POLL: Should NASA Send Astronauts Back to the Moon?

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Should NASA Send Astronauts Back to the Moon?

  • Absolutely! The 40 years since the first moon landing have been way too long.

    Votes: 85 85.0%
  • Perhaps, but only if the new science and technologies from the effort can help the rest of humanity

    Votes: 10 10.0%
  • Just say NO to the moon. We’ve been there before, and any attempt to return is a ridiculous waste of

    Votes: 5 5.0%

  • Total voters
    100
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
I understand what Buzz's proposition is, he would be hard pressed to find anybody here at SDC who is disagreeable to the long-term occupation of Mars. Mars is of course going to be part of the big human/space exploration and utilization picture.

But he wants us to do it in twenty years. I say that that is rushing it for no good reason other than to get there before Buzz and the rest of his generation fall to the grim reaper. I can understand that desire, but it's not necessarily in the national interest to do it so rapidly.

The Moon must come first. It is the next logical step for us to systematically explore-and exploit- the solar system for science as well as commercial gain. Eventually, when our lunar bases are as self-sufficient as possible, perhaps totally self-sufficient, then we can move on to Mars. Inevitably, I believe, we will one day manufacture spacecraft on the Moon and take off from there, it'd be a lot cheaper.

No one would be happier than I if the US spent as much per/year on NASA as we do on our military and defense budget. With 600+ billion dollars a year, we could get to Mars by this Christmas!! (Just about!) Think about that. One year's defense budget is more money than we spend on NASA in THIRTY YEARS!!!!!!
 
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davcbow

Guest
ZenGalacticore":2z2m8hhr said:
I understand what Buzz's proposition is, he would be hard pressed to find anybody here at SDC who is disagreeable to the long-term occupation of Mars. Mars is of course going to be part of the big human/space exploration and utilization picture.

But he wants us to do it in twenty years. I say that that is rushing it for no good reason other than to get there before Buzz and the rest of his generation fall to the grim reaper. I can understand that desire, but it's not necessarily in the national interest to do it so rapidly.

The Moon must come first. It is the next logical step for us to systematically explore-and exploit- the solar system for science as well as commercial gain. Eventually, when our lunar bases are as self-sufficient as possible, perhaps totally self-sufficient, then we can move on to Mars. Inevitably, I believe, we will one day manufacture spacecraft on the Moon and take off from there, it'd be a lot cheaper.

No one would be happier than I if the US spent as much per/year on NASA as we do on our military and defense budget. With 600+ billion dollars a year, we could get to Mars by this Christmas!! (Just about!) Think about that. One year's defense budget is more money than we spend on NASA in THIRTY YEARS!!!!!!
Excellant points and I do agree... :cool:
 
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Danzi

Guest
Also, if we colonised a vast majority of the solar systems moons and parts of the asteroid belt, then we would also have the benefit of humanities preservation! If an Asteroid hit Earth it would be a disaster, but if we had colonies throughout the solar system that had become self reliant through growing their own crops and being able to produce water then mas extinction on Earth would not mean the end of human race, and oneday we could start again on Earth when the dust had settled.

Earth is over crowded, if we could get colonies on the moon, Mars, other moons, in the ASteroid belt, that had become self reliant and not needed constatnt shipping from Earth then there is no longer the rsik of Earth being to crowded

So yes, going back to the moon should be the first steps in colonising the solar system. Although, if we cant establish colonies that can become self realiant then we will hit a brick wall.
Poverty still exists on Earth now, so it would be impossible for us to send food and supply's to the moon if we have city's and everything there.
 
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dinnertime

Guest
I think we should send landscaping equipment, ore-sifters, and blast refineries to the moon ahead of our next manned mission. In my opinion, a few remotely controlled industrial applications for a base camp setup, and a mini-nuke generator is more important than a few giant leaps. Who wants to be 90 thousands miles from home and forget to bring something useful to do, in such an inhospitable place. With heat and some tools, we could start turning moon dust into glass sections needed to build a greenhouse, or some sealed area in which to hold a pressurized environment to even think about using the moon as a hub for future exploration. In this tax and spend democratic leadership, sending some of our finest to the moon without a shovel isn't going to be the wise choice. I think it would be a good idea to go to the moon, only if we scale up a notch, no progress, means no future in such a mission. The whole point of actually being in space is commercialism, and spreading our influence. Heh, we should string some solar powered lights out so we can prove we went there this time.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Well since none of the things you mention exist, we are talking a half century or more before they can be launched. By then, I'll be worm food, so you guys can fight it out.
 
