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#1 2004-01-14 21:57:37

Michael Bloxham
Member
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: 2002-03-31
Posts: 426

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]It seems Bush has set a very specific goal concerning the moon, and a very vague one concerning Mars. While this is definitely a step forward for space exploration, I can't help wonder how the huge media interest in a manned Mars mission didn't get across to the president. Even the BBC and CNN had great computer generated images of future human to Mars missions, aired immediately after Bush's speech, as well as the latest Spirit panoramas. The press was really expecting more Mars goals, and failed to predict the rather vague reference from Bush. The BBC even had a 'Should we send Humans to Mars' poll set up on their website. Why did the President fail to hear the call of Mars? We've been to the moon. Lets move on. I have to say I expected at least a Mars by 2020 goal, to bring new urgency to his fathers words back in 1989. And what is this Crew Exploration Vehicle? Does Bush really expect a craft that can both ferry astronauts to the space station, and to the moon? We cannot have a 'Jack of all Trades' space craft; The shuttle was designed from this logic, and the shuttle is an incredibly inefficient vehicle which got us into this mess. Forgive my pessimism on this issue, I guess my expectations were too high. I'm just disappointed the goal wasn't Mars.


And to the Russians: Adopt Mars Direct, Revive the Energia, and show those fat yanks how to conduct [i:post_uid0]real[/i:post_uid0] science![/color:post_uid0]


- Mike,  Member of the Clean Slate Society

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#2 2004-01-14 22:36:46

Michael Bloxham
Member
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: 2002-03-31
Posts: 426

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]On further thought, perhaps I was/am frustrated to realize the media and public had such great interest in a manned Mars mission, and little interest in a Lunar equivalent. Maybe if Bush had announced a Mars goal instead of a Lunar goal, we would have had a better chance of going to Mars sooner than we will likely meet the Lunar goal now... If your still with me... Get my drift?[/color:post_uid0]


- Mike,  Member of the Clean Slate Society

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#3 2004-01-14 22:43:28

Dook
Banned
From: USA
Registered: 2004-01-09
Posts: 1,409

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I share your frustration.  George Bush senior wanted to go to mars and NASA screwed it up with it's $450 billion plan.  I don't think I've heard George Bush junior even mention the space program since he's been in office until recently and I think the motivation is that the Chinese put a man in orbit and say they are going to put a base on the moon.  I get the feeling that no one at NASA ever mentioned the Mars Direct plan to the President but then why would they?  I personally think NASA needs a management overhaul. Get someone in there who can set the standard a bit higher and do it by working with other countries: EU? Japan? Russia? to share some of the costs.[/color:post_uid0]

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#4 2004-01-14 22:44:03

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]The media exaggerated his commitment, hands down. They talked about Mars all weekend, and Monday/Tuesday. I wanted to make a similar observation, but I didn't want to come off as Bush bashing (that is, that the media propped up Bush's commitments and ablities).

Frankly, though, getting to Mars is going to cost a pretty penny. But I think Mars Direct could be done for cheaper than the $15+ billion that's speculated (I've even called it a suicide mission on some ocassions).

But yeah, I think he set the wrong goal for us Mars enthusiasts and space colonization in general (because Mars is the easier place to go to colonize).[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#5 2004-01-14 22:47:50

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Dook, you know what that $400 billion plan failed? The nuclear stuff, I'd say. I've said it before, nuclear technology has been historically several times more costly than all other energy technologies combined.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#6 2004-01-14 22:54:45

Dook
Banned
From: USA
Registered: 2004-01-09
Posts: 1,409

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I read The Case for Mars a few years ago so I've forgotten some of the details about why NASA was against it.  What I remember is Zubrin being pretty hard on NASA because instead of finding the most economical way to get the job done they wanted to implement all of their "projects".  Some special engine that costs billions alone that some NASA engineer has been working on and this other really neat thing that does the job at 100 times the cost of some other and blah blah blah.  If we have to use the Russian Energia rocket to get mars direct going is anyone, other than NASA, going to care?[/color:post_uid0]

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#7 2004-01-15 01:01:20

Spider-Man
Member
From: Pennsylvania
Registered: 2003-08-20
Posts: 163
Website

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000F22:post_uid0]No no no, there are many subtle clues that lead me to believe that Zubrin, whether directly or indirectly, has gotten through to Bush. 

