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Moon Base or Manned Asteroid Missions

Discussion in 'Polling Station' started by tripwire45, Jan 21, 2008.

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Would you prefer to see NASA have a Manned Base on the Moon or Missions to Asteroids?

  1. Manned Moon Base

    17 vote(s)
    51.5%
  2. Manned Missions to the Asteroids

    8 vote(s)
    24.2%
  3. I don't care

    8 vote(s)
    24.2%
  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    To quote from the Spaceflight Now site:
    I decided to create a poll here (though it will have absolutely no impact on what actually happens at NASA) to see who would rather have a manned moon base and who'd prefer manned asteroid missions (or who doesn't give a rip).

    First read the entire article and then vote.
     
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  2. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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  3. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    I think it is all a waste of money. We have plenty of homeless people with no help or solutions for them. We are in such debt that the next generation my loose their SSI when they are old enough to retire. Yet somehow we have money to send a freaking monkey into space.
     
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  4. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

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    Now this is a clear case of way to much caffeine.:biggrin
     
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  5. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Not a waste of money
    our planet is overpopulated and can't feed itself, house itself,
    500 billion on a military is a waste of money

    discovering viable space travel is paramount to our continued growth and survival (we may well survive on earth for a while but we wont grow much more)

    I'm for both personally, Asteroids have many natural resources that we could benefit from and exploit, but a manned extra terrestrial base is essential to our better understanding of space habitation, and provides a much better location for staging long range manned missions than earth

    bring on the new space race I say!
     
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  6. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Actually, we owe a lot of technological and medical advances to the space program, so I wouldn't be so quick to say that it's all a waste of money. If you look at NASA's budget, it has always been extremely underfunded compared to all of the social programs the US supports.
     
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  7. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Agreed.
     
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  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    We have a choice.

    Look inward and spend money on our problems now, or look outward and prepare for the future.

    Sure, we could spend the money we have on providing for the poor etc, but in 100 years time, all you have is more people.

    I'm not convinced about asteroids either.
    There are some pretty good ointments out there now that help, so I wouldn't spend much money on them.

    (Sorry, had to be done :biggrin )

    But seriously, yes, they may have valuable resources, but it would be a high risk operation and like everything else, sooner or later we would exhaust them too.

    In theory, a moon base would provide a stepping stone into space, so that future missions would not have to overcome Earth's gravity before getting to do anything useful (and THEN we can do the asteroids).

    Unless of course there is an explosion on one of the nuclear storage facilities which sends the moon shooting off into space into all manner of... Hang on, has't that happened already?

    :blink
     
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  9. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    It's interesting to see the percentage of people who don't care.

    Maybe that's because we feel that we have no real control over the decision.

    Although, I remember a thread where we talked about elections, and a few of us said that we weren't bothered and didn't intend to vote.

    This prompted some harsh words of the 'my father died for your freedom and this is what you do with it' type.

    Fair enough, but does that make it OK not to care about the future of Mankind?
     
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  10. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Yeah...in (Space) 1999 (or 1975, take your pick). :wink:
     
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  11. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I grew up on that!

    Preferred it to STTOS!

    Sorry!

    :oops:
     
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  12. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    Well this has been alluded to earlier in the thread, but I think space is important as at least it gives the human race a fighting chance at long term survival due to population and ecological pressures here on the Earth etc.

    The use of funds in a military sense is an absolute waste beyond a certain point because it is the ultimate example of "one vote or chance once." The same applies to not going to space while we have the capability still, rather than "all the eggs in one fragile basket", plus there is no guarantees that we will retain our abilities here, which is potentially lethal longterm for the whole race.

    Basically once our species committed to the technology road over the last few generations, the population world-wide has increased heavily, and also the use of finite resources increased heavily. These changes means that we are committed to now going to space as part of a long term survival strategy.

    Noting a valid strategy would also include constraints on population growth, resource useage and ecological damage. These changes could mean that we get along better, as too man wars would also be lethal for our long term survival. Also we will have to reconsider our western materialistic values abit more and the succeeding generations will have to get by with less personal effects and wealth.

    Remember that many years ago the "Club of Rome" expressed a view that the human race is already finished because we have not made the most of our opportunities or or optimised our survival prospects. I prefer to think otherwise as long as we continue to invent and explore we should still make it past this species survival bottleneck.

    The constraints on spaceflight are huge and the technical challenges immense, as the Earth's gravity well is the initial obstacle, then there is a distance and provisioning constraint that set limitations on spaceflight for generations.

    A good example of an artificial limitation of our own making is the greed factor where abilities and funds are not commited as the pay-off from space is perceived as too long term. The greed factor is also apparent in the rampant corporate greed of the American aerospace industry, itself a derivative of their corporate profit taking in the supply of weapons and equipment to the American military.

    We could cut military spending 25% worldwide for 20 years and divert the people, resources and money into a concerted space effort. Within 50 years we would have the Moon [15 years], Mars [25 years] and the Asteroid belt [40 years] - we just need the momentum basically to get the neccessary space stations and infrastructure going.
     
