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(Texas Monthly)   Do you want to go to Mars or not? No? Fine, I'll build my own damn rocket engine. With variable specific impulse. And magnets. And plasma. In fact, forget Mars. We're going to the stars   ( texasmonthly.com) divider line
    More: Cool, International Space Station, Franklin, Ad Astra, space, Franklin Chang Díaz, Space Flight Center, Marshall Space Flight, Johnson Space Center  
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3930 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Feb 2018 at 1:41 PM (23 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-04 10:51:23 AM  
111,000mph might sound like a lot subby, but it's a crawl when talking about interstellar travel. Yes, the cumulative thrust effects over a prolonged time in space, but no matter how great the accumulation, it would be a small fraction of C

But for travel and exploration of the local system? This will be a huge achievement
 
2018-02-04 11:13:31 AM  

rcain: 111,000mph might sound like a lot subby, but it's a crawl when talking about interstellar travel. Yes, the cumulative thrust effects over a prolonged time in space, but no matter how great the accumulation, it would be a small fraction of C

But for travel and exploration of the local system? This will be a huge achievement


Gotta have a canoe before a jet plane.
 
2018-02-04 11:27:49 AM  

Darth_Lukecash: rcain: 111,000mph might sound like a lot subby, but it's a crawl when talking about interstellar travel. Yes, the cumulative thrust effects over a prolonged time in space, but no matter how great the accumulation, it would be a small fraction of C

But for travel and exploration of the local system? This will be a huge achievement

Gotta have a canoe before a jet plane.


i.pinimg.comView Full Size
 
2018-02-04 11:41:06 AM  
The stars?  I'm just looking to get to Uranus.
 
2018-02-04 01:40:20 PM  
Max Faget...


That is all.
 
2018-02-04 01:49:13 PM  
FTA:  President Kennedy said we'd go to the moon, so we poured money and manpower into a rocket, and Neil Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind.

Why does Armstrong always get all the love like he was out there on his own?
What about Buzz Aldrin?  Or...  that other guy with them?
 
2018-02-04 02:10:35 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: rcain: 111,000mph might sound like a lot subby, but it's a crawl when talking about interstellar travel. Yes, the cumulative thrust effects over a prolonged time in space, but no matter how great the accumulation, it would be a small fraction of C

But for travel and exploration of the local system? This will be a huge achievement

Gotta have a canoe before a jet plane.


and gotta have the tax payer pay for it so private companies can profit.
 
2018-02-04 02:11:58 PM  

Mael99: FTA:  President Kennedy said we'd go to the moon, so we poured money and manpower into a rocket, and Neil Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind.

Why does Armstrong always get all the love like he was out there on his own?
What about Buzz Aldrin?  Or...  that other guy with them?


never mind all the tax money that paid for it all.
 
2018-02-04 02:16:22 PM  
What about gambling and hookers?
 
2018-02-04 02:16:50 PM  
Mael99:Or...  that other guy with them?

How soon we forget.  He got his own movie starring Liam Neeson, fer chrissakes.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117039/?​r​ef_=nv_sr_2
 
2018-02-04 02:18:42 PM  
Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.
 
2018-02-04 02:23:11 PM  
FTA: "except that you're strapping it to a rocket, flying it through the atmosphere, and getting it into space, which could make some people who don't understand the technology nervous."

So what? Are people who don't understand the technology holding the purse str... oh...
 
2018-02-04 02:23:28 PM  
The reason it is not feasable is the amount of energy needed to produce such miniscule thrust.
 
2018-02-04 02:27:04 PM  

wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.


I'm with you. Mars is pointless. We need to be thinking about asteroids in near Earth orbit and learn how to manufacture and build in low and no g environments. If we don't do that the rest of it is pointless. Go back to moon. Put the beginnings of  shiat there. Start farking about with asteroids.

Why spend all your farking time, money and effort setting up a habitat on a place that has nothing we want or need? It's basically mt everest - hell of an achievement to climb it. But no one wants to live there and there's nothing to bring back
 
2018-02-04 02:30:55 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-04 02:34:28 PM  
From TFA:

...engineering pioneer Max Faget

Snert. Good article ruined for me by my Beavis-like level of maturity.
 
