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Moon NASA Space Science

Europe's Space Agency Wants To Do What NASA Can't 136

Posted by timothy
from the can-we-borrow-your-studio? dept.
coondoggie writes "The European Space Agency is moving forward with a plan to land an autonomous spacecraft on the moon by 2017, with the idea a manned vehicle could land there sometime in the future. It's a mission NASA had on its roadmap before the current budget debate, but such plans seem doomed now. The ESA is now seeking proposals for a lunar lander that would land on the south polar region of the Moon, which possible deposits of water ice, heavily cratered terrain, and long periods of sunlight make promising for explorers and scientists, the agency stated."
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Europe's Space Agency Wants To Do What NASA Can't

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I do hereby formally propose April 1 as International Internet Abstinence day.
  • by geekoid (135745)

    Europe's Space Agency Wants To Do Nothing.

  • April fools (Score:3, Funny)

    by pushing-robot (1037830) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @08:18PM (#31703788)

    Heh, I just got it. Took me a while.

  • by LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @08:42PM (#31703868) Homepage

    I'm reasonably sure this isn't an April Fools. See story from the horse's mouth [esa.int], dated 31st March.

    If it is an April Fools joke then the joke is ultimately on them. That something like this could be considered absurd would only highlight how incredibly pathetic space programmes have been for the last 30 years.

    • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @10:31PM (#31704172)

      I think this is the first non-April Fool's story today. Thank god. It's funny when it's one or two stories. It's just fucking annoying when it's the entire day.

      • by Gerzel (240421)

        No it isn't there have been others. I'd have to look back but I am sure there are others.

      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        Slashdot on April 1st is like a werewolf. It turns from something cool and likable into something hideous and evil for a 24-hour period. Thank god it only comes once a year and not once every full moon.
    • by Carewolf (581105) on Friday April 02, 2010 @06:40AM (#31705214) Homepage

      If it is an April Fools joke then the joke is ultimately on them. That something like this could be considered absurd would only highlight how incredibly pathetic space programmes have been for the last 30 years.

      Given that private space programs still haven't left Earth orbit. I find it highly impressive the public program maintains a 40 year leed on private enterprise.

      • you find that amazing ? Wow your government really is (was) shit...
        • by Doomdark (136619)
          Considering all the fanboy'ism towards private enterprises as saviours of space travel, yes, it is pretty cool that society-run programs have been, are, and possibly will be superior to for-profit enterprises. Especially considering that NASA did in 60s what others are trying to do in 2010.
          • by c6gunner (950153)

            Nonsense. Private companies can get into orbit just fine - who do you think built the space shuttle? What they're trying to do is to get into orbit at a cost that's a fraction of what NASA spends. THAT is much harder.

  • by timmarhy (659436) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @09:04PM (#31703958)
    how about we solve the cost issue of just getting into orbit, and work on alternative propolsion systems to get places faster before blowing our cookies over manned trips to the moon, which add NOTHING of scientific value and solve no problems.

    a manned trip to mars would be the only goal i could think of that would truely be worth the price tag for an achievement just to say we have done it (similar to why we went to the moon), with all our technology we are still yet to walk on another planet.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      ...before blowing our cookies over manned trips to the moon, which add NOTHING of scientific value and solve no problems.

      You put it better than I was about to.

      I think people expect that in 20-30 years after manned space technology has progressed, we should be commuting to office parks on Mars, shopping at malls in the ionosphere, and living in pleasant gated communities on the far side of the moon. But only if NASA keeps shooting cans of spam into space.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, 2010 @09:39PM (#31704050)

      Imagine having hundreds of hubble-class telescopes actively scanning for mining targets worth $20,000B ea. requiring little to no propellant to harvest. Gravitational corridors [physorg.com] exist that travel through the solar system that require minimal fuel. Materials science is close to being able to construct suitable solar sails [wikipedia.org] capable of freely traveling the solar system. We're not quite where we need to be for moving to space, but it's a helluva lot closer than most people think.

      • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmail. c o m> on Thursday April 01, 2010 @10:58PM (#31704236) Homepage

        Imagine having hundreds of hubble-class telescopes actively scanning for mining targets worth $20,000B ea. requiring little to no propellant to harvest.

