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  1. #21
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    Folks please ELIMINATE political sniping from your posts---

    and confine the thread back to the subject that was originally posted by the OP.

    Thank you.
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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devildadeo View Post
    @Chris... problems 1 and 2 are non issues. People do just fine in strategic nuclear submarines

    Problem three can be overcome with simulated gravity via spin of the craft.

    The real problem with going to Mars is payload. People need a lot of "stuff" to survive on a daily basis. As for a reason to go to Mars, why the hell not? Because its expensive? We waste tons of money on meaningless things all the time. I say go to Mars. And figure out how we can stay there. Returning to the Moon is not such a terrible idea either. If we can figure out how to put enough equipment into space to put people on Mars for extended periods. Those innovations make mining the moon that much more feasible. There is a lot of He3 on the Moon that we could be using to to produce power here on earth super cleanly. But you need a fusion reactor to utilize He3. A reactor that doesn't yet exist. But might, if we started spending real federal money on fundemental research again. The kind of money that would be required if we all decided we wanted to put people on Mars. (See how that circle worked? NASA is more valuable than the sum total of its budget)

    Yeah, I agree about the Submarines. I guess my feeling is that on a trip to (let's say) Mars, dealing with only 4-5 people could be pretty darn boring over the course of the very long trip there, and potential problems with personalities....At least in a Sub, you have maybe 100 or more people to mingle with.

    I also agree, we should at least go back to the Moon, for starters.

    And, yeah, I guess you're right about the "Simulated Gravity"....forgot about that...
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  5. #23
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    All--

    A stack that is capable of more thrust than a Saturn V will be an awesome machine! I would love to see it.

    However, I don't agree with NASA's approach to Moon-and-beyond exploration for the following reasons.

    A single, huge, multi-stage rocket is a single, huge, multi-stage point of failure. As some have mentioned, it is also prone to the budget axe. Additionally, all missions, despite this new rocket's 165 ton lift design goal, are automatically limited.

    NASA should build transfer vessels in orbit using as many "small" launches over time as necessary. If a launch (unmanned) fizzled or failed, there would be no "significant" loss in terms of hardware or money. Another launch would take the place of the failed mission.

    Launches could be scheduled to take advantage of current budgets, manufacturing efficiencies and schedules, and personnel availability.

    The size of the transfer vessel would not be limited to a single launch vehicle's lift capability. Nor would the transfer vessel need to be designed to either leave or return to Earth's atmosphere.

    Using many (perhaps, many, many) smaller launch vehicles would allow private enterprise to be involved from the start. The involvement of private enterprise has the potential to drive costs down as the government may simply become (in time) one of the "shippers" on private freight rockets.

    This approach has obvious allure to the space enthusiast. I've also talked to an astronaut (can't remember his name; can't find the e-mail: trust me) about this approach. He was not enthusiastic, but admitted it would readily work. He had two points against it. The first was that many, smaller launches would be more expensive than a single launch. If private enterprise is involved, that is not true or may not be true or expenses will be less than without private enterprise.

    His second point was clearly false: He said many launches increased the likelihood of failure. There may be failure(s). The point is that unmanned launch failures would not be mission-killers. He failed to separate the consequences of single launch failures from the failure of the launch of the single, huge, multi-stage rocket. The moral to that story is there's failure and then there's FAILURE. Clearly, the former is preferable to the latter.

    I inferred that he was also uncomfortable with my scenario because it was not a big, huge program monolithically controlled in a top-down fashion.

    What do you think of my idea? Should I call NASA or concentrate harder on my day job?

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  6. #24
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    <<<People do just fine in nuclear submarines>>>>> There is a big difference between 90 days and a couple of years. Besides psychological there are physiological aspects to consider including the "sexual needs question;" there is no R&R in space. Bone mass loss is a major problem to resolve .... spinning a ship to create artificial gravity is problematic ... with a small ship the gravity differential from head to toe is significant ... large ship larger mass and huge problems in building and propulsion.

    Space is a waste of money.... always fractures me as if tons of money is being sent into space, forever to disappear. The money is spent here on earth, only a relatively very small amount of materials (metal, plastic, etc.) is sent up into space never to return. The real argument is and always has been, "what aspect of society is to benefit from the government's expenditure of taxpayer funds?" This is a political question, not scientific, thus not appropriate for our forum. As far as feeding the starving here on earth, that too is a political problem and question... not technical.

    If humanity is to survive, it must establish self sustaining colonies off the planet earth. After all, the question is not if another mass extermination event (astroid, comet, super vocano, etc.) will happen but when. What we should be doing now is developing a plan to establish these colonies then get off our butts and start developing the technology needed for such an endeavor.
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  8. #25
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    (All, just act like this is the last part of my post, above!)

    I forgot to address the human exploration issue. The machines are miraculous! Nuclear Curiousity may be the most successful craft in history. That is saying a lot because NASA has some stunning successes under its belt! The phrase "robots rule" conveys a sense of confidence based on a long string of cheap, highly successful missions.