The Crew Exploration Vehicle is the first one, a Mars Direct type of spacecraft that lands both on the Moon and Mars, as well as having the ability to do light or heavy ferry work.  That's right out of the pages of [i:post_uid0]The Case for Mars[/i:post_uid0].

In Zubrin's speech to the Senate last Haloween, he stressed "intellectual capital", how the Apollo program inspired so many young people in the cities to become scientists, doctors, computer programmers, inventors who brought and continue to bring such great revenues into our country and the world at large.  Bush said almost exactly the same thing, if you listened to his speech.

Finishing the ISS is purely political.  I also think Bush talked about the weightlessness and zero-g problems (which aren't really problems in Mars Direct) just to placate the ISS people in NASA and not make them feel totally useless, for at least a couple years.  But in the end, I'm sure we'll just slap a few bumber stickers on 'er and get the hell outta there.

So, this makes be think that either McCain or other Senators relayed Zubrin's ideas, perhaps even the transcript of his testimony, to the White House.  Doublecheck the transcript, and compare his speech with Zubrin's (linked above).

Also, one of the most promising things in Bush's speech is a "committee" of experts in the field,  [i:post_uid0]"public and private"[/i:post_uid0].  This could easily mean Zubrin; and if he gets his foot in the door, our portal to Mars will finally be open.

Have faith, everyone.  It's a lot more fun than pouting.[/color:post_uid0]


[img]http://myth.bungie.org/hosted/inmates/spiderman.jpg[/img]

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#8 2004-01-15 01:59:15

Michael Bloxham
Member
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: 2002-03-31
Posts: 426

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I would also like to add this concern: Now that we have this lunar goal, will our preoccupation with this new endeavor delay still further a Mars mission? Will we spend money on vehicles specifically designed for a moon voyage, as seems likely if the presidents call for a 'Crew Exploration Vehicle' is adhered to? I don't understand the logic. Surely a Mars goal would give us everything this lunar goal will and more; politically, scientifically, mechanically, etc. Perhaps the president was misinformed about the difference in cost between a lunar program and a mars program. Would not the cost difference be small? And a Mars mission (i.e Mars Direct) would likely incorporate all the necessary hardware for a sustained Lunar mission. I'm having real trouble finding the logic here guys...
What concerns me most of all about Bush's plan is the ridiculous idea of launching spacecraft to 'worlds beyond' from the lunar surface. He seems to think this will decrease the energy required and therefore lower costs. Preposterous! What lunatic smile gave him this idea? I'm sure most of you are aware of demerits of such a design, an idea which came from Apollo era science fiction writers, an idea who's time has passed. Maybe Bush took the idea of bringing back the days of Apollo too literally? I must hope, then, that NASA's space exploration program will not take the words of Bush too literally. If we do, we will no doubt (Okay, maybe I am being a little too pessimistic) be stuck, not in low earth orbit, but on the surface of an inhospitable vacuum.
Todays youth will grow (grew?) up and be inspired by images of Pathfinder, MGS, and now the Spirit Rover; and todays youth will be tomorrows engineers, politicians and astronauts. We're not sending Apollos youths into space tomorrow. We are sending the youths of Mars.

Please help renew hope (Hey we're going to Mars, weeeee)[/color:post_uid0]


- Mike,  Member of the Clean Slate Society

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#9 2004-01-15 02:08:53

Michael Bloxham
Member
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: 2002-03-31
Posts: 426

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid14]Thanks spider, didn't see your post there. Well, I hope your right. I'm sure we'll find out sooner or later how it all turns out.

Be optimistic, yet be discerning.

And let us continue to sow our views, opinions, and visions amongst the people in power.

It's not over till it's over.[/color:post_uid14]


- Mike,  Member of the Clean Slate Society

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#10 2004-01-15 02:29:27

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]:laugh:

Have faith in Bush.

How long have I been hearing that? Since 2002? NASA Watch has been "having faith" in Bush since he was elected (go on, go look at their news archives). He's satisfied some finally, but he hasn't done anything remotely interesting for the Mars Society, or I should stress, Mars enthusiasts in general. The NuclearSpace people, calling for Bush to pull a nice nuclear engine out of his ass... get a nuclear powered low thrust ion engine and "maybe something later on." Many of us Mars Society people believed that Bush was going to set a date to go to Mars, heck, I myself believed it. Didn't happen. He barely mentioned Mars, at that.

