Moon, asteroids, and Mars are GO!

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by cygonaut, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. EI_Sparks Registered Senior Member

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    1,716
    No, but the source you gave did make it up. They did so by taking an estimate from a decade ago and more than doubling it with no justification and ignoring how missions have gotten cheaper. Remember, NASA's "lowest possible estimate" for a mission to the moon was an order of magnitude higher than what Clementine was run for, demonstrating that plans like those from Zubrin were not just realistic but utterly doable.
    The $1 trillion figure is incorrect and is being used because it sounds scary - nothing more.


    Read (and I'm ignoring the irony). It lists a history professor and a club president saying that the head of NASA doesn't know his job...


    So you normally pay 20 years of tax in one lump sum, do you?

    In the mid-to-late 90's, just after Clementine had shown that NASA's estimates were wildly over-cautious. They're widely accepted by people who actually read the source material as being realistic and economically and technically sound.

    Yes. Allow, say, 5-10% for correcting inflation and so on, but take back a fair wallop because of independent advances in technology since the plan was written which have accomplished goals in the plan without funding from the plan.

    If you're going to lecture me on poverty, you're going to be lecturing to the professor. And if you really want to stand there and insist that every man, woman and child in america pays income tax at the same rate, go ahead, I could use a good laugh.



    On the arab threads. Pick another poster if you wish.

    Sorry, an off-the-top-of-my-head figure from someone with no experience in the space programme, no ties to NASA and no information as to the actual plan does not count. You might as well have based your estimate on the ratio of blue M&Ms to green Smarties for all the validity that $1 trillion estimate has.

    Find me a source that has some experience in the space programme and we can argue about his estimates, but don't point me at someone saying something off-the-cuff to a reporter within an hour of the announcement and expect anyone to think it's a valid estimate. Not when the best plan now available comes in at about 1/50th of that figure.

    How? You don't read the source material, you have no working experience or qualifications in the field and you refuse to even read a basic introductory book on the subject!

    Actually, that's not what bankrupt means. Bankrupcy means that you don't pay your creditors the full amount you owe them - it's a legal device invented so that people could be bankrupt and pay for stuff they need.

    And when you get to the level of nation-states, it gets even more complicated. So I wouldn't call it simple math and as history shows, logic has little to do with it either.

    Thing to remember here Undecided, is that it's not a zero-sum game. Unless you don't go. In which case, it's a diminishing-sum game.


    That wasn't ridicule. Ridiculing your arguments would be somewhat... redundant.

    Tax. Same as every other public sector project. And the tax cut that Bush brought in will be repealed, either by Bush himself when safely re-ensconsed, or by the democrat that replaces him. And then we'll see cuts in military spending and other areas. This isn't wild prediction, this is pretty much what has to happen.
    In the meantime, a space programme would be a significant boost to the private economy so not only will it make economic sense, it'll see a lot of powerful groups lobbying for it in congress and washington DC in general.

    Happily this time, it'll be worth it - as opposed to the last time a project was funded to boost private industry, when Iraq was invaded...
     
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  3. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

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    You're correct, it was a controlled crash landing, but it was impressive to me nonetheless that they were able to land it without completely destroying the thing. Of course it wasn't nearly as exciting as watching Bruce Willis do it, but hey, NASA can't give us everything right?

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  5. EI_Sparks Registered Senior Member

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    Yet....

    Ironically, if you'd taken the budget for Armageddon and given it to NASA, you could have flown Willis to a NEA and blown him and it up for real

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    Now that's something I'd have paid eight euros to see

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  7. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

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    I'm sitting watching that POS movie one night because absolutely nothing else was on, and the geologist is sitting here with me when Steve Buscemi's character says "We've landed in a spot that's nothing but Iron Ferrite."

    Naturally I ask her "WTF is Iron Ferrite?"

    Answer: It doesn't exist.

    I love movies, but I hate having my intelligence insulted.
     
  8. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

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    1,624
    Lets recap. So far we have, essentially, 12 pages of:

    "It's too expensive"
    "No it isn't"
    "Yes it is"
    "No it isn't"
    "Is to"
    "Is not"
    "Yahuh!"
    "Nuhuh!"

