Poll

If we could not get the US to commit, in law, to the idea of space settlement as the primary goal of National HSF programs (NASA and others) would you still want the US Government (including NASA) to engage in human spaceflight?

Yes
No
Undecided

Author Topic: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum  (Read 58347 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« on: 10/31/2011 06:21 pm »
Requested poll on Settlement as a goal.
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #1 on: 10/31/2011 06:25 pm »
I don't want to vote undecided, as I'm not one for sitting on fences ;) But we all want settlement, right? (Can't think why someone wouldn't)...but if it can't become law as a primary goal, do we class HSF as pointless for NASA as a result?

Going to have to chew on this and read people's posts.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2011 06:29 pm by Chris Bergin »
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Offline Ben the Space Brit

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #2 on: 10/31/2011 06:29 pm »
Yes.  Much useful can be done with public funding, even if there is no clear program or objective.  Subsidised R&D can lead to new technologies and may enable others to do what NASA is unable to do itself.
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Offline jongoff

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #3 on: 10/31/2011 06:41 pm »
I didn't want to wimp-out and vote undecided either, even though I don't lean strongly either way, so I ultimately decided to vote "No".

Basically I agree with the thought that HSF the way we're looking at doing it (and have tried to do it over the past several decades) doesn't seem very cost effective compared to robots, if science, exploration, and pretty pictures for peoples' screensavers are you real goal.

But as I said, I'm nowhere near 100% convinced (more like 20% convinced) we should scrap HSF though if we can't get a law signed right now to that effect.  As wasteful as I think many things on the NASA HSF side are, it's a lot easier to fix things down the road if HSF is still alive than to kill outright and hope that somehow it'll be resurrected in a less screwed-up status.  It could end up in a death spiral that is unsavable at some point, but I don't think we're quite there yet. 

On the gripping hand (insert jokes about the desirability of one-handed engineers here), explicitly continuing NASA HSF without any attempt at a settlement focus likely isn't going to solve the problem either...

Ok, so count me as a *really* borderline no.

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Offline IsaacKuo

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #4 on: 10/31/2011 06:41 pm »
I vote yes, and here's why:

Space settlement is a lofty idea, but it need not be the primary mission of NASA HSF.  Space colonization does not benefit life back here on Earth directly.

In contrast, space tourism might become a direct benefit, and NASA HSF may pioneer necessary technologies and foster development of the necessary infrastructure for space tourism to thrive.

Also, the biggest benefits from NASA HSF may be from using the technologies developed for unmanned purposes.  For example, the same sabatier reactor and pyrolytic methane recyclers used to recycle CO2 on the ISS could be used to harvest and process CO2 scooped from Venus into pyrolytic carbon.  This raw material might be used to mass produce commsats and SBSP satellites.  These can benefit life on Earth by providing global high speed internet and clean energy.

So, even if the "killer app" is a fleet of unmanned venus orbital radio factories mass producing unmanned radio transceiver satellites, the technology used may be pioneered by NASA for manned spaceflight.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2011 06:42 pm by IsaacKuo »

Offline mrbliss

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #5 on: 10/31/2011 06:49 pm »
voted Yes, settlement is not the only goal of government-sponsored HSF.


Offline Lee Jay

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #6 on: 10/31/2011 06:50 pm »
I vote yes, and here's why:

Space settlement is a lofty idea, but it need not be the primary mission of NASA HSF.  Space colonization does not benefit life back here on Earth directly.

In contrast, space tourism might become a direct benefit, and NASA HSF may pioneer necessary technologies and foster development of the necessary infrastructure for space tourism to thrive.

Also, the biggest benefits from NASA HSF may be from using the technologies developed for unmanned purposes.

I agree.

Offline Namechange User

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #7 on: 10/31/2011 06:55 pm »
I vote "yes" and here is why.

As Chris mentioned everyone who is in this business or has an interest in this business wants space settlement.  Who among us, and likely much of the general public, has not watched TV shows or movies, read books, magazines, etc that show and talk about people traveling through space for a variety of reasons and hoped and wished for the day it was "us"? 

You have to crawl before you walk.  You have to walk before you run.  I believe space settlement will happen eventually and, like so many things before, in an exponential fashion.  But getting started is always hard and like an exponential curve you seem to run "flatline", for lack of a better term, for a while. 

I most certainly do believe if you take away any HSF in some sort of hissy because "settlement" is not written on a piece of paper, that "flatline" on the curve gets a lot longer. 
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Offline Space Pete

Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #8 on: 10/31/2011 06:55 pm »
I voted yes - even if settlement isn't the end goal, I would still support HSF for the benefits it brings to us all.

I personally do believe that settlement should be the end goal of the space program. However, whether settlement should be the end goal of NASA is another matter - perhaps NASA's job should be to enable settlement, while settlement itself is done by the private sector?
« Last Edit: 10/31/2011 06:56 pm by Space Pete »
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Offline stockman

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #9 on: 10/31/2011 07:15 pm »
I voted yes - even if settlement isn't the end goal, I would still support HSF for the benefits it brings to us all.

I personally do believe that settlement should be the end goal of the space program. However, whether settlement should be the end goal of NASA is another matter - perhaps NASA's job should be to enable settlement, while settlement itself is done by the private sector?

I agree with this.. Settlement should be the ultimate goal of the planet... Nasa should be in the enabling business... Similar to how north america was settled-- government opens it up and squashes any local resistance and the private settlers move in.. hopefully of course any "locals" we come across down the road we can deal with a bit more maturely...


voted YES
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Offline joek

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #10 on: 10/31/2011 07:25 pm »
Yes.  Others have covered most of the reasons.

