Like all of Obama's programs the only new direction for nasa is backwards.
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That's terrible news!747Whaledriver":3h344ip3 said:While obama has directed that NASA should land on an asteroid, he has allowed the office that is searching for NEOs (that pose a risk to earth) to run out of funds.
I completely agree. The moon is for automated telescopes on the far side, colonization is for other places in the Solar System, like Mars.therios":1w1j7b3c said:Just because we are not focusing on the moon does not mean that we won't be utilizing it. I can see in the near future, a new dark side telescope on the surface of the moon. Just a matter of time until astronomers really want something better than we can float around in orbit... just a matter of time.
Also, the moon still has other uses that the private sector can utilize. And through this, we might get them involved in space and they might even see the commercial benefits to asteroids.
Sure. After Columbus set foot on the new world, there was no reason to "waste time" doing it again.therios":v12rj1sp said:I think it is a good idea. We landed on the moon with something comparable to cart and horse. We don't need to do it again. We don't need to waste the time.
What he said. Abandoning the previous plan to set up a base on the moon in favor of a grand stand stunt to an asteroid is a monumental mistake.nobidon":1pywpao8 said:The problem with Apollo was that it was defined as a race, and provided no purpose for the destination other than to get there first. Once we won the race the public had no vested interest in colonizing the moon and staying there. This new direction appears to suffer from the same lack of vision. It chooses some new destinations because it provides no substance as to why we should be living and colonizing space in the first place. The "been there/done that" slogan is more proof that the current administration just doesn't get it, and unfortunately if they don't have a dream in their minds already, they aren't ever going to.
A new vision for colonizing the moon as a permanent and growing colony would re-energize the American people and it would provide a unifying effect on an entire new generation of youth from all nations. There are a lot of things we could do there, such as turning the moon into a giant solar power generator to beam power back to earth, as just one example. The moon colony could pay for itself if they were generating power. Why a capitalist country can't or won't define these things in terms of money and profits is beyond me. The new colony can trade with Earth, power generation for supplies. They can then start building their own ships to go to Mars and Asteroids and other destinations. Think of a 10 thousand person work force living on the moon and maintaining the solar array farm there, and then also developing space related technologies with 10% of their workers and resources. That would be far more effective at achieving a 50 year vision than any of these current plans which aren't sustainable, aren't funded, and have little to no support from the voting public. A bankrupt nation is more likely to support something if it has a chance of providing real revenue and profits over time.
Hmmm, somebody's a little optimistic about progress and a bit paranoid, eh?3DBME":hoa0ylw5 said:Twenty five years from now, after the Chinese have tested and perfected their nuclear pulse rocket technology (launchable from the lunar surface) and are going to inner solar system destinations in a few months instead of years, and after they have perfected their nuclear powered beam weaponry to use against any target on the Earth's surface or near-Earth space, and after they have perfected their superconductor based rail gun technology that can deliver a single non-explosive kinetic energy projectile to any sea based target and generate a local tsunami that will decimate any fleet, then we can thank these government officials for our 'new direction' in space.
...By Robert Block, Orlando Sentinel Space Editor
6:14 p.m. EDT, October 4, 2010
NASA engineers -- not Congress -- must determine the design of America's next big spaceship to take humans beyond the moon, according to the agency's top technology official.
Robert Braun, NASA's chief technologist, told the Orlando Sentinel that even though Congress last week passed legislation demanding that NASA use parts of the space shuttle and its now-defunct Constellation moon-rocket program to make a new heavy-lift rocket, sound engineering and not politics should ultimately determine the way to go.
"I think it remains to be seen what heavy lift will be," Braun said. "I would like to believe now that we are making progress in Washington towards the 2011 plan that the engineers…will weigh in and that we will move towards the technically correct choice."
..."I know there's been a lot of discussion about shuttle-derived [rockets] and how derived from the shuttle will it be. There are other options from a technology perspective," he said, without providing details.
However, he did suggest that a brand-new launcher did not need solid-rocket boosters – a move that would likely draw the ire of Utah lawmakers and ATK.
"A lot of that depends on what we need to go to an asteroid or Mars," he said. "And a lot of that depends on our technology investments." He said advances in in-space technology – propulsion, communications, orbiting fuel depots – may enable the use of smaller, less-advanced rockets to launch from Earth.
Braun praised the bill for proposing to invest $600 million in technology in 2011, saying it would help create more jobs all around the country – though not necessarily in Florida. He said it would also attract a whole new generation of students back to working in the space program.
"We are going to begin to invest in technology to go beyond low Earth orbit, and we weren't making those investments at any level before," he said.
...by Jeff Foust
Monday, October 4, 2010
If the Space Age has a birthday, then today would be it. Fifty-three years ago today—October 4, 1957—an R-7 rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in present-day Kazakhstan and placed the first satellite, Sputnik, into orbit. That launch also triggered a space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, a frenzied, hyperkinetic period of firsts that culminated nearly 12 years later with the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon.
Since then, it seems, space advocates have been attempting to recapture the magic of that era, with little success. The latest effort has been the Vision for Space Exploration, the program announced by President George W. Bush in January 2004 to return humans to the Moon by 2020 as a prelude for human missions to Mars and beyond. Last week, though, the Vision died quietly on Capitol Hill with the passage of a NASA authorization bill that charts yet another new direction for the space agency. Another effort to harness the energy and enthusiasm—and funding—first tapped 53 years ago had failed.
I would argue that The New World is Mars and Beyond; Mars is like North America, whereas the Moon is like Antarctica, and the asteroids are like the West Indies.HopDavid":133xon8k said:Sure. After Columbus set foot on the new world, there was no reason to "waste time" doing it again.
We still have a lot to learn about the moon and it has a lot to offer us.
