Americans totally deluded about NASA's budget

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by RAMA, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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  2. throwback

    throwback Captain Captain

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    I doubt highly that this country will finance a mission to Mars. I think that it will be done by a private enterprise. It's difficult enough to rationalize the need to build and maintain infrastructure in this nation with one party voting against it constantly because "the government spends too much money". The chances of this one party supporting the Mars manned missions is zilch.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    It is possible to have a manned mission to Mars within two decades, however due to the sheer costs it would most likely to have to be global effort by America, China, Europe and Russia.

    After all the service module for the Orion capsule will be European not American. Though Europe is providing it as payment inkind for ISS operations.
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    The only reason why NASA put a man on the Moon was because it was a political priority for the US--to beat the Soviet Union there. The same thing will apply for putting a man on Mars--for the US to beat someone else from getting there first. Until someone like China (or whoever) shows some really serious progress in making a landing on Mars, any mission there will have to be spearheaded by the corporate sector or be an international effort in which US isn't the only one flipping the bill for it, IMO.
     
  5. StarCruiser

    StarCruiser Captain Captain

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    ANY serious mission is worth the effort and expense! If congress (aka the opposite of progress - thank you Mark Twain) had any guts or clues, they would increase NASA's budget to at LEAST $30 billion/year.

    Still a pittance, but at least it would give room for some serious projects...

    What stuns me is that so many people don't realize that so much we take for granted today would probably not exist yet - if at all - if it weren't for the "Space Race" between the USA and USSR. That was the most wonderful aspect of the cold war era - and in the end, the most hopeful part of it.
     
  6. FordSVT

    FordSVT Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's even more difficult to rationalize commercial interest in space when there is no money to be made. This is the reason why government has had to set the pace in space research and development funding, there is no money to be made sending people into the cosmos. Not yet anyway, and there won't be until public funding lays the ground work for decades to come.

    What private company is going to be able to afford spending $150 billion to send some people to Mars without a relatively quick return on investment? The first steps on mars certainly aren't going to result in short term, massive colonizing and mining and construction on the planet. We're still trying to figure out how to catch a nearby asteroid and haul it into orbit to mine it, let alone a way to justify a private enterprise spending tens of billions of dollars to put men on Mars "just because".
     
  7. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's just it, though: there's quite a bit of money to be made, from a great many different sources. There isn't a lot of money in space EXPLORATION at present, mainly because exploration is an initial investment that is made towards future space DEVELOPMENT, which is where the money comes from.

    NASA does a lot of exploration, but not a lot of actual development.

    Whatever company figures out they can make a quick buck by selling a package-deal Mars mission to the highest bidder. Given the choice between spending four decades developing space technology or instantly having the prestige of sending your astronauts to Mars, quite a few governments -- Japan, for example -- would happily choose the latter. It gets even easier when you can get a whole group of countries to split the difference, with each of the contributors putting an astronaut and/or science payload on the mission. A six-man mission could be founded by a coalition of ten countries, each contributing between $10 and $20 billion for the entire flight.

    When you consider that space exploration for its own sake is really just a form of high-class tourism, you can make a pretty effective business case by setting yourself up as a deep space travel agency and taking whole countries as potential customers to the most exotic locations. At the same time, that puts you in a position to sell "cheap seats" for visits to space stations and/or lunar outposts to non-governmental entities (or small, unpopular governments) who want to do stuff in space but can't afford to go to Mars.

    True, but the next steps on the moon very well might.
     
  8. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Back in the early 90s when I was a member of the NSS and Planetary Society, there was a lot of negative debate directed towards commercialization of space. 20+ years after the Moon landing, they were trying to be conventional. 80-85% of members didnt want to hear about it, there was a small minority that thought it was essential, now its basically the savior of space exploration, and I think NASA will only be a small part of it if at all. It will prob focus on near-earth and extra-solar research and that's it. The first steps to colonizing might not be the Moon or Mars, it might be a techno-philanthropist inspired small company mining asteroids. It might even be a tourist rocket to the moon, familiarity breeds comfort with the environment and may spur others into space. Money talks also of course.
     
  9. Crazy Eddie

    Crazy Eddie Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ The first steps to colonization will most likely be Chinese. They will, of course, wisely make themselves host to corporate/government partners all around the world who want to reap financial/scientific/political benefits of lunar exploration, and commercialization of space will be a major part of it.

    Unless something changes in the next ten years, NASA will never again be an important player in that process, but I suspect they'll find some way to get in on the action somehow, some way, eventually.
     
  10. jefferiestubes8

    jefferiestubes8 Commodore Premium Member

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    Mars - commercially funded

    this week's news
    Millionaire Spaceflier Eyes 2018 Mars Mission
    like it says wait until next week.

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com...ionaire-plans-manned-mission-to-mars-in-2018/


    a manned mission to Mars? I can see them planning it but not getting funding for it for 10 years. An orbiting satellite would probably be able to be pulled off without NASA or ESA level of support though.