Our chances are better with another presidential candidate who can, during debates when space policy comes up, show the reasons for going to Mars, and how the moon offers very little in the way of technological advancement. How the moon would be just an extended ISS without much sustainability. How Mars Direct would follow naturally with revamping the STS into a lower cost cargo vehicle.

If you're going to pull the "privatize everything" card then we don't need the government at all. Frankly I would love to do it that way, and in all honesty, now that is the only way that I can see it happening within my... robust lifetime. As this current government has failed me indeed.

Faith. Right.

Time for me to write my favorite presidential candidate and have him see the scientific benefits of Mars Direct and contrast it with the comparative waste of time the moon is.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#11 2004-01-15 02:37:37

Michael Bloxham
Member
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: 2002-03-31
Posts: 426

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]BTW, where is Zubrin? Has anyone heard from him recently? Perhaps he was secretly involved with the new plan... And who is Rear Admiral Craig Steidle, the head of the newly formed Exploration Systems Enterprise, responsible for the CEV?[/color:post_uid0]


- Mike,  Member of the Clean Slate Society

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#12 2004-01-15 07:55:36

wgc
Member
From: Michigan
Registered: 2003-12-09
Posts: 110
Website

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]On further thought, perhaps I was/am frustrated to realize the media and public had such great interest in a manned Mars mission, and little interest in a Lunar equivalent. Maybe if Bush had announced a Mars goal instead of a Lunar goal, we would have had a better chance of going to Mars sooner than we will likely meet the Lunar goal now... If your still with me... Get my drift?[/color:post_uid0][/quote:post_uid0]
[color=#000000:post_uid0]The goal gets us out of leo. There's already misinformation that the moon plan could cost 1 trillion dollars, remember its an election year an the candidates are taking there positions. Do you think a Mars Proposal at this time really would have a chance. Even this very modest proposal is being thrown out of proportion by the self serving agenda of congressman and so called experts.

You know all the debate is a sad commentary on the total lack of science education in our schools and plain apathy by the media. How many stations carried the spirit landing. I had to watch nasa direct over broadband internet.[/color:post_uid0]


portal.holo-spot.net

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#13 2004-01-15 08:48:24

TJohn
Member
Registered: 2002-08-06
Posts: 149

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Michael,

I saw a little bit of Dr. Zubrin last night on Lou Dobbs.  In just my opinion, he did not seem upset that NASA will do the Moon first before Mars.  Don't get me wrong, he still gave his Mars Direct pitch, but I didn't see him as being extremely upset about it.[/color:post_uid0]


One day...we will get to Mars and the rest of the galaxy!!  Hopefully it will be by Nuclear power!!!

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#14 2004-01-15 09:31:22

John Creighton
Member
From: Nova Scotia, Canada
Registered: 2001-09-04
Posts: 2,401
Website

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I thought the people here would be more pro nuclear power.

Also if we have a nuclear power ion engine, who cares if we stop at the moon. Couldn't such a craft take us most places in the sollar system?[/color:post_uid0]

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#15 2004-01-15 09:31:56

sethmckiness
Member
From: Iowa
Registered: 2002-09-20
Posts: 230

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]IMHO, I see Bush's plan as a nice comfortable compromise that is probably about the best we could actually see.  Also, this plan seems pretty open ended...   But I do believe we do need to go back to the moon, if not for anything else then some basic testing of the equipment we will use on Mars.  Since, they will be much closer, incase something goes Tango Uniform.   

We have to learn to crawl before we walk, and we have issues with even getting high enough to crawl... 

Also...  I don't think we are ready for Mars yet.  Until we can get a 100% rate of getting probes there....   we can't even do that yet...  I think that makes any mission a bit of Russian roulette.[/color:post_uid0]


We are only limited by our Will and our Imagination.

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#16 2004-01-15 10:20:22

Bill White
Member
Registered: 2001-09-09
Posts: 2,114

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

IMHO, I see Bush's plan as a nice comfortable compromise that is probably about the best we could actually see.  Also, this plan seems pretty open ended...   But I do believe we do need to go back to the moon, if not for anything else then some basic testing of the equipment we will use on Mars.  Since, they will be much closer, incase something goes Tango Uniform.   

We have to learn to crawl before we walk, and we have issues with even getting high enough to crawl... 

