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(Chron)   Now that she's free to speak her mind, NASA's Lori Garver suggests a smarter US space exploration strategy might not involve a giant expensive rocket with no clear destination   (blog.chron.com) divider line 98
    More: Obvious, Lori Garver, Space Launch System, NASA, deep space exploration, space launch, Orion, rockets  
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8318 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Jan 2014 at 9:44 AM (15 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-05 06:03:25 AM
Burn the witch! What, "because it's cool!" isn't a good reason to spend $3 Billion a year?

So what is we get much better bang for the buck with unmanned probes!

/likes science, like space operas, knows the differences between the two with today's technology
//*let* the freaking Chinese be the first to Mars? Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?
 
2014-01-05 07:46:17 AM

stratagos:
//*let* the freaking Chinese be the first to Mars? Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?


Its very simple, really. Its about motivation. Its about providing the incentives to push ourselves beyond just survival. By competing to land on Mars first we spend more resources than we normally would as we care about winning as it becomes a national pride concern and not a personal pride concern. If Sputnik wasn't launched who knows if we would have landed on the moon in 1969. However since the idea of scientific cooperation became the norm we really haven't been giving two shiats in improving our space technology. Do you know how much technology came out of the Apollo program? Imagine how much technology will come out of putting significant resources in getting living people to Mars.
 
2014-01-05 08:40:33 AM

cman: stratagos:
//*let* the freaking Chinese be the first to Mars? Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?

Its very simple, really. Its about motivation. Its about providing the incentives to push ourselves beyond just survival. By competing to land on Mars first we spend more resources than we normally would as we care about winning as it becomes a national pride concern and not a personal pride concern. If Sputnik wasn't launched who knows if we would have landed on the moon in 1969. However since the idea of space exploration cooperation became the norm we really haven't been giving two shiats in improving our space technology. Do you know how much technology came out of the Apollo program? Imagine how much technology will come out of putting significant resources in getting living people to Mars.


Whoops, that was a mistake. Fixt for specificity.
 
2014-01-05 09:07:55 AM

cman: cman: stratagos:
//*let* the freaking Chinese be the first to Mars? Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?

Its very simple, really. Its about motivation. Its about providing the incentives to push ourselves beyond just survival. By competing to land on Mars first we spend more resources than we normally would as we care about winning as it becomes a national pride concern and not a personal pride concern. If Sputnik wasn't launched who knows if we would have landed on the moon in 1969. However since the idea of space exploration cooperation became the norm we really haven't been giving two shiats in improving our space technology. Do you know how much technology came out of the Apollo program? Imagine how much technology will come out of putting significant resources in getting living people to Mars.

Whoops, that was a mistake. Fixt for specificity.


I imagine there would be multiple benefits. I also imagine there would be multiple benefits received by spending the money elsewhere.

Why is this investment going to offer a more tangible positive return than something else?
 
2014-01-05 09:11:29 AM

stratagos: cman: cman: stratagos:
//*let* the freaking Chinese be the first to Mars? Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?

Its very simple, really. Its about motivation. Its about providing the incentives to push ourselves beyond just survival. By competing to land on Mars first we spend more resources than we normally would as we care about winning as it becomes a national pride concern and not a personal pride concern. If Sputnik wasn't launched who knows if we would have landed on the moon in 1969. However since the idea of space exploration cooperation became the norm we really haven't been giving two shiats in improving our space technology. Do you know how much technology came out of the Apollo program? Imagine how much technology will come out of putting significant resources in getting living people to Mars.

Whoops, that was a mistake. Fixt for specificity.

I imagine there would be multiple benefits. I also imagine there would be multiple benefits received by spending the money elsewhere.

Why is this investment going to offer a more tangible positive return than something else?


Check this out. He does a better job at explaining it than I do.
 
2014-01-05 09:18:51 AM
Like Iraq, space exploration will go better (and cheaper) if we come up with some good reason to do it first. "Because it will be cool" is a shiatty reason.
 
2014-01-05 09:53:54 AM

edmo: Like Iraq, space exploration will go better (and cheaper) if we come up with some good reason to do it first. "Because it will be cool" is a shiatty reason.


