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Old January 9th, 2004, 05:49 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Bush proposal to send man to Mars

President George W Bush will announce proposals next week to send Americans to Mars, and back to the Moon.
Senior US officials say he will also reveal plans for the construction of a permanent lunar space station.

Mr Bush intends to reinvigorate the US space programme following setbacks, including the Columbia shuttle disaster, the officials report.

The manned mission to Mars - where Nasa successfully just landed a probe - is not expected for at least 10 years.

Correspondents say Mr Bush had been expected to propose a bold new space mission as part of his re-election campaign.

Lunar testing ground

The president's father proposed men be sent to Mars when he was in office in 1989 but the project went nowhere due to cost.

Sources say George W Bush will encourage scientists to prepare for the mission in a decade's time, allowing the costs to be spread over a number of years.


The last time the US had men on the Moon was more than 30 years ago.
As the Moon is just three days away, while Mars is at least six months away, it is thought the former could become a testing ground for space equipment.

"We know more about the Moon and if you want to test technology that is going to keep people alive, it's better to do it on the Moon," Chris Welch, a lecturer in space technology, at Kingston University, UK, told the BBC.

"If anything goes wrong you can get back from the Moon in three or four days."

As part of the Bush space initiative, there will reportedly be more exchanges of technology between the US space agency (Nasa) and the Pentagon.

Sustaining supplies

It is hoped the exploration could lead to new technologies and potential new energy supplies.

Experts say, however, that the costs and commitment required to get people to Mars, or even back to the Moon, should not be understated.

"The cost of a manned enclave on the Moon, I think, is going to make the space station look cheap. That's the only good thing about it," Stanford University's Douglas Osheroff told AP.

In any event, "I think we're still 30 years from going to Mars and if there's any reason to do that, I don't know", he added.

Wholly new rocket and capsule systems would have to be developed.

Although the Moon is relatively close at a distance of 385,000 kilometres, a mission to Mars would require astronauts to live off Earth for several years.

Humans versus robots

The recent flurry of spacecraft that went to the Red Planet took six months to get to their destination and they made good use of the closest alignment of Mars and Earth in 60,000 years.

Astronauts on Mars would have to have access to all the necessary air, food and water to sustain them on the surface for perhaps many months until the proper orbits allowed their safe return to Earth.

"I imagine they would take a rover with them," said Welch.

"They would take several scientists - geologists, astrobiologists. The advantage of human beings is that they are more flexible than robots.

"Robots can do a lot but having multiple trained human beings there would tell us so much more."

Europe has a plan dubbed Aurora which envisages putting people on Mars by about 2030.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3381531.stm
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Old January 9th, 2004, 06:22 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info Jjrakman . I have been watching the Mars stuff both now and the one several years ago. I think it's really neat you can go to JPL online and see pics and info galore, practically in real time.
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Old January 9th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #3
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Most likely,we will see a project to use robots to build foundations of a base on Mars before the manned mission happens.
Launch window rolls around every 2.5 yrs,I believe.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 08:34 AM   #4
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You know? I am all for going to the Moon and Mars, but...ok...here is a silly question.....If there is no atmosphere on those planets, how are they going to keep the stations from being destroyed by meteors and space debri...Do they have force fields to put into use? I am very curious. Aren't they constantly being hit by things? Or am I just worring to much......cause I'd go in a heartbeat.....you know, they say the older you are the better you adapt to outer space...
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Old January 10th, 2004, 08:46 AM   #5
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Good question, about the meteors. THough the meteors that hit the moon haven't been constant, but more like a few every thousand years or so; not really that frequent considering the age of the moon. I could be way off with that number, though. As for Mars, there is an atmosphere there, albiet lacking oxygen, to my limited understanding.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 08:47 AM   #6
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It may be possible to construct an underground facility/base and then, you could use the surface of the moon (or Mars) for the "shield".

Or tunnel into one of the "mountains" . Same concept. Who knows, maybe some of the "SDI" (aka Star Wars defense) concepts could be tried out here, sort of like the asteroid deflector on the Star Trek TOS episode, "The Paradise Syndrome".

