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Beyond Politics => General Discussion => Topic started by: SuperColinBlow on July 31, 2019, 04:00:54 pm


Title: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on July 31, 2019, 04:00:54 pm
I should have posted this about a week or so ago, but I didn't. So now I am. (I gleaned the information within from Wikipedia; I know that isn't the most accurate source, but so be it. I don't have a subscription to Britannica.)

It's been 50 years since the world was captivated by Armstrong's & Aldrin's walk on the Moon. And...nada.

If you've seen "Apollo 13" you'll recall how the transmission from the capsule on its way to the Moon was dumped by the networks because, as one official put it, "they've made a trip to the Moon as exciting as one to Pittsburgh." The American public (and I will venture to assume, much of the World's population) quickly lost interest in the lunar program. We've beat the Russians, now let's spend the money on something else. The disaster of Apollo 13 temporarily peaked public interest because said disaster made it interesting to watch. I venture to guess that by Apollo 14, interest waned again.

And let's face it, the prohibitive cost of landing on the Moon--certainly of maintaining a lunar base--is part of the reason we haven't gone back since Apollo 17; to the tune of $25.4 billion ($158 billion in 2018 dollars). From 1964-66, NASA's budget peaked at 4% of all federal spending. [Wikipedia "Budget of NASA"]

It seems clear to me that if we hadn't had two wars we'd have a moon base by now. Alas, we don't. And it's a pity. And I'm wondering if we will ever go back for the same reason as that quote from Apollo 13 about a trip to Pittsburgh.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: Omni on July 31, 2019, 04:39:55 pm
I should have posted this about a week or so ago, but I didn't. So now I am. (I gleaned the information within from Wikipedia; I know that isn't the most accurate source, but so be it. I don't have a subscription to Britannica.)

It's been 50 years since the world was captivated by Armstrong's & Aldrin's walk on the Moon. And...nada.

If you've seen "Apollo 13" you'll recall how the transmission from the capsule on its way to the Moon was dumped by the networks because, as one official put it, "they've made a trip to the Moon as exciting as one to Pittsburgh." The American public (and I will venture to assume, much of the World's population) quickly lost interest in the lunar program. We've beat the Russians, now let's spend the money on something else. The disaster of Apollo 13 temporarily peaked public interest because said disaster made it interesting to watch. I venture to guess that by Apollo 14, interest waned again.

And let's face it, the prohibitive cost of landing on the Moon--certainly of maintaining a lunar base--is part of the reason we haven't gone back since Apollo 17; to the tune of $25.4 billion ($158 billion in 2018 dollars). From 1964-66, NASA's budget peaked at 4% of all federal spending. [Wikipedia "Budget of NASA"]

It seems clear to me that if we hadn't had two wars we'd have a moon base by now. Alas, we don't. And it's a pity. And I'm wondering if we will ever go back for the same reason as that quote from Apollo 13 about a trip to Pittsburgh.

I suggest kicking Trump out of office and then you can focus tax dollars away from more guns/bombs, this time possibly headed for Iran, and also away from the corporate billionaires pockets Trump loves to cozy up to, and spend it on worthwhile things. Space travel may not interest you but perhaps more down to earth worthwhile issues, such as climate change.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: wilber on July 31, 2019, 11:31:19 pm
Like the space station, costs will make it an international affair.  There also has to be a really good reason to go there, other than just going there. I'm not sure I've heard one yet.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: Omni on August 01, 2019, 12:14:45 am
Like the space station, costs will make it an international affair.  There also has to be a really good reason to go there, other than just going there. I'm not sure I've heard one yet.

So let's then take all the dollars that could be spent on space exploration, put it in a separate bag, out of the hands of criminals like Trump and Putin, and spend it on valid projects here on earth, and not more **** wars. If we can't do that, let's go back to the moon or beyond.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on August 01, 2019, 07:56:20 am
So let's then take all the dollars that could be spent on space exploration, put it in a separate bag, out of the hands of criminals like Trump and Putin, and spend it on valid projects here on earth, and not more **** wars. If we can't do that, let's go back to the moon or beyond.

Yes, you mentioned that above, lol.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: MH on August 01, 2019, 07:58:59 am
So let's then take all the dollars that could be spent on space exploration, put it in a separate bag, out of the hands of criminals like Trump and Putin, and spend it on valid projects here on earth, and not more **** wars. If we can't do that, let's go back to the moon or beyond.

