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  • watch out universe, we're coming.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1894&e=8&u=/ap/20040109/ap_on_sc/moon_mars_reaction

  • #2
    Nothing but a good thing. Hell, if we just reformed our 4.9 Trillion dollar per year welfare system, we'd of had colonies on both the Moon AND Mars by now.

    I'm a huge proponent of the space program, as it's just about the only governmental spending that truly inspires and invigorates the nation if not the world.

    The President was supposed to announce the return to the Moon on December 17th, the 100th anniversary of flight. However since it did nothing but rain cats and dogs and all but ruin the recreation flight, the White House nixed that section of the speech.

    Fun Fact: I live less than an hour from Kitty Hawk, NC.

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    • #3
      What exactly do we have to gain from a perminent base on the moon? How would that make scientific research any easier than in the ISS (which isn't even completed yet)?

      Mars... sure. It's got an atmosphere we can mess around with, plenty of iron and the possibility of water to boot, but the moon... well there is a bunch of rocks in a complete vaccum.

      Maybe as a stop off point in transit to mars but I don't really see what that offers anyway. wouldn't we want to use the earth's more significant gravity well to slingshot out to mars anyway? Maybe as a depository for fuel to be picked up on the way... but couldn't we just put some in orbit around the earth and scoop it up before traveling to Mars?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mudshark
        What exactly do we have to gain from a perminent base on the moon?
        Lots of things:

        The closest location to learn how to colonize ET lands...

        The closest location to possibly set up a "transit station". Shuttles from Earth to the moon, then the moon serves as a hub to destinations beyond...

        Pure scientific research. Just think of the various subjects that could be better researched there: gravity, space-vacuum, astronomy, terrestrial weather(?), other orbits, etc... Think of how spectacular the Palomar Observatory is... Then imagine if that kind of telescope were on the moon with no atmosphere to interfere with it... We're talking about Hubble on steroids.

        And perhaps, eventually, we'll need the moon as a place for regular folks to live. Either out of population necessity, or, a more pleasant thought, as a vacation/retirement spot...
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        • #5
          Woohoo I say invade the dang planet and name it America, and then we can say HAHA who is big and bad now middle east?
          WARNING: DO NOT LET DR. MARIO TOUCH YOUR GENITALS. HE IS NOT A REAL DOCTOR.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mudshark
            What exactly do we have to gain from a perminent base on the moon? How would that make scientific research any easier than in the ISS (which isn't even completed yet)?

            Mars... sure. It's got an atmosphere we can mess around with, plenty of iron and the possibility of water to boot, but the moon... well there is a bunch of rocks in a complete vaccum.

            Maybe as a stop off point in transit to mars but I don't really see what that offers anyway. wouldn't we want to use the earth's more significant gravity well to slingshot out to mars anyway? Maybe as a depository for fuel to be picked up on the way... but couldn't we just put some in orbit around the earth and scoop it up before traveling to Mars?

            Well Muddy...there are MANY reasons to head to the moon to establish a permanent manned settlement. Most scientists and NASA's reasoning is three-fold.

            1. Systems research and Development:

            Establishing a permanent manned base on the Moon allows us a testing ground for true interplanetary spaceflight. As the moon is "only" 250,000 miles from earth if any catastrophic event occurred, the crew/colonists would have a MUCH better chance of earth return and subsequent survival than if they were on Mars. We would be developing several space based vehicular systems required for interplanetary travel and orbital work as well.

            SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) vehicles for crew/cargo lofting to LEO (Low Earth Orbit). Also needed would be a dedicated orbital tugboat type craft. This is known as a TOB or Trans Orbital Bus. The TOB would take over the cargo and crew transfer duties away from the SSTO vehicles when in Low Earth Orbit. By having a dedicated orbital tug, the SSTO vehicles can be smaller, cheaper and faster due to the fact that they don't have to carry a full load of fuel for extended orbital maneuvering. They also would be able to loft more cargo into orbit due because they won't need the fuel to perform the role that the TOB (tug) does. Now since you have light and fast SSTO vehicles handing over crew and cargo to a tug-type craft ,this tug could then assemble parts of an interplanetary craft or take the whole load to a space station for further assembly.

            This is MUCH more efficient than the shuttle as the shuttle is a "jack of all trades" type spacecraft that has to loft cargo, maneuver it to an orbital location and then remain in orbit for a long duration. All the while it also must be able to survive re-entry and landing back on earth. With all those capabilities, it sacrifices cargo capacity on launch for orbital maneuvering fuel and consumables for missions lasting 14 days or more. With a dedicated SSTO vehicle, it merely needs to be able to launch, rendezvous with the orbital tug and then return home. This "quick haul" type mission would only require a capacity for less than two days in orbit, thus resulting in a huge gain in lifting capacity to LEO.

            Now as far as the orbital tug is concerned (TOB) it only needs to be launched once then it would never return to earth. It would be kept docked at a space station and would not require the requisite heat shielding or even any sort of aerodynamic shape. It simply would be not much more than a pressurized vessel with robotic arms and powerful electric-ion thrusters (As flown on NASA's DS1 probe mission). This do-all vehicle would pick up cargo flown up from earth and aid in orbital assembly of space stations/interplanetary craft.

            There is one more type of vehicle required for Moon settlement. This vehicle would be known as a TLV (Trans-Lunar-Vehicle). Crew launched by a SSTO would dock with a space station with a waiting TLV. The TLV would then act as the "ferry" between the earth and the moon. Again, so the vehicle is cost effective, it would not have any atmospheric capabilities. The only vehicle required for getting off of and returning to the Earth surface would be the SSTO. Both the TOB and TLV craft would be pure spacecraft that dock with either SSTOs or space stations to accept crew or cargo.

            2. Resources:

            There are extensive deposits of highly valuable minerals and core elements on the Moon. One isotope required for high-state nuclear fission is Helium3. Helium3 was found in great abundance in the Apollo-era Moon-rock samples. If enough Helium3 could be mined the possibility for clean nuclear fission as a viable power solution on Earth would be nothing less than revolutionary. Also of mention is the Moons extensive deposits of Nickel, Iron, Magnesium, Silicon, Aluminum, Hydrogen and of course Helium and Helium3.

            3. Weight:

            Here's a simple fact. The Moon has 1/6th of the Earth gravity. Trying to launch a mission to Mars from Earth (aka Mars Direct mission profile) is nothing less than a foolhardy and halfassed way to launch an interplanetary expedition. If one was to launch all required fuel and components from Earth and then assemble them in orbit, you could only send a very small spacecraft with limited return capabilities as most of the return trip fuel would have to be manufactured on Mars via gaseous diffraction.

            However, the Moon has proven and plentiful water and mineral-bound Hydrogen. If the components for a Mars vehicle could be launched into Lunar orbit the fuel could be manufactured on the moon. The effort then required to launch the fuel to the waiting Mars-bound craft from the surface of the Moon would be exactly 1/6th that of earth made fuel. With this entire added weight savings, the craft itself could be much larger, faster and carry much, much, much more fuel for a Mars-bound journey.

            It boils down to this...A manned trip to Mars would take about 9 months in transit. With an Earth-Launched mission you'll be in a space equivalent of a Yugo and only have about 2 weeks Martian surface time. With a Lunar-Launched/Assisted mission profile, you'd have a greyhound bus and over a month of Martian surface time.

            Now....which mission would be more meaningful??? A flag, picture and some rocks, or a real expedition in the tradition of Lewis and Clark with a REAL intent of future exploration?

            In this day and age, we need REAL progress...not cheap one-off stunts. By going to the Moon first we're investing in a REAL future in space, not just some parlor trick.


            -Sean M. Kaldahl

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Spectre
              1. Systems research and Development:
              Ok, this so far is the only compelling reason I have heard for more manned missions to the Moon.


              Originally posted by Spectre
              SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) vehicles for crew/cargo lofting to LEO (Low Earth Orbit).
              <snip
              This do-all vehicle would pick up cargo flown up from earth and aid in orbital assembly of space stations/interplanetary craft.
              Nicely written discription but it seems to me that you are describing ways to launch materials from Earth, which is pretty mush what I'm advocating myself, not Moon travel

              Originally posted by Spectre
              There is one more type of vehicle required for Moon settlement. This vehicle would be known as a TLV (Trans-Lunar-Vehicle).
              <snip>
              If enough Helium3 could be mined the possibility for clean nuclear fission as a viable power solution on Earth would be nothing less than revolutionary.
              Don't you think the amount of time, material, research, manpower, risk, etc... involved in effort to settle and assemble mining, habatation, transport facilities on the moon would dwarf the same logistical requirements to launch from Earth? Don't forget, anything that is not manufactured here on earth has to be made in space. Or are you suggesting that we build, test and launch the Mars spacecraft on the Moon?

              Originally posted by Spectre
              Here's a simple fact. The Moon has 1/6th of the Earth gravity. Trying to launch a mission to Mars from Earth (aka Mars Direct mission profile) is nothing less than a foolhardy and halfassed way to launch an interplanetary expedition. If one was to launch all required fuel and components from Earth and then assemble them in orbit, you could only send a very small spacecraft with limited return capabilities as most of the return trip fuel would have to be manufactured on Mars via gaseous diffraction.

              However, the Moon has proven and plentiful water and mineral-bound Hydrogen. If the components for a Mars vehicle could be launched into Lunar orbit the fuel could be manufactured on the moon. The effort then required to launch the fuel to the waiting Mars-bound craft from the surface of the Moon would be exactly 1/6th that of earth made fuel. With this entire added weight savings, the craft itself could be much larger, faster and carry much, much, much more fuel for a Mars-bound journey.

              Ok, it seems like you are advocating building the Mars craft on the moon... Is this simply to save on the amount of times we need to launch materials on earth? Personally, I'm not real keen on sending highly trained astronauts on a 18 month journey in a ship built in an unproven laborotory on another planet, we have no idea the new factors involved in such a proscess.


              Originally posted by Spectre
              It boils down to this...A manned trip to Mars would take about 9 months in transit. With an Earth-Launched mission you'll be in a space equivalent of a Yugo and only have about 2 weeks Martian surface time. With a Lunar-Launched/Assisted mission profile, you'd have a greyhound bus and over a month of Martian surface time.
              I guess i'm missing something in your logic. Why can we not build something equivelent to a "greyhound" here on earth. What is so great about The Moon that allows us to build such great spacecraft. Please dont say gravity! You do realize that the entire facility to mine, refine, machine, and assemble the craft would have to be launced from earth and landed on The Moon in the first place, right. Not to mention any materials that cannot be found on the Moon. Why can't a component vehicle be assembled in LEO?

              Originally posted by Spectre
              Now....which mission would be more meaningful??? A flag, picture and some rocks, or a real expedition in the tradition of Lewis and Clark with a REAL intent of future exploration?

              In this day and age, we need REAL progress...not cheap one-off stunts. By going to the Moon first we're investing in a REAL future in space, not just some parlor trick.

              -Sean M. Kaldahl
              The latter, of course. But I think there is a bit too much dreaming in your argument. If all that could be done, and be even remotely financially fesable then GREAT! I'd be all for it. However, the money holders want to see results in their lifetime. That is just the way it is. We need to prove that manned Mars travel is at least possible and worth while first. Then if we have the means to colonize the Moon to assist Mars travel, great.

              One step at a time, Sean

              Comment


              • #8
                Mudshark, TG's Luddite :P ;)


                Yes, the inital cost of setting up a permenent settlement on the Moon would be high. Quite high in fact. However the idea is to look at the long run, the big picture. Once the base is established it would help launch futher missions out into the solar system (any beyond! :mrgreen:)
                I am the one, I am the zero, I am your low resolution hero.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The only reason I see for settling a moon colony is so we can send Rosie O' Donnel there and forget about her.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mudshark
                    Originally posted by Spectre
                    1. Systems research and Development:
                    Ok, this so far is the only compelling reason I have heard for more manned missions to the Moon.


                    Originally posted by Spectre
                    SSTO (Single Stage To Orbit) vehicles for crew/cargo lofting to LEO (Low Earth Orbit).
                    <snip
                    This do-all vehicle would pick up cargo flown up from earth and aid in orbital assembly of space stations/interplanetary craft.
                    Nicely written discription but it seems to me that you are describing ways to launch materials from Earth, which is pretty mush what I'm advocating myself, not Moon travel

                    Originally posted by Spectre
                    There is one more type of vehicle required for Moon settlement. This vehicle would be known as a TLV (Trans-Lunar-Vehicle).
                    <snip>
                    If enough Helium3 could be mined the possibility for clean nuclear fission as a viable power solution on Earth would be nothing less than revolutionary.
                    Don't you think the amount of time, material, research, manpower, risk, etc... involved in effort to settle and assemble mining, habatation, transport facilities on the moon would dwarf the same logistical requirements to launch from Earth? Don't forget, anything that is not manufactured here on earth has to be made in space. Or are you suggesting that we build, test and launch the Mars spacecraft on the Moon?

                    Originally posted by Spectre
                    Here's a simple fact. The Moon has 1/6th of the Earth gravity. Trying to launch a mission to Mars from Earth (aka Mars Direct mission profile) is nothing less than a foolhardy and halfassed way to launch an interplanetary expedition. If one was to launch all required fuel and components from Earth and then assemble them in orbit, you could only send a very small spacecraft with limited return capabilities as most of the return trip fuel would have to be manufactured on Mars via gaseous diffraction.

                    However, the Moon has proven and plentiful water and mineral-bound Hydrogen. If the components for a Mars vehicle could be launched into Lunar orbit the fuel could be manufactured on the moon. The effort then required to launch the fuel to the waiting Mars-bound craft from the surface of the Moon would be exactly 1/6th that of earth made fuel. With this entire added weight savings, the craft itself could be much larger, faster and carry much, much, much more fuel for a Mars-bound journey.

                    Ok, it seems like you are advocating building the Mars craft on the moon... Is this simply to save on the amount of times we need to launch materials on earth? Personally, I'm not real keen on sending highly trained astronauts on a 18 month journey in a ship built in an unproven laborotory on another planet, we have no idea the new factors involved in such a proscess.


                    Originally posted by Spectre
                    It boils down to this...A manned trip to Mars would take about 9 months in transit. With an Earth-Launched mission you'll be in a space equivalent of a Yugo and only have about 2 weeks Martian surface time. With a Lunar-Launched/Assisted mission profile, you'd have a greyhound bus and over a month of Martian surface time.
                    I guess i'm missing something in your logic. Why can we not build something equivelent to a "greyhound" here on earth. What is so great about The Moon that allows us to build such great spacecraft. Please dont say gravity! You do realize that the entire facility to mine, refine, machine, and assemble the craft would have to be launced from earth and landed on The Moon in the first place, right. Not to mention any materials that cannot be found on the Moon. Why can't a component vehicle be assembled in LEO?

                    Originally posted by Spectre
                    Now....which mission would be more meaningful??? A flag, picture and some rocks, or a real expedition in the tradition of Lewis and Clark with a REAL intent of future exploration?

                    In this day and age, we need REAL progress...not cheap one-off stunts. By going to the Moon first we're investing in a REAL future in space, not just some parlor trick.

                    -Sean M. Kaldahl
                    The latter, of course. But I think there is a bit too much dreaming in your argument. If all that could be done, and be even remotely financially fesable then GREAT! I'd be all for it. However, the money holders want to see results in their lifetime. That is just the way it is. We need to prove that manned Mars travel is at least possible and worth while first. Then if we have the means to colonize the Moon to assist Mars travel, great.

                    One step at a time, Sean
                    I'll get back to this as I have my girlfriends birthday to attend...however I'll throw out a few points for now.

                    You made good arguments, however the main jist of my post was that in order to sustain any real manned presence in space we need those three classes of vehicles.

                    As we all know, over 70% of a spacecrafts weight is fuel when launched from Earth. Of course we could assemble the craft on Earth. Then, with a heavy-lift vehicle (Russian Energia, US ShuttleX, Araine 5 etc.) we would launch the EMPTY Mars craft into LEO. However, if we were able to create it's fuel on the Moon and fuel it in Lunar orbit, the crafts total launch cost would be an order of magnitude lower.

                    Another thing, even though Mars has an atmosphere, it is only 1/28th the pressure of ours. Mars is still, for all practical purposes a vacum. Habitats developed and tested on the Moon would be much more likely to stand up to the rigors of service on the Martian surface compared to those developed and tested on Earth.

                    As another plus, Astronomy from the Moon would be second to none compared to Earth-bound astronomy. A telescope much larger than the hubble could be assembled on the dark side of the Moon and never have to deal with either atmospheric distortion (optical telescope) or Earth's incessant radio noise (radio telescopes).

                    Overall, the Moon provides much more reason for exploration/exploitation than most are aware. By developing the spacecraft and facilities necessary for Lunar habitation, we will be much more prepared for our eventual outward expansion into our Solar System.

                    -Sean

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Bentley
                      Mudshark, TG's Luddite.
                      Au contraire judgmental one... :)

                      I simply disagree that the Moon is the path to fastest technological growth.

                      Originally posted by Spectre

                      You made good arguments, however the main jist of my post was that in order to sustain any real manned presence in space we need those three classes of vehicles.

                      As we all know, over 70% of a spacecrafts weight is fuel when launched from Earth. Of course we could assemble the craft on Earth. Then, with a heavy-lift vehicle (Russian Energia, US ShuttleX, Araine 5 etc.) we would launch the EMPTY Mars craft into LEO. However, if we were able to create it's fuel on the Moon and fuel it in Lunar orbit, the crafts total launch cost would be an order of magnitude lower.
                      Fair enough, If fuel could be effectivle produced that may be a valid benefit but two points.

                      1. Most of the fuel used in space flight is used reaching escape velocity. after that fuel is only required to break orbit and make in flight corrections. Once a Mars craft was in orbit, we would only need to "point" it toward Mars. The Mars lander would also need fuel, and I'm not sure how much, so that may be a point you can make. besides alot of stuff can be used as fuel in space because all that is required is the ejection of mass.

                      2. The idea that we would embark toward Mars from the Moon is entirely impractical. You said yourself that the Moon has 1/6 the gravity of earth. What we NEED is gravity. We use it to "slingshot" away from Earth. Using a smaller gravity well would only result in diminished velocity and considering the amount of radiation the crew would be exposed to in their trip, we need to keep velocity as high as possible.


                      Originally posted by Spectre
                      Another thing, even though Mars has an atmosphere, it is only 1/28th the pressure of ours. Mars is still, for all practical purposes a vacum. Habitats developed and tested on the Moon would be much more likely to stand up to the rigors of service on the Martian surface compared to those developed and tested on Earth.
                      True. But the martian atmosphere helps shield the surface from cosmic radiation as well as actual mass bombardment. Not a small consideration when investing much money and many lives. Essentially, the surface of the Moon is NO different than conducting an EVA in space, except you stick to the Moon a little better.

                      Originally posted by Spectre
                      As another plus, Astronomy from the Moon would be second to none compared to Earth-bound astronomy. A telescope much larger than the hubble could be assembled on the dark side of the Moon and never have to deal with either atmospheric distortion (optical telescope) or Earth's incessant radio noise (radio telescopes).
                      Ok, not bad. That'd be cool but it need not be manned.

                      Originally posted by Spectre
                      Overall, the Moon provides much more reason for exploration/exploitation than most are aware. By developing the spacecraft and facilities necessary for Lunar habitation, we will be much more prepared for our eventual outward expansion into our Solar System.
                      -Sean
                      Probably true, but I'm not sure it would do as much for us as you claim.

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                      • #12
                        I simply disagree that the Moon is the path to fastest technological growth.
                        Think of it as a stepping stone, not a path :)
                        I am the one, I am the zero, I am your low resolution hero.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mudshark
                          2. The idea that we would embark toward Mars from the Moon is entirely impractical. You said yourself that the Moon has 1/6 the gravity of earth. What we NEED is gravity. We use it to "slingshot" away from Earth. Using a smaller gravity well would only result in diminished velocity and considering the amount of radiation the crew would be exposed to in their trip, we need to keep velocity as high as possible.
                          "Slingshotting" only works when you start outside of the gravity well... And your velocity increase is still dependant on the amount of thrust that your ship contributes... It just makes it happen faster.
                          Become a supporting member!
                          Buy a Tactical Duck!
                          Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by _Ender_
                            The only reason I see for settling a moon colony is so we can send Rosie O' Donnel there and forget about her.
                            ....c'mon...I think we can come up with a bigger list than that :twisted:

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dragon
                              Woohoo I say invade the dang planet and name it America, and then we can say HAHA who is big and bad now middle east?
                              Hey, that made me laugh! Ha ha ... hey wait a minute you jerk factory YOU MADE ME LAUGH.

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