Why did we start the Apollo program? Hint: it wasn't for all the technology we might have gotten out of it.
 
2014-01-05 09:54:47 AM
img685.imageshack.us

Mars, biatches

.
 
2014-01-05 10:00:34 AM

stratagos: Burn the witch! What, "because it's cool!" isn't a good reason to spend $3 Billion a year?

So what is we get much better bang for the buck with unmanned probes!

/likes science, like space operas, knows the differences between the two with today's technology
//*let* the freaking Chinese be the first to Mars? Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?


So, QA has an alt?
 
2014-01-05 10:02:33 AM

stratagos: cman: cman: stratagos:
//*let* the freaking Chinese be the first to Mars? Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?

Its very simple, really. Its about motivation. Its about providing the incentives to push ourselves beyond just survival. By competing to land on Mars first we spend more resources than we normally would as we care about winning as it becomes a national pride concern and not a personal pride concern. If Sputnik wasn't launched who knows if we would have landed on the moon in 1969. However since the idea of space exploration cooperation became the norm we really haven't been giving two shiats in improving our space technology. Do you know how much technology came out of the Apollo program? Imagine how much technology will come out of putting significant resources in getting living people to Mars.

Whoops, that was a mistake. Fixt for specificity.

I imagine there would be multiple benefits. I also imagine there would be multiple benefits received by spending the money elsewhere.

Why is this investment going to offer a more tangible positive return than something else?


Because Mars, biatches!

fark it, I want Zepplins on Venus sowing terraforming bacteria.
 
2014-01-05 10:07:37 AM

cman: stratagos:
//*let* the freaking Chinese be the first to Mars? Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?

Its very simple, really. Its about motivation. Its about providing the incentives to push ourselves beyond just survival. By competing to land on Mars first we spend more resources than we normally would as we care about winning as it becomes a national pride concern and not a personal pride concern. If Sputnik wasn't launched who knows if we would have landed on the moon in 1969. However since the idea of scientific cooperation became the norm we really haven't been giving two shiats in improving our space technology. Do you know how much technology came out of the Apollo program? Imagine how much technology will come out of putting significant resources in getting living people to Mars.


I agree, the technology that we would need to pull off a successful Mars trip would benefit humanity. I mean, you have to live on Mars for two years with a finite amount of supplies as you wait for your return trip. The more sustainable the mission the less expensive. That could have tons of applications on earth.

That being said, I don't believe SLS is the way to do it. The problem with SLS is the same problem that we had with Shuttle and ISS. Its pork, centered around the idea if we build it we will find a use for it. Meanwhile you have innovation happening thanks to the government/commercial partnership. Space X comes to mind, because unlike SLS they are pushing the boundaries of technology for a very real goal in mind. Mars.

Everything Space X has done is centered around Elon Musk's fixation with getting to Mars and making us a sustainable space faring species.  So, no, going to Mars I have no problem with. I do have a problem with projects like SLS where the goal is to build the rocket or whatever first, then find a use for it MAYBE. We need a sustainable path forward if we're going to go into space as a species. SLS isn't it.

Lastly, I would say that going to Mars isn't worth it if we're going to cut planetary science to fund it. Granted, I think we as a nation can afford both. I think we should do both, but the loss of Cassini prematurely due to budget cuts, and the delay of an Europa mission is not worth continuing SLS if we're not going to increase NASA's budget.
 
2014-01-05 10:08:58 AM

edmo: Like Iraq, space exploration will go better (and cheaper) if we come up with some good reason to do it first. "Because it will be cool" is a shiatty reason.


"Because it will be cool" is the only reason that anything truly great has ever been done.

This is because wanting to do something Awesome is what drives people to extend themselves, because the desire to do it comes from within.  When you are doing something because you're told to do it because the committee said this is what we have to do, you get crap built to committee-think reasons.
 
2014-01-05 10:12:32 AM
bbfreak:
I agree, the technology that we would need to pull off a successful Mars trip would benefit humanity. I mean, you have to live on Mars for two years with a finite amount of supplies as you wait for your return trip. The more sustainable the mission the less expensive. That could have tons of applications on earth.

