Well, this is kind of disappointing....

Status
Not open for further replies.
M

MannyPim

Guest
<font color="yellow"><br />Despite funding uncertainty, NASA is on track to return humans to the moon by 2020 and set up a lunar outpost to serve as a springboard to explore Mars, officials said Monday. <br />"Our job is to build towns on the moon and eventually put tire prints on Mars," NASA's Rick Gilbrech told reporters here, one year after the US space agency unveiled an ambitious plan to site a solar-powered, manned outpost on the south pole of the moon. <br /><br />"We have the International Space Station; we're going to have a lunar outpost, and someday, certainly, somebody will go to Mars," said Jeff Hanley, head of NASA's Constellation program, which is developing the tools to return humans to the moon. <br /><br />"Thirty-five years ago this week, Gene Cernan, Ron Evans and Jack Schmitt were on the surface of the moon. We are working hard to return a future generation of astronauts to the moon," said space flight veteran Carl Walz, who now works for NASA's exploration systems mission directorate. <br /><br />Despite budgetary constraints, NASA hoped to have Constellation fully operational by 2016, Gilbrech said. <br /><br />"We're hoping we get a budget passed by Congress," he said, pointing out that only six-tenths of a penny of every tax dollar went to funding NASA's space programs. <br /><br />"We're making plans to be ready for any and all scenarios. The (budget proposal) we put in keeps our program on track for the March 2015 initial operating capability... and full operating capability a year later," Gilbrech, who leads new spacecraft development at NASA, said. <br /><br />"That will enable the human-moon return by the 2020 date that the president envisioned." <br /><br />President George W. Bush in 2004 announced a plan to resume human flights to the moon after a decades-long gap. <br /><br />"We're doing this effort to get back to the moon in phases," said Hanley. <br /><br />He recalled that the first phase involved retiring NASA's space shuttle in 2010 after completin</font> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
T

tanstaafl76

Guest
<br />Yes I tend to agree. If we're going back to the moon we don't need to do a technology-proving mission to prove it's possible since we did that a long time ago. Our first mission should be bringing the first portions of a semi-permanent moon base, which probably wouldn't require human passengers. We should pick a moon base site now and start sending unmanned craft to drop stuff off that can be assembled by robots or by the first astronauts to eventually return.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
M

MannyPim

Guest
EXACTLY !!<br /><br />Although this time around the mission should be much more ambitious than Apollo (i.e. well beyond a flags and footprints mission), I still think we should have "boots on the ground" a lot sooner.<br /><br />And welcome to SDC ! Cool Name !<br /><br />A fan of Heinlein here as well.... <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
T

thereiwas

Guest
Yeah well, the Moon is a Harsh Mistress you know. We really should decide <i>why</i> we are going before going to a lot of trouble. Other than putting radio telescopes on the far side, if the Moon can not be a base for trips elsewhere with a big advantage over LEO, ...
 
M

MannyPim

Guest
Thank you for posting that.<br /><br />Dennis Wingo is a good friend and someone who knows what he is talking about.<br />He has also made a powerful and compelling case for Returning to The Moon in his book MoonRush (of which I am a proud owner of an autographed copy).<br /><br />We need to listen to people like Dennis.<br />We need to hold our leaders and NASA accountable for delivering on their promises and for providing the Vision that is necessary if our civilization is going to have a chance at a future where therre is justice, opportunity, and dignity for every person on Earth (and off Earth) without a single person leftout. Our Earth's resources will run out way before we can ever hope to come close to that goal. Space holds the key to Humanity's future and Space is our DESTINY.<br /><br />The reasons we go to the Moon are many. The short answer I always give when asked this question "Why" is:<br /><br />Survival, Prosperity, Adventure !<br /><br />Whatever detailed reasons we can give, will always fall under one of the three categories above. <br /><br />What can we do ???<br /><br />Well, remember how the Hubble was scheduled to be dumped a couple of years ago ?<br />NASA changed its mind and scheduled another Shuttle mission to refurbish it again and to keep it operational.<br />People seem to LOVE Hubble. And with good reason.<br /><br />What caused NASA's change of heart in the case of the Hubble was the unexpected volume of emails and calls from people who were upset that this decision was already made to dump the Hubble. Make no mistake about it. THis was a DONE DEAL. And we were able to REVERSE it.<br /><br />WE need to do the same thing here.<br />If people here are jsut as indignant at the announcment that our Return To The Moon has been already delayed by 3 YEARS and if enough people call expressing their anger, we may be able to influence the process.<br /><br />If we accept the announcement without reaction and jsut sort of shrug our shoulders and say, oh hum...... w <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
M