        Why when it can be done from the surface of the Earth?
         

        Gravitational corridors exist that travel through the solar system that require minimal fuel.

        Sure, so long as you don't have anything resembling a deadline. (I.E. the savings in fuel for a manned mission would be completely obliterated by the increased life support requirements.)
         

        Materials science is close to being able to construct suitable solar sails capable of freely traveling the solar system.

        Solar sails *are* a cool technology - if you're a very small unmanned package with years and years to get where you're going. They pretty much suck, like the gravitational corridors, if you're a manned craft.
         

        We're not quite where we need to be for moving to space, but it's a helluva lot closer than most people think.

        That's probably because 'most people' are completely oblivious to the issue at all. Most of the rest of us aren't, but do know the difference between hand waving speculation and hard engineering.

      • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @11:12PM (#31704264) Journal

        Imagine having hundreds of hubble-class telescopes actively scanning for mining targets worth $20,000B ea. requiring little to no propellant to harvest.

        I have a feeling you're being a bit optimistic.

        First, I assume you're talking about a target worth $20 trillion (that's $20,000,000,000,000. That's a lot of zeroes). What substance exists that would have that value?

        But let's say you find it. We'll use gold as an example. The current price for gold is $36,120.81 per kilogram. So, to get $20 trillion dollars, we'd need an asteroid with a mass of 553,697,440 kilograms. Let's say you go ahead and drag in all these as yet undiscovered golden asteroids. What's that going to do the price of gold on Earth? I'll tell you what--it'll drop to next to nothing. Everybody will have more than enough gold and the price will drop. Frankly, because of speculation, just announcing that you're bringing this much gold to market will cause the price to drop before you even show up with your first gram.

        Platinum? It's about 1.5x the value of gold, so you'd need less of it. But you still have figure that when you show up with a whole bunch of Platinum, you're going to drive the price down--that's basic supply-and-demand economics.

        What you need to find, of course, is Unobtainium--something that doesn't exist on Earth. Of course, finding this Unobtainium is going to require a bit more than a bunch of telescopes (since you don't know what you're looking for). Also, assuming you find your Unobtainium, you need to figure out what it's useful for so that you can convince people to buy it so that they can turn it into something useful.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by timmarhy (659436)
          this is why we need to figure out how to escape the earths gravity for much less then $20,000 a kg (the current cheapest price).

          space exploration has the potential to drive demand to new highs so even if you found this 500k gold nugget it wouldn't matter, because the process of exploring space is going to consume massive resources.

          • space exploration has the potential to drive demand to new highs so even if you found this 500k gold nugget it wouldn't matter, because the process of exploring space is going to consume massive resources.

            So what you're saying is that we need to get cracking on mining space, because doing all this space stuff is going to consume a lot of resources? Let's think about that one a little more carefully, shall we?

            this is why we need to figure out how to escape the earths gravity for much less then $20,000 a kg (

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Perhaps NOT unobtanium;

          Perhaps the issue itself is space based manufacturing.

          The costs involved for sending some humans to the moon are peanuts compared to sending millions of tons of cargo into space. (Think, EG, deep space imager satellites, com sats, new GPS sats, etc, all combined.)

          The issue is not trying to make space travel "cheap", but to make space technologies "Affordable." EG, Having some blue collar shmucks on the moon refining alumina into aluminium using big arrays of solar panels (No atmosphe

          • by timmarhy (659436)
            it's all about cost. show me one space project where cost wasn't a factor. solve that, and you have a space exploration boom....
          • by strack (1051390)
            the thing is, the moon is close enough to allow pretty much real time operation of remote controlled robots. we chuck some solar panels up there, a cnc machine, a small foundry, and tadaa, all the things you need to build a human habitable shelter. especially now that theyve found water on the moon.
        • Volatiles.

          If minimum launch costs are, as timmarhy claims above, $20,000/kg. Then water in LEO is worth $20M/tonne. Likewise oxygen, any basic propellant, etc. If you can deliver such volatiles from non-terrestrial sources to LEO for less than $20M/tonne, you have a market.

          And by supplying that market, you grow new markets, by allowing applications that are currently impossible: Reusable-refuelable upper-stages. Satellite refuelling and refurbishment. Commercial/tourist space-stations.