That being said, I don't believe SLS is the way to do it. The problem with SLS is the same problem that we had with Shuttle and ISS. Its pork, centered around the idea if we build it we will find a use for it. Meanwhile you have innovation happening thanks to the government/commercial partnership. Space X comes to mind, because unlike SLS they are pushing the boundaries of technology for a very real goal in mind. Mars.

Everything Space X has done is centered around Elon Musk's fixation with getting to Mars and making us a sustainable space faring species.  So, no, going to Mars I have no problem with. I do have a problem with projects like SLS where the goal is to build the rocket or whatever first, then find a use for it MAYBE. We need a sustainable path forward if we're going to go into space as a species. SLS isn't it.


Exactly.  A tool designed without a purpose will be good at nothing.  Define the goal, then monomanaically work toward that goal.  That is when the magic happens.
 
2014-01-05 10:12:48 AM
We got a shiatty solar system. No jungles or dinos on Venus, no canals on Mars, and the Moon is made of useless junk. There's no economic reason to go beyond low earth orbit. :(

Seriously. If there were refine bricks of gold in orbit, it would cost more to launch than we could bring back.

Also physics is working against us... Antigravity and FTL are impossible without some sort of loophole that we should have found by now. :(

And this makes me sad.
 
2014-01-05 10:14:31 AM

bbfreak: cman: stratagos:
//*let* the freaking Chinese be the first to Mars? Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?

Its very simple, really. Its about motivation. Its about providing the incentives to push ourselves beyond just survival. By competing to land on Mars first we spend more resources than we normally would as we care about winning as it becomes a national pride concern and not a personal pride concern. If Sputnik wasn't launched who knows if we would have landed on the moon in 1969. However since the idea of scientific cooperation became the norm we really haven't been giving two shiats in improving our space technology. Do you know how much technology came out of the Apollo program? Imagine how much technology will come out of putting significant resources in getting living people to Mars.

I agree, the technology that we would need to pull off a successful Mars trip would benefit humanity. I mean, you have to live on Mars for two years with a finite amount of supplies as you wait for your return trip. The more sustainable the mission the less expensive. That could have tons of applications on earth.

That being said, I don't believe SLS is the way to do it. The problem with SLS is the same problem that we had with Shuttle and ISS. Its pork, centered around the idea if we build it we will find a use for it. Meanwhile you have innovation happening thanks to the government/commercial partnership. Space X comes to mind, because unlike SLS they are pushing the boundaries of technology for a very real goal in mind. Mars.

Everything Space X has done is centered around Elon Musk's fixation with getting to Mars and making us a sustainable space faring species.  So, no, going to Mars I have no problem with. I do have a problem with projects like SLS where the goal is to build the rocket or whatever first, then find a use for it MAYBE. We need a sustainable path forward if we're going to go into space as a species. SLS isn't it.

Lastly ...


What I don't get is most of the contractors who would do the work are the same ones doing military work now.  Assume a small shift from military to space spending.  Why would they their shareholders really care if they are getting money to blow up people who don't look and think like us thereby pissing off more parts of our finite planet, or exploring space which might, I dunno, make some people proud and happy and be beneficial to people.
 
2014-01-05 10:14:47 AM
We don't actually need a big rocket to go to Mars. You would want to assemble an interplanetary vehicle in space, because it's probably going to be much bigger than a single launch even from the SLS. Nobody has yet cracked the psychological issue of sending people on a two-year round trip (assuming they stay on Mars for several months); all we think we know now is that doing it with a very small crew may result in psychosis and strife. You'd probably need at least a dozen people on the mission to keep everyone on an even keel, maybe more. Then there are the health issues related to very long-term weightlessness, so you're going to want enough room to put in some kind of gravity-simulating centrifuge. Basically, what you want if you're going that far is this (HAL 9000 optional):

robertsnow.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-01-05 10:15:26 AM

edmo: Like Iraq, space exploration will go better (and cheaper) if we come up with some good reason to do it first. "Because it will be cool" is a shiatty reason.