    Lets face it, both arguments are either making up the numbers involved or using numbers made up by others that are as qualified as any (in most cases) and yet totally contradictory. Basically the numbers are based on guesses that are based on speculation ... in otherwords, nothing.

    We might as well discuss other aspects of manned missions, pretty much everything that can be said on the economics has been said considering how little hard info there is to work with. Clearly no one here will be changing their views at this early stage (if you doubt that reread the thread).
     
  9. EI_Sparks Registered Senior Member

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    1,716
    Except that's not what's happening. Undecided has heard an estimate of $1 trillion from somewhere. When asked where, he gave this link to the Centre on Budget and Policy Priorities. Thing is, the CBPP isn't a part of NASA. It's not even a part of the government. And none of it's staff are qualified to cost a space programme, especially not one that hasn't been planned out yet. And even then, the link he gave says "tens to hundreds of billions of dollars" which not only is vague to the point of uselessness, it's not $1 trillion, and it gives no justification for their estimate.

    So basicly, undecided doesn't know how much it would cost and is just arguing because he doesn't want to accept that we don't know how much it'll cost, but the best estimates are from plans like Zubrins and are in the area of $20 billion.
     
  10. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

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    1,588
    Nobody seemed to notice or care, but I challenged nicky on his projections of the entire budget of the USA, and also on the GDP projections he threw out, and of course he went mute. Could it be that he invents numbers that suit his bias, and rejects those that don't? Nahhhhh, that's ridiculous.

    Can you blame the poor kid? He's Canadian. I'd be pissed off too.
     
  11. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

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    4,197
    I'm with buffy!!

    Well I did try to change the subject of affordability of this project!.

    And the President himself has answered this when he claimed "this should not be a race for space but a coordinated world effort."

    Godless.
     
  12. Fukushi -meta consciousness- Registered Senior Member

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    Hehehehe! LOLZ Good point!
     
  13. EI_Sparks Registered Senior Member

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    1,716
    That does require though, godless, for the ESA to abandon the Aurora project. Or modify it heavily. Which I'd support - if we saw the funding being ringfenced for NASA. But it's not being, yet so I'd more support the idea of hardware designs being compatible and some joint missions being run and a heavy amount of communication between the agencies - and not a fiasco like the US missions to Mir, where NASA ignored their astronauts for months on end - while both programmes, Aurora and the Bush plan to return to the moon, continue as seperate programmes.
     
  14. Vortexx Skull & Bones Spokesman Registered Senior Member

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  15. EI_Sparks Registered Senior Member

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    1,716
    Few posts behind there Vortexx....
     
  16. hypewaders Save Changes Moderator

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    The Bush initiative is already threatening to eviscerate other programs. If this gets beyond election-year propaganda and into actually axing promising NASA programs that are now underway, there will be dissent from within nationalized and privatized space agencies, expressing an understanding that national enthusiasm is essential, but must not be guided by obsolete notions.

    Apollo was stunning. But in the 70s we did not have the remote capabilities we are rapidly developing now, here at the early dawn of telepresence, AI, nanotechnology, and other emerging leaps in capability. Near-term, US and world economies, and other pressing problems demand utmost efficiency in extraterrestrial sciences. Spacefaring enthusiasts should understand that astronauts were also proxies who could not provide the rest of us as vivid an experience as environmentally-optimized and far more cost-effective proxy bots will. Until colonization, there simply is no first-person extraterrestrial experience for the general public. It was a beautiful moment in time to stand on the moon, as we certainly will again- But until colonization, we can do far more for less investment remotely. Agencies like NASA can also do far more to generate excitement about the discoveries underway and just ahead, to avert Flash Gordon from invading our reason.

    Much advancement of technologies will be necessary before human space colonization is practical. We should not allow our impatience to retard our progress with premature meathauling.
     
  17. EI_Sparks Registered Senior Member

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    1,716
    Hype, while telepresence, AI, nanotech and other areas are very promising in the medium to long term, right now they're just research areas which are a long way from producing operational technologies. Telepresence itself does work - so long as you have a low-latency, high-bandwidth link to the target site, which isn't possible from here to LEO, let alone past LEO, sadly.

