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

  2. Agree

  3. Maybe

  4. Disagree

  5. Strongly disagree

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

    Mar 15, 2001
    I said out, dammit!
    And they've only scratched the surface. Literally. If we want to find water, we have to dig many meters deep. If we want to find fossils of past life, we have to take deep cores, or have a paleontologist climb halfway up a cliff face with a hammer and a brush.
  2. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 9, 2009
    Getting a few astronauts to Mars and back shouldn't be the goal. That just falls into the same trap that Apollo fell into, the "now what" trap. There is not much to do on mars other than gather rocks, and while that it geologically important, it doesn't exactly capture the imagination. The goal, instead, should be permanent self-sustaining human settlement of space. That will capture imaginations, that will create jobs, and that will turn space exploration from an underfunded fringe to something mainstream and important. A quarter million people living and working offworld by 2020, that should be the goal. It is am ambitious one, to be sure, but it is doable if they just put the effort in.

    There are some huge advantages of space colonization that are too often overlooked by more "practical" minds. The most obvious being that it protects the human species from most extinction level events; once we get a sizable population offworld we know that we'll survive even if a giant meteor crashes into the planet.
    More practically, as space travel becomes more common, it will also become cheaper and safer. And to get that many people up there in that short time, it'll have to be relatively common. The infrastructure required for such an endeavor will serve the needs of space exploration for a very long time, and make some extremely ambitious manned missions practical. Once there are people living in permenant space stations or on th emoon, lanuching a manned mission to mars will be much easier and much simpler, and that manned mission can not only brinng back rocks and fossils, it can set the stage for permenant settlement of the red planet, further expanding human civilization.

    But, if we don't actually try to get a sizable number of people out there, right now, it's just not going to happen. This should have been done decades ago. There were supposed to be cities on the moon and hotels on Mars by now. But we blew it by being lazy and complacent. We can't wait forever, the time is now. Either we get serious about putting people into space or we just give up and wait for the inevitable ELE to claim all of our lives. There is no middle ground.
  3. CuttingEdge100

    CuttingEdge100 Commodore Commodore

    Dec 14, 2005
    Not a good idea to militarize space...
  4. John Picard

    John Picard Vice Admiral Admiral

    Why not? Maybe there are aliens out there that need killing?

    Anyway, where do you come up with "militarizing space"?
  5. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 28, 2006
    Thanks, very interesting link :evil:

    I think the Rovers are great, they are good at the science, checking the composition of rocks without risk etc but they have done little to inspire the imagination of people. Over 150 million Americans watched Apollo live as well as almost a billion people across the world, it just proves manned flight is a far more powerful political triumph. How many people watch NASA's recent Phoenix mission, even if you count up all the online hits it only adds to a few thousand that's how many. The silly robot couldn't figure out how to lift a bunch of dirt into the sample tray, the robot lander also had a fault, its now kaput, totally useless. :scream: The Soviets also sent a Rover to the Moon back in the 70s called Lunokhod-One but nobody was interested in looking at a machine. It was a political flop, people around the world were more interested in watching Armstrong and Buzz and people like John Young driving his MoonBuggy. If the Chinese want to prove the American dream risen and set they would land a Chinaman on Mars before the United States, that will prove the Chinese dominance.

    Really? and what should the USAF be building if not X-planes and Raptors. I suppose you think they should be building 20 Billion dollar Nimitz Carriers? We have enough ships named after Republican Presidents JPicard
    Thank you very much.
    I suppose you won't rest until your Virginia boys bill the US tax payer for another 11 of those and name one after the moronic son of G. H. W. Bush. :rommie:

    Tell me how? If the Navy produces pilots or scientists for NASA then that's great JPicard .
    However the US Navy's role with NASA ain't as vital as it used to be.
    We haven't experienced an Apollo style splashdown landing since the 1970s
    if its that radar support stuff your talking about you don't need a $1.2 billion dollar frigate to pick up chatter all you need is a cheap radar dish on some island in the Pacific and a guy next to it,
    or even better you need nothing we don't have already just an unmanned satellite which can just re-direct the signal home when astronauts are out of view.