The problem with space exploration is that most of it is too long term to interest people. We could benefit greatly from experimental labs on other planets or in zero gravity, mining other planets and asteroids, or even just to set up a warning system for an asteroid that could decimate our planet. But none of those things solve an immediate problem we're faced with and would take a lot of time and resources to do so they're politically unviable.
 
2014-01-05 10:19:08 AM
Without SLS, what opportunity will ATK have to kill more astronauts? Sure, SpaceX will build a rocket to get you to Mars, but SLS will get you more 'splosions!
 
2014-01-05 10:23:46 AM

bbfreak: Everything Space X has done is centered around Elon Musk's fixation with getting to Mars and making us a sustainable space faring species.


First man in space: Russian.  First man on the moon: American.  First man on Mars: a corporate employee.
 
2014-01-05 10:24:08 AM

Goodluckfox: We got a shiatty solar system. No jungles or dinos on Venus, no canals on Mars, and the Moon is made of useless junk. There's no economic reason to go beyond low earth orbit. :(

Seriously. If there were refine bricks of gold in orbit, it would cost more to launch than we could bring back.


Well, if you look at it from that perspective.
 

On the other hand, if you built on and staged out of Mars, with its lower escape velocity and its lack of being covered with population so you can DO things like Orion drive that are just not feasible on Earth.

Now, I know there's a lot of iron on Mars, but I don't know about the other elements.  The key takeaway is that space is expensive mainly because Earth has a lot of gravity and people on it.  If we're not launching from Earth, those problems go down a bunch.

But first we have to see if we can actually try it, so we're in the current stage of sending probes and thinking about how to do a manned mission.
 
2014-01-05 10:29:08 AM

stratagos: Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?


Economic downstream effects, mainly.  China has our jobs AND they're on pace to not need ours in a generation.

GoldSpider: Why did we start the Apollo program? Hint: it wasn't for all the technology we might have gotten out of it.


Of course.  What's more disturbing is that we didn't learn anything from the success.  The U.S. science agenda makes about as much sense as a ten-time Super Bowl Champion dynasty obliterating all competition and making the most profits of any team in NFL history completely dismantling not only the team but the infrastructure to afford both season ticket discounts and management bonuses, then when the team implodes, the excuse is "we can't afford it".
 
2014-01-05 10:33:29 AM

stratagos: Burn the witch! What, "because it's cool!" isn't a good reason to spend $3 Billion a year?


Yeah, but going to Europa is cooler. Waaaay cooler.

And more doable. We're just not ready for a manned trip to Mars yet. We need a stable base with its own resources (e.g the moon or an asteroid) before anything like that is remotely practical.

And there is not as much to be gained. Humans on Mars would be slightly better than having a rover, yes. But a probe of Europa is infinitely better than no probe. And it could be a game-changer.
 
2014-01-05 10:33:53 AM
Get your arse to Mars!

Just watch out for these guys....

i.imgur.com
 
2014-01-05 10:34:15 AM
She needs to keep her mouth shut. I want to go to mars for the three boob women. If Europa doesn't offer those then I'm not interested.
 
2014-01-05 10:36:11 AM

InfrasonicTom: What I don't get is most of the contractors who would do the work are the same ones doing military work now. Assume a small shift from military to space spending. Why would they their shareholders really care if they are getting money to blow up people who don't look and think like us thereby pissing off more parts of our finite planet, or exploring space which might, I dunno, make some people proud and happy and be beneficial to people.


Americans love bombing brown people. Can't get enough of it. Space? Well there's some pretty pictures to make I guess.
 
2014-01-05 10:38:41 AM

MaxSupernova: She needs to keep her mouth shut. I want to go to mars for the three boob women. If Europa doesn't offer those then I'm not interested.


psst...all the really kinky stuff happens on Europa. Or was that Uranus and Europa was the lesbian convention? I can't remember. Just stay away from Pluto. It's frigid and has size issues.
 
2014-01-05 10:42:16 AM
What needs to be done is to figure out a way to de-politicize NASA. I like the idea of SLS, something that can lift big things into orbit is always nice to have in your back pocket, but the way it was done begs for a change. Yes, you can do all those things with Falcon, but being able to toss that much payload in one throw may have advantages when we do settle on a target.

