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So........we Are Not Going To The Moon Now


Winter Warmer

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Posted
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
  • Location: Rochester, Kent

    I think that like war, going to space pushes technological boundaries, and inspires innovation. Unlike war, however, you don't have to kill anyone to get similar gains.

    I think it is short-sighted.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    Why can't all the rich countries work together on this thing? Surely, any benefits will accrue to all mankind?? :nonono:

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon

    I think that like war, going to space pushes technological boundaries, and inspires innovation. Unlike war, however, you don't have to kill anyone to get similar gains.

    I agree with this, but then I'm part of the 'watched Gemini/Apollo in awe as a kid' generation and was inspired by it all.

    I think it is short-sighted.

    I'm with OP about going to the Moon again. The new mission looked like Apollo 2 - why bother with a repeat? And Obama isn't going, by any means, to stop space exploration.

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    There are so many reasons that we should go back to the moon, not the least of which being that I think this generation really needs the awe-inspiring inspiration of a moon landing.

    I forget who it was that said it, but the genral perception seems to be that had we not cancelled the Apollo program in the mid-70s we would almost certainly have had a manned moon base by now from which we could feasibly have already launched manned missions to Mars. A sobering thought.

    Those that think space exploration is a waste of money are hopelessly short-sighted, obviously unable to see the benefits for mankind.

    After the excitement of the fusion story the other day, Obama's space plans make the most depressing reading...

    :drinks:

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon

    There are so many reasons that we should go back to the moon, not the least of which being that I think this generation really needs the awe-inspiring inspiration of a moon landing.

    I forget who it was that said it, but the genral perception seems to be that had we not cancelled the Apollo program in the mid-70s we would almost certainly have had a manned moon base by now from which we could feasibly have already launched manned missions to Mars. A sobering thought.

    Those that think space exploration is a waste of money are hopelessly short-sighted, obviously unable to see the benefits for mankind.

    After the excitement of the fusion story the other day, Obama's space plans make the most depressing reading...

    :drinks:

    I have a lot of sympathy with those sentiments, but, I think there are either or choices to be made and Obama has made one of them - more exploration by robot craft, more satellites and keeping in the ISS going.

    More broadly, as I said, Apollo/Gemini and the rest was awe inspiring, it perhaps saved use form nuclear armageddon but it was fantastically expensive. Atm getting mass to escape velocity is still a major expense - especially living mass that expects to stay living. Yes, again, Apollo/Gemini was fantastic but, in a way, Voyager,Galileo, Cassini, the rovers, Soho and the rest have, I think, at least arguably taught us more?

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    Posted
  • Location: Kingsteignton, Devon
  • Weather Preferences: Cold in winter, snow, frost but warm summers please
  • Location: Kingsteignton, Devon

    Nope, it is definately short-sighted.

    It's all very well sending robotic craft out, but its not the robots that have the desire to explore and in the end, settle new planets. Mostly out of need I suspect. Humans need to be regularly going on to to the moon etc if only to constantly develop new technologies that help US to be in the space.

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    Posted
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
  • Location: Rochester, Kent

    I agree with this, but then I'm part of the 'watched Gemini/Apollo in awe as a kid' generation and was inspired by it all.

    Sciency types always start off as kids with dinosaurs and/or space. Seems to be the trend. Me, I wanted both ... NASA rejected my outstanding idea of a seven year old in space, though - I'll dig out the letters when I get home and scan and post them - so I hung around the Natural History museum as much as I possibly could.

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    I remember reading, a while ago now, that NASA scientists were investigating the possibility of developing Arthur C. Clarke's old space elevator idea as a means of getting stuff into space without the awkward escape velocity issues. Even without the space elevator, parts could feasibly be flown to the ISS and a ship constructed in space, relatively cheaply and without the need for masses of fuel, which could take men back to the moon or onwards to Mars.

    Robots are all very well, in their own way, but nothing is more awe-inspiring, or more productive, than a manned mission. We're rapidly getting to the point, as a species, where we need to start thinking about expansion and colonisation, and Obama's decision is a massive step back for space exploration. I'd rather throw massive amounts of money into the space program than into irresponsible banks (though I am the first to accept -and argue for the fact - that the economic consequences of not bailing out the banks would have been devestating...a tiny part of me thinks that economic collapse may have been just what society needed, though!).

    My personal feelings are that, at present, Obama is doing an extremely poor job of leading the West into a bright new future, and his latest decree on the space program is just the latest in a long line of decisions with which I disagree.

    :)

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    Posted
  • Location: Cockermouth, Cumbria - 47m ASL
  • Weather Preferences: Winter - snow
  • Location: Cockermouth, Cumbria - 47m ASL

    Its very short sighted and disappointing that something so visionary can be cancelled so easily. Space is humanities future and we should strive to explore as much of it as possible.

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    Posted
  • Location: Crowborough, East Sussex 180mASL
  • Location: Crowborough, East Sussex 180mASL

    For those of us who lived through it, the Gemini/Apollo era stoked the dreams and imagination of a generation still believing that science was the magic genie that would set us free from the confines of our miserably small planet.

