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(Discovery)   NASA developed a mission to send astronauts on a flyby around Venus in 1973; the mission was scrapped but would have marked the first time humans orbited a planet other than Earth   (news.discovery.com) divider line 80
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3514 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 May 2012 at 9:39 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-29 12:48:19 AM

cman: wallywam1: My favorite planet is the sun, 'cause it's like the king of planets.

The sun is a star


*facepalm*
 
2012-05-29 12:49:35 AM
I call BS on this.

The best system on hand at the time was the Apollo system and it was designed to keep a crew alive for a little over a week (plus a few extra days just in case a splashdown zone was covered over).

It would take over three months for a spacecraft to reach Venus, one way, then factor in the on-site time, AND then factor in the return trip.
 
2012-05-29 12:49:44 AM

Altair: cman: wallywam1: My favorite planet is the sun, 'cause it's like the king of planets.

The sun is a star

*facepalm*


Hah! Time to refresh.
 
2012-05-29 12:53:05 AM

SevenizGud: So instead, we used that money to pay welfare queens to squirt out an endless stream of career criminals.


Did your mother have any children who lived?
 
2012-05-29 12:55:17 AM

Virtuoso80: but exactly how much money is that inspiration worth?


Quite a lot. Also probes are rather limited as far as science goes, to whatever the equipment they have can manage. A human can put together experiments on the fly in a way no probe ever could.

Cyno01: All for only $50b... One more reason to hate Nixon.


For what it was, it's not a bad price tag.
 
2012-05-29 12:57:58 AM

RandomAxe: dennysgod: Why would the US want to send humans to orbit Venus or land on Mars even though a unmanned probe would be safer and cheaper? Because we're Americans and we f*cking can, that's why.

Not right now, we can't.

Personally, I say spend the money on practical near-term investments and on longer-term research. Let's not send people to other planets until we have a working VASIMR drive or something similar. Technology moves quickly nowadays, especially with robust funding, and human spaceflight is so expensive that putting off a dozen trips to orbit can fund an entire new space-related project down here.

I know there are lots of people who desperately want to be up there, and they won't want to be delayed. But don't send the Mayflower if, instead, fifteen years later you could send the QE2.


The problem is that if we - as humans, not as any given nation - don't send the Mayflower now, there will be no interest in sending the QE2 later. Unless someone blaze a trail to the planets slow and by conventional means, no politicians will pony up the cash to build a VASIMR (or a simpler bimodal-NTR)... why waste all that cash to go somewhere no one has ever been?

Heck, if politicians were wont to spend money on unproven and potentially dangerous projects, we could have had a four thousand ton ORION put-putting it's way to Mars at 2G around the time humanity took it's first, faltering steps into LEO.
 
2012-05-29 01:02:19 AM

Virtuoso80: ...and thankfully, now that the cold war is over, we no longer have to feel compelled to pursue such giant wastes of money.

There's really no purpose to sending a human to Venus or Mars, except to say that we did it. Robots and unmanned vehicles can do all the science cheaper and easier. In fact, humans often get in the way of space exploration and discovery: There are experiments we've done in which having humans nearby threatened to contaminate the data, but NASA never wanted to make manned space travel seem obsolete, lest they stop getting their money, so they kept sending people up.

I understand it's inspiring and emotionally satisfying to think about putting people on another planet, but exactly how much money is that inspiration worth?


Venus i agree, but Mars... im not just in favor of exploration, im in favor of COLONIZATION. The idiom "dont put all your eggs in one basket" can apply to humans too. How much money is the survival of our species worth?
 
2012-05-29 01:29:19 AM

tzzhc4: You mean 860 °F, right?


I meant 'unsurvivable for humans.'

/personally i was more interested in the link at the bottom to women having orgasms whilst they worked out
 
2012-05-29 01:50:46 AM

wallywam1: Hah! Time to refresh.


That's OK. If those facepalms were barbecued spareribs I'd have seconds.
 
2012-05-29 02:05:33 AM
would-have-marked-first-time-humans-orbited-a-planet-other-than-Earth

Boy, is that crew heading for Pluto going to be disappointed.
 
2012-05-29 02:28:03 AM

Cyno01: Virtuoso80: ...and thankfully, now that the cold war is over, we no longer have to feel compelled to pursue such giant wastes of money.

There's really no purpose to sending a human to Venus or Mars, except to say that we did it. Robots and unmanned vehicles can do all the science cheaper and easier. In fact, humans often get in the way of space exploration and discovery: There are experiments we've done in which having humans nearby threatened to contaminate the data, but NASA never wanted to make manned space travel seem obsolete, lest they stop getting their money, so they kept sending people up.

