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    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2009
    > stop it turning into a jingoistic pissing match

    Wouldn't that remove every politician's incentive to fund it? Every politician, in every country?
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2009 edited
    And then who's flag would we put on the moon?!

    It actually raises a fairly serious question. Are we going to one day see armed conflict over the moon and other areas in Space? History has shown that isolated areas, even if protected from being claimed by international law and treaty (see the recent controversy involving Russia and the North Pole), leading me to question the effectiveness of things like the Outer Space Treaty and Moon Treaty.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2009
    The thing is the Race to the Moon is over and America won.

    I can't see sheer nationalism sparking another huge NASA=era compeittion with multipel countries pouring massive resoruces into it to be the second country to put a human on the moon.

    Looney - I have this theory: we should have lunar homesteading act. The first 10 countries to land humans on the moon get an area around the landing site. A permanent base gets you a larger area.

    After maybe half the moon has been claimed you take the rest, split it up into fairly small parcels and allocate them randomly to all the world's countries based on population.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2009
    As far as I know, none of the treaties cover corporations or individuals. So whats to stop some insane rich person from getting together a bunch of people, getting up there (down the road when it's more cost-effective, of course) and declaring himself emperor of the moon? If my understanding of the laws on these type of things is accurate (and it could very well be wrong), then absoloutely nothing. We could be looking at Richard Branson: Moon Emperor in a few more decades, and for some reason that scares the piss out of me...
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2009
    Well in the US, treaties become part of the law of the country once ratified by the Senate so I suspect that the relevant treaties would be binding on private US citizens.
  1.  (5884.6)
    The Moon Treaty, if enforced as written, pretty much puts the kibosh on any private exploitation of the Moon's resources.

    Of course, what can be enforced and what actually happens are different things and that difference can vary greatly given sufficient changes in technology and political structures.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2009
    New Scientist has a rather depressing slideshow of some of the previous failed NASA launcher programs.
    • CommentAuthorlooneynerd
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2009

    Nasa has been honored with a prime time Emmy for the broadcast of the landing back in the day.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2009

    I'd heard somewhere that the idea of the land rush in regards to the moon was what was actually stirring NASA up to make a push for it; we don't want other countries to get there first and take the good territory.
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2009
    The CN space station seems like so much vaporware, though they might convert a couple of mostly empty Shenzhou capsule into a Salyut-grade space station. I don't think their latest rocket could loft something like MIR.

    Moon Treaty. Man. I remember Jerry Pournelle and the L-5 crowd moaning that if President Carter signed the treaty then the Communists have won.

    It's true that ISS is no great shakes, but it has the virtue of being up there. If Puti^H^H^H^HMedvedev and his successors can keep Russia stable, then their space program won't be taken over by gangsters like it was in Yeltsin's day. The best way to go would be an international follow-on to the ISS, a heavy-duty staging platform for a more substantial join mission to the moon. That way, we have something to show for it.

    As for potential James Bond villains, even the richest oligarch doesn't have the organization even to crash a rocket into the moon. Dr. Doom, maybe. I'd love to see a robot dropped on the moon to belt out the Latverian National Anthem.
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2009 edited
    So whats to stop some insane rich person from getting together a bunch of people, getting up there (down the road when it's more cost-effective, of course) and declaring himself emperor of the moon?
    This made me laugh a little more than I probably should have. For some reason I just have this image of Brian Blessed or some such up there on a throne, "Emperor of the MOOOOON!"

    By way of The Register comes this bit. The main gist:
    "ALICE can be improved with the addition of oxidizers and become a potential solid rocket propellant on Earth," says Dr Steven F Son of Purdue university. "Theoretically, ALICE can be manufactured in distant places like the moon or Mars, instead of being transported to distant locations at high cost."

    The jury's still out on whether there are useful amounts of water ice on the Moon, but there's known to be some on Mars. Being able to make rocket fuel on either body would be good news for prospective interplanetary expedition planners, as lugging fuel out from Earth for the return journey takes up a distressing amount of the outbound spacecraft's payload.
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2009
    Richard Branson
    Brian Blessed
    Moonbase: Beard Alpha?
  2.  (5884.13)
    Idea - If I were suffering from a fatal disease then I would be more than happy to traipse off to Mars on a one way trip. And if I were to do this I'd assume that there would be more than myself willing to do this.

    Perhaps this is the way ahead, or would that be too much of a 'downer' for NASA?
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeAug 24th 2009
    I've thought about it - I think the problem is you need several years training to be an astronaut and then a Mars mission would take a couple of years.

    So you'd need someone who passed the really stringent physical and psychological tests who had an absolutely definite terminal disease AND had a high probability of surviving in good health for at least the next five years.

    There's a relatively common fatal genetic disorder that only shows up in people past the age of 40 - Parkinson's? Muscular dystrophy? - so maybe you could send people under 30 who had the genes that cause it.
  3.  (5884.15)
    You are probably thinking of Huntington's disease.

    I agree with your thoughts about the training and testing. Perhaps a different way around it would be a 'dandelion seed' approach, loads of cheap launches with high failure rates, but you only need one to succeed.

    The problem, of course, is getting the launches cheap enough.
    • CommentTimeSep 25th 2009 edited
    Not a reply to anyone in general, just more on the topic of NASA and wtf why are you doing this! But the last shuttle crew was announced.
    NASA names veteran crew for final shuttle mission

    Now just less than a year left before the last shuttle flight. These are the last flights as scheduled:
    11/12/09: Atlantis, STS-129/ISS-ULF-3 (external spares); 3 EVAs (spacewalks)
    02/04/10: Endeavour, STS-130/ISS-20A (Tranquility module; cupola); 3 EVAs
    03/18/10: Discovery, STS-131/ISS-19A (logistics module; science racks); 3 EVAs
    05/14/10: Atlantis, STS-132/ISS-ULF-4 (Russian research module; spares); 3 EVAs
    07/29/10: Endeavour, STS-134/ISS-ULF-6 (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer); 3 EVAs
    09/16/10: Discovery, STS-133/ISS-ULF-5 (Permanent Logistics Module); 0 EVAs

    I'm following Astro_Jeff on twitter, Astronaut Jeff Williams, as he prepares to launch on a Soyuz rocket to the space station and cannot get over how different their preperations are over there. And that is the direction the space program is going? Star City reminds me more of Ignition city.
  4.  (5884.17)
    Kennedy Space Center Begins Layoffs. It's a private contractor that works at the center, but they're all involved in the shuttle program somehow.
  5.  (5884.18)
    Where I work, a suprising number of people believe the Moon Landing was faked. WTF is up with that?
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2009
    Some people think the earth is flat/hollow/a cube shape.

    The answer?

    People are crazy.
    • CommentAuthorZJVavrek
    • CommentTimeOct 4th 2009
    I thought the answer was "Stop giving children flat maps and hollow globes".

    I have nothing to say on the topic of cubes, however. That's just bananas.