Poll

Which US Space Agencies should be involved in enabling space settlement?

None, there is no reason for the US government to enable space settlement
17 (20.5%)
NASA
18 (21.7%)
Office of Space Transportation in FAA
13 (15.7%)
Office of Space Commerce in Dept of Commerce
16 (19.3%)
NOAA
3 (3.6%)
FCC
3 (3.6%)
State Department
9 (10.8%)
Defense Department
4 (4.8%)
Some other agency or agencies which I will name in the comments.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 42

Voting closed: 12/16/2017 02:47 AM


Author Topic: US Space Agencies and space settlement  (Read 5139 times)

Offline Lar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #20 on: 11/17/2017 05:32 PM »
The author is a US politician (wannabe?)  I agree, though, it does leave out everything else (and the UN and other international bodies such as the WHO, the postal union, etc...). You could start another thread if you were so inclined.

A Washington D.C. lobbyist actually (see his early posts).
Politicians and lobbyists in DC are pretty interchangeable these days... But yeah.

This is kinda meta and it's fulfilling Blackstar's prophecy.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #21 on: 11/17/2017 05:48 PM »
Disappointing thread this. As if the USA is the only country capable of enabling space settlement (I speak as someone from Europe).

You're missing the point. This thread is about US government agencies participation, not the concept of space settlement. If the US doesn't participate, then other nations can lead the way.
No, I'm not missing the point. Had the involvement of other-than-US-agencies been considered the thread title would have been something like this:

"Space Agencies and Space Settlement". The "US" part would have been left out.

Despite the name "NASASpaceflight.com", this site and its forum are about everything spaceflight worldwide. Not just the USA. The ludicrous focus of this thread on US space agencies does not fit well within the international scope of this forum.

I am tempted to rephrase the question.  I get the impression that people are presuming this is a "when space settlement is happening, what organization from the US government should be involved?"  However, my main intent is to ask what agencies should be about enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW.  Not 50-100 years in the future, but right now.  In that context, there are a lot of activities that we need to be considering.  A few examples
1)  How do we position spaceports/ranges so that they can be launching multiple launch vehicles daily?
2)  How do launch regulations need to evolve as you move to RLVs and a marketplace that has much more launch on demand?
3)  Can we enable the development of markets that would serve a broad marketplace of users for lunar transportation, micro-gravity R&D/production, satellite servicing, satellite communications, etc? 

My point isn't to have a discussion of some form of property rights, but how and where do we start asking the question of making space settlement happen.  I've asked similar questions in the past - for example, what programs does NASA have going on that are settlement enabling right now?  Does SLS/Orion enable settlement?  ISS?  Commercial Crew?  Etc. 


As for non-US government agencies, I know of some of the non-US government agencies that are currently active in the space arena, but not all of them.  For that, I am sorry.  But, given that limitation, and with the specific point of enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW, I decided to just limit it to US government entities.  If you wish to comment on what federal agencies from other governments can and should play a role in enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW, please feel to explain who, and how they could. 
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Lar

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #22 on: 11/17/2017 08:22 PM »
Thanks for that explanation. I think an open ended discussion might have done better at eliciting useful infomration than a poll "posted without comment" that didn't have this background, causing floundering.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
"We're a little bit like the dog who caught the bus" - Musk after CRS-8 S1 successfully landed on ASDS OCISLY

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #23 on: 11/17/2017 10:27 PM »
Thanks for that explanation. I think an open ended discussion might have done better at eliciting useful infomration than a poll "posted without comment" that didn't have this background, causing floundering.

I assumed that people would think about near term activities, rather than distant, far into the future speculations (particularly since I focused on specific agencies that are active in space) that don't have much to do with near term policy.  I would view a discussion like that to go into the general thread section. 
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Coastal Ron

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #24 on: 11/17/2017 11:14 PM »
I am tempted to rephrase the question.  I get the impression that people are presuming this is a "when space settlement is happening, what organization from the US government should be involved?"  However, my main intent is to ask what agencies should be about enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW.  Not 50-100 years in the future, but right now.

