Looking for civil debate on Moon vs. Mars

Status
Not open for further replies.
R

Ralfy99

Guest
Mars or moon

Do yo think NASA should take to the moon or mars personally i would opt for Mars :lol: :arrow:
 
3

3488

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

Ralfy99":3td13faw said:
Do yo think NASA should take to the moon or mars personally i would opt for Mars :lol: :arrow:
Hi Ralfy99.

If you have not seen it on the Cassini Equinox Thread, welcome to SDC.

Please explain why you personally would opt for Mars rather than the Moon?

Please keep it scientific & please, do not bring politics into it.

I'm interested to read your opinion on this.

I will say Missions & Launches really is for Missions & Launches & as this thread is not dedicated to a particular mission or launch, I have moved it to Space Science & Astronomy, as it is not political.

Politics is discussed either in Space Business & Technology if space related or in Free Space generally.

Andrew Brown.
 
B

bdewoody

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

As stated before I believe the proper sequence is go to the moon first and prove we can stay there long term (at least a year or two) without resupply from earth. Prove we can make fuel from the native material and then prepare for the expedition to Mars from our moon. The moon should be considered our long term space station. We should build the spacecraft we want to explore the solar system with on the moon and start our missions from there.
 
S

scottb50

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

bdewoody":3ehys5o9 said:
As stated before I believe the proper sequence is go to the moon first and prove we can stay there long term (at least a year or two) without resupply from earth. Prove we can make fuel from the native material and then prepare for the expedition to Mars from our moon. The moon should be considered our long term space station. We should build the spacecraft we want to explore the solar system with on the moon and start our missions from there.
Well we would have to stay on Mars for at least two year or realistically more without resupply. Prove we can make fuel from the native material. The only way we could prove it is to do it, we haven't. That the moon is relevant is another thing. LEO assembly makes a lot more sense, why go to LEO and then the moon and then Mars? It doesn't reduce costs it complications them.

We have been to the moon and the cost of going to LEO, the moon and Mars far exceeds going to LEO and Mars.
 
T

thermionic

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

Moon, for a practical reason, and a reason of purpose.

The practical reason is that it's an easily scheduled two day trip, while Mars is a many month trip with travel opportunities only every other year. This will do wonders for the chances of success.

The second is that the moon can be used as our nuclear depot. We have to go nuclear to do anything meaninful in space, but we can't be lofting nuclear material through our atmosphere for political and maybe safety reasons.
 
M

michaelmozina

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

thermionic":1cvcdk5u said:
Moon, for a practical reason, and a reason of purpose.

The practical reason is that it's an easily scheduled two day trip, while Mars is a many month trip with travel opportunities only every other year. This will do wonders for the chances of success.
You're on target in that respect IMO. It's a lot "safer" to go to the moon. Any repeat of Apollo 13 in a Mars mission scenario would likely end in disaster. There is certainly a smaller margin of error.

The second is that the moon can be used as our nuclear depot. We have to go nuclear to do anything meaninful in space, but we can't be lofting nuclear material through our atmosphere for political and maybe safety reasons.
Unless you're intending to mine and process the material on the moon (exceedingly expensive), you'll have to launch the nuclear material through our atmosphere sooner or later. I don't find that to be a compelling argument. :)
 
Z

ZenGalacticore

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

The Moon. It's the obvious next logical step. We should establish several moon bases, and they should be as self-sufficient as possible before we leap-frog off on some impulsive one-off dramatic Mars venture. If we can survive on the Moon, then surviving on Mars will hopefully be a relative cake-walk.

Besides, where else are we going to go for now? We're having a hard enough time just keeping the funds-or getting the funds- just to go back to the Moon anyway.
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

There is a far larger thread on this very subject over on the 40th anniversary of Apollo forum. It is called:

Should NASA Send Astronauts Back to the Moon?

There have been some 7200 votes on the poll there so far, with some 82% for going back to the moon!

After all, if we can not even afford or have the ability to get back to the moon at only some 240,000 miles away (a place we made it to some 40 years ago!), just how can we afford or have the ability to get out to a place that is some hundreds of times further away?

That IS all I am going to say here, as this subject is already being covered much more thoroughly over on another forum!
 
A

Astrotiser

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

The key is to gather funding for any research ventures we plan to undertake. The only way to do this, as we live in a democratic society, is to convince the public that space research and travel is worthwhile. Now correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that the venture we must undertake previous to exploring the moon or mars is to gather public enthusiasm and participation. We need to ensure that the GENERAL public must approve of spending taxpayer's money on astronomical exploration. Who's with me?!
 
