Why is going beyond LEO so important?

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DarkenedOne

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Personally I do not understand why some people are so eager to send people beyond LEO. If the goal of human spaceflight is to extend human civilization into space than how does sending humans to places like Mars at the cost of several billion of dollars each help us in this endeavor.

Apollo was a stunt. It was used to demonstrate the technological superiority of the US. It was never meant to create any type of sustained presence on the moon, nor was it to accomplish any major scientific objectives. What I do not understand is why it would turn out any different if we were to go to Mars at the moment. All these plans like Mars Direct of reaching and colonizing Mars are never going to happen because they require hundreds of billions over several decades before any there is any hope of a return on investment. All this in a time when interest in human spaceflight is at an all time low. NASA's budget has shrink significantly since Apollo, and there are practically zero prospects of growth in the next few years.

What we need to focus on is building a human spaceflight industry not a human spaceflight program. If we focus on developing relatively inexpensive human commercial transport as well as commercial space stations human spaceflight will grow. There are very useful commercial applications for human spaceflight that in the early stages of being developed including space tourism as indicated by Space Adventures, space research as on the ISS, satellite repair as done on the Hubble, and orbital construction. If developed human spaceflight would experience exponential growth.

Of course the development of a human spaceflight industry would improve the situation for BEO human spaceflight immensely. NASA would simply purchase tickets to LEO, thus allowing the agency to spend its limited human spaceflight funds on interplanetary spacecraft and bases. Of course the commercial sector would also contribute a great deal of money to technological development of human spaceflight. Also I personally believe that is a commercial human spaceflight industry was created than there would be much more interest in human spaceflight in general.
 
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samkent

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I’m afraid that sat repair is a no go. Think about it in detail. Most sats use unique parts and assemblies. To repair sat ‘A’ you must have the parts that sat ‘A’ uses. As a start up company are you going to purchase an entire sat ‘A’ to have the parts to fix any problem that may or may not crop up? If you expect the sat owner to have spares on hand then you will have to have them ship them up at the time of repair. How much will that cost?

When was the last time you paid someone to repair any of your electronics? By the time most sats fail the owner will want the new and improved version. The price difference would be minimal.
 
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planetling

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DarkenedOne":8py6ptfe said:
Personally I do not understand why some people are so eager to send people beyond LEO. If the goal of human spaceflight is to extend human civilization into space than how does sending humans to places like Mars at the cost of several billion of dollars each help us in this endeavor.
To be human is to dream, and dreams eventually become reality.

To colonize other worlds, we must first take the steps. Mars is within very easy reach compared to outside the solar system.

Apollo was a stunt. It was used to demonstrate the technological superiority of the US. It was never meant to create any type of sustained presence on the moon, nor was it to accomplish any major scientific objectives. What I do not understand is why it would turn out any different if we were to go to Mars at the moment.
Partially true. We have learned much from moon rocks, stationed a reflective mirror which is still being used today, etc. which indeed does contribute to science. Though the intent was to prove superiority, I do not consider it a stunt.

What we need to focus on is building a human spaceflight industry not a human spaceflight program.
Agreed 100%. Unfortunately, after thinking about this time and time again, I believe that the only way a spaceflight "industry" will be realized, at least initially, will be due to military objectives. Then the corporations will become heavily involved. Until centuries have passed, the majority of us will simply pay the toll.
 
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planetling

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samkent":15motq4l said:
When was the last time you paid someone to repair any of your electronics? By the time most sats fail the owner will want the new and improved version. The price difference would be minimal.
Hubble, for one. I feel that I definately got my moneys worth, and then some :D
 
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samkent

Guest
Hubble repair was a face saving endeavor at the government’s nickel. If it had been owned by any other party they would have collected the insurance money and de-orbited the thing.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
samkent":3frht198 said:
I’m afraid that sat repair is a no go. Think about it in detail. Most sats use unique parts and assemblies. To repair sat ‘A’ you must have the parts that sat ‘A’ uses. As a start up company are you going to purchase an entire sat ‘A’ to have the parts to fix any problem that may or may not crop up? If you expect the sat owner to have spares on hand then you will have to have them ship them up at the time of repair. How much will that cost?