Hear hear.  We can enrich ourselves by investing in things that pay back better than the moon.  How about educating people so we don't have wide-mouth deficients voting in morons ?
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on August 04, 2019, 11:48:11 pm
So you do not think we should spend any money on space exploration? I'd agree in part, because we do not know enough about the Earth as well compared to what we know of stuff in outer space. Personally, I think there will be a new space race as countries like China try to land on the Moon.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: ?Impact on August 05, 2019, 12:14:22 pm
So you do not think we should spend any money on space exploration? I'd agree in part, because we do not know enough about the Earth as well compared to what we know of stuff in outer space. Personally, I think there will be a new space race as countries like China try to land on the Moon.

Space exploration should be about science, not chest thumping. Dragonfly (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasas-dragonfly-will-fly-around-titan-looking-for-origins-signs-of-life) and James Webb Space telescope (https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/) are excellent examples of scientific exploration.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: kimmy on August 05, 2019, 02:04:11 pm
A few weeks ago with all the hoopla about the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, I saw an article about "The Chilling Song That Dominated The Charts 50 Years Ago", In The Year 2525 by Zager and Evans.  Rick Evans died a few years ago, but they were able to talk to Danny Zager.  The song was their only hit, but it was a monster, and he described the surreal experience of watching TV and hearing their song playing as the rocket took off. 

This fan-made video fits the dystopian lyrics of the 50 year old song with dystopian imagery from the 90 year old movie "Metropolis". 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKQfxi8V5FA

 -k
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on August 05, 2019, 09:20:06 pm
ummmmmmm.......neato.

Space exploration should be about science, not chest thumping. Dragonfly (https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasas-dragonfly-will-fly-around-titan-looking-for-origins-signs-of-life) and James Webb Space telescope (https://www.jwst.nasa.gov/) are excellent examples of scientific exploration.

The Kepler Telescope has discovered more and more exoplanets. You're quite right about the importance of actual science, rather than politics, in space exploration. Most of NASA's projects since Apollo 17 have been about that, not just "beating the Russkies" to the Moon. Voyager is also a good example.

Still, is there no value at all in a lunar research station of some sort?

Don't forget; the Apollo 11 Moon landing brought people together around the world, at a time when they needed it for sure.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: MH on August 06, 2019, 08:01:03 am
So you do not think we should spend any money on space exploration? I'd agree in part, because we do not know enough about the Earth as well compared to what we know of stuff in outer space. Personally, I think there will be a new space race as countries like China try to land on the Moon.

The question to ask is: what is the value that justifies the use of resources ? 

The 1960s space programs were driven by a mix of national pride, military and science motivators. 

In the 2010s you have a situation where a sizeable number of Americans think it was a conspiracy.  I think that may be a better place to allocate resources, ie. educating people and re-establishing science as a discipline above politics.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on August 06, 2019, 12:40:40 pm
Disagree with your point of "national pride". Had nothing to do with national pride, more about national security. That's not the same thing as pride. We were terrified that, if the Russians made it to the Moon first it would be an extreme threat to our national security. I'm sure there was plenty of national pride but I doubt that that was actually a motive.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: MH on August 06, 2019, 01:15:52 pm
1. Disagree with your point of "national pride". Had nothing to do with national pride, more about national security. 
2. We were terrified that, if the Russians made it to the Moon first it would be an extreme threat to our national security. I'm sure there was plenty of national pride but I doubt that that was actually a motive.
1. I played with that notion, but ended up putting national pride because ... well I was there and the cold war aspect was secondary.  It was more about our superior way of life, etc.  And 'our' being America so... I put military down too.
2. Were you around then ?
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: ?Impact on August 06, 2019, 04:13:55 pm
Still, is there no value at all in a lunar research station of some sort

Where, at what cost, and research what?

Where: Polar regions seem the most likely due to the presence of ice. Although the Sun would be close to the horizon, energy could still be harvested from solar panels due to the lack of an atmosphere interfering. The challenge would be to bring up enough batteries to last through the night (13 days), or long enough power cables to stretch to where it was day. A huge challenge is protecting against solar flares because the moon lacks an atmosphere and significant magnetic field to protect you from them (the ISS has far more protection than the Moon). Underground structures are the best bet, but a suitable underground cavern would need to be found near a polar region first.

At what cost: To meet the above challenges, a lot of weight in construction materials would need to brought there. The Saturn V could send about 90,000 lbs to lunar orbit, but less than 10% of that ever reached the surface (soft landing). My best guess is maybe 50% in a transport optimized lander could reach the surface. That means about 20 Saturn V size missions to bring the equivalent of the ISS to the lunar surface. Crew missions would be additional. The real unanswered question is how much would be required to build a structure capable of protecting against solar flares.

