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Yes, mankind can sure need a goal like this, a goal for all to keep the fingers crossed for.

Mine definitely are!

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I'm actually hoping it comes to grief. Mars is like the Bermuda Triangle for space probes, but this time there are several survivors in orbit watching this one come in. It would be so cool if these others captured evidence of malicious native Martian intent behind the failure of yet another probe to land safely ;).

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Good old Mankind eh?

 

Not satisfied with ruining our own Planet...we have to go and intrude on another!....I wonder how long it will be, before Mars becomes a dumping zone for mankinds rubbish

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Not satisfied with ruining our own Planet...we have to go and intrude on another!....I wonder how long it will be, before Mars becomes a dumping zone for mankinds rubbish

 

I wouldn't worry about that. I seriously doubt we'll ever be able to get any significant amount of rubbish, whether inanimate or human, off this rock, which is too bad. There are quite a few people I'd love to send to Mars, starting with my ex-wife :biggrin: .

 

But anyway, I see the thing got down safely, even with its new method of landing which appeared to have many ways to go badly wrong. Bravo! Quite an achievement. Now let's see what the thing finds. Although I'm sure nothing it finds will be nearly as cool as video from the orbiting probes of Martian missiles shooting it down. Oh well :beach:

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£1.5 billion to put put it there.

 

To put that in perspective, the BBC has an annual budget between £3.5 and £4 billion, and we get 20+ years of mind numbing garbage like Eastenders, River City, the Graham Norton show...

 

I'm with NASA all the way. Mars has about 1/3 the gravity that Earth does, and an atmoshere that's mostly CO2. The gravity is too weak to hold on to an Oxygen based atmoshpere even if we could grow plants to create one, but you could sustain a biosphere and live there, and maybe one day invent an atmosphere we could breathe. That is if you don't mind -60 degree frost and 200mph winds, but those might change with an atmoshere too. I hope I see it in my lifetime, I really do.

 

I was just 3 years old when Apollo 11 landed on the moon, and I used to go to sleep staring a poster on the wall with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin on it. I had books with drawings of moon buggies, space stations and moon bases, and those books fully expected we'd have whole colonies of people living on the moon by now, and making all sorts of progress with space travel. I had a slide viewer full of photographs of the Apollo missions.

 

I know what I'd rather see my tax being spent on, and it isn't bailing out rotten thieving bankers or making sh____e TV programs and paying vacuous celebrities six or even seven figure salaries. Mars isn't like the moon. Mars has some serious potential to be well worth going to and staying there. Some day, there will be a human being who isn't born on Earth. We just need to start getting our priorities right and we can make it happen. Go for it NASA!

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I'm with NASA all the way. Mars has about 1/3 the gravity that Earth does, and an atmoshere that's mostly CO2. The gravity is too weak to hold on to an Oxygen based atmoshpere even if we could grow plants to create one, but you could sustain a biosphere and live there, and maybe one day invent an atmosphere we could breathe. That is if you don't mind -60 degree frost and 200mph winds, but those might change with an atmoshere too. I hope I see it in my lifetime, I really do.

 

I'm of the opposite opinion. IMHO, for a variety of reasons, Mars will never be a viable place for long-term human settlement, which is why I want to send my ex-wife there :biggrin:.

 

But even if I'm wrong about that, any thought of terraforming Mar or even Venus (which is a better idea IMHO) is putting the cart WAY before the horse. Before we can do anything along these lines, much less send a meaningful number of colonists, we first have to solve the basic problem of getting anything larger than a minivan to escape velocity. To have any hope of establishing viable colonies in space, we have to be able to move hundreds of people, with all their household possessions, and with whatever tools they need for their trade, all at once.

 

We're nowhere near being able to do this. The task requires an increase in our lifting capacity about 1000-fold, give or take, far beyond what any conceivable improvements in rocket efficiency will produce. Thus, just to get all this stuff off the ground into low Earth orbit, we'll have to use some totally different technologioes like space elevators, none of which are even under serious consideration at present. And then, assuming we get the huge colony ship assembled and loaded in orbit, it now has to get going fast enough to leave Earth orbit while carrying not only its immense cargo but also enough fuel to slow down at the destination (and hopefully then come back for another load). This part probably won't be possible for a very long time, if ever.