When was the last time you paid someone to repair any of your electronics? By the time most sats fail the owner will want the new and improved version. The price difference would be minimal.
It is not true that satellites use unique parts and assembles. In the early days that might have been true, however modern satellites are simply configurations of rather standard satellite parts. In fact most stats especially commercial onces are based on what are called satellite buses. Satellite buses, like the Boeing 702 HP for example, are a collection of standardized parts that can be reconfigured at the customers request to fulfill a number of missions.

Your right in that the decision to repair vs replace comes down to cost. Take the Airforce's AEHF Satellite. The first two cost approx. 3.1 billion meaning that each one is about 1.5 billion. Yet the first one had a thruster failure as soon as it got into orbit. Now I definitely thing that a repair mission would make sense if it cost less than a billion.
 
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DarkenedOne

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planetling":slico2ru said:
DarkenedOne":slico2ru said:
Personally I do not understand why some people are so eager to send people beyond LEO. If the goal of human spaceflight is to extend human civilization into space than how does sending humans to places like Mars at the cost of several billion of dollars each help us in this endeavor.
To be human is to dream, and dreams eventually become reality.

To colonize other worlds, we must first take the steps. Mars is within very easy reach compared to outside the solar system.
A human spaceflight industry in Earth orbit is definitely the first step.

What we need to focus on is building a human spaceflight industry not a human spaceflight program.
Agreed 100%. Unfortunately, after thinking about this time and time again, I believe that the only way a spaceflight "industry" will be realized, at least initially, will be due to military objectives. Then the corporations will become heavily involved. Until centuries have passed, the majority of us will simply pay the toll.
I disagree. We already are starting to see a number of companies investing heavily in commercial HSF.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
samkent":nqxnb1i1 said:
Hubble repair was a face saving endeavor at the government’s nickel. If it had been owned by any other party they would have collected the insurance money and de-orbited the thing.
Not necessarily. While it is true that repairing the Hubble cost probably more than it was worth it saved a great deal of time. That is one benefit of having a cost effective human spaceflight repair capability. Assuming all of the infrastructure exists a repair mission could be planned and executed within few months, whereas building a whole new satellite and launching it usually takes years. Especially telescopes like the Hubble and now the James Webb. They have spent years working on that thing already.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
samkent":jympkcp4 said:
Hubble repair was a face saving endeavor at the government’s nickel. If it had been owned by any other party they would have collected the insurance money and de-orbited the thing.
Not necessarily. While it is true that repairing the Hubble cost probably more than it was worth it saved a great deal of time. That is one benefit of having a cost effective human spaceflight repair capability. Assuming all of the infrastructure exists a repair mission could be planned and executed within few months, whereas building a whole new satellite and launching it usually takes years. Especially telescopes like the Hubble and now the James Webb. They have spent years working on that thing already.

I can see such a capability as being very valuable to the military which has to worry about these things.
 
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Sycamorefan

Guest
Why is going beyond LEO so important? It's not about research or discovery, it's all about the MONEY!
Specifically, I'm talking about Rare Earth Elements! Why you ask are they so important? Room Temperature Superconductivity! RTS is the technological bottleneck keeping all of us from: Fusion Power Plants, Electric Cars that can perform better than Internal combustion engine vehicles, Generation of magnetic fields strong enough to protect humans from radiation, allow for MRI machines in every hospital around the world, reduce power consumtion of electricity by eliminating transmission loss on power lines, and the list goes on and on....Imagine the money that could be made/saved! Like it or not, greed will propel mankind into LEO and beyond! :twisted:
 
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HopDavid

Guest
planetling":rfkgnsdf said:
Mars is within very easy reach compared to outside the solar system.
And Alpha Centauri is within very easy reach compared to outside the Milky Way.

Not sure what point you're trying make.
 
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Yuri_Armstrong

Guest
DarkenedOne":1iodikr5 said:
Personally I do not understand why some people are so eager to send people beyond LEO. If the goal of human spaceflight is to extend human civilization into space than how does sending humans to places like Mars at the cost of several billion of dollars each help us in this endeavor.
Landing on the moon was once the subject of science fiction writers, now it is the subject of historians. I predict something similar with Mars in the next 25-50 years.

Apollo was a stunt
It was not a stunt. It was the greatest achievement of mankind.

It was used to demonstrate the technological superiority of the US.
Yes, and how great an impact it had. It spurred the economy, gained us worldwide respect and admiration, and inspired another generation to devote themselves to math and science.