    The simple fact is that we can go build lunar bases and space stations right this minute, using current technology. The only thing needed is money. And for a nation that can spend $96 billion (as of 0845 GMT on 17/01/04) in less than a year on a war in a country most of it's citizens can't find on a map, to say that $20 billion over a decade is too much money to go to the moon and provide access to (pardon the pun) astronomical amounts of resources, is flat-out daft.
    Hell, even the EU can afford to put a man on Mars, and our economy is smaller than the US's at the moment. (It's called Aurora and it's scheduled for a manned landing by 2030.)
     
  18. 15ofthe19 35 year old virgin Registered Senior Member

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    1,588
    Hey Sparks, I resent that notion. I can find Iraq on a map. It's right next to Canada.

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    Oh wait, that's not the map, that's the master list of countries we're going to conquer. Shoot, I was supposed to keep that a secret. I bet those dang black helicopters are already on the way to come pick me up and take me to the "re-education camps" at Ft. Detrick.

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  19. hypewaders Save Changes Moderator

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    Sparks, note on Page 1 of your Aurora reference: "There is still much to be done before we can feel sufficiently confident to commit to sending humans to explore the more distant bodies in the Universe and to land on Mars".

    "while telepresence, AI, nanotech and other areas are very promising in the medium to long term, right now they're just research areas which are a long way from producing operational technologies."

    They are at least as operationally close at hand as manned Martian landing and return. These technologies will accelerate extraterrestrial science.

    "... to say that $20 billion over a decade is too much money to go to the moon ..."

    You know that $20 billion is not enough to fund a manned successor to the Apollo Program. Even those running for office can't get away with just tossing up numbers like that. The enthusiasm, optimism and confidence of the 1950s and '60s that launched Apollo is not as abundant now. The many reasons for that are discussed in other political threads.

    "Telepresence itself does work - so long as you have a low-latency, high-bandwidth link to the target site, which isn't possible from here to LEO, let alone past LEO, sadly."

    Not so fast. You can't dismiss telepresence because of 20-30 minute signal loop in the case of Martian exploration and geology. We started exploring our own planet with autonomous probes (yes with meat brains, that's all they had) that could only report back in years, if ever. We can get along quite nicely with a half-hour delay, and if digesting all the data isn't enough, we can apply our impatience productively by learning to harness quantum entanglement.
     
  20. EI_Sparks Registered Senior Member

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    1,716
    Yes Hype, and in the rest of that pdf, on page 4 to be exact, it lists the final decision as being in 2016, with several missions prior to that, the first of which is currently in orbit around mars looking for a signal from Beagle 2 before commencing its science plan. So it's not just a paper moon

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    No, they're not - nanotech is at least twenty years away, AI has been under development since the late 70s with no real results outside of highly limited situations (that annoying paperclip in Microsoft Office, for example, was cutting-edge research when it was first released), and telepresence cannot currently overcome large time delays or variable latency links, for reasons that are very fundamental.

    On the other hand, Mars Direct can be done today. It's based on technology that was available a decade ago.

    Actually, it is - according to Zubrin, who's the head of the Mars Society, and who's spent quite a lot longer than any of us working on this problem. And his estimates are widely accepted amongst those who would know. And even at my heavily over-estimated numbers earlier, that comes to $200 billion over 20 years - still quite affordable to an economy like the US's (which can spend half that in a year to invade Iraq, or just shy of four times that in one year on education).

    Dismiss? No. But I can tell you that it delays work enormously. And that's a qualified opinion - I've spent time researching this and working on it. Variable latencyy is even harder to compensate for - noone has any working solution for it, or at least they didn't three years ago.

    That's assuming that the sailors you're talking about were completely unable to think for themselves. Which doesn't hold water, if you'll pardon the pun.

    That's not quite true. Remember, the estimate is that to do what a geologist on mars could do in a month with a camera and a little hammer would take Spirit 46 years, just for area covered alone - ignoring the fact that the geologist would do a better and more efficent job.
     
  21. Undecided Banned Banned

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    4,731
    No, but the source you gave did make it up. They did so by taking an estimate from a decade ago and more than doubling it with no justification and ignoring how missions have gotten cheaper.

