Griffin: China will beat US back to moon

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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>I keep arguing Mars' advantages.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Both have their advantages and drawbacks, Martian most notable issues are huge transportation and communications time lag, and scarcity of launch windows.<br /><br />I think we all know that, and if some still dont there ought to be a wiki somewhere with the basic stuff written up, so we dont have to go through the same stuff in every single thread.<br />
 
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vulture2

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I remain puzzled at Griffin's antipathy to joint efforts with China. We need a partner with deep pockets.
 
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jschaef5

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Griffin is under the direction of the president of the United States.... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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spacelifejunkie

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"I remain puzzled at Griffin's antipathy to joint efforts with China. We need a partner with deep pockets."<br /><br /><br />China doesn't have deep pockets. They love their space program but they don't have the resources of NASA (only $2 billion/year).<br /><br />China will not beat us to the moon. Between, NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Bigelow and everyone else, the US will be there first. <br /><br />Personally, I don't trust China. They blow up satellites and hack our defense department. They have as many spies working in the US stealing secrets now as during the cold war. They pirate our technology and patents and make billions off of American accomplishments. Cooperation with China is, yes, a good idea. I am in favor of LIMITED cooperation, however.<br /><br /><br />SLJ
 
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kelvinzero

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Ye gods I just had a horrible thought: America destroying their own infrastructure at popular destinations like the poles in case the sneaky chinese go up and examine it instead of the nice scenery <img src="/images/icons/laugh.gif" /><br /><br />Im really pleased by the recent space.com article about NASA's next mission. Hope it is not just hot air. It contains a bunch of things off my "Wouldnt it be neat if" list.<br />http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/070920_nasa_moonbase.html
 
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themanwithoutapast

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"China doesn't have deep pockets. They love their space program but they don't have the resources of NASA (only $2 billion/year). "<br /><br />2 billion USD? The Chinese space program can only dream of such a budget. They are operating on a shoe-string budget of a bit over 1 billion USD, most of it is used for actually launching rockets and maintaining their various launch sites as well as building and operating their satellites. As a percentage of their nominal GDP, China expenses about 3 times less than the US (just NASA!) for space, and also spends less as a percentage of GDP than countries like France, Japan and Russia - even India (!) spends more on space. <br /><br />Their budget constraints have been evident in many ways (the media has apparently not picked that up because it appears counterintuitive from the country's GDP growth rate) - their manned program has experienced year-long slips at least every mission, they had plans for a 25ton launcher since the 90s and have announced that they would "soon" start the development phase for them every odd year - and the current situation is that the CZ-5 is still far away to get the required funding for even start serious development. <br /><br />P.S. the often cited Chang-e 1 has been scheduled for early 2006 only a couple of years ago and is - compared to Japan's SELENE - more or less a totally low-tech probe. + ever seen pictures of the Chinese space station to be in orbit in 2010? Well, I guess they even won't have a fourth manned flight under their pocket at that time.
 
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MeteorWayne

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<br /><br />NASA's budget is about $17B per year. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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docm

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A numeration of budgets is probably not helpful in comparing the programs. <br /><br />What are the labor & material costs in their program vs. NASA's? My bet is that they're getting a WalMart discount or better. <br /><br />What expenses are off budget and provided by other agencies such as the Chinese military? I would bet any figures on this are highly conservative at best.<br /><br />What percentage of their space program's budget is diverted to non-space expenditures or corporate welfare?<br /><br />How much are they spending on orbital facilities that have the planned obsolescence of a 1963 Corvair?<br /><br />My point is that with better focus, lower expenditures, lower costs and sorry to say a more common sense approach they could accomplish a lot more than pure budget number comparisons would indicate. You lso don't know how much of their program is "black". <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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spacelifejunkie

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All good points, docm.<br /><br />Even with a large "black" budget, low wages and a streamlined, non-bureaucratic approach I still don't believe they can beat us to the moon. US aerospace is in a renaissance right now with no end in sight. Very exciting.<br /><br /><br />SLJ
 