Also...  I don't think we are ready for Mars yet.  Until we can get a 100% rate of getting probes there....   we can't even do that yet...  I think that makes any mission a bit of Russian roulette.[/quote:post_uid0]
My fears are that there is no real intention to return to the Moon by 2015 - 2020. Just flowery rhetoric. My report card on the Bush plan/speech:

[b:post_uid0]Statement of Vision and Purpose[/b:post_uid0]: A-

"Explore" is a weaker word than "settle" so no A or A+ but A- ain't bad. . .

[b:post_uid0]Funding[/b:post_uid0]: B- / C +

There was no cut - this is good. The 5 year funding plan, however, is woefully insufficient to get us anywhere near the Moon, not to mention Mars. Does the new funding include development of the CEV? Shuttle savings don't kick in until 2010 and huge sums will be needed to return the orbiter to flight status. Anyone care to guess if the shuttle will fly before November 2004? I say NO.

[b:post_uid0]Plan Details[/b:post_uid0]: D

Trust me. See, me and Sean Keefe have this new wonder-ship - - the Crew Exploration Vehicle - - its going do EVERYTHING you space nuts have always wanted.

How does it work?
What does it look like?
How much can it carry?

"Uh, we'll get back to you, or not. But remember under MY plan, America stands TALL in space! Remember that. Okay?"[/color:post_uid0]

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#17 2004-01-15 10:25:25

Dook
Banned
From: USA
Registered: 2004-01-09
Posts: 1,409

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]It seemed to me that nobody ever told the President about the Mars Direct plan simply because of the moon idea.  Hasn't Zubrin always said "If you want to go to mars, then go to mars.  Going to the moon is not the way to mars."  I do not think we need to test our mars lander equipment on the moon first simply because we have never done that in the past.  Apollo went and landed on the moon with 1960's technology.  Why doesn't anyone have faith that we can do that now?  Actually I wouldn't be so upset about testing the equipment out on the moon except I really do not like the idea of the moon base.  It's going to become another ISS where we have to constantly send supplies, fix problems, crew transfers...all for what?  The astronauts there will be stuck with no real scientific purpose just like on ISS.  All space missions have a bit of Russian roulette in them.  It's the nature of the business.  The problem with the probes in my opinion does not relate to manned missions.  One of the probes was lost when NASA sent it the wrong information.  A manned mission would be able to fix that.[/color:post_uid0]

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#18 2004-01-15 10:38:22

Dook
Banned
From: USA
Registered: 2004-01-09
Posts: 1,409

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]How about this: retire the space shuttle now and save a huge amount of money by not having to implement all the recommendations from the accident investigation and use other countries launch vehicles to fulfill our comittments to the ISS and we pay for the trips.  Seems to me this would save an incredible amount of money that could go toward the Presidents moon by 2015 and mars by 3050 plan.[/color:post_uid0]

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#19 2004-01-15 13:18:08

RobS
Member
From: South Bend, IN
Registered: 2002-01-15
Posts: 1,701
Website

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]The Bush plan is an artful compromise, I think:

Low Earth Orbit: There's a constituency for continuing the ISS and it needs to be respected, especially since we won't get international cooperation beyond LEO if we don't keep our commitments there. If we canceled the shuttle and shut down ISS, the Europeans would rightly ask: how do we know you're serious about the moon and Mars, then?

So ISS will be finished. But note it is now sidelined; it is no longer the future of spaceflight. Its future is tied to development of life support systems and human space health for long term missions. That's where it should be, until the day comes when we discover something that actually CAN be manufactured in orbit that is unique and needed.

The shuttle is to be ended much sooner than planned. Thi, and the change of focus for ISS, are as much of an admission that the US took the wrong course as one will ever see from the government. To see this much is surprising. Thank God we live in a democracy. Too bad we scrapped Apollo and Saturn in the first place; we could have built some sort of moon base in the mid 1970s and kept Skylab up to boot. Of course, there would have probably been some disasters, too.