It was never meant to create any type of sustained presence on the moon,
What? Of course a sustained presence was intended! If it were not for the actions of Nixon then we would likely have lunar bases today.

nor was it to accomplish any major scientific objectives.
WHAT? I'll agree that science was not necessarily the main goal of the mission, but they did plenty of science while they were there! The laser reflectors, moon seismology detector, moon rock samples, etc. We learned a lot from Apollo.

What I do not understand is why it would turn out any different if we were to go to Mars at the moment.
At the moment? We can not even get to the moon "at the moment", much less an expedition to Mars. An apollo-style Mars mission would require a political powerhouse with a leader who would be willing to defend his program and get it done in less than a 10 year time span. We do not have that right now, so it may be one, two, or maybe even three more administrations before we see a serious Mars program come about. As Gus Grissom said, "no bucks, no Buck Rogers. And WE'RE Buck Rogers!" So unless we have somebody to help Buck Rogers, he will be stuck forever stuck in LEO.

All these plans like Mars Direct of reaching and colonizing Mars are never going to happen because they require hundreds of billions over several decades before any there is any hope of a return on investment.
As Neil Armstrong said, for some people, knowing absolutely nothing about a subject doesn't seem to be an impediment to talking about it. Mars Direct costs hundreds of billions of dollars over several decades? When was the last time you read Case for Mars?

All this in a time when interest in human spaceflight is at an all time low.
Let's see some opinion polls that support this. I agree that people around me do not seem to even care about ISS or the space shuttle or Constellation, but that's just anecdotal. I'd bet that if you actually sat down and talked with people about possible BEO missions they would be very interested.

NASA's budget has shrink significantly since Apollo, and there are practically zero prospects of growth in the next few years.
Yes and yes.

What we need to focus on is building a human spaceflight industry not a human spaceflight program.
What we need to do is not have only one priority at a time. I like the idea of commercial spaceflight and what SpaceX and Bigelow and the others are doing. And I think NASA should give them some help as it would be mutually beneficial. But NASA also needs to have a goal. We've been to the moon- what's next? If we can't answer that question then we will not be going BEO.

If we focus on developing relatively inexpensive human commercial transport as well as commercial space stations human spaceflight will grow. There are very useful commercial applications for human spaceflight that in the early stages of being developed including space tourism as indicated by Space Adventures, space research as on the ISS, satellite repair as done on the Hubble, and orbital construction. If developed human spaceflight would experience exponential growth.
Couldn't agree more, and that's what makes things so exciting right now. Space tourism was once a thing of science fiction, now it's becoming reality. It's truly a priviledge to be born to experience such times.

Of course the development of a human spaceflight industry would improve the situation for BEO human spaceflight immensely.
Yes, and that's the direction that they're taking. If we could stop arguing and finally decide on Mars as our next goal (similar to Apollo but this time with an extended stay) then maybe we could stop the debating and actually get some work done!

NASA would simply purchase tickets to LEO, thus allowing the agency to spend its limited human spaceflight funds on interplanetary spacecraft and bases. Of course the commercial sector would also contribute a great deal of money to technological development of human spaceflight. Also I personally believe that is a commercial human spaceflight industry was created than there would be much more interest in human spaceflight in general.
I agree with everything said here. The next 30 years are going to be pretty exciting!
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
Yuri_Armstrong":2r24lzfn said:
DarkenedOne":2r24lzfn said:
Personally I do not understand why some people are so eager to send people beyond LEO. If the goal of human spaceflight is to extend human civilization into space than how does sending humans to places like Mars at the cost of several billion of dollars each help us in this endeavor.
Landing on the moon was once the subject of science fiction writers, now it is the subject of historians. I predict something similar with Mars in the next 25-50 years.
Yeah thats the problem. Just historians, and not current people. Manned spaceflight to the moon has become a thing of history.

Apollo was a stunt
It was not a stunt. It was the greatest achievement of mankind.
That depends on how you judge greatness. True Apollo was a huge technological achievement, however in terms of making a impact on humanity its impact was pretty low. So low that people did not mind the fact that it was cancelled, and no one seems to be in any rush to repeat it.


