POLL: Who Should We Rely on for a Human Return to the Moon?

Who Should We Rely on for a Human Return to the Moon?

  • NASA must lead the way.

    Votes: 19 46.3%
  • Let China or India win this round.

    Votes: 3 7.3%
  • Two Words: Commercial Space!

    Votes: 19 46.3%

  • Total voters
    41
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D

doublehelix

Guest
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Charlie Bolden, appointed by Barack Obama to lead NASA, said this week he would "accelerate with a sense of urgency the development of a next-generation launch system and human carrier to enable America and other spacefaring nations of the world to execute the mission of expanding our human exploration beyond low Earth orbit."

We've heard about getting back to the moon and beyond from a string of NASA administrators in recent years.

So should we depend on NASA to go boldly where it has gone before, or have the political and economic winds shifted so much that we're best off not pinning hopes on an agency that to some analysts seems to lack the will and backing to get it done? Can we afford to let another country leapfrog U.S. efforts? Should private enterprise grab the torch? Or is NASA still our best shot?
 
G

goodrobot

Guest
The quote: "accelerate with a sense of urgency the development of a next-generation launch system and human carrier to enable America and other spacefaring nations of the world to execute the mission of expanding our human exploration beyond low Earth orbit."

My response to the above quote. What is defined as a "next-generation" launch system? NASA had, what to me, seemed like a really good contest for a supplier of possible COTS system. I understand that there is a good strength in going with "tried & true" but is the "next-generation" of launch systems really going to be parachuting back to earth? I mean that seems a little backwards to me. Been there, done that, why go back? I would love to see next generation be a new shuttle. maybe something a bit more maneuverable than a flying brick on wheels. Maybe something with a combination of air breathing and jet propulsion. idk. I am not this sort of expert. And yes I know in another post I mentioned budgeting. And something like the dual engine type re-entry vehicle above would be incredibly costly in development and testing.

The quote from doublehelix: "So should we depend on NASA to go boldly where it has gone before, or have the political and economic winds shifted so much that we're best off not pinning hopes on an agency that to some analysts seems to lack the will and backing to get it done? Can we afford to let another country leapfrog U.S. efforts? Should private enterprise grab the torch? Or is NASA still our best shot?"

The business aspects have been pointed out and regurgitated many times by now. In general I think that private enterprise "grabbing the torch" is a worth while endeavor. Should NASA spend money going there again? Why? Cold War is over. If they are going there better be some darn good studies ready to go. and at least a permanent structure or three. Sell some land rites to Holiday Inn or something for crying out loud.

yes I think that expansion to the moon is a good goal. It is the closest body for the human race to practice what is needed to move beyond. Construction, mining, technological development, (really) harsh environment training. Just make sure that we do not send people to live in tents first! Send a robot to at least dig a whole to crawl into! (<- maybe its my new catch phrase).
 
N

nimbus

Guest
My layman pov says that the poll simplifies things more than they could be. But if I had to vote in such a simplified poll, I'd say growing commercial space enough to allow handing over to them most of orbital access would be good. At this point, NASA is probably still the better bet as exploration and definitely as science leader. But there too (lander, base infrastructure) commercial could do quite a bit. NASA certainly would be the best bet for e.g. a far side observatory. A human return to the moon wouldn't best happen with either NASA or private space on their own.
 
J

Jason_Jay_Dan

Guest
We shouldn't rely on anyone! Those that support space exploration should be doing something themselves. What I mean is that there are quite a few of us that comment here on space.com and elsewhere in support of space exploration/colonization and we should put our money and time where our mouth is (myself included). We should found an organization i.e. "Galactic Syndicate" that will explore and colonize space. Everyone that joins the organization is taxed to support it and its efforts by way of dues and special requests. We could even acquire bank accounts with them with the understanding that there would be no loans the money would set there and accrue interest for the organization. We could also use our credit cards to support the organization...say 10% of every purchase is sent to the "Galactic Syndicate". There are many ways to support it financially. In order to keep the organization on the up and up make every decision an act that can be voted on by the members. SpaceX has now become a spacefaring private company that would love to sell access to space....it simply needs a buyer. We should become that consumer of their products and services. This organization reminds me of the "mayflower compact" and thats how we should think of it. Its just like when the original colonists went to the New World! Now I don't want ppl to think that I want to advocate this idea in opposition to Nasa cuz thats not the case. I fully support Nasa and it going back to the Moon but, in light of a political leadership that is fickle as the wind I think there should be multiple lines of cpability and effort and that is the reason for my "Galactic Syndicate" concept. Thanks for reading.
 
