Looking for civil debate on Moon vs. Mars

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frodo1008

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Nimbus, I must admit to not liking it when people put words into my posts that are either not there, or I did not mean! I did NOT say that spacex COULD NOT put human beings into LEO, I said that they HAD NOT done so as of now!

There is a big difference!!

How did you so misunderstand me when I said:

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

Now, that statement is true! Even spacex Dragon capsule, as it is currently being designed (for NASA, which so many here seem to think is so very inefficient, evidently Elon Musk and spacex, do not seem to mind working for such a bloated agency!) is only a materials carrier (although spacex is doing much that would eventually make it a human carrier as well) to the ISS!

The only other alt.space outfit that i can see even placing human beings into LEO within the next decade of so is Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic.

As I stated (and you seemed to have missed somehow) I am all for pure private interests getting even wealthy people into space, but I do think it is not going to be anywhere near as fast as NASA is going to be for sometime to come. If there is no profitable reason for doing so, then there will not even be any alt.space companies placing human beings into even LEO, let alone going beyond that!

Is that clear enough to you, or are you still going to place meanings on what I say that are not even there?
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Not a bad idea MW, please make sure that you also place the poll and its results there at the beginning!

Thanks MW. I do think that is a good idea. Heck, the subject is so vast (and unfortunately controversial) that it could possibly even become a separate forum on its own!
 
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frodo1008

Guest
The reason that I stated that the military would not be as interested in such areas as LEO or the moon, is simply that the entire nature of war itself is changing. We are no longer threatened nearly as much by a Russian nuclear Armageddon, as we are by individual fanatics that strap explosives to their bodies, and blow themselves up killing not only innocent civilians, but also our people on the ground in such areas as the Middle East. Even having the most powerful military the world has ever seen (in the conventional sense at least) is no proof at all against this kind of thing. Such a fanatic is NOT going to be deterred by either orbital military space stations, nor bases on the moon, and certainly not by anything on Mars. And that is an absolute fact!!

In true fact that is why the military is more and more becoming interested in such areas as robotic vehicles capable of doing many of the types of things that our human soldiers have always done. Even expensive robots are far cheaper than having our people killed by such fanatics. In fact, the worst kind of an enemy that an individual soldier must face is a fanatic that does not even care if you kill him, just so long as he (or even she in some of these newer cases) has the opportunity to kill you in the meantime!

Further, just how do you stop such people without ourselves generating large amounts of collateral death and destruction ourselves? When we do that, all that actually happens is that we then generate more hatred for our own people, which in turn generates even more fanatics!

I know that I certainly do not have the answer to that, and from a continuing barrage of news that comes out of these areas, I am not sure that even our own military has an answer either, and that is kind of scary if you ask me!

I do however know for a fact that the military does have a large interest in being able to respond to military situations anywhere on this planet in a very rapid time frame. Thus, they do have a large interest in the hypersonic area. And indeed this could spill over into at least some interest in LEO, but that is not the principle thrust of that interest.

But even the moon is far too off to be of that kind of interest to our military, and Mars certainly is not!
 
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scottb50

Guest
bluegrassgazer":3jagx7gl said:
scottb50":3jagx7gl 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.
My point is we have already more then proven the capability, why keep adding more and more tests that simply prove other tests were correct? True the Rovers don't need water but humans do, so take water it goes up to ISS pretty much every visit, why would it be any different sending it to Mars or even the Moon? It's almost a 4-year round-trip! Increased stay lengths at the ISS haven't been a huge problem and with large portions of the missions in a gravity well it wouldn't be continuous weightlessness anyway, even at the moon.

That it has to work is a given, that backups for pretty much everything have to be in place is also a given, you can't order parts and expect UPS to deliver them in a couple of weeks. The point in their or no reasons not to go to either the moon or Mars right now. Reasons can be manufactured, but you can what if all you want and solve all the problems and it's a sure bet something occurs that was not even thought about.

We could of and should of gone to Mars in the 80's now it's thirty years later and we're still afraid to jump into the pool. Newer technology will even make it easier and safer then it would have been back then, but it is no less possible now then it was 30 years ago.
 
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halman

Guest
gwobserver,

Welcome to the Space Dot Com forums, where ALL debate is civil. Right, guys? If we were all in the same room, it might be different, but we can't shoot at each other here.

