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Thread: Time for the U.S. to Colonize the Moon and Mars.

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    I am convinced that space exploration is one of the best uses of public money and every dollar spent on it will directly and indirectly return, most likely with a fat profit. Thats even more true now when private companies are going to cut costs and increase efficiency of space exploration considerably, so partnering with them would make the bang for the public buck even better.

    I think Moon is an ideal target. For the same money you can have either a limited flag and footprints mission on Mars, or a real colony on the Moon, and have it much sooner. It is high time to return to the Moon and this time, to stay. Mars should be considered when there is enough money, which probably will not happen in this economic situation any time soon.
    "Billions for equal chances, not a penny for equal results."

    Charles Murray


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    Quote Originally Posted by AboveAlpha View Post
    It is a very well known fact that a huge number of inventions, breakthroughs and medical advances have come from Space Exploration.

    For example Safety Glass used in all cars today....Advancements in Solar Power....Various Crystalline Growth in low gravity used in Telecommunications and where would we be now without Satellites?

    At this point in time if done right a program to set up PERMANENT COLONIES on our Moon and Mars could very well spark economic growth and again give people optimism which is necessary for economic growth.

    We certainly have the technology to do it....and I think the U.S. should lead the way.

    AboveAlpha
    Where's the money coming from? NASA's funding has been cut to a trickle, America is in debt to the tune of nearly $20 trillion, and you're suggesting this? Has reality deserted you entirely-or perhaps you're hoping that you and your "TEAM" will get sent to Mars?
    "Only two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former"

    Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by AboveAlpha View Post
    We could do this by using Commercial Contractors for 1/10th of the price NASA would cost.

    The return within 10 to 15 years would far exceed the investment.

    AboveAlpha
    Nobody is going to invest in a multi-decade programme with no guarantee of a return, and with serious potential for disaster. The risks are far too great.
    "Only two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former"

    Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by AboveAlpha View Post
    NASA just released a video of what Mars looked like a Billion Years ago....that being a LUSH and WATER RICH Planet with Oceans and Lakes and Ponds everywhere.

    NASA also is positive that there exists MASSIVE LIQUID WATER RESERVES underground.

    AboveAlpha
    This is all guesswork so far. Are you willing to gamble on a guess? Mars' atmosphere is toxic to any life. Any idea of 'terra forming' remains in the realm of Star Trek. Have you any comprehension of the immensity of the task involved in attempting this on a planet the size of Earth?
    Furthermore any idea of Mars colonization must rely on the guarantee that successive governments over a period of perhaps many decades, is going to continue to fund such an endeavour. Right now, in our present period of global recession, we are barely able to fund ourselves let alone adventures in space. Are you willing to guarantee future funding to the tune of tens of billions?

    Then there is the very real potential for fatal accidents. Remember we're not talking here of a relatively inexpensive hop of a couple of days to the Moon which has also resulted in fatalities, but a voyage of at least a year's duration. A systems failure could very quickly lead to the collapse of the programme and the deaths of the pioneers. Back to square one...
    Last edited by snakestretcher; Nov 17 2013 at 03:08 AM.
    "Only two things are infinite; the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former"

    Albert Einstein

  6. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by AboveAlpha View Post
    It is a very well known fact that a huge number of inventions, breakthroughs and medical advances have come from Space Exploration.

    For example Safety Glass used in all cars today....Advancements in Solar Power....Various Crystalline Growth in low gravity used in Telecommunications and where would we be now without Satellites?

    At this point in time if done right a program to set up PERMANENT COLONIES on our Moon and Mars could very well spark economic growth and again give people optimism which is necessary for economic growth.

    We certainly have the technology to do it....and I think the U.S. should lead the way.

    AboveAlpha
    While I understand the emotional appeal and inspirational aspects of space exploration much of what people believe the "benefits" are is false.

    For example safety glass was actually "accidently" invented in 1903 by Edouard Benedictus, a French scientist, working in his laboratory was developed for the emerging auto industry and had nothing to do with space exploration. The fact that safety glass was not mandated under the law for use in automobiles until decades later is a rather moot point.

    We don't use crystals grown in micro-gravity in our telecommunication devices. There was scientific knowledge gained in space related to crystalline growth in micro-gravity but there are not manufacturing plants in space producing these crystals for commercial use. Perhaps the greatest development of crystalline growth relates to "foam metals" that can be produced in space but not on Earth and someday we'll use them as they are as strong or stronger than solid metal structures at a fraction of the weight. When that manufacturing in space becomes commercially viable then private industry will do it without any need for taxpayer funding.

