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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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2012-05-28 09:06:43 PM
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
 
2012-05-28 09:30:29 PM
Easy to get to but hell to stay at.
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2012-05-28 09:34:05 PM

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


Much like a Super 8, except without the cockroaches.
 
2012-05-28 09:44:16 PM
So instead, we used that money to pay welfare queens to squirt out an endless stream of career criminals.

Good thinking, gubmint.
 
2012-05-28 09:46:53 PM

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

Good thinking, gubmint.


So send 'em to Venus instead?
 
2012-05-28 09:50:39 PM

SevenizGud: So instead, we used that money to pay welfare queens to squirt out an endless stream of career criminals. blow up brown people for ill defined and vague reasons.

Good thinking, gubmint.


FTFY.
 
2012-05-28 09:52:16 PM

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


Balloons.
I doubt anyone could land on Venus as it is, for any meaningful length of time at least. What you could do instead is dock at a high altitude aerostat.
The pressure and temperature is practically earth like, and the atmosphere mix is easier to deal with at high altitudes.
It would be tricky to do with a rocket, but if it could be done then colonizing Venus is sort of possible.
 
2012-05-28 09:54:19 PM

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.
 
2012-05-28 09:58:00 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


easier to get to? probably, but you can't land, well, you could, but they would never return. and forget going outside. over 1300PSI and surface temp of just under 900 degrees F make mars the better option.
 
2012-05-28 10:05:40 PM
Flying astronauts past Venus to say "look, there's Venus!" would be shameful. Most space missions are much better served by [relatively] simple probes.
 
2012-05-28 10:11:22 PM

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.


Well, it depends on the mission. The goal could simply be to have humans orbit Venus.
 
2012-05-28 10:13:52 PM
Yeah, I don't think this was close to happening. They had no way to keep astronauts alive, healthy or sane for that mission length, with basically a modified Apollo. Flyby would be pathetic too, a few hours at distances at least 50x greater than low earth orbit.
 
2012-05-28 10:14:44 PM

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.
 
2012-05-28 10:20:35 PM

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.
 
2012-05-28 10:25:27 PM

way south: A probe just takes pictures.


So does a manned flight. At approximately 1 million times the expense for a mission which lasts hours instead of years or even decades.
 
2012-05-28 10:25:52 PM
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.
 
2012-05-28 10:26:03 PM
cman: Everyone talks about the first man on mars, but never the first man on Venus.

They certainly do, and oddly enough it was a Vulcan.
 
2012-05-28 10:28:55 PM
Actually Stephen King wrote a story about that.
 
2012-05-28 10:30:05 PM
img846.imageshack.us

Let me try that again...
 
2012-05-28 10:30:06 PM
That is one of the most loosely interpreted uses of the word "developed" that I have ever seen.

This article is a non-scientific shill for AT&T, and this "thought mission" is clearly an AT&T advertisement paid with taxpayer money. Pity that historians will probably take the advice the article's writer and consider it as some kind of achievement.
 
2012-05-28 10:36:10 PM

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.


Envelope expansion is rarely pointless.
If proving we can survive in space is something that must be done, a side trip past Venus or any other planet will do for an objective. It's got gravity, meaning we will probably go there on a slingshot to other destinations eventually.
Doing it in the Apollo era would have been a very big deal, even if landing isn't possible.
 
2012-05-28 10:41:54 PM
A flyby of Venus is not orbiting Venus. This spacecraft would not have the power to park at Venus and be able to leave again. The trajectory would slingshot the spacecraft around Venus and back to Earth, somewhat like the first phase of the Galileo mission except it would reenter at Earth. (No idea how reentry speed would compare to a lunar mission but obviously something would have to be modified if it would come in a lot faster.)

Anyway, the really ambitious part of this plan is the idea that the astronauts would more or less build Skylab - convert their own Saturn V third stage from a rocket to a habitable volume - all by themselves, literally on the fly, in interplanetary space. It's crazy or brilliant or both.
 
2012-05-28 10:47:07 PM

way south: 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.

Envelope expansion is rarely pointless.
If proving we can survive in space is something that must be done, a side trip past Venus or any other planet will do for an objective. It's got gravity, meaning we will probably go there on a slingshot to other destinations eventually.
Doing it in the Apollo era would have been a very big deal, even if landing isn't possible.


You seemed to be talking about a flyby being used as stage in an eventual landing, which is what I was addressing. As for using a voyage to another planet to prove we can survive in space, well, no, that's a terrible idea. You stick people nearby so in case something happens you can get them back. When you know you survive in space, then using Venus as a slingshot is definitely an option.
 
2012-05-28 11:02:35 PM
I'm given to understand its much easier to pull out of Sol's gravity well than drop into it, which is why it took MESSENGER so damn long to get to Mercury. Mars would probably be the less energy-intensive target.
 
2012-05-28 11:05:59 PM
"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?
 