Research what: That is the big question. Not what you want to research, but what can you research better by a manned mission rather than remote sensing or robotics.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on August 07, 2019, 11:04:44 am
1. I played with that notion, but ended up putting national pride because ... well I was there and the cold war aspect was secondary.  It was more about our superior way of life, etc.  And 'our' being America so... I put military down too.
2. Were you around then ?

OK, fine, national pride, whatever.

Where, at what cost, and research what?

Research what: That is the big question. Not what you want to research, but what can you research better by a manned mission rather than remote sensing or robotics.

And what do you think can or cannot be achieved by a manned mission as opposed to robotic probes?
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on August 20, 2019, 10:09:23 pm
Where, at what cost, and research what?

Where: Polar regions seem the most likely due to the presence of ice. Although the Sun would be close to the horizon, energy could still be harvested from solar panels due to the lack of an atmosphere interfering. The challenge would be to bring up enough batteries to last through the night (13 days), or long enough power cables to stretch to where it was day. A huge challenge is protecting against solar flares because the moon lacks an atmosphere and significant magnetic field to protect you from them (the ISS has far more protection than the Moon). Underground structures are the best bet, but a suitable underground cavern would need to be found near a polar region first.

At what cost: To meet the above challenges, a lot of weight in construction materials would need to brought there. The Saturn V could send about 90,000 lbs to lunar orbit, but less than 10% of that ever reached the surface (soft landing). My best guess is maybe 50% in a transport optimized lander could reach the surface. That means about 20 Saturn V size missions to bring the equivalent of the ISS to the lunar surface. Crew missions would be additional. The real unanswered question is how much would be required to build a structure capable of protecting against solar flares.

Research what: That is the big question. Not what you want to research, but what can you research better by a manned mission rather than remote sensing or robotics.

You're speaking of the inefficiency of getting payloads (including people) into space by chemical rockets? I've read about that, including the idea of a space elevator. But of course a space elevator is lights years ahead of our current technology.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on August 20, 2019, 10:28:44 pm
I just thought of something. What about a large radio telescope on the far side of the moon, where the effects of the Earth's magnetic field would be nil? Clarke mentioned that in "2001".
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: MH on August 21, 2019, 08:12:17 am
From what I have read Hubble isn't very much impacted by the magnetic field and may even be helped by it:

"Coronal mass ejections from the Sun are not a major risk, as it is in a low enough orbit that the Earth’s magnetic field provides protection."
https://www.spacetelescope.org/about/faq/
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: ?Impact on August 21, 2019, 03:43:08 pm
I just thought of something. What about a large radio telescope on the far side of the moon, where the effects of the Earth's magnetic field would be nil? Clarke mentioned that in "2001".

It is not so much the Earth's magnetic field, but the electromagnetic interference at low wavelengths by all our technology. High wavelengths can be blocked by man made shields, but it takes a very large body to block the low wavelengths. Low wavelength radio telescopes would benefit big bang research greatly. Yes, that would be an excellent lunar project but would not need to be manned during operation. For construction however, there might be something to be gained.

I've read about that, including the idea of a space elevator.

Yup, a space elevator reduces the power requirements dramatically for putting payload into Earth orbit. The challenges however are significant for materials, construction, and safety. Larry Niven solved the materials issue with the wire that connected his shadow squares (who remembers that?)
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: ?Impact on August 21, 2019, 03:43:54 pm
From what I have read Hubble isn't very much impacted by the magnetic field and may even be helped by it:

Hubble is not a radio telescope. The Earths magnetic field however helps protect satellites and astronauts from solar radiation, that is what you heard. A lunar based telescope would not have such protection, that is one of the big problems with long term manned missions.
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: the_squid on August 22, 2019, 10:29:35 am
Ringworld was a great novel. 
Title: Re: 50 Years since the Moon Landing....and....?
Post by: SuperColinBlow on August 23, 2019, 05:22:01 am
It is not so much the Earth's magnetic field, but the electromagnetic interference at low wavelengths by all our technology. High wavelengths can be blocked by man made shields, but it takes a very large body to block the low wavelengths. Low wavelength radio telescopes would benefit big bang research greatly. Yes, that would be an excellent lunar project but would not need to be manned during operation. For construction however, there might be something to be gained.

Yup, a space elevator reduces the power requirements dramatically for putting payload into Earth orbit. The challenges however are significant for materials, construction, and safety. Larry Niven solved the materials issue with the wire that connected his shadow squares (who remembers that?)

I saw a documentary a long time ago on space elevator technology. You're right though; we would need to clean up the garbage belt that surrounds the entire planet.