I understand it's inspiring and emotionally satisfying to think about putting people on another planet, but exactly how much money is that inspiration worth?

Venus i agree, but Mars... im not just in favor of exploration, im in favor of COLONIZATION. The idiom "dont put all your eggs in one basket" can apply to humans too. How much money is the survival of our species worth?


I think we have to do cost/benefit analysis to really determine if that would be worth it. It's compelling to say we might want/need to colonize another planet eventually, but that doesn't directly answer the question to whether spending $200+ billion on a Government project right now is the best use of money and resources. What would be the economic consequences? Would we save money, and further our chances for survival, by spending that money on something else for the time being? What is the probability of a worldwide catastrophe in a given period of time that had no other solution vs. the probability that we could get a self-sustaining colony ready for people to live there in that time? It's not enough to say a martian base would be nice in certain circumstances without weighing all the variables.
 
2012-05-29 02:35:07 AM

WhyteRaven74: Virtuoso80: but exactly how much money is that inspiration worth?

Quite a lot. Also probes are rather limited as far as science goes, to whatever the equipment they have can manage. A human can put together experiments on the fly in a way no probe ever could.



I wasn't necessarily implying it was worth zero, but I'm not sure it'd be worth its cost. It would certainly have some economic benefits, but I couldn't justify spending massive amounts of money on making the part of the human race feel warm and fuzzy for a second unless that feeling translated into tangible economic returns on some scale. Otherwise, how can we justify taking that money form other things that would provide greater benefit, just because we personally think landing on Mars would be really cool?
 
2012-05-29 02:47:29 AM

Virtuoso80: Cyno01: Virtuoso80: ...and thankfully, now that the cold war is over, we no longer have to feel compelled to pursue such giant wastes of money.

There's really no purpose to sending a human to Venus or Mars, except to say that we did it. Robots and unmanned vehicles can do all the science cheaper and easier. In fact, humans often get in the way of space exploration and discovery: There are experiments we've done in which having humans nearby threatened to contaminate the data, but NASA never wanted to make manned space travel seem obsolete, lest they stop getting their money, so they kept sending people up.

I understand it's inspiring and emotionally satisfying to think about putting people on another planet, but exactly how much money is that inspiration worth?

Venus i agree, but Mars... im not just in favor of exploration, im in favor of COLONIZATION. The idiom "dont put all your eggs in one basket" can apply to humans too. How much money is the survival of our species worth?

I think we have to do cost/benefit analysis to really determine if that would be worth it. It's compelling to say we might want/need to colonize another planet eventually, but that doesn't directly answer the question to whether spending $200+ billion on a Government project right now is the best use of money and resources. What would be the economic consequences? Would we save money, and further our chances for survival, by spending that money on something else for the time being? What is the probability of a worldwide catastrophe in a given period of time that had no other solution vs. the probability that we could get a self-sustaining colony ready for people to live there in that time? It's not enough to say a martian base would be nice in certain circumstances without weighing all the variables.


it spurs scientific development, education, etc. all that shiat we got in the 80s and 90s were invited by a lot of people who were inspired to go into science by the space program. What was the last really new thing that came around? Think about it. what was the last disruptive technology that really set the world afire? The internet? We need something new, we need to stop the stupification of this country, we need a shining beacon on the hill to aim for.
 
2012-05-29 02:58:57 AM

SuperT: it spurs scientific development, education, etc. all that shiat we got in the 80s and 90s were invited by a lot of people who were inspired to go into science by the space program. What was the last really new thing that came around? Think about it. what was the last disruptive technology that really set the world afire? The internet? We need something new, we need to stop the stupification of this country, we need a shining beacon on the hill to aim for.


I understand your point, but I'd want to see something more concrete about whether the benefits were actually worth it before we embark on spending ridiculous amounts of money we really don't have. Also realize, your perspective in not everyone's. There's some starving people in Africa who might find it kinda cool to hear the USA made it to Mars, but I think given the choice they'd prefer food, a working infrastructure, and a non-despotic Government. Even among the non-desperate, not everyone shares your level of enthusiasm for the goal. If I personally got to choose a 'shining beacon on the hill', I'd be more interested in, say, sustainable clean water for the entire world, rather than space travel.
 
2012-05-29 05:44:13 AM

Makh: Easy to get to but hell to stay at.