 

So in all honesty, I give humanity essentially zero chance of ever getting off this rock in anything remotely approaching meaningful numbers. Can we send a handful of people in a minivan to Mars? Sure, we could do that tomorrow. But is there any practical value in doing this? Nope, none at all. Thus, to me, there is no point whatsoever in manned spaceflight and I don't want my tax money wasted on it unless and until we invent the warp drive.

 

I really hate to say that. I myself grew up reading science fiction, watching Star Trek, building model spaceships, and playing space empire games. I would love to be able to live on another planet, or just take a cruise past them on for a vacation. But we're stuck with the laws of physics and for the foreseeable future, there's no getting around them.

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It's funny BH, but that kiddies book I learned to read with said the moon would be where we'd be building spacecraft so they weren't limited by gravity. With hindsight, it was optimism, but at the time it was entirely rational expectation.

 

You're correct about the size of vehicle, but look at the progress made already. Sojourner, the little one in the pic, was the Mars Pathfinder robot which landed on Mars in 1997. It weighed 10.6kg.

 

PIA15279_3rovers-stand_D2011_1215_D521-br2.jpg

 

Their wheels....

 

H_rover-comp_wheels_02.jpg

 

 

 

I agree about one thing however, all that money squander on crap could go towards feeding our planet and living within our means here before be go plundering new worlds, but all of us do need to re-examine our fundamental priorities. Back in the 1970's, the path seemed clearer. We needed to get to the moon, because it was stage one of having a base there, which made getting to Mars that much easier, because that was a necessary part of having a base there....

 

All I'm saying, is £1.5 billion is absolute peanuts. Not even peanusts, it's the dust which settles on peanuts.

Edited by Flyby PC

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Well, I'm with both of you (Flyby & BH). BH is right, as we all know, in that barring some wildly new technology, we aren't getting off this beautiful blue marble in significant numbers anytime soon- and if Mars is the destination, I'm not sure I'd want to go, at least not permanently.

 

But then you look at the US Federal budget (if you can do this without immediately panicking, or throwing up...) and you see $18.2 billion out of $3.73 trillion, and that isn't quite 0.5% - or 1/200th of the total budget. (Now to keep your stomach or prevent wild, panic-stricken screams, just ignore the fact that we're only taking in $2.47 trillion, leaving another deficit of over $1.2 trillion... Man, a trillion in my bank account - or even 1 million, which is 1/1,000,000th of trillion, would sure make retirement easier to face...). For the knowledge we get, these robot probes are the way to go. Criminee - the interest on the National Debt in 2011 was something like $250 billion. NASA is only a small, small portion of the budget deficits. Politicians promising us the moon & the stars (see what I did there?) and spending us broke on all sorts of crap, along with the corruption of selfish & unscrupulous scoundrels in Washington and Wall St. have stolen far more from this once -great nation than years & years of NASA budgets. Of course, these wars haven't been a help either, and I seriously wonder if that wasn't the whole idea - the anti-Americans knows we'll spend ourselves broke trying to be secure, and that just isn't possible, but it's bleeding us dry.

 

And in the end, we ought to clearly see our options - until we as a race stop wasting resources trying to kill one another, and learn to live in peace, there is no real chance of us escaping the laws of thermodynamics - the sun will eventually extinguish itself, etc. I think the Creator was very wise that way, in that He gives us no "Plan B." Either learn to get along, or stay put and die.

 

Well, a new reply just snuck in ahead of my bloviating pile of rubbish. Let's see what it says! (BTW Widowmaker - loved the Martians!)

 

Tom

 

Lou! HA!

Edited by HumanDrone

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@Widow: Great pic ;)

 

@Flyby:

The increasing size of Mars rovers is not an indication of increasing lift capacity. We could have sent something as big as Curiosity long ago, and in fact we did. For instance, the Viking probes of the 1970s were heavier in total (combination of orbiter and lander) and the landers were nearly as big as Curiosity. The main reason the earlier rovers were so small was when they were launched, almost all of NASA's budget was going to the shuttle program and the ISS and all other projects were fighting over the crumbs. Plus, of course, they were prototypes intended more to test vehicle and control systems, and to decide what types of sensors were really needed, than actually to study Mars itself.

 

Building a base on the Moon is just as hard, and therefore equally impossible, as colonizing Mars, because both face the same initial hurdle: getting sufficient mass (lots of people and stuff) to escape velocity. Rocketry isn't going to do either one for us because the best it can do requires something with the size, cost, and complexity of the Apollo program merely to get 1 minivan-sized object going fast enough to leave Earth's gravity. That's why the proposed NASA manned Mars rocket was about the same size as the old Saturns. From a rocketry POV, the length of the trip doesn't matter that much, it's the getting off the ground here that requires all the horsepower.