The moon: We don't have to go to the moon to go to Mars, true, but there is a big moon lobby, and they have legitimate points. Don't dismiss the moon as a lifeless rock: Mars may be the same. Antarctica is largely lifeless and a wretched place to live, but a lot of money is spent on peer-reviewed science there every year. The moon may tell us about the origin of the Earth. Scattered across its surface are fragments of Earth blasted into space by impacts. We will find crumbs of Earth there that represent the earliest days of this world, a time we can no longer study on the Earth itself. There may be fragments with the organic signatures of life's origin and earliest evolution. We might find chunks thrown into space by the Chicxulub impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. We may find pieces of Mercury and Venus there, and certainly pieces of Mars. We may find extrasolar materials as well. Then there's the potential for astronomy and radio astronomy. Finally, there's the question of natural resources: water, helium 3, solar power, etc. The moon cannot be ignored either from political, engineering, or scientific points of view.

Some have complained the focus is on science, not settlement. Settlement is simply not sale-able right now. The average person can understand better computers and tang coming from the space program. But settlement is too distant and involves too many unknowns to be used as a justification to Congress. It will follow later, after we have reached these objects.

The plan said nothing about costs. It really couldn't because no one would believe NASA anyway. If they offered Zubrin's Mars Direct numbers, people would say NASA can't be serious in thinking it could really do the work with that little. If they gave a large number, people would say "too expensive, never mind."

The announcement yesterday was not about technical specifics or costs. Those actually would be a distraction. Yesterday's announcement was a political and public relations act. It sought to sell the idea. Too many details would actually make that difficult, because it would give critics traction to dismiss the whole idea by trashing an approach or a cost estimate.

The speech said there would be a commission headed by the former Secretary of the Air Force to come up with a plan in four months. At least, that's what I remember. Announcing it will not be a big, public act; it's not the sort of thing that gets press. But that's what we need to watch for. It's tell us whether Mars Direct has had an impact or not.

         -- RobS[/color:post_uid0]

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#20 2004-01-15 15:44:53

Michael Bloxham
Member
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: 2002-03-31
Posts: 426

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid9]But that is what has me so confused, Rob. Bush set some very specific agenda. A Crew Exploration Vehicle, capable of servicing the space station and flights to the moon, by 2008/2014. A return to the moon by 2014/2020, and a lunar outpost, where spacecraft can be launched on interplanetary missions.

He has set a very specific goal; a goal emulating science fiction. This does not seem to me like an efficient way to conduct human exploration of 'the cosmos'.

If Bush was expecting all this within the current budget, he clearly did not do his homework. I dunno, can't really think of a plan more difficult than this. I just hope 'difficult' doesn't mean 'too expensive'.[/color:post_uid9]


- Mike,  Member of the Clean Slate Society

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#21 2004-01-15 16:36:16

mck
Member
From: uk
Registered: 2004-01-15
Posts: 5

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]I didn't listen to his whole speech, but in the time I was listening he didn't mention anything about a 'manned mission to mars'. It was more about the moon.

I can just see the headlines... 2020 - front page - Big Brother and pop idol winners wed (oh and page 56 - man back on moon)[/color:post_uid0]

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#22 2004-01-15 17:53:32

Ian Flint
Member
From: Colorado
Registered: 2003-09-24
Posts: 437

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]Well, for starters, I have to pick apart his speech.  It's one of my favorite hobbies. :laugh:

Here's a beautiful quote: "I welcome those who are listening by video."

I don't know about you, but I tend to 'watch by video.'

OK...that was fun.


Now about his actual "New Visionary (Bull Sh**) Plan"...

It seems to me that all he is doing is moving the goal-less NASA to the moon:

    "We can use our time on the moon to develop and test new approaches and technologies and systems that will allow us to function in other, more challenging environments." -- W.

This sounds just like the 'Shuttle Mode' of operations that Zubrin opposed in his testimony to the senate commerce committee this October:

   "In this mode, technologies and hardware elements are developed in accord with the wishes of various technical communities.  These projects are then justified by arguments that they might prove useful at some time in the future when grand flight projects ar initiated." -- Zubrin.

Bush definitely did compromise.  He will not accomplish anything new.  If anything in his Visionary plan actually gets done, we still will not have accomplished much of anything new.  We went to the moon before and we have operated in shuttle mode before.

But, let's be realistic folks.  Bush isn't serious about space, just like his dad wasn't serious about space.  Congress won't fork out enough money to get people back to the moon or to  Mars unless the president pushes.

Bush was very good pushing the "War on Poor Underdefended Nations" ...err..I mean... "The War on Terror".  We need a gagging smiley, by the way. smile

If he had pushed space exploration like he did with his two wars we would be well on our way to Mars.