You mentioned being influenced by Mr. Zubrin. Yes, he paints wonderful pictures, and they are based upon fact. But he represents a faction of space exploration enthusiasts who seem to have one concern, and one concern only, and that is colonizing Mars. There is a Mars Society, and the Planetary Society seems to spend at least half of its energy lobbying for Mars. So you will always get glowing pictures of the potential of Mars.

On the other hand, there is no organized group chanting "Shoot for the Moon!" To most realistic space nuts, the Moon is the next step after Low Earth Orbit, and always has been. Not for colonization, but to provide resources. Sitting up there near the top of Earth's gravity well, the Moon can send mass to just about anywhere for pennies, because it has such a low escape velocity, and it has no atmosphere. What does atmosphere have to do with it? On the Moon, a payload can be accelerated to escape velocity while still on the surface, using energy supplied by a magnetic catapult. Try this on Mars, and you will have a nice fireworks display.

Space exploration has always been associated with romance and adventure, from the days of E. E. 'Doc' Smith and his Lensmen to Star Wars. But what is going to make space exploration a reality is business, private investment of billions and billions of dollars into orbital processing facilities, lunar mines, and asteroid mining, to name the most obvious investments. Private investment into colonies off-planet is going to be a different kettle of fish, because they offer no hope of ever seeing a direct return. People will live and work on the Moon, but only for short periods of time, then they will be rotated out.

It is true that there are resources on Mars, but you rarely hear anybody talking about exploiting them. Mars has an atmosphere, which means that catapults will not work for launching payloads, plus the escape velocity is kind of high for magnetic catapults. But the Mars First folks don't seem to be interested in exporting anything, they just want to get away from Earth, or so it seems. Something about the place that Mars has had in science fiction and fantasy has perhaps created this belief that Mars will be a wonderful place to live. And many people keep talking about how the energy missions to Mars are hardly any higher than ones to the Moon. Sure, if you don't mind spending several months creeping around the Solar System, that is true, but we probably will be able to do better in 20 or 30 years. We will eventually be able to get to Mars in a matter of weeks, after we have perfected advanced systems of propulsion. Supporting a colonization effort then will not be anywhere near as expensive and time-consuming as it would be now.
 
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gwobserver

Guest
The shoot the moon society was actually what I was hoping to find by putting up the original post. I find the argument that we can make space travel profitable unrealistic, but think the value to our society and humanity will outweigh almost any other endeavor. Could anyone add to my list of things we will achieve by going to the moon. Keeping in mind that the list will be ruthlessly cut down based on arguments that we can achieve the same objectives by going to mars or setting up space platforms or such. In my opinion We should have long range goals and everything we do should be considered in light of current and future functions or at least lessons that will help.

Things we will gain by setting up a moon base:

1)Improved lift capabilities
2)Improved life support
3)Improved Space/environmental suits
4)Power generation and control experience.
5)Rover/vehicle Technology
6)Experience building habitats in hostile environment
7)Moon lander
8)Experience launching from the moon and joining orbiting spacecraft and space station
9)experience mining/geological studies
10)medical knowledge of radiation and low gravity effects

Unfortunately I think the biggest lessons will involve politics and how a lack of funding will take what should be a glorious accomplishment and turn it into a pathetic debacle. I would like to get behind the space movement whatever direction they choose, if they choose one, and hope that everyone here will try to be constructive since we all have a passion for the exploration of space.
 
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nimbus

Guest
Frodo - You always throw a fit when I reply to you. Just ignore my posts from now on and I'll do the same. It'll save everyone the trouble of wading thru useless bickering. I certainly can't find any use arguing with someone so full of themselves anyway.

Booban - Been busy, will reply in a bit. One thing in the mean time - It's not just the Japanese. There's a company in California (IIRC) that's planning to do something similar. If you find this in the blogosphere, you'll easily find the criticisms I've referred to. Just about everyone was skeptical.
o 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?
That's the thing. Everything points to it not being profitable.

Wayne - Basically Booban's answer to "Moon or Mars?" is "Neither!". Not just to be contrarian but (if I understand right) that to get to Moon or Mars asap, we ought to focus on commercial growth to feed our expansion to Moon, Mars, or wherever the next step is. So it's not really off topic. But you're the boss; I'm not going to second guess you or add to your workload.
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Nimbus, I do not make personal aspersions against you, so I do not understand why you seem to think that you have to sarcastically do it to me!

