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Trip to Mars waste of money?

Old 10-10-18, 11:06 PM
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Trip to Mars waste of money?

What would we do when we get there? Open a Walmart? Or should we use resources to fix the problems on Earth first? I don’t see mankind getting off this planet anytime soon.
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Old 10-10-18, 11:42 PM
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Trip to Bike Forums waste of time?

What would you do when you get there? Bloviate? Or should you use the time to fix your own problems first? I don't see you getting out of doing the dishes any time soon.
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Old 10-10-18, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
I don’t see mankind getting off this planet anytime soon.

Baby steps.
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Old 10-11-18, 12:17 AM
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Mars... pppbbbttt... don't tell me about Mars.

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Old 10-11-18, 12:43 AM
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…or it could be about the science, technology, environmental and medical advancements that come from the research into projects like that…like what nasa projects have given us over the last 50+ years.
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Old 10-11-18, 12:45 AM
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There are lots of things that are a waste of money. Buying a new car for one????

I really don't think mankind will ever be able to travel bouncing from star system to star system, or planet to planet like Star Trek.

The Physics as we know it just isn't there.

I do anticipate that mankind will eventually spread to a couple of planets and moons within our solar system. Personally, I would establish a lunar colony before I would establish a martian colony, but each has its own benefits.

I doubt we'll ever have easy travel from planet to planet. Of course Columbus might have said the same in 1492... and here we are hopping on a plane and being on another continent in a matter of hours (quicker if the Concorde hadn't shut down).

I would highly disagree with any plans to strip-mine the solar system to feed Earth's ravenous needs for resources. Our solar system will eventually be a resource onto itself. Our moon, for example, could eventually be an excellent stepping-stone for solar system transport, and even production of terrestrial satellites. Mars, perhaps an intermediary weigh station. Interplanetary money, of course, could be complex, especially considering the needs of any growing colony on an inhospitable planet.

But, in general, I'd favor keeping what is in space, in space.

The moon vs mars have both good things and bad things. Mars has higher gravity, and more free water and free carbon/oxygen. It also has an excellent length of day. On the other hand, it is further from the sun, colder, and a greater trip between Earth and Mars.

The moon is close to Earth. The lower gravity could have benefits for space travel. And, it gets the same sun as Earth (although not filtered through the atmosphere). The Lunar day is long and HOT, and nights are long and COLD. The polar regions may have some water/carbon resources, and might have good sunlight. But more limited than Mars.

I suppose I see the colonization of the moon as important for our future space system, both on Earth, and beyond.

Colonization of Mars and/or Venus would be more of a challenge, and perhaps practice for something bigger and better.

Colonization of an exoplanet will require special technology including possibly a generation ship, robotic probes, or stasis. Or, perhaps a combination of all of the above. Doing so may not give Earth any specific benefit, other than satisfying our curiosity. Again, the arduous journey between solar systems will prevent us from doing the journey with regularity, or transferring significant resources back and forth. In fact, the natural movement of our star system will bring some stars close for a period, then they will eventually recede, making even communication more complex.
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Old 10-11-18, 06:29 AM
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I think that much like exploring in the 'old' days, that doing so will be marked in tragedy. I actually wonder if our of age, safe space, PC crowd can actually stomach sending groups of people off to what is almost certain death. There was a fellow, I think the project has already failed, that found a bevy of people willing to try the one way trip. I think his pipe dreams caught up with his ability to finance, haven't heard anything about that in a while.

If mankind is going to survive itself we have to find a way to get into and travel space fast enough to get places...places that we don't even know exist yet, but a start will be learning how to live on an inhospitable planet. Issues I see are micro gravity and solar particle bombardment. These people will weaken and die from those alone.