 

What really gave me an understanding of this problem (and thereby crushed all my long-held hopes and dreams) was messing with the Orbiter software. I say "messing with the software" instead of "playing the game" because Orbiter isn't a game, it's a pure simulator. Anyway, it's a very realistic spaceflight simulator. It will give you a better understanding of the limits of rocketry than any book or discussion. And that's where it all sinks in on you. To do anything more than sending a small capsule or spaceprobe somewhere, you have to cheat. Either give yourself an endless supply of massless fuel, or use a ship with far-future, hypothetical technology. You can get Orbiter here:

http://orbit.medphys.ucl.ac.uk/

 

@HD:

I agree, sending unmanned probes all around is reasonably cheap. And they send back useful, or at least interesting, information. I have no problem with them and wish, actually, we did more of them. But putting humans aboard jacks the price up astronomically AND is counterproductive. Keeping people alive requires a lot of mass and volume that probes don't need, and which cuts into the scientific payload. Plus, the rocket now has to be designed for a round trip instead of a 1-way mission, so has to be MUCH bigger and more expensive. And there's zero return on all this investment other than the propaganda value of a picture of an astronaught raising a flag (which people will say was faked in a movie studio anyway).

 

I have yet to hear any good argument for sending people to Mars with existing and foreseeable technology. Colonization is a non-starter; it just can't be done right now. And there's nothing a couple of scientists can do in person that a rover can't do. Now, if we had or were close to developing the means of moving large numbers of people and their stuff there, then sure, send a few guys first as lab rats to make sure we know how to survive before sending the colony ship. But before that day comes, manned spaceflight is a waste of money at the expense of science.

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BH, for thousands of years, people said men couldn't fly, but some people refused to listen and kept on trying until the way was found.

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BH, for thousands of years, people said men couldn't fly, but some people refused to listen and kept on trying until the way was found.

 

Apples and oranges, and even more than that, nobody (as in a nation with real money to put into the necessary research) is even trying to solve the problem here. Until we have something about 1000 times better than our best current rockets, we're not going anywhere. This isn't a case were incremental improvements and scaling up previous systems will work. It requires an entirely fresh start.

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I fully agree with you, BH, as regards us getting of this orb. But we should keep pushing; 'tis our nature to explore & discover. But wow, even if we could, where would we go? Everything else in the solar system is inhospitable at the very least; even Mars requires a complete artificial habitat and a lot of heat to keep it at survivable temperatures - we'd probably have to go underground. And nothing else habitable is even known to be out there for sure, and that within several lifetimes' journey - unless we develop the ability to travel at relativistic or even "warp" speeds. At that, I can't imagine boarding a craft and watching Earth disappearing in the distance, with me likely never to lay eyes on her again! Yow!

 

So we'll keep on trying, but, as we agree, for the foreseeable future, there is no "Plan B." So I hope we can learn to make the best of this planet without killing half the race fighting over it!

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Couldn't disagree more. To solve a problem, you need to know what the problem is. You need reconnaisance and intel, and that requires probes. Once we have a better idea what is there, and what problems there are which need a resolution, we can have a much better attempt at solving those problems. Mars is 35 million miles away, and we've sent a big machine all the way there with superb accuracy, it's landed precisely as intended, and so far everything is working perfectly, and that is something pretty special.

 

The surface of Venus is as hot as a furnace. If we want to terraform anywhere in our Solar System, Mars is likely it. Mars has some atmoshere, which has similarities to Earths outer atmoshere up around 100,000 feet. While there are low temperatures, sometime extremely low, we can experience similar temperatures in the Antarctic. We've had people survive these extremes on earth, with appropriate equipment but some considerable way short of a space suit, and live to tell the tale. There is serious potential for certain organic things to live on mars.

 

The whole point about the Curiosity mission is to look for evidence of time on Mars when it might have had a denser atmoshere, and supported organic life. If it did, it means all the building blocks of life will still be there and all the minerals, compounds and molecules are all there already. Here on Earth, we know all about putting chemicals into the atmoshere which create a greenhouse effect, so transfer that to Mars, and global warming could potentially modify the atmoshere to become more like Earths. The potential is fantastic, and we are just beginning to look. I repeat, we've only been able to manage powered flight in our own atmoshere for a little over 100 years, and we've gone from the Wright's Flyer to putting a robot on target and in one piece on another planet 35 million miles away. Big round of applause for us I think.