2018-02-04 02:37:33 PM  

JohnBigBootay: wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.

I'm with you. Mars is pointless. We need to be thinking about asteroids in near Earth orbit and learn how to manufacture and build in low and no g environments. If we don't do that the rest of it is pointless. Go back to moon. Put the beginnings of  shiat there. Start farking about with asteroids.

Why spend all your farking time, money and effort setting up a habitat on a place that has nothing we want or need? It's basically mt everest - hell of an achievement to climb it. But no one wants to live there and there's nothing to bring back


It has some gravity and it turns out humans may need more than zero gravity to live. I'm not opposed to mining asteroids, or the moon, or anywhere else. If we want settlements, we'll need gravity.
 
2018-02-04 02:37:54 PM  

wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars?


You're not my mom.
 
2018-02-04 02:41:58 PM  

Linux_Yes: Darth_Lukecash: rcain: 111,000mph might sound like a lot subby, but it's a crawl when talking about interstellar travel. Yes, the cumulative thrust effects over a prolonged time in space, but no matter how great the accumulation, it would be a small fraction of C

But for travel and exploration of the local system? This will be a huge achievement

Gotta have a canoe before a jet plane.

and gotta have the tax payer pay for it so private companies can profit.


Keep in mind, Columbus expedition was state funded.
 
2018-02-04 02:49:32 PM  

wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars?...Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.


img.fark.netView Full Size


What a Martian ore might look like.
 
2018-02-04 03:09:30 PM  

JohnBigBootay: wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.

I'm with you. Mars is pointless. We need to be thinking about asteroids in near Earth orbit and learn how to manufacture and build in low and no g environments. If we don't do that the rest of it is pointless. Go back to moon. Put the beginnings of  shiat there. Start farking about with asteroids.

Why spend all your farking time, money and effort setting up a habitat on a place that has nothing we want or need? It's basically mt everest - hell of an achievement to climb it. But no one wants to live there and there's nothing to bring back


Because humans are goal oriented beasts.  We need tangible milestones to understand and have purpose.

Now, if our country was run entirely by research scientists capable of long term strategic thinking, we could kinda skip a few steps and just go straight to "there is a lot of really valuable stuff just floating around out there so let's design a project that goes and gets it."  And even though such a project might take 50 years or so, nobody would mind because again, long term planning people are in charge.

But in our real world where normal people are in charge, we need obvious, tangible goals for them to latch on to. And these goals have to be things that they'll be sure to witness in no more than 5-10 years.  So the smart people, who already know Mars isn't going to be particularly valuable as a final destination, but who also know that all the tech they develop that make the Mars mission doable will be pretty darn useful when we start heading out for longer term space projects that are valuable start selling the normal people on Mars.

Because we can get to Mars within 5-10 years.  Because even the most knuckle-dragging, Bible-clutching, never-travelled-more-than-20-miles-fro​m-where-they-were-born, red-blooded Murican will be just as jumpyforjoy as the most pin-headed, spent-their-entire-childhood-getting-s​wirlies, pocket protector wearing nerd when we land people on Mars.

So that's why we're going to Mars and not asteroid mining.
 
2018-02-04 03:10:23 PM  

JohnBigBootay: wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.

I'm with you. Mars is pointless. We need to be thinking about asteroids in near Earth orbit and learn how to manufacture and build in low and no g environments. If we don't do that the rest of it is pointless. Go back to moon. Put the beginnings of  shiat there. Start farking about with asteroids.

Why spend all your farking time, money and effort setting up a habitat on a place that has nothing we want or need? It's basically mt everest - hell of an achievement to climb it. But no one wants to live there and there's nothing to bring back


We get a lot more out of space exploration than resources on <insert target location>.  A lot of stuff we use on a daily basis is the direct result of space program R&D and lessons learned from the actual space missions.
 
2018-02-04 03:17:15 PM  

englaja: From TFA:

...engineering pioneer Max Faget

Snert. Good article ruined for me by my Beavis-like level of maturity.


