Skip to comments.Manifest Destiny in Outer Space
Posted on 07/02/2003 2:30:07 PM PDT by My2CentsEdited on 07/12/2004 4:04:48 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]
In the wake of the Columbia disaster, it is gratifying to see that the majority of political leaders across the spectrum have met the setback with an attitude of resolution rather than retrenchment. There is no doubt: America will persevere in space.
(Excerpt) Read more at washtimes.com ...
MBA FOR MR UPS
I like it!
Robots to everywhere.
I don't. Why retrofit the shuttle lift system when Energiya boosters can be bought off-the-shelf? And we don't need the crew transfer vehicle, either: Soyuz works just fine.
The existing, unlaunched ISS modules are designed to be carried by the Shuttle. No problem: send the Shuttle up unmanned with its payload, and send the installation crew up with a Soyuz.
When you can do that, then you don't need to spend so much time/money developing a space vehicle, cause if it fails in orbit, who cares? It didn't cost much to get it there, and you can just try again.
Expendable boosters are a stupid idea. Sure, they're the cheapest option now, because the NRE has already been spent. But the idea is to get a totally reusable, air breathing launch vehicle, designed at whatever cost it takes. Once you can get to orbit by just adding more fuel, THEN it's cheap.
But, government doesn't want it cheap. As long as its expensive, then they have a monopoly, and the bureaucrats keep their jobs. And then there's the security thing. If all it takes is airliner type money to buy an orbital vehicle, then Osama will buy one and then where will be be?
In the end, going to Mars or anywhere else will be limited by the difficulting in getting that first 100 miles.
As Ronald Reagan said, "Government is not the solution to our problem, government IS the problem".
When Zubrin hit on the idea of social implications, he gave the strongest rational support to his project. Man on Mars could be the beginning of the end of social upheaval in the Middle East.
I think I catch your drift: "An independent Palestinian state -- MARS!"
I don't like it either. Got to go with Physicist on this one.
The priority is space should be "military superiority". I like some of the new military plans.
Other than that the funds would be better spend pursuing either better energy sources like "Fusion" or physics.
Fusion or other energy sources has practical ramifications here at home as well as the potential to make any space exploration safer and more rewarding.
Physics - We are having a lot of advances in learning more about the fundamental nature of things. What if we learn something that makes space travel easier or quicker or allows us an easier or quicker way to terraform Mars. Plus the military implications of this research are phenomenal.
I like the idea of colonizing Mars, I just think the timing is wrong.
Oh, sure! But the launch system we have is a multi-billion-dollar death trap, while a new American one is years away (even a retrofit), and we have stuff to launch in the near term.
I say limp along with the Russian stuff for a while, and in the meantime design something really revolutionary, like a VASIMR engine.
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