Looking for civil debate on Moon vs. Mars

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Booban

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nimbus":3pqrocab said:
The yet simpler truth is that private will pretty much always be cheaper than govt. Now or later.
Its easy to accept certain things as plain truths because we live in a capitalistic society but that does not in fact mean that they are true. Private companies work best when there are many actors in the market with well informed rational consumers. When there are few actors, you get monopolies and higher prices. When there are few customers (govt.) or they are misinformed (branding) you also pay higher prices.

You've never seen an inefficient company? Where do you work? Govt perhaps? Everybody here who has worked in a private company and witnessed inefficiencies and 'bloating', please raise your hand. I think I counted 99%.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
We're getting pretty far off topic from the Mars vs Moon point. There are other threads to discuss military influences in space development....

MW
 
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nimbus

Guest
Booban":1c0zmz5k said:
nimbus":1c0zmz5k said:
The yet simpler truth is that private will pretty much always be cheaper than govt. Now or later.
Its easy to accept certain things as plain truths because we live in a capitalistic society but that does not in fact mean that they are true. Private companies work best when there are many actors in the market with well informed rational consumers. When there are few actors, you get monopolies and higher prices. When there are few customers (govt.) or they are misinformed (branding) you also pay higher prices.

You've never seen an inefficient company? Where do you work? Govt perhaps? Everybody here who has worked in a private company and witnessed inefficiencies and 'bloating', please raise your hand. I think I counted 99%.
Yeah, as if we're at a point where space companies like spacex have enough margin to turn into bloated animals like GM or govt programs.. :lol: That's as much out of context as if I told Frodo that govt wasn't capable of putting things in orbit as he did SpaceX, because NASA couldn't safely do it back in the 50s-60s when it was starting out.

And this isn't completely off topic. The same way you have to admit that Moon vs Mars is a false dichotomy, so is private vs govt. They're different and shouldn't be mutually exclusive. So it follows that there's an optimal arrangement between the two to most efficiently make progress towards the Moon and Mars. The devil's in the details.
 
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Booban

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Well, they are mutually exclusive because the resources are finite. We can't afford both, which is acceptable if you are in the Moon first camp and Mars later. But how bout folks like me who don't accept it as a given that we should go to either, because why exclude Europa, or a fine nice nearby asteroid, or what I prefer, a solar space plant. It's odd people argue about how to get to the moon or mars, but not why to go at all.
 
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Planet_Lubber

Guest
MeteorWayne":2jnihhlw said:
We're getting pretty far off topic from the Mars vs Moon point. There are other threads to discuss military influences in space development....

MW
MeteorWayne,

First, thanks for all your hard work. I hope you are on the SDC payroll. Otherwise you must be one of those independently wealthy guys who can afford to spend all day keeping us geeks in line.

However, I think maybe you missed my point. Which was that the military aspect is an essential part of the Moon first or Mars first debate. We can talk all day about which option is better for science or better for exploration, or just better for humanity, but the actual decision that counts is going to be made based mostly on military considerations. It's like talking about which bunch of bananas you would rather have, without considering the 200 kg gorilla in the room. (Hint: the gorilla is going to take the bananas he wants.)

I'm still fairly new around here, and I don't know the protocol for branching off a thread. I would like to respond to some points that frodo1008 made, if anyone is interested. If not, I guess I will be typing to myself - not for the first time! We could call the new thread "Moon first or Mars first, realistically."
 
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nimbus

Guest
As long as there's a clear, uninterrupted, and salient link to the main topic, I don't know what's wrong with detailing that aspect. That's just proper thoroughness, IMO. But then I'm not moderating.

I'm certainly curious to hear it. I don't see it as you seem to.