Actually, it would probably be pretty easy to stay on Venus. Once the crushing pressure and 900 degree weather got you, leaving would be pretty difficult, I'd imagine.
 
2012-05-29 06:31:48 AM
The moon is too damned close to the Earth. We should be looking at the moons of Jupiter and Neptune for possible colonization.
 
2012-05-29 08:12:55 AM
Really, what it boils down to is where do we want to visit - A place we may one day colonize or a place that closely mimics hell.
 
2012-05-29 08:51:23 AM

GentlemanJ: Sure! We can tell them there are blanket trees and ham bushes there!


I can hear them marching to the launch pads e'en now.
 
2012-05-29 08:54:24 AM
It would have gone wrong almost certainly, plummeting toward the sun, the astronauts getting hotter and hotter in their suits. International Rescue would then have to go retrieve it with their secret thunderbutt rocket thing.
 
2012-05-29 09:17:35 AM

WegianWarrior: RandomAxe: dennysgod: Why would the US want to send humans to orbit Venus or land on Mars even though a unmanned probe would be safer and cheaper? Because we're Americans and we f*cking can, that's why.

Not right now, we can't.

Personally, I say spend the money on practical near-term investments and on longer-term research. Let's not send people to other planets until we have a working VASIMR drive or something similar. Technology moves quickly nowadays, especially with robust funding, and human spaceflight is so expensive that putting off a dozen trips to orbit can fund an entire new space-related project down here.

I know there are lots of people who desperately want to be up there, and they won't want to be delayed. But don't send the Mayflower if, instead, fifteen years later you could send the QE2.

The problem is that if we - as humans, not as any given nation - don't send the Mayflower now, there will be no interest in sending the QE2 later. Unless someone blaze a trail to the planets slow and by conventional means, no politicians will pony up the cash to build a VASIMR (or a simpler bimodal-NTR)... why waste all that cash to go somewhere no one has ever been?

Heck, if politicians were wont to spend money on unproven and potentially dangerous projects, we could have had a four thousand ton ORION put-putting it's way to Mars at 2G around the time humanity took it's first, faltering steps into LEO.


You, sir, are favorited as Orion Trumpeter. Good to know I'm not alone around here.
 
2012-05-29 09:21:43 AM

SuperT: it spurs scientific development, education, etc. all that shiat we got in the 80s and 90s were invited by a lot of people who were inspired to go into science by the space program. What was the last really new thing that came around? Think about it. what was the last disruptive technology that really set the world afire? The internet? We need something new, we need to stop the stupification of this country, we need a shining beacon on the hill to aim for.


I think finding extraterrestrial life would inspire more scientific development.
 
2012-05-29 09:23:24 AM

malaktaus: way south:

I think both can be justified. Landing on Venus is sort of possible the way I described above. Going past it is an inevitability if we're going other places.

Simply staying in orbit doesn't prove we've conquered deep space. We won't have built a long range ship with the fuel or supplies and it wont have been exposed to the differing radiation environments. We won't be using engines in the same way between destinations.
It's like sayin ISS experience will qualify us for a mars flyby. There are too many unanswered questions to take that claim seriously.

You're being unrealistic to the point of absurdity. NASA has a limited budget and must, or at least should, try to get the most benefit from their limited resources. An expedition like this would be insanely expensive and insanely high-risk, far more so than the Apollo missions, and "because it's there" is absolutely not reason enough, especially not with the budget in its current shape, but even if we had plenty of money. It would be different if the mission had some tangible benefit, but it doesn't. If there was a way to build a permanent habitat on an extraterrestrial body- and I mean a full-fledged self-sufficient colony, not a research station- it would be easier to justify a manned mission of some sort, but as far as that goes it would be better to use the moon as a testing ground. Artificial habitats could be constructed there far more easily than on Venus, and if something went wrong it would even be possible to launch a rescue mission. Even such a plan as this would be unrealistic at this time, as there's little will for such things, but it is far more realistic than your scenario, and as a bonus it would actually have some kind of tangible benefit. Your little flyby and balloon mission- seriously, dude a balloon mission?- is unrealistically expensive, ridiculously dangerous, and would produce nothing of any particular value as compared to a simple probe. I'm all for space exploration and I thin ...


Flybys are inevitable.
The old ideal of going somewhere to pickup a rock isn't enough to sell the missions we need to the public. They want achievements. You have to also prove our ability by testing our equipment.
A demonstration mission will probably be part of a deep space program and going for a loop around Venus is as good as anywhere, except that it would be a first.

