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Old July 28 2013, 05:31 PM   #16
JarodRussell
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Re: Mission to Mars

As this point in time, I have to ask: do we really need to do it? Space exploration, as romantic and exciting as it is, is luxury. Luxury we can't afford right now.

The billions needed for a manned mission to Mars could be well spent in other areas. Might be a tough thing to say, but it's the truth.
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Old July 28 2013, 06:02 PM   #17
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Re: Mission to Mars

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
but it's the truth.
Ah, the trump card, meaning "anything you say is already refuted." So you believe all the private investors are not entitled to do what they wish with their own money? Thanks for making my point.

"Romantic" also shows your mindset: planting footprints. Have you read any of the above discussion? We're not talking about adventure. You also know that none of the answers to the world's problems are off-world?
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Old July 28 2013, 06:19 PM   #18
YellowSubmarine
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Re: Mission to Mars

sojourner wrote: View Post
Unless you have something a heckofa lot better than chemical engines, "a couple annual flights" for crew is not possible. You have to wait for the best launch window.
Ah, sure, I forgot the launch windows, but I wasn't trying to be specific on the schedule. Seizing the opportunity to decrease costs and accomplish more at once opens possibilities. I haven't got a clue what schedules they could use, but I am pretty sure something of the sort can be done if you've got the right price tag and the resolve.

They could rotate the entire crew every two years, leaving the ground station unmanned for a while. That would be all sorts of amazing, imagine how creepy it must be to go into a completely empty space station.

Also, how much travel time could be cut by constantly working ion engines? I get that the pre-prototype of the thurster intended for the cancelled Jupiter icy moon mission could get the Destiny laboratory several AU away for a year operating at maximum power (50 kW), with only 200 kg of fuel. But I've no idea if you could operate it that way.
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Old July 28 2013, 06:24 PM   #19
R. Star
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Re: Mission to Mars

Metryq wrote: View Post
JarodRussell wrote: View Post
but it's the truth.
Ah, the trump card, meaning "anything you say is already refuted." So you believe all the private investors are not entitled to do what they wish with their own money? Thanks for making my point.

"Romantic" also shows your mindset: planting footprints. Have you read any of the above discussion? We're not talking about adventure. You also know that none of the answers to the world's problems are off-world?
Yeah, I just love how some people feel they should be able to tell others how they should spend their money. Next to that, proclaiming one's opinion as fact is a small thing.
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Old July 28 2013, 06:25 PM   #20
sojourner
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Re: Mission to Mars

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
As this point in time, I have to ask: do we really need to do it? Space exploration, as romantic and exciting as it is, is luxury. Luxury we can't afford right now.

The billions needed for a manned mission to Mars could be well spent in other areas. Might be a tough thing to say, but it's the truth.

XKCD responds.


Besides, think of the billions of dollars Americans spend on entertainment per year. That's a luxury. We could be feeding the planet with that money.
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Old July 28 2013, 07:01 PM   #21
JarodRussell
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Re: Mission to Mars

Metryq wrote: View Post
So you believe all the private investors are not entitled to do what they wish with their own money?
They are, but I'd still try to convince them to invest in something else.

Metryq wrote: View Post
"Romantic" also shows your mindset: planting footprints. Have you read any of the above discussion? We're not talking about adventure. You also know that none of the answers to the world's problems are off-world?
It's pretty certain. "Mining space resources" is one of those rather romantic ideas. The revenue is not worth the expenses.
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Old July 28 2013, 08:33 PM   #22
Edit_XYZ
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Re: Mission to Mars

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
As this point in time, I have to ask: do we really need to do it? Space exploration, as romantic and exciting as it is, is luxury. Luxury we can't afford right now.

The billions needed for a manned mission to Mars could be well spent in other areas. Might be a tough thing to say, but it's the truth.
I also disagree with this.
Beyond the unsupported dictates you've used ('it's the truth'), finding a new niche for humanity to expand into, historically, always lead to increasing prosperity; on the other hand, social programs historically proved highly inefficient in combating poverty, etc.
Plus - overall, humanity is today richer than at any other time in history.

If successful, Musk&co will do more to ensure humanity's prosperity than all the social programs in existence put together.

PS - You obviously have no idea of the resources to be found in asteroids.
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Last edited by Edit_XYZ; July 28 2013 at 09:24 PM.
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Old July 28 2013, 08:57 PM   #23
publiusr
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Re: Mission to Mars

Once in the game you have to stay in it. Spaceflight is hard. You have to slowly build up infrastructure. This blurb explains gigantism:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/ind...?topic=32409.0

Things aren't going to get cheaper--but like WWII, if something is important--it costs what it costs.