          And technology like re

        • I think you are making at least four faulty assumptions which affect the economics. First, asteroids are not made of one element but many so the supply of new resources would go into multiple markets. Second, harvesting those materials wouldn't be instantaneous, might take decades. Third, the bulk of stuff we could get from an asteroid might be most valuable if kept in space--iron, nickel, hydrocarbons useful for making space habitats that don't have to be hauled up from earth's gravity well. Fourth, whoeve
        • by rwv (1636355)

          First, I assume you're talking about a target worth $20 trillion (that's $20,000,000,000,000. That's a lot of zeroes). What substance exists that would have that value?

          A rock with normal gravity (9.8m/s^2 at the surface), a large supply of both natural frozen and liquid H20 on the surface, and an atmosphere with a 20% mixture of Oxygen, 70% mixture of NO(2?), 3% mixture of CO2, and 7% mixture of trace amounts of other gases would be worth at least $20,000,000 Trillion dollars.

          Assuming that gold has intrinsic value as anything more than a very stable yellowish metal compound with some useful properties is to succumb to a failure of epic proportions.

        • by argStyopa (232550)

          Meh, I understand your argument about commodity pricing, but I disagree with it on a visceral level.

          Price and value are commonly tied together, but aren't inextricable.

          For example, the PRICE for water on earth is, essentially, free (unless you're buying it from Dasani...). What would be the value to the space program and long-term prospects for humans in space of having 100 million tons of water in orbit?

          My point being that bringing a Type-M asteroid to L4 could provide in-orbit something like 2 BILLION to

        • by geekoid (135745)

          What substance exists that would have that value?

          unobtanium.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Fuck Mars. It doesn't multitask and there's no Flash support.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MartinSchou (1360093)

      how about we solve the cost issue of just getting into orbit

      This is a fairly straight forward problem with no solution apart from possibly mass production. It inevitably takes so much energy to get to orbit - nothing apart from discovering new laws of physics will change that. That doesn't mean there aren't ideas on the drawing board, that will lower the cost by something like a factor of ten - but none of those are suitable for anything you want to stay alive.

      Low earth orbit requires a speed of a minimum o

      • by timmarhy (659436)
        I listed new prolusion systems as what we need to aim for before more manned flights. every dollar you spend waste sending a guy to the moon is a dollar you could have put into a new method of "affordable" space travel.

        forget maths, you need to learn to read.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Rakishi (759894)

        First of all, all he said was that MANNED space flight to the moon is a waste of money. Your post magically manages to utterly avoid explaining why that is the case. Please explain why manned mission to the moon are so important. Well? He said nothing, I might note, about manned flights into LEO or testing new propulsion systems in space or unmanned missions. So what do those manned mission to the moon gain, please do explain.

        Second of all, 30.5 Mjoule/kg is nothing. It looks like a big scary number but so

        • by XSpud (801834)

          So long as craft need to contain the fuel and mechanism for escaping earth's gravity, they will always be relatively expensive. The problem as I see it is that it currently costs as much to send 1kg of cheap supplies into orbit as it does 1kg of high-tech or human as we're using the same technologies. Why do we need super-reliable craft when sometimes all we need to do is transport fuel, oxygen or food? If we can get the cost of craft for delivering supplies into orbit low enough we shouldn't care if a high

          • Because when a launch fails, it doesn't just magically disappear. It will fall somewhere. "Oh dear lord, they are launching again! Quick, everyone into your shelters!"
            • by juhaz (110830)

              Because when a launch fails, it doesn't just magically disappear. It will fall somewhere. "Oh dear lord, they are launching again! Quick, everyone into your shelters!"

              Launches fail, even the current ridiculously overengineered launch vehicles, and the launch sites have been selected with that in mind. When things fall, they fall in an ocean or middle of nowhere. Big deal.

        • by MartinSchou (1360093) on Friday April 02, 2010 @08:19AM (#31705386)

          He said nothing, I might note, about manned flights into LEO

          He said he could see the point in a manned mission to Mars. Rather difficult to get to Mars without getting into LEO or higher.

          So what do those manned mission to the moon gain, please do explain.

