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View Diary: What NASA Could Be (320 comments)

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  •  What we need is a comprehensive (6+ / 0-)

    progressive space agenda that lays what we need to accomplish in space as a planet - one that goes beyond and combines the manned/robotic and other turf battles that are ultimately self defeating.

    If God hadn't wanted us to fly, he wouldn't have given us Bernoulli's Principle.

    by HamillianActor on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 11:05:00 AM PST

    •  Get the components to Luna for robotic mining. (4+ / 0-)

      Establish the moon units for extracting ore and construction of a true moonbase. There's your jump point for off-Earth system exploration.

      "Hew out of the mountain of despair A Stone of Hope." -Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Patch Adam on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 11:10:42 AM PST

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      •  no property rights on the moon (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blutodog, Patch Adam

        it won't happen until the planet finally debates and decides the issue.

        •  You're right, & sadly that means corporate law. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard, Vladislaw

          Governments won't really want to divide part for partition the Moon; and they certainly won't want to be involved in the regulation of laws to an extra-terrestrial body.

          That means corporations that will be ponying up the cash to fund mining efforts on Luna will have to bring along a cadre of lawyers to make certain their interests and investments are ensured.

          Corporations as non-terrestrial nation-states are a very real potential when it comes to space regulation. I don't relish that idea but see few options to the contrary. Your thoughts?

          "Hew out of the mountain of despair A Stone of Hope." -Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

          by Patch Adam on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 01:23:27 PM PST

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          •  In my opinion (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Patch Adam

            they will not pony up a dime UNTIL they have the mineral mining rights claim to a designated area so they can list that as an asset in the books.

            In order for that mineral rights claim to be worth anything it has to be recognized by that company's taxing agent. The US government. If the government acknowledges the claim they can take it to the bank.

            Actually, I believe that the "land rights" are being settled right now.

            Every country that drops a payload or piece of equipment on the moon that item is protected almost like a heritage site.

            That is why, in my opinion, you are seeing this rush to drop junk on the moon. The country can claim X amount of acres surrounding the probe that crashed into the moon. Giving a dozen countries "property rights" through the backdoor.

            •  profit (0+ / 0-)

              There needs to be $ made from people to be in orbit or the moon.  If mining is it, do it.  

              But there will need to be some government encouragement to make it profitable. the right encouragement.  

              I worked at a commercial space center for several years- good idea, but very slow moving.

      •  yes, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Patch Adam, Vladislaw

        My MS project worked on using lunar resources to accelerate development of a base.  Some are relatively easy- regolith for shielding for example.

        But a lot of resources need to be put in place before something as simple as cement can be used.  

        Newton and gravity make it clear it is far cheaper to launch from the moon v. Earth.  But a lot of mass and people need to be up there first- the application is difficult.  

        It will happen, but not until many decades after a base is permanent and something profitable can be done up there- and then profitable to use it as a launching pad.  

        All of that starts with a comprehensive plan.  

    •  Agreed (6+ / 0-)

      Manned exploration and deep-space and planetary discovery are fine in and of themselves, but they don't provide the sort of payback that gives the space program momentum of its own.

      Finding ways to combat climate change and solve our energy problems seems one of the most obvious aims of a space program.  Perhaps mining asteroids for scarce elements could be another.  Terraforming Mars could become a goal in the future, though there's a lot more exploration that has to occur first.

      NASA seems somewhat aimless because its aims are small.  We need to figure out what space is for, in a contemporary and meaningful way.  Once that is apparent the rush into space should take care of itself.

      Our long national nightmare is almost over. Congratulations and blessings to all.

      by Dallasdoc on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 11:14:15 AM PST

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