    So then Spark the onus is now on you, you need to show me that these people at a budgetary watchdog are making up numbers. Sorry they aren't NASA, saying it will cost X meanwhile it eventually costs XX x infinity. I would trust a independent source rather then NASA. Of course you love the Bush Administration and all that past history of telling the truth, like Iraq would pay for itself, like this will. LOL! Here are more sources for your enjoyment:

    http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1591225

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2001833124_bushspace09.htm

    So it seems these figures have been floating inside NASA and the adminstration itself...dOOd.

    Remember, NASA's "lowest possible estimate" for a mission to the moon was an order of magnitude higher than what Clementine was run for, demonstrating that plans like those from Zubrin were not just realistic but utterly doable.

    Utterly stupendous, that estimate included the moon and Mars, how much will both cost the American tax payer. Again those numbers are made up as well, and do not take into account the unpredictable of reality. I bet Zubrins plan makes the mission successful. That is even up in the air, it's even worse then a budgetary assessment, why? Because he assume things will happen at a set price. This is reality.

    The $1 trillion figure is incorrect and is being used because it sounds scary - nothing more.

    And let me tell you, you really showed us that.

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    Read (and I'm ignoring the irony). It lists a history professor and a club president saying that the head of NASA doesn't know his job...

    You again selectively read things, which is pushing the credibility you sway down the drain.

    So you normally pay 20 years of tax in one lump sum, do you?

    No, but what that is, is just a base of the amount of money they would pay in 20 years adjusted for inflation in our time. $3,400 is a lot of money for a working family, most Americans are not wiling to spend that money to satisfy you're masturbatory binge.

    They're widely accepted by people who actually read the source material as being realistic and economically and technically sound.

    What is this number then? Stop dancing around the fire. Not that matters the US cannot be able to afford it.

    Yes. Allow, say, 5-10% for correcting inflation and so on, but take back a fair wallop because of independent advances in technology since the plan was written which have accomplished goals in the plan without funding from the plan.

    You assume that those technologies will even be developed, and you assume that the plan will remain the same through successive administrations. Which is not realistic, and thus not is this "assessment" if you can actually dare call it that. Unless of course this Zubrin is a psychic.

    If you're going to lecture me on poverty, you're going to be lecturing to the professor.

    I've seen more abject poverty then you will ever see in Europe. I am talking to a child on this subject.

    And if you really want to stand there and insist that every man, woman and child in america pays income tax at the same rate, go ahead, I could use a good laugh.

    They don't but welcome to economics, you lump things together. If those figures are shown to the average American, I guarantee you that the support for not going will only increase from the high 50's it enjoys now.

    Sorry, an off-the-top-of-my-head figure from someone with no experience in the space programme, no ties to NASA and no information as to the actual plan does not count.

    Again why do you insist on talking out of your arse? You don't know this; you have yet to show me a current figure for this program. I don't want the prophesies of Zubrin, I want some NASA, and independent figures from 2004. The onus is on you, remember you are the one asserting it's not costing that trillion over 20 years for the Moon and Mars.

    You might as well have based your estimate on the ratio of blue M&Ms to green Smarties for all the validity that $1 trillion estimate has.

    The ratio of talking to a M&M who knows not to talk to a mirror is greater then talking to you as of late.

    Find me a source that has some experience in the space programme and we can argue about his estimates, but don't point me at someone saying something off-the-cuff to a reporter within an hour of the announcement and expect anyone to think it's a valid estimate.

    Show me a independent source, with independent calculations that has no vested interest in the moon or not. Oh yes... I already showed that. You reject it because you don't want to believe it, not because it is overtly wrong. So between $500- and trillion for 20 years. Interesting stuff.

    Not when the best plan now available comes in at about 1/50th of that figure.

    $20 billion is not going to get you to do the following:

    -Create new space craft.
    -Train new crews.
    -The Research and Development.
    -A Moon base.
    -A Moon mining operation.
    -What it can get you is...well...NASA doing what is always seems to do. Waste tax payers money.

    My God man, $20 billion over 20 years is not going to get you a flying fock.