Booban - Europa is so far that a mission there would be really reduced compared to what the same amount of funding could accomplish on e.g. the Moon. There's already plans for Europa: the next flagship mission with US, European, and possibly Russian and Japanese collaboration. Last I heard, a lander/driller like Stone Aerospace's ENDURANCE gizmo wasn't definitely ruled out yet. A nearby asteroid could be in the works along with manned Mars orbit mission, as the suggested "flexible" plan by the Augustine group is supposed to submit. The solar space plant, from almost everything I've heard, is not that attractive because of lack of returns. Japan's looking to do something like that, though. All things considered though, IMO, solar space plant is just another gizmo. It's not as meaningful to the big picture as a lunar base sorting out self-sufficient habitats as are needed if we're going to Mars.

While the Moon isn't as promising as Mars is, because of how small and barren it is, its proximity and its surprisingly (as we're finding out) rich potential is still enough to outweigh Mars if we're forced to choose between the two, here and now. Because govt program to Mars would be just too expensive in any worthwhile scale - as more than just a flag planting kind of mission. It's shrewder, more realistic to spend those funds learning to walk here on the Moon, to hit the ground at full speed when we do get to Mars. There's plenty we can do on the Moon, and not just for novelty or practice for Mars. The Moon is valuable territory in its own right.
 
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Planet_Lubber

Guest
nimbus":27tqjcxw said:
As long as there's a clear, uninterrupted, and salient link to the main topic, I don't know what's wrong with detailing that aspect. That's just proper thoroughness, IMO. But then I'm not moderating.

I'm certainly curious to hear it. I don't see it as you seem to.
I never thought I would get an argument over this. It must be because I have spent most of the past 10 years in the missile defense industry, among people who have seen the way things work. On the other hand, I have also spent 10 years or so in the ivory tower of academia, so in a sense, I’ve looked at a lot of clouds from both sides.

Lest I start to seem like some kind of conspiracy nut, please take a look at the very concise historical account of a small part of the space/arms race,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputnik_crisis

Now I don’t intend to indulge in proof by Wikipedia, but just to show that the space race and arms race are inextricably connected, look at the military references in
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Race

Does anyone really think that the military is not interested in LEO? Or that a base on the Moon and capability to get there and back on a routine basis would not also give us more control of LEO? Or that President Bush (let’s wait and see about Obama) really proposed the Mars mission because of scientific curiosity, or a grand vision for humanity?

A base on the Moon would have lots of military advantages. I can just imagine briefing some Air Force Space Command officers on a site for a new base. Real estate is free, pollution is ok, you can reach or hit any place on Earth or LEO with very low fuel cost, gravity is only 1/6th of normal, and you are almost invulnerable to attack. Problems: no air, and it’s very expensive to get there in the first place. No problem! We’ll sell it to the public as a space adventure!
 
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scottb50

Guest
bluegrassgazer":w038ijv2 said:
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.
I would submit we have already met those requirements. There is little sense in involving the moon with getting to Mars. It's much simpler to leave LEO direct Mars, that the same vehicle could just as easily go to the moon as Mars and surface vehicles could be the same, with different landing systems of course.

Refining fuel on the moon is way too theoretical to think about and would require tons of equipment to be realized. Then there's the pesky problem of raising the orbit and entering lunar orbit, the decent and accent and boost to Mars.

I think both should be visited and studied, that the moon might allow a testing period for equipment before surviving on Mars but, it would only be because it was available, look at the Rovers, they weren't tested on the moon and seem to be doing pretty well.
 
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bluegrassgazer

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scottb50":3v9c2l22 said:
I think both should be visited and studied, that the moon might allow a testing period for equipment before surviving on Mars but, it would only be because it was available, look at the Rovers, they weren't tested on the moon and seem to be doing pretty well.
The rovers don't need water to survive and don't need to return to Earth. It's almost a 4-year round-trip! I agree we need to test and make damned sure everything works before we make such an endeavor.
 
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nimbus

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Lubber - I know military's part in space development's history. I see the strat/tactical picture with regards to LEO/Lagranges/Moon/Mars. I just don't see why military's going to be a major driver. I can see why and how it could happen, and it would certainly be significant as far as Moon vs. Mars is concerned, but I don't see them doing anything about it right now. And they ought to if they meant to. Other than this very recent blurb: http://hobbyspace.com/nucleus/?itemid=15976

scottb50":2biiisrg said:
look at the Rovers, they weren't tested on the moon and seem to be doing pretty well.
non sequitur
 
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Booban

Guest
Planet_Lubber":1c4k6uom said:
Does anyone really think that the military is not interested in LEO? Or that a base on the Moon and capability to get there and back on a routine basis would not also give us more control of LEO? Or that President Bush (let’s wait and see about Obama) really proposed the Mars mission because of scientific curiosity, or a grand vision for humanity?