As to pulling resources 'in' from space...not possible at this time. We have no way to bring any substantial amount of resource down to Earth without burning it up. If we can learn to 'stage' in space, which will have to be done anyway, and develop our ability to actually manufacture something there, it will be a start. Any craft that we build to sustain ourselves in space and particularly travel there will be too large to generate enough energy to escape our atmosphere unless some totally revolutionary drive system is developed.
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Old 10-11-18, 07:43 AM
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I cannot answer your question, but I can say I wasted my money watching Matt Damon get rescued from Mars--twice.
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Old 10-11-18, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I cannot answer your question, but I can say I wasted my money watching Matt Damon get rescued from Mars--twice.
On that note, consider some numbers. NASA's budget peaked in 1966, years before the Moon landings. Johnson and Nixon are the ones who decided to make it a hobby and not a job. NASA's budget is about 40% of what it was then. By contrast the economy and the federal budget have grown enormously since then.

NASA's budget is less than 0.5% of the federal budget. Rocket programs and manned space operations are about half of that. The federal budget is about 25% of GDP. So the space program is costing about 0.05% of GDP. In billions, that's about $9B out of $19,400B.

By contrast to that $9B, the film industry is $34B. The Martian made $640M, enough to launch half a dozen regular sized unmanned rockets.
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Old 10-11-18, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
On that note, consider some numbers. NASA's budget peaked in 1966, years before the Moon landings. Johnson and Nixon are the ones who decided to make it a hobby and not a job. NASA's budget is about 40% of what it was then. By contrast the federal budget has grown enormous since then.

NASA's budget is about 0.5% of the federal budget. Rocket programs and manned space operations are about half of that. The federal budget is about 25% of GDP. So the space program is costing about 0.06% of GDP. In billions, that's about $9B out of $19,400B.

Don't forget the government is basically an insurance company with an army.
I was talking about movies on pay-per-view.
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Old 10-11-18, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I was talking about movies on pay-per-view.
I made relevant edits!
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Old 10-11-18, 08:57 AM
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I'll go cuz Mars needs bars, but only after the Game of Thrones finale. If that ever happens.

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Old 10-11-18, 09:39 AM
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Corruption in Military procurement , foreign bases
and congressional investigations of their minority opponents is a big waste..

Vietnam era veteran , that war was a waste..
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Old 10-11-18, 10:55 AM
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Old 10-11-18, 11:02 AM
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Jeeze, Isabella... why the heck are you spending any money to send that idiot Columbus to the friggin' "new world" ?

Oh, all you stupid pilgrims, there is nothing across the ocean you can't already get here.
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Old 10-11-18, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
There are lots of things that are a waste of money. Buying a new car for one????

I really don't think mankind will ever be able to travel bouncing from star system to star system, or planet to planet like Star Trek.

The Physics as we know it just isn't there.

I do anticipate that mankind will eventually spread to a couple of planets and moons within our solar system. Personally, I would establish a lunar colony before I would establish a martian colony, but each has its own benefits.

I doubt we'll ever have easy travel from planet to planet. Of course Columbus might have said the same in 1492... and here we are hopping on a plane and being on another continent in a matter of hours (quicker if the Concorde hadn't shut down).

I would highly disagree with any plans to strip-mine the solar system to feed Earth's ravenous needs for resources. Our solar system will eventually be a resource onto itself. Our moon, for example, could eventually be an excellent stepping-stone for solar system transport, and even production of terrestrial satellites. Mars, perhaps an intermediary weigh station. Interplanetary money, of course, could be complex, especially considering the needs of any growing colony on an inhospitable planet.

But, in general, I'd favor keeping what is in space, in space.

The moon vs mars have both good things and bad things. Mars has higher gravity, and more free water and free carbon/oxygen. It also has an excellent length of day. On the other hand, it is further from the sun, colder, and a greater trip between Earth and Mars.

The moon is close to Earth. The lower gravity could have benefits for space travel. And, it gets the same sun as Earth (although not filtered through the atmosphere). The Lunar day is long and HOT, and nights are long and COLD. The polar regions may have some water/carbon resources, and might have good sunlight. But more limited than Mars.

I suppose I see the colonization of the moon as important for our future space system, both on Earth, and beyond.

Colonization of Mars and/or Venus would be more of a challenge, and perhaps practice for something bigger and better.