    But, all that misses the point. Humans were not designed to walk the Earth . . . forever. In the beginning, people walked because that's all there was. Glork invented the wheel and soon we could ride as long as someone pushed (Glaana). Sailing ships, horses, horsedrawn conveyences, steam engines, train cars, planes, trains, and automobiles, rockets to the Moon, and now rockets to anywhere. My point is that as soon as a mode of tranportation is invented, someone wants a ride. I guarantee you the guy that hoisted the anchor on the first sailing ship would have gladly been the cryogenically frozen sailing expert on the mission to one of those new exo-planets we are always discovering.

    Man is meant to go. Period. Like war and ***, we are going to do it. The advance of civilization itself depends on the adventursome sprit and experience of the men and women have always stepped up to the plate when it was time to be adventurous are still with us.

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  9. #26
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    There's many good points made here, but remember that things change quickly. This design is much better than the Space Shuttle, safety wise. As far as going to Mars in it, it would be better to build a ship in Orbit where launch restrictions wouldn't be an issue. Man is a Curious creature and will travel the stars. Just as soon as we decide to get along with each other. I read a Sci-Fi book called 'Old Man's War', by John Scalzi. Well written and has sequels to it. Food for thought in it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deaman49 View Post
    ... As far as going to Mars in it, it would be better to build a ship in Orbit where launch restrictions wouldn't be an issue...
    Absolutely right.
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  11. #28
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    The problem with building a ship in orbit is that it will be incredibly more expensive than doing it on the ground. Spacecraft go through a huge amount of testing and validation after assembly. If you send it up piece by piece you can test each module before it goes, but putting it all together and testing it before firing it up would be much more difficult. You can't just have different sets of workers commute up every day. At least not yet.

    There's definite benefits to being able to piece small packages together in space, but there's extras hurdles too. The ISS has a mass of 420 tonnes. With proper design to fit the modules into the space available, imagine the time and money that could have been saved if the ISS could have been assembled in 4 or 5 trips instead of 32+ trips.
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    Quote Originally Posted by seal killer View Post
    All--

    A stack that is capable of more thrust than a Saturn V will be an awesome machine! I would love to see it.

    However, I don't agree with NASA's approach to Moon-and-beyond exploration for the following reasons.

    A single, huge, multi-stage rocket is a single, huge, multi-stage point of failure. As some have mentioned, it is also prone to the budget axe. Additionally, all missions, despite this new rocket's 165 ton lift design goal, are automatically limited.

    NASA should build transfer vessels in orbit using as many "small" launches over time as necessary. If a launch (unmanned) fizzled or failed, there would be no "significant" loss in terms of hardware or money. Another launch would take the place of the failed mission.

    Launches could be scheduled to take advantage of current budgets, manufacturing efficiencies and schedules, and personnel availability.

    The size of the transfer vessel would not be limited to a single launch vehicle's lift capability. Nor would the transfer vessel need to be designed to either leave or return to Earth's atmosphere.

    Using many (perhaps, many, many) smaller launch vehicles would allow private enterprise to be involved from the start. The involvement of private enterprise has the potential to drive costs down as the government may simply become (in time) one of the "shippers" on private freight rockets.

    This approach has obvious allure to the space enthusiast. I've also talked to an astronaut (can't remember his name; can't find the e-mail: trust me) about this approach. He was not enthusiastic, but admitted it would readily work. He had two points against it. The first was that many, smaller launches would be more expensive than a single launch. If private enterprise is involved, that is not true or may not be true or expenses will be less than without private enterprise.

    His second point was clearly false: He said many launches increased the likelihood of failure. There may be failure(s). The point is that unmanned launch failures would not be mission-killers. He failed to separate the consequences of single launch failures from the failure of the launch of the single, huge, multi-stage rocket. The moral to that story is there's failure and then there's FAILURE. Clearly, the former is preferable to the latter.

    I inferred that he was also uncomfortable with my scenario because it was not a big, huge program monolithically controlled in a top-down fashion.

    What do you think of my idea? Should I call NASA or concentrate harder on my day job?

    --Bill

    Not bad ideas! BUT, I doubt NASA would listen to any of us!
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  13. #30
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    I cant help of thinking that if gold was found on the moon we would be all over it, we know helium3 is up there. We think the earth was peppered with gold from asteroids billions of years ago, shouldnt the moon be the same and with no weather, no geological activity it should be all over the place? A man presence on the moon would give us a good look around and is a perfect place for a telescope. This rocket could put some big stuff on the moon for sure and perhaps get us out of low orbit. There is one problem though and thats interplanetary travel. Chemical rockets dont make that practical, we dont hear much talk of the next step up from Nasa and really if we want to go interplanetary we need something better then chemical rockets. Thats the bottom line. This makes for a great moon rocket though and thats a 1st step.
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