2012-05-28 11:13:14 PM
theorellior: I'm given to understand its much easier to pull out of Sol's gravity well than drop into it, which is why it took MESSENGER so damn long to get to Mercury.

I think the problem you're thinking of is that an object launched from Earth has a hellacious momentum that is not directly toward the sun. This, after all, is why we're in orbit and not falling into the fiery maw of yadda yadda destruction.

If you want to drop something into the sun, you have to cancel out that orbital momentum. Or shift to a parabolic path that eventually intersects with the sun, or so on. Mercury's orbit is quite different from ours (which is good for us), so to match its momentum (and not just go sailing by) you once again have to adjust your starting momentum.

Falling into the sun, for an object that is at relative rest with respect to the sun, is much easier than pulling away.


/still mad no one laughed at my joke
//that wasn't a Star Trek reference, that was highbrow humor!
///why we can't have nice things
 
2012-05-28 11:16:32 PM
My favorite planet is the sun, 'cause it's like the king of planets.
 
2012-05-28 11:19:00 PM

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


The sun is a star
 
2012-05-28 11:19:52 PM
Yeah, a superstar.
 
2012-05-28 11:20:50 PM

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

They certainly do, and oddly enough it was a Vulcan.


At first I was like :|

And then I XD
 
2012-05-28 11:21:15 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?


The report was published. That's what happened.
 
2012-05-28 11:22:06 PM

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

The sun is a star


*facepalm*
 
2012-05-28 11:24:02 PM

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


Because you'll die as soon as you enter its atmosphere with temperatures ranging from 300°F-300°F.

/stupid!
 
2012-05-28 11:29:24 PM

hawcian: way south: 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.

Envelope expansion is rarely pointless.
If proving we can survive in space is something that must be done, a side trip past Venus or any other planet will do for an objective. It's got gravity, meaning we will probably go there on a slingshot to other destinations eventually.
Doing it in the Apollo era would have been a very big deal, even if landing isn't possible.

You seemed to be talking about a flyby being used as stage in an eventual landing, which is what I was addressing. As for using a voyage to another planet to prove we can survive in space, well, no, that's a terrible idea. You stick people nearby so in case something happens you can get them back. When you know you survive in space, then using Venus as a slingshot is definitely an option.


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.
 
2012-05-28 11:33:04 PM

way south: All that is left to question is the landing itself.


Why? The Russians were able to land probes, mostly by the expedient of dropping hardened widgets down on it and waiting for the Venusian atmosphere to etch their faces off after an hour or so. If you have that big a hard-on for dropping metal in acid, there are several industrial waste sites that will fulfill your desires at a much smaller investment of manpower and material
 
2012-05-28 11:34:23 PM
Judging by the posts here it would seem the "because it's there" mentality isn't a quality you want to possess anymore.

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.
 
2012-05-28 11:35:20 PM

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

Because you'll die as soon as you enter its atmosphere with temperatures ranging from 300°F-300°F.

/stupid!


Not to mention the clouds of sulfuric acid, and the surface pressure nearly 100x that of Earth's.
 
2012-05-28 11:41:38 PM
I think the mission planning was more like "*bong gurgle* what if you could, like, swing by Venus. What would Venus up close look like ON WEED! *bong gurgle*"
 
2012-05-28 11:46:52 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?


Yes. Yes they do. Quite often, as it turns out.

/that's four from my collection, without even having to look.
//oh wait, forgot about the newest one.
 
2012-05-28 11:46:56 PM
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.
 
2012-05-28 11:47:14 PM

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.


The two of you exemplify the obstruction in America's bowels.
 
2012-05-29 12:02:08 AM

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 think NASA should have its budget massively increased, but you're out of your damned mind.
 
2012-05-29 12:11:04 AM
In space nobody can hear you scream in frustration that politics controls the space program.
 
2012-05-29 12:13:03 AM
Unmanned probes are like dating yourself, instead of dating another human being.
 
2012-05-29 12:17:14 AM

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

Good thinking, gubmint.

So send 'em to Venus instead?


Sure! We can tell them there are blanket trees and ham bushes there!
/Obscure?
 
2012-05-29 12:18:29 AM
IronTom: Unmanned probes are like dating yourself, instead of dating another human being.

Argument for or against?


/take your protein pill
 
2012-05-29 12:19:22 AM
...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?
 
2012-05-29 12:25:42 AM

urban.derelict: Because you'll die as soon as you enter its atmosphere with temperatures ranging from 300°F-300°F.


You mean 860 °F, right?
 
2012-05-29 12:37:19 AM
I think this was part of a $50b proposal to Nixon for the colonization of space, IIRC it utilized conventional rockets to achieve LEO, then orion vehicles for a bunch of things including the venus flyby, a mars landing, a couple of space stations and a lunar colony. He passed in favor of the Shuttle program i think.

All for only $50b... One more reason to hate Nixon.
 
2012-05-29 12:46:17 AM
We have no business orbiting or landing on Perelandra!
 
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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