A base on the Moon would have lots of military advantages. I can just imagine briefing some Air Force Space Command officers on a site for a new base. Real estate is free, pollution is ok, you can reach or hit any place on Earth or LEO with very low fuel cost, gravity is only 1/6th of normal, and you are almost invulnerable to attack. Problems: no air, and it’s very expensive to get there in the first place. No problem! We’ll sell it to the public as a space adventure!
The military is far too interested in too many things which has led to wasteful spending and cancellations as the old gray men in green uniforms try to pursue Buck Rogers technologies. The military can already hit any place on earth and the moon is more vulnerable than anywhere else, NASA itself just bombed it!
 
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Booban

Guest
nimbus":5lub1ieo said:
Booban - Europa is so far that a mission there would be really reduced compared to what the same amount of funding could accomplish on e.g. the Moon. There's already plans for Europa: the next flagship mission with US, European, and possibly Russian and Japanese collaboration. Last I heard, a lander/driller like Stone Aerospace's ENDURANCE gizmo wasn't definitely ruled out yet. A nearby asteroid could be in the works along with manned Mars orbit mission, as the suggested "flexible" plan by the Augustine group is supposed to submit. The solar space plant, from almost everything I've heard, is not that attractive because of lack of returns. Japan's looking to do something like that, though. All things considered though, IMO, solar space plant is just another gizmo. It's not as meaningful to the big picture as a lunar base sorting out self-sufficient habitats as are needed if we're going to Mars.

While the Moon isn't as promising as Mars is, because of how small and barren it is, its proximity and its surprisingly (as we're finding out) rich potential is still enough to outweigh Mars if we're forced to choose between the two, here and now. Because govt program to Mars would be just too expensive in any worthwhile scale - as more than just a flag planting kind of mission. It's shrewder, more realistic to spend those funds learning to walk here on the Moon, to hit the ground at full speed when we do get to Mars. There's plenty we can do on the Moon, and not just for novelty or practice for Mars. The Moon is valuable territory in its own right.
Lack of returns for a Solar space plant but there are returns with a moon or mars base? What is the big picture? It's just assumed that we are supposed to colonize Mars, returns or not be damned. It would make more sense to colonize our undersea oceans than doing anything on the moon or mars. But we're not going to do that either because nobody want's to live in an artificial dome.

But if you really insist on such a picture, you have to put the little puzzle pieces together first, give us a reason to go into space at all. A Solar Space Plant is one such reason, which is a foot step to bigger things. It's completely realistic as all the technology is already there. As you said it is expensive, but that is the case with any new technology. Solar panels and electric cars are expensive too, but the costs are coming down. When we have a real reason to be in space, the investment will be forthcoming and earth to space technologies will become cheaper which is the base for further space exploration. And you know what, even if its not a 100% return on investment, it will be pumping down energy everyday and is better than a 0% return on investment.

I still also maintain that learning to walk on the moon will not help you at all walking on Mars anyways. Everything that is needed to get to and live on these different worlds are independent of the other.

We should invest in programs which give us a return to reinvest in other bigger programs, wherever it may be. We are not at all sure that the moon should be the next step compared to asteroid mining, solar space plant, europa space station, or any other idea. If you said 'moon hotel' or 'moon power plant' than I think we may be on to something.
 
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Booban

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bluegrassgazer":1teg9864 said:
scottb50":1teg9864 said:
I think both should be visited and studied, that the moon might allow a testing period for equipment before surviving on Mars but, it would only be because it was available, look at the Rovers, they weren't tested on the moon and seem to be doing pretty well.
The rovers don't need water to survive and don't need to return to Earth. It's almost a 4-year round-trip! I agree we need to test and make damned sure everything works before we make such an endeavor.
How is sending water to the moon and a return trip from there going to help you in sending water to Mars or returning from there?
 