I can't stop laughing at this.
 
2018-02-04 03:29:07 PM  

RealXavori: Because even the most knuckle-dragging, Bible-clutching, never-travelled-more-than-20-miles-fro​m-where-they-were-born, red-blooded Murican will be just as jumpyforjoy as the most pin-headed, spent-their-entire-childhood-getting-s​wirlies, pocket protector wearing nerd when we land people on Mars.


But.

Why?

There is no reason to send humans to mars.  NONE.  Why bother?  The old "we did it just to DO it" phase should be over.  There is absolutely, 100 percent NO reason to land a human being on mars.

Star Trek is fiction.  Here is the sobering fact - humans ain't going nowhere.  We aren't going to colonize space.  Without some magic breakthru, any planet that MIGHT be worth visiting is literally millions of years away.  We already have the tech to send robots and drones anywhere we might want to see, and even that takes forever.
 
2018-02-04 03:41:35 PM  

frepnog: RealXavori: Because even the most knuckle-dragging, Bible-clutching, never-travelled-more-than-20-miles-fro​m-where-they-were-born, red-blooded Murican will be just as jumpyforjoy as the most pin-headed, spent-their-entire-childhood-getting-s​wirlies, pocket protector wearing nerd when we land people on Mars.

But.

Why?

There is no reason to send humans to mars.  NONE.  Why bother?  The old "we did it just to DO it" phase should be over.  There is absolutely, 100 percent NO reason to land a human being on mars.

Star Trek is fiction.  Here is the sobering fact - humans ain't going nowhere.  We aren't going to colonize space.  Without some magic breakthru, any planet that MIGHT be worth visiting is literally millions of years away.  We already have the tech to send robots and drones anywhere we might want to see, and even that takes forever.


Fortunately for the rest of the human race, nihilist (though like many nihilists in denial I'm sure you'll just claim you're a 'realist') assclowns like you get ignored while the scientists and pioneers among us do shiat because we want to learn, explore, progress, and sometimes just because we can. "I personally don't think it's possible, therefore no one should bother trying" is the rallying cry of the small minded.

Will we see manned interstellar travel and space colonies in our lifetimes?  Likely not.  But rest assured that your attitude will be relegated to the same dustbin of history wherein resides these quotes:

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will." - Albert Einstein, 1932

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." - Western Union internal memo, 1876

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax." - Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883

"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty-a fad." - The president of the Michigan Savings Bank, 1903

"No one will pay good money to get from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour when he can ride his horse there in one day for free." - King William I of Prussia, on trains, 1864

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one." - -W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954

"I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea." - HG Wells, 1901

"A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth's atmosphere." - New York Times, 1936
 
2018-02-04 03:57:12 PM  

Darth_Lukecash: Linux_Yes: Darth_Lukecash: rcain: 111,000mph might sound like a lot subby, but it's a crawl when talking about interstellar travel. Yes, the cumulative thrust effects over a prolonged time in space, but no matter how great the accumulation, it would be a small fraction of C

But for travel and exploration of the local system? This will be a huge achievement

Gotta have a canoe before a jet plane.

and gotta have the tax payer pay for it so private companies can profit.

Keep in mind, Columbus expedition was state funded.


firstly columbus landed in the bahamas. he never made it to America.
secondly, the native Indians were already living in America.

dont believe in myths.
 
2018-02-04 04:00:41 PM  

I created this alt just for this thread: frepnog: RealXavori: Because even the most knuckle-dragging, Bible-clutching, never-travelled-more-than-20-miles-fro​m-where-they-were-born, red-blooded Murican will be just as jumpyforjoy as the most pin-headed, spent-their-entire-childhood-getting-s​wirlies, pocket protector wearing nerd when we land people on Mars.

But.

Why?

There is no reason to send humans to mars.  NONE.  Why bother?  The old "we did it just to DO it" phase should be over.  There is absolutely, 100 percent NO reason to land a human being on mars.