What I'd like to see it the construction of several reusable ships that remain on-orbit full time and can be reconfigured to perform missions as they come up, rather than a system designed for just one mission. Alternately, another orbital platform, dedicated to studying and developing the skills and technologies for working with the materials that are present in space (asteroids, comets, space junk), might be a worthwhile aim for the agency. After all, it's responsible for a lot of that crap whirling around the globe, why not gain some science and hands-on experience in getting rid of it, while creating a source of raw materials that have already been launched to build new things?

Need half a ton of titanium for a probe to the Oort Cloud? It's already there, just needs to be crafted into a new form. No need for 'clean rooms' in a near-vacuum, and no need for a booster system and years of testing to make sure it doesn't shake the probe apart on launch. You want a clear and tangible goal for NASA, cleaning up the mess from 50+ years of launches would be a nice start, and would create a cadre of people who know how to deal with that environment in a new way.

And get off the 'it costs too much to send it back' argument. No one needs it sent back, except for research purposes. Most all of what could be produced would be used right there, with no launch costs aside from what was needed to get the hardware up there in the first place. The asteroid mining people have no plans to do much at first beyond making stuff that's needed like air, water, and fuel. Once they get that down, then comes the iron, steel, and other metals, and the mega-engineering that will be possible in microgravity. That's when the fun really begins.
 
2014-01-05 10:45:19 AM

dragonchild: stratagos: Exactly how much do you care about the nationality of space exploration?

Economic downstream effects, mainly.  China has our jobs AND they're on pace to not need ours in a generation.

GoldSpider: Why did we start the Apollo program? Hint: it wasn't for all the technology we might have gotten out of it.

Of course.  What's more disturbing is that we didn't learn anything from the success.  The U.S. science agenda makes about as much sense as a ten-time Super Bowl Champion dynasty obliterating all competition and making the most profits of any team in NFL history completely dismantling not only the team but the infrastructure to afford both season ticket discounts and management bonuses, then when the team implodes, the excuse is "we can't afford it".


^This. An early indicator of this was our failure to invest in a large super collider. Thus the Europeans have the LHC, and even an upgrade to LHC in mind. Meanwhile the Americans, notta. An even larger one is proposed, but its unclear whether the United States will even be involved.

Why are colliders important? Oh, I don't know, because understanding physics is pretty important to modern civilization. Especially quantum physics. No understand of Quantum physics, no cell phones, no satellites, no spaceships, no Fark.
 
2014-01-05 10:48:06 AM

SomeAmerican: bbfreak: Everything Space X has done is centered around Elon Musk's fixation with getting to Mars and making us a sustainable space faring species.

First man in space: Russian.  First man on the moon: American.  First man on Mars: a corporate employee.


imokwiththis.jpg

Apollo was an amazing achievement- a triumph for the entire species.  It was also abandoned by the government the instant it no longer was necessary to win the propaganda battle.  Since then NASA has never managed to build anything decent to follow on- the unmanned probes are mostly JPL and outside contractors, the Shuttle was a mismanaged boondoogle and the ISS is cool but not worth the incredible cost.  The military has outsourced their launch to a quasi-monopoly (ULA) that's decided it no longer needs to bother with price controls, so all commercial launch has fled to Europe and Russia.  The SLS is beyond boondoggle at this point- required to use specific technology and specific companies to please powerful senators.

Blow it all up.  Turn launch services over to private companies and let them compete from a clean slate for both commercial and government launches.  Let some small group of NASA/JPL folks manage unmanned probes/telescopes/etc without interference from manned missions.  If Musk wants to land on Mars let him- he can manage it better than any senator since he can actually budget more than a year out.
 
2014-01-05 10:49:13 AM
I am not familiar with "Chron" but the fact they only included an extremely truncated snip of the interview and that it's attempting to pull the whole "SCIENCE EXPENSIVE!! SCIENCE BAD!! NO MONIEZ FOR SCIENCE!!1 " that it's just more right wing bullsh*t.

They did kind of slag congress though but that could go either way.
 
2014-01-05 10:50:24 AM
NASA needs to develop a shuttle-like system for regular lunar trips.

