No other man on the Moon ...

Jun 2017
2,976
Connecticut
Yesterday evening I was watching a TV series about Mars on National Geographic and they were commenting about the choice between Mars and the Shuttle program. I have found this an interesting thought. Considering the limited resources, actually to concentrate on the Shuttle program has made it impossible to plan something realistic to reach Mars.

Low orbit and interplanetary exploration are two totally different fields from a logistic perspective. No way. To think that a mission to Mars could start from the low orbit is nice, but to think that to do this we need shuttles ... that's naive ... Russians have built the Mir station without shuttles, using common rockets, and they have dismissed their own shuttle [the Buran] because after some tests they have evaluated it as inefficient and too expensive to carry a payload to the low orbit.

Now, NASA, thinking to go again to the Moon, is developing a modern version of the Apollo vehicle [a big rocket with a command module and a Lem on top, not a shuttle able to reach our natural satellite and come back]. We are observing private businessmen developing rockets able to take land and to be reused [even if they launch cars to Mars!].

Are we sure US haven't lost some decades with the Shuttle Program?

If we think to the temporal limit of Historum, 1991, we could remind all the promises about "space for all" and colonization of the orbit thanks to the shuttles ...

What was it? A wrong direction? An excess of confidence?

But overall ... going back to rockets ... are we going to say that Von Braun was right? So ... why didn't they follow his ideas?

To this question I can suggest an answer: Apollo 13. That mission persuaded American politicians that Braun's way to Mars [btw, Braun thought to the Saturn rocket to reach March, not the near Moon, he presented a study about this in 1969, after other ones he wrote in the 50's, he was a bit obsessed by Mars!].

Von Braun Mars Expedition - 1952
Von Braun Mars Expedition - 1969
Tbh it's symbolic of our country's style, inefficent shock and awe.

To be fair though focusing on the moon is a considerably smarter use of resources than Mars. The Moon could be colonized within centuries, there's just a lot less technological engineering required to make it habitable. I fear with Mars the same thing will happen where we'll put a ton of money into putting people there, keep sending people for a few years and then once people get bored cancel the project. That's exactly what happened with the Moon landing, once the whole space race era of "first to do this" and "first to do that" ended, the funding dried up. Putting a man on Mars feels like another thing we want to do just to say we did it rather than it being a useful contribution to the country or world. But yes the Shuttle Program was a waste but IMO it was more because there was just nothing(relatively) to really use it for rather than having our own space vehicles being a bad idea.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,234
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Tbh it's symbolic of our country's style, inefficent shock and awe.

To be fair though focusing on the moon is a considerably smarter use of resources than Mars. The Moon could be colonized within centuries, there's just a lot less technological engineering required to make it habitable. I fear with Mars the same thing will happen where we'll put a ton of money into putting people there, keep sending people for a few years and then once people get bored cancel the project. That's exactly what happened with the Moon landing, once the whole space race era of "first to do this" and "first to do that" ended, the funding dried up. Putting a man on Mars feels like another thing we want to do just to say we did it rather than it being a useful contribution to the country or world. But yes the Shuttle Program was a waste but IMO it was more because there was just nothing(relatively) to really use it for rather than having our own space vehicles being a bad idea.
In good substance, the space exploration and the exploitation of extraterrestrial environments depend on the vehicle you can use, that is to say on technological availabilites. Technology is an issue of scientific research and, unfortunately, so far, to win the gravity of our planet ... we've got our old good rockets with their chemical reaction engines. And this is a great limit. They made an attempt in US to have a vehicle able to carry to the orbit a greater payload, developing the shuttle. But costs weren't as low as they planned [or hoped ...]. Russians copied the shuttle [with the "Buran"], but they abandoned the program because of a simple comparison with traditional rockets. Rockets are cheaper and it's enough to compose what you want to carry to the orbit using modules suitable to be carried by your rockets.

At the end more expeditions to the orbit using cheap rockets cost less that less expeditions to the orbit using a shuttle [like the one you have used in US].

There are alternative projects for cheaper shuttles to carry goods and equipment to the orbit, but when at NASA they had to think to a new vehicle to carry humans to the space ... they copied the Apollo!

The Orion program [wiki source] has already costed almost 16 bilion US$ ...

Let's say that the intersting aspect of this is that they are developing also an orbital gateway to put around the Moon. That's actually will be the first concrete step to enlarge for real our horizons ...
 
Aug 2014
300
New York, USA
Tbh it's symbolic of our country's style, inefficent shock and awe.

