Friday, September 16, 2005

NASA to unveil plans for 2018 moon mission





NASA's plan envisions being able to land four-person human crews anywhere on the moon's surface and to eventually use the system to transport crew members to and from a lunar outpost that it would consider building on the lunar south pole, according to the charts, because of the regions elevated quantities of hydrogen and possibly water ice.


Not appalling, but not terribly inspiring either. Apollo never should have been dismantled. We should have landed on Mars in the 1980s, and there should be lunar outposts at least as sophisticated as that depicted in Kubrick's "2001." In an ideal universe, the first crewed missions to Jupiter and Saturn -- if not a neighboring star -- would be underway.

16 comments:

W.M. Bear said...

Ordering NASA to send human beings back to the Moon and then on to Mars may be the ONE thing Bush has done right in his entire presidency, albeit likely for nefarious imperialistic motives. And yes, indeed, if we'd put even a fraction of the money we've spent on the Vietnam and Iraq wars into a rational space program, we'd be well on our way to the stars by now.

JEFM said...

So ... maybe I'm alive to see a moon-landing and probably a Mars landing ... I say 100$ bucks we won't see a Mars landing before 2050 (unless they use nuclear propulsion systems).

Any takers guys?

W.M. Bear said...

Not by me. I doubt we'll even see a return to the Moon before the 2020's, given the glacial pace at which NASA operates. If we return in, say, 2029 (pessimistic guess), it will be a mere sixty years -- the better part of a century -- after the first Apollo landing. Moon Base Alpha? Another ten years after that. And this is ASSUMING (highly optimistic assumption) some world crisis -- peak oil, global warming, WWIII or some combination thereof -- doesn't do us in first. So I think 2050 is probably optomistic for Mars. What we really need is another "space race" (maybe with the Chinese this time?) If not for the original S.R. with the Soviet Union, I doubt we'd even have an International Space Station by now.

JEFM said...

Precisely my point Bear :)

Jon

stankan said...

Before we can really do humanned flights to planets, we need to solve this gravity thing. I would rather see robotic missions that are more aggressive in the meantime. When we learn how to either defy, negate, or ignore gravity, the Universe will open up to us.

Stan

JEFM said...

You got a big point there Stan.

Jon

W.M. Bear said...

I want to see starships, even if they're, like, really really SLOW starships.

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