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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

View Poll Results: The USAF can get NASA to Mars?
Strongly agree 4 9.09%
Agree 4 9.09%
Maybe 7 15.91%
Disagree 5 11.36%
Strongly disagree 28 63.64%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 44. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 8 2009, 11:28 PM   #16
John Picard
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Squiggyfm wrote: View Post
John Picard wrote: View Post
Squiggyfm wrote: View Post

NASA lost it's balls because the American public lost it's balls. "We won the moon race so why keep spending billions? We beat the Soviets. USA. USA. US...hey...disco!"

We were VERY reactionary back then. They launched then we launched. They launched a man into space then we did. They orbited then we did. They started looking at the moon then Kennedy said "Hey, we should go to the moon and do that other thing."

People think NASA gets billions more money than it already does. They're convinced that NASA wastes the "endless supply" of cash on pointless endeavors and to be honest, what NASA has done for the past 30 years hasn't been "sexy". We've pretty much been mass transit or a construction crew since Skylab. No exploring. We're building. We're watching how peas grow and how mice fuck in 0g. No one wants their tax dollars spent on that!

Now the question of "Mars, why?" Because we can. It'll be hard and cost a lot of money but Apollo united the country in the 60s in a way few other things aside from war can. It's good for the nation and would resolidify our superpowerness.
Just because we "can" go to Mars doesn't justify that we should. I'm all for space exploration, but I think remote rovers (at a few million a pop) are money better spent than BILLIONS to send a manned crew. Other monies could be spent on on developing other types of space craft and even mining asteroids for energy to haul back to earth.
You can only explore so much using a rover...and the people at large don't tend to give a fuck.
I don't buy it. We have two rovers on Mars right now, correct? They've exceeded expectations by operating for years, rather than the original 90 days expected, and for much cheaper than what it would have cost to send three, four, or five people there. And the cost doesn't even take into consideration the economic toll, but also the personal and psychological toll on the astronauts.

Utilize the current and evolving technology to send probes and rovers while we worry about the immediate neighborhood. Sci-Fi geeks have a hard-on for colonizing the moon and Mars, which I hardly see will be of a benefit to the Earth.

TheMasterOfOrion wrote: View Post
John Picard wrote: View Post

Going to Mars -- WHY?
Explain to me - WHY NOT?

John Picard wrote: View Post

Nothing of what you've posted makes any sense (either philosophically,
technologically,
or economically)
and you have shown zero understanding of the branches of the military.
Or course it makes sense
1philosophically, yes! do you want the first colonists on Mars to be speaking Chinese or worse come form of Eurobabble like French? If this were to happen it will send the wrong philosophical message, signaling the American century has come and gone and the next 100 years belongs to another dominant cultural force
2technologically
tech benefits, yes ! the medicine for hospital air filters, the satellites for tracking forest fires, the alpha particles used by neuro surgeons in attacking brain tumors all come from spin offs from government funded sciences
3 economically
How far would NASA be if it got funded in 2010 by a 700 Billion Dollar Bailout like Wall St got? Eisenhower was a good President but wasn't very good on the economy, postwar Americans had money again but he never capitalized on it, the economy was starting to buckle and he allowed the Soviets to get ahead. JFK's Moon vision wasn't just about planting a flag on the Moon, it was also a jobs program and inspired the sciences and industries throughout America.



Tell me how I "have shown 0 understanding of the of the military"? You seem to be defending the Navys infleunce in space during Mercury, the Soviets had the first dog in space, first spacestations, first long duration flight while United States still had a lot of catch up to do in Mercury. You're not one of these people who daydreams about your days at sea everytime you watch a StarTrek epsiode? I also remember stories of the US Navy trying to bribe their way into space during the early years by paying off congress men and it resulted in a very public failure of the US Navy resulted in headlines across the world like "Kaputnik" and "Flopnik".
Personally I don't think the military should be involved in space, I think Mars needs geologists, biologsts, and other scientists who would perhaps run artfical farms but the military connection is probably unavoidable. If we need the military I say the USAF is the way, since you've got the whole pilot experience and the fastest flight ever recorded by man was Apollo-13 at something like 44 000km/h, its clear we need a new space plane if we want to crank up the speed and get people to Mars.