MannyPim

Guest
Your points are valid and solidly founded in reality.<br /><br />Public surveys continue to show that most people's reaction to the VSE is a big yawn.<br /><br /><font color="yellow"> Politicians won't give NASA the funding it deserves until they perceive that the public wants it. </font><br /><br />This is also true. And I have directly experienced this effect during my last 7 consecutive years of washington lobbying drives in support of space issues.<br /><br />However, as demonstrated by the "Save the Hubble" movement, we do have some influence. <br />We need to get people's attitudes turned around.<br />Competition is a good way to do it.<br /><br />The basic problem though is that, in agreement with what you said, our leaders are not leaders but more followers of their constituents demands and their own self interests. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
N

no_way

Guest
well, the horse is beaten to death. Public isnt interested in CURRENT government program because it IS boring and unimaginitive. They WOULD be interested in opening up new frontiers, which would not be boring or worthless, just like mr. Wingo proposes.<br />The trouble is, there is nobody really communicating that message, and as NASA isnt planning on opening up any frontiers, they are muddying the waters at every opportunity.<br /><br />This creates kind of a deadlock with public perceptions. Which leaves us with only realistic possibility: somebody else will have to undertake conquering the new frontier and really opening it up, someone who do does not depend on public support or politics. <br />Luckily, i see it happening, slowly, largely under the wraps, and massively underreported, misunderstood and under the radars, but its happening.
 
J

j05h

Guest
<i>> Which leaves us with only realistic possibility: somebody else will have to undertake conquering the new frontier and really opening it up, someone who do does not depend on public support or politics.<br />Luckily, i see it happening, slowly, largely under the wraps, and massively underreported, misunderstood and under the radars, but its happening</i><br /><br />Well, considering the number of people that think any space development is "wasting money", opening the frontier under-the-radar is a Good Thing. The last thing our future growth needs is some NIMBY freaking out about "teh Public's Money" when Richard Branson or Elon Musk gets ready to fly. Quietly opening the frontier makes a lot of sense. Not having that frontier dependent on tax money means that from the beginning it will be sustainable development or simply not happen. As a species, as businesses and individuals, we can't rely on the government to make this happen.<br /><br />The "bootstrap" economy can develop infinitely, unlike government handouts and Socialism. There is only so much that the State can do, preferably it sits back and helps create a managable, safe playing field and not much else. Look how far Linux, Apache and the Web have come in 15 years. (ignore for a moment free/unfree software) Compare the Web to the French MiniTel system - one grew organically, the other is consigned to the dustbin. These are all efforts that started very simply, small, "under wraps" and have blossomed into incredible things. Space can be the same way. <br /><br />Josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
T

themanwithoutapast

Guest
"Well, considering the number of people that think any space development is "wasting money", opening the frontier under-the-radar is a Good Thing <br /><br />These people need to be made more aware of the technological spinoffs the manned space program has given us.....something I don't think NASA has done a very good job of promoting. "<br /><br />What actual realistic useable spin-offs do you think there will be from the return to the moon efforts?<br /><br />Economically the VSE is more or less a job program and subsidy program for large companies such as Lockmart.
 