Star Trek is fiction.  Here is the sobering fact - humans ain't going nowhere.  We aren't going to colonize space.  Without some magic breakthru, any planet that MIGHT be worth visiting is literally millions of years away.  We already have the tech to send robots and drones anywhere we might want to see, and even that takes forever.

Fortunately for the rest of the human race, nihilist (though like many nihilists in denial I'm sure you'll just claim you're a 'realist') assclowns like you get ignored while the scientists and pioneers among us do shiat because we want to learn, explore, progress, and sometimes just because we can. "I personally don't think it's possible, therefore no one should bother trying" is the rallying cry of the small minded.

Will we see manned interstellar travel and space colonies in our lifetimes?  Likely not.  But rest assured that your attitude will be relegated to the same dustbin of history wherein resides these quotes:

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will." - Albert Einstein, 1932

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." - Western Union internal memo, 1876

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax." - Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883

"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty-a fad." - The president of the Michigan Savings Bank, 1903

"No one will pay good money to get from Berlin to Potsdam in one hour when he can ride his horse there in one day for free." - King William I of Prussia, on trains, 1864

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one." - -W.C. Heuper, National Cancer Institute, 1954

"I must confess that my imagination refuses to see any sort of submarine doing anything but suffocating its crew and floundering at sea." - HG Wells, 1901

"A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth's atmosphere." - New York Times, 1936


and UFOs from other solar systems dont exist.
 
2018-02-04 04:02:13 PM  

Linux_Yes: Darth_Lukecash: Linux_Yes: Darth_Lukecash: rcain: 111,000mph might sound like a lot subby, but it's a crawl when talking about interstellar travel. Yes, the cumulative thrust effects over a prolonged time in space, but no matter how great the accumulation, it would be a small fraction of C

But for travel and exploration of the local system? This will be a huge achievement

Gotta have a canoe before a jet plane.

and gotta have the tax payer pay for it so private companies can profit.

Keep in mind, Columbus expedition was state funded.

firstly columbus landed in the bahamas. he never made it to America.
secondly, the native Indians were already living in America.

dont believe in myths.


Did I mention where did he land or where was there first?


I did not. I just said said that he had an expedition and whofunded it.
 
2018-02-04 04:03:46 PM  

wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.


they like masturbating with other peoples tax money.
 
2018-02-04 04:08:49 PM  

Linux_Yes: Darth_Lukecash: Linux_Yes: Darth_Lukecash: rcain: 111,000mph might sound like a lot subby, but it's a crawl when talking about interstellar travel. Yes, the cumulative thrust effects over a prolonged time in space, but no matter how great the accumulation, it would be a small fraction of C

But for travel and exploration of the local system? This will be a huge achievement

Gotta have a canoe before a jet plane.

and gotta have the tax payer pay for it so private companies can profit.

Keep in mind, Columbus expedition was state funded.

firstly columbus landed in the bahamas. he never made it to America.
secondly, the native Indians were already living in America.

dont believe in myths.


Aren't the Bahamas part of the NA continental shelf?
 
2018-02-04 04:18:48 PM  

Linux_Yes: wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.

they like masturbating with other peoples tax money.


taxation is theft
 
2018-02-04 04:22:31 PM  

frepnog: RealXavori: Because even the most knuckle-dragging, Bible-clutching, never-travelled-more-than-20-miles-fro​m-where-they-were-born, red-blooded Murican will be just as jumpyforjoy as the most pin-headed, spent-their-entire-childhood-getting-s​wirlies, pocket protector wearing nerd when we land people on Mars.

But.

Why?

There is no reason to send humans to mars.  NONE.  Why bother?  The old "we did it just to DO it" phase should be over.  There is absolutely, 100 percent NO reason to land a human being on mars.

Star Trek is fiction.  Here is the sobering fact - humans ain't going nowhere.  We aren't going to colonize space.  Without some magic breakthru, any planet that MIGHT be worth visiting is literally millions of years away.  We already have the tech to send robots and drones anywhere we might want to see, and even that takes forever.


