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

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Nov 8, 2023
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I feel like China only cares about proving they're superior to Artemis countries, and the military application of Earth orbit. IIRC, there's nothing stopping a country from signing the Artemis Accords and the ILRS, but they all sign one or the other based on geopolitics. I also recall that China spends less on space than the U.S.A.

My point is that I disagree with the idea that China sees the value of space colonization as opposed to the U.S.A. in the space race and today. I think they're doing the same thing, but people are less crazy than they were during The Cold War.

I am the opposite of an authority on this matter, though. I don't follow Chinese space nor relevant politics closely, and I likely have a bias against China due to the country where I was raised. I also didn't note where I heard most of this, so I don't have sources.

I'd also like to remind everyone that this forum is for discussing science, not politics, so try to keep rebuttals focused on disproving my point in my 2nd paragraph.

Completely unrelated and pedantic: people talk about countries "signing China's ILRS" but that parses to "signing China's International Lunar Research Station". You can't sign a station that doesn't exist. We don't say "signed NASA's Lunar Gateway", we say "signed the Artemis Accords". Similarly, we should call the organization "the U.S.A.'s N.A.S.A."
You sure love reminding folks of the rules.

The Space Race was more motivated by politics than by the scientific curiosity of figures like JFK or Khrushchev. Try having a conversation about it without any mention of politics.
You sure love reminding folks of the rules.

The Space Race was more motivated by politics than by the scientific curiosity of figures like JFK or Khrushchev. Try having a conversation about it without any mention of politics.

I do not "love reminding folks of the rules.", but I will point out when a conversation I'm having begins to drift from the topic, e.g., right now. I'll also preemptively point out when one of my posts might lead to political debate, because some people get political quickly, and it might be a mitigating factor if my post was political by mistake.

I assume you got the idea that I "love reminding folks of the rules." because I reminded you to stay on the thread-topic in another thread (I'd link to the thread, but our posts were deleted for being "Off topic". According to my notifications, you last posted in it an hour before you posted here.). But that wasn't a rule, and the fact that I do something multiple times doesn't mean I like to.

Also, this thread isn't about the Space Race. It has touched on it multiple times, though. But at some point something goes from political to historical fact, e.g., saying "the only reason we went to the moon was for publicity" might have been considered political at the time, but now it's agreed upon that it was just a stunt.

My post argues a point, one backed up by pieces of evidence. Disproving my point could be done without the discussion of politics. The evidence is as follows:

  1. A feeling that China only cares about proving superiority, and militarization. I cast further doubt on this in my 3rd paragraph.
  2. The vast majority of countries join a side based on preexisting geopolitical factors, and they only pick one.
  3. China spends less on space than the U.S.A.

You wouldn't really need to disprove my 1st piece of "evidence". You could disprove my 2nd one by providing multiple examples of countries that don't act as I portray them. And you could disprove my 3rd point by providing a source that contradicts my statement. You could also provide new evidence that disproves my overall point.
I've never seen nor heard the word "rejoiner" before reading your post, and I can't find a definition of the word "rejoiner" that makes sense in the context of your post, so could you help me out?
That was probably a typo (or a mispronunciation carried over) meant to be rejoinder - a reply, especially a response to a reply. Out of mispronunciations new words are made. This comment could be a rejoiner - rejoining a discussion after an absence...

A feeling that China only cares about proving superiority, and militarization. I cast further doubt on this in my 3rd paragraph.

Whilst the individuals involved will have a variety of motivations governments with significant space programs have developing, improving and demonstrating technological competence in areas highly relevant to defense capabilities high on their list of reasons to have space programs.

Take the international rivalries and defense considerations out of the picture and I think space agencies will struggle - and I don't think it will be the nation that commits to space colonies first that will be the winner; inducing your rivals to voluntarily deprive their nation of 4% of their budget on something that will deliver little in tangible benefits could make the nation that doesn't do it the winner. An international space program eg a meteor defense program such as I would favour likely faces resistance because nations in conflict don't want to share their best tech.

The vast majority of countries join a side based on preexisting geopolitical factors, and they only pick one.

I haven't followed the process of how the Artemis program was developed or how international cooperation is arranged but was China invited or permitted to participate? It seems like the US specifically excludes China and cooperation between NASA and China's space agency, like the US has opposed China's participation with the ISS - (from Newsweek) -

The 2011 Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, which set rules and funding for defense and other U.S. government agencies for that year, states in section 1340 that NASA may not use funds from that division to collaborate in any way with China unless a law specifically authorizes it.

I think there is no evading that sort of political consideration for the foreseeable future. The US wants China excluded and it's technological and economic advancement curtailed, including by disapproving of and discouraging other nations from collaborating with China.

I don't think China's leaders would be foolish enough to commit to colonies in space and like the US want demonstrations of technological excellence for more down to Earth (if a bit off the planet) political reasons. Inciting the US to blow 4% of it's Federal Budget on Mars colonies that have zero chance of success sounds quite Sun Tzu'ish and would probably please China just fine.
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If China is "foolish enough" to go for space colonization they will win history and the "high ground" space frontier over the Earth, big time! They backed off from frontier and the energies in colonization once around 600 years ago to their nearly 600 years of very great cost, they will not back away twice whatever the initial cost to get energies' momentum going and flowing!
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"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
A "rejoiner" is an answer to a reply.
Note that it is common to restate a fact as part of any explanation to someone who does not understand the concept. This both forces the proponent to concisely and accurately state their position and it gives the recipient another look at the assertion. It sets the stage for questions from the recipient to help clarify in their mind what is going on. Alternatively they might offer a counterpoint that seeks to invalidate the original assertion. It is called "give and take". It helps us arrive at mutual understanding.
Perhaps the US has dropped the 'd'?