It was never meant to create any type of sustained presence on the moon,
What? Of course a sustained presence was intended! If it were not for the actions of Nixon then we would likely have lunar bases today.
No Yuri. Nixon cannot be blamed for Apollos cancellation. If that were so than we would of gone back by now. If people thought it was worth what it costs than we would of been back there by now. From I understand the decision that Apollo would be cancelled was made well before its first flight.

nor was it to accomplish any major scientific objectives.
WHAT? I'll agree that science was not necessarily the main goal of the mission, but they did plenty of science while they were there! The laser reflectors, moon seismology detector, moon rock samples, etc. We learned a lot from Apollo.
I stated that its purpose was not scientific. Yes it did accomplish some significant science objectives.

All these plans like Mars Direct of reaching and colonizing Mars are never going to happen because they require hundreds of billions over several decades before any there is any hope of a return on investment.
As Neil Armstrong said, for some people, knowing absolutely nothing about a subject doesn't seem to be an impediment to talking about it. Mars Direct costs hundreds of billions of dollars over several decades? When was the last time you read Case for Mars?
Yes I have, and as I remember he was quoting around 50 billion for a few 4 man missions Mars. Now I could go on about how optimistic it is to say NASA will accomplish such a feat at a price cheaper than what Apollo costs, what the Shuttle costs, and what the ISS costs, but lets just go with it for now. Well $50 billion seems reasonable if you objective is to just land there and do nothing beyond that. However if your planning to build any sort of colony on Mars getting there is generally the easy part. It will require hundreds if not thousands of people, an enormous amount of technological development, and more infrastructure than has ever been put into space. So yes if it costs you billions of dollar per person than the transport costs to Mars for a population to support a colony alone costs hundreds of billions and several decades.

What we need to focus on is building a human spaceflight industry not a human spaceflight program.
What we need to do is not have only one priority at a time. I like the idea of commercial spaceflight and what SpaceX and Bigelow and the others are doing. And I think NASA should give them some help as it would be mutually beneficial. But NASA also needs to have a goal. We've been to the moon- what's next? If we can't answer that question then we will not be going BEO.

If we focus on developing relatively inexpensive human commercial transport as well as commercial space stations human spaceflight will grow. There are very useful commercial applications for human spaceflight that in the early stages of being developed including space tourism as indicated by Space Adventures, space research as on the ISS, satellite repair as done on the Hubble, and orbital construction. If developed human spaceflight would experience exponential growth.
Couldn't agree more, and that's what makes things so exciting right now. Space tourism was once a thing of science fiction, now it's becoming reality. It's truly a priviledge to be born to experience such times.

Of course the development of a human spaceflight industry would improve the situation for BEO human spaceflight immensely.
Yes, and that's the direction that they're taking. If we could stop arguing and finally decide on Mars as our next goal (similar to Apollo but this time with an extended stay) then maybe we could stop the debating and actually get some work done!

NASA would simply purchase tickets to LEO, thus allowing the agency to spend its limited human spaceflight funds on interplanetary spacecraft and bases. Of course the commercial sector would also contribute a great deal of money to technological development of human spaceflight. Also I personally believe that is a commercial human spaceflight industry was created than there would be much more interest in human spaceflight in general.
I agree with everything said here. The next 30 years are going to be pretty exciting!
Well Yuri I think we can agree on many things. The only problem I have is with the people who seemed so focused on going beyond LEO and really do not seem to care if commercial human spaceflight ever gets of the ground. My vision of what NASA should do is that it should support commercialization efforts as well as be the Christopher Colombus of space.
 
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rcsplinters

Guest
Why go to LEO? Orbital laboratories can be robotic. Let's just deorbit the ISS and save money.

Why do any planetary studies? Its not necessary to human survival.

Why have supercolliders? Who cares about subatomic particles? It's just knowledge and it doesn't grow corn.

Why climb a mountain? We just pollute the local environment.

We spend our discretionary money as we choose. We climb the mountain because its there. We go beyond LEO because we can. The human species pushes its frontiers because they are there. I personally believe the acquistion of knowledge is as fundamental to the human species as sex, food and sleep. We have to touch it.

We must go beyond LEO for many reasons, not the least of which is that EVERY SINGLE ENTITY IN AUTHORITY agrees that is the goal. That is the frontier to be explored. Most importantly we must go beyond LEO because we're human and we can. We have to touch it. Its in the DNA. We might learn something. The robot doesn't count. This is NOT a question of why. This is a question of when and the people that make that decision have said we should start now. There will be no settlement, colonization, exploitation or any such activity unless the first step is taken.
 