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artv

Guest
She is one surprises paradox that our children have their future in the past! I mean: the enormous achievment to go to the Moon "was secured years ago". I believe that all this has contributed to the theories of conspiracy in the sense that some people think that never was arrived at the Moon. Because, the human logic is that when we watched any technological advance and of conquest of the nature, year to year better results are obtained. An example to understand to us. If a certain year is managed to descend to 4 km of depth in the sea with a submarine, in 3-4 years after we will descend more, with another better submarine, to 6 km of depth. And thus. He would be ridiculous to think about that : " in 1995 it was managed to descend to 7 km of depth. Now only we can obtain 4km of depth". Science does not advance backwards. But that is what happens with the conquest of the Moon, and a dramatic form! Reasons? Again they appear the conspiracy theories - of another nature, now-, for which we think that really it was travelled. And then we asked ourselves.

Conspiracy: And it will not be that really military man was a mission essentially, by the lights and other phenomena that were seen for years? One settled down that there was no imminent danger and was stopped going. Now one will go away again,… with caution.

The truth? Perhaps it is known gradually within the period of a hundred of years.
 
S

StarRider1701

Guest
ZenGalacticore":2zp2szmc said:
Absolutely yes! We should go back to the Moon. But only if we are going to stay and establish a permanent presence. (Which we should've done years ago.)

Besides, where else are we going to go? Leap-frogging off to Mars for one or two sensational missions at this point would be a big waste of money-and too high a risk- IMO. Once we have lunar outposts and bases that are as self-sufficient as possible, then, and only then, should we seriously consider venturing to Mars.

After all, if something goes seriously wrong with the life-support and other systems on our moon bases(which they are sure to do), it will be relatively easy to send in rescue and supply teams. Not so on Mars.

To insure success in a Mars venture, we would have to have redundant orbiting supply ships with equally redundant safe return-to-Mars-orbit craft. And then we're talking serious $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

IMO, Mars can come decades later, after great experience is learned living and operating on the Moon. If we can survive on the Moon, perhaps surviving on or in orbit around Mars would be a relative cake walk since we know for sure that there is at least frozen water on Mars and with the CO2 a way to make oxygen. (Although oxygen exists in the moon's regolith, TMK.)
I agree with every word, Zen! Not to mention the fact that, if we put a little manufacturing capability on the moon, any future expeditions to Mars or anywhere else can be bigger and less costly because every nut and bolt won't have to be shipped up from Earth.
Flying off to Mars now would be totally wasteful in the extreme! First we need some kind of base that will be the jump-off point to the rest of our solar system, either on the moon or in Earth orbit.
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
Star rider- What I'm amazed about is that there are so many intelligent, educated people in the loop that are so gung-ho about an impulsive excursion to Mars. What are we going to do-other than some admittedly great human hands-on science and exploration- once we get there?

With only one, or, if the advocates for such a mission are EXTREMELY lucky, two missions, the scope of our manned endeavor would be very limited in relation to the financial cost. Granted, with hands-on-the-site and in Mars orbit (boots on the ground, as they say), we could at least MORE SAFELY and SECURELY deliver a host of robotic, roving probes that the manned missions could bring with them and deploy with a higher average rate of success than remote launching from Earth.

What would really happen, in my view, is we would go there, land humans on Mars, and everybody would jump in excitement and joy!!! Then they'd come back, and it would all be over for 40 or more years, just like the Moon landings.

We need a step-by-step, logical, rational space program, beginning with the Moon and permanent orbital bases in L-5 orbit. The whims of fickle-and ill informed- public opinion be damned!!
 
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frodo1008

Guest
I have been advocating going back to the moon now for many, many years. For further exploration, but mainly for the exploitation of the minerals that are there, and were one of the greatest of the Apollo findings!

Using both the moon, and possibly also NEO's (it would be far better to use them for the benefit of mankind, than to allow them to destroy mankind!) is THE key to truly reducing the enormous costs of going further out into the solar system!

And eventually exploiting that solar system itself is to become a true space faring civilization, (unless we want to see ALL human civilization collapse, if not ALL human life itself destroyed) an absolute necessity for the future of our species!
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
These last few posts are not really too related to the Apollo program (I never liked this thread here anyway) so might be better off in SB&T.