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Old January 10th, 2004, 09:40 AM   #7
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We may be more ready than any of us realizes....would anyone be surprised if there was someone out there already? I don't think I would...I'd just be pissed it wasn't me.....lol
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Old January 10th, 2004, 12:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by emerita
You know? I am all for going to the Moon and Mars, but...ok...here is a silly question.....If there is no atmosphere on those planets, how are they going to keep the stations from being destroyed by meteors and space debri...Do they have force fields to put into use? I am very curious. Aren't they constantly being hit by things? Or am I just worring to much......cause I'd go in a heartbeat.....you know, they say the older you are the better you adapt to outer space...
No problem Em! They can just collect alien turtle shells and use those for the roof - I hear they are Zerky proof! Oops, I think I hear Dennis Quaid calling me... did I say "Quaid"? Ooh, that leads me right back to Mars as the subject with a mutant head and arms sticking out of a rebel's stomach, dying, crying out "Quaaaaaaaid!" to (now Governor) Arnold...

This is just too much fun...
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Old January 10th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
You know? I am all for going to the Moon and Mars, but...ok...here is a silly question.....If there is no atmosphere on those planets, how are they going to keep the stations from being destroyed by meteors and space debri...Do they have force fields to put into use? I am very curious. Aren't they constantly being hit by things? Or am I just worring to much......cause I'd go in a heartbeat.....you know, they say the older you are the better you adapt to outer space...
MArs does have an atmosphere, justone we can't breathe...yet.

As far as the Moon, they'll either have to devfelop some kind of sheilding, or build the stations underground. Spacecraft are also in danger of this same problem. Micrometeors and such. Other than that, they'll have to rely on the chances that they won't get hit by something big, which are actually pretty good.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:03 PM   #10
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I remember in science class learning that even the moon has an atmosphere. Its just very very low on density.

I think we should go to the mars. Frankly I think most of nasa's manned space program has been a big waste of money. We perform really stupid experiments at the space station. There ain't a lot of benefit to flying the shuttle. It would be cheaper to go back to the apollo program. (I assume). Who cares if we can fix a satelite in space when we might as well just shoot up a cheap unmanned rocket that can go higher than any shuttle and put a new satelite in orbit?

Currently I think Manned space travel is an extremely expensive endeaver lacking a purpose. I say lets do it. Lets touch another planet before I'm ashes.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:12 PM   #11
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Correct in saying Luna has a slight atmosphere.About one billionth thinner than Earth's.
Martian atmosphere is thinner as well.Atmospheric pressure,or lack of it,keeps water from existing as a liquid on the surface.
Any attempt to terraform Mars must include as a priority raising atmospheric pressure,else created O2 just escapes right through.
One good reason to repair rather than replace sattellites is to reduce and control the amount of "space junk." Far better in my view to dispose of outdated sattellites by shoving them into the sun,or if small enough,down to earth.This will not happen with geosyncronous sattellites,but the shuttle just can't reach them.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:17 PM   #12
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Well, cost is a HUGE factor. And the space program has been lacking in trying to reduce the cost. They really don't have any direction, and I think that's part of the problem. They're just kind of meandering about with no clear purpose. The key, is to reduce the costs of launches. We don't want to go back to the Apollo, that would increase launch costs. But they scrapped the X-33 which would have reduced costs. The X-33 was the next generation of shuttle craft which would go up in one piece, and come down in one piece, with an increased payload. This shuttle would have reduced the costs of launches from the current $10,0000 per pound, to only $1,000 per pound. A significant difference. With an increased payload, you could then launch parts for a craft to be built in orbit which would be capable of going to the Moon and/or Mars without the cost of a launch from Earth. You'd still need a pod capable of disembrking the orbital craft, which could then land on the Moon and/or Mars, and launch again from that planet to rendevous with the oribtal craft. Of course, you'd still have to have this nayway, even if you launched from the Earth. The real key is to stop using Earth as your starting point for every destination in the Solar System. With the reduced gravity of the Moon, and Mars, you can then reduce launch costs from those places.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:19 PM   #13
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Check out the X-33

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/x-33/home.htm
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:33 PM   #14
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You also have to remember the trillions of dollars we have received from the Apollo program.