G

gwobserver

Guest
I'm new to the forum. I just finished reading Zubrin's book a case for Mars. I've been looking to balance out my knowledge with a case for the moon since it appears some scientists believe we should go there first. Does anyone know a site to go where someone has clearly argued for a case to return to the moon. I haven't been able to get much more than becuse it's closer. Given the argument in Zubrin's book I'm leaning heavily toward Mars. Thanks
 
A

arkady

Guest
Welcome to SDC gwobserver.

I find the debate quite tiring, and somewhat simple-minded. Why is it always presented as a case of the Moon OR Mars, when it's so glaringly obvious that both destinations are relevant and interesting?

To my mind the Moon and EML-1 are obvious first targets, as I believe they'll play a significant role in opening up the rest of the solar system for us. As has been made clear to me on many occasions, going to Mars presents a wide range of problems (and choices) vastly different to a lunar campaign, but that doesn't mean that ALL the experiences gathered there would be invalid or useless.

I can think of many reasons to go back to the Moon, but first and foremost I believe it's a question of logistics. It just seems like the logic thing to do. And don't get me wrong, I'm all about going to Mars.

Let's do both for crying out loud!!

But Luna first (imo) as it sits right in our backyard, and developing a solid foothold there would be quite relevant to a Mars campaign. Even if it means waiting another 50 years. Let's do it right from the beginning.
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
This discussion belongs in Space Business and Technology, not Missions ans Launches.
 
G

gwobserver

Guest
Thank you space 4 a reason for the link.

I'm sorry this is tiresome and simple minded for you arkady. I find it amazing that every forum I get on has someone who thinks he's smarter and superior to everyone else on the boards. If the post is tiresome don't read or answer. I don't feel it necessary to go through posts like that.
 
D

drwayne

Guest
Actually, I don't think the remark about tiresome had anything to do with attempting to be
"smarter" than anyone. It has to do with the way the discussions have historically
progressed

There are topics that have inherent interest that have a way of being "done to death" in the course
of a board's history. After a while, the "Been there, done that, have the scars to prove it" effect
takes over. It's not you, its not the topic, it's the history.

A suggestion might be the use of the logical or operator

Moon or Mars

where both being true returns a logical "True". ;)

Welcome to the forum by the way!

Wayne
 
G

Gravity_Ray

Guest
gw dont be upset with arkady, if you do a bit of a search on these forums you will see thousands of posts on this subject, so the regulars are tired of it.

There is not a clear case for Moon vs. Mars.

By the way what is wrong with saying the Moon is closer as an argument? The Moon is about 225K miles from the Earth, and Mars is about 35 million miles (at its closest) and about 250 million miles (at its farthest). So its not just closer its ALOT closer. This makes a huge difference for rescue, supply, communications, and time in flight (which means less radiation to the astronauts). Also its not just one flight, you have to send supplies and the return craft there before people can get there AND back. So logistics is probably the most important aspect of deciding where to go first, since we are talking about a few weeks in space vs. possibly a few years in space.

By the way Dr. Zubrins case for Mars direct is very well made, and I have a huge amount of respect for him, but simply ignores the logistics of this whole issue.
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
gwobserver, if you go out to the link given by SpaceForAReason, you will find that the original thread was actually a poll on this very subject that got a very large response (at least for a relatively small participation site as this one). Of that response, some 54% were for going back to the moon first, secondly 28 % were for going to both, more or less simultaneously, and only 18% were for going to Mars first!

I have both Dr. Zubrin's "A Case for Mars" and his "Entering Space" books, and have read them several times, so I am not unaware of his views. He is both a very good an persuasive writer, and an excellent engineer (after all he does have a doctorate). He has one truly excellent idea. That is to make full use of the actual materials on Mars itself to make going there far less expensive than ordinarily it would be. That is truly a great idea.

But, his estimates on the price of sending human being to Mars is almost so low as to be almost a joke! The original Apollo program would cost some $100 billion dollar in today's money, the space shuttle program in all its history would cost some $100+ billion, and the ISS over its history would cost also some $100+ billion over all! And he states that we can go on to Mars (a far more difficult proposition that any of those three others were) for only about $20 billion? I would have to say that he is only off by an order of magnitude in his assumptions, as it will take at least some $200 billion over the next twenty to thirty years to get human beings onto the surface of Mars! And that is if it does not turn out to be an absolute disaster (there would be NO Apollo 13 type of rescue from millions of miles out from the Earth!) to send just one ship at a time out that far. Mr. Murphy and his laws could very easily see to that!

On that other thread I as well as many others fully pointed out why going back to the moon first IS the reasonable choice. I would be willing to go over the many, many arguments for this here if you really want, but it does get somewhat tiresome to be doing this over and over, again and again!