M

MannyPim

Guest
<font color="yellow"> These people need to be made more aware of the technological spinoffs the manned space program has given us.....something I don't think NASA has done a very good job of promoting. </font><br /><br />Eddie, I also don't think the spin off case is a winner.<br /><br />We need people to understand the intrinsic and fundamental value of exploration. We need them to visualize the real world benefits of a new economy in Cis-Lunar space.<br /><br />One way to get people's attention would be if a NEO was heading for Earth and we began to see panic headlines in all the papers about how an impact was going to kill millions of people and devastate the climate and the evnironment.<br />But we can't count on that. We know it's coming but it could be another hundred years or two or three.<br /><br />But that's the kind of focus and attention we need fromn the entire world's population.<br /><br />Barring that, we need to show some very tangible benefit form space. For that, I really like the idea of Space Solar Power transmitted to the Earth.<br /><br />It's a matter of establishing direct relevance to people's lives. Most people still believe that a true Space Faring Civilization is out there in some nebulous future. THey need to understand that we have the capabilities NOW to be a full fledged space faring civilization. And then they need to understand what benefits the entire world would derive if we were a true space faring civilization.<br />We would be transitioning our energy requirements over to limitless and clean solar power satellites.<br />We would be mining asteroids for metals and minerals instead of strip mining the Earth. We would be witnessing the evolution of humanity into the next great historical epoch.<br />And millions upon millions of jobs here on Earth would be created to explore and build this new frontier.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
T

tanstaafl76

Guest
There are broader philosophical arguments as well. At some point in the future the earth will be destroyed and humanity will die with it unless we've branched out among the stars. This is the ultimate test of an intelligent life form and civilization, do we have the clarity and foresight to take the necessary steps to ensure our survival?<br /><br />Of course we don't know when such a cataclysmic event will happen and it probably won't be for a hundreds of thousands or millions of years, but nevertheless, incremental steps have to be taken, and to not take those steps is to neglect our responsibility to the future of humanity.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
N

no_way

Guest
preaching to the choir, are we ? <br />im not critizising, just thinking out loud. why do we need to rehash this stuff over and over on these space boards, why dont i see these discussions and the really relevant arguments taken up with larger audiences, say, like Slashdot ? Larry King would probably be too much to ask.<br />
 
M

MannyPim

Guest
I don't think it's inappropriate to talk about these things in a forum like this.<br />But your point is well taken.<br /><br />I do everything I can think of to spread the message.<br />I go to as many schools in my area as I can to talk to the kids (and the teachers) about space exploration.<br />I go to washington every year to lobby for space issues.<br />I have even appeared on radio and local TV shows to preach the message of space settlement.<br /><br />And I encourage everyone to do whatever they can.<br />Until we get on Oprah or Larry King or any other mass appeal shows, each one of us has some actions he or she can take. And EVERYTHING that you do to spread the message and promote space exploration counts. We need everyone's help in whatever measure they are willing to help. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
C

CalliArcale

Guest
Because we're passionate about it, no_way, and so these sorts of discussions are cathartic.<br /><br />MannyPim said earlier in the thread, responding to crazyeddie:<br /><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>We need people to understand the intrinsic and fundamental value of exploration. We need them to visualize the real world benefits of a new economy in Cis-Lunar space. <p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br /><br />I absolutely agree. Emphasizing the spinoffs was a well-intentioned attempt at justifying the space program for those who might not give a rip van winkle about anything outside their immediate sphere of influence, but the problem is that the easily traced spinoffs aren't usually all that significant. The bigger payoffs are usually the ones based on revelations in pure research and are not at all easy to trace.<br /><br />The Jarvik artificial heart is arguably a spinoff of the space program, but indirectly -- it was engineered and tested using software and equipment originally designed by NASA for designing better turbopumps. While it's a huge technological triumph and indisputably a lifesaver, it wasn't directly a product of the space program, and anybody with any sense can see that. So arguing that billions ought to be spent on NASA so that things like this can occur is a bit of a hollow argument for your typical NASA skeptic.<br /><br />It's a bit like trying to convert somebody to religion by saying "well, it's done a lot of charity work". Yes it has, but so has UNICEF. Why is the one better than the other? Is the charity work a sufficient justification for tithing 10% of your income to a group that's going to spend most of it on itself? Is the charity work sufficient justification for believing in something for which there is frankly zero evidence? Of course not, and I think it is vanishingly rare for anyone to be converted to a religion based on that alone.<br /><br />My pastor recently gave a sermon about how to preach the Gospel to skeptic <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
J