If a president is serious about space he will do something big during his first year -- not in his reelection year.[/color:post_uid0]

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#23 2004-01-15 18:11:25

Josh Cryer
Administrator
Registered: 2001-09-29
Posts: 3,830

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid0]

If a president is serious about space he will do something big during his first year -- not in his reelection year.[/quote:post_uid0]

Totally agreed, there. I don't think any more needs to be said. This is the single most important truth here.

Has Zubrin said anything about this yet? I can't find anything on Google news. I'm really interested in his take.[/color:post_uid0]


Some useful links while MER are active. Offical site NASA TV JPL MER2004 Text feed
--------
The amount of solar radiation reaching the surface of the earth totals some 3.9 million exajoules a year.

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#24 2004-01-15 18:13:28

Michael Bloxham
Member
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Registered: 2002-03-31
Posts: 426

Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid10]Hey heres something interesting I found during a Whitehouse.gov forum session thingy with Sean O'Keefe on the 7th:

William, from Lincoln, Nebraska writes:

Wonderful success on the Rover Kudos all around on that mission. Considering that Earth's moon has abundant titanium ore (and an oxygen-free vacuum to refine the ore cheaply into elemental Ti) and one-sixth of Earth's gravity, what are the chances of putting two nuclear reactors (for redundancy) underground (for protection; those craters didn't come from a catalog) and a research and aerospace complex (also underground) around them? Such abundant electrical power on tap might make any scientist smile.

It seems like a fine construction and launching platform for a manned Mars mission sometime in the future. Tours of duty might be short to protect bone density. We put our flag there many years ago, maybe it's about time we did something with it. The cost would be staggering, but the potential benefits could be just as massive.

What do you think about such a concept?


Sean O'Keefe answers:

Interesting concept, William; and you put your finger on it. In order to do any extensive missions we have to develop power generation capabilities beyond the solar electric systems that we are currently depending on. That is why the last two years running the President in his annual budget has provided funding for what we can Project Prometheus to develop power generation and propulsion alternatives by using both nuclear reactors as well as other conventional means . We can significantly diminish the volume required to support long duration space flight by traveling to destinations faster, getting there sooner and setting up power generation capabilities to support missions.

So you have an interesting concept and one we are trying to pursue and the cost, unlike what you suggested need not be staggering. [/quote:post_uid10]

This is a surprise. It sounds almost exactly like Bush's plan. I bet William will be happy.


Unrelated: After studying many news articles and general opinion, I have found there are many space enthusiasts out there who share my view.

We must fight for Mars.

Voice your concerns to NASA, and to Bush. Let us preach to the public, and to the people in power.

We must mobilize for action, perhaps it is not too late to rally the significance of the Martian frontier.[/color:post_uid10]


- Mike,  Member of the Clean Slate Society

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#25 2004-01-15 18:22:29

Mad Grad Student
Member
From: Phoenix, Arizona, North Americ
Registered: 2003-11-09
Posts: 498
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Re: Bush Sets Wrong Goal?

[color=#000000:post_uid8]Okay, guys, you really have to stop acting like the only place to go in the solar system is Mars. I understood the point that we need ot set a goal far enough away that it's a challenge but near enough that it's attainable, criteria which Mars fits. However, we need to take it one step at a time here, folks. Suddenly leaping over to Mars without steeping out of the Van Allen belts in 30 years smacks of foolhardiness and borders on lunacy (No pun intended). For starters, before we send anyone to Mars we need to understand extraterrestrial radiation better. Where better to do this than the Moon? Once someone stays at a Moon base for four months, then I'll be confident we can leave this planet.

Secondly, going to the moon is still exploration. Just because Columbus reached the new world a few years before Balboa, Vespucci and the others doesn't mean they're not explorers, it just means they weren't the first in line. Even though Columbus found America, it took the other explorers to find the Pacific Ocean, the southwestern deserts, and how easy it is to kill people with smallpox. Setting up permanent shop on the Moon will be pushing the frontier forward, and staying there, it's far from a been-there, done-that scinerio.

Once we get our foot in the door with the Moon, then on to Mars! But we have to remember, walk before you run. Stretch goals are great, so I say that part of any president's space proposal should be getting to Mars by 2025-2030, but not the first step. This is like setting up a ridiculously expensive computer here, you have to read the directions before you go do it.[/color:post_uid8]


A mind is like a parachute- it works best when open.

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