 

Maybe you're right, and perhaps true interstellar travel is centuries away, but progress IS about incremental improvements, and while we often malign the last century, we made some massive spellbinding leaps in technology, so who knows what might happen in the next 100 years. - But not very much if we all stopped trying.

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Flyby:

 

If you are disagreeing with me, your're disagreeing with the wrong guy! Sorry if I left you with the wrong impression! Everything you say is true; and I'm tickled pink, and awed by the success and accuracy of Curiosity. And yeah, those changes you are talking about on Mars are pretty massive; but I think that for us in our lifetime, a working colony on Mars would be the best we can hope for. What's beyond the solar system is just so incredibly vast that again, unless we can find some way around Mr. Einstien's equations, we run up gainst the problem that, even if we found a place to go, we're talking years just for the "mail" to go back and forth; the vessel to get there would need to literally be an artificial microplanet, capable of supporting life, repaining itself, educating new generations, advanced medical care, growing food, energy generation, and everything else including advanced guidance and a way to land, and even recover a party on the new abode. That party, once landed, would have to be able to start almost from scratch to make a life for themselves - building the chicken coops, getting the crops started, the works, drawing whatever support they can from the artificial moon that their mother ship has become. And, in essense, once they are past the heliopause, they are gone for good. Human civilization on earth could forget that they are out there or even die away. Even if we managed to get to relativisic speeds, we could be talking 20-30 or more years one way, and as of yet we haven't found any sure places to go in that range. Maybe the Webb telescope will help there, who knows?

 

But my ultimate point was not technological but moral; as a race we must find a way to keep all our oars in the water together for there to even be a hope of developing the kind of technology we and the tremendous amount of resources we'd need to accomplish such a thing. We've made most of the last century's best advances by working on ways to kill one another more efficiently; that has to change, and I sure don't see it anytime soon.

 

Then, too we could face a reciption such as Widowmaker posits!

 

Best,

 

Tom

Edited by HumanDrone

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Couldn't disagree more. To solve a problem, you need to know what the problem is. You need reconnaisance and intel, and that requires probes. Once we have a better idea what is there, and what problems there are which need a resolution, we can have a much better attempt at solving those problems. Mars is 35 million miles away, and we've sent a big machine all the way there with superb accuracy, it's landed precisely as intended, and so far everything is working perfectly, and that is something pretty special.

 

I must not be expressing myself very well, so I'll try again....

 

We've had enough intel since the Viking probes of the 1970s to know what we have to do to live (after a fashion, in great discomfort) on Mars. That's not the problem. The problem is getting enough people and their stuff off the ground here to do anthing more than just take pictures of a guy raising a flag there.

 

You know what Curiosity really is? It's an official recognition that the days of small-scale manned spaceflight (which is the only kind we've ever had, or will have in the foreseeable future) are over. The precision of its landing was due to its ability to steer itself down autonomously, which means there's no longer any need for a human pilot, which was the last-ditch justification for sending humans there. The rover itself is nothing but a robot geologist able to work 24/7/365 for years on end, without need of food, water, sleep, vacations, etc., and with no health problems from the low gravity and constant exposure to high radiation. Anything that humans on Mars can do with foreseeable technology, Curiosity can do better and cheaper. IOW, astronauts are just the latest vocation to be replaced by machines.

 

The surface of Venus is as hot as a furnace. If we want to terraform anywhere in our Solar System, Mars is likely it. Mars has some atmoshere, which has similarities to Earths outer atmoshere up around 100,000 feet. While there are low temperatures, sometime extremely low, we can experience similar temperatures in the Antarctic. We've had people survive these extremes on earth, with appropriate equipment but some considerable way short of a space suit, and live to tell the tale. There is serious potential for certain organic things to live on mars.

 

Venus has an assload of CO2 in its atmosphere. So seed the atmosphere with some custom-made extremophore algae, which will float in the ultradense atmosphere. They ignore the acid and heat, they eat the CO2 and make O2, and problem solved, leaving a nice, thick, breathable atmosphere at a cozy temperature and pressure. This is MUCH easier than building a breathable atmosphere from scratch on Mars. We could do this today.