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nimbus

Guest
Booban":3mqn9070 said:
The military can already hit any place on earth and the moon is more vulnerable than anywhere else, NASA itself just bombed it!
I'm fairly sure you've got this one backwards. It's uphill to the Moon.
 
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nimbus

Guest
Booban":561th50y said:
Lack of returns for a Solar space plant but there are returns with a moon or mars base? What is the big picture? It's just assumed that we are supposed to colonize Mars, returns or not be damned. It would make more sense to colonize our undersea oceans than doing anything on the moon or mars. But we're not going to do that either because nobody want's to live in an artificial dome.
Yes, the cost/benefit ratio of a solar space plant is too low. Look at the literature or at least the professionals' comments on this. Though it's not clear what you mean exactly by solar space plant. It could be anything from just a solar collector beaming power down to earth, or an actual industrial plant feeding on solar power out at e.g. a Lagrange point.
The big picture of Mars or Moon outposts is that we're going there sooner or later, and the sooner we start, the sooner we can reap the benefits of the immense amount of resources outside of Earth. There's no way to overstate how huge that amount is, how it dwarfs our industry down here. So the returns there are larger than anything else, literally. A solar space plant is just one specific instance of the whole space exploitation strategy.

I agree with underwater colonization. Considerable expanse there that's unexploited. I think it's a mistake not to develop these. But they're not substitutes for space development either. Just like the Moon and Mars are two different animals and aren't mutually exclusive except for a myopic and narrow minded bean counter.
"Nobody wants to live in a dome" That's a straw man.

But if you really insist on such a picture, you have to put the little puzzle pieces together first
That's cheap access to space.

, give us a reason to go into space at all.
Solar plants aren't that single reason. Plenty of people have rehashed this question already. Redundant colony locations in case one location dies off, the huge industrial base allowed by the volume of available space resources, because it's just damn cool, because it's challenging (instead of the present mediocre stagnation in LEO and down on Earth), etc.

A Solar Space Plant is one such reason, which is a foot step to bigger things.
Key word in bold.
It's completely realistic as all the technology is already there.
Not completely, because there's higher priorities given that industrial exploitation (profits financial as well as practical (e.g. self-sufficient habitat tech, including recycling and radiation shielding etc)) and colonization are further goals than the one intermediate, accessory branch that is "solar space plant". You don't get public support for a solar space plant, you get it for something people can most relate to. And you can probably make a case for solar-powered industrial base being comparably cheap on lunar poles where sun shines almost non stop, as well as said poles' proximity to the coldest spots in the system (favors superconductives, which allow most efficient and cheap batteries)... etc.
As you said it is expensive, but that is the case with any new technology.
Truism, not a strong argument.
Solar panels and electric cars are expensive too, but the costs are coming down. When we have a real reason to be in space, the investment will be forthcoming and earth to space technologies will become cheaper which is the base for further space exploration. And you know what, even if its not a 100% return on investment, it will be pumping down energy everyday and is better than a 0% return on investment.
That's more truism.. Doesn't argue anything specific to the Moon vs Mars, or Public vs Private vs Military, or "Solar plant" vs anything else such as outposts or industrial plants on the Moon.

I still also maintain that learning to walk on the moon will not help you at all walking on Mars anyways. Everything that is needed to get to and live on these different worlds are independent of the other.
And I reckon that's very wrong. The moon has gravity. Mars has gravity. The moon is more adverse an environment than Mars, and it's also closer. So the moon is a cheaper, faster, and more challenging standard to accomplish, towards consequent Mars missions.