To be fair though focusing on the moon is a considerably smarter use of resources than Mars. The Moon could be colonized within centuries, there's just a lot less technological engineering required to make it habitable. I fear with Mars the same thing will happen where we'll put a ton of money into putting people there, keep sending people for a few years and then once people get bored cancel the project. That's exactly what happened with the Moon landing, once the whole space race era of "first to do this" and "first to do that" ended, the funding dried up. Putting a man on Mars feels like another thing we want to do just to say we did it rather than it being a useful contribution to the country or world. But yes the Shuttle Program was a waste but IMO it was more because there was just nothing(relatively) to really use it for rather than having our own space vehicles being a bad idea.
Mars is farther away, but it is a lot more hospitable for settlement.
The Moon is only good for testing out technologies and perhaps sustaining a permanent base, but it can't be colonized and have a sustainable civilization all by itself with anywhere near out present level of technology. On the other hand, Mars is a legitimate planet, with some atmosphere and almost Earth-like day/night cycle, that is much easier to have a permanent civilization on, even despite the greater distances involved. There is obviously much more natural resources needed for civilization that are available on Mars.
 
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Nov 2019
48
Germany
Are the Amazigh also a starnation?Meaning they observe the sky and knew about the solarsystem so they must also have names for the planets.

Mars is the italoversion of the Greek Name "Aries" .Maybe it is because of the Color of the Mars they associated him with war and so does the amazigh Gurzil - Wikipedia
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,375
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Are the Amazigh also a starnation?Meaning they observe the sky and knew about the solarsystem so they must also have names for the planets.

Mars is the italoversion of the Greek Name "Aries" .Maybe it is because of the Color of the Mars they associated him with war and so does the amazigh Gurzil - Wikipedia
"Ares" not "Aries".
 
Nov 2019
48
Germany
thanks,Ares of Course, the hated son of zeus because he likes war by the Greek Mythologie .The Amazigh Mythologie says that "Gurzil" is the son of Ammon and according to some experts Ammon is the Libyan version of Zeus.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,234
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Going back to this discussion, the Moon has got a too weak gravity to allow humans to settle there permanently. Our natural satellite would be suitable to host an orbital spaceport [with artificial gravity similar to the terrestrial one], may be with a space shipyard, but the solar and cosmic radiations would be a serious problem to face: the Moon doesn't protect itself from them like our planet.

And Mars would be only a bit better. Also Martian gravity is a bit low to think to live there for generations: "Martian Human" would mutate, generation after generation ... and Mars doesn't offer a great protection against solar and cosmic radiations as well.

What Mars can offer is a "natural space station": one of its little moons. But it would cost an enormity of money to transform one of those moons into a giant space station.

So the most realistic hypothesis about human settlements on Mars is that they will be industrial settlements where humans will spend no more than 4 - 6 months before of coming back here [we will see workers taking a spaceship to go to Mars like today we see workers taking a helicopter to go to an oil platform].
 
Mar 2019
1,983
Kansas
Going back to this discussion, the Moon has got a too weak gravity to allow humans to settle there permanently. Our natural satellite would be suitable to host an orbital spaceport [with artificial gravity similar to the terrestrial one], may be with a space shipyard, but the solar and cosmic radiations would be a serious problem to face: the Moon doesn't protect itself from them like our planet.
There is also the issue, there is nothing on the Moon to warrant the investment. Might as well just stage out of Earth orbit to begin with.

Mind you anyone figures out how to exploit Helium 3 and the game will change dramatically.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,234
Italy, Lago Maggiore
There is also the issue, there is nothing on the Moon to warrant the investment. Might as well just stage out of Earth orbit to begin with.

Mind you anyone figures out how to exploit Helium 3 and the game will change dramatically.
Solar radiation is the reason why we expect to find He3 on the surface of the Moon. And this is good. What's not that good is that the nuclear reaction 2H+3He [so deuterium + Helium3] would require more energy ["heat"]. Anyway the efficiency of the reaction is around 18.4 Mev. This would be interesting for a spaceship [FTI Research Projects :: Lunar Mining of Helium-3].
 
Nov 2019
48
Germany
Going back to this discussion, the Moon has got a too weak gravity to allow humans to settle there permanently. Our natural satellite would be suitable to host an orbital spaceport [with artificial gravity similar to the terrestrial one], may be with a space shipyard, but the solar and cosmic radiations would be a serious problem to face: the Moon doesn't protect itself from them like our planet.

And Mars would be only a bit better. Also Martian gravity is a bit low to think to live there for generations: "Martian Human" would mutate, generation after generation ... and Mars doesn't offer a great protection against solar and cosmic radiations as well.

What Mars can offer is a "natural space station": one of its little moons. But it would cost an enormity of money to transform one of those moons into a giant space station.

So the most realistic hypothesis about human settlements on Mars is that they will be industrial settlements where humans will spend no more than 4 - 6 months before of coming back here [we will see workers taking a spaceship to go to Mars like today we see workers taking a helicopter to go to an oil platform].
I am no expert on these field but i am aware that the lowgravity seemed to be the biggest thread for settlers on the mars .All other threats you have listed human can protect themself by sophisticated Marsbases.But it is possible to simulate the gravity on earth with a machine but this would cost also an amount of money.