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bdewoody

Guest
Well because LEO is not really a destination at least on the long term. On the other hand the moon, Mars and beyond are destinations. The moon is where we will learn how to live off the earth along with several other major reasons and Mars is where we will eventually build a second planetary civilization.

I'm afraid the biggest reason we have been stuck in LEO for the last 40 years is the danger from radiation which we still haven't found a for sure way around. To go to the moon we can time our missions during low solar storm activity and build radiation resistant shelters on the moon during those times. To go to Mars or an asteroid will potentially expose a human crew to deadly radiation from a CME during the flight. It may be several decades before a suitable shielding system can be developed and tested.
 
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planetling

Guest
HopDavid":1qquvhsw said:
planetling":1qquvhsw said:
Mars is within very easy reach compared to outside the solar system.
And Alpha Centauri is within very easy reach compared to outside the Milky Way.

Not sure what point you're trying make.

Uhh, the same point that you just made. :roll:
 
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planetling

Guest
DarkenedOne":2pwvtvps said:
planetling":2pwvtvps said:
DarkenedOne":2pwvtvps said:
Personally I do not understand why some people are so eager to send people beyond LEO. If the goal of human spaceflight is to extend human civilization into space than how does sending humans to places like Mars at the cost of several billion of dollars each help us in this endeavor.
To be human is to dream, and dreams eventually become reality.

To colonize other worlds, we must first take the steps. Mars is within very easy reach compared to outside the solar system.
A human spaceflight industry in Earth orbit is definitely the first step.

What we need to focus on is building a human spaceflight industry not a human spaceflight program.
Agreed 100%. Unfortunately, after thinking about this time and time again, I believe that the only way a spaceflight "industry" will be realized, at least initially, will be due to military objectives. Then the corporations will become heavily involved. Until centuries have passed, the majority of us will simply pay the toll.
I disagree. We already are starting to see a number of companies investing heavily in commercial HSF.
My statement still holds water. If the military were to completely dry up I would expect the money machines would find something else to invest in.
 
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csmyth3025

Guest
Before everyone gets hung up on what the US, as a country, can afford to spend it might be beneficial to look at what we spend on things we consider vital to our interests. According to Wikipedia:
Defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense constitute between $216 billion and $361 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for defense spending to between $880 billion and $1.03 trillion in fiscal year 2010.[6]...and...The U.S. Department of Defense budget accounted in fiscal year 2010 for about 19% of the United States federal budgeted expenditures and 28% of estimated tax revenues. Including non-DOD expenditures, defense spending was approximately 25–29% of budgeted expenditures and 38–44% of estimated tax revenues.
I'm all in favor of having a strong defense, but if we could ever get our act together as a global community the cost of sending men and materials to the moon and to Mars isn't going to cripple our economy - especially if we do it as a multi-national, multi-year effort.

For the sake of comparison. the 2010 NASA budget is about $18.9 billion (about 0.5% of the Federal budget).

Chris
 
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planetling

Guest
csmyth3025":2pbas1yp said:
Before everyone gets hung up on what the US, as a country, can afford to spend it might be beneficial to look at what we spend on things we consider vital to our interests. According to Wikipedia:
Defense-related expenditures outside of the Department of Defense constitute between $216 billion and $361 billion in additional spending, bringing the total for defense spending to between $880 billion and $1.03 trillion in fiscal year 2010.[6]...and...The U.S. Department of Defense budget accounted in fiscal year 2010 for about 19% of the United States federal budgeted expenditures and 28% of estimated tax revenues. Including non-DOD expenditures, defense spending was approximately 25–29% of budgeted expenditures and 38–44% of estimated tax revenues.
I'm all in favor of having a strong defense, but if we could ever get our act together as a global community the cost of sending men and materials to the moon and to Mars isn't going to cripple our economy - especially if we do it as a multi-national, multi-year effort.

For the sake of comparison. the 2010 NASA budget is about $18.9 billion (about 0.5% of the Federal budget).

Chris
Chris thanks for pointing that out. And you are right, IF (BIG IF) we can get our act together. But remember that the space program was more cause and effect than that of a goal of pure science.

Without proving Superiority or military gains, aside from making huge profit I doubt the US govt or private companies would even think about getting involved in space, let alone support it. IMO.
 
