philip1201 wrote:Already being tested in the ISS and on Earth.
No, no no. I already addressed in depth in a several previous posts why that is not sufficient. I'm not going to cut and paste and spam the board further. Again, if you want to actually go back and read the opinions you're responding to, be my guest.
philip1201 wrote:I don't see what new things we could learn from Mars missions that we didn't already learn from Apollo, or couldn't be learned just as well on earth or when the technology exists.
Really? You don't think that colonization of Mars has technical challenges that differ from the Apollo missions to enough of a degree to warrant practice runs? Before colonization, you're going to need moderate-term test habitats, and before that, short-term scientific stations, and before that, ultra-short term touchdowns for dry runs a la the moon landings, and before that, approaches and orbital insertions. Before we ever are prepared to establish fully sustainable colonies, there are going to be decades of tests runs. The longer we wait to get started on those, the longer the entire process is going to take. Back to my airplane/windtunnel metaphor: you can't just plan the whole of your future endeavors on paper, and then say, "Whelp, looks like we're set. Let's launch this sucker."
philip1201 wrote:There's a difference between waiting until it's trivially easy, and waiting until attempting it with no way back isn't guaranteed to lead to the loss of all hands by every relevant test (that is to say, that closed ecological systems have always collapsed).
Yes. Because I have repeatedly suggested that we should launch missions we are not ready for, haven't I?
No, my position is not that we should be setting up colonies right now. Of course we need to be endeavoring on less ambitious missions first. This is exactly the point that I have been arguing this entire thread.
We can have this debate without putting words in each other's mouths.
philip1201 wrote:(A) doesn't hold true for the rest of the world, only the US, and hasn't been true since 2006 - since then it's been increasing. (B) is only true because the NASA was funded massively to beat the Russians to the moon (it was political interest, not scientific inquiry or the desire for exploration that caused it). And with the James Webb Telescope, the KEPLER telescope, and various other projects NASA is engaging in, as well as those of the ESA, I don't see how you can fail to be optimistic about the course of space research.
If you're getting your numbers from Wikipedia, I suggest looking up some resources that have updated since 2008. You might be surprised. (2011 boasted the lowest percentage of total federal spending spent on NASA since 1959 - the second year of NASA's existence.)
I'm not going to take this in a nationalistic direction. The US has traditionally been in a position to leverage large amounts of resources to the space program. Failing to do so represents time lost, regardless of what other nations are doing.
The problem here is that I've argued two distinct opinions in this thread, and you're trying to treat them singularly. The fact that I believe there is a strong argument to be made for hyper aggressive exploration is not equivalent to my belief that the US could be doing more than it is. They are closely connected, yes, but I could easily envision a scenario where the US was doing enough that I felt I could appreciate their commitment, acknowledging that my own desires are sufficiently radical that I can't really expect others to conform to them.
If you're trying to tell me that I'm wrong for wishing we were doing more, that's good for you.
If you're trying to tell me that we are doing all that could reasonably be expected, I disagree.
If you're trying to tell me that we're in a perfect sweet spot of commitment - that the level of commitment we were making for the other 80% of NASA's lifetime was too much - then, again, I disagree (and apparently so did the US government from 1961 to 1993 (the span during which the budget was over 1% of federal expenditures).
If you're trying to tell me that we are doing enough that additional committed resources wouldn't have any appreciable benefit, then that's quite a large claim and you're going to have to do some convincing.
If you're trying to tell me that there's no possible way to divert more resources to the space program without damaging other key US interests beyond repair, again, a claim that would need a quite a bit of legwork to back up.
Just what are you trying to tell me?
philip1201 wrote:My advise to you is to adjust your standards for "the future". No flying cars, holograms, hoverboards or space exploration, but iphones, ubiquitous internet, exoplanets and cybernetic implants for monkeys.
Again, you are making assumptions about my opinions that you would not be making if you'd actually read the posts you're responding to. At the same time, you are rapidly approaching ad hominem territory hear. Let's try to keep it on topic, okay?
philip1201 wrote:If you are using this argument in favor of sending a manned mission to Mars as soon as possible, using the NASA budget for the next 10 years, then it is invalid because it presents a false dichotomy, between that and between doing nothing. As it is, low earth orbit, terrestrial research and a next generation of space telescopes helps technology and science more than a manned mission to Mars, not necessarily excluding our space-faring capabilities a century from now.
If you are arguing to increase the NASA budget to maintain those projects, whilst also going to the moon, then I demand we split that issue, into (1) increasing the NASA (or science in general) budget and (2) spending 2/3 of it going to Mars. In this case, resolution (1) goes unopposed by most among us, but for resolution (2) the same argument as above applies. In practice, splitting these may not be possible because of politics, but in a speculative debate as to what's best for us, they can be considered independently.
I was arguing none of those things in that particular post. I was arguing that when you weigh the costs involved with aggressive exploration / colonization endeavors, with what is to be gained, longitudinally, by a thoroughly dispersed human race, any argument against aggressive exploration / colonization will fail if it tries to make a case exclusively on cost/benefit terms alone.
I am not only talking to you in this thread. Please read Tael's post to see what I was responding to.That being said
philip1201 wrote:In this case, resolution (1) goes unopposed by most among us
You could not have possibly given off a stronger impression of your disagreement with this if you'd tried. Perhaps you did try.
philip1201 wrote:(2) spending 2/3 of it going to Mars.
Could you have pulled any more arbitrary a number to attribute to me out of the air?
My wild, totally impractical desire would be to have sufficient budget devoted to NASA to aggressively pursue all of the terrestrial and low earth orbit missions you and others have described, while also aggressively pursuing projects to a.) increase our competence at, and understanding of, the challenges of a.) maintaining human life in alien environments (and no, the ISS cannot possibly hope to simulate all the variables that can affect astronauts on long term
missions to the wildly diverse hostile environments outside the earth's magnetosphere) and b.) actually physically managing projects on the scale required to create colonies, or mining operations, or whatever the ultimately goal may be. I wish for all of these things to be running in parallel, as they certainly can be.
Failing that, any appreciable commitment at all to my 'a' and 'b' would be nice.