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NASA to scale back Mars budget


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#1    Saru

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:44 AM

NASA executives are to make significant cuts to its exploration of other planets in our solar system.

Independent said:

Nasa is about to propose "irrational" major cuts to its exploration of other planets, especially Mars, scientists claim. Budget constraints mean Nasa executives have had to decide whether to invest in space exploration in the neighbouring planet or the far-off cosmos.

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#2    Imaginarynumber1

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:18 AM

Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!


#3    shaddow134

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:38 PM

Looks to me as though the us are capitulating in the space race,good bye Uncle Sam hello China...


#4    spud the mackem

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:50 PM

Having read the article,I am sad this is happening like millions of us.We all look towards progress but it looks like N.A.S.A. are skint like the rest of society,and something must be cut back,but I woild rather they explored what is next door,than trying to explore the unreachable.dah sveedahneeyah N.A.S.A.


#5    dharma warrior

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:05 PM

Doesn't matter. America still makes the best movies about exploring Mars.


#6    DBunker

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:01 PM

I dont care who walks on Mars first (Americans, Europeans, Asians, Russians).... as long as we do it in my lifetime!

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#7    Fluffybunny

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:19 PM

Well, we have spent far too much money on too many things over the past couple decades and with the economy the way it is, everyone(except the painfully rich it appears) is having to cut back. It isn't permanent, but it will be a while before we invest large sums of money into space programs, but it will come back.

Nasa does a lot for the little money they do get, but without the inspiration of new programs to get peoples attention I think it will be harder and harder to justify the money to a public that doesn't see an end result of their investment. I can remember being a kid, and there were so many people spurred on to become engineers from watching the Apollo program, and it had a huge impact the the public. The stuff that Nasa does now is no less important, but it is all taken for granted, and there is no inspiration now as there was decades ago.

Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

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#8    BrandOfAmber

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 10:42 PM

This is excellent news!  What this essentially means, is that there will no longer be millions of dollars sent directly to JPL and Malin Space Science Systems, and the like!

In simple english, no more millions for robots that equate to essentially golf carts with a wifi antennae.

What it means, is that it's time to return to manned spacetravel.  Or as I like to call it, space on the cheap.:)

It means it's time to take a look as how INEXPENSIVE we can make space travel.  It's time to stop spending on combustible rocket fuel, and develop a re-usable launch system (like a railgun...)

It means that it's time to start recycling 70% of the dormant robotic crap that's inhabiting LEO currently (Low Earth Orbit).

It means that NASA had realized that to remain relevant, they are going to have to spend their dollars to compete with the manned spaceflight programs of China and the ESA, instead of continuing to play with their metal toys...

Finally, the boots of a man will fall upon the soils of Mars.  

NASA can do it, or the public will.  The field has just been equalized. ;)

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#9    badeskov

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 12:52 AM

View PostBrandOfAmber, on 13 February 2012 - 10:42 PM, said:

This is excellent news!  What this essentially means, is that there will no longer be millions of dollars sent directly to JPL and Malin Space Science Systems, and the like!


Eh, what?! It is the lowest bidder that wins, whoever that might be.

Quote

In simple english, no more millions for robots that equate to essentially golf carts with a wifi antennae.

What it means, is that it's time to return to manned spacetravel.  Or as I like to call it, space on the cheap.:)


Space on the cheap?!?!?! Posted Image

Do you have any idea at all how much it costs to develop human rated space crafts and the associated lift capabilities compared to a robotic mission? Here is a rough cost breakdown of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Titan (way out there compared to Mars):

Quote

The total cost of the Cassini-Huygens mission is about $3.26 billion, including $1.4 billion for pre-launch development, $704 million for mission operations, $54 million for tracking and $422 million for the launch vehicle. The U.S. contributed $ 2.6 billion, the European Space Agency $500 million and the Italian Space Agency $160 million.



Bolding mine. The cost of the latest Mars rover (Mars Science Laboratory) is about $2.5B (Wiki link):

Quote

Mars Science Laboratory mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of Mars, and the project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of California Institute of Technology for NASA. Doug McCuistion of NASA's Planetary Science Division is the Director of the Mars Exploration Program.[15] The total cost of the MSL project is about US$2.5 billion.[16]

So what is the cost so far of the US Constellation program for the next generation manned space flight so far? Again, from from Wiki:

Quote

When President Bush established his new space exploration policy to return humans to the moon, NASA estimated the policy would cost $230 billion (in 2004 dollars) through 2025.[29] This figure includes the Commercial Crew and Cargo program, which is separate from the Constellation program. NASA has estimated that the Constellation program would cost over $97 billion (in 2008 dollars) through 2020, half of which would be for Ares I and Orion. However, unsolved technical and design challenges made it impossible for NASA to provide a credible estimate.[29]

So at $97B for the human exploration program you could get 25 (!!) Mars Exploration programs. So your contention that humans exploring space is space on the cheap is not not patently wrong, it seems rather naive.



Quote

It means it's time to take a look as how INEXPENSIVE we can make space travel.  It's time to stop spending on combustible rocket fuel, and develop a re-usable launch system (like a railgun...)

A rail gun?! Seriously. How long do you envision that would be not to incur extremely acceleration?


Quote

It means that it's time to start recycling 70% of the dormant robotic crap that's inhabiting LEO currently (Low Earth Orbit).

What robotic crap would that be? And how do you suggest that would happen?


Quote

It means that NASA had realized that to remain relevant, they are going to have to spend their dollars to compete with the manned spaceflight programs of China and the ESA, instead of continuing to play with their metal toys...

You are aware, naturally, that they actually collaborate a lot with other space agencies on a whole lot of different things, correct? Or maybe you are not - your comments don't exactly reflect that.


Quote

Finally, the boots of a man will fall upon the soils of Mars.  

Hopefully they will, yes. But you need robotic missions to start with to find the best area to maximize your scientific output.


Quote

NASA can do it, or the public will.  The field has just been equalized. ;)

Eh, ho so?

By all means of respect, but your posts doesn't exactly display a deep knowledge of how space exploration actually works. Make no mistake, I am all for human exploration of space and allocating funding for it, but calling human exploration of space for cheap compared with robotic missions is, at best, ignorant. Secondly, they are not mutually exclusive, in fact, human exploration will require robotic missions for identifying and surveying areas of interest for human exploration.

Cheers,
Badeskov

Edited by badeskov, 14 February 2012 - 12:54 AM.

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#10    27vet

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:59 AM

Well done Obama. What are you going to do with that money?

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#11    Grey14

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:44 PM

View Post27vet, on 14 February 2012 - 06:59 AM, said:

Well done Obama. What are you going to do with that money?


Ah yes...because Obama has all the say so on where the money goes in the budget. How ignorant.

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#12    Child of Bast

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 05:56 PM

I don't understand why the government has to be the one to fund space exploration exclusively. What's wrong with letting the private companies take over? I think private companies would work harder to reduce cost for getting people into space faster than the government would. All NASA has to do is request more money and they have it, no reason to attempt cost reduction.

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#13    Grey14

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 06:59 PM

View PostOffeiriad, on 14 February 2012 - 05:56 PM, said:

I don't understand why the government has to be the one to fund space exploration exclusively. What's wrong with letting the private companies take over? I think private companies would work harder to reduce cost for getting people into space faster than the government would. All NASA has to do is request more money and they have it, no reason to attempt cost reduction.

I certainly dont have a problem with it but the companies do. The way it is right now it is not cost effective for private companies to do the things NASA does. The profit margin is to small if it is there at all so you won't see private companies shelling out millions of dollars on such a small return. Now in the Future I do believe we will see a shift where the private sector starts to venture out into space development but when that may be could still be decades.

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#14    stevewinn

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:33 PM

the cutbacks signal the dwindling ambition of the the most ambitious nation in space exploration, i thought, space exploration would have become cheaper as technology advanced?

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#15    Spock_the_Future

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:42 PM

So the money and resources are there to make mind controlled weapons but not enough on explorations dated to be 2016 and 2018 ?

Money.. Money... it's so damn funny !!!!!

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