Orbiting stations around earth and the moon would allow a larger, non-landing ship to make regular runs.   Capsule transport to and from earth, with more advanced reusable landers for reaching the lunar surface, would be used for the other legs of each journey.   Long term bases at different locations on the moon would allow for real exploration, including testing for precious metals and establishing a radio observatory on the far side, free from atmospheric and spectrum interference from earth.

Yes, continue sending probes to the outer planets, but a real, sustainable lunar colony could be accomplished for less cost and risk than a showy, multi year mission that would end with people walking on mars for a couple of days.
 
2014-01-05 10:53:30 AM

here to help: I am not familiar with "Chron" but the fact they only included an extremely truncated snip of the interview and that it's attempting to pull the whole "SCIENCE EXPENSIVE!! SCIENCE BAD!! NO MONIEZ FOR SCIENCE!!1 " that it's just more right wing bullsh*t.

They did kind of slag congress though but that could go either way.


To be fair thats not what anyone said.

They said we are wasting money on stuff that isn't coming to fruition. They said nothing about taking the money away from science, nor did they say that science was any way bad.
 
2014-01-05 10:55:07 AM
It is not just about the money, which is substantial, but it is also about dick measuring.  Ever wonder why the rockets are so phallic?  There is nothing out there that will gain us ANYTHING... All risk and no gain.  All we NEED to know about space is known (it is dark and dangerous).  The next frontier should be one of ethics and social intelligence on Planet Earth.  Leave space for the aliens that do not exist.  let China win for once...or best Korea...whatever...
 
2014-01-05 10:55:43 AM

redlegrick: You want a clear and tangible goal for NASA, cleaning up the mess from 50+ years of launches would be a nice start,


Right. fark exploration let's turn NASA into garbage men. Spending billions to collect pea size garbage that will eventually burn up in the atmosphere is a great idea.


There is already so much dumb in this thread I don't think there is any bringing it back.
 
2014-01-05 10:56:31 AM

Great_Milenko: people walking on mars for a couple of days.

YEARS.

They'll be staying there until a second ship comes to pick them up. A lot can be learned in two years and they'll be setting up a permanent base that can be reused which then ends up turning into a launch point for even more far flung missions.

Besides... there really isn't much on the moon to study. Mars could help us better understand how/why Mars' atmosphere got stripped away and avoid a similar event on earth. We may even figure out how to terraform it so we have a whole new world to destroy. There is certainly enough water up there to sustain a civilization.
 
2014-01-05 10:59:34 AM

cman: To be fair thats not what anyone said.

They said we are wasting money on stuff that isn't coming to fruition. They said nothing about taking the money away from science, nor did they say that science was any way bad.


The implication is there. After years of "studying out" the MO of the right wing and how they employ the Chinese water torture approach to getting their way this article reeks of it.

It's also why we have a moderate republican in the white house disguised as the libbiest lib that ever did lib.
 
2014-01-05 11:00:27 AM
Instead of government programs, just offer prizes for the first American organization to accomplish the task. Build a moonbase, go to Mars, etc. Like a DARPA challenge. Coalitions of corporations, universities, and nonprofits will form and they will find revenue streams to help fund themselves. The Prize is in part the prestige of having it.
 
2014-01-05 11:00:49 AM
NASA's budget is flat this year, and goes down next year and the year after. This is about politicians doing to NASA what they did to the DoD: turning it into a conduit of dollars to their corporate benefactors.  NASA's planetary budget was gutted.  Once Cassini and New Horizons are done, there are ZERO new space probes planned.  There's a very realistic fear that Cassini will get end-of-missioned prior to 2017, which will mean the loss of at least three more passes on Titan and a loss of opportunity to collect data from the probe when they finally do crash it into Saturn.  The Europa probe that was being planned has been put on indefinite hold.  It's all Mars, all of the time.  And we dont' know that we can even survive the two year trip to get there without dying from radiation poisoning. And the politicians doing this don't give a damn about the details, all they care about is the money.
 
2014-01-05 11:04:15 AM
Congress dictated that NASA build a really big, thrusting, powerful, phallic thing to send into a dark void?

Definite proof you congressman is straight.
 
