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. #21
    Count Smackula
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Orion.
    You do realize that the Orion project involved setting off nuclear bombs right? It wouldn't work in the atmosphere, and even if it did, you would have to be alunatic to use it. I was thinking of something practical like white knight 1 from scaled composites.

    Robots should be phased out because it's cheaper and more entertaining to make people.
    I agree its more fun to make people, but its a hell of lot cheaper to make robots. Astronauts are filthy expensive.

    You mean outside of the fact that we keep making mistakes here on earth and wrecking them?
    Would you rather people die when we screw up?

    No, now we should be trying to one-up the Chinese.
    Thankfully post cold-war foreign policy is based on something other than childish competitiveness (sort of).

  2. #22
    Norville Rogers
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    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.



    "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.
    Would you be okay with russia or china owning the moon?

  3. #23
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    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.
    Mining asteroids is stupid right now. While we can get to some, the best place to do so would be in the asteroid belt which is on the other side of Mars. The energy necessary to get there, mine things, load them up, send them back will far outweigh any "benefit" of mining out there. Not to mention the immense technological mountain of I guess building robots according to you, getting them there, and successfully being able to mine on some scale which makes it worth while. There has to be so much more research, advancement, and created technology to come into existence before we can even start to think about entertaining the idea of mining asteroids. This isn't Armageddon, we can't just land things on an asteroid and say "mine this". There's huge problems with chaotic orbits, control of the robots I guess we're using, mining, collection, transportation, etc. And no matter what, we sit at the bottom of a gravity well, we'll always need to overcome that. It takes a lot of energy. What are we wasting vs. what are we getting, these things have to be analyzed and worked out. Maybe in the distant future, mining the asteroid belt will be feasible; but for now it remains a pipe dream and completely unnecessary. The money is best spent on other research.
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  4. #24
    Count Smackula
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    The energy necessary to get there, mine things, load them up, send them back will far outweigh any "benefit" of mining out there.
    Solar panels are immensely more effective is space, and would be more than capable of generating enough energy.

    Not to mention the immense technological mountain of I guess building robots according to you, getting them there, and successfully being able to mine on some scale which makes it worth while.
    As opposed to building a robot that can drive around on mars? Robotics is one of the fasting progressing technologies we have. Its an unknown to be sure, but sayings its impossible has no basis.

    This isn't Armageddon, we can't just land things on an asteroid and say "mine this".
    Why not? Mining is being able to separate the stuff you want from the stuff you don't. Telling a robot to collect chunks of asteroid with say a high platinum density isn't unrealistic.

    There's huge problems with chaotic orbits, control of the robots I guess we're using, mining, collection, transportation, etc.
    None of those are insurmountable problems. They are well known issues we have dealt with for years.

    And no matter what, we sit at the bottom of a gravity well, we'll always need to overcome that. It takes a lot of energy.
    The nice thing about the asteroids is that they are already out of our gravity well. It takes zero energy to send mined materials back down.

  5. #25
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Skylab and the Hubble Telescope are not on other worlds. They were/are in space, a few hundred miles above the earth's surface.
    And that close to home, and still the damned machines couldn't do their job until a human came along to fix their little tin guts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    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.
    Right. Develop your arguments about capabilities tomorrow with expostulations about what we can't do today.

    What a human has that no current feasible extrapolation of robot can provide is creativity.

  6. #26
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kernel Sanders View Post
    Would you be okay with russia or china owning the moon?
    Nope.

    That's why the US has to get back there firstest and fastest.

  7. #27
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    You do realize that the Orion project involved setting off nuclear bombs right? It wouldn't work in the atmosphere, and even if it did, you would have to be alunatic to use it. I was thinking of something practical like white knight 1 from scaled composites.
    Orion-style spacecraft can be launched just fine from the ground, so I've no idea where you're getting the notion that they won't work in the atmosphere.


    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    I agree its more fun to make people, but its a hell of lot cheaper to make robots. Astronauts are filthy expensive.
    Okay.

    You start with your pile of raw material, I'll pick a babe. Let's see who has more fun starting their project.

    Once we each have our robot and our astronaut, let's put them to work.

    Okay, astronaut, you take this box, put it on that shelf.

    Okay, robot, you take this box....oh, "what do I mean by 'take'?" "What's a box?" "What shelf?"......(six months later)..."a we finally got that job done. Okay, now take that other box there and brin it over".

    Robots can't replace people, not when versatility is a factor.

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Would you rather people die when we screw up?
    If they don't want to risk dying on the job, they should choose a profession that doesn't involve commuting to work on top of a million pounds of flaming hydrogen.

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    Thankfully post cold-war foreign policy is based on something other than childish competitiveness (sort of).
    You mean childish surrender.

    Wonderful stuff, that.

  8. #28
    Norville Rogers
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarecrow Akhbar View Post
    Nope.

    That's why the US has to get back there firstest and fastest.
    Given that we won't have a launch vehicle at the very least between 2010 and 2014, supporting nations' right to claim space as their own is a bit of a gamble. The reasons why China owning the moon would be bad are exactly the reasons why nobody should own the moon.

  9. #29
    Count Smackula
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Orion-style spacecraft can be launched just fine from the ground, so I've no idea where you're getting the notion that they won't work in the atmosphere.
    That was my bad, there are two designations for space programs called Orion. One is a space shuttle replacement you mentioned, the other is space-propulsion system that uses nuclear bombs as fuel with impressive theoretical performance. Still, the program is far less cost effective that white knight. Using rockets to get into the stratosphere rather than wings and jet engines is far less efficient and more expensive.

    Okay, astronaut, you take this box, put it on that shelf.
    Except when your astronaut dies because of radiation problems.


    Okay, robot, you take this box....oh, "what do I mean by 'take'?" "What's a box?" "What shelf?"......(six months later)..."a we finally got that job done. Okay, now take that other box there and brin it over".
    A specialized mining robot its meant to be versatile. Furthermore, humans still have remote control over the robot. Ideally, the system would work on its own autonomous functions with a human monitoring. Anything strange happens that the robot can't handle, and the human can take over.

    If they don't want to risk dying on the job, they should choose a profession that doesn't involve commuting to work on top of a million pounds of flaming hydrogen.
    Sure, but why risk human lives if you don't have to?

    You mean childish surrender.
    Because America has to win at everything forever or you won't be able to sleep at night. Fact is, the way to "win" is not be the person wasting pointless resources. America managed to win WW1 and WW2 because we were the last ones in the war and didn't destroy our country in the process.

  10. #30
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    Re: Space Goals For America: What Next?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kernel Sanders View Post
    Given that we won't have a launch vehicle at the very least between 2010 and 2014, supporting nations' right to claim space as their own is a bit of a gamble. The reasons why China owning the moon would be bad are exactly the reasons why nobody should own the moon.
    yes, as I've said many times, socialism sucks. If it weren't for socialism, the US wouldn't have sunk ten trillion dollars into welfare programs between 1965 and 2005, and we would have had that money to do useful things with. We wouldn't have had to throw away our ELV fleet for something as useless as the shuttle, for example. We could be exploiting lunar resources right now, including those almost impossible to find on earth, like cheap vacuum and He3.

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