Forbin wrote: View Post
No, it's time for the civilian sector to take over. For example, a Mars mission for purely exploration purposes should be run by by a private organization such as the National Geographic Society, probably in financial association with several universities and private donors.
However for manned flight big government is a necessary evil. Private isn't always successful, and when it comes to space these guys will be offering peanuts in comparison to a government one. Let's imagine for a second somebody like Rutan or Brason builds a private ship for manned flight and some big mega star like Oprah Winfrey and BillGates decides to give them every penny they own - adding up to 70 billion. (this is highly unlikely since the private sector is not going to spend so much on something that's not very profitable and high risk to astronauts)
However for arguments sake let's say the mega rich back up the private sector of space flight.
A government funded program in China or any other big country can still out spend them by 30 to 1, if your leader of a country of a billion Chinese you just set aside a percent of the GDP and put 2 Trillion into making sure the first Mars colony is a Chinese one. A country like China could be willing to risk some lives to put people on Mars, while the private sector will go bankrupt after the first loss of life.
Your entire rationale is unsound and full of fail. As was pointed out above, the Air Force can't even handle its own procurement without problems. If you had any clue about maritime life then you'd know why the Navy plays a vital role with NASA. Hell, one thing no Air Force pilot would even attempt is to land a jet plane on an aircraft carrier!!! The Navy does it everyday and does a damned good job of it.
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Old February 9 2009, 12:24 AM   #17
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Squiggyfm wrote: View Post

You can only explore so much using a rover...

So, build a better rover.
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Old February 9 2009, 01:35 AM   #18
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

TheMasterOfOrion wrote: View Post
NASA has lost its cojones after Apollo got cancelled. They should have then immediately pushed for a long distance Mars mission.
NASA actually did propose a Mars mission after Apollo. But Nixon wasn't a fan of NASA -- he liked the astronauts as a propaganda point, but that was it -- and when presented with the shuttle plan, he approved that only because it didn't dismantle the space program. (Here's a good summary.) There's an alt-history for you -- put another occupant in the White House in January 1969. Stephen Baxter gets to a manned Mars mission in his alt-history Voyage, but it's a one-shot deal, the last gasp of an agency that's dead-ended itself.

What's going to get NASA back in the manned space game is China; a new space race is what's needed to spur the United States toward space exploration again. China makes serious moves to put a man on the moon, and NASA's back in the game, with politicians falling over each other to throw money at NASA.
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Old February 9 2009, 02:04 AM   #19
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

btflash wrote: View Post
what makes you think the air force can do it any better than nasa? it's the lack of funding that's the problem , not nasa.

One, because the military gets funding. Two, because the military gets shit done... and fast.

The bulk (if not all) of Shuttle pilots have been USAF anyway, so why not just cross-train all USAF pilots in astronaut training? It would greatly increase the size of the astronaut pool, would improve USAF recruitment, and would provide the opportunity for MANY more people to be astronauts.
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Old February 9 2009, 02:05 AM   #20
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Kelso wrote: View Post
Squiggyfm wrote: View Post

You can only explore so much using a rover...
So, build a better rover.
We can only do so much and until we invent subspace we won't be able to overcome the signal lag. From the time a message is transmitted from Mars, to the time a correction is inputted and transmitted back to Mars we're look at LEAST at half an hour...any time any thing happens. And if you want unmanned rovers up there handling everything then that's what you're going to have to deal with.

And, if the rovers break, then you're toast. End of Mission. There's no way to fix anything up there.

There's also a payload size issue. We can't take on all these laboratories on to a moving platform. Phoenix couldn't "rove", and if it had landed a couple of miles in any direction it might not have landed on an accessible ice sheet. We got lucky there.

John Picard wrote: View Post
Squiggyfm wrote: View Post
You can only explore so much using a rover...and the people at large don't tend to give a fuck.
I don't buy it. We have two rovers on Mars right now, correct? They've exceeded expectations by operating for years, rather than the original 90 days expected, and for much cheaper than what it would have cost to send three, four, or five people there. And the cost doesn't even take into consideration the economic toll, but also the personal and psychological toll on the astronauts..
I never said that Spirit or Opportunity wasn't cheaper or more cost effective. You can't argue that angle because they simply are. The Rovers went up for a 90 day mission and they've given us over 20 times that. They're damned good little guys but they're camera on wheels. That's it. They aren't labs like Phoenix.