Tunnel underground and any planet not hot enough to cook us can be "habitable" especially on geologically inactive planets. Send up the robots, sure. The diggers, the tunnelers, the automated small scale chemical factories that will liberate useful elements from the regolith and rock. Send up the assemblers that put together the solar collectors and string together an electric grid and the airlocks and everything else. Send up all of the things needed to furnish the first small tunneled habitat and the 3D printers that will use local resources to make replacement parts. And then send up the people to inhabit the colony.

Very little about that is more than an engineering challenge. Most of it we know how to do today. It's the point of The Boring Company and there are lots of small homebrewed projects going on working out how to sustainably feed a population on Mars.

The biggest two challenges will be landing people alive on Mars and chemical processing, but both could be resolved within 10 years if the money was put into it. It might take 50 different shipping container sized units to start up something useful but I think that would be achievable.
 
2018-02-04 04:23:53 PM  

Teufelaffe: JohnBigBootay: wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.

I'm with you. Mars is pointless. We need to be thinking about asteroids in near Earth orbit and learn how to manufacture and build in low and no g environments. If we don't do that the rest of it is pointless. Go back to moon. Put the beginnings of  shiat there. Start farking about with asteroids.

Why spend all your farking time, money and effort setting up a habitat on a place that has nothing we want or need? It's basically mt everest - hell of an achievement to climb it. But no one wants to live there and there's nothing to bring back

We get a lot more out of space exploration than resources on <insert target location>.  A lot of stuff we use on a daily basis is the direct result of space program R&D and lessons learned from the actual space missions.


Imagine how much we'd learn building a small permanent facility on the moon. The most meaningful thing we'll leave on the surface of Mars is a footprint and most of the knowledge we'd gain by getting there can be extracted from other ventures. Mars is nearly pointless. We can go eventuallyeif everyone has a hard on for it but we should put something on the moon first.
 
2018-02-04 04:25:17 PM  

BolloxReader: frepnog: RealXavori: Because even the most knuckle-dragging, Bible-clutching, never-travelled-more-than-20-miles-fro​m-where-they-were-born, red-blooded Murican will be just as jumpyforjoy as the most pin-headed, spent-their-entire-childhood-getting-s​wirlies, pocket protector wearing nerd when we land people on Mars.

But.

Why?

There is no reason to send humans to mars.  NONE.  Why bother?  The old "we did it just to DO it" phase should be over.  There is absolutely, 100 percent NO reason to land a human being on mars.

Star Trek is fiction.  Here is the sobering fact - humans ain't going nowhere.  We aren't going to colonize space.  Without some magic breakthru, any planet that MIGHT be worth visiting is literally millions of years away.  We already have the tech to send robots and drones anywhere we might want to see, and even that takes forever.

Tunnel underground and any planet not hot enough to cook us can be "habitable" especially on geologically inactive planets. Send up the robots, sure. The diggers, the tunnelers, the automated small scale chemical factories that will liberate useful elements from the regolith and rock. Send up the assemblers that put together the solar collectors and string together an electric grid and the airlocks and everything else. Send up all of the things needed to furnish the first small tunneled habitat and the 3D printers that will use local resources to make replacement parts. And then send up the people to inhabit the colony.

Very little about that is more than an engineering challenge. Most of it we know how to do today. It's the point of The Boring Company and there are lots of small homebrewed projects going on working out how to sustainably feed a population on Mars.

The biggest two challenges will be landing people alive on Mars and chemical processing, but both could be resolved within 10 years if the money was put into it. It might take 50 different shipping container sized units to start up something useful but I think that would be achievable.


Do that same shiat. On the moon first.
 
2018-02-04 05:00:12 PM  
Fark the Moon, it's Mars or bust.
 
2018-02-04 05:42:12 PM  
I'm on team moon first too. But the article was about the engine, Is the moon far enough away to really exploit the benefits of the Ad Astra VASIMR drive? Other than fuel weight? It's really not going very fast at the beginning and you'd need to spin it around to slow back down before you actually build up much..
 
2018-02-04 05:54:10 PM  

wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.


Like going to the moon getting to Mars would mean all kinds of new tech and familiarity with issues that would crop up on longer journeys.  There may not be a ton of material there for us to rape and pillage, but that's not the point.
 