We should invest in programs which give us a return to reinvest in other bigger programs, wherever it may be. We are not at all sure that the moon should be the next step compared to asteroid mining, solar space plant, europa space station, or any other idea. If you said 'moon hotel' or 'moon power plant' than I think we may be on to something.
Right now, that's not Mars.
Who's "we"? Where are the details on the relative merits of Moon/NEO/SSP/ESS/etc ? You can't just make blanket statements like that. Show the math that explicits the relative ranking of each in a specific metric.
The Moon hotel or power plants can't happen most efficiently till we have cheap access to space. NASA isn't the best way to get this, nor is military development. Private industry is a crucial element on this roadmap; but NASA/.mil aren't excluded either.
 
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Booban

Guest
nimbus":2szwhdty said:
Booban":2szwhdty said:
The military can already hit any place on earth and the moon is more vulnerable than anywhere else, NASA itself just bombed it!
I'm fairly sure you've got this one backwards. It's uphill to the Moon.
The countries you want to deter with a moon base can hit it easily. You would have to put defenses there and the costs start to spiral. And if your moon base is hit, even a small puncture could be a catastrophe and there are no emergency services up there.

But the like of the Taliban don't care about your moon base as you won't be bombing them from space anyways. The military has always under invested on the grunt on the ground, and is now paying for that underinvestment in the current wars which they would prefer to never fight.
 
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nimbus

Guest
The countries you want to deter with a moon base can hit it easily. You would have to put defenses there and the costs start to spiral. And if your moon base is hit, even a small puncture could be a catastrophe and there are no emergency services up there.
Show the math for this, considering the political/tech/chronological dimensions as well. All things being equal, the moon is uphill from Earth. Saying otherwise is only possible with loaded premises like saying North America is a negligible territory in the global scheme of things because in the 16th century it was still unharnessed wilderness.
But the like of the Taliban don't care about your moon base as you won't be bombing them from space anyways. The military has always under invested on the grunt on the ground, and is now paying for that underinvestment in the current wars which they would prefer to never fight.
What's the taliban got to do with anything? Have you considered that orbital bombardment doesn't even require that you throw explosives? How large the kinetic energy alone is on impact
 
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Booban

Guest
nimbus":1q9svs1b said:
Booban":1q9svs1b said:
Lack of returns for a Solar space plant but there are returns with a moon or mars base? What is the big picture? It's just assumed that we are supposed to colonize Mars, returns or not be damned. It would make more sense to colonize our undersea oceans than doing anything on the moon or mars. But we're not going to do that either because nobody want's to live in an artificial dome.
Yes, the cost/benefit ratio of a solar space plant is too low. Look at the literature or at least the professionals' comments on this. Though it's not clear what you mean exactly by solar space plant. It could be anything from just a solar collector beaming power down to earth, or an actual industrial plant feeding on solar power out at e.g. a Lagrange point.
The big picture of Mars or Moon outposts is that we're going there sooner or later, and the sooner we start, the sooner we can reap the benefits of the immense amount of resources outside of Earth. There's no way to overstate how huge that amount is, how it dwarfs our industry down here. So the returns there are larger than anything else, literally. A solar space plant is just one specific instance of the whole space exploitation strategy.

I agree with underwater colonization. Considerable expanse there that's unexploited. I think it's a mistake not to develop these. But they're not substitutes for space development either. Just like the Moon and Mars are two different animals and aren't mutually exclusive except for a myopic and narrow minded bean counter.
"Nobody wants to live in a dome" That's a straw man.
But they don't want to live in a dome. Colonization and expansion is a given on Earth because you can. You basically can't on Mars or the Moon so the reason for being there should be something else, like working and beaming power back to earth, mining, whatever it is.

The Japanese example is a solar space satellite in orbit beaming down power by 2030. For them it doesn't seem impossibly expensive and is just a matter of refining the technology. And you have to weigh the fact that energy costs more for them, since their country has none. A solar space plant is one specific instance, I am looking for more, but I am happy with this one as being the first one, first before any moon base. If it pays off, its enough to drive any future space exploration.

