Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by TheMasterOfOrion, Feb 8, 2009.

?

The USAF can get NASA to Mars?

Poll closed Mar 10, 2009.
  1. Strongly agree

    9.3%
  2. Agree

    9.3%
  3. Maybe

    16.3%
  4. Disagree

    11.6%
  5. Strongly disagree

    62.8%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Well maybe not take over all NASA like Solar science, search for aliens, environment watching satellites, Jupiter probes etc :shifty:
    but maybe the USAF should take over "Manned" space exploration :techman:

    Taken from the last science and tech thread
    :cardie:


    Here are the Obama rumors
    Griffin is gone :eek:
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2009/01/is_grations_star_fading_1.html
    http://www.nasawatch.com/archives/2009/02/latest_nasa_adm.html
    :o
     
  2. btflash

    btflash Captain Captain

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    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.
     
  3. John Picard

    John Picard Vice Admiral Admiral

    ^^ Exactly. NASA doesn't receive 1/10th the funding of either the Department of Energy or Department of Education, and those two are an economic black hole.

    Both were created during the Carter Administration and neither has produced anything worthwhile or meaningful.
     
  4. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    NASA has lost its cojones after Apollo got cancelled. They should have then immediately pushed for a long distance Mars mission. NASA should have been thinking of Record breaking feats of history such as the early long distance flights between Scotland and South Africa or long distance record breaking journeys between the United States and Europe. Instead of record breaking journeys NASA was thinking about launch another 50th robot at Venus or Mars.

    I don't know why science fiction is so Navy centric with stories constantly involving naval officers, if you ask me its the wrong mindset for putting a man on Mars. NASA's next logical step after the Moon should have been Mars but instead it was a story of going around in circles trying to repair satellites, or build navy style space stations so people would carry out petri dish experiments in zero G or carrying out Navy like drills ie astronauts ringing bells to mark arrival of space tourists on a Russian taxi, or footage of Com specialists reporting uninteresting stuff to CNN about the the thousandth and one space walk, astronauts doing laundry etc If you ask me NASA's best days are behind it while we should either sell most off to the private sector or allow the US army or Air Force to step in and own manned flight sections since the military guys got more backbone when it comes to pushing the envelope even if it comes with an unfortunate the cost of men.

    NASA should also reconsider the use of nuclear rocketry which was banned during the 70s, this kind of power can cut travel time down to a few weeks making travel more like a space plane rather than spending a year sailing a Navy style vessel to Mars and taking another long year to get home. By that time many of your astronauts could be starving or sick or sterile from long term exposure solar radiation. Shuttle was not an Airforce mindset, the Air Force knows it can lose men but it tries its best to keep everyone safe and at least equips its pilots with ejector seats. Saturn-V and Soyuz had great escape mechanisms, Shuttle safety was more like a 19th century mindset, more like the Titanic death trap supported by an outdated Navy plan. If it hit a glitch, there were no lifeboats, no ejector seats and the people on board were most likely doomed.
     
  5. John Picard

    John Picard Vice Admiral Admiral

    Going to Mars -- WHY?

    Most of the original Mercury astronauts were Navy/Marine, not Air Force.

    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.
     
  6. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    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.

    Then we wouldn't have to listen to whiners who think "we should solve our problems on Earth before we spend money go to other planets." If it's private money rather than gov't money, they'll have nothing to whine about.
     
  7. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. John Picard

    John Picard Vice Admiral Admiral

    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.
     
  9. Leroy

    Leroy Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Is this true? Are nuclear rockets that much faster than conventional ones?
     
  10. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Explain to me - WHY NOT?

    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.



    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.


    http://www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=1708=1
    "12 percent of the speed of light "
    Apollo probably flew at 0.00001 percent

    Don't ask me how they planned on slowing down this nuke rocket
     
  11. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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    You can only explore so much using a rover...and the people at large don't tend to give a fuck.
     
  12. MIB

    MIB Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    You're starting to talk about an entire space infrastructure there. The catch is there's no way in hell we can pull something like that off completely remotely. Like it or not, we're going to have to start sending people up. And to do that, we're going to have to develop the tech to do that cheaply. As others have pointed out, rovers and probes can't do everything.
     
  13. philbob

    philbob Commander Red Shirt

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    NO becuase the airforce cant even get their own procurments or cost control in order, KC-X, F-22, F-35, C-SAR(X).......
     
  14. philbob

    philbob Commander Red Shirt

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    But that got some new digital cameoflauge that is i heard is nothin but FAIL
     
  15. Dayton3

    Dayton3 Admiral

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    Agreed.

    Someone once said that support for space exploration in the United States is a mile wide......but only an inch deep.
     
  16. John Picard

    John Picard Vice Admiral Admiral

    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.

    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.
     
  17. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    On the destruct button until the last minute!

    So, build a better rover.
     
  18. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  19. BolianAuthor

    BolianAuthor Writer, Battlestar Urantia Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  20. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

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    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.

    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.