Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Moon NASA Government Mars United States

Vice President Pence Vows US Astronauts Will Return To the Moon (engadget.com) 226

Before astronauts go to Mars, they will return to the Moon, Vice President Mike Pence said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed yesterday and in a speech at the National Air and Space Museum today. He touts "humans exploration and discovery" as the new focus of America's space program. This "means establishing a renewed American presence on the moon, a vital strategic goal. And from the foundation of the moon, America will be the first nation to bring mankind to Mars." Engadget reports: There have been two prevailing (and opposing) views when it comes to U.S. endeavors in human spaceflight. One camp maintains that returning to the moon is a mistake. NASA has already been there; it should work hard and set our sights on Mars and beyond. The other feels that Mars is too much of a reach, and that the moon will be easier to achieve in a short time frame. Mars may be a medium-to-long-term goal, but NASA should use the moon as a jumping-off point. It's not surprising that the Trump administration is valuing short-term gains over a longer, more ambitious project. The U.S. will get to Mars eventually, according to Pence, but the moon is where the current focus lies.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Vice President Pence Vows US Astronauts Will Return To the Moon

Comments Filter:
  • by h33t l4x0r ( 4107715 ) on Friday October 06, 2017 @03:45AM (#55319919)
    Not without their wives present.
  • by campuscodi ( 4234297 ) on Friday October 06, 2017 @04:15AM (#55319965)
    But, why?
    • by hord ( 5016115 )

      Because we are back in the cold war. Time for arms races, nuclear deterrence, and government funded pissing matches. Why did we go to the moon the first time? I've been told we don't know how to get back because we threw the rocket plans out. Some science.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        We know how to get back... It's just (still) bloody expensive, and for little to no objectively measurable gain in the short term. Certainly not within any time span short enough to fit within a single presidential term.
    • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

      Why go to Mars?

  • Total pandering... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Timothy2.0 ( 4610515 ) on Friday October 06, 2017 @04:48AM (#55320017)
    If this is to be the new focus of NASA, how about shoveling the money they need their way?
  • by sabbede ( 2678435 ) on Friday October 06, 2017 @08:01AM (#55320531)
    This sentence was extraneous and does nothing but express the author's political leanings. "It's not surprising that the Trump administration is valuing short-term gains over a longer, more ambitious project."

    It wasn't connected to anything else in the article, just a bit of personal politics slipped in where it didn't belong. The editor should have stripped it out and explained the difference between journalistic and OpEd authorship.

    • That isn't really a partisan statement. (Whether it was *intended* to be or not is a different discussion.) It's been quite a while since we've had an administration, from either party, that has shown serious interest in goals that extend beyond what can advantage them personally within their own term(s). And that's at least doubly true for space exploration goals. They will pander a lot about supposed grand visions, but the money never goes where their mouths are.

  • They'll buy them tickets on a Russian or Chinese moon-shuttle service...

  • by p51d007 ( 656414 ) on Friday October 06, 2017 @08:47AM (#55320705)
    I was a child, growing up in the "space race" age. Watched every launch from Alan Sheppard through the last moon landing. But, that was a race against the Soviet Union. Yes, it would be nice to go back to the moon, if anything else, to PROVE we were there once before! But, what real science would come out of it, versus the amount of money the government will waste getting us there? Leave something like this to private industry. It will be faster, and less expensive.
    • Re:Why? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Quantus347 ( 1220456 ) on Friday October 06, 2017 @09:19AM (#55320889)
      I see three benefits:

      1) Reinvigorate our Space capabilities. Every-shifting politics and evaporating budgets have left pretty far from what we were in our ability to actually field a viable space program. We have no shuttles, we rely on Russian equipment and/or to launch bother personnel and satellites.

      2) Test runs for Mars. All the same challenges of landing a mars mission are present on the Moon, but being so much closer it makes a much better place to test out the systems. If we cant do the moon, a mars trip is suicide. We havent actually tried since the days where the most advanced piece of tech around was a hand-held calculator. It's probably worth trying again with today's tech.