If I am so full of myself, as you seem to think that I am, perhaps at least some of it might just come from having worked in aerospace for almost some 40 years or so, on everything from the rocket engines that helped place men on the moon all the way up to the rocket engines that are used by the Delta IV rockets. To say nothing of many of the military projects that helped us to eventually win the Cold War at the same time. And much of this experience is not in just making PowerPoint presentations (although I have even done that on occasion) but in actually either cutting metal, or mostly in inspecting that cut metal to make sure that it was going to do what such customers as the Air Force and NASA wanted it to do!

Just what have you managed to do in turn that gives you the right to be so critical and antagonistic towards not only my opinions (which I do not mind so much, after all debate IS what we are somewhat here to do) but to even try to cast aspersions against me personally?

Nobody else on these particular non political and more space oriented forums sems to do this, so why do you have to?

I could expect such antagonism over on the more political forums by some there, but NOT here!

I do not know if you are one of the Mars first at any cost individuals, but if you would look at the results of that poll, you might just find that most here are for our going back to the moon first, much for the same reasons that I and others have tried to point out!

However, if you merely misunderstood what it was that I was posting, then at least explain what it was that you did not actually understand, and I will be more than happy to attempt to clarify myself!

I do try to be civil as much as possible here, and would be more than happy to help you, both with as much explanation as I can, along with as many facts as I can find!

As I said I do NOT state that the pure private alt.space concerns will not eventually place people into LEO, or even on the moon, but none of them (except some tourists on Russian equipment up to the ISS) have even placed anyone into LEO. And they certainly have not done that with either their own rockets, nor their own capsules!

So I am NOT anti pure private capitalistic efforts for manned space, but neither do I run down either the governments efforts, nor those of the more experienced space companies! As some here seem to take great glee in doing!

Don't we get enough of that kind of sarcastic attitude over on the political threads?
 
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mj1

Guest
Here's an interesting idea that I read somewhere. How about sending a crew to Mars on a one-way trip to permanently settle there? Something like that could be ready to go in about 10 years or so, while we figure out exactly how to house, feed, and clothe the crew. Also, it would be much cheaper since it would be a one way trip. After that, it would just be a matter of resupply runs (also pretty cheap) until we are ready to send more people to expand the settlement. In the meantime, the moon issue can be dealt with separately. I have a whole other rant on that. Anyway, an even more interesting question is would you volunteer for a one way trip to Mars? Think about it. :geek:
 
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halman

Guest
I realize that there are people on Earth who are so unhappy here that they would be willing to go for a one-way ride to Mars. Thankfully, I am not one of them. And I fail to see what is so important about going to Mars that we should strand people there.

I would like to add something to the list of reasons for why we should go to the Moon first; The psychological effect upon the average person of knowing that there are people living and working on that sphere in the sky. This would be enormous, I believe, and would be very important in getting more support for space exploration. Thinking of the Moon as a place that is separate and distinct from the Earth means that the Earth is not limitless, that it is a finite place, and not the whole universe. I realize that that kind of thinking does not go on amongst the followers of these forums, but I am pretty sure that it is widespread.

Something else which I think that it is important to remember is that the science of reaching space is still in its infancy. We have yet to progress past the 'lying on the wing' stage of flying into space, even though it seems that we have come a long way in the last 50 years. But our access to space is still extremely limited, and very expensive. By no means is it routine, predictable, or commonplace. Creating the systems that make it so should occupy only a short time, if we put our energy into it, but doing so would tremendously alter the financial difficulties involved in any space exploration right now.

Private investment in space technology is essential, and not just in launch systems. The big money will be in orbital processing stations, mines, and orbital transfer systems. Staffing those programs right now makes them out of our reach. Making it cheap and easy to get into space will change that, by allowing personnel to be brought up in large enough quantities to support such programs. The Soyuz can only seat three, and the Orion is down to 4, I believe. If we have a space station with 20 people on it, just rotating out the crew will take many launches.

Before we commit to extended duration, long range missions, we should at least master the short distance from the Earth's surface into Low Earth Orbit.
 
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Booban

Guest
Halman as usual makes eloquent and convincing arguments. I never quite thought of thinking of the moon as you described, it helping putting our place on vulnerable earth in perspective. But that occurs when we are there. The question is how to convince people to go there now.

Ofcourse I agree with the private investment part most, how can anybody argue against the chase for profits as being the most important driving factor in everything we do. It's just a matter of what comes first, cheap access to space, or big profits in space that out weigh expensive access to space. Preferably these two things should be in sync. No point in cheap access if businesses still can't figure what to do out there.

