Human Spaceflight: No Single Rationale Justifies it, NRC Report

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Yminale, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    While I hope you're right, I don't expect it. There's no viable environment for human habitation in the solar system, the closest thing, Mars, would require a tremendous investment that seems unlikely to come about. Since so much now involves economic opportunity to compel interest, what opportunity would be on Mars to bring about going there? To date, fossil fuel dominates how we create energy and little shows it being displaced and that which is available doesn't look likely to replace it what would make going off-world realistic? Civilizations need fuel.

    Seed banks, fine, who gets to plant seed? That will become an issue if survival is on the line. Even if that little social conundrum is put aside, we don't have the capacity to develop from embryo to self-sustaining human within the test tube so that becomes a whole other hurdle. What's the interest there to develop this human seed bank?
     
  2. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    A small human colony with access to a large "human seed bank" would be able to maintain genetic diversity through periodic withdrawals. No need to "develop from embryo to full grown human" in a test tube.
     
  3. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    How many women and how many kids are they supposed to plunk out without the test tubes? I suppose the culture can shift to making them breeder cows, not so far from some places today, but how many and why would they go along with it? How do you handle the ones who won't? I suppose men might be engineered to support a fetus but that sounds as difficult and unlikely as the seed bank colony at all.

    So far, an improbable self-sustaining colony/colonies without need of Earth support, a capacity for reproduction that isn't hampered by population bottlenecks, two very tall and unlikely orders to be fulfilled outside of a novel.
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Why do you feel the need to maximize population growth? With the bank they can maintain a stable population with genetic diversity for a prolonged period of time and let the population grow at a more natural rate.

    Many things that used to only appear in novels are reality today. I wouldn't exactly call a self sustaining colony insurmountable. Not possible now? sure. Never becoming possible in the future? I wouldn't bet against it.
     
  5. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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    Not maximize but maintain it at all. Setting aside issues of race, culture, and class which would come into trying to create this genetic survival kit, where does the production line start to keep the species going? The hypothetical colony? Back on Earth? Elsewhere? Aside from Earth, where? Barring true planetary destruction (core cracked and the shebang mixed like a milk shake) humanity is unlikely to have a place to live without requiring vast technological support to survive much less propagate other than Earth. Taken off planet, maintaining a stable population is going to be a substantial task. Why would such an endeavor come about when the Earth is here and the only place capable of supporting such a feat to date?
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    As insurance that should something happen to Earth, the species will continue. Which brings us full circle in this conversation.
     
  7. Gov Kodos

    Gov Kodos Admiral Admiral

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  8. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Those two fine upstanding dudes notwithstanding, humans are simply more adaptable at doing science than any rover--there is no replacing a man in the field in terms of versatility.

    We spend so much money on manned airplanes like F-35 that a drone can out-turn by pulling higher g-forces that we are forced to fund automated rovers.

    We need to reverse that trend. Drones for defense, and humans on Mars.
     
  9. Spider

    Spider Dirty Old Man Premium Member

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    Let's say we magically terraform Mars and now we can live there. We even thickened the atmosphere and put up an ozone layer to protect us from the sun. We still only have 1/3 the gravity and the human body will not stand for that over a long period of time.

    Not to mention getting stoned and continually slamming yourself into walls when you try to walk.
     
  10. Captrek

    Captrek Vice Admiral Admiral

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    We also didn't do it just out of curiosity. There were serious concerns about the potential militarization of space, so there was a military imperative to keep the American space program ahead of the USSR's.
     
  11. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    There's no point in 'terrafoming' Mars since the atmosphere wouldn't stay put without a magnetic field to protect it. The only way would be domed environments but why would anyone invest in what is essentially self-catering holiday homes? Ok scientists could do sciency things and it would be interesting to see what effects reduced gravity has on the human body and its functions but it's hardly a money spinner. If we're talking about a survival strategy then it's always going to be Earth-based because nobody's interested in pumping vast resources into saving a few humans while everyone else perishes. Sod that.
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    The one percenters disagree with you.
     
  13. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    The world is governed by politicians. Now you might get the odd billionaire who's building his own bunker for the apocalypse but most survival strategies will be subject to the public auditor's scrutiny. Despite legion conspiracy stories, it's not that easy to spend a vast amount of taxpayers' money on something secret. So then you have to have a system where the electorate at least have a chance of being saved, which means it has to be something on a significantly large scale. I hesitate to use 2012 as an example but the idea of scale isn't entirely stupid.
     
  14. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Given the correct motivation the rich will at least try to save themselves on their own dime.
     
  15. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    :guffaw::lol::rofl:

    I could refute that statement with a few examples, but then I'd have to kill you. ;)
     
  16. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    As I've said before, I'd do Mercury before I did Mars, especially if Mercury is solid down to the core, in which case it might have enough accessible gold and platinum to cover the entire surface of the Earth a foot deep, and of course all of it WILL BE MINE.

    Mercury also receives about twenty times the solar energy density of Mars, allowing simple ore processing to be powered by solar concentrators. The same solar data says that we could grow more food on Mercury than on Earth, and it is in a hard vacuum so entire space colonies could be magnetically launched from the surface. On the downside, like Mars it only has a surface gravity of about 0.4 G's.

    Venus is another option, with 0.9 G gravity and Earth sea level temperature and pressure at 50 km altitude, and I was recently quoted in an article in The Atlantic on Venus colonization, specifically on the preparation of Venusian dinner items.

    Then there are places like Uranus, with 16 times more surface area than the Earth and 0.9 G's gravity, and Neptune with 15 times more surface area than the Earth and 1.14 G's surface gravity. And of course, all that vast real estate WILL BE MINE.

    Throw in my control over Mars and the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and the Earth is just screwed. I will probably bill the Earthlings for sunlight and make them pay asteroid impact protection money.
     
  17. Drone

    Drone Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You seem to be a person of distinct parts. Your posts that I have read are, for the most part, very technical, impenetrably dense (for this scientific moron anyway) and of apparently learned mien. Now , here you reveal a prediliction for other concerns, driven by a rather more, uh, speculative sensibility. Very interesting.... :rolleyes:
     
  18. Dryson

    Dryson Captain Captain

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    One of the main reason for human spaceflight is the continuation of religious philosophies. Sure religious courts on Earth have debated for thousands of year on millions of topics that were decided to be true or false based on the total number of people voting on the topic, more specifically Creation, who, how and why, but more importantly how good looking is Creation when we meet her in her Universal Birthday Suit.

    But such debates on Earth are no longer necessary. But what is necessary is the exploration of space so that when another sentient species is discovered the opinions and facts of both species the first being human and the second tier of sentient life not from Earth can be brought together to correlate the knowledge of both species to create a better understanding of Creation both scientifically and theologically.

    As more correlations are made between each tier of new species discovered based on Creation theories more and more network nodes through Creation and to Creation will be created that can then be traveled upon as being factual because more of the Universe has come together to compare notes to find a unified Universal truth to existence.
     
  19. Dennis

    Dennis The Man Premium Member

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    Well, that certainly makes no sense whatever.

    So what?

    You know, if human beings destroy or cripple our ability to live here on Earth there is no reason - none at all - to believe that we'll do better wherever we're transplanted.

    Yeah, we'll have, uh, learned our lesson - just like bad hangovers cause alcoholics to not drink. :lol:
     
  20. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I don't think that natural is the word you're looking for here. Perhaps manageable, though, which in many respects is the exact opposite of natural.