      3) Foundations of Industry. A trip to mars has a bunch of challenges that are specific to inter-planetary missions, while the R&D to get a working lunar base would have much broader and more local applications. I agree that the future of lunar travel is going to be in the private sector, but current private technologies (and current International Law) inhibit that for now. However, private companies working under government contract accomplishes much the same thing, without running afoul of legal implications of ownership and profit generation and whatnot.
      • You are begging the question, in the original sense. Each of your three points boil down to: we need to improve our space capabilities, so that we can explore space. But you still have answered the question of why? Why do we need to send spam-in-a-can into space? There is certainly no economic justification; no resources on Mars or the Moon are cheaper to extract and transport than on Earth. There is no scientific justification; robots are more capable of collected scientific data.
        • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

          The same question is justifiably asked of why go to Mars? What is the "scientific justification"? Cuts some rocks to find that microscopic organisms might have existed there eons ago? Who cares? How will that affect anyone's life? What are you going to do differently now that you know? You may have an insatiable thirst for useless knowledge, but it is the ideas of humans traveling the stars that excites me.

          The way to build a transcontinental railroad is not to build a steam engine, demonstrate that it

      • by Strider- ( 39683 )

        2) Test runs for Mars. All the same challenges of landing a mars mission are present on the Moon, but being so much closer it makes a much better place to test out the systems. If we cant do the moon, a mars trip is suicide. We havent actually tried since the days where the most advanced piece of tech around was a hand-held calculator. It's probably worth trying again with today's tech.

        Landing on the Moon and Mars really aren't all that similar. Due to its lack of atmosphere, and lower gravity, landing on the Moon is a fairly simple propulsive affair. Kill your orbital velocity, which isn't that high to begin with, and use your engine to land gently on the surface.

        Mars, on the other hand, has twice the gravity, and just enough atmosphere to be a problem. There's enough gas there that you need to have a heat shield, and can't build like you would for the moon, but you can't rely on it for

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      If nothing else, it makes a better launch point for larger scale missions because it requires less fuel to take off from the moon than it does from Earth.

      Of course, this does presume that it is possible to process the raw resources already available on the moon to create more rocket fuel, and I'm not sure if that's workable.

      • by Shotgun ( 30919 )

        And we won't know if it is workable if we don't build a moon base. And if it doesn't work on the moon, why would we think that it would work on Mars?

  • These political announcements are so sad because every time there is talk about manned space exploration it doesn't go any further than the ISS, 450Kms up. I mean, isn't there more useful science 2000Kms up? and if we're not willing to face the challenges of a space station that high up, what real chance have we got of going back to the moon?

    Consider this. Manned space programs have zero political capital past an issue of national prestige. However that sort of political capital has a limited life span s

  • The subject immediately became a flame war about the current administration. A similar thing happened here when the Obama administration announced their program of visiting an asteroid (or whatever, it morphed a few times).

    Personally, I favor return to the moon for a number of reasons. Others prefer Mars or other programs.

    That said my main preference is: Choose a mission. Stay with it for long enough to get it done. Fund the damn thing on a consistent basis.

    If you do these, you will have a successful progra

  • How are we going to be able to afford it after the administration is done ruining the economy and making everyone poorer?

  • by jwhyche ( 6192 ) on Friday October 06, 2017 @01:08PM (#55322459) Homepage

    I have been hearing this for years. Call me when they take off.

  • Vice President Pence Vows US Astronauts Will Return To the Moon

    ... and the Trump administration is taking us back to the 1960's - in many ways. Buckle up folks, it's going to get bumpy.

  • Trump thinks there's coal on the Moon.

  • I'd like to send our politicians into space. They already have their heads in Uranus.

  • Bush said we would replace the space shuttles, Obama said we would go to Mars, and now the current crop say we will return to the moon. Maybe they should fund NASA before making empty promises.

Never let someone who says it cannot be done interrupt the person who is doing it.

Working...