C

colllin

Guest
As usual, until their backs are against the wall, the Americans will endeavour to take everything as their own. There should not be a space race any more. I was hoping that through the collaborative efforts of the ISS, we had seen the end of first past the post space exploration. NASA merely have more money than other space agencies, the expertise is borne of a multinational team. The next moon landings should be a combined effort of all interested parties, for the good of all.
 
B

bbfreakDude

Guest
colllin":u3hsljl0 said:
As usual, until their backs are against the wall, the Americans will endeavour to take everything as their own. There should not be a space race any more. I was hoping that through the collaborative efforts of the ISS, we had seen the end of first past the post space exploration. NASA merely have more money than other space agencies, the expertise is borne of a multinational team. The next moon landings should be a combined effort of all interested parties, for the good of all.
Collaborative efforts? :lol: The ISS is suppose to be considered a collaborative effort? Oh, no doubt it is but lets be frank about it setting the bar kind of low. NASA did/does the majority of the funding for ISS, the majority of the lifting also. Indeed its a bit lopsided the amount of effort and resources put into ISS. Not to mention that its taken 11 years and its still not done.

With the likelihood that it'll be deborbited only five years of use as a complete station.

Yesterday marked the 500th person in space as you might know, 315 of those people having flown on the space shuttle. Anyway the point I'm trying to make is that we haven't seen a real collaborative effort just yet and I'm doubtful we will anytime soon.
 
M

mwagner

Guest
We should EXPECT NASA to lead the world on space exploration - be it human or robotic. Whether NASA's next stop for HUMAN settlement is the moon or Mars is irrelevant, as long as all of the spacefaring nations of the world look to NASA for leadership.

Friendly competition in space between the USA, China, Russia, Japan, and India is GOOD for all of us. Leaving it to only one nation is BAD for all of us.
 
M

mwagner

Guest
The greater problem is not NASA. Scientists from throughout the world work with NASA daily. When it comes to research, collaboration is not a problem. POLITICS is the problem. Congress sees little value in space exploration so they won't vote to fund it unless that can bring some money to THEIR state in the process.

POWER and MONEY have become more important to our leaders in Congress than the greater good of Mankind. Otherwise, the human race would have had a permament presence in space by now. Instead, rather than having a moon base, or a robust space station in high-earth orbit, we have the ISS, a mere toy which cannot sustain itself.
 
C

colllin

Guest
bbfreakDude":1tdfg8qb said:
colllin":1tdfg8qb said:
As usual, until their backs are against the wall, the Americans will endeavour to take everything as their own. There should not be a space race any more. I was hoping that through the collaborative efforts of the ISS, we had seen the end of first past the post space exploration. NASA merely have more money than other space agencies, the expertise is borne of a multinational team. The next moon landings should be a combined effort of all interested parties, for the good of all.
Collaborative efforts? :lol: The ISS is suppose to be considered a collaborative effort? Oh, no doubt it is but lets be frank about it setting the bar kind of low. NASA did/does the majority of the funding for ISS, the majority of the lifting also. Indeed its a bit lopsided the amount of effort and resources put into ISS. Not to mention that its taken 11 years and its still not done.

With the likelihood that it'll be deborbited only five years of use as a complete station.

Yesterday marked the 500th person in space as you might know, 315 of those people having flown on the space shuttle. Anyway the point I'm trying to make is that we haven't seen a real collaborative effort just yet and I'm doubtful we will anytime soon.
NASA have been geared up for space since the late 50's. They have funding to reflect this, their achievements are colossal. My point is that there should be a global space agency, of which, rightly so, NASA would play a leading role. But it should be a community effort. We all have a contribution to make.
 