    Most "inventions" that people believe were developed for or by space exploration existed before space exploration. There has been very little actual innovation driven by space exploration.

    As noted we already have the technology to go to the moon or to Mars so no technical innovation is necessary related to it. The problem is that we can't do it cost effectively. For example the future designs for colonizing Mars require nuclear fusion which we don't currently have but we're working on it. Adding "space exploration" as another potential use of nuclear fusion, when providing unlimited non-polluting low cost electrical energy to all of mankind is already the driver behind the development, really has no meaning.

    What government funded space exploration really reflects is corporate welfare as the government funds private enterprise research and development programs that should be funded by private enterprise. It literally dumps billions of dollars into the already overfull pockets of the wealthy owners of the private corporations that engage in the research and development. We can even look at communication satellites that we unquestionably benefit from but originally this were subsidized when the private corporations used government launch systems and the infrastructure but were only charged a fraction of the total costs associated with the placing of the satellite into orbit. The stockholders of companies like AT&T and Sprint loved the corporate dividends and increase in their stock values due to the government subsidized satellite launches. Why would we want to make them richer when they could have afforded to pay 100% of the costs?

    Private, not publically funded, space exploration is what needs to be advocated because it is cost effective and provides the same benefits to society.
    Last edited by Shiva_TD; Nov 17 2013 at 03:23 AM.
    When social conservatives of the Republican Party state they want to return to "traditional American values" this is the "traditional American value" that they support.

    "This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men. Andrew Johnson 1866.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiva_TD View Post
    Private, not publically funded, space exploration is what needs to be advocated because it is cost effective and provides the same benefits to society.
    Then there will be no space exploration. Space exploration does not make any economic sense to private only companies, with the exception of commercial satellite market. Even hyped new space companies like SpaceX, Bigelow etc. are counting on public as their customer.
    "Billions for equal chances, not a penny for equal results."

    Charles Murray

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    Quote Originally Posted by AboveAlpha View Post
    It is a very well known fact that a huge number of inventions, breakthroughs and medical advances have come from Space Exploration.

    For example Safety Glass used in all cars today....Advancements in Solar Power....Various Crystalline Growth in low gravity used in Telecommunications and where would we be now without Satellites?

    At this point in time if done right a program to set up PERMANENT COLONIES on our Moon and Mars could very well spark economic growth and again give people optimism which is necessary for economic growth.

    We certainly have the technology to do it....and I think the U.S. should lead the way.

    AboveAlpha
    I know, lets take what little money we have and send it to the moon!
    Bring me a socialist that is willing to equalize their income with someone poorer and maybe I will care what they have to say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blasphemer View Post
    Then there will be no space exploration. Space exploration does not make any economic sense to private only companies, with the exception of commercial satellite market. Even hyped new space companies like SpaceX, Bigelow etc. are counting on public as their customer.
    But it is extremely early days for the privateers. For example SpaceX biggest account is delivering groceries to the ISS - Both are shooting for some sort of low orbit thrill ride that could helping expand their working capital.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnmayo View Post
    I know, lets take what little money we have and send it to the moon!
    Unfortunately thats the reality. High value high prestige missions are really a thing of the past. The direction NASA is taking with remote sensing robots is the perfect combination of shoe string budget and producing oodles of great science.

  11. #60

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    I have read that the moon, Europa may be a better choice for exploration:

    Europa Listeni/jʊˈroʊpə/[9] (Jupiter II), is the sixth-closest moon of the planet Jupiter, and the smallest of its four Galilean satellites, but still the sixth-largest moon in the Solar System. Europa was discovered in 1610 by Galileo Galilei[1] and possibly independently by Simon Marius around the same time. Progressively more in-depth observations of Europa have occurred over the centuries by Earth-bound telescopes, and by space probe flybys starting in the 1970s.

    Slightly smaller than the Moon, Europa is primarily made of silicate rock and probably has an iron core. It has a tenuous atmosphere composed primarily of oxygen. Its surface is composed of water ice and is one of the smoothest in the Solar System.[10] This surface is striated by cracks and streaks, whereas craters are relatively rare. The apparent youth and smoothness of the surface have led to the hypothesis that a water ocean exists beneath it, which could conceivably serve as an abode for extraterrestrial life.[11] This hypothesis proposes that heat from tidal flexing causes the ocean to remain liquid and drives geological activity similar to plate tectonics.[12]

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europa_%28moon%29
    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by johnmayo View Post
    I know, lets take what little money we have and send it to the moon!
    Ok. We can solve simple poverty, end the drug war and then go explore our solar system with the savings.

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