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vulture2

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>>"China doesn't have deep pockets. They love their space program but they don't have the resources of NASA (only $2 billion/year). "<br /><br />http://www.spacedaily.com/dragonspace.html<br /><br />China has over $1T in US currency reserves. Their current budget has allowed 6-8 launches (~1 manned) per year, a good deal more than the US could do for $2B/yr, with no failures since '96. This appears to be enough to accommodate their launch customers, which are limited due to US export restrictions. While first launch of the CZ-5 has slipped to at least 2008, there is no doubt that they could invest more if called for by a political objective, i.e. if they were invited to join the ISS program. They may demonstrate an unmanned lunar orbiter or lander in the next few years. There is no evidence (beyond the speculation of a few chinese enthusiasts) that they have any plans for a manned lunar flight. They clearly do not want to appear to be in a race; this would have no conceivable up-side for China. If they lost they would appear technically inferior, if they won they would irritate their biggest customer. <br /><br />
 
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thereiwas

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Compare the death rates in the Chinese coal mining industry with those anywhere else in the world. Concern for worker's safety is not high on their priority list. Some "streamlining" we can do without.
 
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spacelifejunkie

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"Some "streamlining" we can do without."<br /><br /><br />Amen, brother.<br /><br /><br />SLJ
 
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j05h

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<i>> Both have their advantages and drawbacks, Martian most notable issues are huge transportation and communications time lag, and scarcity of launch windows. </i><br /><br />Transportation costs to Mars and successful delivery to the surface are the largest issues, IMHO. Launch windows are regular, can be planned for, at 26 month intervals. High energy transfer stages can create new launch opportunities as well. Communications lag is workable - the major item for spacecraft is for them to act more like ships with a certain degree of autonomy. <br /><br />Luna's biggest trouble spot, IMHO, is the lack of volatiles or easy access to same. It would be very hard to access what reserves it contains, even with blue ice in the polar craters. Luna may serve best as a platform with volatiles and Habitats coming from elsewhere (Mars/freefall and Earth). The Moon makes an ideal spot for astronomy, Earth-viewing hotels and metal feedstocks, though those activities may exclude each other. <br /><br /><br />One last thing on the recent MarsVMoon scuffle, is that I really think the Action is going to be on NEOs and Main Belt asteroids, with a side helping of Phobos&Deimos. Once we can actually construct things in freefall there will be no limit to human destinations. Personally, I love Mars and it's moons. Others study the Moon and want to go there. But when the economics make sense the real development will be as high up the gravity well as possible, probably between NEOs and the Earth-Moon Lagrange points, then with the Belt. Mars and the Moon may both be curiosities or backwaters. Who knows, maybe Ceres has ruins on it and we're all going to rush there when Dawn reports back.<br /><br />I'm not sure if a wiki would help, because people post first and ask questions later. I'm guilty of this too. A wiki won't help slay the myths of spaceflight, either. No amount of FAQing will get the "RBCC scramjets Rule!" or "Lunar landings were fake, man!" posts to go away. Maybe you could sta <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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kelvinzero

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>More on-topic, is there something like that that might cause a space "gold rush"? Is there a resource, discovery or other thing that might cause a leap of competition? The Lunar X Prize already has 125 interested teams according to the radio. Is there something knowable out there that could cause the same kind of interest? <br /><p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />My hope is a space solar power breakthrough (becomes practical right now even with current launch costs) , or a ISRU technique that could turn each one ton investment into a hundred (or thousand, or million) tons of infrastucture. That would be almost as good as a hundred (or thousand or million) times cheaper launch cost. This would make many schemes (including SSP) suddenly cost effective.
 
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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>or a ISRU technique that could turn each one ton investment into a hundred (or thousand, or million) tons of infrastucture.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Aha, but there is one. Depositing of solar cells on lunar surface. See<br />http://www.spaceagepub.com/pdfs/Ignatiev.pdf<br /><br />Once you have ample power available in situ, lots of other stuff becomes possible. Most material processing is energy intensive by default, to break up lunar minerals you need lots of energy, and the processes wont be possible in any relevant quantities without ample power.<br />This approach provides it with relatively little "bootstrap" mass.
 
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alokmohan

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Pioneer?Zubrin is advocating the caure and mars on earth exists.
 