    Well it hasn't quite lived up to the expectation - Recruiting Vulcans into the UFP will take a little longer than the average 9 year olds chidhood.

    The Apollo programme produced awe of biblical proportion. Mere mortals could scarcely comprehend the science or feel the shiver of wonder at the iconic images beyond anything our imagination had prepared us for. Little wonder then of the regard we almost subconsciously invoke every time someone uses the phrase 'it ain't rocket science' or 'I'm not a nuclear physicist / brain surgeon'.

    Children today are far more sophisticated and demand so much more from their entertainment - courtesy of CGI, Lucas, Spielberg, Scott, Cameron et al. Technology has moved apace. Every kid can explore the universe from the safety of his X-box. Mobile Phones make Jim's communicator look antiquated. Talking computers confound you every time you try to get through to your bank. An answer to every conceivable question one could ask is but a few button presses away, automatic language translation is no longer the distant dream it once was.

    Moonbase? Humbug! They want Warp Drive, Transpoters, Vipers, Phasers, Light Sabres.

    So whose childhood would going back to the moon inspire? Perhaps only those whose dreams were not quite delivered in the 1960's.

    Going back to the moon would galvanise and inspire the planet the second time around barely more than a Space Shuttle launch does now.

    Pragmatism recognises the need for technological leadership in the face of rapidly growing competition from China, India, Europe, Japan, Russia etc. The best way to do this is not re-invent the wheel, but to focus innovation to expand capability and sustainable infrastructure whilst the others are forced to continuously play catch up.

    Building a commercial LEO capability frees up NASA for the long haul. New propulsion technologies (VASIMR for instance) will significantly reduce the size of the solar system just as steam ships followed by the aeroplane did for our planet. Autonomous robots strategically servicing significant parts of the infrastructure needed to support Human exploration of the solar system are just the vanguard.

    I think history will look back and see the global financial crisis as the turning point that was not the end for NASA. If it pays off, Obamas decision will be viewed as visionary and the catalyst needed to take the next steps in our evolution to leave this planet.

    'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.'

    ffO.

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon

    For those of us who lived through it, the Gemini/Apollo era stoked the dreams and imagination of a generation still believing that science was the magic genie that would set us free from the confines of our miserably small planet.

    ...

    ffO.

    Excellent post imo.

    Only bit you miss out, again imo, is the singular problem that to leave Earth mass has to be accelerated to 5 (or is it 7) miles per second. That is no mean feat and we're no where nearer making that easy that we were in the sixties?

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    Posted
  • Location: Kingsteignton, Devon
  • Weather Preferences: Cold in winter, snow, frost but warm summers please
  • Location: Kingsteignton, Devon

    Excellent post imo.

    Only bit you miss out, again imo, is the singular problem that to leave Earth mass has to be accelerated to 5 (or is it 7) miles per second. That is no mean feat and we're no where nearer making that easy that we were in the sixties?

    So best we get back to the moon and send future launches into deep space from there then no? What with there being less mass and less gravity.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    So best we get back to the moon and send future launches into deep space from there then no? What with there being less mass and less gravity.

    But we still need to get all the mass to the moon, in the first place... :good:

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    Posted
  • Location: Kingsteignton, Devon
  • Weather Preferences: Cold in winter, snow, frost but warm summers please
  • Location: Kingsteignton, Devon

    But we still need to get all the mass to the moon, in the first place... drunk.gif

    If there was a permanent lunar base though then it would make things easier, less trips up and down to the moon etc.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    If there was a permanent lunar base though then it would make things easier, less trips up and down to the moon etc.

    Especially if things could be manufactured using lunar materials? :D

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Personally I think that kids (most kids, anyway) are smart enough to realise that what they see in Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica and on their XBox isn't real, and I think they would still be awed by actual live transmissions from the Moon. I remember telling my children about Bush's announcement that they were aiming to land on the Moon by 2020, and they (then aged 9 and 7) were genuinely excited by it - you should have seen their little faces light up at the idea.

    I do think that getting commercial interests involved in the space program is a good idea, don't get me wrong, but I think that canning the moon mission is a stunningly bad idea. Getting man to the moon would be hard, but it would be an absolute cinch by comparison to what they overcame in the 60s.

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    Posted
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.
  • Weather Preferences: Thunder, snow, heat, sunshine...
  • Location: Beccles, Suffolk.

    I agree CB. My early-childhood hero was Uri Gagarin, who was later replaced by Neil Armstrong. :drinks:

    Space exploration really should be a multinational enterprise, IMO...I can envision that in old age, I may have some new heroes - Rajit Singh or Wang Lee - who really cares about nationality, anyway?? :80:

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Indeed, I would be happy to see Chun Li in space (she's the hot one from Street Fighter :) What do you mean Street Fighter isn't real...?)

    I'd also like to say that I think Dev is making an unnecessarily big deal about the issue of escape velocity - we've been going into space for 60 years...what's the problem?

    CB

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