2014-01-05 11:04:56 AM

Great_Milenko: Yes, continue sending probes to the outer planets, but a real, sustainable lunar colony could be accomplished for less cost and risk than a showy, multi year mission that would end with people walking on mars for a couple of days.


It would be for more than a couple of days, they'd have to wait two years for the orbits of the two planets to be close again. That's why you have a two year window to get to Mars. As otherwise you wont have enough energy from any rocket to get to Mars, or in this case back get back to earth.

Also, as far your claim that a lunar colony would be cheaper, I find that claim suspect. One reason is that the moon surface has very extreme changes compared to Mars, which actually has an atmosphere. So, while Mars is still an extreme environment it varies less than what you would experience on the moon. Another reason is that Mars has a mine able source of water, all the research for the moon hasn't indicated thus far that there is enough water to sustain a manned mission. Just that the moon is more wet than we thought.

Engineering wise, Mars is a better bet. Well, assuming you can get there.
 
2014-01-05 11:07:02 AM

crab66: redlegrick: You want a clear and tangible goal for NASA, cleaning up the mess from 50+ years of launches would be a nice start,

Right. fark exploration let's turn NASA into garbage men. Spending billions to collect pea size garbage that will eventually burn up in the atmosphere is a great idea.


There is already so much dumb in this thread I don't think there is any bringing it back.


No, not saying that at all. Let NASA learn how to do it, then turn it over to private industry to actually do the job. The agency's stated mission is to learn how to operate in air and space, and that counts as an operation. Yeah, it'll all eventually burn up, but not before it makes it nearly impossible to put sats up so you can watch TV uninterrupted. It also will give them a chance to do materials science on what happens to things exposed long-term to the environment (yes, I know they do that on ISS, but the more info the better). Like it or not, the US is king of on-orbit rendezvous, let's show them how it's done. I'm not saying try to pick up every paint fleck (impossible), but the bigger hardware zipping around, before that get's whacked and makes more tiny bits flying at high speed.
 
2014-01-05 11:10:43 AM

here to help: cman: To be fair thats not what anyone said.

They said we are wasting money on stuff that isn't coming to fruition. They said nothing about taking the money away from science, nor did they say that science was any way bad.

The implication is there. After years of "studying out" the MO of the right wing and how they employ the Chinese water torture approach to getting their way this article reeks of it.

It's also why we have a moderate republican in the white house disguised as the libbiest lib that ever did lib.


Right wing loves NASA. I don't know why people think that the right does not, but the right does. NASA is one of the very few agencies that isn't targeted by the right. They target the EPA, the Department of Education, HUD, etc, etc, but never NASA. I don't know of any right-winged politician who has been elected with the message of dismantle NASA. Obamacare, yes. NASA? Hell no.

Remember when Gingrich talked about building moon bases? He really wants something like that. To think that the Right doesn't like to spend money on big machines that make a lot of noise goes against basic logic.
 
2014-01-05 11:12:46 AM
Where is it going to go?

North Korea.
 
2014-01-05 11:13:36 AM
NASA and Congress are so fickle in their planning that it's no wonder things are in disarray.  Ms. Garver talks like Orion is a thing of the past ("it had to do with the Orion spacecraft" - past tense); but if it is, then why did I complete a software delivery for it a few weeks ago?  It's due for a test launch soon, it's certainly not cancelled.  NASA had a plan (orbit to Moon to Mars)  and was approved to build the system to do it (Constellation); but Obama replaced the head of NASA, then cancelled it, then Congress re-funded part of it, then NASA wanted to out-source part of it...it's a mess.  NASA needs to come up with a plan, and Congress needs to approve it (or don't, whichever) and then leave it alone.  Mucking with budgets every year and every new administration for a program that takes a long time to complete results in chaotic crap like this.
 
2014-01-05 11:19:01 AM

cman: Right wing loves NASA. I don't know why people think that the right does not, but the right does. NASA is one of the very few agencies that isn't targeted by the right. They target the EPA, the Department of Education, HUD, etc, etc, but never NASA. I don't know of any right-winged politician who has been elected with the message of dismantle NASA. Obamacare, yes. NASA? Hell no.