B

bbfreakDude

Guest
First off, any private mission on its own beyond LEO with humans aboard is going to be a long way coming. LEO meanwhile is gradually opening up to private spaceflight and Space X and others are going to focus getting their space legs so to speak first before blasting off to the moon.

The only way back to the moon anytime soon is with government involvement. That being said, I'm confident private enterprise will get there sooner with unmanned missions but I'm talking about manned missions here.
 
B

bbfreakDude

Guest
colllin":2aa6yu1b said:
bbfreakDude":2aa6yu1b said:
colllin":2aa6yu1b said:
As usual, until their backs are against the wall, the Americans will endeavour to take everything as their own. There should not be a space race any more. I was hoping that through the collaborative efforts of the ISS, we had seen the end of first past the post space exploration. NASA merely have more money than other space agencies, the expertise is borne of a multinational team. The next moon landings should be a combined effort of all interested parties, for the good of all.
Collaborative efforts? :lol: The ISS is suppose to be considered a collaborative effort? Oh, no doubt it is but lets be frank about it setting the bar kind of low. NASA did/does the majority of the funding for ISS, the majority of the lifting also. Indeed its a bit lopsided the amount of effort and resources put into ISS. Not to mention that its taken 11 years and its still not done.

With the likelihood that it'll be deborbited only five years of use as a complete station.

Yesterday marked the 500th person in space as you might know, 315 of those people having flown on the space shuttle. Anyway the point I'm trying to make is that we haven't seen a real collaborative effort just yet and I'm doubtful we will anytime soon.
NASA have been geared up for space since the late 50's. They have funding to reflect this, their achievements are colossal. My point is that there should be a global space agency, of which, rightly so, NASA would play a leading role. But it should be a community effort. We all have a contribution to make.
I don't disagree with the idea, but weather or not its achievable or not is another thing. Getting so many nations to work together, and more importantly commit resources isn't easy stuff in its own right. Probably easier to go to the moon and back. :D Oh, wait, it is. :p
 
D

dadrees

Guest
How about a joint effort between NASA and ESA with Canada,Japan and, Russia kicking in a little treasure and expertise?
 
B

Boris_Badenov

Guest
dadrees":kfytxqjy said:
How about a joint effort between NASA and ESA with Canada,Japan and, Russia kicking in a little treasure and expertise?
IIRC those are the major participants in the ISS. And see how efficient that collaboration is?
 
A

antigraviton

Guest
If we are to believe that country superiority in history is based on technical achievements, then we should put the pedal to the metal on this one and surpass the rest of the world. Also we should understand that private and government work hand in hand in America, that without either, there would be little on breakthroughs and achievements. Some of the most grand breakthroughs have been on government dollars, but under private enterprise, many of which the general population are not even privvy to ever know about.

It would also seem necessary to bring a full spectrum culture of government and business into the outerworlds so as to maintain interest and prosperity from both, one as political backup and the other to drive the interests of both and for money and other-world growth. Both would understand that they need one another to make it there and also to thrive. Using American Private sector space planes and rockets and cargo ships and equipment under the guise of cost vs buying or renting from world competitors like Russia or China, perhaps to keep trade secrets "secret" will be a needed avenue while working in this unity world aspect of dealing with other nations ideas and strategies regarding space exploration as well. Consider also, that in asking others for assistance to move the human race forward, we are also expecting to be bound in their government decisions to certain degrees if they too were footing some of the bill, so although it may reduce overall cost on US, it may also impede our needed quick progress towards GOALS, and may also reduce our territory regarding decision-making--like the UN does. And if one voter doesn't like it, the rest are forced to eat it...

America, as is every other country, a singular mentality in the universe...and other country goals, are not ours. Not even in that singularity is there really a singularity as even that is split--case in point--we go visit the moon for a collective week, then, Vietnam War funding and forget the Moon for about 40 years. Thanks to this latest war and the Bank Loan/Real Estate debacle that controls you and I, we could have almost kiss NASA and other wishful space-idea companies goodbye when our stilts that raised us above the rest of the world for so long were chopped out from under us and we fell flat on our....faces, in front of the world. And now we seek to deny it was our fault.