In fact, perhaps this whole thread should be moved there. I'll ask dh what she thinks about that idea.
 
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StarRider1701

Guest
ZenGalacticore":18nwixwp said:
Star rider- What I'm amazed about is that there are so many intelligent, educated people in the loop that are so gung-ho about an impulsive excursion to Mars. What are we going to do-other than some admittedly great human hands-on science and exploration- once we get there?

We need a step-by-step, logical, rational space program, beginning with the Moon and permanent orbital bases in L-5 orbit. The whims of fickle-and ill informed- public opinion be damned!!
Once again I agree with you completely. Going to Mars now would end up being the equivilent of going to the Moon 40 yrs ago. Only FAR FAR more expensive! That money should be better used for much more practical (and boring) work here in orbit or on the moon. What should have happened in the 70's and 80's is a step by step, logical effort to create a permenant presence either in orbit or on the moon. Starting with building something like an electromagnetic cannon to use to put everything except people and the most delicate of equipment into orbit. It is essential that we put some manufacturing capability into space. Being able to mine the moon and/or the nears for material will be necessary for any expedition beyond Earth/Luna space within our solar system. The sooner we can begin making stuff in space, the less expensive expeditions to ANYWHERE will be. Sending anything but probes to Mars now would be a TOTAL waste of too many BILLIONS of dollars that can and should be better used for more practical work.
 
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jim48

Guest
No, it is a waste of time and money to send astronauts back to the moon. Been there. Done that. To Mars, and beyond...!!!
 
Z

ZenGalacticore

Guest
jim48":2lrgfcrb said:
No, it is a waste of time and money to send astronauts back to the moon. Been there. Done that. To Mars, and beyond...!!!
Sorry Jimbo. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and a handful of others have 'been there and done that', the rest of us watched it on crappy VHF cathode ray tube television. :lol:

We have to go back to the Moon if we are serious not only about the grander idea of becoming a 'Space faring species' but the more, um, 'down to Earth and up to Moon' idea of the US having a meaningful, viable space program.

The days of one-off sensational landings, for now at least, are over. As it stands, we'll be lucky if we can even maintain a LEO presence with the way funding is looking. At present, manned voyages to Mars are looking more and more like something that isn't going to happen in our life times.
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Sorry Jim, but even the astronauts themselves that walked on the moon have said that it was just a bare beginning of the exploration needed! How many astronauts have visited the poles of the moon? For that matter how many astronauts have visited the "Hidden" (not dark, it isn't dark, it is merely hidden from our view from the Earth) side of the moon?

You are not an uneducated or stupid man, so you must know that the answer to both of those queries is simply, NONE!!

The moon has the approximate total land area of Africa + Australia, and we have visited about the area of the San Fernando Valley in California! We have NOT been there at all in relative terms!

Besides which, there is a big "DUH!" here. If we can not even get back to an object only some 240,000 miles away, that we have already been to, just how are we supposed to go out some 100 million+ miles to another object?

We need to both explore and exploit our own neighborhood, long before we can go out to another city on the other side of the country!

Reasonable? :roll:
 
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StarRider1701

Guest
frodo1008":3akdkbws said:
We need to both explore and exploit our own neighborhood, long before we can go out to another city on the other side of the country!
Reasonable? :roll:
I agree 100%. But sshhhh! Be vewy vewy careful. You said the dirty "e" word! Explore is the only acceptable "e" word at NASA. That other "e" word is evil, terrible and horrible. Everybody know that exploiting anything is a bad, bad thing. Heaven forbid that we should actuallly learn from and use the things that our explorations have found/discovered! Why, that would be too much like... work! How boring is that!?! :eek:
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
That's right Frodo. We've hardly 'explored' the Moon. All we've done is a preliminary reconnaisance, and that's an overstatement in my opinion.

And Frodo, just say 'Far side of the Moon'. :) And you're right again, we haven't even landed humans on the far side of the Moon yet. It's hard to believe people claim that we have, with men, 'explored' the Moon already. That'd be tantamount to Columbus exploring the tiny island of San Salvador and a few others of the Lesser Antilles, and saying: 'We've explored the new continents, let's go back to Spain and stay there.' *


*Although I wish they would have, then maybe the entire Western Hemisphere would speak English!!! :lol:
 
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jim48

Guest
Y'all make very valid points regarding a manned return to the moon. I could make a good argument for it and a good one against it. However, the moon is... a moon. Mars is a planet. Let us send people there to explore! We could spend generations exploring the moon, but why not move out into the solar system? We have the technology. The Apollo moon missions were a risky a business, to be sure, but we did it. "Risk?!! Risk is our business! That's what this starship is all about!" Captain James T. Kirk famously said on Star Trek. Let us take a risk on manned Mars missions, not back to the moon.
 