          What is the point in going to Mars? Or having bases in the Antarctic? Going to the moon is a decent proving ground for a mission to Mars. It's close by - four days travel vs a couple of months at the moment, radio contact has a few seconds delay vs several minutes.

          Just setting foot on Mars and going "well, let's head back" would be stupid. Mostly because you can't really do straight return missions with our current technology. And if all we're sending are unmanned probes, time isn't exactly of the essense, meaning there's no point in trying to develop fasters ways of getting there.

          Setting up a base on Mars isn't going to be easy. We'd need to more or less bombard the planet with supplies before we set foot there ourselves. A lot simpler and faster to test perfecting landing and aiming against the Moon. Same with building a base on the planet. We've tried building various selfsufficient habitats (like Biosphere 2 [wikipedia.org], and they've been mixed successes. Those only tackle some of the issues we'd be facing on Mars, and unless we're 100% certain we can replicate the successfull experiments we will conduct on this here on earth, it'd be silly not to use the Moon as testing grounds. Much cheaper, faster and easier to ship replacement parts to the Moon, when we find that something doesn't work like we thought

          It's also a good place to test how to build a base, that will stop us from dying of cancer. No magnetic field means really nasty things with regards to radiation, and neither Mars nor the Moon has a suitable magnetic field. Probably better to learn somewhere close by rather than months away.

          How about figuring out how to set up production centers from scratch? If we can produce our own raw materials, fabricated materials etc. all the way to custom made production utilities, we can save a ton of money in supplies. We'd still need food, water and fuel, but if we can kick start industrial production planet/lunar side, we're pretty much golden. Hell, if we can manage to build a nuclear reactor, we don't even need that much fuel.

          Now, as for using the Moon as a 'stopping off station' for trips to Mars, I rather doubt there's a point to that. The Moon is about 380,000 km away, Mars is between 55,000,000 and 401,000,000 km. That's between 0.7% and 0.09% of the distance. Essentially the argument seems to be that if we're flying to the other side of the Earth on vaccation, we should really book some hotel time between 18 and 140 km away from our house. I expect it gets even worse if you do the energy equations rather than just distances.

          Now, using the Moon as proving ground for the technology we need to survive on Mars is just common sense. Unless we develop some way of getting to Mars and back that can be done in a few weeks round trip, but I don't think that's something we're going to see any time soon. But then again, my crystal ball IS broken, plus I'm an Aries - we don't believe in that kind of stuff.

          But even if we ignore a possible mission to Mars - what could we get from the Moon? How about the largest and best isolated radio telescope? The best optical telescopes possible - no atmosphere to worry about, much lower gravity which I suspect would allow you to build much much larger mirror arrays. No annoying neighbours who complain that your telescope is blocking their view.

          Imagine building an optical telescope that covers the entire bottom of the Cabeus crater [wikipedia.org]. It isn't subjected to sunlight, it's about 100K making IR astronomy even easier. I'm pretty sure the entire astronomy field can see a point in going to

          • by Rakishi (759894)

            He said he could see the point in a manned mission to Mars. Rather difficult to get to Mars without getting into LEO or higher.

            Since he said nothing about not going to LEO I once again fail to see your point. Stop making things up to support your own viewpoint.

            As for the rest of your point. Assuming any base on the moon will be long term or large is absurd. Look at the ISS, we can't even get that running properly. Any mission to the moon will involve stepping there, walking around a bit and then not coming back for 50 years.

            But then again, my crystal ball IS broken, plus I'm an Aries - we don't believe in that kind of stuff.

            Sure you do, as long as it supports your viewpoint. Your whole post is a magical "if we threw infinite money

            • He said he could see the point in a manned mission to Mars. Rather difficult to get to Mars without getting into LEO or higher.