    Do you know what I call landing on a carrier JPicard ?

    Good parallel parking!!
    Taken any pilot from the USMC or USAF, just because they all don't land on your ships every single day doesn't mean they are not great pilots. They could be twice the pilots of some of your Navy buddies. You Navy boys are always hyping up landing on a carrier like it was the greatest thing the human race ever did. I admire it as a great skill but don't hype it up to be something it ain't, it just means he's good at parking his airplane down. It doesn't necessarily mean they are the greatest pilots and it certainly doesn't mean these guys can fly to Mars and back.

    Space always had that military connection, :shifty: what changed in the 60s was the Outer Space Treaty which got nations of the globe to sign up to prevent the weaponization of space
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  6. John Picard

    John Picard Vice Admiral Admiral

    :rolleyes: Hardly. Did you know that it was US Navy pilots who chased and photographed a never before seen MiG in 1990? They had their F-14's maxed out and almost violated Soviet airspace to get those photos. Also, carrier landings take place in the lousiest weather at times, meaning snow covered flight decks or when the ship is pitching and rolling very violently. As I've said many times in this thread, your knowledge of the different branches is sadly lacking.

    Also, you've brought up ZERO supporting information as to why NASA should be run by the Air Force.

    While we're at it, what makes you the authority on how NASA is so "incompetent"?
  7. Squiggy

    Squiggy FrozenToad Admiral

    Jul 5, 2006
    Left Bank
    And none of those skills are needed to fly the shuttle.
  8. John Picard

    John Picard Vice Admiral Admiral

    You'll be eating your words this time, next year, when both Edwards and Kennedy are closed down due to severe weather and the shuttle absolutely HAS TO LAND. In a pinch, NASA opts for a never before attempted landing on board the carrier USS Nimitz as she's on exercises off of the coast of Alaska.
  9. Herbert1

    Herbert1 Captain Captain

    Oct 12, 2004
    The problem is that NASA has a big public relations problem. It isn't doing a good job of selling its programs to the American public or the US Congress. It's generated zero public excitement for "Project Constellation" and its engineers are currently squabbling over the best way to return to the moon and Mars. The only people who seem interested are a handfull of science fiction and aerospace enthusiasts and the aerospace contractors who might make some money when they receive NASA business.

    We need another Wehrner Von Braun or Willy Ley who will be the public face of the new space program and evangilize it to the American public and congress. We need a showman like Walt Disney to generate public enthusiasm for manned spaceflight like he did in his Disneyland television program.

    NASA is doing a terrible job of communicating and is not doing a sufficient job to communicate its mission. It needs to sell "Project Constellation." It needs to answer the question why should we go back to the moon and why we should go to Mars. It needs to communicate how "Project Constellation" will benefit the American public or the world. Will "Project Constellation" have a trickle down effect by developing new technologies that will be used to improve the quality of life here on Earth? Will it increase the competiveness of American industry or aerospace?

    If NASA does a better job of justifying its existence it might receive bigger budgets from Congress.

    At least China says that it is interested in the moon to mine Helium-3 to fuel nuclear fussion reactors to help satisfy future energy needs.

    Further, I don't see why manned spaceflight would be of any interest to the U.S. Air Force. What would be the military objective that they would achieve by flying men and women to the moon and to Mars? What interest would they have in robotic probes going to other celestial bodies? Why would they want to operate space telescopes?

    The space technology that they might be interested in would be space craft that would allow them global strike capability and bypass the politics of flying through other countrie's airspace. Space technology, such as satellites, doing intelligence gathering. If it wasn't prohibited by treaty, they would be interested in weapons platforms in low Earth orbit that can strike the globe.