Colonization of an exoplanet will require special technology including possibly a generation ship, robotic probes, or stasis. Or, perhaps a combination of all of the above. Doing so may not give Earth any specific benefit, other than satisfying our curiosity. Again, the arduous journey between solar systems will prevent us from doing the journey with regularity, or transferring significant resources back and forth. In fact, the natural movement of our star system will bring some stars close for a period, then they will eventually recede, making even communication more complex.
There's a big difference. Columbus bumbled into a New World...and justified the entire thing to his lordly Patrons by bringing back Cheddar (gold) and slaves.


The only things on the Moon and Mars...is a bunch of dead rock and dust, the only water to drink requires a ton of effort and as for breathable air--it needs made, not even local fauna to live off. And what is more, if anything of value was/is found, it will crash the economies of those materials here--just as it did for Columbus when he brought back riches to the Old World.
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Old 10-11-18, 11:54 AM
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The other big issue with comparing this to the exploration of the New World would be the lack of oxygen out there.....At the very least the NW was unknown but we had a pretty good idea that if we didn't fall off the edge of the world, or be eaten by a sea monster that the getting there meant we could survive there. Supposing that it is easy to make the assumption that was the thought. I mean, science wasn't exactly a "science" then (see what I did there?) and it wasn't yet common knowledge that the world was really round quite yet if I recall correctly.
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Old 10-11-18, 12:45 PM
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Listen, I work in the space industry. Mars is popular because compared to any other planet it’s easy to get to and it won’t immediately kill a guy in a space suit, a guy who would be squeezed like a grape on Venus or irradiated on Ganymede. You can get him there without a nuclear rocket, on a time scale similar to ISS crews. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. It would be an advancement, an achievement, but maybe not earth shaking. There’s lots of science to do there. It would be more like Darwin on the Beagle than it would like Columbus. Personally I think Titan has way more potential. All you’d need there would be a warm jacket and an old lady oxygen tank. But it’s way further out of reach.
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Old 10-11-18, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
There's a big difference. Columbus bumbled into a New World...and justified the entire thing to his lordly Patrons by bringing back Cheddar (gold) and slaves.


The only things on the Moon and Mars...is a bunch of dead rock and dust, the only water to drink requires a ton of effort and as for breathable air--it needs made, not even local fauna to live off. And what is more, if anything of value was/is found, it will crash the economies of those materials here--just as it did for Columbus when he brought back riches to the Old World.
There is some speculation that helium-3 could be harvested from the lunar surface which has the potential of becoming an extremely valuable resource.

If astronomy is important to humans, there would be the potential of building HUGE lunar telescopes that could dwarf the capabilities of anything we could build on Earth, or terrestrial orbits. Potentially helping to define the elusive exoplanets.

One could also build radio telescopes in areas with zero radio noise (or highly controlled radio noise.

Rockets could be launched from the surface of the moon for virtually nothing, likely using a solar powered electro-magnetic launcher, and no huge tanks or capsules.

Of course, for any of that to be practical, one would have to build a huge infrastructure, or at least the ability to fabricate on the moon, either robotically, or with human intervention.

Low-G and Zero-G manufacturing may prove fruitful, or it may fizzle.
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Old 10-11-18, 01:18 PM
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Worth it? Depends on one's POV.

I suspect that the major value of any exploration of a new spot would be roughly similar to, say, getting off a continent and finding another continent or an island. Result: more space, more resources. (With a host of costs, of course.) Which presupposes that "more" is better, here.

Finding an ability to colonize/populate another planetary body could potentially better provide for the long-term survival of life as it's known on Earth. Worth the costs of doing so? Depends on the POV, I suppose.

I'm not all that concerned with the idea of living forever (as a species). Doesn't move me, as a concept, since each living thing has it's specified time, as does a species or collection of species.

Any number of things could occur in a single spot that puts a range of living things at risk: fire, flood, famine, disease, gross imbalances, asteroid strike, gamma ray burst, etc. About the only way to spread the risk, long-term: getting off and populating another spot.

I'm open to exploration for the sake of the knowledge, more or less. (Within reason.)

I'm not open to a carte blanche approach, simply based on the idea of long-term survival of species.