Computers used to be housed in small buildings. But NASA needed one small enough to fit on the LEM (Lunar excursion module). So the microprocessor was invented. That has created a lot of jobs and money for the US. The tax dollars generated from the microprocessor alone would pay for the Apollo program.

There are so many technologies that came from the Apollo program, it wouldl be difficult to list them all.

Some of our greatest technological strides have come from war and the space program. Which one would you like to fund?
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:35 PM   #15
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Fund them both so we can have war in space!
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:40 PM   #16
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My take?

Bush, January 2004: "I pormise to deliver men on mars! This si a monumental project which will redefine western civilization, and of course, will take time to implement, and it's my project, so of course you'll re-elect me so I can do it, right? Go, Martian Landing!"

Bush, November, 2004 (hypothetically): "The people have spoken, and I accept once again the charge of President of the United States. I will be moving forward agressively on Homeland Security, defense... what?"

(Question from reporter)

"Of course space is a priority. However, for mankind to make great leaps, he must be standing on a secure foundation, which is why the proposed missile defense..."
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:42 PM   #17
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Damn, please donít tell me the Taliban is already training intergalactic suicide truck bombers.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by conundrum7g
Frankly I think most of nasa's manned space program has been a big waste of money. We perform really stupid experiments at the space station.
I agree and disagree with this. True, the manned space program is "wasting money" but, only because there is no clear-cut goal in mind, like there was with the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions. That goal, of course, was to get to the moon.

Now, with regards to the space station, I think it's paying benefits already but, not the glamorous, earth-shattering types. One of the benefits of the station deals with its concept. The station project is generating a lot of goodwill amongst various countries of the world who are involved with the project. Another benefit is the actual construction of the station. Invaluable lessons are being learned in basic zero-g construction techniques and the testing of the various hand tools being used. These are going to be important to know when and if we embark on establishing bases on the moon, Mars, or beyond.

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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by slider
You also have to remember the trillions of dollars we have received from the Apollo program.

Computers used to be housed in small buildings. But NASA needed one small enough to fit on the LEM (Lunar excursion module). So the microprocessor was invented. That has created a lot of jobs and money for the US. The tax dollars generated from the microprocessor alone would pay for the Apollo program.

Just some trivia on the subject of key new inventions like the microprocessor. I got this neat book by Col. Philip J. Corso called "The Day After Roswell". Truly mind boggling reading. He claims to have been part of the Roswell military people (at the Pentagon) asked to investigate and report on the incredible technological findings at Roswell. In his book, he states that his office received several alien artifacts which turned out to be instrumental in changing the face of the world post WWII. One of those artifacts was the silicon chip. He said they reverse engineered these artifacts, and it led to staggering advances in technology (stealth, solid state technology, etc). I know it sounds lke National Enquirer stuff, not sure if even I believe it, however it does help answer the question of how, after such slow advances in history previously, suddenly the techno door swung wide open.

It's fun reading in any event, whether true or no, if you like UFO stuff.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:51 PM   #20
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Believe a saw a recent article stating that NASA had junked/shredded all the Apollo program plans and designs over the years (Saturn 5, capsule, lunar lander) and would have to start from scratch.

NASA would have to launch a few supply stations, so any Mars mission would have numerous stop overs to refuel/re-supply on the trip to and back, plus a Mars orbiting supply station (including a spare lander would be nice in case of emergencies and/or possible rescue). The plans for a moonbase would be a logical step for a possible Mars base being landed/setup before the astronauts arrive. Otherwise a manned Mars landing mission would be a very short stay. I would suspect a landing site close to the polar regions so getting water would not be a problem and oxygen could be extracted if they plan on an extended mission.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:51 PM   #21
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Personally, I think perfecting a stable, habitable orbital station (a self sustaining "colony" sattelite with it's own ecosystem) is a tremendous goal worthy of our resources. This will give us the technology to create liveable environments in space, and an excellent starting point for expansion.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:52 PM   #22
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Remember the L5 society?