It's also far from clear how or if such a law would change much (if any) of NASA's activities.  While I support settlement as a goal, in practical terms it's arguably still far enough in the future that virtually any current HSF-related project could be justified as supporting that goal.

Offline Bill White

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #11 on: 10/31/2011 07:27 pm »
Settlement of space should be humanity's goal.

Even if the US Congress & the various Presidents who serve from time to time were to refuse to embrace settlement as a national goal, continued NASA human spaceflight will nonetheless facilitate permanent settlement as an objective for our species.

= = =

Add: I very much agree with stockman that NASA should be in the enabling business, however I do not believe NASA should have a monopoly on the enabling business.
« Last Edit: 10/31/2011 07:30 pm by Bill White »
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Offline Cherokee43v6

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #12 on: 10/31/2011 07:44 pm »
Just because we can't get it now doesn't mean we can't get it later.

Additionally, if Commercial Manned Flight is able to create a market, then eventually, the pressure for new markets will create a drive to develop permanent colonies.  So, in the meantime, we would need NASA HSF to buy commercial services as the anchor tennant in creating said market.
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Offline Space OurSoul

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #13 on: 10/31/2011 07:44 pm »
Yes.

OV-106 said it really well, and I'll add that we can't know where the knee in the curve is from our vantage point here on the flatline. It might even be closer than we think...

But I don't think it's possible to have the S word as part of NASA's goals, because so few people in power can take it seriously.

IMHO this is not due to a lack of soaring imagination, but rather lack of appreciation of humanity's current position on that exponential technological curve. It's difficult to grok exponential growth and its implication that what is about to happen over the rest of your life will dwarf what has already happened during your life.

Thus, I would keep exploration as the charter, with some robust verbiage about technology transfer and anchor tenancy to make NASA the enabler.
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Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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A Proud NO
« Reply #14 on: 10/31/2011 11:56 pm »
Short version - I'd argue we'll only get real value from HSF when we have settlement.  If we can't get that, and there are so many other problems here on earth, I'd rather the money be focused elsewhere (yea, I know, I commit heresy among space people - what else is new? - I'll prolly do that a lot in this thread)

Forgot to include - yea, I am the poll requester
« Last Edit: 11/01/2011 02:36 am by Political Hack Wannabe »
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #15 on: 11/01/2011 12:00 am »
I vote yes, and here's why:

Space settlement is a lofty idea, but it need not be the primary mission of NASA HSF.  Space colonization does not benefit life back here on Earth directly.

In contrast, space tourism might become a direct benefit, and NASA HSF may pioneer necessary technologies and foster development of the necessary infrastructure for space tourism to thrive.

I am curious as to how you can argue the industries established for space settlement cannot provide a direct benefit, but industries like space tourism can.  Please describe

Also, the biggest benefits from NASA HSF may be from using the technologies developed for unmanned purposes.  For example, the same sabatier reactor and pyrolytic methane recyclers used to recycle CO2 on the ISS could be used to harvest and process CO2 scooped from Venus into pyrolytic carbon.  This raw material might be used to mass produce commsats and SBSP satellites.  These can benefit life on Earth by providing global high speed internet and clean energy.

So, even if the "killer app" is a fleet of unmanned venus orbital radio factories mass producing unmanned radio transceiver satellites, the technology used may be pioneered by NASA for manned spaceflight.

So, how do you deal with the obvious counter to the spin-off argument?
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Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #16 on: 11/01/2011 12:04 am »
I voted yes - even if settlement isn't the end goal, I would still support HSF for the benefits it brings to us all.

Like?

I personally do believe that settlement should be the end goal of the space program. However, whether settlement should be the end goal of NASA is another matter - perhaps NASA's job should be to enable settlement, while settlement itself is done by the private sector?

If the end goal is settlement, if you structure your program so that you aren't the only one supporting it, wouldn't that provide a quicker growth towards settlement?
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #17 on: 11/01/2011 12:08 am »
Yes.

OV-106 said it really well, and I'll add that we can't know where the knee in the curve is from our vantage point here on the flatline. It might even be closer than we think...

But I don't think it's possible to have the S word as part of NASA's goals, because so few people in power can take it seriously.

IMHO this is not due to a lack of soaring imagination, but rather lack of appreciation of humanity's current position on that exponential technological curve. It's difficult to grok exponential growth and its implication that what is about to happen over the rest of your life will dwarf what has already happened during your life.

Thus, I would keep exploration as the charter, with some robust verbiage about technology transfer and anchor tenancy to make NASA the enabler.


Doesn't that allow people who want to use space for their own purpose, some which might be counter to settlement, to jump in and take some control?

In short, doesn't that diminish the "brand" of space?
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #18 on: 11/01/2011 12:10 am »
Yes.  Others have covered most of the reasons.

It's also far from clear how or if such a law would change much (if any) of NASA's activities.  While I support settlement as a goal, in practical terms it's arguably still far enough in the future that virtually any current HSF-related project could be justified as supporting that goal.

I have a real problem with that assumption. 
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

Offline Political Hack Wannabe

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Re: POLL: Settlement Ultimatum
« Reply #19 on: 11/01/2011 12:10 am »
Just because we can't get it now doesn't mean we can't get it later.

Additionally, if Commercial Manned Flight is able to create a market, then eventually, the pressure for new markets will create a drive to develop permanent colonies.  So, in the meantime, we would need NASA HSF to buy commercial services as the anchor tennant in creating said market.

But why shouldn't we be able to get it now? 
It's not democrats vs republicans, it's reality vs innumerate space cadet fantasy.

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