Might exploration of another planet result in a vast increase in certain resources? Perhaps, for manufacture of things on that planet. Though, I have a hard time believing those resources could be transported elsewhere, given the elementary transport mechanisms that exist. Unless certain resources where extraordinarily valuable and relatively light for the value obtained. (Say, some "unobtainium" that supported design of a hyper-speed vehicle for interplanetary travel.)
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Old 10-11-18, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
There is some speculation that helium-3 could be harvested from the lunar surface which has the potential of becoming an extremely valuable resource.

If astronomy is important to humans, there would be the potential of building HUGE lunar telescopes that could dwarf the capabilities of anything we could build on Earth, or terrestrial orbits. Potentially helping to define the elusive exoplanets.

One could also build radio telescopes in areas with zero radio noise (or highly controlled radio noise.

Rockets could be launched from the surface of the moon for virtually nothing, likely using a solar powered electro-magnetic launcher, and no huge tanks or capsules.

Of course, for any of that to be practical, one would have to build a huge infrastructure, or at least the ability to fabricate on the moon, either robotically, or with human intervention.

Low-G and Zero-G manufacturing may prove fruitful, or it may fizzle.
Not sure what you think we can do with He3. If/when fusion power happens, terrestrial renewables will have made it irrelevant down here. Simply getting fusion hasn't happened yet, and getting out more power than put in is a long ways off....and commercial power plants are something not even worth thinking about, certainly not my life time and probably not this century. There's definite scientific purpose to hardware beyond LEO...but unless there's a plain and obvious $$$$ maker in sight--it isn't happening. And there really isn't one in sight.


Course odds are this discussion will get cut short and moved to politics/religion, where few can reply.
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Old 10-11-18, 01:28 PM
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Last summer had some great views of Mars out at Big Bend NP where there is no light pollution I have limited knowledge of astrology but I am intrigued with Mars and the possibility of a human landing on the surface. Looking at NASA photos of Mars surface and the possibility of water being there. That wicked witch left poor Matt there and they catapulted around the sun to save him I fell asleep I didn’t see the end
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Old 10-11-18, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Not sure what you think we can do with He3. If/when fusion power happens, terrestrial renewables will have made it irrelevant down here. Simply getting fusion hasn't happened yet, and getting out more power than put in is a long ways off....and commercial power plants are something not even worth thinking about, certainly not my life time and probably not this century. There's definite scientific purpose to hardware beyond LEO...but unless there's a plain and obvious $$$$ maker in sight--it isn't happening. And there really isn't one in sight.


Course odds are this discussion will get cut short and moved to politics/religion, where few can reply.
Fusion is coming.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEMOns..._Power_Station

Once the first couple of plants are up and running, the technology could rapidly be widely distributed around the world.

Of course, they could discover major flaws in the engineering or unforeseen difficulties. Time will tell.

Controlled fusion could also augment space exploration and colonization or mining.
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Old 10-11-18, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Fusion is coming.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEMOns..._Power_Station

Once the first couple of plants are up and running, the technology could rapidly be widely distributed around the world.

Of course, they could discover major flaws in the engineering or unforeseen difficulties. Time will tell.

Controlled fusion could also augment space exploration and colonization or mining.
Never said it wasn't coming. I said it would be rendered economically irrelevant as a terrestrial power source by the time it finally does.

They haven't gotten a sustainable reaction going yet. They haven't figured out how to get out more power they've even put in, yet. And, what is more, they certainly haven't figured out how a generator to convert nuclear fusion into an electrical power source (they're hoping a steam generator can be made to do it). "Once the first couple of plants are up and running", well that "once" is probably a century away at a wild guess. "Widely distributed" indeed, funny considering how obscenely expensive fission plants are and how few can afford them....indeed even in countries that can--they do not, although that is as much NIMBY as economics.
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Old 10-11-18, 02:29 PM
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Developing a self sustaining colony on Mars is a survival tactic. Catastrophic things can happen here, like super volcanoes, meteors, nuclear war, etc. And there are slow motion catastrophes like global warming and over population.

Having a backup planet to live on increases the survivability of the species.
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