Based on your statement above, I answered NONE.

Because government agencies can't, for the most part, determine what they want to do on their own. They work for the President, and are funded by Congress. So it is up to our political leaders to decide if it will be the goal of the United States of America to enable space settlement. And though it may be a goal in the future (and a fuzzy goal at that), as of today there is no effort to start that effort RIGHT NOW.

Now if you want to ask a separate question, ask if the U.S. Government should be involved to any degree in enabling space settlement? And then have the poll choices to be what degree that may be.

And I've been monitoring this poll since it was created, but I only now contributed because it didn't make sense till you helped to clarify what you were looking for. Even then, as I said above, you're not asking the right question.

Ny $0.02
If we don't continuously lower the cost to access space, how are we ever going to afford to expand humanity out into space?

Offline QuantumG

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #25 on: 11/17/2017 11:52 PM »
I took the question as: when it becomes apparent that Elon isn't just blowing smoke and really intends to put humans on Mars, which government agencies will suddenly become interested in space settlement in a big way?

I hear those things are awfully loud. It glides as softly as a cloud. What's it called? Monowhale!

Offline Jim

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #26 on: 11/18/2017 01:42 AM »
I took the question as: when it becomes apparent that Elon isn't just blowing smoke and really intends to put humans on Mars, which government agencies will suddenly become interested in space settlement in a big way?
Only the ones dealing with laws and sovereignty.

Offline meberbs

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Re: US Space Agencies and space settlement
« Reply #27 on: 11/18/2017 09:53 PM »
I am tempted to rephrase the question.  I get the impression that people are presuming this is a "when space settlement is happening, what organization from the US government should be involved?"  However, my main intent is to ask what agencies should be about enabling space settlement RIGHT NOW.  Not 50-100 years in the future, but right now.  In that context, there are a lot of activities that we need to be considering.  A few examples
1)  How do we position spaceports/ranges so that they can be launching multiple launch vehicles daily?
2)  How do launch regulations need to evolve as you move to RLVs and a marketplace that has much more launch on demand?
3)  Can we enable the development of markets that would serve a broad marketplace of users for lunar transportation, micro-gravity R&D/production, satellite servicing, satellite communications, etc? 

My point isn't to have a discussion of some form of property rights, but how and where do we start asking the question of making space settlement happen.  I've asked similar questions in the past - for example, what programs does NASA have going on that are settlement enabling right now?  Does SLS/Orion enable settlement?  ISS?  Commercial Crew?  Etc. 

I picked a few agencies, bu with this post I feel like I should clarify why. The main way most agencies can support space settlement is by staying out of the way. Commercial companies at the space council meeting were pretty clear on that. Note that "stay out of the way" does not mean "do nothing," to start with there are regulations that need to adjust for new realities, and then there are places where there is value in explicitly allowing things.

This means that #1 above is probably best served by letting companies do it on their own (See: Boca Chica), though some of the Air Forces range improvements for flight rate help. #2 is the main one that has work involved, and #3 is still mostly a let the market handle it, though this includes the government being a customer for some things (e.g. satellite servicing) and sometimes this includes funding some technology development.

NASA is main agency that can contribute a bit more directly. SLS/Orion is an obvious dead end that doesn't help. Things like ISS and commercial crew are indirectly helpful, which is generally what I feel NASA should aim for. As a concrete example of a potential future course (multiple assumptions made just to make it concrete):

NASA could buy some early BFR flights (after testing) to establish a small research site on the moon, potentially also helping with some BFR development costs. This would create a seed that other organizations could build off of similar to how Axiom and Bigelow want to start with modules attached to the ISS. NASA actually trying to directly build a full settlement on the moon seems like it would end up not working out at all. Large scale growth requires the market to direct it so that it is sustainable. NASA does not feel market pressures, and would almost certainly end up in a dead end just like with SLS.

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