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cassie

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PostSubject: NASA's future space program?   NASA's future space program? I_icon_minitimeSun Nov 01, 2009 6:57 am

With the launch this past week of the Ares 1X, and the Augustine panel casting doubt on it's future and NASA's plans to return to the moon; what are your thoughts on America's future in space?
Is it all a waste of money?
Should returning to the moon be a priority?
Should there be manned expeditions to Mars or other planets?
Should America concentrate on the commercial and military launch of satellites?
What about the international space station?
What do you think?
Some more info from the BBC herelink
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PostSubject: Re: NASA's future space program?   NASA's future space program? I_icon_minitimeSun Nov 01, 2009 11:02 am

I believe the moon to be a valid exploration point of interest and priority because of the presence of water evidence below the surface. If they can figure out how to harness this water and get it home it would definitely be helpful to our home planet. Now personally I think there is more merit in going to Mars but realistically the moon is our best option for water exploration because it is closer.

For just simple Scientific advancement, go to Mars and determine if there are fossils there or not for one, Check the ice caps, and determine if it is a suitable place for a planetary base.
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PostSubject: Re: NASA's future space program?   NASA's future space program? I_icon_minitimeSun Nov 01, 2009 1:06 pm

I think NASA needs to pull the old shuttles off the launchpad, build new ones that are going to NOT blow up or burn up on re-entry, and focus on the moon first then Mars in a few years.
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PostSubject: Re: NASA's future space program?   NASA's future space program? I_icon_minitimeSun Nov 01, 2009 7:38 pm

the moon is an ideal location for a space base due to its lack of gravity. IF NASA could get enough equipment there to build a base, it would definatly make for more efficient trips to mars and so on. to break the moons atmostphere isnt squat compared to earths, and a simple sling shot manuver around the moon after take off and then directing the space craft towards mars would cut back on the necessary fuel required for the trips there and back. and prolly speed up the travel time as well.

the space station orbiting earth is ok for telescope work, but as for an actual launch pad, worthless. the moon would be loads better. of course we'll still have to deal with the suns radiation because the atmosphere on the moon is weaker.

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PostSubject: Re: NASA's future space program?   NASA's future space program? I_icon_minitimeSun Nov 01, 2009 8:48 pm

The space station has been useful as a training ground and testing site. From a mechanical/technical standpoint, we've found out what works and what does not. We've learned how to build things in a weightless environment and, let's face it, it is better to find out that the toilet design doesn't work while in Earth orbit than to make that discovery while building a Moon Base or on the way to Mars! We've had the chance to study the effects of prolonged weightlessness on the human body as well as the psychological effects of prolonged semi-isolation. So, I'm inclined to think that yes, the last forty some years of NASA projects have been worth it. I also think that getting back to the Moon and establishing a permanent base there should be a priority. Any serious attempt to reach Mars would have to be launched from the Moon and a base there would be the best place to hash out the solutions to the various problems inherent with such an expedition, chiefly radiation.
In my view, there is a more important reason for going to the Moon and then Mars beyond the acquisition of knowledge, resources or bragging rights. I'm old enough to remember the beginnings of the space program. I remember the Mercury flights and the Gemini. I remember sitting in front of the television crying when word came about the Apollo 1 fire. I remember sitting in front of the television a few years later when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. I remember the wonder... the absolute, unswerving conviction that the stars were reachable and that there would be colonies of humans on the Moon and probably Mars in my lifetime. There was a magazine, published by the people who were publishing STARLOG, called FUTURE. It was a fact magazine filled with articles relevant to the future exploration and colonization of space. There were people in those days who were preparing to homestead on the Moon and Mars. FUTURE and similar magazines were filled with designs for space habitats and transports. We were inspired to dream, to believe anything was possible. I'm not sure what happened to that feeling. I know that FUTURE eventually ceased publication and the belief that humans would be living on the moon and beyond dwindled and then died. We stopped looking at the stars. Most of us, stopped dreaming and we are, I think, poorer for it. Something died in us and we have settled for the "near Earth", educational as it has been. Maybe going back to the Moon will bring that "something" back to life. I think that Mankind would be better for it.
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PostSubject: Re: NASA's future space program?   NASA's future space program? I_icon_minitimeMon Nov 02, 2009 12:20 pm

Penthesilea wrote:

In my view, there is a more important reason for going to the Moon and then Mars beyond the acquisition of knowledge, resources or bragging rights. I'm old enough to remember the beginnings of the space program. I remember the Mercury flights and the Gemini. I remember sitting in front of the television crying when word came about the Apollo 1 fire. I remember sitting in front of the television a few years later when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. I remember the wonder... the absolute, unswerving conviction that the stars were reachable and that there would be colonies of humans on the Moon and probably Mars in my lifetime. There was a magazine, published by the people who were publishing STARLOG, called FUTURE. It was a fact magazine filled with articles relevant to the future exploration and colonization of space. There were people in those days who were preparing to homestead on the Moon and Mars. FUTURE and similar magazines were filled with designs for space habitats and transports. We were inspired to dream, to believe anything was possible. I'm not sure what happened to that feeling. I know that FUTURE eventually ceased publication and the belief that humans would be living on the moon and beyond dwindled and then died. We stopped looking at the stars. Most of us, stopped dreaming and we are, I think, poorer for it. Something died in us and we have settled for the "near Earth", educational as it has been. Maybe going back to the Moon will bring that "something" back to life. I think that Mankind would be better for it.
I so agree with all of that!
I wish I had seen some of those early steps on TV that you refer to, but I can imagine it.
I am one of those who has not stopped dreaming. Astronomy fills me with awe, and I just can't agree enough with all the points you made.
If the USA, China, Japan, India, Russia and the EU pooled their resources I am sure there could be a functioning base on the moon within a decade and a manned trip to Mars within our lifetimes. I would so love to see that on TV.
Not everything can be measured in purely financial terms and I think the overall benefits to humanity of forging ahead with space exploration would far outweigh the monetary costs.
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PostSubject: Re: NASA's future space program?   NASA's future space program? I_icon_minitimeMon Nov 02, 2009 8:32 pm

Humanity in general and Americans in particular are at their best when they have a goal, preferably a noble or inspiring one, to strive for. It seems that since the 80's the only goal that the majority of people have had is the accumulation of material wealth by whatever means necessary. Looking around, I would say that particular goal has not done us any favors as a species. I'm like you in that I believe that international cooperation would get us on the Moon in a relatively short time. After all, we do know how to get there! The physics part of "getting there" is pretty well solved. The other technical aspects of establishing a Moon Base have been discussed formally and informally for decades. Pull out the old plans, apply the new technologies that have been developed in the last 20 - 30 years and I suspect that we'd be good to go pretty quick. The only real impediment to doing all this is lack of political will and an overabundance of national egos. Until the concept of peaceful cooperation for the common good becomes standard operating procedure for national governments, organizing an international effort to get back to the moon is going to be an uphill battle.

I agree with you about astronomy. My beloved (hereafter referred to as Skywise) is an amateur astronomer and we have a couple of telescopes that are deployed in the front yard when there is something interesting going on in the skies. The regularly scheduled meteor showers have us out in the yard too, weather permitting!
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PostSubject: Re: NASA's future space program?   NASA's future space program? I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 13, 2009 2:46 pm

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PostSubject: Re: NASA's future space program?   NASA's future space program? I_icon_minitimeMon Feb 01, 2010 3:06 pm

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