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  13. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Agreed.
    NASA (perhaps other Space Agencies too) have already built infrastructure(s) for the better of mankind. The space program is far from a waste of money, I'd argue they have a better track record than some social pgms.
     
  14. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    personally I think we need to get out into space as quickly as possible looking for viable other places to inhabit as we are quickly running out of room and resources here. Unfortunately I've always thought that we need at this time a rallying event such as a alien invasion and/or undeniable evidence to join us all together and stop killing each other.
     
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  15. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I'd say get a place on the moon but I'd watch out for the Mysterons, we may need a captain Scarlett
     
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  16. UCHEEKYMONKEY
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Definitly Moon base alpha .. I mean look how cool SPACE 1999 was!:biggrin


    [​IMG]

    What about those costumes and cool spaceships.

    [​IMG]:biggrin

    But on a serious note it would make more sense to have a moon base rather than the space staion they have got now!
     
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  17. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

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    I remember Space 1999.
    Even have a few books on it still & 1 badly damaged Space Craft.
    (damage caused by returning to earth & not by me trying to set fire to it!)
     
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  18. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Keep in mind that all of this costs money. The only way a permanent moon base would work is if many if not all of the materials (oxygen, water...) needed to sustain the base could be manufactured right on the moon. Lifting all that stuff out of Earth's gravity well is a huge expense. Although the cost of maintaining an Earth-orbiting space station is relatively high (though as many have pointed out, "donating" a portion of the world's military budget would make it a snap), it is a necessary step. If nothing else, it tests our ability to construct a large, complex object in zero-gravity, then maintain it and repair it (think of the recent repairs done on the ripped solar panel for the space station and what it took to get the job done).

    Although the moon does have gravity (1/6th of Earth), it would still pose great challenges in many of the same areas and if something went wrong, you couldn't just hop into the Soyuz escape craft and return from orbit to the Earth.

    Actually, upon re-reading the article, the "asteroid missions" group makes some compelling arguments, including using the L-points as described. Frankly though, I think establishing and maintaining a manned moon base will provide valuable experience for eventual Mars colonies as both involve extra-terrestrial construction of human habitats. It should be noted though, that creating a completely self-sustaining biosphere on Earth hasn't been entirely successful. We'll need to hone that skill if we ever hope to permanently inhabit other worlds, including the moon.
     
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  19. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Manned stations/bases become more viable if you include plantlife, since with the right balance you can maintain plants with the necessary supply of CO2 for photosynthesis, and keep the air supply being recycled. It also gives the advantage of possible food.

    However, the circumstances are an issue, since plants needs supplies of water and nutrients, a low-zero G environment could result in things like soil and water particles floating around. This makes plantlife in zero-G environments an issue.

    Theres also the issue of GeoTropics. Plants use various receptors to determine how to grow (phototropic receptors govern the behaviour of plants 'growing' towards the sunlight). Geotropic receptors tell the plants which way up to grow. I dont think that plants cope very well when this is screwed up with zero-G environments.

    As trip said, the first thing they need to do is deal with setting up a biosphere on earth. Basically, construct an airtight dome, pump as much air as they would be able to take to a moon base during construction, and then build it up from scratch. But they would need to set the thing up to model the moons environment as closely as possble, starting with sunlight exposure as close to the moon as possible. Gravity will just be a pain in the arse to overcome, so they will just have to make do, and infer from experiments in space.

    The whole idea should be to duplicate exactly the construction process for a base on the moon, and how things would operate. Once they fine tune how the base would be constructed, in what order, etc, they would need to then need to do the whole thing again, using their redesigned processes to make sure it worked. Only then, would they be able to consider doing the same on the moon.

    Its an enormously expensive project, and something that cant be shirked on. If its started, budget cuts cant be allowed to effect the process.

    I also dont think it should be allowed to be a mono-cultural endeavour. The US shouldnt be permitted to have sole ownership of the project, nor should russia, etc. Every country that is interested in participating should be allowed to contribute whatever they can, either in money, or in resources.

    Given the issues and scope of the project, I honestly cant see it happening any time soon im afraid. Even if it were to get started, it would be a sinkhole for cash for at least the next decade. Politics would get in its way far too much, and the change of governments would result in the budgets being fiddled or dropped altogether. Whilst it may be started in good faith, I doubt it will be completed. Too many factors will work to sabotage the entire project.
     
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  20. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Just in case you missed the link in my previous post, that biosphere already exists and has for decades. The research is ongoing but as far as I am currently aware, the environment is not perfected as of yet. Here's the link:

    http://www.b2science.org/
    The space station Freedom is a multi-national project with the US and Russia throwing in the largest chunk of cash. As you may recall, Astronauts and Scientists from all over the world have participated in the project. The latest module that was added to the space station was contributed by Japan, if memory serves.

    That said, Japan currently has an orbiter circling the moon and China has plans to launch their own moon probe within the next few years. Any future moon base may or may not be multi-national depending on the nature of politics and such. Antarctica has sustained bases from different nations for decades rather peacefully, so there is a model for different moon bases being established by different countries. I agree though, that it would probably make more sense financially and in other ways to establish a multi-national base.
     
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