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View Diary: What NASA Could Be (320 comments)

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  •  I do not advocate for (4+ / 0-)

    the "machines". I do not care if "robby the robot" makes it into space. I advocate for Robby the American Astronaut and to create and develope the commercial space economy of the 21st centurty.

    •  Robby the American Astronaut (0+ / 0-)

      ... costs twenty times more per amount of scientific research returned.  All you get extra is the gee-whiz feel of it being a person who did it.

      •  It is not about a "gee whiz" feeling, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Kresnik

        Either you believe that the ocean is a natural extension in mankind's environment or you don't. If it isn't then we shouldn't try and cross it or work on it.

        Either you believe that airspace is a natural extension in mankind's environment or you don't. If it isn't then we shouldn't try and fly in it or work in it.

        Either you believe that space is a natural extension in mankind's environment or you don't. If it isn't then we shouldn't try and fly in it or work in it.

        In my personal opinion, space is a natural extension of mankind's environment. Just because it is tough and expensive NOW, does not mean mankind will always have that fence to jump over.

        You could use the exact same arguements against building super tankers, for building 747's or other forms that at the beginning of mankind's journey of designing, developing and utilizing a new form of transportation and operating, at the time, in a "foreign" environment.

        In each case Mankind has stepped up to the plate, faced and over came the challenges associated with operating routinely in those environments and moved on to the next one.

        Mankind is now looking at space as a natural extension of our natural environment. We can bury our heads in the sand and pretend space doesn't exist or we can accept the challenge and over come it. Telling America to sit on the couch and watch robots do it is not how to inspire a nation.

        "don't worry about EVER trying to get to space Robby, we will build you a robot, you can sit on the couch and eat potato chips and watch the robot in space do all things you have dreamt your whole life of doing. Robots ARE better then you and  all humans Robby just accept that, here, have some soda with those chips"

        •  Or... and imagine this possibility... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dorkenergy, Vladislaw

          one can believe that space is the natural extension of mankind's environment, but that sending people up on glorified environments is detrimental to that goal.  We need to be putting our money into lowering our launch costs if we want our access to space to be sustainable, and gee-whiz, fiscally-unsustainable trips are the absolute worst way to bring that about.

          Check out the inflation-adjusted price per pound of getting colonists to the New World -- I can dig it up for you.  It was about three orders of magnitude lower than our costs of getting things to LEO today.  And they didn't need life support systems and essentially everything shipped from the old world.  It's not even remotely a comparable situation.  We must, must, must get costs down if we want this to happen, and these joyrides will simply not do that.

          •  Erm... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Vladislaw

            ... "on glorified joyrides is detrimental".

          •  I agree with some of your point. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            James Kresnik, NellaSelim

            "We need to be putting our money into lowering our launch costs if we want our access to space to be sustainable, and gee-whiz, fiscally-unsustainable trips are the absolute worst way to bring that about."

            I agree with you there, I do not think there is a business arguement for that until there is an actual demand for it.

            If you have read my diaries that is the exact arguement I have made. Without private property rights resolution for the moon, lets not bother with that gravity well.

            I will use a "new world" example. We didn't build a railroad system FIRST before utilizing resources in california. Demand from merchants SERVICING the miners was what brought it about.

            I have said we should be developing the ships to sail on the ocean of space first and the fuel stations. Commercial launchers will be competing to launch fuel and cargo to the LEO fuel and supply station. Once a "gas n' go" system for LEO to GEO is established move to GEO, again, commercial firms would "truck" the fuel and cargo to the GEO station with IN SPACE fuel ships. We start building in LEO to GEO and forget about the gravity wells of the Moon and Mars.

            America has billions in space assets in GEO, we don't have anything on the moon but relics. Lets build the transportation system that will take us to GEO first. A LEO2GEO Vehicle.

            If america builds a fuel station, you are providing an international platform any space faring nation could launch to and sell goods.

            If we can not routinely fly 25,000 miles to GEO, service satellites and deorbit junk, and return I do not see how we can make an arguement that we can routinely fly 100 million miles to mars.

            •  The two key factors in developing a low cost... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              James Kresnik

              LEO/GEO space transport are going to be 'resusability' and 'fuel efficiency', meaning reduced onboard fuel.  Ironically, it was NASA who recognized this in the late 1960's at the time of the Apollo program and that is how they conceived the Space Shuttle.  Unfortunately they took the wrong direction in development and they caved to Congress when they shouldn't have.  

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