Since 2001 involved in multiple front 2 country wars based on political lies. With bailouts in the economy so easily brewed and handed out to dying banks and companies who CAUSED our rising and our crisis, it make one like me wonder how NASA has lived off a shoestring budget of 20 billion a year, handling Mars and Moon and asteroid interceptions, their own payroll, R and D, and wasteful half scrubbed LEO shuttle launches to hook up more rat tubes and inefficient solar panels for the Near-Space station to make other countries happy in our gadzillions spent. GM was handed billions due to their critical worth to America's economic structure. Others received multiple times more and were even able to pay out nice bonuses to the folks majorly responsible for collapsing the ecomies here and around the world and yet our own government in all its prior NASA recognition and Glory can't fund more than their usual 20 billion to get this job done TOMORROW like they did with Apollo. It is like slicing into a hollow cake made of sawdust.

Realizing the NASA dream again and getting us back there to start a base that OTHERS can RENT from US for a change to do studies is what we need. America wants to have everyone else do their dirty work--we call it outsourcing. We collectively don't want it as it costs us more in the (back) end but it happens all over and is the reason why countries who steal our technology are even a player at all, as we made them a player. We bought their stuff and handed them their dreams...which was ours. China, a country that would eat us in a day in a food competition with almost 1/2 the current world population and we rely on them for almost every facet of our daily life from food to manufactured items.

Now China has plans to go to the Moon. They are using our researched and developed (and stolen) technology to get there. After ripping apart our spyplane they knocked down under the Bush administration I am certain they received at least some good communications hardware to backwards engineer all kinds of things. The rest they are siphoning off our businesses and tech industry. I can imagine if they were able to grab the Moon first--do you really believe they would want to share? Being that the Moon is a wonderful operational point for military domination using quite a few interesting technologies, along with spying which they so happily do against us more than we do against them with apparently ZERO repercussions. They have only to gain from the knowledge we have, and so far as I can tell, they have gained enough to become superior cheap manufacturers of EVERYTHING to the world, and major world internet and physical spies using moles. While other nations were bailing out companies, China was sitting on at least 1 trillion American surplus dollars, meanwhile buying companies and land around the world where it suddenly became cheap.

When they land on the Moon without assistance from the USA and kick away and stomp on the American flag (probably fallen and faded anyway like suggested in some articles), America will only have to remember the waste of Vietnam...to stop Chinese Communism (that worked right? 55,000 Americans lost and the Moonbase and space dream with it--thanks President Johnson--the Masonic lodges loves you!)....the waste of Iraq (4,000+ Americans lost and no WMD's-BS...to pick up where George Bush's father left off in 1991) with trillions already spent on equipment, man-hours, buying friends and blowing things up--and we don't even get a break on gas prices from the rebuilding another country?? Why can't we cut a trillion from that magic money pie and filter it through the tech sector and NASA AND private sector entities like Space X to get our arses established on the Moon ASAP? Isn't that a critical part of not only our own heritage and history as a nation but also a critical point for the human race as well as our future security and evolution as a species? Our future DEPENDS on what we do today. Space offers boundless possibilities, for good and evil, depending on the user.

What are we doing still stuck on Earth when we have proven near a half century ago that we can go there?? We exponentially waste valuable and needed lifetimes on useless endeavors besides...to keep the population "satisfied" in being un-satisfied as it keeps us digging for pennies. Waste and want with no meaningful gain. We should be out there digging inside asteroids by now and visiting other planents and Moons like IO and Europa and Titan. And look at us--still teething on space.

pass me the pacifier.

Tick Tock
 
K

krause

Guest
is it just me or are nasa doing the same as 40 years ago just with an extra launch vehicle for the LAM.
 
D

docm

Guest
It's not just you. Bigger and heavier payloads, which makes sense if they fund a lunar bast - but that's very uncertain. Otherwise very similar.
 