    How? You don't read the source material, you have no working experience or qualifications in the field and you refuse to even read a basic introductory book on the subject!

    LOOK AT ME, I APPEAL TO AUTHORITY BECAUSE I HAVE NO ARGUMENT! I envy you, I really do.

    Actually, that's not what bankrupt means. Bankrupcy means that you don't pay your creditors the full amount you owe them - it's a legal device invented so that people could be bankrupt and pay for stuff they need.

    The Bankrupt was merely for rhetorical use, the point is the US cannot afford it. Do you actually deny this? *and please answer this time*

    And when you get to the level of nation-states, it gets even more complicated. So I wouldn't call it simple math and as history shows, logic has little to do with it either.

    *coughargentinacough*

    That wasn't ridicule. Ridiculing your arguments would be somewhat... redundant.

    Well at least someone here is present a argument.

    Tax. Same as every other public sector project. And the tax cut that Bush brought in will be repealed, either by Bush himself when safely re-ensconsed, or by the democrat that replaces him.

    You again assume this will happen. Under Bush the tax cut may just even increase. Cheney wants deficits he thinks its shows the US is doing well. Remember Bush is a business man, and more tax cuts for the rich mean less tax dollars for the moon...sorry healthcare, you know those things that actually affect people.

    And then we'll see cuts in military spending and other areas.

    LOL! Yes, when estimates put American military spending at $1 trillion by 2010, you are going to see this cuts let me tell you. Are you this overtly naive?

    This isn't wild prediction, this is pretty much what has to happen.

    I love this over-confident tone, when you have absolutely nothing to support your assertions. But I was wrong I thought I was debating with somebody rational, I mean you think Kucinich is going to win the nomination...

    In the meantime, a space programme would be a significant boost to the private economy so not only will it make economic sense, it'll see a lot of powerful groups lobbying for it in congress and washington DC in general.

    Not even remotely close to reality, those private corps. will use that money to further export jobs out of the US, and pay taxes in the Cayman...oh that means no taxes! Unless the Union of Soviet American Republics can actually employ 9 million unemployed with this, it makes no economic sense.

    Happily this time, it'll be worth it - as opposed to the last time a project was funded to boost private industry, when Iraq was invaded

    Yes, like this is really that much different. The ones who suffer in both are the American people. Let the scientific masturbation begin!
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2004
  22. Mr. G reality.sys Valued Senior Member

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    5,109
    We need to go to the moon and Mars if for no other reason then to prove that pop rationalizations are no reason to not live life to the fullest.
     
  23. Vortexx Skull & Bones Spokesman Registered Senior Member

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    If the nasa, as is speculated might hands over the keys of the ISS to the russians and the europeans in 2010, they will be actually saving some money as opposed to supporting the ISS until 2016 as was the original plan, this is sound financial strategy , also stop replacing Hubble Spacetelescope parts is sound financial strategy, but a sad loss for science.

    But a manned mission to mars is a whole different financial ball game...

    Also there is only lurking problem in the usa, largely kept under the carpet by both democrats and republikan: 77 million american babyboomers will be entitled for pension very soon, in order to pay their pension, large tax increases will at some point be necessary, but no party at this point wants to publicaly acknowledge this in its election programme, but you can bet it will happen in 10 years or so, put an expensive mars mission next to that and the ongoing spending for DoD and you see a problem coming...

    Decisions will have to be made and I can imagine politicians might decide to stall the manned mars mission in order not to have to raise taxes and lose election. How much is your mars support exactly worth if they raise your taxes ???

    I do think that the human race must progress by becoming an interplanetery species, but why not have the europeans and the americans put their money and knowledge together and conquer the moon in a serious way (after creating cheaper spacetranportations first) instead of an overly expensive oneman show on mars where yet remains to be seen what will be the scientific/economic return of investment , if you would use all that money for other projects, like nuclear fusion development etc, or for this kind of money you could make that progress in robotics and nanotechnology that is necessary to surpass a human geologist on mars and that technological impact on earth soceity will be much bigger than a man with a shovel on mars...


    But don't let pop rationalisations stop you from putting your pension in jeopardy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2004

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