And they're SLOW. In the 1800+ days they've been looking at stuff they've traveled just over 4.6 miles. We're not going to learn much about Mars if we've traveling just over .0001 mph.

There's also the factor of the United States maintaining dominance in space. We've got enough with the ISS for our STS/Orion gap not to do too much damage but if we were to wait until the end of the decade to get back into the business of launching humans, then we've ceded that ground and since there isn't a clearly defined "them" to beat.

If you want to send rovers to Mars, then expect China to pass us before 2030.
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Old February 9 2009, 03:13 PM   #21
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

I don't buy it. We have two rovers on Mars right now, correct? They've exceeded expectations by operating for years, rather than the original 90 days expected, and for much cheaper than what it would have cost to send three, four, or five people there. And the cost doesn't even take into consideration the economic toll, but also the personal and psychological toll on the astronauts.
And they've only scratched the surface. Literally. If we want to find water, we have to dig many meters deep. If we want to find fossils of past life, we have to take deep cores, or have a paleontologist climb halfway up a cliff face with a hammer and a brush.
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Old February 9 2009, 07:18 PM   #22
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Getting a few astronauts to Mars and back shouldn't be the goal. That just falls into the same trap that Apollo fell into, the "now what" trap. There is not much to do on mars other than gather rocks, and while that it geologically important, it doesn't exactly capture the imagination. The goal, instead, should be permanent self-sustaining human settlement of space. That will capture imaginations, that will create jobs, and that will turn space exploration from an underfunded fringe to something mainstream and important. A quarter million people living and working offworld by 2020, that should be the goal. It is am ambitious one, to be sure, but it is doable if they just put the effort in.

There are some huge advantages of space colonization that are too often overlooked by more "practical" minds. The most obvious being that it protects the human species from most extinction level events; once we get a sizable population offworld we know that we'll survive even if a giant meteor crashes into the planet.
More practically, as space travel becomes more common, it will also become cheaper and safer. And to get that many people up there in that short time, it'll have to be relatively common. The infrastructure required for such an endeavor will serve the needs of space exploration for a very long time, and make some extremely ambitious manned missions practical. Once there are people living in permenant space stations or on th emoon, lanuching a manned mission to mars will be much easier and much simpler, and that manned mission can not only brinng back rocks and fossils, it can set the stage for permenant settlement of the red planet, further expanding human civilization.

But, if we don't actually try to get a sizable number of people out there, right now, it's just not going to happen. This should have been done decades ago. There were supposed to be cities on the moon and hotels on Mars by now. But we blew it by being lazy and complacent. We can't wait forever, the time is now. Either we get serious about putting people into space or we just give up and wait for the inevitable ELE to claim all of our lives. There is no middle ground.
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Old February 9 2009, 07:50 PM   #23
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Not a good idea to militarize space...
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Old February 9 2009, 08:16 PM   #24
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

CuttingEdge100 wrote: View Post
Not a good idea to militarize space...
Why not? Maybe there are aliens out there that need killing?

Anyway, where do you come up with "militarizing space"?
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Old February 9 2009, 08:39 PM   #25
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
NASA actually did propose a Mars mission after Apollo. But Nixon wasn't a fan of NASA -- he liked the astronauts as a propaganda point, but that was it -- and when presented with the shuttle plan, he approved that only because it didn't dismantle the space program. (Here's a good summary.)
Thanks, very interesting link


Squiggyfm wrote: View Post

And they're SLOW. In the 1800+ days they've been looking at stuff they've traveled just over 4.6 miles. We're not going to learn much about Mars if we've traveling just over .0001 mph.
I think the Rovers are great, they are good at the science, checking the composition of rocks without risk etc but they have done little to inspire the imagination of people. Over 150 million Americans watched Apollo live as well as almost a billion people across the world, it just proves manned flight is a far more powerful political triumph. How many people watch NASA's recent Phoenix mission, even if you count up all the online hits it only adds to a few thousand that's how many. The silly robot couldn't figure out how to lift a bunch of dirt into the sample tray, the robot lander also had a fault, its now kaput, totally useless. The Soviets also sent a Rover to the Moon back in the 70s called Lunokhod-One but nobody was interested in looking at a machine. It was a political flop, people around the world were more interested in watching Armstrong and Buzz and people like John Young driving his MoonBuggy. If the Chinese want to prove the American dream risen and set they would land a Chinaman on Mars before the United States, that will prove the Chinese dominance.