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StarRider1701

Guest
jim48":1z5y6hwo said:
Y'all make very valid points regarding a manned return to the moon. I could make a good argument for it and a good one against it. However, the moon is... a moon. Mars is a planet. Let us send people there to explore! We could spend generations exploring the moon, but why not move out into the solar system? We have the technology. The Apollo moon missions were a risky a business, to be sure, but we did it. "Risk?!! Risk is our business! That's what this starship is all about!" Captain James T. Kirk famously said on Star Trek. Let us take a risk on manned Mars missions, not back to the moon.
True, we have the technology now to barely get to Mars with a small mission. If we (and they) are lucky, they might even get back home alive! Doing so would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Money better spent finding ways to make space travel less expensive. Putting a base in orbit or on the moon is necessary now. A base with manufacturing capability. Mining the moon and the near earth asteroids (the nears) for materials with which to build things. That is what is NEEDED now. We do not NEED to go to Mars now. Mars will still be there 40 or 50 years from now when we are ready and far more capable of going there with a large mission. A far larger, better more capable mission that would actually cost less because a significant portion of it was built in space or on the moon with non-earthly materials. All those billions would also be better spent on a non-rocket method of putting cargo payloads into space. A mass-driver will help reduce the cost of future space travel, making space more accessable. That is what we need to do now.

Space travel is still in its infancy. Going to Mars now would be the same as expecting an infant who can barely walk to jump up and run a Marathon!

PS. Hate to break the news to ya Jim, but James T Kirk is a fictional character, not a real person. An actor said whatever the scriptwriter and the Director told him to say. This isn't the 23rd Century and we don't have starshps. Yet.
 
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jim48

Guest
StarRider1701":3iktjh9d said:
jim48":3iktjh9d said:
Y'all make very valid points regarding a manned return to the moon. I could make a good argument for it and a good one against it. However, the moon is... a moon. Mars is a planet. Let us send people there to explore! We could spend generations exploring the moon, but why not move out into the solar system? We have the technology. The Apollo moon missions were a risky a business, to be sure, but we did it. "Risk?!! Risk is our business! That's what this starship is all about!" Captain James T. Kirk famously said on Star Trek. Let us take a risk on manned Mars missions, not back to the moon.
True, we have the technology now to barely get to Mars with a small mission. If we (and they) are lucky, they might even get back home alive! Doing so would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Money better spent finding ways to make space travel less expensive. Putting a base in orbit or on the moon is necessary now. A base with manufacturing capability. Mining the moon and the near earth asteroids (the nears) for materials with which to build things. That is what is NEEDED now. We do not NEED to go to Mars now. Mars will still be there 40 or 50 years from now when we are ready and far more capable of going there with a large mission. A far larger, better more capable mission that would

Star Trek was fiction? Dag!!! It looked so real! Well, not always. My point should be well taken, however. ;)
 
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frodo1008

Guest
But Jim that is exactly why it is far more important now to reduce the costs of getting into space! At this time a "Star Trek" kind of a mission IS a mission to Mars!

Oh, I know that would be more exiting, but that is exactly the point, it IS the unexciting stuff such as getting the cost of space infrastructure down that is what is going to be a driver for being able to go out further into the solar system far less expensively, and certainly far more safely, and even better, with a far greater capacity for being able to do sustained things there!

We do NOT need any more flags and footprints types of missions, and you are correct to at least some extent we have already done that with the Apollo program (although it did FAR more that that also!), so we have no need to do that sort of thing on Mars anymore than we need to do it on the moon!.

However, we are NOT going back to the moon just to even explore, let along just plant flags, we are going back not only for greater exploration, but also for the exploitation that a far more sustainable space program will require to even think of going on to Mars and beyond! THAT is what is important!

Besides, the truth that the Augustine Panel has discovered is that it is going to take a modestly increased NASA budget just to even get back to the moon. Jim, I am sorry, while Dr Robert Zubrin IS a brilliant engineer, his estimates of just what it is going to take to get human beings on to Mars, are a joke!!

