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Manned or Umanned Space exploration?

prolific1

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I'm not sure human's have anything useful to offer in terms of exploring the upper atmosphere of a gas giant or the subsurface ice of an icy moon. I would like to see people on Mars for sure but I think sending people to the surface of say Venus is idiotic. People couldn't have made Cassini anymore relevant - in fact the requirement of taking people would have nullified the mission all together because it would have cost the GDP of the US to go (along with perilously irradiating the crew). People have a place in space exploration and robots have an even greater place. It's just a reality of our frailty.

I have nothing against rovers or robotics but as I said earlier in this thread If humans don't go in the end it really doesn't matter.

The wealth of information that has come from Cassini is very much tangible to me. I don't think because it came from a robot that it is fraudulent science. Perhaps when your children are pensioners we can send people there. ;D
 

prolific1

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am willing to take the wager , do we have a time limit , say 2030 ?

Sure. Considering that's 20 years away...where is the infrastructure to make it a reality? I'm assuming you believe the US will be the one to go as China and India aren't ready send people to the Moon yet (in fact we can't anymore either apparently). I doubt the US will send anyone back to the Moon by 2030. I'm told our economic situation over here will improve each year - but I will refrain from holding my breath. That said, the ability to fund such a mission would require a full [economic] recovery very soon to even begin to plan such an optimistically timed mission. ;D
 

Byeman

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F-14D said:
Of course, it would be seven years at best before that replacement rover arrived, even ignoring the rather poor record of landers actually making it to Mars ,whereas the human would fix such a problem in an hour or two. Back to my point: if all you want is the very limited stuff a rover can do, then it's foolish to send a human. But if your needs start getting more sophisticated, you approach and pass the cost of sending humans.

It is going to take a human 20 to 30 years to get to Mars to fix the lander

The poor record of landers is a Russian issue and not NASA's
 

prolific1

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Of the four failed NASA Mars Missions two were landers (Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space 2) and two were orbiters (Mars Observer and Mars Climate Orbiter).
 

Byeman

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prolific1 said:
Of the four failed NASA Mars Missions two were landers (Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space 2) and two were orbiters (Mars Observer and Mars Climate Orbiter).
Mars Polar Lander and Deep Space 2 are one mission/spacecraft. Deep Space 2 were probes/instruments.
 

bobbymike

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I would really recommend the book "The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight easy Steps", by Marshall Savage. This is a speculative, obviously, yet hard science look at how humanity can (and needs to) get off the planet and become a truly galactic race.
 

r16

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prolific1 said:
am willing to take the wager , do we have a time limit , say 2030 ?

Sure. Considering that's 20 years away...where is the infrastructure to make it a reality?

... That said, the ability to fund such a mission would require a full [economic] recovery very soon to even begin to plan such an optimistically timed mission. ;D

the only reasoning behind the 20 years timeframe is ı can definitely save 5 bucks a year.

ı just read it in the newspapers that NASA is selling the shuttles 29 millions apiece . A drop in the bucket , sure , but hey it is a start !
 

Bailey

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Topic split:- See Design of Manned Mission to Mars.

Regards Bailey.
 

Grey Havoc

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This may have some bearing on future unmanned missions (registration/subscription may be required): Nuclear waste set to power spacecraft (FT.com)

Britain’s nuclear waste could be used to power spacecraft as part of government attempts to offset the huge cost of the atomic clean-up by finding commercial uses for the world’s largest stock of civil plutonium.

A £1m pilot programme by the European Space Agency has shown that nuclear batteries for use on deep space missions could be made from an isotope found in decaying plutonium at the Sellafield waste storage site in Cumbria.

Britain’s National Nuclear Laboratory has harvested americium-241 from the plutonium, produced from reprocessing fuel.

The ESA believes this could replace plutonium-238, only available from Russia and the US, and provide an independent source of energy for planned deep space missions to Jupiter and other distant planets.

Tim Tinsley, who manages the programme for the NNL, said the space battery was an unforeseen benefit of past inaction, which has left 100 tonnes of plutonium in ponds at Sellafield.

“It is available due to a twist of fate,” he said. “We have been able to extract that americium and prove that it works.”

Full-scale battery production would be “worth hundreds of millions of euros” and provide skilled jobs in west Cumbria, an area of high unemployment, he said.

Nuclear batteries – each containing about 5kg of nuclear material – have been around since the 1950s and are used in Nasa’s Cassini and Voyager probes as well as Curiosity, which landed on Mars in August.
 

pathology_doc

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Future manned missions, too. There's a reason 2001's "Discovery" had her engines at one end of a long, long, long service boom and her crew pod at the other!
 

uk 75

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I have always been puzzled by the term
"colonizing space".
Colonizing assumes an environment in which humans can set up a viable settlement, which offers advantages over the one they leave.
Evidence suggests that neither space nor the Moon or Mars can offer these without massive engineering or changes to humans themselves.
For the foreseeable future sending more than a few highly trained humans into space for any length of time without serious health risks or worse is beyond our technology.
Science Fiction rather like Fairy Tales can suspend reality and allow us to dream.
But dreams are not reality.
In my 65th year spaceflight remains the political gimic it was when I was five. China has now joined in the posturing. But whether it will yield more than the last 60 years of manned spaceflight is questionable?
I write this in sadness as my childhood was filled with such dreams from Colonel Steve Zodiac to Captain James T Kirk.
 

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