US retreat leaves China leading way in race to return to Moon

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Alpha_Geek, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    Well the future of all things 'spacey' is collaborative ventures between countries. The Indians and the Chinese are making their mark as nations as a political statement to their own people, not for foreign consumption. All meaningful future research and development will be multinational. All the grown-up stuff happening just now already is. Which is why moaning about the lack of USA-only work is sooooooo last century.
     
  2. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    China’s 1st Lunar Lander snaps 1st landing site Panorama
    http://www.universetoday.com/107388/chinas-1st-lunar-lander-snaps-1st-landing-site-panorama/


    as usual politics is NASA's biggest obstacle
     
  3. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    F-35 and wars are sucking funding.
    "And, rare among NASA programs, SLS’s funding and timeline were in good shape. SLS is running five months ahead of schedule and is below budget"
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2405/1

    Garry Lyles proves there is no "retreat"
    http://www.space-travel.com/reports..._Building_Americas_Next_Great_Rocket_999.html
    http://www.americaspace.com/?p=46724


    China isn't afraid to spend money on big LVs themselves
    http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=%2Farticle-xml%2FAW_09_30_2013_p22-620995.xml

    Some debate about CZ-9's future:
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=8447.180

    Now scroll down to the middle of this article to see how the recent lander compares to the descent stage of the LEM
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2413/1
    http://www.spacedaily.com/dragonspace.html
     
  4. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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    There's nothing wrong with a little bit of competition.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Making the assumption that if that money were not going to those projects and activities, it would be going to NASA?



    :)
     
  6. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    In today's Washington Post is an article on NASA's budget pressures and the fall-off in planetary exploration missions.
     
  7. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    True, but there is time and a place for that. We have finite resources so is it not more prudent instead of competing against each other in something such as space exploration and in essence duplicating work thereby wasting some of those finite resourse that we work together so some of those finite resources could be distriuted to hlp allievate another issue somehwere else on the planet.

    Yes we already have joined projects, and some countries already pool their resources together i.e. ESA.

    But would could we accomplish if we pooled together what each space agency spends into one fund. If we had done it 10, 20 years go could we have returned to the moon by know, could we have established a moonbase, gone to MArs?
     
  8. FPAlpha

    FPAlpha Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Of course we could if we had kept the momentun from the 60s going and pour the same amount of money into it.

    It is only a question of money.. technologically we are capable of this for quite some time now but the problem is that it is very hard to convince people of the usefulness of space exploration.

    How do you explain spending billions of dollars just so you can get some pictures from the surface of Mars when said people are unemployed or have other problems? What does a normal person care if there ever was water on Mars?

    We as humanity could have colonized our system by now and maybe have fusion energy or even FTL ships if we had skipped our periods of technological stagnation and our constant warfare and instead worked together to achieve a higher goal.

    But we are a competitive species.. many of our discoveries were born out of competition. Companies compete against each other and develop better products so they get an advantage on the market, nations compete for the same reasons and sometimes also for ideological reasons.

    China doesn't push its space program for scientific research.. they want to profit from it for both technological and PR reasons much like the US and the Soviets did in the 50s and 60s.
     
  9. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    You can also end up accomplishing less than we would on our own, depending on how all the project responsibilities, resources, and production get divided up. If done wrong, you end up with a project management nightmare where diplomats are deciding important engineering details and the work gets subdivided so finely that most of what the engineers are doing is trying to understand what other engineers from other countries are doing.

    Sometimes the big advantage is just having one company do something in-house.
     
  10. Deckerd

    Deckerd Fleet Arse Premium Member

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    I believe the exact opposite. The future of ALL space exploration is collaborative. Nobody knows this more than the Chinese and the Indians. They're just staking their claim so they don't get left behind. They can still afford the punch but they have practically no background in the scientific instrument finesse that the western world excels in.
     
  11. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yes, but that will change.

    Folks here hate gov't and authority--the polar opposite of Chinese Honorifics. This might not always be great in terms of thinking in radically different terms--but it gets things done.

    See how they handled SARS here:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2012/apr/15-most-celebrated-virus-hunter-ian-lipkin

    What happened when you arrived?


    Chen Zhu, now China’s minister of health, was waiting at the airport with a red carpet. The streets were deserted. Tiananmen Square was empty. The Forbidden City was empty. The next morning we went to the Great Hall, and I’m told I am there to design their SARS program. There were 250 people waiting to hear what I wanted them to do....

    The first thing I did was sit down with him, and I said, you must do two things for me. There can be no spitting on the sidewalks because this spreads all these germs. And doctors and nurses coming to see you must wash their hands. By the time I left his room half an hour later, there was a prohibition against spitting on sidewalks and there was soap and water and paper towels in hospitals.