 

The whole point about the Curiosity mission is to look for evidence of time on Mars when it might have had a denser atmoshere, and supported organic life. If it did, it means all the building blocks of life will still be there and all the minerals, compounds and molecules are all there already.

 

Having lived through the so-called false-positive reported from Viking 1's search for Martian life, I'm over the excitement there. And in the decades since, I've learned that organic compounds are quite common EVERYWHERE in the universe, seemingly as a natural result of chemestry. More recently, I've learned that life, and not just bacteria but advanced multicellular things, can exist in Hellish conditions just here on Earth. In a nutshell, life appeared on Earth as soon as it cooled off enough for organic chemestry to function. Thus, I firmly believe that there is life today on Mars and just about every other body in the universe. The universe is probably totally covered with bacteria. If Curiosity finds any, my reaction will be "Well, what else did you expect?"

 

Here on Earth, we know all about putting chemicals into the atmoshere which create a greenhouse effect, so transfer that to Mars, and global warming could potentially modify the atmoshere to become more like Earths. The potential is fantastic, and we are just beginning to look. I repeat, we've only been able to manage powered flight in our own atmoshere for a little over 100 years, and we've gone from the Wright's Flyer to putting a robot on target and in one piece on another planet 35 million miles away. Big round of applause for us I think.

 

I submit that humans have exactly nothing to do with the current changes in climate. Ater all, we're STILL in an ice age, just an "interglacial" interval in it. Observe that there have only been 5 relatively brief periods in the entire existence of the Earth where polar ice caps have existed at all, and we're living in 1 of them. Humanity has never seen an epoch without them. Yet for the vast bulk of Earth's long life, there haven't been ice caps at all. So how did that happen without human intervention?

 

But be that as it may, Mars is uninhabitable, with or without a better atmosphere, for 2 reaons we can't fix. #1 is the intense radiation it receives from the sun because it has no magnetic field. No matter what the atmosphere looks like, the surface will always be uninhabitable because of this, so any Martian colonists will have to be obligatory troglodytes. #2 is the low gravity, prolonged exposure to which will cause all sorts of health problems even underground. So barring conjectural medical breakthroughs like pumping colonists full of nanobots to repair this damage, the best that can happen is that after a few generations, the colonists adapt to it. But that means they won't be able to survive on Earth, so will effectively be a separate species from Earthlings.

 

but progress IS about incremental improvements, and while we often malign the last century, we made some massive spellbinding leaps in technology, so who knows what might happen in the next 100 years. - But not very much if we all stopped trying.

 

Only the slowest, least significant progress is about incremental improvements. Incremental improvements just make you better at what you're already doing, making life easier within unscalable walls. To get over those walls, you need either a really major breakthrough in an existing field or the discovery (and wide application at a reasonable price) of an entirely new field.

 

As far as practical manned spaceflight goes, we're at such a wall. Rocketry has an immutable limit that's been well-known for over 100 years and there's no getting around it. Incremental improvements will get us slightly closer to this limit than we now are but no further, and this limit is still WELL short of the height of the wall surrounding us. So, until we invent some radically new and differnt form of propulsion, or at least some other way of climbing out of Earth's gravity well, we're stuck here.

 

Don't blame the messenger. Go mess around with Orbiter and see for yourself.

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Open your minds fellas, I'm not talking about my lifetime or your lifetime, but the pace of progress which can be possible. By your arguments, the Wright brothers shouldn't have bothered with flight until the they knew how to build a jumbo jet. Why are we wasting resources building jumbo jets now instead of waiting for somebody to invent something better? - Because we do what we can when we can. If all we currently have is the technology to explore Mars, then we should do it, and do it with all the enthusiasm we can muster. Because the more we know, the less time and money we waste on abortive research and conjecture. Conjecture like terraforming and nannobots, because until theory becomes proven practice, that's all it is.

 

Once upon a time, whole new worlds opened up just by crossing an ocean that hadn't been crossed in a wooden ship. Mars really is a new world, and is just as important because it's a frontier we need to conquer to move on to the next frontier. And even just supposing all we ever manage is a sub terranean colony burrowed into Mars, then if ever something catastrophic happened to Earth, meteor stike, disease or any lethal calamity, we have a chance for our species to survive it. If you have one colony, you can have two. If you can have two colonies you can have four. If you have resources on Mars, your colonies can renew themselves with resources found on Mars and will be sustainable indefinitely. But you have to start somewhere, and I'm very pleased that NASA thinks like I do.