Taking the men out of that equation means you are just repeating things we've already done. It won't add a destination to our itinerary or get new attention from the public.

Landing on Venus is a difficult mission, but not entirely impossible. It works as a secondary excuse for a future flyby.
 
2012-05-29 09:56:20 AM

taurusowner: SevenizGud: So instead, we used that money to pay welfare queens to squirt out an endless stream of career criminals.

Good thinking, gubmint.

You have sadly summed up that past 50 years of American government.


Aren't you people also mourning the 50 million babbies that were aborted, and are using the "government is committing genocide" as your only possible way to appeal to the African-American community.

/can't have it both ways
 
2012-05-29 10:14:05 AM

Nem Wan: A flyby of Venus is not orbiting Venus.


A hyperbolic orbit is still an orbit.
 
2012-05-29 04:26:16 PM

Virtuoso80: SuperT: it spurs scientific development, education, etc. all that shiat we got in the 80s and 90s were invited by a lot of people who were inspired to go into science by the space program. What was the last really new thing that came around? Think about it. what was the last disruptive technology that really set the world afire? The internet? We need something new, we need to stop the stupification of this country, we need a shining beacon on the hill to aim for.

I understand your point, but I'd want to see something more concrete about whether the benefits were actually worth it before we embark on spending ridiculous amounts of money we really don't have. Also realize, your perspective in not everyone's. There's some starving people in Africa who might find it kinda cool to hear the USA made it to Mars, but I think given the choice they'd prefer food, a working infrastructure, and a non-despotic Government. Even among the non-desperate, not everyone shares your level of enthusiasm for the goal. If I personally got to choose a 'shining beacon on the hill', I'd be more interested in, say, sustainable clean water for the entire world, rather than space travel.


We spend a pittance on our space program. I wish I had the image that shows exactly how little We are smart enough to be able to do more than one thing at once. and the problems in africa wouldn't be solved by slashing our tiny, tiny NASA budget. If we were to solve them it would be at the end of a rifle and a 20 year occupation, not by giving money to tinpot dictators.
 
2012-05-29 06:04:46 PM

BarkingUnicorn: "Fortunately for historians, the report was published even if the mission never made it as far as the planning stages. "

Historians concern themselves with things that DIDN'T happen in the past?


Check this out and then tell me you don't think it's worth knowing the history of things that didn't happen.

And as a follow-up to Wonderduck's reply, check out some other examples (yeah, it's a Cracked list, but you take what you can get).
 
2012-05-29 06:44:44 PM

Enemabag Jones: Back in the early 70's there were even secret astronauts in space taking pictures of the USSR.


Whatchoo talkin' about, Willis?
 
2012-05-29 11:03:44 PM

cman: Everyone talks about the first man on mars, but never the first man on Venus.

I think it would be an interesting flight. For all we know it could probably be easier to get to Venus over Mars


No, if you work out the orbital mechanics, you'll burn alot more fuel getting to Venus rather than Mars. The equations are a little complicated....

/
 
2012-05-29 11:10:58 PM

Enemabag Jones: hawcian way south: jaytkay: Flying astronauts past Venus to say "look, there's Venus!" would be shameful. Most space missions are much better served by [relatively] simple probes.
That would be like saying Apollo 8 was shameful when it was, in fact, one of the highlights in space exploration.
A manned flyby demonstrates you can go to and come back from the target planet. People would have to survive the distance, isolation and radiation. All that is left to question is the landing itself.
A probe just takes pictures.
A human landing on Venus is out of the question, so yes, a flyby would be a pointless risk.

Back in the early 70's there were even secret astronauts in space taking pictures of the USSR.

Then it hit someone, we can automate this with robots and technology in a few years. Why bother sending up people for these boring and unsafe tasks.

And here we are without even a working space shuttle.


I think you're talking about the Gemini-X/Manned(Military) Orbiting Laboratory. Unless your information is alot better than mine (I used to work at NASA) neither ever happened. Spy satellites got so good and so cheap there was no point.

And yeah, here we are with no way to send people into space, but the Russians and Chinese can. What a crock. For .01% of what we're paying the criminals on Wall Street to sell us to the Chinese we could do things in space that would tell the world America can still do things no other nation can even consider. From a foreign affairs point of view, this falls under "Don't frak with us" and is quite cost effective.
 
2012-05-30 02:32:29 AM

johnson442: We have no business orbiting or landing on Perelandra!


Had no idea, but Google and Wikipedia have cleansed my soul! Thank you for the good time!
 
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