    Now compare this to the outright hostility to vaccines and FEMA we have here.
     
  12. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    You're comparing government actions with public responses. Who's to say the chinese people didn't react just as poorly to the new rules as (some, mostly misguided) people do here to vaccines and FEMA?

    Apples and oranges, man.
     
  13. Davros

    Davros Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Unless we forgot how to make Saturn 5 rockets, we already know how to get to the moon and it shouldn't take 20 years to do it.
     
  14. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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  15. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Oh, that's pretty poorly. Bush announced the intention of building the Multipurpose Crew Vehicle a month into 2004, and said it should be done by 2008 and flying crews by 2014, which would've been 10 years to put a capsule into operation. As an aside, 10 years is also the length of time from the announcement of the Mercury program to watching a man walk on the moon. But we didn't stick with that plan.

    Instead, in 2014 we're going to launch the Orion, unmanned, have it orbit the Earth twice and then re-enter, where it will be retrieved by an Amphibious Assault ship, which is almost 700 feet long and carries a crew of about four hundred. (SpaceX retrieves their Dragon with a 100 foot cargo ship and a 16 man crew.)

    Then, in 2018, we're going to launch an unmanned Orion again, and three years after than we'll actually try to launch one with a crew aboard. So it will have taken NASA 17 or 18 years to design, build, and launch a manned space capsule that could've ridden up in the Space Shuttle's cargo bay, including its fully-fueled service module, except that it's a foot too wide to have fit. Then they plan to keep launching crewed missions every other year, or perhaps every four years. Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo averaged about 2.5 flights per year, even considering the gaps in between programs. With the Shuttle we were averaging four or five manned missions a year.
     
  16. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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    Not seeing how any of that is poor...

    Rather they take their time and do it right.
     
  17. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    The point is it used to take 10 years to "do it right", now it takes 30 years to do the same thing "right" again. It's pretty poor.

    The problem is that NASA is a jobs program these days. They have to decentralize work to enough Congressional districts to keep up support to the point that programs stagnate.
     
  18. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Stagnate my foot. SLS is below budget and they have already done tests on near full size tanks.

    The real difference is that von Braun didn't have a blogosphere of folks trying to get the Saturn V HLLV killed before it was even made. Things take time. Space X is no spring chicken either--and if you go by timetables, then Musk is doing poorly in that SLS is at the physical article stage AHEAD OF SCHEDULE and it is BFR that is only a powerpoint rocket at this point.

    Arsenal method works--if people will let it.

    Sojourner forgets that JPL can be described as a jobs program for Pasadena too.
    But even if this were true--it is not a bad thing in that it allows political support.

    It is good that NASA is spread over the South, for the Red Staters there would likely kill NASA if it were seen as a Northeastern liberal program. Now talk about poor progress! The Southern inclination actually allows support from folks who normally want to kill anything gov't does.

    The common "wisdom" is that NASA is slowed by "standing armies." It is more realistic to see them as standing constituencies that vote--without which there may not even be a NASA, whose shoulders (COTS money) Musk has ridden on, much to ULA's disgust.

    ULA floated all the bogus HLV bashing depot nonsense that ULA's own Josh Hopkins has questioned in his piece Doubts about Depots. Space Safety Magazine has already pointed out boil-off problems depots have in losing hydrogen--that will be a problem using piecemeal approaches with lots of medium class LVs that will cost as much if not more than fewer, larger of larger HLVs with higher volumetric efficency and simpler assembly.

    People bought into this scheme which was just a way to kill Ares V and force the EELV stable onto NASA, and kudos to Mike Griffin for standing up to the USAF and ULA.

    But the damage is done, and the anti-HLV propaganda has put to seed in folks minds, even though these same folks have Musk in their sights, and given time--will go after him with other self-serving arguements, as aerospace corp has already done:
    http://www.trekbbs.com/showpost.php?p=8983858&postcount=9
    http://nationalspacestudiescenter.w...ce-and-what-do-they-want-in-commercial-space/

    So it has been because of "big gov't" NASA funding into both HLV and Musk's cheaper rockets, that ULA's strangle hold monopoly has been broken--and that's a good thing. For once, the civilians have told the USAF to quit interfering in space matters.

    I see no evidence of stagnation, which as an overall complaint was debunked by other posters in its own thread.

    In this era, we crave novety--if we don't see something done today--we think things go slowly. I blame this on our short attention span theatre culture--not a lack of progress.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  19. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Ah, here we go again.:rolleyes:
     
  20. clint g

    clint g Admiral Admiral

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    Still not buying it. Just seems like there's alot of chicken little syndrome going on.