John Picard wrote: View Post

Your entire rationale is unsound and full of fail. As was pointed out above, the Air Force can't even handle its own procurement without problems.
Really? and what should the USAF be building if not X-planes and Raptors. I suppose you think they should be building 20 Billion dollar Nimitz Carriers? We have enough ships named after Republican Presidents JPicard
Thank you very much.
I suppose you won't rest until your Virginia boys bill the US tax payer for another 11 of those and name one after the moronic son of G. H. W. Bush.

John Picard wrote: View Post
If you had any clue about maritime life then you'd know why the Navy plays a vital role with NASA.
Tell me how? If the Navy produces pilots or scientists for NASA then that's great JPicard .
However the US Navy's role with NASA ain't as vital as it used to be.
We haven't experienced an Apollo style splashdown landing since the 1970s
if its that radar support stuff your talking about you don't need a $1.2 billion dollar frigate to pick up chatter all you need is a cheap radar dish on some island in the Pacific and a guy next to it,
or even better you need nothing we don't have already just an unmanned satellite which can just re-direct the signal home when astronauts are out of view.



John Picard wrote: View Post
Hell, one thing no Air Force pilot would even attempt is to land a jet plane on an aircraft carrier!!! The Navy does it everyday and does a damned good job of it.

Do you know what I call landing on a carrier JPicard ?

Good parallel parking!!
Taken any pilot from the USMC or USAF, just because they all don't land on your ships every single day doesn't mean they are not great pilots. They could be twice the pilots of some of your Navy buddies. You Navy boys are always hyping up landing on a carrier like it was the greatest thing the human race ever did. I admire it as a great skill but don't hype it up to be something it ain't, it just means he's good at parking his airplane down. It doesn't necessarily mean they are the greatest pilots and it certainly doesn't mean these guys can fly to Mars and back.


CuttingEdge100 wrote: View Post
Not a good idea to militarize space...
Space always had that military connection, what changed in the 60s was the Outer Space Treaty which got nations of the globe to sign up to prevent the weaponization of space

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Old February 9 2009, 10:31 PM   #26
John Picard
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

TheMasterOfOrion wrote: View Post
John Picard wrote: View Post
Hell, one thing no Air Force pilot would even attempt is to land a jet plane on an aircraft carrier!!! The Navy does it everyday and does a damned good job of it.

Do you know what I call landing on a carrier JPicard ?

Good parallel parking!!
Taken any pilot from the USMC or USAF, just because they all don't land on your ships every single day doesn't mean they are not great pilots. They could be twice the pilots of some of your Navy buddies. You Navy boys are always hyping up landing on a carrier like it was the greatest thing the human race ever did. I admire it as a great skill but don't hype it up to be something it ain't, it just means he's good at parking his airplane down. It doesn't necessarily mean they are the greatest pilots and it certainly doesn't mean these guys can fly to Mars and back.
Hardly. Did you know that it was US Navy pilots who chased and photographed a never before seen MiG in 1990? They had their F-14's maxed out and almost violated Soviet airspace to get those photos. Also, carrier landings take place in the lousiest weather at times, meaning snow covered flight decks or when the ship is pitching and rolling very violently. As I've said many times in this thread, your knowledge of the different branches is sadly lacking.

Also, you've brought up ZERO supporting information as to why NASA should be run by the Air Force.

While we're at it, what makes you the authority on how NASA is so "incompetent"?
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Old February 9 2009, 11:07 PM   #27
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

And none of those skills are needed to fly the shuttle.
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Old February 9 2009, 11:11 PM   #28
John Picard
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Squiggyfm wrote: View Post
And none of those skills are needed to fly the shuttle.
You'll be eating your words this time, next year, when both Edwards and Kennedy are closed down due to severe weather and the shuttle absolutely HAS TO LAND. In a pinch, NASA opts for a never before attempted landing on board the carrier USS Nimitz as she's on exercises off of the coast of Alaska.
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Old February 9 2009, 11:57 PM   #29
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

The problem is that NASA has a big public relations problem. It isn't doing a good job of selling its programs to the American public or the US Congress. It's generated zero public excitement for "Project Constellation" and its engineers are currently squabbling over the best way to return to the moon and Mars. The only people who seem interested are a handfull of science fiction and aerospace enthusiasts and the aerospace contractors who might make some money when they receive NASA business.