If you argue that billions should be thrown into trying to develop a cheaper ride to space, I argue to instead throw billions into researching out what to do there (profitably), like solar space plant. A solar space plant may not work out, but your first space plane probably won't either, you have to through all the ideas. On this matter, I was a bit surprised about space.com's latest article about the military space plane, X-37. Maybe cheap access is getting a secret boost.

Hey, is that a picture of you or one of the guys from Cheech and Chong?
 
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halman

Guest
Why, thank you, Booban, that is quite nice of you to say!

A space plane that can carry a dozen people is not really all that great of a challenge, nothing like what the Space Shuttle was. We at least know that a lifting body will work, and that Thermal Protection Systems don't have to be ablative. Mostly, the challenges would be designing the airframes out of composite materials for both the carrier wing and the orbiter.

Exploring the Moon, prospecting for resources, figuring out how to extract them, figuring out how to launch them to the orbital processing plants, these things will all require people on the spot. The International Space Station has just recently gotten up to full strength, and that is only 6 people. We should have several times that many up there, with science going on 24/7! That platform is far too expensive to only use it part time. But the cost of space access has limited us in many ways, including restricting the number of people we can keep up there at one time.

Attitudes about spacecraft have been severely damaged by the Space Shuttle. Because it was such a compromise, it has failed to be a big enough success that we wanted to build a better version of it. So, we are taking a giant step backwards, reducing the number of people who we can put into space in one launch.

Everyone is so wrapped up in the 'Moon or Mars' debate that they don't realize that that question might be moot. If we cannot maintain access to space, we won't be going to either place in the foreseeable future.
 
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thermionic

Guest
Slightly off topic but related to the last post... It goes beyond just lofting a lot of people. It takes quite a bit of gear to keep a folk in the pink up in space. I think that ISS by itself can only support 6 at a time. If a Shuttle is hooked up to it for a week, you can temporarily add 7 to that number.
 
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SpaceForAReason

Guest
halman":myvrmwlr said:
Everyone is so wrapped up in the 'Moon or Mars' debate that they don't realize that that question might be moot. If we cannot maintain access to space, we won't be going to either place in the foreseeable future.
Amen.
 
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kelvinzero

Guest
SpaceForAReason":3v4n3nv9 said:
halman":3v4n3nv9 said:
Everyone is so wrapped up in the 'Moon or Mars' debate that they don't realize that that question might be moot. If we cannot maintain access to space, we won't be going to either place in the foreseeable future.
Amen.
I disagree. We have had access to LEO for the past thirty years or so, and it has actually proven an impediment to any mission beyond LEO. On the other hand, even if we threw our HSF away entirely we would still be no more than ten years away from a moon or mars mission should we find a compelling reason to go.

To me, the vital research is in ISRU. A dinky little robot that could print a hundred times its mass in solar cells on the moon, or produce a hundred times its mass in oxygen, is pretty much equal to a hundredfold reduction in launch cost but much much more plausible.
 
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kelvinzero

Guest
gwobserver":1u4n9pkf said:
The shoot the moon society was actually what I was hoping to find by putting up the original post. I find the argument that we can make space travel profitable unrealistic, but think the value to our society and humanity will outweigh almost any other endeavor. Could anyone add to my list of things we will achieve by going to the moon. Keeping in mind that the list will be ruthlessly cut down based on arguments that we can achieve the same objectives by going to mars or setting up space platforms or such. In my opinion We should have long range goals and everything we do should be considered in light of current and future functions or at least lessons that will help.

Things we will gain by setting up a moon base:

1)Improved lift capabilities
2)Improved life support
3)Improved Space/environmental suits
4)Power generation and control experience.
5)Rover/vehicle Technology
6)Experience building habitats in hostile environment
7)Moon lander
8)Experience launching from the moon and joining orbiting spacecraft and space station
9)experience mining/geological studies
10)medical knowledge of radiation and low gravity effects

Unfortunately I think the biggest lessons will involve politics and how a lack of funding will take what should be a glorious accomplishment and turn it into a pathetic debacle. I would like to get behind the space movement whatever direction they choose, if they choose one, and hope that everyone here will try to be constructive since we all have a passion for the exploration of space.
Many objectives that can be achieved by going to the moon could be achieved by going to mars, and many objectives could be achieved only by going to mars.

