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Is NASA the next Dreamcast?

Posted by: talon4000 - Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:00 am
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Is NASA the next Dreamcast? 
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Post Is NASA the next Dreamcast?   Posted on: Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:00 am
Is it me or does it seem that NASA is starting to take a more third party role to space. Granteed there are plans for the moon and mars, but weve heard that before. Will NASA just become the gov't means of influencing the space industry and forget about going where "no one has gone before"?


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:24 pm
I think you will see NASA refocus on being a pathfinder rlole. Once ISS is finished, any of its manned programs will be refocused on to the Moon and beyond. It's unmanned research is excellent. I have no data to support it, but increasingly, people I have talked to tend to think of Mars Rovers and Cassini just as much as they think of Apollo and Columbia


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:36 pm
Disband Nasa....

Hand government space research over to the air force, let civilian missions be done by civilians ie by free enterprise...


government space policy should focus on defending the country, space telescopes and such should be done by private foundations


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Post    Posted on: Sat Jun 26, 2004 11:05 pm
that's a valid opinion, if an effective (big if) grant program for space research was set up, that could be an excellent alternative to the more theoretical nasa work. of course, launches should still be provided for at least a little while, but the actual mission could be out of nasa's hands.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Jun 27, 2004 2:43 pm
In my fantasy america the government would not even fund x prizes for civilian stuff except as it related to the government's ability to defend the country


but dealing with the world as it is.... I don't think any grant program for space research should be set up, instead government support of space *should* take the form of Government X Prizes

Click on " X Prizes" then scroll for awhile up till you get to "Wednesday Begin with a frequently asked....."

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/archives2 ... html#poly1

Edit-scroll _UP_ for awhile


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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 10, 2004 11:06 pm
I think giving space exploration over to the Air force entirely would not be the best idea. When the Air force does space stuff it usually is spy satellites and advanced test aircraft, or possibly a missile defense system. They should do this but they dont do as much. A Lunar or Mars mission would not happen for tens of years to launch a single mission if private industry did it, if ever. There is no substantial military gain to build a base on mars, thus the Air Force would not go there. Private has yet to catch up to anything government programs have done (we JUST got suborbital), and also private industry would not be backed by leading technolgy or big industry (boeing, lockheed, etc.) as they dont possess the money. NASA, while horribly, horribly flawed is still out best bet to go to mars, or to do science. Also sending all of its stuff to Air Force would just make the Air Force make a new agency to deal with it; NASA 2, no change for the better. ahhh!!!! NASA just needs to be reorganized, for the billionth time, and get its priorities in line.[/u]


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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 11, 2004 3:30 am
I'd split it three ways between NASA, USAF, and USN. Scientific projects (and hence unmanned interplanetary probes) go to NASA, orbital stuff goes to USAF, and the Navy has control of all manned missions that go past Earth orbit.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 11, 2004 10:03 am
Texan wrote:

Quote:
Disband Nasa....

Hand government space research over to the air force


Cadet wrote:

Quote:
I'd split it three ways between NASA, USAF, and USN.


Because naturally all 6 billion people on earth support America and would be delighted at having the US war machine over their heads 24 hours a day. We need an agency to figure out what planet some Americans think they are living on first... :P

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Post    Posted on: Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:36 pm
luke.r wrote:
Texan wrote:

Quote:
Disband Nasa....

Hand government space research over to the air force


Cadet wrote:

Quote:
I'd split it three ways between NASA, USAF, and USN.


Because naturally all 6 billion people on earth support America and would be delighted at having the US war machine over their heads 24 hours a day. We need an agency to figure out what planet some Americans think they are living on first... :P


Why the heck should I care about what non-space capable nations think about it? Furthermore, your post makes about as much sense as condemning the British Empire for using the Royal Navy to explore the Pacific.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 12, 2004 8:43 am
Cadet wrote:

Quote:
Why the heck should I care about what non-space capable nations think about it? Furthermore, your post makes about as much sense as condemning the British Empire for using the Royal Navy to explore the Pacific
.

You probably should care as even a backward, medieval regime like the Taliban suceeded in inflicting some casualties on the American homeland. Comparing the situation now to when my ancestors went on their yachting holidays to Hawaii is a little spurious. Outside of Europe, nobody could hope to match the force presented by the RN and besides, transiting the worlds oceans does not tend to upset the people of continents you go round as you can't see or affect them. The US is far away from that position at the moment and realistically is currently the second most capable space-faring nation and third most ambitious. The whole point of the X-prize is to get government out of aspects of space travel, thus allowing them to concentrate on the more abstract elements of research that otherwise won't get done. Another point of Ansari X-prize is that companies representing many more nations are aspiring to space-faring capabilities.