Guess I'll have to google to see what happenned to them.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 02:57 PM   #23
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Quote:
.Believe a saw a recent article stating that NASA had junked/shredded all the Apollo program plans and designs over the years (Saturn 5, capsule, lunar lander) and would have to start from scratch.
This is correct. That's why the Chinese sending a man into orbit with a craft modeled after the russian soyuse is cause for concern. the Soyuse is comparable to the Apollo in regards to it's capabilities. A capabaility we do not have because of what you mentioned.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 03:26 PM   #24
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If I were in charge of NASA and had to deal with Bush's proposal this is what I'd do.

1 - Get the X-33 into service ASAP. This will make everything else you want to do cheaper and easier.

2 - Build a self sustaining orbital space station whose sole purpose is the facilitation of the building and disembarking of orbital spacecraft.

3 - Build an orbital spacecraft capable of carrying payload, and disemarking a crew and said payload to the moon.

4 - Build an orbital spacecraft capapble of sending 3 men to Mars. A similar Apollo effort.

4 - Build a self sustaining base on the moon, with launch facitlites and industrial capabilites (mining, building, etc.)

5 - Use lessons and resources learned from the above to build an orbital spacecraft capable of carrying crew and a payload to Mars and build a colony there.

6 - Begin taking steps to terraform Mars.
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Old January 10th, 2004, 03:34 PM   #25
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Think there are 4 possible "Space Taxi" designs up for consideration.



Proposed next generation space shuttle:


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Old January 10th, 2004, 10:10 PM   #26
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I love space exporation but I think building a Moon base and sending people to Mars is premature at this time. We have not finished building the International Space Station yet. In fact, it is behind schedule and vastly more expensive than originally predicted. A Moon Base of any consequence would be prohibitively expensive. Remember, we are fighting a costly war and have a great buget deficit looming above us. I do not think the American people will support going to the Moon just to keep NASA's bottom line healthy. As for Mars, we are having trouble sending robot probes successfully to the Martian surface let alone humans. Remember the multi-billion dollar probe that was lost in 1999 when the computors on the craft couldn't understand each other? It seems that one department at NASA was using metric units and another was using English units of measurement. I wouldn't trust those "rocket scientists" with my life. The only way we will have a manned mission to Mars is if China decides to try to do it first. If I were to predict when Humans will first land on Mars, I would say within the next 30 to 40 years. This will allow time for China to build their manned space program to the level where they can challenge the U.S. in space supreamacy. Will Humans one day stand on Mars? Yes, it will happen. Its just that the Astronaut, Cosmonaut or Taikionaut who will first do this has not been born yet.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 06:40 AM   #27
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I agree and if we would stop fighting among ourselves for a planet that everyone is destroying, we would have the money.How many millions do we give away every year to foreign countries? I was out of work for 2 years with a severe shoulder injury and I didn't even qualify for disability or unemployment. I made the comment that I had been paying into it for 37 years and the woman told me that my money was probably going to end up in Iran or some goverment bigwig's pocket. It looks like as long as there is greed here, we will never get off this planet. It all boils down to the rulers don't want to pay for it...........or I could be wrong
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Old January 11th, 2004, 09:01 PM   #28
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I would love to see us go back to the moon so I could tell my mom that we actually went. She believes it was all a hoax.

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Old January 11th, 2004, 10:25 PM   #29
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The guy behind moonmovie.com lives here,and I have met him.What a loser.

Badastronomy.com takes care of most of these kind of hoaxes.Does a thorough job of debunking the "evidence" that we never went to the moon.
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Old January 11th, 2004, 10:29 PM   #30
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Thanks Darth Marley, I will check it out and force her to read it to show her it really happened.
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