Lets talk about this big picture then, it is simply assumed that we going to colonize Mars and space. I don't understand this assumption at all. Yes, there are plenty of resources out there, but that is about as interesting as beaming energy back to earth because as you say it is expensive to bring it back to earth. But then you might say it doesn't have to come back to earth, it is for space industry, its cheaper than rocketing up resources from earth. But you are missing step 1, this has to be beneficial for earth people before they go up there and make this space industry. Any fledgling space industry will have to rest on a terrestrial economy.

nimbus":1q9svs1b said:
Not completely, because there's higher priorities given that industrial exploitation (profits financial as well as practical (e.g. self-sufficient habitat tech, including recycling and radiation shielding etc)) and colonization are further goals than the one intermediate, accessory branch that is "solar space plant". You don't get public support for a solar space plant, you get it for something people can most relate to. And you can probably make a case for solar-powered industrial base being comparably cheap on lunar poles where sun shines almost non stop, as well as said poles' proximity to the coldest spots in the system (favors superconductives, which allow most efficient and cheap batteries)... etc.
I don't get it, why don't you think the public will support a practical use of space that helps save the planet we are on rather than being scared into colonizing Mars because we are all doomed? I wouldn't mind at all a moon based solar power plant, but nobody is talking about that. It wouldn't surprise me if NASA set up the base, then invited the Chinese who build the Solar Power plant to beam back energy. Reminds me of the space station and when the Russians were first with the first space tourist business.

nimbus":1q9svs1b said:
Booban":1q9svs1b said:
Solar panels and electric cars are expensive too, but the costs are coming down. When we have a real reason to be in space, the investment will be forthcoming and earth to space technologies will become cheaper which is the base for further space exploration. And you know what, even if its not a 100% return on investment, it will be pumping down energy everyday and is better than a 0% return on investment.
That's more truism.. Doesn't argue anything specific to the Moon vs Mars, or Public vs Private vs Military, or "Solar plant" vs anything else such as outposts or industrial plants on the Moon.
It does argue specific to Solar Plant vs the other ideas because none of the others will be making any foreseeable money at all.

nimbus":1q9svs1b said:
Booban":1q9svs1b said:
I still also maintain that learning to walk on the moon will not help you at all walking on Mars anyways. Everything that is needed to get to and live on these different worlds are independent of the other.
And I reckon that's very wrong. The moon has gravity. Mars has gravity. The moon is more adverse an environment than Mars, and it's also closer. So the moon is a cheaper, faster, and more challenging standard to accomplish, towards consequent Mars missions.
Yes, and we've already been on the moon and romped around and we know how to land on both of them and the one very hard thing that we need to learn is how to get to Mars which we won't learn from being on the moon.

nimbus":1q9svs1b said:
Booban":1q9svs1b said:
We should invest in programs which give us a return to reinvest in other bigger programs, wherever it may be. We are not at all sure that the moon should be the next step compared to asteroid mining, solar space plant, europa space station, or any other idea. If you said 'moon hotel' or 'moon power plant' than I think we may be on to something.
Right now, that's not Mars.
Who's "we"? Where are the details on the relative merits of Moon/NEO/SSP/ESS/etc ? You can't just make blanket statements like that. Show the math that explicits the relative ranking of each in a specific metric.
The Moon hotel or power plants can't happen most efficiently till we have cheap access to space. NASA isn't the best way to get this, nor is military development. Private industry is a crucial element on this roadmap; but NASA/.mil aren't excluded either.
Why should I show any Maths? I don't work for NASA, its NASA that wants to go to the moon, let them show the maths. They haven't, there is no such case anywhere. Therefore how can anyone be so sure it is the moon we should go to?

Cheap access to space isn't just going to happen by itself either, private industry will not lift a finger until things are shown to be affordable with a return. Therefore build a Solar Plant, show its possible, then private industry can take over, build several more, make it efficient and maintain the space planes which allow for it all to happen.
 
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nimbus

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MeteorWayne":34md0kwf said:
So much for a civil debate :(
I might not be sugar coating, but I'm certainly not looking for a fight either. I'm only trying to keep things concise.
IMO the full context is just really wide. It all goes hand in hand; you can't argue anything in a vacuum for very long.
 