    Right now, the U.S. Air Force wants F-22 Raptors, refueling tankers, a next generation stealth bomber, and unmanned combat aerial vehicles. It doesn't want to spend its time or budget operating "Project Constellation."
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  10. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 28, 2006

    There's this corporate connection to the guys who supply hardware for the US Air Force and guys who deliver satellites for the DOD. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are not just sellers of Aircraft, they made money in other areas also like hundreds of millions in commercial satellite contracts. When Griffin backed Ares-I and Ares-V he showed he wanted to keep the Shuttle staff and dump the Boeing/Lockheed teams who were providing some great satellite launch service. The EELV program was dumped in favor of corporate welfare program for ATK Thiokol, the hardware that gets us to the Moon again is the same hardware derived from dangerous Shuttle componets.

  11. trekkerguy

    trekkerguy Commodore Commodore

    Jan 2, 2006
    Boise, ID

    NASA is fine, it's people are good and it's manned space programs have the right
    goals which I am not sure they would have if it was a military run operation.

    They just need better funding.
  12. Icemizer

    Icemizer Commodore Commodore

    Dec 29, 2008
    The real question is should NASA be running NASA?
  13. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

    Sep 15, 2006
    Italy, EU
    While the OP may have some points, it's difficult to ignore the tone (and bad grammar). Chinaman? Eurobabble? :shifty:
  14. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

    Nov 3, 2001
    OSF Headquarters
    I don't think that's a fair characterization. They launched and then we launched. Absolutely true. We could have launched in 1956 but we chose to let the Soviets break that seal.

    We almost beat them in the unmanned race to the moon. That was not reactive at all--the plans were laid down in November of '57.

    As for orbiting, they beat us to it, but not because we waited for them to get there first but because our rockets weren't up to it.

    And as for the moon, the Russians wanted to go there because Kennedy made it the American goal. And then, when the Russians lost the race, they pretended they'd never been in it.

    You probably know all this anyway, but I thought it needed to be said.
  15. TheMasterOfOrion

    TheMasterOfOrion Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Dec 28, 2006
    Anyways I see over 70% strong no vote, now see how people feel about the USAF taking over NASA
  16. Meredith

    Meredith Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 8, 2001
    Abh Space
    Only if they actually have a stargate and a fleet of X-304 ships.

    Otherwise, no, but they could take over some of the launching operations to reduce costs.
  17. Dusty Ayres

    Dusty Ayres Commodore

    Jan 29, 2004
    ANS Yamato, Sector 5, Sol System
    Do you know how much money it would cost to go to Mars? It would take billions just to get the ship built, plus you have to use nuclear engines to propel it. Most universities are already coming under fire in the alternative press for doing research like this (due to the links that the military industrial complex has with the space program). What Americans need to do is start voting in a bloc to ensure funding of NASA, just like the religious right does. Then a mission to Mars will happen, as well as a mission to the moon and other planets.
  18. John Picard

    John Picard Vice Admiral Admiral

    Why do you say the propulsion system for a ship traveling to Mars has to be nuclear powered?
  19. Dusty Ayres

    Dusty Ayres Commodore

    Jan 29, 2004
    ANS Yamato, Sector 5, Sol System
    Because in most likelihood, it will have to be a nuclear engine that gets us to Mars. Only nuclear engines have enough thrust power to get a ship there, and also, NASA had already developed a nuclear engine for just such a task, the NERVA, but budget cuts and Nixonian indifference killed its development. That project has to be started again, and carried to full completion this time, regardless of whatever anti-nuclear protests will happen. It's the only engine system capable of getting people to Mars in back in a few weeks, and it's that simple.:vulcan:
  20. Herbert1

    Herbert1 Captain Captain

    Oct 12, 2004
    I believe that in the current political climate, a NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) engine is politically unacceptable. We're stuck with chemical propellants unless they can develop a Mach-Lorentz thruster, which is theoretical.

    Another problem is that some in the scientific and space communities are opposed to manned spaceflight. They believe that sending fragile human beings to the Moon or Mars is much too costly and risky. It also takes funds away from robotic missions and they are skeptical how much science will be done during these missions.

    Plus, like I said before NASA is doing a lousy job of selling "Project Constellation".