2018-02-04 05:56:01 PM  

cabal_man: FTA: "except that you're strapping it to a rocket, flying it through the atmosphere, and getting it into space, which could make some people who don't understand the technology nervous."

So what? Are people who don't understand the technology holding the purse str... oh...


Also, what you're saying is patently ignorant.  We don't have any clue what Mars's geology is like, but you are right - we should not be expecting to find anything.
 
2018-02-04 06:09:42 PM  

frepnog: RealXavori: Because even the most knuckle-dragging, Bible-clutching, never-travelled-more-than-20-miles-fro​m-where-they-were-born, red-blooded Murican will be just as jumpyforjoy as the most pin-headed, spent-their-entire-childhood-getting-s​wirlies, pocket protector wearing nerd when we land people on Mars.

But.

Why?

There is no reason to send humans to mars.  NONE.  Why bother?  The old "we did it just to DO it" phase should be over.  There is absolutely, 100 percent NO reason to land a human being on mars.

Star Trek is fiction.  Here is the sobering fact - humans ain't going nowhere.  We aren't going to colonize space.  Without some magic breakthru, any planet that MIGHT be worth visiting is literally millions of years away.  We already have the tech to send robots and drones anywhere we might want to see, and even that takes forever.


Why?  Because it's there.
 
2018-02-04 06:14:27 PM  

I created this alt just for this thread: Fortunately for the rest of the human race, nihilist (though like many nihilists in denial I'm sure you'll just claim you're a 'realist') assclowns like you get ignored while the scientists and pioneers among us do shiat because we want to learn, explore, progress, and sometimes just because we can. "I personally don't think it's possible, therefore no one should bother trying" is the rallying cry of the small minded.


Consider Apollo. Sheer quantity of government funding got people to the moon. But it couldn't make something like SpaceX and the Falcon rockets decades ahead of time, because the entire rest of the planet needed to get up to speed.

Saying it's counterproductive to force things ahead of their time is not being a nihilist.
 
2018-02-04 08:59:22 PM  

kkinnison: The reason it is not feasable is the amount of energy needed to produce such miniscule thrust.


That's what she said.
 
2018-02-04 09:33:13 PM  
Didn't someone named Queller already try this?

/obscure?
 
2018-02-04 09:54:45 PM  

RealXavori: JohnBigBootay: wildcardjack: Could we stop masturbating to the idea of Mars? The place has been geologically stopped for most of its lifetime. Subsurface geology, as hot water pushes minerals and ores around over eons on earth, moved and accumulated all the ore deposits we harvest. Mars has never made the accumulations we would harvest as ores.

I'm with you. Mars is pointless. We need to be thinking about asteroids in near Earth orbit and learn how to manufacture and build in low and no g environments. If we don't do that the rest of it is pointless. Go back to moon. Put the beginnings of  shiat there. Start farking about with asteroids.

Why spend all your farking time, money and effort setting up a habitat on a place that has nothing we want or need? It's basically mt everest - hell of an achievement to climb it. But no one wants to live there and there's nothing to bring back

Because humans are goal oriented beasts.  We need tangible milestones to understand and have purpose.

Now, if our country was run entirely by research scientists capable of long term strategic thinking, we could kinda skip a few steps and just go straight to "there is a lot of really valuable stuff just floating around out there so let's design a project that goes and gets it."  And even though such a project might take 50 years or so, nobody would mind because again, long term planning people are in charge.

But in our real world where normal people are in charge, we need obvious, tangible goals for them to latch on to. And these goals have to be things that they'll be sure to witness in no more than 5-10 years.  So the smart people, who already know Mars isn't going to be particularly valuable as a final destination, but who also know that all the tech they develop that make the Mars mission doable will be pretty darn useful when we start heading out for longer term space projects that are valuable start selling the normal people on Mars.

Because we can get to Mars within 5-10 years.  ...


This.
 
