Mission to mars

Discussion in 'General Science' started by amilton542, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. amilton542

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    494
    64
    Does anybody know when we are planning on going to mars? They need to stop asking the government to fund there planned missions to the moon and get on with it, we already have the moon under our belt!
     
  2. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    Like, never? Last I heard funding of NASA had been cut, again.

    I strongly disagree with Mars before moon. The Moon is a natural base, complete with resources. You can get into lunar orbit easily, unlike the earth. Where do you think they will build this stuff. Infrastructure needs to be first.
     
  3. amilton542

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    494
    64
    Mr Obama was on the television a while back explaining how he was going to fund the new moon programme. I know they have resources on the moon for there fuel they will produce, but building a moon base I find hard to imagine, we still need to get materials,oxygen and equipment up there
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  4. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    The oxygen (in the form of water) and materials are already there, in abundance. That is what I was referring to as resources. You also have plentiful energy to go with lots of metals. Then there is the Helium 3, which if works as predicted will be the new energy source of next century.
     
  5. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    133
    5
    an international coalition seems the most likely route to me. without the privious environment of cold-war competitive propaganda, i think that dedication to international cooperation would be the only way forward.

    that said,
    i was chatting with a prominent space-program scientist last year and he was musing something to the effect of, "a man on the moon is only an image, a virtual actuality, it's significance has no practical or scientific value, only a symbolic one, which can at best provide the promise of a better future for the people of earth".
     
  6. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,680
    900
    Perhaps the UN should be charged with organizing that effort. Its history of efficiency and success can't be ignored.

    John
     
  7. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    Don't forget the UN's integrity. If there is anything like wealth up there it would be sure to be reinvested into growth and not just disappear.
     
  8. jpanhalt

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 18, 2008
    5,680
    900
    We gotta stay out of politics, but I can imagine some of the committee chair assignments. Private enterprise or a single country will be there first.

    John
     
  9. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    133
    5
    well i'm thinking more of collaborations between nasa, esa, jaxa, cast...
    for example, nasa and esa are working on joint missions to mars in 2016 and 2018. china plans an mars orbiter for 2013.
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    The more governments in the mix the less likely it will get done. All it takes is one government to back down at the wrong time, or try to blackmail others into doing things its way.

    The Apollo Moon shots worked because of competition, not cooperation.
     
  11. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    133
    5
    i see what you're trying to say, obviously, and must respectfully disagree. competition merely created the conditions for which a moon-shot could be developed. cooperation made it work.
    if the engineers at grumann (for example) were constantly competing with each other they wouldn't have gotten very far.

    typically, after loosing the moon-race, the soviets just pretended that they were never even attempting their own manned mission in the first place. they were however deeply involved and right up until just after apollo11.

    it should be noted that the conditions of competition surrounding the space-race were extraordinarily dangerous for humanity. the rapid development of rocket technology during these times also had plenty to do with the rapid deployment of earth-bound payloads. i.e. war-heads.

    what you essentially had was two super-powers working as two teams towards essentially the same goals: the drive into space on one hand, mutually assured destruction on the other.


    with the proper conditions to satisfy national egos, i don't see how any nation could refuse the call to duty. calling it competition or cooperation is perhaps just a semantic exercise in the grand scheme of things. coke or pepsi, it's still just carbonated sugar-water.

    but 'why bother with space, we have enough problems here' is a pretty strong argument against even bothering to try. i feel no shame in being an optimist.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    OK, name any first that was a result of cooperation, the current space station is the biggest example of international cooperation, but was beat by both SkyLab and Mir. Fact is, cooperation only works if it is prior art, anything new tends to be horded.
     
  13. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    133
    5
    hmm, let's see. off the top of my head:
    the internet. the world-wide-web as we know it today is the result of international collaboration.

    the atomic bomb. practically speaking it was a joint project of u.k., canada, and u.s.
    canadians don't generally like to admit their role, but they helped provide resources (such as uranium from great-bear lake, 'project-9' heavy water processing) and research.
    and of course, the science was, as science tends to be, international.

    let's see, what else.
    the computer is a good example.
     
  14. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    Uhh, no. The internet was born of the cold war, it expanded after several US universities established the standards and the early network. It's original intent was to spread the footprint of the network so a nuclear strike couldn't take out any central points. Universities being what they are, it grew from there.

    Besides, I thought we were talking the space programs. You went a bit afield there for your example.

    The computer was a concept invented by Babbage, but the first implementations were WWII and post WWII (cold war again). The first really practical computer (Eniac?) was used to make artillery tables for the army (for trajectories). It used vacuum tubes. There were earlier examples, but they all lacked the basic block components of a modern computer. Babbage tried very hard to build his concept, but never succeeded due to the state of the art in machining (and price) wasn't up to it in his day.

    You will find, if you study history, many major inventions start off military, then spread to civilian applications as the tech becomes common place. There are obvious exceptions, but the military provides a lot of R&D incentive. There was a saying when I was a kid, military hardware tends to be 20 years ahead of the civilian counterparts. That lead time may be less now, but it is still there, and classified.