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docm

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<looks around...echo?> <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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gunsandrockets

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I like to compare the current Chinese manned spaceflight program to the old Soviet manned spaceflight program under Kruschev.<br /><br />Now that so much more is known today, we know that Kruschev pushed for 'space spectaculars'. Those stunts no doubt had some positive effect at home, but even more importantly it was an effective tool in the PR arena of the Cold War between the Soviets and the West. In a way the Soviet manned space program at the time was part of a big bluff and bluster Kruschev used to make the Soviets look more imposing, more modern and more dangerous to the rest of the world than they truly were. While behind the scenes, Kruschev was desperately trying to make drastic cuts in the size and scope of the horribly expensive conventional forces of the Soviet Union.<br /><br />The Chinese manned program today seems very much like the old Krushev program, space spectaculars for PR purposes. But unlike the old Soviet program I think the current Chinese program is mostly for domestic consumption. Manned spaceflight is pretty old-hat to the wider world and the modest acheivements of the Chinese program have met with yawns outside China. But inside China the public response seems very attentive and positive improving the support of the government among the public, and that is what the manned program is really all about.<br /><br />The one party dictatorship of China is riding the tiger. And if bread and circuses, or manned spaceflight, help to keep the tiger at bay then the party will happily serve up more manned spaceflight spectaculars. So it wouldn't surprise me to see China take mission leaps just as surprising as the mere existance of the Chinese manned program itself is surprising.
 
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docm

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China: new spaceport...<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p><b>China to build new space launch center in southernmost province</b><br /><br />BEIJING, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- China plans to construct a new space launch center in Wenchang, China's southernmost Hainan Province, according to official sources.<br /><br /> The new launch center aims to serve the next-generation rocket carriers that do emit poisonous and pollutive gas and new-type spacecraft.<br /><br /> The new launch site will be mainly used for launching synchronous satellites, heavy satellites, large space stations, and deep space probe satellites, according to the plan which has been approved by the State Council and the Central Military Commission.<br /><br /> Hainan is located in a low-latitude region, which is helpful to increasing the capacity of rocket carriers and extending the lifespan of satellites.<br /><br /> A spokesman for China's space program said the Chinese government works on peaceful use of the outer space to promote development of human civilization and social development and benefit the whole Mankind.<br /><br /> In 1958, China began building its first rocket launch site in northwest China's Jiuquan. At present, the country has three space launch grounds. The other two are located in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province and Xichang in southwestern Sichuan Province.<br /><br /> These launch sites have carried out over 100 space launches, sending over 100 satellites and six manned spacecraft into space.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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frodo1008

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And that is another reason why NASA is proposing bases at the poles of the moon, where sunlight is available all the time. Sunlight that is never interfered with by any atmosphere such as we have here on the Earth. A truly VAST supply of inexhaustible energy!
 
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j05h

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<i>> There are many things people are misreading about china. First of all ....The US has a black program where millions, if not billions, of dollars are "misplaced"...</i><br /><br />Third of all remember that the Chinese manned space program is 100% military in nature. In some ways Chinese-space is a military exercise, moreso even than the old USSR. American and other's black space is valuable - it really is the high ground. DoD (white-budget) for space is significantly larger than all of NASA. Just the way things are.<br /><br /><i>> ... China has been running their economy with the common sense that the US has been Lacking. ... they may be the next sleeping giant of this century.</i><br /><br />China is also a one-party Communist state, with some top-down control over everything there. The dragon is awake. Can they keep it together while transitioning to something that satisfies their citizens more?<br /><br />Josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
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cuddlyrocket

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>...but China has been running their economy with the common sense that the US has been Lacking.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />They used to say that about Japan, until it entered into a decade-long depression. Now Japan is considered to have an appalling record of economic mismanagement.<br /><br />The Chinese have high growth rates - though that's relatively straightforward at their stage of development - but this tends to cover a multitude of sins (not an unknown phenomena in the West - no-one cared about the dot.com or credit bubbles while they made everyone feel better off). They have serious economic problems. Inequalities are rising and producing social tensions, pollution is becoming economically unsupportable, inflation is rising and threatening to get out of control. Etc.
 
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no_way

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<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>http://www.spaceagepub.com/pdfs/Ignatiev.pdf<br /><br />Yes I am very enthusiastic about this sort of proposal though I havent heard much about it since.<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Well, for instance they built a prototype rover hardware to do that sort of stuff.<br />Keep an eye on isruinfo.com, relevant reports from SRR meetings are linked there.<br /><br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>And that is another reason why NASA is proposing bases at the poles of the moon, where sunlight is available all the time.<br /><p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />The two concepts dong go very well together. The in-situ solar cell production method discussed above builds the floor of cells directly on lunar surface, which means that at the lunar poles it wold have a very bad incident angle to sunlight, producing very little output.<br />For polar sites, you really want vertically mounted thin-film solar arrays, on rotating base.
 
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