We need another Wehrner Von Braun or Willy Ley who will be the public face of the new space program and evangilize it to the American public and congress. We need a showman like Walt Disney to generate public enthusiasm for manned spaceflight like he did in his Disneyland television program.

NASA is doing a terrible job of communicating and is not doing a sufficient job to communicate its mission. It needs to sell "Project Constellation." It needs to answer the question why should we go back to the moon and why we should go to Mars. It needs to communicate how "Project Constellation" will benefit the American public or the world. Will "Project Constellation" have a trickle down effect by developing new technologies that will be used to improve the quality of life here on Earth? Will it increase the competiveness of American industry or aerospace?

If NASA does a better job of justifying its existence it might receive bigger budgets from Congress.

At least China says that it is interested in the moon to mine Helium-3 to fuel nuclear fussion reactors to help satisfy future energy needs.

Further, I don't see why manned spaceflight would be of any interest to the U.S. Air Force. What would be the military objective that they would achieve by flying men and women to the moon and to Mars? What interest would they have in robotic probes going to other celestial bodies? Why would they want to operate space telescopes?

The space technology that they might be interested in would be space craft that would allow them global strike capability and bypass the politics of flying through other countrie's airspace. Space technology, such as satellites, doing intelligence gathering. If it wasn't prohibited by treaty, they would be interested in weapons platforms in low Earth orbit that can strike the globe.

Right now, the U.S. Air Force wants F-22 Raptors, refueling tankers, a next generation stealth bomber, and unmanned combat aerial vehicles. It doesn't want to spend its time or budget operating "Project Constellation."

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Old February 10 2009, 12:22 AM   #30
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Herbert wrote: View Post

Further, I don't see why manned spaceflight would be of any interest to the U.S. Air Force.

There's this corporate connection to the guys who supply hardware for the US Air Force and guys who deliver satellites for the DOD. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are not just sellers of Aircraft, they made money in other areas also like hundreds of millions in commercial satellite contracts. When Griffin backed Ares-I and Ares-V he showed he wanted to keep the Shuttle staff and dump the Boeing/Lockheed teams who were providing some great satellite launch service. The EELV program was dumped in favor of corporate welfare program for ATK Thiokol, the hardware that gets us to the Moon again is the same hardware derived from dangerous Shuttle componets.



Obama Team told EELVs can save NASA

For more than three years, NASA chief Mike Griffin has maintained that the safest, most reliable and affordable way to return astronauts to the moon is on the Ares I, a rocket that he helped design from parts of the space shuttle. Alternatives, he insisted, such as modified military rockets, were simply not capable of carrying humans to the moon and beyond.

But interviews, as well as documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, indicate that military rockets can lift astronauts safely into space - and to the moon - for billions less and possibly sooner than NASA's current designs.

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/new...team-told.html
On Oct. 27, Walker told county commissioners, U.S. Reps. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, and Dave
Weldon, R-Indialantic, and representatives of the local aerospace community that the word at the conferences was "that Ares I could be on the chopping block."

Industry officials say that a few days later, Griffin called Robert Stevens, the CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., which jointly owns ULA together with Boeing Co., and demanded that Stevens stop what Griffin said was the subsidiary's efforts to "kill Ares I" by promoting versions of its own rockets that could carry humans to space.

NASA confirmed the conversation but provided no details. Lockheed Martin said it does not comment on conversations with government officials. Spokesman Scott Lusk* said Lockheed is "fully supportive of NASA's Project Constellation and is not engaged in any activities advocating alternative launch vehicles."

But Griffin has said before that EELV supporters have exaggerated troubles with the Ares as a plot to undermine the program. In April, he lashed out at ULA, and its parent companies, both of whom have lucrative Constellation program contracts.
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