T

turiddhu

Guest
perhaps we should give china a chance and see what they can do,why not? we have given them all our jobs already ,so why not give them the moon? on the other hand, given their way of thinking, they might want to take all of usa next, so,i guess, we should let nasa do it again,just to show everybody else who is still the boss.
 
Z

ZenGalacticore

Guest
NASA must lead the way. And that means, ultimately, that the American People must CHOOSE to LEAD the way! We have the most experience(we came in peace for all Mankind, but only the United States has really 'spacefared' with human beings beyond Low Earth Orbit), and we have the financial resources despite the current economy.

That's not to say that it shouldn't be a collaborative effort with ESA, JAXA ,the Russians and Indians( and even the Chinese), maybe. But if we're only going back to say: 'See! We did it again! Nanny-nanny-boo-boo!' Then forget it.

If we're not going to establish a permanent presence, and work step-by-step, logically and steadily towards making our moon bases and outposts as self-sufficient as possible, then I don't see the point in all the expense.

If we can survive on the Moon, then Mars will be a relative cake-walk.
 
S

suzukisuv

Guest
I choose commercial, because that will be fastest way to find out if humans can land on moon, because before 40 years i dont think anyone landed on moon.
 
R

Rybificus

Guest
The United States of America needs a "jump start" to get this country goal oriented again. We need something that reminds us of who we are, I think another visit to the moon will unite this country again. This time it shouldn't be just a trip, but rather a permanent presence on the moon.

Should we rely on NASA to get us there? I think so. NASA has the most experience when it comes to anything Space, but other space agencies should come a long for the ride too. It would be better financially with the current conditions to not go it alone like we did in 1969.
 
T

ThereIWas2

Guest
NASA has a huge millstone around its neck in the form of the US Congress. The majority of them have no knowledge of science, no interest in learning anything, and no agenda other than preserving their corporate paychecks. The funding they *do* approve comes with so many strings that engineering decisions are impossibly constrained. Besides, the US government is broke; tapped out.

The people with vision regarding manned spaceflight technology are at SpaceX and Bigelow, in Japan, and Europe. The deep pockets to fund their operations will be found in places we do not expect today.
 
L

LogicianSolutions

Guest
I vote the the US Military. It gets things done and while it gets it's budget cut every time we get a carter, atleast it's refunded again when we get a new republican in office. NASA's been cut by both sides, though less by republicans then dems.
 
W

WillieGonz

Guest
The only entity that could afford this endeavor has been and will continue to be the American people, by way of NASA. The private sector would nickel and dime us to death for every little picture from space, not even thinking about resources from another moon or planet. The benefits we derive through NASA would be non existent through private enterprise. A five minute joyride into space (think ultimate roller coaster) for $200,000.00? Give me a break! Now, the idea of a " larger flying saucer with fabric wings?", really! NASA needs to stop hiring sci-fi fanatics to build space ships. Considering all the talk about space radiation, you'd think a space shuttle would be too much to ask for a little extra protection! And how will they bring back resources from the moon in a flying saucer, one eight ounce can at a time? At this point in time, I like the Russian idea of a mini shuttle. At least they could bring back a truck load at a time, and land at an airport by the processing plant. Too bad they're rethinking of the American plan and settling for one can at a time, too! With a shuttle, we could bring back most of the equipment and reuse it again instead of burning it in the atmosphere. Does GREEN THINKING come to mind? Also. if you think about the lack of aerodynamics at the moon, would it not be too difficult to outfit the extra boosters, used to power a shuttle to the moon, to soft land on the moon for the purpose of extra base housing? We must think about reusing as much as possible in order to keep the costs as low as possible in the long run and avoid being nearsighted.
 
J

Jazman1985

Guest
williegonz, the idea of taking a space shuttle to the moon is potentially the least "Green" alternative. Complete waste of launch mass.

I don't think we should "rely" on private enterprise or NASA to return to the moon. I think NASA will do it first, although I think private enterprise will return the second, third, fourth time, etc... Private enterprise has a lot of catching up to do, but once they reach the moon they will most likely not stop if there is a market, whereas NASA can always stop.(Not that they will, but what do they care for profit?)
 
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