              Since he said nothing about not going to LEO I once again fail to see your point

              He said:

              a manned trip to mars would be the only goal i could think of that would truely be worth the price tag for an achievement just to say

              Now, I'm not a rocket scientist, but you seem to be much more knowledgeable than I in this area. How do you manage to get anything from the surface of Earth to Mar

      • by strack (1051390)
        you assume in your statement, that those ideas on the drawing boards that have the sorts of g forces that kill humans, would be unsuitable for all the cargo, and not just humans. you are mistaken in that assumption.
    • I agree with this. There is no reason for humans (basically fragile bags of water) to be in space for any reason except to get to another planetary surface. Machines can do a better job of exploration at much less cost because they don't require life support. There is only one planetary surface that it would be worth sending humans to and that is Mars. But NASA has gone out of its way to make such a project prohibitively expensive. How do we make Mars possible? First, it should be a one-way trip. The
    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      I think we should be a little more mature than to spend the significant resources needed to mount a manned Mars mission just so we can say "Hey, we did it!" And, even so, it's inaccurate to say that the early space race was about saying "We did it!" anyway. It would be more accurate to say that it was Soviets saying "Take that, capitalists!" followed by Americans saying "Take that, commies!" Only after-the-fact did we figure out that those satellites that we sent up there to show-up each other actually had

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      " which add NOTHING of scientific value and solve no problems."
      false.

      There is a lot of the moon that could add to our scientific knowledge, and it's a great way to improve technologies that would be used in longer missions.

      Yes, we should also go to mars; however we should developing supporting technologies and get the to mars before we go there.

      Send robots and equipment to build housing facilities. Get food and water there ready for when the Astronauts arrive.
      A complete satellite communication system would

    • by juancnuno (946732) *
      The dinosaurs went extinct because they didn't have a space program
  • NASA Can't? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Liquidrage (640463) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @09:08PM (#31703962)
    Really? So NASA can't send an unmanned lander to the lunar surface?

    First of all, NASA has done this several times. Second of all, NASA is great at seeking proposals to do things they won't do, which is all the story from the ESA side is at this point. And lastly, I want do to do things NASA can't, who doesn't? You know, like, get /. to stop posting shitty stories.
    • Yes, when did /. turn into Fox News or the National Enquirer? I'm sick of news that titillates the reader's basest emotions in order to sell their rag because the org lacks the competence to sell honest news.
    • by Urkki (668283)

      Really? So NASA can't send an unmanned lander to the lunar surface?

      First of all, NASA has done this several times. Second of all, NASA is great at seeking proposals to do things they won't do, which is all the story from the ESA side is at this point. And lastly, I want do to do things NASA can't, who doesn't? You know, like, get /. to stop posting shitty stories.

      Read the summary (which probably has nothing to do with TFA, but that's beside the point). NASA can't, because NASA doesn't have the money to do it.

      Of course ESA won't have the money either, but headline just says ESA wants to do it, so no problem there ;-)

  • to erase (Score:1, Offtopic)

    bad moderation
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Thursday April 01, 2010 @10:13PM (#31704126) Journal
    We already did it. With both automated systems and manual. Multiple times. Likewise, we have landed a number of different systems using different approaches on Mars. ESA still has not put one on mars (though apparently into it) or any place that requires something difficult (doing a parachute on titan is not that difficult).

    Personally, I would rather that NASA get our CHEAP private space into orbit and help them get multiple destinations for money (via bigelow aerospace private space stations), while working on new approaches on putting a real base on the moon and mars.

    With that said, I am glad that ESA is working towards doing a system to actually land on a planet/moon using active systems. It will be a good education for them.
    • by DynaSoar (714234)

      Don't get yourself into a valium deficiency. Those unfamiliar with the language often use can't (usually meaning can not, unable to, not having the capability) when they should use "has decided not to do yet again because the money's needed to do other things that haven't been yet."

  • Animation [youtube.com] released by ESA. Very impressive!
  • just start it already ffs!
  • Europe vs US (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by pydev (1683904)

    If the US didn't have to bankroll Europe's defense, then perhaps the US could afford a more ambitious space program as well.

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      You are free to roll your troops out of here. It is not as if they serve any purpose after the cold war ended, they overstayed their welcome. Oh, and you might wanna check how much cash we are sinking into Afghanistan, mostly to clean up your mess behind you.
    • that have no WMDs, you could indeed save a lot of money.

      • by Urkki (668283)

        that have no WMDs, you could indeed save a lot of money.

        Nah, invading countries that do have WMDs is much more expensive, so it's far cheaper to stick with those that don't have 'em...

  • Obligiatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Friday April 02, 2010 @04:02AM (#31704904) Homepage Journal

    Europe's Space Agency Wants To Do What NASA Can't

    Like understanding metric?

  • by Osmosis_Garett (712648) on Friday April 02, 2010 @05:37AM (#31705080)
    The whole reason this is important, and that no-one seems to be talking about here, is that we need another planet. There's no way we can sustain our current population on this planet into the future, and the population is growing. People will start to die en mass and life will become tragic and harsh for a much higher ratio of people (currently, thats just life in the worst places to live). We need to figure out how to create contained ecosystems and how to use the resources of other planets (and moons and asteroids and dwarf planets and eventually exoplanets). Some work is going to get done in LEO for sure, but advancing the knowledge of how to actually exist on another planet will always be valuable and important progress. Eventually, earth will just be a retirement planet, where its nature and remaining resources are protected and safe from development, and can be treated like the rare and delicate jewel that it is.
    • Eventually, earth will just be a retirement planet, where its nature and remaining resources are protected and safe from development, and can be treated like the rare and delicate jewel that it is.

      How's this going to happen? I don't see us shipping billions of people off-world, so a drastic reduction in human birthrates on Earth would have to be achieved if you want to keep humans from filling every niche. Is that likely to happen?

      • by Nadaka (224565)

        It has already happened. Rate of population growth has been falling for decades. We will max out around 15 billion, and probably stabilize around 10 billion.

    • by catxk (1086945)
      There is no risk of overpopulation. As health care improves and the risk of dying at young age decreases, we - as a species - tend to reduce the number of kids we produce, especially if you add increased access to birth control to the mix. This process is happening right now all over the world, and we are already at two kids per woman (or below) in most rich countries. Meanwhile in the third world, people are getting healthier at a much more rapid pace than they are getting richer, meaning that the issue of
    • Problem: earth is overpopulated. Proposed solution: ship lots of people off earth. Actually achievable solution: control our tendency to reproduce out of control. For those who haven't noticed, the population growth rate has dropped off significantly in recent decades, and shows every sign of continuing to drop. Not to mention the fact that shipping lots of people off planet would be so unimaginably expensive that it's a total non-starter.

    • by Urkki (668283)

      The whole reason this is important, and that no-one seems to be talking about here, is that we need another planet. There's no way we can sustain our current population on this planet into the future, and the population is growing. People will start to die en mass and life will become tragic and harsh for a much higher ratio of people (currently, thats just life in the worst places to live). We need to figure out how to create contained ecosystems and how to use the resources of other planets (and moons and asteroids and dwarf planets and eventually exoplanets). Some work is going to get done in LEO for sure, but advancing the knowledge of how to actually exist on another planet will always be valuable and important progress. Eventually, earth will just be a retirement planet, where its nature and remaining resources are protected and safe from development, and can be treated like the rare and delicate jewel that it is.

      Starting space colonization will do nothing to the poor masses here on earth, and especially it'll do nothing to population growth. Only thing it may do is save human species in case something bad happens to Earth. Ok, well, there's one related thing that may help, and that's figuring out a way to get very cheap energy from space (such as beaming down 100% reliable solar energy). And being able to do that might be a prerequisite for efficient space colonization (considering that solar arrays are probably mu

  • The high cost to the human race's colonization of space, is caused by the complexity and danger of reaching and leaving escape velocity within the earth's atmosphere, whilst dragging the fuel with which this is achieved up from the earth's gravity well, this is illogical when a supply of rocket fuel is close at hand on the moon.

    The Space Shuttle turned out to be an expensive and dangerous white elephant, the reason the Shuttle was so expensive is, because of its complexity with millions of different manufac

    • One idea could be to create rocket fuel on the moon, there is lots of water on the moon, use solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen which makes very good rocket fuel.

      Right, and it's not like building an entire solar powered refinery on the freaking MOON would be expensive or anything. Who's paying for that? What are they getting out of their investment?

      News flash: your proposed "solution" is also absolutely wildly expensive.

  • How is europe going to the moon doing something that NASA can't? NASA has already been to the moon. Not just once but several times. Its not a big priority to go back because we already did that . While everybody works on how to get to the moon we are working on how to get to mars.

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