe Cornell is too risky for cdns. Students near Saturn could analyze samples, control a simple version of the sugar cube machine, and explain why a sample has space mutations. Without manufacturing in space, 2 students. With mines making space parts, 100 students in Enceladus ice, enough for my fav newsletter as well as maybe better coffee than in the U of T. I don't mean to besmirch robotic programming. Without in situ manufacturing, only two future Musks, Yaegers, Reagans, might not be worth the effort.
 

Catastrophe

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
Of course, there are arguments on both sides, but I think return per dollar spent must come down on the side of unmanned.

Perhaps, it might be argued, that unmanned is the essential precursor to manned. The reverse is definitely not to be recommended.

Cat :)
 
Jan 29, 2020
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With the folding nano-racking other applications are: modulating air pressure in a pipe, water pressure, and rocket exhaust. Things like huts for China or the Inuit, pedestrian walkways, can be publicly funded where aluminum mines are near. With the bomb came alot of electron modelling, Feymann fields. Market forces aren't too efficient but it seems better to have nanotech where the Manhattan project got good with electrons, and not across a mishmash of countries. Made on Earth for Earth and in space for space looks good return. Flip-flopping is hard to gauge as Earth has oxidation, gravity and space has radiation and micro-meteorites.
 

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