Rejoinder Definition & Meaning​

Merriam-Webster › dictionary › rejoi...

retort implies a reaction to an implicit or explicit charge, criticism, or attack which contains a countercharge or counterattack.

REJOINDER | English meaning - Cambridge Dictionary​

Cambridge Dictionary › dictionary › rejoinder

a quick and often angry or humorous answer: She always has a witty rejoinder to/for any question.

Cat :)
When I attended the International Space Development Conference back in 2019, I attended a plenary session keynoted by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. He responded to a question about NASA's definition of sustainable referring to its strategic sustainability to continue to receive support from Congress for funding.

Knowing how NASA makes decisions, it relies heavily on the opinions of industry and key academics, but it largely ignores public support. Politicians care more about how NASA contracts affect the economy of their district than they care about far-reaching ideas from space enthusiasts.

Fairchild Semiconductor (later Intel) was the first to develop the Integrated Circuit. The first generation IC chip was too expensive for regular industry. It would have never taken off without the Apollo Program needing to put computers into spacecraft. Without NASA being their first customer, the computer revolution would have never happened.

The line between robots and humans is a little fuzzier than this argument pretends. There can be overlap with teleoperated robotics. But that overlap has limits due to the speed of light. After a certain point, we really need humans to be on site.

Robots could be used in dirty, dangerous, and dull jobs such as asteroid mining. Humans can teleoperate with them if they're nearby. But suppose there's an asteroid that's at risk of splitting apart and humans on site could improvise a way to hold it together. Suppose there's a manufacturing plant on the Moon and a solar flare ionized a microcontroller for a radiator for a power plant. Now the entire mission is at risk of total loss.

Note that in space, radiation isn't limited to solar flares, it comes from the rest of the galaxy and even the universe.

Ever strip a screw. How do you handle it? When Apollo astronauts needed to remove a camera from one of the first lunar landers, a mounting screw was stripped. The function of the screwdriver failed. The astronaut ripped the camera off its housing. That's something a machine wouldn't be able to do. There are also stories about how Apollo astronauts were trained to be field geologists. They learned to recognize glint off the surface of rocks and pick out anorthosite, which revolutionized our understanding of lunar geology.

To quote Buzz Aldrin, we need to get out of the mud with arguments about manned vs. unmanned operations.

The biggest problem for the entire argument is that people are fighting over a fixed funding pie that comes from taxes, which are themselves a small subset of what resources actually exist. The economy is far bigger than government budgets. We can have an entirely different conversation about space moving away from a $20 billion USD/year government budget vs. a space economy that generates $2-5 trillion USD/year.

Unmanned operations are good for space exploration and early economic development. After a certain point, we're going to find resources that allows us to operate commercially which moves us beyond simple exploration towards economic development. Such economic development can help humans become economically sustainable in space. The main added benefit to sending humans into space is they can reproduce and expand their population. When it becomes self-sufficient and sustainable, it redefines what humans are capable of.
Yes and we need to add the element of human survivability challenge and balance it with human curiosity to conquer or understand mysteries!
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Yes and we need to add the element of human survivability challenge and balance it with human curiosity to conquer or understand mysteries!
It is way too bad that only a few people like Stephen Hawking, and I must add myself (I've enough threads and posts detailing to do it), understand the bad of entropy in a closed world system. Some understood it concerning a system behind an 'Iron Curtain' but never thought about the entire world, our entire Earth as far as mankind and mankind's evolution of energy structure and infrastructure is concerned, like a developed child -- developed in every way for the universe outside -- in the ninth month inside the womb coming upon the "due time of birth," being behind an 'Iron Curtain' now.

Physicist Michio Kaku once put it this way in his book 'Hyperspace': In the last two-million years mankind has increased one-million-fold in its numbers upon the Earth. This does not begin to tell the reality, the truth, of mankind's numbers regarding an evolution. Over the same two-million years mankind has increased in its energy, its energies, its structures and infrastructure, its overlapping complexities, reaches, and chaos, two-million-fold average per every man, woman, and child living today. One-million-fold of that two-million-fold increase in just the last eighty years! For the simplest picture (actually far too simplistic a picture but....) of what this means, multiply 8-billion people by 2-million-fold to get the equivalent of 16-quadrillion people short needs and wants jostling in an overall vulnerable 'Iron 'Curtain' bubble-system, a closed world system, of countless invisible invulnerable iron curtain bubbles of a bad, a very negative, entropy within. Bubbles of bad entropy, of negativity, within that nothing can be done about until something is done about the overall 'Iron Curtain' enclosing the world, the Earth, in a titanic web of isolation from frontier universe. Until the system is opened, blown wide open . . .and, therefore, the exhaust pipe (to the frontier universe outside) of a combustion engine of Earth's life is unplugged!

What happens to a child ready for a process of birth in a "due time of birth" that turns its vastly expanded and evolved energies and energy intensive extensions of itself in structures inward upon its environment and itself to satisfy its ever increasing, ever growing, needs and wants and won't be born to the new rough, tough, abrasive outside universe of alien, raw, harsh and forbidding frontiers that its energies and evolutions of structure has prepared it for (rather than preparing it to go for some kind of perfection of Utopia in place)?! The picture gets ugly, very ugly! Dystopian to the max!
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