Being a starfaring species is something we are going to have to do--and you have to stay in the game. Profits be damned. Its not about romance,but survival. We have to first get beyond this idea of not having anything more than what someone says we need.

The Wright brothers didn't need to play with flying machines, they could have been medical doctors.

But what if all we did was what some commissar said was necessary? If all we did was raise food and meds, then all we become as humans is walking stomachs. We have to push onwards. We need existing weather satellites today. Imagine if someone raided space budgets just to build more hospitals. Then we wouldn't have weather sats and deaths would actually be higher, even if we did what some thought was prudent.

We can walk and chew gum both at the same time.

Now in terms of the study, the lander actually reminds me of the FLEM study
http://www.astronautix.com/craft/flem.htm

That was back when folks thought that Mars was just the Moon with bad weather.

What we do now is have Delta (or Atlas rockets) launch warheads that slam into Mars atmosphere.

Larger spacecraft may brake, with payloads coming in more slowly. That will require larger and larger LVs, as Musk is planning for MCT. We have a lot of vertical weld tools and tankage fabrication being paid for under SLS. Same with the F-1 having new life. If this work is completed, Musk might benefit from that.
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Old July 28 2013, 09:15 PM   #24
YellowSubmarine
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Re: Mission to Mars

Long-term survival and overall advacement and achievements are a part of humanity's prosperity. Arguing whether we should do space travel is like wondering if we should leave our cave when there are more pressing needs. Sure we do, but thanks to a few crazy cavemen who made it to Europe and Asia, and from there somehow miraculously ended up in Australia and the Americas (holy shit), we maximized the chances that our civilization makes it anywhere. If we were shy to go to places we had no obvious benefit in going, we could be sitting in a cave somewhere in Africa wondering if those Homo Callidus flying helicopters overhead are gods.

I know it looks like a stupid analogy, because Mars is more barren than post-Apocalyptic Antarctica, but to the cavemen it made no sense at the time to travel far too, no matter that now, in hindsight, it looks like the wise thing to do it. When a deadly virus kills all humans on one of the planets we live on, the rest of us will be more thankful that we did the unwise thing to go where we had no business being, instead of fighting world hunger on a doomed world.

On top of that, it is not like we're using a huge part of humanity's resources for space travel. With the space travel money you couldn't make a dent in the hunger problem, or any other major problem. It's pocket change. For something that reshapes humanity's future. And inspires people, contributing to the welfare of the entire world. When humans land on Mars, you'd bring hope, joy and pride among all people on Earth, including some of the people who have trouble finding what to eat.
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Old July 28 2013, 09:49 PM   #25
JarodRussell
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Re: Mission to Mars

publiusr wrote: View Post
We have to push onwards. We need existing weather satellites today. Imagine if someone raided space budgets just to build more hospitals. Then we wouldn't have weather sats and deaths would actually be higher, even if we did what some thought was prudent.
That's the point. Why waste money on getting to Mars or farer away? Certainly won't help building weather satellites or something else we need HERE.
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Old July 28 2013, 11:06 PM   #26
sojourner
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Re: Mission to Mars

JarodRussell wrote: View Post

That's the point. Why waste money on getting to Mars or farer away? Certainly won't help building weather satellites or something else we need HERE.
Could you have picked a worse example? Getting to Mars in the past has helped us develop new technologies which apply directly to weather satellites. Musk started SpaceX to get to Mars. The Falcon 9 series of rockets is already causing a reduction in price per KG to orbit directly effecting weather satellites.

Good thing you weren't in charge of the purse strings when Columbus went looking for money to "waste" on his expedition.
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Old July 28 2013, 11:46 PM   #27
YellowSubmarine
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Re: Mission to Mars

sojourner wrote: View Post
Good thing you weren't in charge of the purse strings when Columbus went looking for money to "waste" on his expedition.
The funny part is that Columbus was going on a mission to a non-existent location based on phony science, with absolutely no convincing reason for making his journey. And it still lead to world-changing results. But let's dismiss things that actually have arguments to support them.
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Old July 29 2013, 12:11 AM   #28
Maurice
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Re: Mission to Mars

What phony science?^^^
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Old July 29 2013, 12:31 AM   #29
R. Star
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Re: Mission to Mars

Uh news flash, people knew the world was round more than a thousand years before Columbus sailed.
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Old July 29 2013, 02:41 AM   #30
sojourner
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Re: Mission to Mars

Maurice wrote: View Post
What phony science?^^^
Columbus thought the circumference of the Earth was half of what it actually was. contrary to popular belief. It's a myth that his crew (and the rest of europe) thought the earth was flat at the time.
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