But Mars is much much harder. It involves very long trips, launch windows only every couple of years or so, and is much much harder to land on. I have heard the arguments about lower delta-v to mars, aerobreaking and all that, but NASA in the 1960s and NASA today both concluded that Mars was much much harder. I cant argue the technicalities. Go argue it with them.

Two things that the moon would give us faster than any other destination is (a) the ability to begin building an infrastructure that is not abandoned as soon as it is not cutting edge anymore and (b) the ability to begin using ISRU (beyond just exploiting solar power of course), in other words we would be on the road towards permanence and we would need no great force of will to stay on that road. If all we did for the next thirty years was build up a trailer park outpost on the moon then it would not be like the last thirty years. The problems would cease to be about the sheer accomplishment of surviving the trip and become about exploring a world and extending our influence over it every year.

It is true that such things as magnetic launchers and SSP are a long way from becoming profitable, but with a permanent outpost that is growing with every year the necesary advances would be continually happening in small increments, not daunting monolithinc projects that are never completed because they are never begun.
 
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halman

Guest
kelvinzero":3elx281t said:
SpaceForAReason":3elx281t said:
halman":3elx281t said:
Everyone is so wrapped up in the 'Moon or Mars' debate that they don't realize that that question might be moot. If we cannot maintain access to space, we won't be going to either place in the foreseeable future.
Amen.
I disagree. We have had access to LEO for the past thirty years or so, and it has actually proven an impediment to any mission beyond LEO. On the other hand, even if we threw our HSF away entirely we would still be no more than ten years away from a moon or mars mission should we find a compelling reason to go.

To me, the vital research is in ISRU. A dinky little robot that could print a hundred times its mass in solar cells on the moon, or produce a hundred times its mass in oxygen, is pretty much equal to a hundredfold reduction in launch cost but much much more plausible.
Look at the direction that the engineering is going; From the shuttle to a capsule launched on solid fueled booster. What will be the next step, sending up monkeys? Access to space requires investment, ongoing and predictable. This is exactly what has not been happening in the U.S. space exploration enterprise, in part, I believe, because of the Moon-Mars debate. Without well defined, clearly achievable goals, Congress has been reluctant to commit large sums to off-planet exploration. They are not space fanatics, so they don't know the arguments for either goal, the difficulties involved in either goal, or the potential payoffs of either goal.

To me, it is heartbreaking that the space exploration community has become so divided, because it diminishes our likelyhood of success when we can not agree on the next goal. And to make colonization the primary reason for spending money in space really hurts our effort, because most people see no need to move to Mars, and no reason to spend their money making it possible for other people to move to Mars.

And I simply do not understand why going to Mars should be done prior to returning to the Moon. It is not as if we will lose interest in Mars if we go to the Moon, quite the opposite is true. The more success we have in space, the more adventurous we will be. The more advanced our technology becomes, the easier it will be to take on larger challenges. To use government money to explore space is reasonable, as long as benefits to the state can be shown. If government spending is paving the way for the private sector to expand into space, than we are using our money wisely. But if we are spending our money merely to make it possible for a small number of people live somewhere else, that is irresponsible, in my book.

And that is the crux of the access argument; If people see their tax dollars going to benefit a small, exclusive group, they will demand that support for that group be withdrawn. If people see their tax dollars going towards making publicly held corporations more profitable, they will be supportive. Once the private sector gets established off-earth, they will begin buying launch systems, communications networks, space stations, and so on. Access will then be assured. We must use government dollars to create a market for launch systems, by showing the private sector how to go about living and working in space.
 
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kelvinzero

Guest
Hi again Halman,

You have probably already heard explanations of why sometimes capsules are the best design choice, and why the constellation looks more like the apollo architecture than the space shuttle but here they are again anyway:

Like Apollo, the constellation architecture is designed for going beyond LEO. The shuttle is not. That is why constellation looks more like apollo than the shuttle.

If you take something with wings all the way to the moon and back, you significantly reduce the useful payload you can actually deliver to the moon. If you have to rendezvous with something with wings before returning to earth you have greatly added to mission complexity and risk.

A craft returning from the moon will hit earth's atmosphere at a significantly greater velocity than a craft reentering from LEO. We want this because it saves a lot of fuel and allows larger payloads actually to the moon. If you design something to be good at two things it can be truely excellent at neither of them. A capsule makes no attempt to be good at gliding but this lets it be excellent at reentry, which is necessary for the much faster reentry of a moon mission.