j05h

Guest
<i>> Eddie, I also don't think the spin off case is a winner.<br /><br />We need people to understand the intrinsic and fundamental value of exploration. We need them to visualize the real world benefits of a new economy in Cis-Lunar space. </i><br /><br /><br />Spin-offs are not the answer. Direct beneficial products from space are the answer. <br /><br />Exploration's true value is in utilization. Exploration without utilization of some kind is not sustainable. There is the nerd "wow" factor but for space to be relevant it needs to directly benefit people. GPS and weather-sats provide tremendous value. Satellite phones like Thuraya and Iridium provide voice and data for reporters and others worldwide. These are all space "products" in this sense. Beamed solar power is the obvious next choice for massive global benefit. <br /><br />Beamed power offers benefits on several levels. First, it can be deployed much smaller than starting with a gigawatt L1 station, it can be started with in-space practice and power services. SPS can have very modest rectenna requirements if using microwaves. Failsafes and certain designs (Dr. Hoyts, especially) answer all the general negatives including "death beams from space" and modular construction. Several universities are working on beamed power. Everyone I've explained it to "gets" it and supports it. Most people have never heard of it. <br /><br />The Moon has metal and silicate, but the Martian moons and NEOs will have to provide the bulk volatiles for real industrialization upstairs. <br /><br /> Dennis Wingo's essay calls Earth a closed system, and it's simply wrong on that count. Earth is not a closed system. We receive terawatts of power from the Sun every day and are effected by various types of space weather, including cataclysmic impacts. We can utilize these resources in space to provide more useful resources for more people. Beamed power is the single best solution to electrifying what is now the Third World, following the patter <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
M

MannyPim

Guest
<font color="yellow"> There are broader philosophical arguments as well. At some point in the future the earth will be destroyed and humanity will die with it unless we've branched out among the stars. This is the ultimate test of an intelligent life form and civilization, do we have the clarity and foresight to take the necessary steps to ensure our survival? <br /><br />Of course we don't know when such a cataclysmic event will happen and it probably won't be for a hundreds of thousands or millions of years, but nevertheless, incremental steps have to be taken, and to not take those steps is to neglect our responsibility to the future of humanity. <br /></font><br /><br />You are absolutely right.<br /><br />However, my experience is that arguments about saving humanity in a thousand years have very little power to inspire and to directly connect with people.<br /><br />I often say that the reasons for becoming a Space Farinc Civilization are Survival, Prospertiy and Adventure (in that order of priority). However, when you are trying to "sell" space teh most effective approach is to flip the order. That is, sell the heck out of the Adventure of space first (the romance - as Calli said - and the sheer thrill and drama of opening new frontiers, of going into the unknown, of doing things that have never been done before). Then you sell the prosperity: what space explorationa and exploitation will do for every living human being on thsi planet. Now, it is important that you can show benefits AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE, otherwise people will not relate to somehting that is going to provide benefits after they are gone from this world. <br />And once you have their attention with the Adventure and you appeal to their sense of greed and entrepreneurship with the Prosperity, you can then come in for the close and you can tell them that we will certaily perish as a civilization if we fail to evolve into a Space Faring Race.<br /><br />Finally, we need to instill a sense of urge <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
J

j05h

Guest
<i>> I think the lesson can be applied to other intangible arguments. </i><br /><br />Space development is very tangible. Look at how much good GPS and weather satellites do. Extended to services like SPS, it has enormous potential. A lot of exploration's "intangible" benefits are very tangible if utilization is an agreed-upon next phases, such as mitigation and mining following hazardous NEO surveys. <br /><br /><i>> The doubters are looking for proof that there will be a financial return on investment.</i><br /><br />I'd argue the supporters are looking for some ROI, the real doubters want no more rockets launched, cars driven or little plastic lead-toys from China purchased. Witness Helen Caldicutt's resurfacing recently with her outright rejection of all things "space". On the plus side, even doubters such as my Luddish uncle immediately grasp how controlled microwave power from space could benefit people. <br /><br />Space development is entirely provable, it all relies on roughly known properties. Space tourism has gone from concept to reality in 10 years, business cases are built around space products like nav systems. The next step is more access to in-space resources, especially fuel in LEO to enable beamed power throughout Earth orbit. Propellant in LEO is the second leveraging factor for CATS after frequency of flights, and would greatly augment any GEO, Lagrange or interplanetary projects. We can make the case for Space. <br /><br />Josh <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div align="center"><em>We need a first generation of pioneers.</em><br /></div> </div>
 
