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  [Discuss] NASA's Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle (Page 2)

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Author Topic:   [Discuss] NASA's Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle
MCroft04
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Posts: 1236
From: Smithfield, Me, USA
Registered: Mar 2005

posted 09-29-2013 09:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Jim, I love your responses. They remind me of my debates with engineers during my career (why drill that well?). I can't tell you "for what". But space is such an unknown frontier that we must explore it, with humans. The combination of human ingenuity combined with serendipity will likely provide benefits to the multitudes living on earth. That's a risk I'm willing to take!

Ronpur
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Posts: 302
From: Brandon, Fl
Registered: May 2012

posted 09-29-2013 09:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ronpur   Click Here to Email Ronpur     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
For what?
Survival.

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 09-30-2013 06:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Both those responses are fine, but human spaceflight doesn't need to be gov't funded. There is no benefit to the individual countries. I am all for private and NGO space exploration but not gov't funded. For example, a lunar base provide little to no benefits to the USA.

p51
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Posts: 826
From: Olympia, WA, USA
Registered: Sep 2011

posted 09-30-2013 02:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for p51   Click Here to Email p51     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Behling:
There is no benefit to the individual countries.
People said the same to Queen Isabella I of Castile when Christopher Columbus came a'knocking. Thankfully the Catholic Monarchs decided the concept had merit and allowed shared support for his venture which eventually led to... well, you know.

star61
Member

Posts: 266
From: Bristol UK
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 09-30-2013 06:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Government funded human spaceflight benefited the USA and the world (if you care about the world of course) in huge social and economic ways, some yet to be fully realised.

Not being as simplistic as to use the word "spinoff," but it is well accepted that many industries blossomed out of the manned space program. Materials, computing, medicine, program management, etc.

Normally these advances require a shooting war to move forward in any substantial way. Give me government backed manned space exploration any time.

Being the devil's advocate is fine Jim, but the fact is without government influence, for whatever purpose, exploration of the solar system and also the look-back tech of Earth observation would be nowhere near where it is today.

NASA started to facilitate the manned program. The rest rode on the back of that... luckily!

Jim Behling
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Posts: 599
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 09-30-2013 08:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by p51:
People said the same to Queen Isabella I of Castile when Christopher Columbus came a'knocking.
Not an applicable analogy. The moon or Mars have no resources to send back to the mother country. Also, how long has it been since Spain has directly benefited from the lands Columbus explored?

Jim Behling
Member

Posts: 599
From: Cape Canaveral, FL
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 09-30-2013 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Behling   Click Here to Email Jim Behling     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by star61:
Government funded human spaceflight benefited the USA and the world (if you care about the world of course) in huge social and economic ways, some yet to be fully realised.
Unsubstantiated.
quote:
Not being as simplistic as to use the word "spinoff," but it is well accepted that many industries blossomed out of the manned space program.
Wrong, it was the ICBM, spysat and unmanned programs that provided most of the spinoffs and the manned program just used them and was the face of them but was not the driving force.
quote:
Normally these advances require a shooting war to move forward in any substantial way.
No, it is the marketplace where exploitation occurs.
quote:
Being the devil's advocate is fine Jim, but the fact is without government influence, for whatever purpose, exploration of the solar system and also the look-back tech of Earth observation would be nowhere near where it is today.
That is not the manned program and hence you make my case.

There is no purpose or need for government backed manned space exploration.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27831
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-30-2013 08:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To bring this topic back on subject, there is no business case for Lockheed Martin to build a spacecraft (i.e. Orion) for manned exploration, without the government as its customer.

National pride — demonstrating technological superiority — is, at present, the driving reason for government-supported exploration. Everything else, spinoffs included, is proverbial "gravy."

mode1charlie
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Posts: 462
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 09-30-2013 08:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by star61:
Government funded human spaceflight benefited the USA and the world (if you care about the world of course) in huge social and economic ways, some yet to be fully realised.

Yes. Quantifying any long-term return on public (i.e. government) investment is methodologically difficult, but it's very hard to deny that space spending has generated a real and important ROI to the overall economy.

Just to take one example from the 60s: the Apollo program pushed the technological envelope for microprocessor development, and through its large-scale early purchases was able to help drive down costs from $1000/unit to $20-30 in just a few years - thus opening up availability of computer processing to whole new (private sector) industries.

Arguing that the government should have no role in space exploration, or that it has no role in facilitating innovation that boosts the long-term productive potential of the economy simply flies in the face of common sense as well as empirical evidence.

SkyMan1958
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Posts: 378
From: CA.
Registered: Jan 2011

posted 09-30-2013 09:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SkyMan1958   Click Here to Email SkyMan1958     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mode1charlie:
Just to take one example from the 60s: the Apollo program pushed the technological envelope for microprocessor development...
Much as I support human spaceflight, I would have to agree with Jim that the DRIVING technological force for microprocessors etc. during the Apollo era was missile technology (e.g. ICBM's and spy satellites) and the military in general. The major human spin-offs from Apollo came more in the medical fields of smaller instruments etc.

PERHAPS the greatest spin-off from Apollo was the Soviet Union under Gorbachev believing that the US was going to do under Reagan what it said it was going to do, e.g. develop Star Wars in a timely manner, thus causing (theoretically) wholesale obsolescence of the Soviet nuclear deterrent.

mode1charlie
Member

Posts: 462
From: Honolulu, HI, USA
Registered: Sep 2010

posted 09-30-2013 10:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mode1charlie   Click Here to Email mode1charlie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SkyMan1958:
Much as I support human spaceflight, I would have to agree with Jim that the DRIVING technological force for microprocessors etc. during the Apollo era was missile technology (e.g. ICBM's and spy satellites) and the military in general.

As referenced in the link I provided, the Minuteman II program and the Apollo program were both instrumental, and it would be a mistake to see this as either/or. The Minuteman program came first (indeed, many of the people who worked on it went on to work on Apollo), and used an earlier form (diode transistor logic), largely from Texas Instruments. Apollo purchases were clustered in the mid-60s and used a more advanced design (resistor-transistor logic), mostly from Fairchild Semiconductor. (Key people from Fairchild, such Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, split off in 1968 to form Intel.)

Clearly both programs were critical - they were just at different stages of the technological development process. But around 1964-65, Apollo was buying an estimated 60% of ICs. The significance of both programs for microprocessor development cannot be understated.

star61
Member

Posts: 266
From: Bristol UK
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 10-01-2013 04:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for star61   Click Here to Email star61     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Others have the information more to hand but I stand by my assertion that manned spaceflight led out the huge increase in development of many technologies. The world of ICBM and spy sat tech was unlikely to lead to commercial uses in the way open manned space programs did.

As for the last point, I think you don't understand or don't want to. I restate it thus; without the manned program NASA was tasked with, it is very unlikely Pioneer, Surveyor, Voyager, Viking and so on would have happened. You are very direct in opposing others viewpoints and also very wrong!

The marketplace would have had nothing to exploit without government financed projects. I don't remember any private companies in the 50s and 60s attempting space programs!

fredtrav
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Posts: 965
From: Birmingham AL USA
Registered: Aug 2010

posted 10-01-2013 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fredtrav   Click Here to Email fredtrav     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also corporations have to make money, be answerable to stockholders.

Following your reasoning Jim, why is NASA sending rovers to Mars, doing exploration to the outer planets? The big picture has to come from government. In fact why is NASA doing anything at all? Let private companies do it.

That is not to say private companies have no place, but I would argue that the initial discoveries have to come from government. If something is found that is exploitable, then private companies can and will come in.


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