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Yuri_Armstrong

Guest
DarkenedOne":r20aj4qp said:
That depends on how you judge greatness. True Apollo was a huge technological achievement, however in terms of making a impact on humanity its impact was pretty low.
What are you talking about? When Apollo 11 landed and returned safely, the entire world watched and celebrated. Perhaps for the only time in history, the world felt a true "oneness". The impact was huge. I'm sure anyone who lived to witness this would say the same.

So low that people did not mind the fact that it was cancelled, and no one seems to be in any rush to repeat it.
Got any numbers to back that statement up? I'd like to see an opinion poll or two!


No Yuri. Nixon cannot be blamed for Apollos cancellation.
Seeing as how he's the one responsible for cancelling it and opting to ONLY do the space shuttle, then yes, I'd say we can hold him and the others like him responsible.

If that were so than we would of gone back by now. If people thought it was worth what it costs than we would of been back there by now.
Which people are we talking about here? I'd be willing to bet 90% of the people on this board would be ecstatic to see another moon mission. The problem is that we don't have the political leadership necessary to get us back to the moon, not right now anyway.

From I understand the decision that Apollo would be cancelled was made well before its first flight.
Do you know this for sure? Or are you just making this up?



Yes I have, and as I remember he was quoting around 50 billion for a few 4 man missions Mars.
Actually he said it could be accomplished with as little as 4 to 5 billion. He added in more for the inevitable government waste of the funds, and the plan was not "just" 4 manned missions to Mars. It was a long term plan to send science expeditions, establish a small outpost, and eventually have private companies willing to take the risk establish their own villages and towns on the surface. But even if it was only 4 manned science missions like Apollo, I think $50 billion would be well worth the cost!

Now I could go on about how optimistic it is to say NASA will accomplish such a feat at a price cheaper than what Apollo costs, what the Shuttle costs, and what the ISS costs, but lets just go with it for now. Well $50 billion seems reasonable if you objective is to just land there and do nothing beyond that. However if your planning to build any sort of colony on Mars getting there is generally the easy part.
Robert Zubrin factored the cost of the base into the $50 billion estimate. It would likely go over that number, but as I said earlier, that is a small price to pay for the gains we would receive.

It will require hundreds if not thousands of people,
Dude. Even the most ambitous Mars plan had only about 80 people. Hundreds of thousands??? We're going to need a star destroyer for that type of crew, nevermind the Battlestar Galactica ship envisioned by the SEI.

an enormous amount of technological development,
You are saying this like it's somehow a bad thing or a problem.

and more infrastructure than has ever been put into space. So yes if it costs you billions of dollar per person than the transport costs to Mars for a population to support a colony alone costs hundreds of billions and several decades.
Again, you are not providing any stats or papers to back up this claim. How many decades are we talking? 3? 4? 5? 10??? I can definitely see it costing hundreds of billions over many decades. Let's see you give us a per-year estimate that we can actually make judgements on.


Well Yuri I think we can agree on many things. The only problem I have is with the people who seemed so focused on going beyond LEO and really do not seem to care if commercial human spaceflight ever gets of the ground. My vision of what NASA should do is that it should support commercialization efforts as well as be the Christopher Colombus of space.
My problem is people who get tunnel vision when it comes to the future of manned spaceflight. Private space industry= good, BEO missions= good. NASA should be investing in and planning for both of these to maintain a successful program.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
DarkenedOne":3vqc4808 said:
samkent":3vqc4808 said:
Hubble repair was a face saving endeavor at the government’s nickel. If it had been owned by any other party they would have collected the insurance money and de-orbited the thing.
Not necessarily. While it is true that repairing the Hubble cost probably more than it was worth it saved a great deal of time. That is one benefit of having a cost effective human spaceflight repair capability. Assuming all of the infrastructure exists a repair mission could be planned and executed within few months, whereas building a whole new satellite and launching it usually takes years. Especially telescopes like the Hubble and now the James Webb. They have spent years working on that thing already.
The Hubble was designed to be upgraded and repaired.

The JWST will be BEO..