I will go so far as to state that it is not only for going back to the moon to far more fully explore that far closer body, but mainly to make exploitation use of the many materials that are there (rather than spending truly vast sums of money to bring such materials up out of the far greater gravity well of the Earth) in order to build not only the far greater infrastructure in the Earth/moon system to truly get humanity off of this globe, but to even go safely and relatively easily on outwards into the solar system!

IN the meantime, there is nothing at all wrong with allowing our continuing silicon robotics substitute "brothers" to further explore all the other parts of the solar system, including Mars!

I think that is the main reasonable approach of most of most of the posters here on space.com, and the main reasons for the results of that poll!!

Have A Very Great Day! :D
 
B

bluegrassgazer

Guest
I heard a recent interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He didn't give one source, but said there is a joke in the astro science community:
"If God had intended for man to explore space he would have given Earth a moon."

Just as others have pointed out, going to the moon is cheaper. There may be immediate rewards. It allows us to practice and perfect landing, exploring, and leaving other worlds. THEN go to Mars.
 
G

gwobserver

Guest
Thanks Frodo, I read the post indicated and am considering The arguments. I guess my question should be the moon or mars first. In examining the rewards of visiting mars or the moon I believe Mars has much more to offer. I agree the price to go to Mars is much higher than the moon although his argument that the energy used is similar for both destinations is interesting. I think the moon is a safer destination and that much can be learned about space travel and habitation, but the same lessons can be learned by going to mars. I don't understand how you can explore space safely. I believe if you wait until it is completely safe you will never get there. I don't however think that we should throw lives away. Since this has been debated much in the past I guess I'll just let it rest I just wanted to understand the issues being discussed by the Augustine panel and the new administration. I spent several years at the beginning of my career in the aerospace defense industry and have to admit it always costs at least twice what it should to accomplish anything with the govt.
 
A

arkady

Guest
I'm sorry this is tiresome and simple minded for you arkady.
I apologize for my bad choice of words. English isn't my first language, and I guess the phrase "simple-minded" was somewhat rude. I had no idea I'd come off like that. I love discussing these matters, but I'd just wish we'd move along a little and not always get stuck in the Moon vs Mars quagmire. I guess it's semantics really, in that if you add the word "first" after "Moon vs Mars", the whole thing gets much more edible to me. I suppose that's implied in the question, but I tend to take things rather literally.

Now, to get back to the subject. Originally I was also with the Aresophiles and advocated going to Mars sooner rather than later. If that meant ignoring the Moon, then so be it. But then something happened. I remember it distinctly, and it involved reading a post on this very forum. I don't remember the poster, and I can't hope to convey the content in any meaningful way, as I'm not really very knowledgeable in these matters myself. The post was about how to exploit the Earth-Moon Lagrange points, and the efficiency of utilizing the gravitional phenomena between them to open up the rest of the solar system for us.

I've tried searching for it, but I suppose it's been lost during one of the forum relocations. Maybe someone more adept in searching could dig it up. I recall that during one of the first paragraphs he/she got tired typing EML-1 and decided to call it Emily for the rest of the post. Ring a bell anyone?
 
N

nimbus

Guest
gwobserver":3udfw9a5 said:
I agree the price to go to Mars is much higher than the moon although his argument that the energy used is similar for both destinations is interesting.
Another factor is that the ISS, Shuttle, & co., are all govt programs. IOW bloated. Private missions would certainly be cheaper, and possibly near 1 order of magnitude cheaper if they nailed the critical issues.
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
nimbus, there is one totally major problem with having pure private interests even think of even spending only the $20 billion (even if it could be done for such a small figure), and that can be summed up in one simple word, the word is PROFITS!

Just what would be the profits to pure private industry in even attempting to go to Mars for even those relative inexpensive costs?

You do realize of course that the alt-space companies have yet to even reach LEO, let along go to the relatively close moon?

If having human beings go to Mars is not going to be done by NASA or other governmental space agencies in other parts of the world, it certainly is NOT going to happen in this century by pure private industrial interests!

And that IS the simple truth!
 
N

nimbus

Guest
The yet simpler truth is that private will pretty much always be cheaper than govt. Now or later.
As for profits, there's lots of stuff you could do in space or on the moon or Mars. The lunar poles have almost non stop sunlight, record cold (cheap superconductive batteries, e.g. hooked up to ISRU'd solar panels, and some industrial facility on the other end), possible water, proximity to Earth (e.g. down/uplink for teleoperation or server farms), and so on. Privateers like Bill Stone will go to the Moon in an order of magnitude cheaper than govt, according to their plans. Probably relatively optimistic to please the audience, but for same reason can't be too inaccurate.
Specific to Mars: I haven't looked into it myself, but Musk himself says he wants to put men on Mars asap. There's a standing bet between him and some philanthropist that he'll do it by 2025 or so.