C

CalliArcale

Guest
And how does this help convince people that Cassini was a good thing to spend a billion dollars on? It's easy to convince people that weather satellites and commsats are good. But what makes them think Gravity Probe B is a good idea?<br /><br />BTW, GPS is a military system, and the weather satellites are operated by NOAA. Neither are really space exploration. They exploit space, for sure. But it's not really exploration, in my opinion. It's pretty limited. The military users of space are interested exclusively in things which will give them clear tactical advantages. (Clementine was remarkable for being a military mission of exploration, but the military justification was to use it as a technology demonstrator. The scientific return was a bonus, in their minds. Despite that, we haven't seen another TD deep space probe from the military. It just doesn't have enough ROI.) Weather satellites, like commsats and now imaging satellites, have obvious commercial and intelligence uses. Of course, they were put up originally not for scientific reasons but for military intelligency. So they still don't really explain why it's good to have a civilian space program -- or why space exploration is worth the expense.<br /><br />Really, Earth observation isn't too difficult to sell to the doubters. But offworld exploration and manned spaceflight don't have such obvious benefits. How do GPS and GOES help encourage people to fund the Hubble? What point does JWST have? It'll have zero ROI, financially speaking. It's return will be in the form of scientific data for academics to pore over. Cassini? New Horizons? Heck, what benefit did the Apollo program bring, besides bragging rights? We got those bragging rights; what's the point going back? That sort of thinking was what killed Apollo in the first place, and why human spaceflight has been consigned to LEO ever since, with ever-growing cries to bring us down even from that. Honestly, I think pride, patriotism, and <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
T

tomnackid

Guest
"Folks, we are basically doing Apollo II. "<br />----------------------------------------------------------------------------<br />Actually that's not all that shabby considering that after 40 years and someone to show them the way no one else in the world can even replicate Apollo I yet! The Soviets couldn't do it even at the height of their power. The Chinese might if they can do it before their economic bubble bursts. No one else is even trying. I think we forget how insanely difficult it is to put humans on the moon much less keep them alive their for extended periods.
 
S

spacenate

Guest
It is shocking to me when you really consider what has happened in regards to space exploration within the last 35 years. We should not only be saddened by the lack of progress, but we should be angry as well.<br /><br />Think about this: This last time we were on the moon was in 1972. Subtract 35 years from that date. 1937. Now, consider the amount of innovation that went into human space flight between 1937 and 1972. Compare that progress to 1972 to the present.<br /><br />Honestly it's depressing.
 
M

MannyPim

Guest
<font color="yellow"> "Folks, we are basically doing Apollo II. " <br />---------------------------------------------------------------------------- <br />Actually that's not all that shabby considering that after 40 years and someone to show them the way no one else in the world can even replicate Apollo I yet! The Soviets couldn't do it even at the height of their power. The Chinese might if they can do it before their economic bubble bursts. No one else is even trying. I think we forget how insanely difficult it is to put humans on the moon much less keep them alive their for extended periods. </font><br /><br />Nahh....<br />We did it almost 40 years ago with basically not much more than piano wire and duct tape....<br />It was diffcult, very difficult at that time.<br />It is not a challenge any more.<br />Our technology has vastly improved.<br />Our knowledge of the Moon and the safety issues is vastly greater.<br />Our economy is TEN TIMES the size it was in 1969.<br /><br />It isn't hard any more. What is hard is finding the visionaries and the political leadership to get it done. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <font size="2" color="#0000ff"><em>The only way to know what is possible is to attempt the impossible.</em></font> </div>
 
T

tanstaafl76

Guest
We also have a much lower risk tolerance than we did for Apollo. Thus even achieving the same feat with current acceptable risk tolerance is much more costly and complicated due to vastly increased safety measures and redundancies.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
T

tomnackid

Guest
If it was nothing more than a question of "vision" then every two-bit dictator on earth would be going to the moon to show how great they are. No, it is extremely difficult and extremely expensive. Its expensive to send people to antartica and keep them alive there and the basic technology for that has been around for centuries and you can breath the air and scoop up drinking water off the ground. The technology to get something into orbit has only been around for 50 years.<br /><br />We did it in the 60's because the space program was the front lines of the cold war and money was almost literally no object .
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts