moon by 2020
There are big challenges each time you want to make the weight per launch larger. The Ares V is going to be able to carry a shitload more cargo to the moon than the Saturn, enough to build buildings on the moon for a moon base. This will test the technology needed to ship the mars base that will be needed for a mars mission since the astronauts will be gone for 2 years instead of 5 days. Bigger rockets need to be designed and testing is expected to give more problems to solve.
December 30th, 2008 7:56am
If all you want tot do is go to the moon in order to say you did it, give the order and NASA could built a Saturn V clone and have it ready to launch in 6 months. But what is the point? There is no point to going to the moon again. The next challenge is to go to Mars. And that requires developing an ability to create long term bases. This needs to be tested properly before doing it on a live Mars mission and that means doing it on the Moon instead.
Obama wants to 'save money', so he'll replace it with a moon mission that is a clone of the 1960s, which will accomplish NOTHING with regards to the Mars goal.
If we are not going to the moon as part of some moving forward in space, let's not do it at all.
December 30th, 2008 7:59am
i hope obama shit cans the whole thing .. no more bailouts for space geeks
December 30th, 2008 8:23am
Hey, nasa, do you have all your money in a single investment?
December 30th, 2008 8:46am
are you investing in seaweed?
December 30th, 2008 8:47am
Every time I eat sushi. :)
December 30th, 2008 8:51am
The "mars goal" is bush's goal, and that has no reason to survive past the end of bush's administration. And since the moondoggle is a fundamental piece of the marsdoggle, likewise there's no real reason for either to survive past bush's administration.
The goal of the marsdoggle was to starve off all other projects at NASA so that there was no way to fund more Earth-facing satellites that would produce evidence showing that global warming exists and is a danger.
December 30th, 2008 8:58am
Well, nasa, having all of humanity on one planet is putting all your funds in a single high risk investment.
Diversify, reduce risk.
December 30th, 2008 9:16am
"The "mars goal" is bush's goa"
Peter, you are knowledgeable about many various things, but not about space.
The Mars goal is Werner von Braun's goal, and it is also humanities goal. The entire Apollo project was intended as preparation for going to Mars.
To say that Bush is the one who decided NASA should go to Mars is so ignorant that you should not comment further on this topic.
Also, your voting for Obama shows you are a bit of an idiot anyway.
December 30th, 2008 9:16am
>The goal of the marsdoggle was to starve off all other projects at NASA so that there was no way to fund more Earth-facing satellites that would produce evidence showing that global warming exists and is a danger.
The world has countless terrestrial and extraterrestrial based sensors (and NASA is hardly the only one deploying them...by a long shot). The idea that it was to thwart a couple of cheap sensors seems a little bit ridiculous.
December 30th, 2008 9:25am
How much would it cost for every human on the planet to die at once?
December 30th, 2008 10:35am
>How much would it cost for every human on the planet to die at
WTF would be the point? Why does humanity need to be preserved after some cataclysmic event? Humanity will cease to exist at some point, get over it.
Sorry, it's in my nature to want humanity to survive as long as possible.
December 30th, 2008 11:25am
> The idea that it was to thwart a couple of cheap sensors seems a little bit ridiculous.
to thwart the social, scientific, and moral authority support for global warming would have coming from the nation's premier scientific minds?
December 30th, 2008 11:32am
Those scientific minds are already drawing a lot of conclusions from the sensors available already, and a number of additional sensors are being added regularly by academics and governments.
The US is already considered skeptically when it comes to global warming, so it isn't critical that it leads the way in the investigation of it.
December 30th, 2008 11:59am
"Humanity will cease to exist at some point"
Clairvoyance muddled with unreasonable cynical bitterness, awesome!
December 30th, 2008 1:34pm
Well, I'll be surprised if we manage to survive the heat death of the universe, personally, but I'm not completely convinced that will ever happen. I think it could be an asymptotic thing that takes an infinite amount of time to reach. Also, if there is a force that pushes things apart at a large scale, combined with no finite limit to the size of the universe, then there is no upper limit to the entropy of the universe, which means no heat death.
December 30th, 2008 2:34pm
As far as we know so far, the Earth is the ONLY planet in convenient distance which supports life at all.
In other words, we ARE all eggs in a single basket. It's a very good idea to take care of that basket.
And yes, there's really no good reason to send people to the moon -- our processing power and communication abilities are such these days that telepresence is almost good enough. Shoot, put the same money into telepresence instead of making a man-rated launch vehicle, and who knows what kind of telepresence we can work out.
December 31st, 2008 10:14am
The only problem with telepresence is the speed of light. Not a big deal on the moon, only a light second away, and not much going on there that might require quick reaction time, but I wouldn't want to do a telepresence exploration of, say, Titan.
I do think we should send people to Titan.
December 31st, 2008 10:19am
Good point. You do need some 'local' intelligence on the probe, so it doesn't drive itself into a hole before the operator can stop it.
Something that will let you 'program' the next 6 hours of observation, then tomorrow download that and experience it, while the probe records the NEXT 6 hours of observations.
And of course, most of science is "waiting around", taking the same pictures over and over again, waiting for that "special" event that happens once in a blue moon -- like discovering snow on Mars, or the existence of the "dust devils". THOSE are the special pictures that you take 90% of the pictures to get to.
December 31st, 2008 10:24am
Yeah, I knew an amateur photographer once, and I asked him how he got such good pictures, and he told me "Take a lot of them."
December 31st, 2008 10:25am
Griffin is the guy who says that global warming isn't bad, and it isn't something we should do anything about.
>"I have no doubt that a trend of global warming exists," Griffin told Inskeep. "I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with."
>"To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change," Griffin said. "I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take."
>NASA administrator Mike Griffin is not cooperating with President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team, is obstructing its efforts to get information and has told its leader that she is “not qualified” to judge his rocket program, the Orlando Sentinel has learned.
>In a heated 40-minute conversation last week with Lori Garver, a former NASA associate administrator who heads the space transition team, a red-faced Griffin demanded to speak directly to Obama, according to witnesses.
>In addition, Griffin is scripting NASA employees and civilian contractors on what they can tell the transition team and has warned aerospace executives not to criticize the agency’s moon program, sources said.
>Griffin’s resistance is part of a no-holds-barred effort to preserve the Constellation program, the delayed and over-budget moon rocket that is his signature project.
On one of the other fora that I hang out at, one of the guys is a newspaper reporter, and when he records conversations, the rule of the bush administration is that there must always be a political appointee and a black box. The black box goes between the tape recorder and the the microphone and when the appointee doesn't like a question, or is giving instructions to the interviewee, they press the button and the sound goes dead.
>At one recent NASA event, Garver told Griffin, "Mike, I don't understand what the problem is. We are just trying to look under the hood." Griffin replied, "If you are looking under the hood, then you are calling me a liar. Because it means you don't trust what I say is under the hood."
saint ronnie was the one who said "trust, but verify." Griffin refuses to allow anyone to look under the hood, which is a very strong indicator that he has something to hide.
>To say that Bush is the one who decided NASA should go to Mars is so ignorant that you should not comment further on this topic.
The marsdoggle came out of bush's pie hole. The same orifice that said that Iraq was full of WMD. bush cut the funding to NASA until China announced they were going to the moon. Then, in a typical "me too" fashion, bush announces the moondoggle and the marsdoggle.
Shit, we probably could have had a moonbase for the price of the wall street bailout.
>If all you want to do is go to the moon in order to say you did it, give the order and NASA could built a Saturn V clone and have it ready to launch in 6 months.
No they couldn't. All the tooling is gone. All the scientists are retired or dead. Everyone who worked on the project is dead or retired. The manufacturing is virtually all gone. That's why so many people use Russian and French rockets to put their phat lewts in orbit.
December 31st, 2008 9:59pm
I'm quite fond of Griffin, actually. He's an engineer's engineer. Enormously technically competent.
His biggest problem is that he was hired by Dubbya. And he's got a sense of integrity (or something) that leads him to defend Bush's policies, no matter how odd they happen to be.
So, as the head of Nasa, being told "Global Warming" is a huge problem, a disaster that MUST be fixed, triggers this engineer's view. Is a warmer earth a problem? If it IS a problem, what's causing it? If it's MAN causing it, would the fix be worse than the disease? And even if all these things are true, is it NASA's responsibility to fix it? Is it a problem for NASA to dictate solutions to?
I agree this could be seen as a kind of passive-aggressive unhelpfulness -- but that's how Griffin saw the situation. On the other hand, when a Bush political appointee edited NASA's scientific conclusions, Griffin corrected that in short order.
Griffin's relationship with the Obama administration, and the Constellation project, I can't explain. Perhaps he's very tired of being second-guessed time and again. I mean, the first launch of the first test vehicle is scheduled for May or so -- and that should answer quite a few questions. And he does want to "reuse" some of the shuttle technology, which has driven the design of the Constellation vehicles. Having ALL these decisions revisited could be a huge delay.
January 1st, 2009 3:27pm