2018-02-04 09:59:30 PM  

I created this alt just for this thread: frepnog: RealXavori: Because even the most knuckle-dragging, Bible-clutching, never-travelled-more-than-20-miles-fro​m-where-they-were-born, red-blooded Murican will be just as jumpyforjoy as the most pin-headed, spent-their-entire-childhood-getting-s​wirlies, pocket protector wearing nerd when we land people on Mars.

But.

Why?

There is no reason to send humans to mars.  NONE.  Why bother?  The old "we did it just to DO it" phase should be over.  There is absolutely, 100 percent NO reason to land a human being on mars.

Star Trek is fiction.  Here is the sobering fact - humans ain't going nowhere.  We aren't going to colonize space.  Without some magic breakthru, any planet that MIGHT be worth visiting is literally millions of years away.  We already have the tech to send robots and drones anywhere we might want to see, and even that takes forever.

Fortunately for the rest of the human race, nihilist (though like many nihilists in denial I'm sure you'll just claim you're a 'realist') assclowns like you get ignored while the scientists and pioneers among us do shiat because we want to learn, explore, progress, and sometimes just because we can. "I personally don't think it's possible, therefore no one should bother trying" is the rallying cry of the small minded.

Will we see manned interstellar travel and space colonies in our lifetimes?  Likely not.  But rest assured that your attitude will be relegated to the same dustbin of history wherein resides these quotes:

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will." - Albert Einstein, 1932

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." - Western Union internal memo, 1876

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax." - Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883

"The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty ...


And in 200 or 500 years they will still be poo-pooing new cutting edge ideas.
 
2018-02-04 10:09:47 PM  
Hmmmm....hit a speck of interplanetary dust at 111,000 MPH.
 
2018-02-04 10:29:36 PM  
Comparing plasma to fairy dust is ridiculous. Flourescent lights use plasma. Some TVs use plasma. Lightning is plasma. Plasma cutting uses (obviously) plasma. It's relatively exotic compared to the other states of matter for us but it's not fairly dust, unless you see fairy dust every day. Maybe to a Wiccan?
 
2018-02-04 10:39:15 PM  
You know, it seems like the biggest obstacle to space exploration is the human element. Rather than try to terraform planets and what-not, why are we not focusing on biological advancements and alterations that not only would help humans immediately on Earth, but make travel, habitable worlds, and exploration much easier? It sounds like a far fetched idea, but so is FTL.
 
2018-02-04 11:28:55 PM  

the money is in the banana stand: You know, it seems like the biggest obstacle to space exploration is the human element. Rather than try to terraform planets and what-not, why are we not focusing on biological advancements and alterations that not only would help humans immediately on Earth, but make travel, habitable worlds, and exploration much easier? It sounds like a far fetched idea, but so is FTL.


Already thought of:
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-02-04 11:46:56 PM  
| Linux_Yes
| | Mael99: FTA: President Kennedy said we'd go to the moon, so we poured money
| | and manpower into a rocket, and Neil Armstrong took one giant leap for mankind.

| | Why does Armstrong always get all the love like he was out there on his own?
| | What about Buzz Aldrin? Or... that other guy with them?

| never mind all the tax money that paid for it all.

& let us ignore the fact, of how that horrible boondoggle made a profit. What sorta mickey mouse government operation are we running, where we take the money we are spending, &,,,,, make more money.

Space program was an economic gold mine.
 
2018-02-05 12:10:18 AM  

sno man: I'm on team moon first too. But the article was about the engine, Is the moon far enough away to really exploit the benefits of the Ad Astra VASIMR drive? Other than fuel weight? It's really not going very fast at the beginning and you'd need to spin it around to slow back down before you actually build up much..


I too think it should be moon first. The logic is seems pretty simple to me. Long term habitation at our current level of technology means needing some gravity (or something that emulates it), but further space operations need to be done from the smallest gravity well possible. The moon has fuel resources we can use to get asteroid mining up and running. Resources in a much smaller gravity well than Earth's. Once we are mining asteroids the only reason to visit other gravity wells is to satisfy our curiosity and have someplace to live.

We will not need planets for space exploration resources. But until we can have artifical gravity and adequate radiation shields, planets will be nicer and safer places to live than any habitat in open space.
 
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