Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Alpha_Geek, Feb 3, 2010.
How embarrassing for the US. Thanks, Nobama!
Link (of Shame!)
Even if Constellation had gone forward, it's unlikely we would have gotten back to the moon within 10 years.
Maybe if Constellation had been funded to the necessary level from its inception (2004, was it?) that might not have been the case, but it wasn't.
As long as humans get back to the moon, I don't care whether those humans are American or Chinese. I just want us humans to get back there and hopefully set up a permanent base.
I just hope that with several other countries competing to get to the moon, techniques and technologies will be found to make space travel less expensive. If we could eventually bring the costs down to the point where corporations can get into the act and make space exploration profitable, then it will really take off.
Yeah, I know that point might still be centuries away, dangit.
Yeah, those smelly commie chinks. How dare they! The Moon is American!
Seriously, guys, get over yourself.
Why is this embarrassing for the US? It's actually embarrassing that China cannot feed its entire population and is poisoning its environment through shoddy mining and manufacturing processes.
What I said in the other thread... assuming that the Chinese will even get to that point, a manned moon landing by China is perhaps the only event that would make a manned U.S. mission to Mars actually possible. Just like Apollo only happened because of Sputnik/Vostok.
I wouldn't want to be going to the moon in a Chinese-made craft.
More like Chinese made with stolen Western technology.
The Shenzhou was actually derived from the Russian Soyuz, using the most reliable spacecraft design constructed so far.
^And from what I have seen, they updated it quite nicely!
Sensationalism aside, the article does make a good point about how much more awesome a landing today would be, media-wise. That's the sort of thing we'd need in order to rejuvenate interest in space, no matter who does it.
Even if Obama gets 8 full years (yes, I voted for "change", but not this kind), the next prez could do a 180 and restart the program.
It's not like they've sunk that much money into the current program that an 8 year gap would be such a big deal.
And just maybe there are bigger things to deal with right now other than moon landings and those of us who want the future to happen in our lifetimes are out of luck.
I can't see how China getting to the moon in 2020 would be embarrassing for the US. America got there in 1969. The space race is over, America won.
Obama's decision to cancel Constellation was a good one. According to an independent review board, Constellation was both over budget and behind schedule. There had been a consistent lack of development of new technology, and the entire endeavour was diverting time and resources from other projects.
As I understand it, Constellation as planned was inadequate for the task of establishing a permanent manned base on the moon. Essentially it was an attempt to recreate the Apollo project. Now there is no denying that great scientific discoveries were made by Apollo. But there is little more that can be learnt by such short visits that cannot be achieved using unmanned probes, at a much lower cost.
By cancelling Constellation, and increasing the NASA budget by $6bn over the next five years, Obama has opened the door to a great number of scientific projects.
It was almost two generations ago though.
I don't see it as the same race. It's either a new race, or it's not a race at all, but the ambitions and skills of the current generation. The ground we stand on may still have the same names, but it's all new people. What can these new people achieve?
When our offspring are grown up, they'll look back and say..
Our great grandparents achieved space flight and walking on the moon.
Our grandparents created the microcomputer, the internet and mobile phones.
What did our parents achieve? A level 80 death knight.
You say that like it's a bad thing.
I highly doubt China is going to send anyone to the Moon before 2020. They've launched two manned missions into low Earth orbit and are now gearing up for a few more and a series of small space stations. If the third of these is up before 2020 I'd call that a huge success.
Let the Chinese go to the Moon, as long as someone's carrying this forward. They can afford it, we - thanks largely to Dubya - can't. Obama's done the right thing, here.
But would returning to the moon be an achievement?
If it was a full scale project, for purposes of scientific enquiry, then yes we should return. But to go back simply for the sake of going back is pointless. An ego boost for the American people, a moment of defiance, a shout of 'AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!'.
And at the risk of repeating myself, Constellation was over budget and behind schedule. It wasn't working. Even if you only wanted to send a couple of guys to the moon for publicity purposes, Constellation was barely adequate. Anything significant, forget it.
I'll admit that, yes, I'm disappointed too. I'm just old enough to remember the last couple of Apollo missions. I'd love to see a return to the moon. But this project wasn't working.
Oh, I reckon our kids will look on mapping the human genome as our big achievement. It's kind of important.
And this is how I view every single post from people here who constantly complain about going to Mars.
Me: "Why do we need to go to Mars?"
Them: "WHY?? WHY??? GEEZUSSFUCKINGAREYOUNUTS? BY THIS TIME IN STAR TREK THE ANTIGRAVOMETRIC SELF FLAGILATOR WAS INVENTED AND THE MARTIAN COLONIES WERE GOING FULL FORCE AND THEN IN THE SECOND GRADE I REMEMBER BEING TOLD THAT BY 2005 I'D BE TAKING A VACATION ON THE MOON BEFORE HEADING TO THE MINES OF MARS.....WE HAVE TO GO TO MARS....JUST....FUCKING....HAVE....TO!!!!!!!!"
In another Moon thread, there was the mention of going to the Moon to extract H3 to use as an energy source on Earth. If that were the purpose of returning to the Moon, then by all means do it. But if the intent is just to send three people there to collect rocks, hotwire the lunar buggy, and walk around for a bit -- then no.
Going to Mars eventually is important as a milestone. It's political as much as scientific.
But it has to be done at the proper time. Just saying we're going to do it without the infrastructure in place to make it a practical ambition is counter-productive.
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