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Booban

Guest
nimbus":2eo2lpun said:
The countries you want to deter with a moon base can hit it easily. You would have to put defenses there and the costs start to spiral. And if your moon base is hit, even a small puncture could be a catastrophe and there are no emergency services up there.
Show the math for this, considering the political/tech/chronological dimensions as well. All things being equal, the moon is uphill from Earth. Saying otherwise is only possible with loaded premises like saying North America is a negligible territory in the global scheme of things because in the 16th century it was still unharnessed wilderness.
But the like of the Taliban don't care about your moon base as you won't be bombing them from space anyways. The military has always under invested on the grunt on the ground, and is now paying for that underinvestment in the current wars which they would prefer to never fight.
What's the taliban got to do with anything? Have you considered that orbital bombardment doesn't even require that you throw explosives? How large the kinetic energy alone is on impact
Show the Maths? political/tech/chronological dimensions? What you want me to write a book or what? China recently hit a sattellite in space, NASA just hit the moon, what more do you need? You don't think another country can hit something on the moon?

I never said anything about explosives, and the Taliban are central in that the US military have been planning for the wrong war. You don't orbital bombard a hairy dude with a rifle in the mountains.

You are just being argumentative now.
 
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nimbus

Guest
But they don't want to live in a dome. Colonization and expansion is a given on Earth because you can. You basically can't on Mars or the Moon so the reason for being there should be something else, like working and beaming power back to earth, mining, whatever it is.
Show evidence that we can't colonize and expand on the moon and mars.
Booban":2fe5dxux said:
The Japanese example is a solar space satellite in orbit beaming down power by 2030. For them it doesn't seem impossibly expensive and is just a matter of refining the technology. And you have to weigh the fact that energy costs more for them, since their country has none. A solar space plant is one specific instance, I am looking for more, but I am happy with this one as being the first one, first before any moon base. If it pays off, its enough to drive any future space exploration.

Lets talk about this big picture then, it is simply assumed that we going to colonize Mars and space. I don't understand this assumption at all. Yes, there are plenty of resources out there, but that is about as interesting as beaming energy back to earth because as you say it is expensive to bring it back to earth. But then you might say it doesn't have to come back to earth, it is for space industry, its cheaper than rocketing up resources from earth. But you are missing step 1, this has to be beneficial for earth people before they go up there and make this space industry. Any fledgling space industry will have to rest on a terrestrial economy.
I've heard nothing but skepticism from people with technical savy. Space based solar power isn't profitable. I don't care either way, I've got no pet favorites to defend here. I'm saying exactly what I've heard. Solar power isn't going to do anything for more affordable space access if it's not even profitable. It doesn't have as much growing margin as a lunar pole outpost. You can bury and expand that safely, with just as much insolation, and with lunar resources on tap.
I'll try and link to a few of the unencouraging SBSP analyses later.

I don't get it, why don't you think the public will support a practical use of space that helps save the planet we are on rather than being scared into colonizing Mars because we are all doomed? I wouldn't mind at all a moon based solar power plant, but nobody is talking about that. It wouldn't surprise me if NASA set up the base, then invited the Chinese who build the Solar Power plant to beam back energy. Reminds me of the space station and when the Russians were first with the first space tourist business.
Mischaracterizations in bold. Solar power isn't profitable. Show evidence that it is. Colonizing other worlds isn't motivated by fear anymore than the gold rush was, or that even today, migrating to the USA's vast expanses is motivated by fear.
I underlined what I interpret as a fundamental bias in your POV.

That SBSP is profitable, whereas everything else isn't - Again, show evidence that SBSP is feasible and profitable. The long term goal needs to be planned for today, not later. Long term goal isn't gizmos in LEO, it's getting out of LEO.

