View Poll Results: What's next for the United States?

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  • More rigorous and extensive manned exploration of moon.

    20 52.63%
  • Permanent lunar colonies

    17 44.74%
  • Construction of "O'Neill" habitats.

    6 15.79%
  • Mars exploration with goal of colonization.

    21 55.26%
  • Asteroidal/comet exploitation?

    11 28.95%
  • Other

    10 26.32%
  • Nothing. Abandon space to the robots.

    7 18.42%
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Thread: Space Goals For America: What Next?

  1. #11
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kernel Sanders View Post
    Except get themselves off of a lump of dirt
    It would still be more efficient, cheaper, easier, and safer to send a replacement robot instead of a manned mission...or to just send a better robot in the first place.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Like Rathi, I think we need to work on better propulsion systems, and cheaper means of getting to orbit.

    Research into Metahelium propellants looks promising, and advancing materials technolgies (carbon nanotubes in particular) could make a skyhook/beanstalk practical in a few decades.

    The scramjet and/or Delta Clipper concepts need to be revisited.

    And yeah, somewhere along the way I want us to return to the Moon, and I'd like to see a man set foot on Mars in my lifetime.

    Dream big, or go home.


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  3. #13
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Mining asteroids and such is a pipe dream.
    Why is it a pipe dream? Asteroids exist, they have valuable material we need and we have been able to reach them for decades. The only unsolved questions are how to use robot miners and how to make the whole process cost effective. There is nothing to suggest that either is impossible or even unlikely.

  4. #14
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    There is nothing that human astronauts can do on other worlds, which robots can't do more efficiently, cheaply, easily, and safely.
    Tell that to Skylab. And that was only in LEO.

    Tell it to the Hubble Space Telescope, and oh, gee, that was only in LEO, too.

    Tell that to the Huygens Titan atmospheric probe and lander. Oops....noboby told the robot to turn on the super-stable oscillator, so an entire experiment dependent on that was useless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Space colonization will eventually become technologically feasible...several decades from now. There is no need we need to send humans to other worlds right NOW, when we have pressing concerns here at home.
    Yes, our pressing concerns right now are killing socialism so we will be free enough later to be able to afford to colonize the solar system. Ingsoc and it's real world equivalents aren't all that hip on freedom or even satisfying the needs they're promising to satisfy, if only they had enough POWER over you to make it happen.

  5. #15
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    We should focusing first on making it cheap to get into space. Any space related activity from benefit from such research, so it should be top priority.
    Orion.

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Manned space activities should be phased out whenever possible using robots.
    Robots should be phased out because it's cheaper and more entertaining to make people.

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    The logistics of getting people into space and keeping them functional are far too high. We managed to send robots to mars without a huge problem, and but we are decades away from being able to send people.
    You mean outside of the fact that we keep making mistakes here on earth and wrecking them?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Finally, we should look at some commercial activity in addition to research. Observing asteroids for valuable materials and investigating microgravity manufacturing would be good first steps.

    Space technology certainly has its uses, but we have to remember its not the cold war anymore. We aren't trying to one up the soviets, we are looking at practical uses. We all talk about putting a man on the moon, but satellite technology was actually the most important thing our space program ever brought.
    No, now we should be trying to one-up the Chinese.

  6. #16
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Lunar colony and increased exploration of Mars with the possibility of colonizing.


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  7. #17
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I didn't say that space wasn't useful. But it's certainly not very useful right NOW. Your fantasies about using the moon as a military base and industrial playground are a LONG way from being a reality. Until we have workable nuclear fusion and mature nanotechnology, there is really no point sending people to the moon or any other world. It's just too expensive and impractical.
    Is there some alteration in the physical laws of the universe that strictly prohibit using fission reactors to power facilities on the moon when the sun is down? Explain why "fusion" is the only solution you see.

    Why should we waste time on the sci-fi concept of nano-tech when what's needed to build a colony on the moon are electric earth movers, a good supply of aluminum faced honeycomb sandwich panels, glass, and other materials, shipped from earth to begin with but built on the spot fairly soon after the colony is started?

  8. #18
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Space exploration and exploitation is a long term goal that should be underpinned in the short term by pure research on the ground.

    Make the technological leap before we make the ultimate leap into space...



  9. #19
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kernel Sanders View Post
    There are already treaties banning claims of ownership over territory in space, and that's the way it should stay.
    Abrogate them.

    If the people of the United States invests a hundred billion dollars to exploit the only deposit of water found on the moon (if we ever find one) there's no logical reason why some upstart who didn't pay the cost should have any sort of claim to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Until it is possible for people to genuinely reside on some celestial body space should remain in the realm of science and belong to all mankind
    "Belong to all mankind".

    Dog vomit socialist collectivist nonsense. The territory and resources should belong to the people paying to exploit them, for their own profit.

  10. #20
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Tell that to Skylab. And that was only in LEO.

    Tell it to the Hubble Space Telescope, and oh, gee, that was only in LEO, too.
    Skylab and the Hubble Telescope are not on other worlds. They were/are in space, a few hundred miles above the earth's surface.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar
    Tell that to the Huygens Titan atmospheric probe and lander. Oops....noboby told the robot to turn on the super-stable oscillator, so an entire experiment dependent on that was useless.
    It would be several orders of magnitude cheaper to send a replacement probe than to send astronauts to Titan. With our present technological capabilities, it probably isn't even POSSIBLE to send astronauts to Titan (except on a suicide mission that may not even produce the desired results anyway). Furthermore, pointing out a design flaw in a robot does nothing to further your argument that human astronauts would be more reliable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar
    Yes, our pressing concerns right now are killing socialism so we will be free enough later to be able to afford to colonize the solar system. Ingsoc and it's real world equivalents aren't all that hip on freedom or even satisfying the needs they're promising to satisfy, if only they had enough POWER over you to make it happen.
    Yes, yes. We get it. You don't like liberals. Now then, as for space exploration...
    Last edited by Kandahar; 07-20-09 at 04:29 PM.
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