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Deleted 2 January 16 2008 04:04 PM

Set your own goals for NASA
Say you were in a position to determine NASA's short- and medium-term goals and targets.

You wouldn't be able to determine funding however; that would be controlled by Congress.

What would your choice be?

Mysterion January 16 2008 04:11 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA

-reliable/safe Earth-to-Orbit system (adaptable to other long-range use later)

- finish the ISS

- Fix Hubble or deploy replacement

Long-term (in no particluar order):

- under-the-ice probe to Europa

- lunar outpost

- manned Mars mission (emphasis on presence of water and geological anomalies)

All Seeing Eye January 16 2008 04:15 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
- Develop a fuel efficient Earth to Orbit craft.
- Build a Research Colony on Mars.

Mark de Vries January 16 2008 05:11 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
- Establish reliable and efficient Low Earth Orbit capability, ideally in cooperation with ESA, Roskosmos, JAXA and other international partners. The ISS will have its place in this as the central hub of activities. It will, however, be equipped to handle six-person crew sooner than the plan is now. I'd also work with the Brits on their proposal to build and maintain two crew habitat modules on the ISS.

- Maintain a solid and steady program of interplanetary probes that can work for years on end without serious degradation of performance. Take the MER rovers, Deep Impact and New Horizons as examples and build on that.

- Take a developed LEO infrastructure as an integral part of further human exploration of the Moon and Mars. Get the Orion programme off the ground as a first step in that. Medium- to long-term missions on the ISS could be used as part of an astronauts training for a mission to the Moon, an asteroid or Mars.

All elements will be integrated in one clear vision for further exploration and development of the solar system. Unmanned missions for initial exploration, LEO activites as an experimentation and training ground, and manned missions to develop things further.

Meredith January 16 2008 05:12 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Short Term:

-Get Orion Vehicle and Ares Launch system launched ahead of schedule.

-Plan and execute a several month journey to a Near Earth asteroid, land on it(dock with it), explore the asteroid and take samples and etc. Good stepping point for returning to the moon and going to mars.

-Create an Orbital Tug using ION or plasma thruster using Solar panels for the electricity part of the thrust energy. More efficient, kinda like a pickup truck for space only usage.

-Create the replacement for Hubble and/or a planet finder type telescope capable of directly imaging a Jupiter sized planet and indirectly "seeing" an earth sized extra solar planet.

Long Term:

-Develop renewable life support systems that only require an energy input to extend resources in space.

-Work on Nuclear Fission/Fusion rocket technology that can take us to the planets in reasonable amounts of time.

Bill Morris January 16 2008 11:30 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Deploy the Terrestrial Planet Finder

Improve capability to monitor Earth-crossing asteroids

Fund research on systems that might enable future spacecraft to intercept Earth-threatening asteroids

Squiggy January 17 2008 01:24 AM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Short: Pay me on Friday
Long: Continue to pay me every other Friday.

The Squire of Gothos January 17 2008 01:58 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Short term - Continue to support ISS efforts till it is no longer technically maintainable in orbit.

Replace Hubble.

Long term - More unmanned efforts to investigate the other planets.

Do away with manned missions for the next few decades.

splodenode January 17 2008 03:17 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
-catch a alien

flux_29 January 17 2008 04:37 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Short term:

- Go to the moon.

- Complete the I.S.S.

- Launch new and better telescopes, to replace Hubble.


- Create a more potent fuel.

- Build a smill scientific outpost on the moon.

- Mission to Mars.

- One were up in space, keep in space.

Long term:

- Develop a space elevator, or another means of getting materials into space cheaply (compared with rocket launches).

The Squire of Gothos January 18 2008 02:08 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Short term; Send people to Mars.

Long term; Figure out what the fuck they're supposed to do when they get there.

Deleted 2 January 18 2008 02:43 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Short term
  • Cancel the Orion capsule, and probably the Ares rocket
  • Cancel all future manned missions
  • Switch to Delta/Atlas/Proton/Ariane launchers

Long term
  • Establish a permanent robotic presence on the moon.
  • Build several space telescopes on the moon to replace Hubble.

Lindley January 18 2008 03:21 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Short-term: Prove viability of self-contained habitat.
Long-term: Identify exploitable resources elsewhere in the solar system. Once such are found, the rest will follow.

Daedalus12 January 18 2008 09:42 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Short Term

1. Further development of the Hall Thruster to increase its specific impulse and operating power.

2. Decrease the landing error ellipse of Mars probes from 10 km (the predicted value of MSL mission) to 500 m.

3. A unmanned mission to test the biological viability of Martian soil and atmosphere.

4. A switch to Ka-Band in Deep space communications.

Long Term

1. A permanent base and observational assets on the Moon.

2. A successful manned mission to Mars.

USS KG5 January 18 2008 11:56 PM

Re: Set your own goals for NASA
Sorry to raise some cynical points but lets say...

1. Achieve something that genuinely grabs the public imagination again without a budget greater than the GDP of the United States.

2. Send manned missons ot space in a vehicle that is less likely to have them coming back to Earth as ashes.

NASA has seriously blotted its copybook recently - with an embarassing series of failures and Bush's proclamation about manned missions looking more like an attempt to be JFK than a genuine commitment.

Maybe a genuinely international approach as in the ISS might help with further manned missions - maybe it is stime for NASA to start taking a back seat to a present day UESPA?

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