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Mars NASA The Almighty Buck

NRC Human Spaceflight Report Says NASA Strategy Can't Get Humans To Mars 206

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-going-to-happen dept.
MarkWhittington (1084047) writes 'The National Research Council issued its report on the future of space exploration. The report stated that the "horizon goal" for any program of space exploration in the near term (i.e. the next two decades) is a Mars surface expedition. It also stated that the current NASA program, which includes a mission that would snag an asteroid, put it in lunar orbit, and visit it with astronauts is inadequate to meet that goal.

The report gave two reasons for its critique of the current NASA program. First the asteroid redirect mission would not create and test technologies necessary to conduct a crewed Mars mission. Second, NASA projects essentially flat budgets for the foreseeable future. Any space exploration program worthy of the name will cost considerably more money, with five percent increases in NASA funding for a number of years.'
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NRC Human Spaceflight Report Says NASA Strategy Can't Get Humans To Mars

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  • by mrflash818 (226638) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @07:58PM (#47168355) Homepage Journal

    I do not think humans will get into expanding our civilization past Earth's atmosphere until there is a single global government. Currently the nation-states divert too many resources against each other (arms, trade wars), that instead could be used into expanding us beyond Earth.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K... [wikipedia.org]

  • Why should we care? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SoftwareArtist (1472499) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @08:11PM (#47168413)

    Why is sending humans to Mars supposed to be such a great thing? It's incredibly expensive, incredibly dangerous, and doesn't accomplish much of anything useful. Once you've sent them, the next trip will be almost as expensive as the first one.

    I'm much more interested in building up a meaningful, sustainable space program. That means building up an industrial base in space. We need to be able to manufacture things in space out of raw materials that were mined in space. That's the only way that human space travel will ever be economically sustainable. So that asteroid mission sounds like exactly the right approach to be taking.

  • by slew (2918) on Wednesday June 04, 2014 @08:37PM (#47168527)

    Why is sending humans to Mars supposed to be such a great thing? It's incredibly expensive, incredibly dangerous, and doesn't accomplish much of anything useful. Once you've sent them, the next trip will be almost as expensive as the first one.

    Well, since you asked...

    "Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too."

    Of course if the challenge of sending humans to Mars is something we are unwilling to accept, or willing to postpone, or intend to lose...

    Industrializing space may sound like a meaningful thing, but industrializing areas of our own earth hasn't been the most ecological of pursuits. Nothing like the chants of "drill-baby-drill" being replaced by "launch-and-mine-baby-launch-and-mine"... It seems like it was also meaningful thing Yellowstone was the first national park, although I'm sure there's someone out that could make an argument that exploiting sustainable geo-thermal energy in old-faithful will help build up our oil independence...

  • Re:Sorry... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by captainpanic (1173915) on Thursday June 05, 2014 @04:58AM (#47170109)

    Also, they have a central government capable of making big decisions and capable of running large technical projects.
    They may only have a little rover on the Moon, and very few (if any) space probes that are outside the earth's gravity well, but they can totally claim that they can make a decision, and then commit huge efforts to it. Look at their high speed railways. They have overtaken Europe (all of it combined) already.

    If the Chinese are going for it, they really are going for it... unlike Europe or the US where the decisions are taken by a committee, which eventually will reach some lame compromise to do it only for 50% and only within a set of criteria which must support the almighty Economy, because heaven forsake if we ever waste some money - all the while blowing away money on management and bureaucratic inefficiency.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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