Remember when Gingrich talked about building moon bases? He really wants something like that. To think that the Right doesn't like to spend money on big machines that make a lot of noise goes against basic logic.



Methinks you are confusing the military with NASA.
 
2014-01-05 11:23:22 AM
She didn't say we shouldn't spend copious amounts of money at NASA, she said we shouldn't spend it on old technology. It may be a technical difference, but it is a significant one.

Rockets are so yesterday ... where is the ion pulse space plane I was promised?
 
2014-01-05 11:24:35 AM

here to help: cman: Right wing loves NASA. I don't know why people think that the right does not, but the right does. NASA is one of the very few agencies that isn't targeted by the right. They target the EPA, the Department of Education, HUD, etc, etc, but never NASA. I don't know of any right-winged politician who has been elected with the message of dismantle NASA. Obamacare, yes. NASA? Hell no.

Remember when Gingrich talked about building moon bases? He really wants something like that. To think that the Right doesn't like to spend money on big machines that make a lot of noise goes against basic logic.


Methinks you are confusing the military with NASA.


No, Im not

I hate to pull the Neil Degrasse Tyson card since I do it a lot, but I am afraid I must do so. You are letting your preconceptions blind you into thinking something that just isn't true. Those on the right who go apeshiat on science have one thing in common: they all attack evolution. No one attacks space travel or calls it a waste of money. I know its cool to be hyperpartisan and all, but please, try to be a bit more open minded.
 
2014-01-05 11:27:56 AM

cman: You are letting your preconceptions blind you into thinking something that just isn't true.


WELCOME TO FRAK.jpg
 
2014-01-05 11:29:20 AM

prgrmr: NASA's budget is flat this year, and goes down next year and the year after. This is about politicians doing to NASA what they did to the DoD: turning it into a conduit of dollars to their corporate benefactors.  NASA's planetary budget was gutted.  Once Cassini and New Horizons are done, there are ZERO new space probes planned.  There's a very realistic fear that Cassini will get end-of-missioned prior to 2017, which will mean the loss of at least three more passes on Titan and a loss of opportunity to collect data from the probe when they finally do crash it into Saturn.  The Europa probe that was being planned has been put on indefinite hold.  It's all Mars, all of the time.  And we dont' know that we can even survive the two year trip to get there without dying from radiation poisoning. And the politicians doing this don't give a damn about the details, all they care about is the money.


Oh yeah, another of NASA's problems: the Planetary Science and Manned Space sides of the house don't like each other very much. (Kinda like two kids having a fight over which one Mommy likes better)
 
2014-01-05 11:30:33 AM

cman: here to help: cman: To be fair thats not what anyone said.

They said we are wasting money on stuff that isn't coming to fruition. They said nothing about taking the money away from science, nor did they say that science was any way bad.

The implication is there. After years of "studying out" the MO of the right wing and how they employ the Chinese water torture approach to getting their way this article reeks of it.

It's also why we have a moderate republican in the white house disguised as the libbiest lib that ever did lib.

Right wing loves NASA. I don't know why people think that the right does not, but the right does. NASA is one of the very few agencies that isn't targeted by the right. They target the EPA, the Department of Education, HUD, etc, etc, but never NASA. I don't know of any right-winged politician who has been elected with the message of dismantle NASA. Obamacare, yes. NASA? Hell no.

Remember when Gingrich talked about building moon bases? He really wants something like that. To think that the Right doesn't like to spend money on big machines that make a lot of noise goes against basic logic.


Except that the right wing has spread the lie that Obama has turned NASA into Muslim outreach.
Except last year the House: IE Republicans proposed the lowest budget for NASA since 1986.
Except, they completely shutdown NASA and almost delayed MAVEN for two years because they wanted to biatch and moan about Obamacare and try to get their way by shutting down the government.
Expect, the budget reality for NASA exists because of the Republicans. Who have wanted spending cuts since Obama entered office. NASA has very much payed the price for their austerity agenda.
Except, Republicans in general don't trust science. Something we saw recently with belief in evolution actually declining with Republicans. Oh, and of course they don't believe in climate change either.

Otherwise, you're completely right!
 
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