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NASA Planning Lunar Mining Tests, Other New Tech 79

Posted by timothy
from the quick-look-busy dept.
FleaPlus writes "NASA has released the initial details on its ETDD (Enabling Technology Development and Demonstrations) program to 'develop and demonstrate the technologies needed to reduce cost and expand the capability of future space exploration activities.' The ETDD program is initially planning on funding small-scale demonstrations in five technology areas: in-situ resource utilization (with a robotic lunar resource extraction mission in 2015), high-power electric propulsion, autonomous precision landing (building on the success of the Lunar Lander Challenge), human-robotic collaboration (2011/2012), and fission power systems. More info on NASA's larger-scale Flagship Technology Demonstrations (FTD) program is expected in the coming month."
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NASA Planning Lunar Mining Tests, Other New Tech

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  • by fustakrakich (1673220) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @07:53PM (#32202098) Journal

    And maybe save a few lives besides? Sounds worth the cost, no?

  • by lul_wat (1623489) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:01PM (#32202170)
    Worth it to the people who would die? Absolutely. Worth it to shareholders? Hardly.
  • by khallow (566160) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:21PM (#32202324)

    And maybe save a few lives besides? Sounds worth the cost, no?

    No, it isn't. Otherwise it'd be done already. The problem is that human labor isn't that expensive and you'd have to put a huge amount of money in to develop a completely automated system. No coal mine will have either the incentive or the assets to do such a project.

  • Re:*yawn* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:43PM (#32202504)

    You probably don't know very much about space exploration do you? All the fluffy expensive bull shit like the ISS and manned space travel actually produce very little that will help space exploration. This is the one thing that will possibly provide humanity with usable resources from space, and make travel and construction in space a reality instead of a one-off dick measuring contest between super powers.

  • Re:*yawn* (Score:4, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @08:44PM (#32202514)

    You mean like this administration?
    They have given more money to NASA and killed a boondoggle that was wasting what little money NASA had.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 13, 2010 @10:35PM (#32203222)

    interesting bbc article, sounds like Tibetans would make great astronauts.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8680503.stm [bbc.co.uk]

  • by flaming error (1041742) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @10:51PM (#32203330) Journal

    > egotistical intellectuals, who mistakenly think they understand
    > the real world.

    You want national leaders with no ego? Lose your own, then run for office.

    And if intellectuals bother you, you're in the wrong place.

    As to "mistakenly thinking they understand the real world", how do you know you understand it better? Do you have broader experience? A better advisory staff? More resources? Greater access to NASA?

    I agree with you on the X-Prize approach. You have good points in there, but they can get drowned in the ranting and hyperbole.

  • Mod parent up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shadowbearer (554144) on Thursday May 13, 2010 @11:09PM (#32203428) Homepage Journal

      If we don't have an active and funded unmanned space exploration mission, we can't do manned missions. Sending manned missions ahead without investigating the environment that people are going to have to deal with is tantamount to sending them on suicide missions.

      It's not "either or" it's "do both at the same time" and if we spend too much on manned we won't have anything to spend on the unmanned that should precede them.

      Of course we aren't spending enough on either, but that's because we have a lot of two and four year shortsighted idiots running our country. Reelection and quarterly profits are more important to them (and to many of the sheeples) than actually doing anything about the future is.

    SB

  • Re:*yawn* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Friday May 14, 2010 @08:27AM (#32205826)

    Funny you should make that comparison, I recently heard someone, rather older than myself, compare obama to LBJ.

    One thing that is obvious is that Obama is no LBJ. LBJ wouldn't have let Congress get out of hand. But I think some of Obama's problems come from not having influence over Congress and its leaders.

  • Re:*yawn* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by khallow (566160) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:48AM (#32207966)

    Do you realize that this is essentially a renamed department from Constellation?

    Not true. The reason is because Obama is proposing to end Ares I. Everything currently running in Constellation revolves around that choice for a launcher. Orion is designed to fly on that rocket (and I think, cynically perhaps, that it was originally designed to be just a bit too heavy to fly on the Delta IV Heavy). The choice of heavy lift vehicle, Ares V just so happens to require Ares I development in order to be cost effective. That's virtually all of the current or already planned technology development in Constellation.

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