I am not the person to defend the Ares I, but in general an inline two stage vehicle delivering just a capsule to orbit has the potential to be a much better starting point for experimentation in next generation space taxis than the shuttle. The shuttle was expensive, so that there was not any remaining HSF budget for anything but running it. If there were any money, it would have to go to an entirely new vehicle because the shuttle could not be evolved significantly, only tweeked.

With an (inexpensive) inline two stage launch vehicle however you have the possibility of evolving the two stages separately, to some degree. The capsule design, which might suit the moon, could be replaced with a vertical launch, horizontal landing craft similar perhaps to the dream chaser. The first stage has the potential to be replaced, perhaps with a reusable or simply cheaper design without having to reinvent your other stages. I realised that it is not as easy as I have made it sound but this is still far more plausible than such a major change to the shuttle.
 
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crazyeddie

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

I vote for Mars, for a number of reasons, but the primary one is this: the public is more likely to support a Mars mission than a moon mission. People find the moon boring.....we've been there already, after all, and it's rather bleak and unexciting. Mars, on the other hand, stirs passions in people in a way the moon never could, and it's fascinated the public for over a century. The idea that we could possibly live there someday makes it even more alluring.
 
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dragon04

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

crazyeddie":18987ojj said:
I vote for Mars, for a number of reasons, but the primary one is this: the public is more likely to support a Mars mission than a moon mission. People find the moon boring.....we've been there already, after all, and it's rather bleak and unexciting. Mars, on the other hand, stirs passions in people in a way the moon never could, and it's fascinated the public for over a century. The idea that we could possibly live there someday makes it even more alluring.

/agree
 
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nimbus

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

Both and more. NASA isn't all that good at working the cheap space access problem (an essential part of the space dev. puzzle), and they don't have the funds for a full Mars or Moon mission, but the "flexible path" proposal by the Augustine commission would IMO capture the public's attention more than either Moon or Mars missions. Going to NEOs, Lagrange points, Mars orbit, and Moon orbit, all in sequence or at the same time.. That would definitely be the best. SpaceX and cie. can flesh out space access and transportation in the mean time, to pave the way to true Mars and Moon, etc, missions.
 
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Jazman1985

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

Mars! I think that a mining station on the moon for fuel will be useful and necessary in the long term, but first the attention of the public needs to be captured. Also, while the moon might have the possibility to produce both nuclear and chemical propulsion fuels, Mars has a greater chance of being able to support life more easily(especially plant life) in the distant future. ANY atmosphere is better than none.
 
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Erevna

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

The question is about our destination, not the stepping stones. Mars is it. We've already been to the moon. Sure we haven't max'ed its full potential, but that's not the question.

Committing to Mars would be a catalyst for the largest leap in technological advances the human race has ever seen. And that's just the short term. By going to Mars, and specifically places were we believe water-ice is/was present, could answer one of the, if not THE, biggest question in human history; Does (or did) life develop elsewhere in the universe?

If we find evidence of life or previous life on Mars, this would solidify the idea life is a constant in the universe. Life can evolve the point that we lowly humans could recognize it as life. Step back and realize how big that is for the human race. That's why we focus on Mars.
 
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bdewoody

Guest
Re: Mars or moon

Erevna":1epdk04k said:
The question is about our destination, not the stepping stones. Mars is it. We've already been to the moon. Sure we haven't max'ed its full potential, but that's not the question.

Committing to Mars would be a catalyst for the largest leap in technological advances the human race has ever seen. And that's just the short term. By going to Mars, and specifically places were we believe water-ice is/was present, could answer one of the, if not THE, biggest question in human history; Does (or did) life develop elsewhere in the universe?

If we find evidence of life or previous life on Mars, this would solidify the idea life is a constant in the universe. Life can evolve the point that we lowly humans could recognize it as life. Step back and realize how big that is for the human race. That's why we focus on Mars.
You Mars first guys and/or girls don't get it. If Obama cancels the moon missions we won't be going anywhere (manned missions) for a long time. They will keep on doing studies on the long tem effects of the space environment on humans adding more and more to the spacecraft requirements until it becomes impossible to build one. Or even worse we will do a publicity stunt one time mission similar to our previous moon missions. Even though it will mean I'll never see men on Mars I believe that the moon for now is our only real choice.
 
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