Regardless, govt or private doesn't change what you ought to / can do at destination. Mars is Mars, and the Moon is the Moon, whether you come to it on govt or private means. And govt bloat is a trend that shows no sign of reversing.
 
P

Planet_Lubber

Guest
My apologies if this has been done to death in the previous thousands of posts on the subject. In the Moon and/or Mars and/or other options first debate, everyone seems to ignore the 200 kg gorilla in the room: the military aspect. Whether you’re hawk or a dove, you have to pay attention to this, because it will have a lot to do with how space exploration plays out, in practice.

When the Soviets launched Sputnik in 1957, the World was thinking how cool it was that humans could put something into LEO. The US military was thinking how scary it was that the Soviets could throw things that far. It meant they could drop nukes on us. Not too surprisingly, a few years later, President Kennedy announced that we were going to spend a substantial part of our GNP on a space project. It’s no coincidence that almost the same technology that can put a satellite or space capsule in LEO can also deliver munitions to Moscow. More recently, former President George Bush announced another big space initiative. Does anyone really think that W was motivated by the spirit of exploration or scientific investigation?

Since David slew Goliath, the strength of nations has been determined, to a large extent, by how far and how accurately they could throw things.

As long as we are stuck in this gravity well, military strategists are going to have to think in terms of the high ground. Right now, LEO is the high ground. The Moon is a fortress. Mars is a distant outpost.

If the decision is made, by the powers that be, to go to the Moon first, or to go to Mars first, it won’t be based on a consideration of what’s best for space exploration, or what’s best for science. Maybe that’s not the way it should be, but that’s the way it is. Everyone should understand that.

I don’t really think that the US military wants to go to Mars. They just want a space program sophisticated enough, and rockets big enough, to go to Mars.

-----------------------------

“That’s no moon.”
-Obi-Wan Kenobi
 
F

frodo1008

Guest
Actually Planet_Lubber what the military wants (and I would think every other military on this planet would also want) is to be able to place a large and potent military force anywhere on this planet withing a 24 hour period!

And neither going to the moon nor Mars is going to do anything to influence that!

What the US military is investigating right now is the development of aircraft that can routinely fly in the hypersonic (Mach 4 through about Mach 15) area. And from that to eventually building aircraft capable for taking specialized troops anywhere on this planet in about 2 hours or less.

Another big area for the military is the development of robotics to the extent of being able to fight wars (insurgent types especially) without risking US soldiers in them!

Once again, none of these things so important to the military have anything to do with even using LEO, let alone going back to the moon or going on to Mars!

After all, why should the military be interested in what NASA and the private interests are going to do anyway? Why even pay for something that you might use, when you should be paying for something that you could definitely use!
Our military planners are FAR more intelligent than that!

However, what is just as interesting to me at least is that eventually the kind of research that the military is really interested in developing in the hypersonic area will reach out to the civilian and commercial areas! This would eventually result in the "Holy Grail" of getting from the Earth's surface to LEO at least. That is a craft capable of taking off from an ordinary airport runway, Then getting up to the velocity of the lower hypersonic area with ordinary jet engines, the switching over to scram-jets from Mach 4 to about Mach 15, and finally using something similar to a linear aerospike engine to get up to LEO!

This was the original and overly ambitious goal of the NASP program. The main problem having been the area of jet to scram-jet hypersonic propulsion area. But with the military interest in this area (for military purposes at least), and the enormous funding available for the "Black Programs" of the military, this will be happening (I at least think) well within the next decade or so!

And it is this type of thing that will eventually lead humanity itself out to building a true space faring civilization!

In the meantime, I am perfectly happy with seeing the US go back to the moon first, and then on towards Mars, and even beyond! And, I do not care whether or not it is the government such as NASA, or the pure private capitalistic efforts that do it! However, I do think that the private efforts are going to be much slower (but perhaps much more certain) in doing this!

Perhaps some of the more cheerleader spacex types here should realize that Elon Musk is trying to sell his ideas and products, and therefore is probably going to be just a tad more optimistic than his efforts are eventually going to turn out to be. Even he has been realistic enough on occasion to admit that doing these types of things is much harder than he originally thought it was going to be!! Please note, that I would be more than happy to find out eventually that he was even being more pessimistic than his efforts would eventually prove out to be. I am NOT being negative, just a bit on realistic side of things!

Have A Great Day, fellow space enthusiasts! :D :D
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts