On the verge of the next great space race?

Lets hope so…

I’m not so happy with the way the USA is currently looking at cutting back on its space exploration and research funding, but this might just be the kick start the new USA government needs to get things going again. (Lets try not to get onto a political theme here ;))

Russia is planning to build a nuclear powered ship to take the first people to Mars. (Note that they are planning on using Fission based propulsion) Early designs could be ready by 2012 if they get things together. Heres an article on it.

Alternatively, the USA are having some great advances in VASIMR rocket design (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket)
These rockets are going to be tested on the ISS soon, and look very promising for further travel to mars and the rest of the solar system. (Article)
Info and videos here - http://www.marstoday.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=29356
http://img253.imageshack.us/img253/9138/plas.jpg

And we’ve also seen the launch last week of the first Ares I rocket (Article), which was very successful. Its sad to see the shuttles getting retired next year, but they really are a clumsy design, in much need of replacement. Surely we can better 50 year old technology with something modern?? :cool:
http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/4027/nasasnewmoon.jpg

Heres a youtube video of the launch if anyones interested - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCrn0jfYut4

Im not sure what Europe is up to at the moment, but it seems like they have a strong space agency and a good amount of potential (if anyone knows about European space plans feel free to post about it, its not something Ive heard about or looked into much yet and would be interesting to know about)

So in summary - Id love to see a space race develop over the next few years. I dont mind who gets there first, thats not the point, its the fact that we need to get up there into space. The sooner we do, the sooner governments will realize how much money is up there from mining and so on, and that will lead to the human race spreading out and become a space fairing race (oneday…)

Who would want to be on a Russian rocket to Mars with their abysmal track record. When they manage to get their probe, made out of old tractor parts and string, that far it tends to just smack into the surface with a big thud. If you think they’ll get any type of prototype working by 2012 it’ll be the first time they achieve a milestone on time.

Rockets is to deceive the people and maintain us in prehistoric times.

There is a lot of hidden technology. Why it is hidden and people is keep with scarcity in all fields and fighting between them? The answer will change your life if you search.

Pardon

Richard

Yay…another rampant conspiracy theorist…just what this site needs…

How on earth is America going to finance all of this?

@Madcow - America can finance it by . . .

Well there’s lots of ways . . . some are conspiracy related and quite untrue in my opinion and others are quite debatable, and then there’s the good old fashion way of rolling up your sleeves and getting on with it.
My personal and favoured approached is simply letting the private firms to take over and let them send the first human to Mars or Jupiter or whatever with a Wally Walter’s Wicked Chicken Supremo Deluxe II Burger trademark advertisement gracing their space suit. Never know, blender could be used to design the rocket, as there is plenty of concept art that can used for inspiration, although I cannot find any use of steampunk guns on starboard, netting on port . . .

With the budget crises, I do wonder if NASA will sack everything when it comes to anything beyond low Earth orbit or even the stratosphere and all their technology is improved upon by private companies sending tourists and building hotels in space.

Good point CD. Regarding hotels in space, parents will have a hard time dealing with the question "I spy with my eye something beginning with . . . "

It’s bad enough with the “Are we there yet question ?”.

Either get the rest of the world to continue subsidizing our consumption economy (through promoting the dollar as the world currency) or just plain ol’ printing of money, easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Oh, there’s also simple taxation but that’s not as popular as a hidden inflationary tax so the politicians seem to prefer the latter as they can ‘tax’ at will by getting the Federal Reserve to buy treasury bonds simply by creating new money out of thin air.

Or did you mean how private interests can finance this with the gov’t diverting so much money and resources into ‘public’ consumption activities which is starving private enterprises of capital – who are the only ones who can ‘grow’ the economy and get us out of this Great Recession?

Thats the problem.

The government will have to go out of their way to fund these things, which in the current economic climate I doubt. This is why people are proposing things such as partnerships with the European space agency (I like the idea of that, but again, I dont see it happening)

Awesome.I don’t care who gets there; I just want to see a man on Mars. I don’t mind if it’s the Russians. As long as there’s an English translation of the landing, I’m good.
And competition is always the best way to spur progress. It was amazing that we made it to the moon so quickly, but it was all because of the thrill of the race.

Heinlein showed that if you control the Moon, you control the Earth. So the U.S. cannot afford to be left out when the Chinese, Japanese, Europeans, Indians and the Russians are moving to the Moon. We will find a way to finance a Moon program.

But that’s small scale stuff. More importantly, people are the first species to be able to become a transplanetary species. I think it’s thrilling to be in a position where we can anticipate establishing permanent residence beyond the sky. :cool:

Personally I just think human space programs belong in the dustbin of history. There is no rational reasons to send humans into outter space when you could do all this so cheaply with robots. In the 1960’s when armstrong and company went to the moon the field of robotics was no where near as advanced as it is today. So one could effectively argue the need for humans to do space exploration work. The two recent mars rovers that nasa lanched in 2003 are a good example of what can be done with robots, I fail to see how a human sent to mars will be able to do as much scientific work as either spirit or opportunity have done.

But of course our ego’s have to get in the way so irrationality will end up ruling. Every dumb reasons known to man will be dragged up to justify spending 100s of billions of dollars so that we hurl our asses off to what is essentially a barren, frozen wasteland.

I’d rather see 2 million gallons of Hydrogen and supercooled Oxigen blow up after 57 seconds in the launch than a russian nuclear powered device. One Tchernobyl was enough.

Before dissing the Russians keep in mind the have the best safety record in space and probabley the highest lanch success rate. It is the simplcity of the Soyeuz space craft that prompted the Americans to move away from shuttle stack because it shear complexity meant more things can and did go wrong.

And both nations; usa and russia have lanuched nuclear powered space scrafts before

This is great – well done INDIA. With the Chinese now in space and planning a space station. … Maybe we are on the verge of the next space race. Here’s hoping

THEY JUST FOUND WATER ON THE MOON!!!

Let the race begin!

Before dissing the Russians keep in mind the have the best safety record in space and probabley the highest lanch success rate. It is the simplcity of the Soyeuz space craft that prompted the Americans to move away from shuttle stack because it shear complexity meant more things can and did go wrong.

And both nations; usa and russia have lanuched nuclear powered space scrafts before

Well said tyrant monkey.
As for what europe is working on, it’s almost exclusively satallites but not quite. Google Skylon reuseable launch vehicle. With a bit of luck and lots of hard work I’ll be working on it in four years time yippee.

Redundancy is one reason: If some unforeseen catastrophe strikes earth, you have a backup, and chances of the species surviving are that much higher.

I always side with the host country (America, in my case).

Although, ultimately, I think the whole endeavor will have to become international for things to really move forward.

Either way, the next 50 years will be quite interesting.

Haha… I dont see water as a reason for going to the moon to be completely honest. Theres plenty here on earth, and wouldn’t be anywhere near enough on the moon to make it worth harvesting and transporting back to earth.

Other minerals are much more profitable.

Yeh I agree. And I would side with my country, but we dont even have a space program. Kinda depressing, but what can ya do? :confused:
So by default I side with America or Europe, but Im not too fussed, as long as it brings a global ‘forward movement’.