 

We are just at the very beginning of a long journey. Curiosity is just us dipping our toe in the water.

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I messed around with Orbiter enough to know that I make a lousy astronaut! Great program, maybe when I'm retired...

 

BH, you & I have more or less represented the pessimistic or practical side of these things, Flyby the optimistic. But I think we all realize the tremendous challenges that arise with present technology to colonize either Venus or Mars, much less travel in interstellar space. I think we all realize that some incredible leaps of mankind's abilities must take place for that to happen. It's just that Flyby is more optimitistic that eventually, some way will be found, and we oughtn't to let present limitations intimidate us. We all understand the challenges, and I don't think either you or me are saying "Stop trying," or as Flyby says, don't build a Wright Flyer until you can build a 747.

 

The robots are doing fine, as we all can agree, and better than fine. So if we can work out both a need and a means to terraform either of our two neighbors, then good. I submit that none of us here will need to be concerned about it; I'll be under the grass long before then. But hopefully our spirit of adventure, discovery and development will continue apace.

 

But still, until mankind solves it's moral problems, I'd bet we won't be able to mount much of an effort to go anywhere. Just imagine, for instance, if NASA had the money we've spent in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

I think I'll take a sail over the lines and see what I can find...

 

(Edited, hadn't seen Flyby's last post)

Edited by HumanDrone

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I messed around with Orbiter enough to know that I make a lousy astronaut! Great program, maybe when I'm retired...

 

Yeah, I'm not much good at it, either. I compensate by relying heavily on 3rd-party MFD mods and autopilots to do most of the flying while I just worry about the delta-V.

 

BH, you & I have more or less represented the pessimistic or practical side of these things, Flyby the optimistic. But I think we all realize the tremendous challenges that arise with present technology to colonize either Venus or Mars, much less travel in interstellar space. I think we all realize that some incredible leaps of mankind's abilities must take place for that to happen. It's just that Flyby is more optimitistic that eventually, some way will be found, and we oughtn't to let present limitations intimidate us. We all understand the challenges, and I don't think either you or me are saying "Stop trying," or as Flyby says, don't build a Wright Flyer until you can build a 747.

 

No, I'm definitely not saying to stop. I'm just saying that conventional rockets are a dead end. Physical laws have imposed a known limit on their abilities, and that limit is launching small capsules. Small capsules ain't gonna establish colonies of hundreds of people, let alone the thousands needed to make them viable. Thus, if your goal is to colonize space, continued incremental improvements in conventional rocketry are a complete waste of time because they will never be able to exceed (or even quite equal) the limits imposed on rockets by physics.

 

If we have any desire to colonize space (even including LEO), we need to develop something other than conventional rockets. My complaint is that we're not pursuing these alternatives with anything remotely approaching seriousness. At this point, we've just got a collection of what seem like wild-ass ideas and we can't yet even sort out which ones might be worth pursuing. So to me, this is what we need to be researching.

 

IMHO, we can't extrapolate analogies from Humanity's past achievements to the colonization of space. There is simply nothing in the past that comes close to the size of the wall facing us at the edge of our atmosphere. We colonized this entire planet simply by walking out of Africa, except for a few islands here and there that we reached in open boats. Better vessels (and the nation-states that built them) simply allowed globalized commerce (with all its benefits and pitfalls). Likewise, the Wright brothers were just an incremental improvement on the much earlier man-carrying kites and free gliders, and the 747 is just a couple more incremental improvements down the road from the Wrights. And these planes have just carried on the work of globalization begun by the galleons and their contemporaries.

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Well, exactly. Like I said, travel into interstellar space would require essentially a micro-planet, and that's assuming we can get a propulsion system that can get us to relativistic speeds (or "warp", but hey, who knows what we'll figure out by then) - and slowed down again! Any craft that may need to be out there for a hundred years or more needs some serious consideration - humans being humans and all, they get old and die, they want to marry- you'd have a mini-society on board. You'd have to have medical facilities, educational facilities, a group of people large enough to prevent inbreeding, gravity simulation... it's wild to consider - unless, again, we can cut missions down in length due to some unimaginable (at this point) propulsion system, wormholes, warp drives, and that kind of stuff.

 

But yeah. Keep trying. We gotta keep trying.

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