I agree, modularity is key. You need hardware that can go multiple places. That way it is not a choice between the Moon and asteroids; one year, you go one place, the next year, the other. The next year, one of the first two. The year after that, a third place. If all uses most of the same hardware, it works well.EarthlingX":1zclorhi said:
...Source: Iowa State University
Posted Thursday, October 7, 2010
Dr. Robert Braun, NASA chief technologist, will visit Iowa State's College of Engineering to discuss the future of human space travel. His presentation, part of the T.A. Wilson Lecture series, will be held on October 20 at 11:00 a.m. in the Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium in Howe Hall.
Through "Investments in Our Future: Exploring Space through Innovation and Technology," Braun will provide an overview of NASA's planned research, innovation, and technology investments that focus on robotic and human exploration throughout the solar system.
Braun believes NASA's new Space Technology Program will provide vital development in new technologies to the future of space travel. The program has been focusing on advancements in deep space missions for humans, as well as creating benefits for these new innovations on Earth. These technologies will allow humans to venture beyond low Earth orbit more safely and efficiently, while providing real-life applications and benefits.
October 08, 2010
A Rasmussen Reports poll unveiled this week reveals some rather dramatic shifts in public opinion this year in favor of NASA and the agency’s endeavors in human as well as robotic space exploration.
The changes unfolded during a on going debate among lawmakers and policy makers over the agency’s future. The catalyst for the sometimes contentious give and take has been the looming retirement of NASA’s shuttle program. Two scheduled flights remain, with a good possibility of a third “final” flight in mid-2011. Each of the flights is intended to bolster the future of the NASA-managed International Space Station, which is likely to receive a four-year extension of operations — until at least 2020.
Last week, Congress delivered road map legislation to the White House that calls for a new human deep space exploration capability by 2017. Destinations include the asteroids and eventually Mars. The measure, which also invests in new commercial human orbital transportation capabilities, awaits President Obama’s signature.
Eighty percent of adult Americans express a favorable opinion of NASA, up from 64 percent in January, according to the Rasmussen poll, published Tuesday. Fourteen percent have a negative outlook, down from 20 percent in January. Those in favor include 32 percent, who view NASA very favorably.
The telephone survey of 1,000 adults conducted Oct. 1-2 includes a 3 percent plus or minus margin of error.
Sharply divided over future exploration
In spite of NASA’s rising respect, Americans remain remarkably divided in their support for future exploration. Forty one percent of those polled would invest, 41 percent would not. Those unsure represent a hefty 17 percent. In January, 50 percent believed a cutback was warranted.
As the shuttle program nears retirement, 52 percent believe the 132 missions launched so far have been worth the expense, up 12 percent from January. Twenty-eight percent believe the shuttle program has been a poor investment, 20 percent are unsure.
In light of those numbers, it’s especially interesting to note that 72 percent believe human space flight, a capability about to move off shore for at least a few years, is important to the nation. Just 21 percent believe the opposite. Thirty-five percent of those in the supportive category believe the capability is “very important.”
Seventy-six percent believe robotic exploration is important, including 29 percent who say it’s very important. Sixteen percent believe robotic missions are not important.
Who Should Pay?
So, who should pay? The outcome reveals a lack of consensus. Forty percent believe space exploration is an appropriate government expenditure. Thirty-two percent would rely on private investors to lead the way. Twenty-eight percent are undecided on this significant issue.
...Tuesday, October 05, 2010
NASA just received the budget go-ahead for one last manned shuttle launch, but most Americans think the historic shuttle program has been well worth the money.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 52% of Adults say the space shuttle program has been worth the expense to taxpayers. Twenty-eight percent (28%) disagree and feel the program has not been worth the expense. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure.
No, the moon has a very valuable resource - Water.neutrino78x":11hlw63l said:
Well first of all human spaceflight does not explore space. It has not done so for many decades now because it has been restricted to LEO. All the exploration is done by robots. All of these people who cling to the idea of human spaceflight exploration is ridiculous at least in the short term. We have no problem sending probes to any object in the solar system for a fraction it costs human spaceflight to make it to the moon.wispacegirl":2kbu5ifv said:We have to grow out of this belief that our bodies need to leave Earth in order for us to explore space. Sending a few humans bodily to Mars or asteroids is NOT interesting enough to justify the expense, bureaucracy, and endless waiting. Rather than an "I came/saw/conquered" reality show (like the Apollo missions were), I would love to see advanced probes drilling through the Europan ice, diving into the methane lakes of Titan, bringing back samples from Mars, and traveling to another STAR SYSTEM. Mars is a miserable environment for people. Let's LEARN things, and save the human travel for somewhere we'd actually like to live.
I cannot stand it when people use exploration and human spaceflight in the same sentence. Human spaceflight has not explored anything in decades. It should not be about exploration.[/quote]Gravity_Ray":2nm3brwl said:NASA's direction is unfortunately dependant on the flavor of the day administration that is in office that year.
Neither the Bush nor the Obama administrations really care about real human space flight and exploration of our solar system. They both have failed miserably in coming up with a valid direction for NASA.
Seriously, what if you found something valuable on the asteroid anyways? Whoosh, it's gone and you aren't going to have a chance at extracting those minerals anytime soon anyways. Not to mention in order to extract those minerals you'll need to test tools for doing so. How do you plan on testing those tools when the asteroid is long gone? Then you have the possibility you get there with some tools you think will work and they don't. There goes a big waste. Oh and not to mention the window you'd have to extract what you needed to and get off the ateroid in order to make it back. The safety aspect doesn't even need to be mentioned because the the huge risks are so obvious.HopDavid":3qhcmemk said:No, the moon has a very valuable resource - Water.neutrino78x":3qhcmemk said:
Unlike the asteroids and Mars, the moon also has frequent launch windows and short trip times.