Manned Space Flight 80 replies

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SeinfeldisKindaOk

5.56 smoke Haji every day

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18th July 2008

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#1 9 years ago

Well, it's the 40th anniversary of the moon landing and there's a shuttle in orbit right now, so it seems like an appropriate time for this:

Do you think manned space flight is worthwhile or is it a waste of time and resources?

I'm not referring to putting unmanned objects like communications satellites into space, only putting humans in to space. The current NASA budget is about 17 billion dollars, which is roughly half of one percent of the U.S. budget. What gains have been achieved by sending people into space? Could the same achievements have been accomplished by unmanned flights?




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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26th May 2003

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#2 9 years ago

I think you'd be better off sticking a bunch of general purpose robots up their with a waldo system of some sort. There doesn't seem a lot that humans do that machines couldn't do cheaper, better, easier (given they can be governed by computers for tricky things,) and faster. You want to send humans up to colonise something after terraforming? That actually makes sense, stick some of your eggs in another basket, other than that though there's not a lot of point to it now we're at a tech level where machines can do it for us.




NCC1017spock

I take what n0e says way too seriously

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25th April 2007

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#3 9 years ago

That shuttle may be in trouble, I read on MSNBC that pieces of the fuel tank or something hit the shuttle in several places. I hope the heat shield is ok...




Guest

I didn't make it!

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#4 9 years ago
Nemmerle;4949903I think you'd be better off sticking a bunch of general purpose robots up their with a waldo system of some sort. There doesn't seem a lot that humans do that machines couldn't do cheaper, better, easier (given they can be governed by computers for tricky things,) and faster. You want to send humans up to colonise something after terraforming? That actually makes sense, stick some of your eggs in another basket, other than that though there's not a lot of point to it now we're at a tech level where machines can do it for us.

There are still things humans can do that machines can't. Most notably, think. We really don't yet have computers that are capable of coming up with their own solutions to problems, they just do whatever they were told to do. Plus, humans have an emotional investment in exploration as much as they do a physical one. Having humans directly involved is important, and astronauts know the kind of danger they put themselves in.

Imagine if the first boats to reach the "New World" from Europe had just been shoved off and had notes attached for whoever finds them to point them back in the other direction. Not fun.




EO Violation

If you ain't Cav, you ain't...

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6th October 2007

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#5 9 years ago

What would have happened if Columbus never sailed into unknown waters in search of India?

Giving up on exploration is a sure way to doom human civilization. Calling it a waste of resources is plain ignorant.




Tas

Serious business brigade

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4th September 2004

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#6 9 years ago

Manned spaceflight is the only way to preserve our ultimate future. No matter how peaceful we become as a species we are one event way from extinction. There are valuable resources out there. There are technical advancements to be gained.

Other than that it is just cool.

I wish the United States had kept going full steam after apollo and the beginning of the shuttle missions. It's a shame NASA's budget gets cut while the US military gets more money to build more radar defying aircraft/tanks/cruisers to kill an enemy that doesn't even have radar.




MrFancypants Forum Admin

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7th December 2003

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#7 9 years ago

There are much worse ways to spend money. Some other areas of research, like genetics, may prove more useful in the short term but I think the potential payouts for companies in that area are so high that we don't have to worry so much about sponsoring them.




Mastershroom VIP Member

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18th November 2004

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#8 9 years ago

If anything, I think our space program could use more funding. It's really slowed down since the days of the moon landings.

We've basically done everything there is to do here on Earth. Space really is the final frontier, and we've barely just thought of scratching the surface.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#9 9 years ago

Afterburner;4950021There are still things humans can do that machines can't. Most notably, think. We really don't yet have computers that are capable of coming up with their own solutions to problems, they just do whatever they were told to do. [/QUOTE]

True but the human doesn't have to be onsite to do the thinking, and the robot doesn't have to be entirely autonomous. The further away you get from earth the more autonomous you'd want the robots to be, admittedly, due to control lag; but there don't seem to be any major showstoppers, at least within the solar system.

[QUOTE=Afterburner;4950021]Plus, humans have an emotional investment in exploration as much as they do a physical one. Having humans directly involved is important, and astronauts know the kind of danger they put themselves in.

Imagine if the first boats to reach the "New World" from Europe had just been shoved off and had notes attached for whoever finds them to point them back in the other direction. Not fun.

You think most people even know when the next shuttle mission is? That's their investment right there. It's something that a select handful get to go and do, and until we start doing interesting things that promise to reflect in major ways on the lives of the common man that's the way it's going to stay.




NiteStryker

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24th April 2003

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#10 9 years ago

Eventually humankind will have to leave Earth, for one reason or another. We need to develop the technology to do it now while its not a necessity (such as an asteroid coming at us, which would force us to evacuate).

Plus, exploration is in our nature. Its what we do.

I have nothing but support for space exploration, and in fact, wish we would kick it up a notch.