    Next?
     
  15. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    8,750
    759
    Will They or Won't they?
     
  16. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    They is abstract, what are you asking? Go to Mars? I hope so, after we establish lunar colonies. The Helium3 alone would justify that. Unless we get some decent space hardware I'm a pessimest though. The space plane thread I started has promise, but I've seen too many news stories just like it to be a believer.
     
  17. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    8,750
    759
    I think the world will end sooner than that.
     
  18. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
    20,765
    2,536
    That's religion, not science, speaking.
     
  19. bribri

    Member

    Feb 20, 2011
    133
    5
    yes i know about arpanet. i was talking about the www as we know it today. there were numerous 'firsts'.

    ^^ slightly different mandate than continuity of government in a nuclear holocaust.

    but if you want to talk about the birth of the internet, you might go further back... to the telegraph.

    well the atomic bomb example, which you didn't address, is not so far afield. my point was that the science as well as the 'push' was international and involved cooperation.
    the science which led up to even having space programs goes back a long way... and it's been a cooperative as well as derivative process. once again, there have been a lot of firsts.

    and prior to tubes, rooms full of women were used for such calculations.

    but okay, the computer was invented essentially by charles babbage, civilian, and yes, computer development was rather encouraged by wwii efforts.
    there are german (zuse) and british (colossus) examples which predate eniac. colossus was made for code-breaking however.

    granted, military does what it does.
    perhaps kubrick and his 'dawn of man' might have agreed with you. but to pick up a bone and club your neighbour isn't such a distinct turning point on its own i think. other primates could still do this and more the involved manufacture and use of tools for a variety of purposes has been observed in the non humans too.

    i think that the dawn of man would be more related to advancements in the use of language and fire than that of weapons.

    but what about later inventions?
    the birth of agriculture having its origins in secret military technology.... i don't know, i'd think not.

    beer? sanitation?

    roads maybe.
    maybe maps... but these would be just as related to trade as to military i should think.

    what about the printing press? it's been used for military reasons, but was it military r&d which really brought it into the world? i really don't think so.

    ceremonial use of pyrotechnics happens to predate its military uses.

    telegraph? civilian.

    what about tanks and their 'tractor-treads'?
    well, tanks were based on a kind of tractor and similar logging machines.

    were maxwell, faraday, einstein, hertz, newton, and kepler 20 years behind military r&d? were they just plain working for the military? i don't think that they were.
    da vinci...? okay he WAS working for the military. sometimes.

    what about nicola tesla? i understand that he sought an audience with the u.s. military during wwi to offer a radar-like invention for detecting the enemy at a distance... and was promptly shown the door.

    sonar? apparently the first patent was inspired by the sinking of the titanic.

    okay then. what about the liquid fuel rockets we know and love?

    seems that in terms of firsts, these civilian rockets were pretty well on their way before the military picked up on them.

    lasers and masers came from the universities of ussr and usa.

    but the military does what it does. it weaponizes things. food, medicine, and communication are important also... so.
    some military inventions have indeed trickled down to civilian use: canned food, gps, various spying devices, satellites.
    the internet, night-vision, plastic surgery, crazy-glue. shape-memory-alloys deserve a special mention. the cia never managed to get their 'gay-bomb' working but i suppose that would have been popular. the jet-pack was supposed to be a big thing but it didn't really take off.
    it's true that wwi and wwii spurred a rapid acceleration of technology, but perhaps the wars were in part created by technological advancements: the realization that, "hey, we're smart, we could rule the world"... the futurist project.

    we are technology, it's our second-skin, an extension of our eyes, ears, hands, and so on (if i may get all mcluhanist here).
    what we do with technology just comes down to priorities, political will and all of that stuff. if the military has all the funding and resources it will be on the cutting edge of technological development, but i really don't think that there's anything inherently superior to militaristic motivations over other motivations. simple human curiosity wins over the will to dominate in my book.

    mission to mars? an open-ended space exploration program implies huge amounts of technological development, much of which could become useful to life on earth. memory-foam pillows are awesome.

    as noted, the coldwar did wonders for the space program, but i think the constant threat and paranoia of immanent obliteration may have put a damper on things.

    motivations are important. why go to space? i personally think that it's our duty as lifeforms... a stance which might loosely translate into: "because we can, that's why".
     
  20. AlexR

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2008
    735
    54
    True but it wasn't until the invention of HTTP and HTML at CERN that the World Wide Web took off. Prior to that the internet was composed of command-line based applications such as "sendmail" and "FTP" and was not very user-friendly Most internet users were either academics or researchers, with virtually no private citizens having access.
    As for a mission to Mars, I defiantly would not be holding my breath. There is not one space power on the horizon that even has the ability (either technical or financial) to send men back to the Moon, going to Mars is a whole lot more difficult and many times more expensive. The US, Russia and the EU are all pretty much down the gurgler financially. China or India might be able to afford it but both countries have much more pressing issues to spend money on rather than some dubious and very expensive publicity stunt.
     
Loading...