Yes, and we've already been on the moon and romped around and we know how to land on both of them and the one very hard thing that we need to learn is how to get to Mars which we won't learn from being on the moon.
That's not what I've read. This is probably the end of this argument if you don't have any supporting evidence other than recalled hear-say, because that's all I've got basically: pro or semi-pro blog and website echoes from the industry, that there's much more to be learned yet than merely "how to get there". And I've already mentioned some examples (e.g. recycling, rad protection, etc) which you ignored, so if you're not going to do your half of the work in this debate, I'm done.
Why should I show any Maths? I don't work for NASA, its NASA that wants to go to the moon, let them show the maths. They haven't, there is no such case anywhere. Therefore how can anyone be so sure it is the moon we should go to?
Because it's a math problem. NASA will have shown the math.. I doubt they'd hide it. The above quote reads like an appeal to ignorance.
You start by saying that X is more affordable and profitable than Y, but then say you don't have the math to back it up. That doesn't add up. The devil is in the details in rocket and orbital sciences. And those two are the basis for space exploitation and colonization. And will be till we're as comfortably established in space as we are today in metropolitan environments - with infrastructure already in place and readily accessible.
Cheap access to space isn't just going to happen by itself either, private industry will not lift a finger until things are shown to be affordable with a return. Therefore build a Solar Plant, show its possible, then private industry can take over, build several more, make it efficient and maintain the space planes which allow for it all to happen.
Again:
1) Show evidence that SBSP is feasible and profitable, and
2) that SBSP is enough of a catalysis to enable everything else that follows; that it isn't too limited in scope, because:

The topic here is Moon VS Mars -- It's asking what govt (with only as much consideration for peripheral but essential factors, like private and military space, as required) should do. "Just" SBSP simply doesn't make sense. It's too short sighted. Everything points to govt space programs best being pioneers, leaving private industry to follow in that wake, to fill the void behind them.
 
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nimbus

Guest
Booban":1tldweu2 said:
Show the Maths? political/tech/chronological dimensions?
Yes. Math is the most boiled down argument you could make.
Poli/tech/Chronological dimensions: Yes, because that's what the context is right now. Yes the moon isn't settled today, but once it is, it will be an even grounded comparison, and from then on the moon will be effectively uphill. Look at the gravity wells.
What you want me to write a book or what?
Sorry, that's just the way this topic is. It is vast and deep and its elements are interdependent. You can't just say that someone wouldn't build military presence on the moon because they'd get zapped in the process. Look at the time dimension in such a scenario - the time it takes to launch something from earth to hit something on the moon. Or the political context you're dealing with. You can't just make shallow blanket statements.. That's just not realistic.
China recently hit a sattellite in space, NASA just hit the moon, what more do you need? You don't think another country can hit something on the moon?
Those are two different things... A deadstick target in LEO and something on the moon. Apples and oranges.
I never said anything about explosives, and the Taliban are central in that the US military have been planning for the wrong war. You don't orbital bombard a hairy dude with a rifle in the mountains.
Yes but what the heck do the Taliban have to do with space development? :lol: The US war against ME terrorist assets is a whole other can of worms.. Why get into that here when it's not even related?


Let's just stick to your main point right now. Can you show that SBSP is feasible, profitable, and is enough of a catalyst for space development that it outweighs Moon and Mars options to such a degree that NASA ought to focus on it? For instance, that it better captures the public's imagination, that it does translate in more concrete space development progress in the long run, etc.
 
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Booban

Guest
nimbus":14legyjf said:
Let's just stick to your main point right now. Can you show that SBSP is feasible, profitable, and is enough of a catalyst for space development that it outweighs Moon and Mars options to such a degree that NASA ought to focus on it? For instance, that it better captures the public's imagination, that it does translate in more concrete space development progress in the long run, etc.
I'm trying to do that. How 'bout you show that with your moon idea?

No one can show that it is feasible or profitable 100% until it gets done, but at least the Japanese believe that there is a chance that it is worth trying to do. Solar power plants do not 'outweigh' the moon and mars, but as you believe that the moon is one step to mars, this could be one step to the moon. In actuality, any space industry will be the catalyst for space development, exploration and utilization. If the a moon base could generate such an industry, I am all for it, but no one is talking about a 'moon industry' are they?

Do you argue that solar space plants are just a pie in the sky idea or that even if they were feasible and profitable they would still not generate further space development?
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Just to let you all know, when I have time, I am going to excise all the material unrelated to the Moon vs Mars topic and stick it in it's own thread.
 
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