"The Earth-Sun L2 point, about which the Webb telescope will orbit, is 1,500,000 km (930,000 mi) from the Earth, which is about 3.92 times farther away from Earth than is the moon. (This distance underscores how much more difficult the Webb telescope would be to service than the Hubble telescope after launch; no plan contemplates doing so)"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope
 
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bdewoody

Guest
I read in one of these threads an opinion that the Shuttle program was a failure. I guess that poster believes the ISS is a failure too. I have to disagree. We have conducted manned space operations in LEO for the last 40 years mainly because it is unsafe to venture out beyond the protection of the earth's magnetic field with the vehicles we can currently build and launch from earth. One badly timed CME could ruin the day of any manned space vehicle too far out to either be protected or get back on the ground. The space shuttle, the ISS and the various Russian craft have givin us vital information needed to build true spacecraft that can venture out away from home.

We all want everything now but if we begin a mission to the moon, Mars or an asteroid before a reliable shielding system is developed the chances of disaster are too high for a society that won't accept fatalities along the way.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
bdewoody":377h5psv said:
I read in one of these threads an opinion that the Shuttle program was a failure. I guess that poster believes the ISS is a failure too. I have to disagree. We have conducted manned space operations in LEO for the last 40 years mainly because it is unsafe to venture out beyond the protection of the earth's magnetic field with the vehicles we can currently build and launch from earth. One badly timed CME could ruin the day of any manned space vehicle too far out to either be protected or get back on the ground. The space shuttle, the ISS and the various Russian craft have givin us vital information needed to build true spacecraft that can venture out away from home.
The Shuttle was clearly a failure. The ISS on the other hand was not because it is the only manned endeavor NASA has sustained.

Secondly the radiation problems are not nearly as bad as you make them out to be.
 
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bdewoody

Guest
By what definition was the shuttle a failure? Surely not because 2 were lost. Pre shuttle studies expected a 25% failure rate meaning loss of the craft. It managed to get the Hubble telescope in orbit and also the components of the ISS. I doubt that the ISS could have been built without it. 132 launches with only 2 losses is a good record. And I don't mean to devalue the lives of those who were lost but it is a dangerous business. I live in central Florida and have watched most of the Shuttle launches and have seen the pride of others who also watched. Now the automobile, there is a failure. 40,000 US deaths every year, China with over 100,000 deaths every year, India with almost as many. I won't even bother to add Europe, Japan and all the other countries.

The shuttle performed the missions it was called on to do, maybe not as economically as originally hoped but I bet the tasks it performed couldn't have been done less expensively.

And the radiation problems are most likely worse than I related.
 
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DarkenedOne

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bdewoody":hdl5wie9 said:
By what definition was the shuttle a failure? Surely not because 2 were lost. Pre shuttle studies expected a 25% failure rate meaning loss of the craft. It managed to get the Hubble telescope in orbit and also the components of the ISS. I doubt that the ISS could have been built without it. 132 launches with only 2 losses is a good record. And I don't mean to devalue the lives of those who were lost but it is a dangerous business. I live in central Florida and have watched most of the Shuttle launches and have seen the pride of others who also watched. Now the automobile, there is a failure. 40,000 US deaths every year, China with over 100,000 deaths every year, India with almost as many. I won't even bother to add Europe, Japan and all the other countries.

The shuttle performed the missions it was called on to do, maybe not as economically as originally hoped but I bet the tasks it performed couldn't have been done less expensively.
First of all with regards to safety if cars had the same loss of crew probability as the shuttle they would not be used. With a 2/132 chance of loss of crew for a car a person who uses their car an average of 2 times daily would have practically a zero percent chance of surviving to the first six months. Instead there is a significant probability that I will go on until the end my life without ever dying in my car, thus leaving us with a probability of loss of crew in a car at 1/100000. So the car beats the shuttle hands down.

Secondly since there are only 5 shuttles in existence each costing in the billions even a small chance of failure is intolerable. The shuttle was designed to have something like a 1/1000 chance of failure. Clearly it failed this design criteria.

Thirdly the shuttle was designed as a reusable vehicle with the anticipation that it would be less expensive than their expendable counterparts. Yet it turned out to be the case that the shuttle was significantly more expensive than its expendable counterparts, and according to some including the former NASA administrator cost about as much as the Saturn V, a rocket far more capable than the Shuttle. For a reusable vehicle to cost more than a disposable one is pretty damning.

I could go on, but I think I have made enough points. NASA concurs that the Shuttle has been an absolute failure as evidenced by the fact that they are retiring the vehicle and they are not even considering building a Shuttle 2.0. In fact they have abandoned the concept of the shuttle completely.
 
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