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NASA off to MArs official!!!

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Fri Jan 09, 2004 11:55 am
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NASA off to MArs official!!! 
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Rocket Constructor
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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:11 pm
I agree with TerraMrs's points. In particular there is no doubt that Scaled and some of the others could develop an orbital vehicle and/or a ship to the moon. It will take time and money, but several investors have shown they are willing to put up substantial amounts to get to space (ie Paul Allen, Elon Musk, etc).

Mr. Bush's new initiative is exciting, but my money is on the private sector.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:04 pm
Why thank you for the support, yes scaled is highly capable of putting men on just about anything i think given enough time and money.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 15, 2004 9:41 pm
I am excited about these announcements, because it atleast brings these issues to the public consience. I am sad because the presidents actions seldom match his words.

In addition it is good news for x-prize contenders. After all 'once you are in orbit you are half way to anywhere' Perhaps industry will get a real slice of the pie.

What truly baffles me is the contention that there are no economic prospects for space developement. He-3 is only a drop in the bucket. At current population and consumption levels we are several planets short of the resource needed for everyone to live at our level. We know where those resources are, someone will try to get them and eventually succeed.


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Post    Posted on: Thu Jan 15, 2004 10:26 pm
l_ammergeier wrote:
He-3 is only a drop in the bucket. At current population and consumption levels we are several planets short of the resource needed for everyone to live at our level. We know where those resources are, someone will try to get them and eventually succeed.


yea, very good point. i used He-3 as an example because it is something completely unattainable on earth that has definite value and will be [relatively] easy to get. there simply aren't enough resources on earth to support the lifestyle that the developed world has. the only way we'll be able to do that is to expand into space, which has infinite, for all rights and purposes, resources, including, i'm sure, stuff we can hardly imagine here on earth now.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 16, 2004 1:45 am
The important point behind Bush's plan is the focus. By stripping away other programs and redirecting funds in support of his plan, it won't be that much more expensive per annum, than NASA's current budget (5% ncrease per year).

Another important point is setting a few near-term goals. Notice, one of the first goals is not some exotic technology, but merely the retirement of the Space Shuttle. Is that doable? Certainly...the billions spent on the Shuttle every year are then freed up to support Bush's plan. The problem with past visions, is that successor Presidents didn't follow-through. By setting the Shuttle retirement at 2008, if Bush is re-elected, then he can ensure that it happens. Thus a follow-on administration would almost be obligated to follow-thru on the continued development of of the CEV. You'd have a Space Station with international agreements, but no vehicle to get there...a future administration would almost be bound to support something new...hope upon hope, they might even contract the job out to commercial industry to produce something.

I think He-3 could be a very important fuel for the development of the Moon. The issues with radiation are somewhat mitigated with a reactor located there.

I also believe the X-prize contestants, and any follow-on prizes will contribute significantly to lowering launch costs. While they may not be launching themselves, the refinements they make to the thousands of components, plumbing, & materials that make-up their ships, may have direct performance and weight impacts on newly developed major launch systems. Given the money, I would count Burt out from designing a vehicle to deliver people to the ISS.

Regarding the huge costs and energy required to do anything in space. I think the future remains to be seen. It's almost impossible to innovate, if your not even trying...just trying and repetition will lead to new insights, and perhaps a unique approach. I would consider the gravity-assisted fly-by as an example. The concept has revolutionized the way probes are sent to the outer solar-system. Rather than mega-rockets to blast probes all the way directly, an out-of-the-box approach changed early thinking and show'd how the same missions could be done much more cheaply. If people weren't working on the problem, then the innovation wouldn't have happened. To a lessor extent aero-braking in a planet's atmosphere was another out-of-the-box idea that didn't need exotic new technology, merely people willing to try, and a goal upon which to try it.


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Post    Posted on: Fri Jan 16, 2004 2:26 pm
I know we are thinking mostly about the benefits of going to the moon, but this would be worth it if it is only a stepping stone to other destinations. The outer planets and the asteroids contain mineral wealth and scientific wealth we have not yet imagined. Let's use the moon as a training base (like the president's speech) while we get ready.


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:52 pm
yeah, i kinda think going to the moon is a good idea. there seems to be a lot of pessimism about going there instead of just going off to other places. I think it has a lot of potential, if in decades time kids can look up at the moon n see signs of civilization then surely thats only going to inspire them to go on to better things. Also the idea of building a mars ship on it sounds good. and on a more selfish level i realy just wanna see another celestrial object with humans on as soon as i can! and atleast if we are planning for something relativly soon then we are trying new hardwares and technologies, already heard that nasa have moved a lot of their budget to the technology sections!

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