P.S. I am a big fan of America and am happy to to be protected by the USAF but others, alas, are not.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 12, 2004 4:43 pm
luke.r wrote:
Cadet wrote:

Quote:
Why the heck should I care about what non-space capable nations think about it? Furthermore, your post makes about as much sense as condemning the British Empire for using the Royal Navy to explore the Pacific
.

You probably should care as even a backward, medieval regime like the Taliban suceeded in inflicting some casualties on the American homeland.


Ahem. Why should I care about what non-space capable nations think of who is in charge of our space operations? It doesn't affect them after all, and space-to-ground weaponry is nothing but a pie in the sky idea (cruise missiles are a lot cheaper). They also don't seem to worry about the fact that China's space program is militarily oriented.

Quote:
Comparing the situation now to when my ancestors went on their yachting holidays to Hawaii is a little spurious. Outside of Europe, nobody could hope to match the force presented by the RN and besides, transiting the worlds oceans does not tend to upset the people of continents you go round as you can't see or affect them.


And how does a US Navy mission to Mars offend anyone? What precisely is wrong with having a US space station operated by USAF personnel? There is nothing wrong except for those who are excessively pacifist ("Anything military is evil!!!") or anti-American, who would get upset if any American did anything in space.

Quote:
The US is far away from that position at the moment and realistically is currently the second most capable space-faring nation and third most ambitious.


I'd have to disagree. We're behind Russia right now on capabilities only because of Columbia and the foot-dragging of NASA and Congress, we'll be back in our proper spot within a few years. As for ambition: China might have a good deal of ambition, but it is only to try and demonstrate the superiorty of the Han race (the Chinese, and Japanese for that matter, are remarkably racist), and Russia's ambitions are to have hard currency, that's it.

Quote:
The whole point of the X-prize is to get government out of aspects of space travel, thus allowing them to concentrate on the more abstract elements of research that otherwise won't get done.


No, the point of the X-Prize is to get private industry into space in a meaningful manner besides simply launching satellites from time to time. X-Prize has absolutely nothing to do with what the government does in space, and like it or not, the military will be in space besides for simple recon. You need an ASAT capability, ASAT defense, and vessels for interplanetary patrol once commerce between Earth and points outside of her orbit becomes common.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:33 pm
Good argument, Cadet. One correction, though: spaced-based weaponry isn't as much of a "pie in the sky" (your pun was intended, I'm sure) as you claim: once a permanent station of reasonable size is established either in orbit or on the Moon, dropping a hypervelocity slug on the head of a pin (and I mean that literally) becomes pretty damned easy. The only real cost is materials, which is the only thing the Moon has enough of. No fancy lasers or anything, but kinetic (big heavy chunks of rock and/or metal) weapons do enough damage as it is.

Oh, and luke.r: I'd like to see the Taliban make it to orbit. Seriously, I would. And when we get them to orbit, I'd be more than happy to take them on a nice, long spacewalk.....

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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 15, 2004 5:14 am
spacecowboy wrote:
Good argument, Cadet. One correction, though: spaced-based weaponry isn't as much of a "pie in the sky" (your pun was intended, I'm sure) as you claim: once a permanent station of reasonable size is established either in orbit or on the Moon, dropping a hypervelocity slug on the head of a pin (and I mean that literally) becomes pretty damned easy. The only real cost is materials, which is the only thing the Moon has enough of. No fancy lasers or anything, but kinetic (big heavy chunks of rock and/or metal) weapons do enough damage as it is.


Still cheaper to just use up old ICBMs if you want to drop a KE bomb on them. I don't really see it as being too effective, you're going to have the same problems as nuclear weapons with them, and I suspect that any nation so attacked would respond with nukes.

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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:24 am
ICBM's and certainly cruise missiles would be cheaper but an orbital KE weapons system does have some advantages over both, especially if combined with stealth technology. I think you're putting a bit too much power into the most likely KE systems to be fielded anytime in the near future though. I seriously doubt anyone would respond with nuclear retaliation if they lost a dozen tanks to a KE system like Pournelle's THOR or if some satellites was knocked out by some flying steel crowbars. Not unless losing those tanks and satellites was a precursor to an invasion, which would probably mean nuke retaliation with or without a KE weapons system.


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Post    Posted on: Sun Aug 15, 2004 3:04 pm
Cadet wrote:
Still cheaper to just use up old ICBMs if you want to drop a KE bomb on them. I don't really see it as being too effective, you're going to have the same problems as nuclear weapons with them, and I suspect that any nation so attacked would respond with nukes.


Granted on all counts. The biggest advantage for kinetics is that (once space travel is pretty well advanced) anybody can make or use them. Rocks are a whole lot easier to get ahold of than sufficient amounts of Uranium to make a bomb....

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