Mission to Mars

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Deckerd, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They are, but I'd still try to convince them to invest in something else.

    It's pretty certain. "Mining space resources" is one of those rather romantic ideas. The revenue is not worth the expenses.
     
  2. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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/index.php?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.
     
  4. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    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.:guffaw:
     
  7. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Maurice

    Maurice Vice Admiral Admiral

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    What phony science?^^^
     
  9. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Uh news flash, people knew the world was round more than a thousand years before Columbus sailed.
     
  10. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  11. ZapBrannigan

    ZapBrannigan Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "No convincing reason" isn't right. Europe needed a sea route to Asia to facilitate trade:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Columbus#Quest_for_Asia

    Also his intended destination was real and the science for a round Earth was not phony.
     
  12. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think later centuries owe a huge apology to the poor people of the 15th century for shamelessly replacing them with straw men. They never claimed the Earth was flat. That's just silly. It was Mr. Columbus who ignored the scientific knowledge about the Earth's roundness to support his mission, not those who detracted his flawed ideas about the location of Asia which did not exist where he was headed. Something everyone knew, except Columbus.

    That's what your own link says:

    He got lucky that he found the Americas there. But if the Pacific and the Atlantic had switched places, he would have found only disappointment.
     
  13. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    The problem with Earth exploration analogies is that they are completely irrelevant to space exploration.
     
  14. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This affirmation is the very definition of an unsupported dictum.
     
  15. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I disagree. Wherever humans go on Earth there are a few constants which never vary and are sort of important. Like gravity and y'know a breathable atmosphere, and unless they're very unlucky a means of obtaining water and food.

    None of those constants are there as soon as you leave the planet. So if you break down you're stuffed. If you run out of food or water or heating or air, you're stuffed. If your life support fails on Mars you're stuffed. If you get a serious illness which requires specialist treatment you're stuffed. And so on. You can build as much redundancy as you like into a life support system on a hostile planet but all it takes is one fire and you're toast because you can't run outside in your pyjamas.
     
  16. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And yet we are already more successful in surviving in space than people were at sea in Columbus times. Seems like the irrelevance could easily expire after a technological breakthrough or two.
     
  17. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    On earth, if you must go through a winter without provisions, you're stuffed. If your encounter meteorological turbulences without being prepared, you're stuffed. And so on.
    Humans survive on earth as well as we do because of our technology - starting from fire, clothing, agriculture, etc. Without it - for example, tell me, how well do you think Las Vegas' citizens would fare?
    And we do have the technology to survive in space, as well. Quite safely, too - despite your alarmism.

    Any other arguments?
     
  18. Metryq

    Metryq Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Off topic, but one of things that made me roll my eyes about the original V series was that the aliens were stealing water from Los Angeles... which was a desert before humans irrigated it, and then built a huge city on top of a major fault line. "Danger" is our middle name.
     
  19. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Those aren't arguments. The fact that we evolved here means we are perfectly capable of surviving without technology. That we choose to use technology is irrelevant.
     
  20. Edit_XYZ

    Edit_XYZ Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Humans evolved in warm/etc Africa.
    We are NOT able to survive without technology in most habitats we occupy on Earth.
    We would not be able to survive anywhere in our numbers without technology.
    I notice you haven't answered my question about Las Vegas.

    That we can survive quite well by using technology in inhospitable habitats - and have done so for thousands of years - is eminently relevant when talking about colonising a new habitat - space.
     

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