If the Apollo program required $100 billion in today's dollars, and the shuttle program has required another $100 billion in today's dollars, and the ISS has required another $100 billion in today's dollars, going out as far as Mars with a reasonable, sustainable, and safe mission is going to require at least $200 billion in today's dollars! Congress and the American people are nowhere near as stupid as to not realize this!

Now, as a space enthusiast, I am more than willing to see the US with NASA even spend that kind of money, but Congress and the American people will NOT be, at least for enough time that we can for far less get back to the moon and start mining, and space manufacturing (which WILL bring those costs for going on to such places as Mars down by a long ways, maybe not to Dr. Zubrin's level, but to no more that past programs)!

So, it is either reduce the costs of both getting from the Earth to LEO itself, with the use of more pure private commercial means in the near term, and such as lasers, or even space elevators in the long term. And get back to the moon to start the true space manufacturing industry, or probably end up going nowhere at all?

I choose the possibly more boring, but far steadier methodologies myself!!

And with that I can at least hope that the American people and their representatives in Congress may be willing to at least do that, but that puts Mars on the back burner for at least the next thirty years or so, at least as far as human exploration is concerned!

However, as NASA's Space Science missions were not even the subject of the Augustine Panel, then there is absolutely no reasons why we can not continue to constantly improve our truly excellent robotic missions of Mars and the other bodies of this solar system, Everything we learn in this manner will be useful when we as humanity get out there ourselves!

As it does have an atmosphere, I would very much like to see us send autonomous robotic fliers over the entire surface of Mars, at an altitude that would really explore that body. And even before we human beings walk there, I would also very much like to see sample return missions to and from Mars also. Missions that by the way, would even be making use of such methodologies as have been put forth by Dr Zubrin in his excellent books!

We do NOT have to give up on further exploration of both Mars and the other bodies of the solar system, just to build a true space faring civilizations infrastructure back here between the moon and the Earth!

We CAN (thanks to our robotic friends) afford to to BOTH at the same time, even! And I kind of like that myself!! :D
 
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ZenGalacticore

Guest
Jim you crack me up! I still think of Uncle Fester saying what you type. :lol:

I'm on Starider's trajectory here. We need to keep researching and developing better, more efficient, and ultimately cheaper forms of propulsion during the next few decades. We'll learn incalculable knowledge, know-how, expertise and experience by indefinitely living and working on the Moon.

She's (the Moon) part of the Earth/Moon system-obvy- she's close, she's there, and we need to go to her! :) And when the public begins to see the benefits-both scientific and commercial- that will accrue from the inevitable expanding and exponentiating technology that most certainly will result from our efforts, then we can more easily build a case with said public for going to Mars.

When I think of all the Trillions of dollars that America and Russia have spent on weapons preparing to blow each other to smithereens(in order to not blow each other up) it makes me somewhat melancholy. Had we spent that money on space R&D, and space exploration and utilization, we'd probably already be on Mars, mining the Asteroids, and have orbiting colonies in L-5 and elsewhere. :cry: :(

What a creature is Man.
 
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frodo1008

Guest
Besides Jim, have you noticed the results of the pol that is the very reason for this thread in the first place?

I would guess that even among the space "Cadet" types here on space.com, my opinion on this is not exactly alone! :twisted:
 
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bdewoody

Guest
I wrote an answer to this question in the other thread that recently appeared and I'll try to write an intelligent one in here.

It seems obvious to me that the moon should be our next goal in the conquest of our solar system. The seven previous trips to the moon that man made only proved that we were extremely lucky. The engineering was the best that the 1960's could offer and I am in no way trying to belittle the achievements of the Apollo Astronauts. But the consensus is that we were so very lucky that all the astronauts that went to the moon returned safely. I doubt that a similar approach to going to Mars would bring everyone home.

The moon is natures gift to us as a space station. It has all the materials we need to establish a long term base/colony on or just under it's surface. Granted it will take a long time to get the moon to the point where we can build the vehicles that we need to go to the rest of the solar system and launch them but I see it as the only way. Besides what's the hurry? Mars will still be there. Meanwhile the science that can be done on the moon during this time will surely pay for itself in the long run.

Several posters also pointed out that any system that will provide protection for the earth from stray asteroids or comets will have a much greater chance of success if based on the moon.

There will always be people that think we should never leave the safety and protection of mother earth but I think the long term will prove them wrong. The money that has been spent on the space program up to now was not shot out into space. It was spent paying people to do jobs here on earth.

So lets get off our fannys and tell congress what to do.






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